Tell me about birthing a big baby vaginally! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm measuring quite large and am having an u/s tomorrow morning to get an estimated fetal weight. Now, I know that u/s are notorious for being inaccurate when it comes to guessing weight, but I want to prepare myself for every possibility.

I asked my midwife this morning what would happen if the u/s says he's big, and she hinted that if he's big already (I'm 37 weeks) that they would recommend a surgical birth. I absolutely do NOT want a c-section, and I'd like to hear stories of women who birthed 10+ lb. babies vaginally, especially if you did it drug-free. Give me encouragement that it can be done!

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#2 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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My oldest wasn't that big (8lbs,2oz) but her head was 14.75" around and she had a nuchal hand. I pushed for 1hr,10 min. I only had a 1st degree tear and hd no drugs.

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#3 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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OF COURSE IT CAN BE DONE!
My DD was not over 10 lbs (9 lbs, 3oz), but I figured she would have felt the same coming out at 6 or 7 pounds...! She was 13 days "past due", but I insisted we not even discuss induction until 42 weeks. She cut it nice and close. I did have two very small tears, but I refused an episiotemy. And I've heard plenty of stories of babies over ten pounds without any tearing. I would suggest staying of your back and trying different birthing positions to make it easier. Also, if water birth is an option that might make it easier (I'm opting for a birth center water birth this go round).

My DH cousin had her baby the same day as we did, only she was not due for several more weeks. The ultrasound showed that her baby was getting to be "too big" and she had a c-section. THe baby turned out to weigh only 8 pounds.

If you're healthy and prepared for a non-augmented birth, don't let anyone scare you. research your options and educate yourself, that's your best defense!

Good luck

Rebecca, wife to DH (4-22-02), mother to DD (10-13-05) and DS (9-24-08)
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#4 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Honestly, I would skip the scan completely. Why set yourself up for a battle? Is the only concern that the baby is "too big"? It doesn't matter that u/s are notoriously inaccurate, the docs still treat them like gospel, and if yours is already telling you you need a c/s for a big baby, then you're in for a battle.

Of course you can birth a big baby vaginally. Size is not as important as baby's positioning and having an unimpeded labor.

Now, vaginally birthing a "big" baby while you are being artificially induced, on you back, with an epidural, is basically a recipe for a c-section. So, since that is the majority of births docs see, of course they think women "can't" birth big babies.

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#5 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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I was EXACTLY in your shoes a few months ago. Measuring 2 weeks ahead. My ultrasound said he was 10.5 lbs. I didn't believe it. I went in and tried tried tried to give birth naturally. It didn't happen for me. He WAS 10.5 lbs exactly. So if you have a good ultrasound tech, I would give it a little more credit. I wasn't upset about the c/s. I had a good 21 hours of labor. I pushed in a dozen different positions and tried everything I could, but he just wasn't coming out. I wouldn't have changed what I did. My DS benefitted from the pushing and I know that I did everything I could to give a vaginal birth a shot.

Good luck to you. It will be fine whichever way it ends up happening. I *know* what my state of mind was - I am NOT getting a c/s. The ultrasound is wrong. Etc. Etc. - but if it comes down to the baby not coming out and you need a c/s it will be fine. I didn't think it was as bad as everyone said.

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#6 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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Even ACOG doesn't recommend c-section or inductionfor perceived "big babies".

I birthed my 10 lb. 2 oz. son in my kitchen. No shoulder dystocia, no tearing, and no, the earth did not open up and swallow us whole. I've had an 8 lb. 12 oz. baby, a 9 lb. 1 oz. baby and 8 lb. 4 oz. baby and by comparison I had a faster, easier labor and birth with my 10 lb. baby than I did with my smaller babies.
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#7 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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Both of mine were pretty big: 9lb 11oz and 10lb 4oz respectively. No drugs and no tearing. I just took my time with the pushing (about 2hrs for each). They crowned for quite a while which I think really helped to ease them through. It totally can be done!!
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#8 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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My last was 9.5 lbs, a good deal bigger than either of my other children. I fought through a natural, drug free, intervention free hospital birth. Literally, including signing an "against drs orders" thing to refuse pit more than once in the course of my 20 hours laboring there.

My labor was longer, delivery more painful, and baby had a more difficult time getting into postion, despite my doing all the things i know to do. i would have delivered sooner had i been allowed my choice of posions after baby began crowning but thats another story.

She came out, and was my ONLY STITCH FREE delivery. I had over 30 stitches with my 6.5 lber.

Yes you can do it, and i agree with another poster,
you are better off to skip the scan. It is only asking for the medical model to jump all over you.

