I thought I might be starting labor last night - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Starting yesterday afternoon I noticed myself getting BH contractions pretty frequently.  I get them a lot on my bike or if I climb the stairs or something, but much less frequently if I'm just lying there reading a book, as I was doing.  Then yesterday evening I was just sitting watching TV and I was getting them every 5 minutes.  I finally mentioned this to DH, who freaked of course.  He spent the rest of the evening asking me why I was breathing "that way" and such.  I don't know if I was actually breathing any differently than usual.  I might have been doing a bit more blowing out through pursed lips as I was having contractions.  By midnight or so I had a headache, which I normally rarely get and my back even hurt a bit.  DH kept asking me if it was going to be tonight, if he needed to blow up the pool, etc.

 

It had mostly chilled out by about 1am and I went to bed.  I woke up to pee my usual 3 or 4 times before 3am and in those last ones I wondered again because I felt just desperate to pee and it was only 10 minutes after my last pee and I hadn't had anything to drink for several hours.  Then I finally got a chunk of sleep in.

 

With both of my last babies I had a day of pretty frequent but not at all painful contractions and then they were born the next day.  This is probably not that.  I am only 35+4.  (The other two were born at 39+1 and 38+4, respectively.)  But does anyone here know how concerned I should be if it does turn into labor at this early stage?  I officially couldn't have a home birth until 37.  I have had an ultrasound that put me about 4 days ahead of where I actually am, so I suppose I can call myself 36+1 for official purposes.  I absolutely want nothing to do with the hospital.  Do you think I could safely stay home at this stage?  My midwife would probably do it (the protocol here doesn't allow breech at home but she will do it for mothers who are committed to home birth), but if she wouldn't and I thought it would be safe I would opt to UC before I'd go to the hospital.

 

I don't know if this baby is a boy or a girl.  With DD, I had lots of attempted medical intervention in the last weeks and an OB told me that girls develop about a week faster than boys, so lung development is less of a concern at this point if it's a girl.  That's just an FYI for the rest of you since I don't know the sex.

 

Thoughts?  Now that I've actually said this, I'll probably go to 43 weeks....


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#2 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 02:04 AM
 
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#3 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 02:12 AM
 
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That is really interesting about girls developing faster than boys! I wonder if that has something to do with girl babies surviving better than boy babies (at least in natural conditions).

 

What does your gut tell you about staying home at this point? I know there are women on the UC board who have UCed/would do so at 35-36 weeks, and there are probably some on the HB board too, though there are others who wouldn't do it until 37. Personally, and this is coming from someone who has seriously considered UC and still might, I would not do it until 37-38 as there is really a higher chance of breathing problems earlier. I think what you feel about the situation is very important though (that is, would you be staying home at this point only out of fear of the hospital, or do you also really feel on a deep level like everything is ok?).

 

Also, I don't know if you read The Feminist Breeder, but she just had her 3rd after *weeks* of serious prodromal labor... it seems to be more common in later pregnancies. So it could just be that for you too - maybe your midwife would have more input.


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#4 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ursusarctos View Post

 

Also, I don't know if you read The Feminist Breeder, but she just had her 3rd after *weeks* of serious prodromal labor... it seems to be more common in later pregnancies. So it could just be that for you too - maybe your midwife would have more input.


This!  I'm having a hospital birth with a midwife/OB team.  I'm 34w2d and have been having contractions for about a week now.  I mentioned them at my last appointment and the OB said that for a third time mom it is not at all unusual to have them for a month or more.  My contractions have mostly been 30-60 minutes apart, but I have had times where they were 10 or less minutes apart for extended periods of time.  The OB said not to worry about it unless I feel like it's really labor.  I would mention the contractions to the midwife and see what she says, but wouldn't worry too much at this point.
 

 


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#5 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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I'd feel comfortable staying home from 36weeks on.  If I went into labor at 35 weeks, I would personally want to go to the hospital. 

 

I had 4 solid weeks of prodromal labor with my last baby.  From 38w-42w I would have nights where I contracted every 4 minutes for hours.  I sat on that dang birthing ball thinking I was in early labor so many nights.  It was so frustrating, but it made for a very smooth active labor :) 

 

Hopefully things will quiet down for a few more days so you don't have to wonder about staying home or not :)


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#6 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  It sounds like I can potentially expect to feel like this for a LONG time.  I don't relish that idea, but I would like to make it until at least July 23rd, the first day of the summer vacation (so I don't miss end of school events) and the first day that my midwife will be back in town from her vacation (which will begin this weekend).  I don't mind the contractions so much, but I'm not a fan of the strange headachy/crampy feelings that are accompanying them.


