Baby still hasn't dropped at 39 wks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Baby still hasn't dropped at 39 wks!
9
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 12:17pm
Hi,

This new format will take some getting used to.

I am a first time mom and am 39 weeks today. At my appt yesterday my ob said the baby still has not dropped and I am 0 dilated and 50% effaced. I have been 50% effaced for the past 4 weeks. We had to see a perinatal doc because of possible macrosomia (large baby). They are worried he won't fit. What are the chances that I will need a

c-section? Does the size of woman matter? I am 5'1 and very petite. Could he drop overnight? What were your experiences with c-sections and big babies?

THANKS FOR SHARING!

Melissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 12:43pm
You're closer to labor than I was the day before my VBAC. Things CAN happen very fast, and often do. First-time mothers, especially, often don't show any sign of labor until it actually starts. I never did experience the baby "dropping". (She was straight out the front, since I'm VERY short-waisted.)

As for worries about a large baby, it's generally considered a bad idea (and statistically unsupportable) to induce early in hopes that a small baby will be easier to birth. First time mothers are especially at risk for complications from an induction. It's easier to birth when you go into labor on your own. Not only are you less likely to have positioning problems, the contractions are milder, and much easier to endure for a longer time.

If there is no need to get the baby out immediately, let him/her stay in at as long as possible (though the OB will get antsy by 42 weeks).

Cthulu Crochet

Avatar for cl_kellybethinca
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 1:09pm
Hi Melissa! I agree with Ca Dreamer that it is a bit too early to worry about the baby not dropping. Sometimes they don't drop until you go into labor. I also agree in that you should try to avoid being induced, as that has a higher chance of leading to a c-section delivery as opposed to a "big" baby. You'll be amazed at what your body can do.

My son was 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and I crowned his head, but had to have a c-section because of his position. He eventually got stuck because he was facing the wrong way. Because his heart rate was dropping, they did the c-section.

There are many reasons that you may not have dropped - one could be your size. If you do have a c-section, its not the end of the world. Make sure you have plenty of help for the first few weeks you are at home. Try not to worry. Best wishes to you - it could be anyday.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:08am
Actually, your chances of a c/s are higher the bigger your doc thinks the baby is, not necessarily the bigger the baby is. As far as hard numbers go, I don't know anything right off hand, though.

My first dropped "all at once"--it doesn't take long once they decide to do it. Try to relax--being anxious or stressed can delay labor. (Yah, I know that's terribly helpful, isn't it? ;)

Best of luck,

Amy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 2:34pm
I too am having a big baby due to gestational diabeties. I'm only 35 weeks and my son is already 7 lbs! Prior to finding out his size - the doctors have always planned to induce me in my 38th week since i'm on insulin. Because i have gestational diabeties - they do not want the baby born or induce before 37 weeks preforably waiting till 38 weeks -- because the lungs of the baby born to diabetic moms mature slower then normal babies.

I was worried about my baby's size and thought that maybe the doctors would try to induce next week at 36 weeks or at 37 weeks. But they said they are more worried about the lungs then they are about his weight and that i can and will have a c-section due to his size. I wasn't sure i wanted a c-section... but after talking to a L&D nurse -- i now know i do want one. More times then none -- a big baby can be birthed and the head will come out only to have the shoulders or stomach get stuck, then the doctors have to literly push the baby back up the canal and deliver by c-section. The nurse said this is the most terrible thing she has ever seen and now advices pg women that KNOW they are having a big baby -- not to try labor to go ahead and do the c-section. It will save you on alot of laboring for nothing and wont stress the baby as much.

Avatar for spellshaper
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 12:46pm
I just wanted to mention that after delivering the head it is almost never possible to push the head back up and deliver via c-section and even when it is, there usually isn't enough time to do so. My son was born at 9 lbs 3 oz and had very severe shoulder dystocia and would not budge after his head was delivered. They told me later they only had about 30 seconds to get him out as his oxygen was compromised. He is very healthy now at 5 years old but I was very lucky they were able to get him out by fracturing both of his collarbones. The outcome could have been much worse. I am thankful he is ok. However, my daughter was born at 37 weeks because amniocentesis had guestimated her weight at already 8 and a half lbs and we didn't want to risk another dystocia. She was only 7 lbs 10 oz though and I know I could have delivered her vaginally. I think I would have preferred an induction then to the c-section. Now, I'm expecting my 3rd child and because of my son's traumatic birth and my prior c-section I will be having another c-section. I think it is very important to weight the risk vs the benefits and if the dr is going to take that baby early no matter what then you need to decide if you feel a c-section is preferable over an induction. I fthe baby will not come early then you have to decide how big you really thing he will be and how to deal with that. My best advice is to weigh the benefit vs the risk and keep in mind the goal of having a healthy baby and a safe delivery.~Jess
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:16am
I hate to disagree, but shoulder dystocia doesn't occur "more times than not" with big babies. It occurs in less than 1% of all births, and at least 1/4 of those are with babies that are under 4kg.

I can see how after having a bad experience, you wouldn't want to take the risk of going through it again, but advising people in general not to labor seems a little extreme to me. Risks of cord prolapse or hemmorage during labor are higher than the risk of shoulder dystocia--and no one advises people not to labor because of those!

Amy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:19pm
ITA nt

Avatar for baby_stinkbug
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:20pm
sorry kelly! my hat magically popped back on! :( nt
Avatar for baby_stinkbug
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:31pm
I agree with ca_dreamer above. Things can happen very suddenly as far as babies dropping and such. The average full-term pregnancy is 38-42 weeks- you're not even to 40wk yet, so it's not like you're running out of time or anything. 50% effaced is a good start.

I'm not sure of you chances for c/s- even with your small size. many small petite women have delivered large babies- a lot depends on the positioning of the baby and the mom during labor and delivery. Squatting during delivery can open your pelvis some 20% more than lying flat- that's a *huge* difference. Also, if you're certain your baby isn't posterior right now, I've heard that squatting can help move the baby down at this point (it worked for me). U/S size estimates can be off by up to a lb either way at this point as well- they aren't very accurate, and as mentioned, induction for macrosomia isn't statisically supported- and induction in general can lead to more problems and interventions, including a c/s.

I haven't had any experience with c/s and big babies-- I had my c/s for a 6lb 9oz baby and my vbac with a 9lb 9oz baby (who had a ~15 in head that didn't mold and a compound presentation at birth).

Good luck as your pregnancy comes to a close! I'd strongly suggest finding all you can about your particular situation (for example, try looking up things in google to find sites with information to share--also check out some of the other birth boards on Ivillage) before "allowing" the doc to make any "final" decisions regarding c/s or induction. As Kelly said, a c/s isn't the end of the world, but it *does* come wrought with many risks and complications of its own- affecting not only this birth and baby, but future pregnancies and birth choices as well. I think it's better to go into it informed and sure that your choices are the best for your situation than to question yourself later and wish you'd known more. ((HUGS)) and good luck!

kris