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#7 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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With my second child, I had a "I am in labor!" night. I was right at 37 weeks and had contractions for a few hours, at 3 miuntes apart. We were at Ikea then at church group, so I never called my midwife, but I just knew he was coming that night!

 

Needless to say, he was not born that night, he held on to 40.3 weeks. I would say as long as the contractions stop, then nothing to worry about. Maybe mention it to your midwife and ask her if she would be comfortable delivering you early.


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#8 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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If after 35 weeks, a hospital staff wouldn't do anything to stop labor (which I think is most likely the case) I think baby would probably most likely be ok.  I think the only issues would be size if they were teensy tiny and couldn't maintain temperature (which you could resolve with kangaroo care) and lung maturity.  I don't think I would personally stay home, but that's a personal decision you need to make, and it sounds like you have.  Last time my mw fudged my due date a bit so that if baby came before 37 weeks (even just by a hair) I could stay home.  I went on to 39 + 6 but still, I think it would be ok.  It's not technically "term" but shy only by one week (and a few days) doesn't scream super scary early baby to me.

 

I hope you don't end up in prodromal hell.  It makes a mama very tired and very crabby.  Hopefully it was just a one time thing -- if not, start a thread b/c I'm sure a few of us will join you! 


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#9 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Personally I would give birth at home from about 36wks on, which seemed to be the general consensus on another board I'm on. For me, that might vary some depending on my location from a hospital. We have a firehouse/Emergency services just a minute from our apartment, and I know they could make it here with a minute or two if baby was having breathing difficulties. If help was over 10 mins away, I might reconsider and wait until 37 wks instead.

I was reading in my midwifery book last night that "babies' lungs are are almost always mature by 34 wks, but the 37 wk cutoff simply includes a generous margin of error in calculating the EDD."

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#10 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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I was reading in my midwifery book last night that "babies' lungs are are almost always mature by 34 wks, but the 37 wk cutoff simply includes a generous margin of error in calculating the EDD."


Oh interesting! 


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#11 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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I was reading in my midwifery book last night that "babies' lungs are are almost always mature by 34 wks, but the 37 wk cutoff simply includes a generous margin of error in calculating the EDD."


That's very interesting and good to know.

 


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#12 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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In the state that I'm in, it's legal to have a homebirth after 35 weeks.  And I'd honestly probably just stay home.  Although my midwife carries neonatal oxygen equipment, and we are close to hospitals.  Because it's legal, there wouldn't be any problem in going into the hospital ASAP if there were breathing issues.  I know other mamas feel differently, and that's up to each mama.  But I worry about them whisking my baby away for no reason, when in reality all she would need would be skin to skin and a little oxygen.

 

They just tightened the reigns in my state on breech births, and VBACs at home.  But the 35 week mark still stands as legal and okay for homebirth.


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#13 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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I'm fine with 36 and on, but 36 would have me a little worried. I'd certainly have a MW for that (UC with a loose arrangement with a MW). Location certainly plays a part into it as well, younger babies here often need O2. I just worked with a  2 week old who had been a 36 weeker last week on O2, she had to go on the vent at birth. No issues other then being born at 36 weeks. I know full term, 40 weekers that still needed it for a few days. My middle child was completely O2 dependent until 7 months of age, and she wasn't a premie. It is proven that girl premies do better then boy premies, it isn't such an issue usually unless you are talking about mircopremies where that maturity can really make a difference. I've never come across the data that lungs are often developed by 34 weeks, interesting. Maybe developed, but I'd still say immature and prone to issues. Babies of that age have an increased complication rate anyway. Another week can make a big difference. I'd have to do some more research on that one. Up until 34 weeks or so, steroid injections are used for lung development. The 34-36 week babies are the ones that I watch very closely, they often have issues BFing well, the whole suck, swallow, breathe thing can be difficult for them. 


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#14 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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Interesting Peony! Do you live at a really high altitude or something?


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#15 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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My sister had a 34 week er that was 6 plus pounds.  She was remarkable developed.  Never an issue with breathing or anything.  Maybe her dates were off but I don't think so.  My niece grew up healthy, happy, and strong and is a little pistol at the age of 4.

 

At my home visit last week, my MW was telling me that if babies come around 36 weeks, they are usually ready and strong enough to survive in the world w/o interventions.  I'm confident in that statement.

My girlfriend had a 33 week old taken by emergency c-section in December.  He was breathing on his own.  He did go to the NICU and had a few other minor support issues/monitoring because he had a tiny hole in his heart they wanted to keep an eye on.  The hospital wanted to keep him till his due date of Feb 8th but the neonatalogist let him go home 2 weeks later.  Some babes just fare better than others I guess.


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#16 of 22 Old 07-06-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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Honestly? I'd get checked. I had stuff like this happen last time (my first two were 38+6 and 40+6) and then my water broke at 35+4. And even though statistically girls ARE stronger than boys, it was NOT the case with my almost 36weeker, who had SEVERE RDS at birth and spent two weeks in the NICU, four of which were intubated, five on CPAP and the rest on cannula.

I'm pretty paranoid after last time, but I"m also one that "ignored" the ctx, assuming it was just going to happen because it was my third. TRUST your instincts! It never ever hurts to double check!

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#17 of 22 Old 07-07-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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My midwife says we have to wait 37 weeks if we're to birth in the birth center...I've always gone overdue with my babes, but...maybe it's all the cervical twinges or just my nerves, but I keep thinking she'll be born before she's "over due"....maybe not...but......we'll see.

I have classes starting August 30th....my due date. How crazy is THAT???? It's only two online classes, but with the grant money I have, I just can't skip it....That is really my maternity leave money! Some maternity leave....

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#18 of 22 Old 07-07-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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7,500 ft which I don't consider very high. 


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#19 of 22 Old 07-07-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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7,500 ft which I don't consider very high. 


In the grand scheme of topography, maybe not very high.  It isn't the Andes!  But as a (former, sigh) runner, I can say that that kind of elevation makes a HUGE difference.  I live at about 100 ft. above sea level, and the vast majority of my running is done in my neighborhood.  The max elevation change I get is maybe 400 ft., and that's only if I choose to run up a butte.  My in-laws live at about 3800 feet, and if I go for a run when we're visiting them...  Oh god it KILLS me.  It's absolutely noticeable to me, someone with a very capable and experienced set of lungs, and that's only a difference of 3700 ft.  I can't imagine how much harder it would be for an itty bitty baby trying to breathe for the very first time!

 


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#20 of 22 Old 07-08-2011, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In the grand scheme of topography, maybe not very high.  It isn't the Andes!  But as a (former, sigh) runner, I can say that that kind of elevation makes a HUGE difference.  I live at about 100 ft. above sea level, and the vast majority of my running is done in my neighborhood.  The max elevation change I get is maybe 400 ft., and that's only if I choose to run up a butte.  My in-laws live at about 3800 feet, and if I go for a run when we're visiting them...  Oh god it KILLS me.  It's absolutely noticeable to me, someone with a very capable and experienced set of lungs, and that's only a difference of 3700 ft.  I can't imagine how much harder it would be for an itty bitty baby trying to breathe for the very first time!

 



I agree with you that 7500 feet is very different from sea level.  I used to live in Denver at about 5300 feet and visitors certainly felt it.  However, I would have thought that an early baby that gestated at 7500 feet wouldn't have any more trouble breathing that air than an early baby who gestated at sea level would have breathing that air.  Hm, I wonder how that works.  Are similar preemies less successful at altitude?


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#21 of 22 Old 07-08-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I do know that babies born at higher altitudes do have extra red blood cells. Jaundice is very common because of the breakdown of these extra RBCs here. Having known several micro-premies born here, they require O2 at older ages here but if they are at sea level, they don't. I known families to move to sea level for a period of time and then come back. A study done in Denver years ago did show that babies born there are smaller then sea level babies due to effects of the pressure form high altitude. We had no idea DD2 would require O2 for so long, we kept thinking any day she would be off, everyone did. In hindsight if I had known it would be month after month then I would of taken her down in elevation. When I consulted with an expert in DD2's particular disease, she had never heard of a baby being on O2 for an extended amount of time for it, but she lived at sea level. 


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#22 of 22 Old 07-08-2011, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's very interesting.  I guess there are advantages to living below sea level, as I do!


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