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#9 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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My first was 8.5lbs, head in the 98th %ile, posterior, nuchal hand. I had him vaginally. My 2nd and 3rd were over 9lbs, ds2 was asynclitic.
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#10 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That was my first thought, to skip the scan, but that nagging little voice in the back of my head won't let me skip it. I had 2 miscarriages before this pregnancy because of MTHFR, just barely passed my GTT, and am swelling like nobody's business. My midwife ordered it because I gained 10 lbs. in 2 weeks and went from measuring 3 weeks ahead to measuring 10 weeks ahead in that 2 weeks as well. They're actually more concerned about too much fluid than they are about him being big. With all that, I just don't want to take the chance on something being truly wrong, you know?

Thank you so much for your stories! I'm on a mainstream board and I don't know of anyone there who has NOT had a c-section for a 'big baby'. I'm fairly confident that my midwives won't push me into doing something I'm not comfortable doing, and I'm very informed as to what my options are and all that, but a little extra encouragement never hurts, KWIM? Keep the stories coming!

Lacie, mama to Ethan (5), Logan (2), and Dylan, born 5/12/11!
 
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#11 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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I'd just skip the scan (or if you feel you need it for peace of mind, take it with a grain of salt). Why worry unnecessarily? Both of my boys were 9.5 pounds. A scan with my first put him at about 10 pounds at 36 weeks (he was born at 44-45 weeks). A scan with my second put him at about 7 pounds at 40 weeks.

There will be no scan for me this time around.

Both were natural unmedicated births - one 28 hours, one 4 hours.

A good friend of mine had her 11.5 pound baby in 3 hours on her sunporch.

I firmly believe that the vast majority of women will not grow a baby they can't birth.

Molly, mama to my 3 sweet boys.
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#12 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I have to be blunt. Your MW is not using evidence-based practice. In my book, that's not just incompetent. It's unethical.

nak

in your shoes, I would run, not walk, to another provider. if nothing else, get second and third opinions from providers of your choosing (not just your mw's buddies). we get multiple opnions abt other forms of surgery. caesarean (major ab surgery) should be no different.

there's also a slippery slope to consider. if she's opting against the evidence on this (pp mentioned ACOG's stance on not delivering suspected big babies by c-section), what other aspects of your care are going to go south? will they end up finding an excuse to cut you open any way?

sorry to go on like this. the issue is deeply personal to me, (i had a 10-pounder naturally and normally out of hospital), as it is to a lot of mamas.

best of luck to you! :

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#13 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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My DD was only 8lb 5 oz, but my husband's cousin had a 10 lb 3 oz baby girl a year or so ago. It was her second and she barely made it to the hospital in time and gave birth 15 minutes later, vaginally of course! I don't know exactly if she had to have a few stitches or not.

That being said, I understand why you might want the scan anyway. Sometimes it's hard to ignore that voice. But maybe if the scan shows the baby is 'too big' you can argue to come back in 2-3 days for another one. I would have to think that having two different scans (especially if there are two different techs - and especially if the 2nd tech doesn't know what the first tech said for the weight!) then you might get a more accurate idea of the real weight.

Good luck!

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#14 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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When I was pregnant with Nicholas I had a US done about 2 weeks before he was born. They thought he weighed 8 pounds. He came out at 10 pounds even. He did rip me and they cut me. I did ask for demerol which didn't help anything. He did break my tailbone. I would still rather do his birth again (without the demerol) than the horrible time I went through with Melody.
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#15 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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I have seen a 9lb 13oz baby born vaginally -- a med-free VBAC!

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#16 of 51 Old 06-04-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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I let them induce me because they THOUGHT Nathan was 10 lbs He was 9lb 8oz I went from 4 to 10 in 4 hrs pushed kinda 2 x had a few sutures. His head was 14 3/4 and born face up.

My friend just birth a 10lb 1 oz in about 6 hrs /w minimal tearing and another friends u/s showed a 10lb10oz u/s weight and he weighed 9lb on the dot.

Big babies do come out like they are supposed to Im sure my next baby ( 10/08) will be a 10lber and Im not worried

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#17 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post
Even ACOG doesn't recommend c-section or inductionfor perceived "big babies".
This isn't exactly how I interpret ACOG's statement. They say that macrosomia isn't a good reason for induction. But... if you suspect macrosomia (over 4500 grams), and the mother has a prolonged second stage or arrest of descent, you should consider surgical delivery (presumably instead of vacuum/forceps). This is a level B recommendation--meaning that the science backing it up is inconsistent. ACOG also says that they recommend considering surgical delivery in case of a baby being more than 5000 grams (and 4500 grams in a diabetic mother).

Now, the 5000 grams is a level C recommendation--that means that there is no evidence to back it up. It's just "expert opinion", whatever that means. But, in my interpretation, in our current litigious society, it does mean that providers are going to be reluctant to support a vaginal delivery in a woman whose baby is estimated at more than 5000 grams.

This is something I've been reading a good bit about, because my first ds was over 5500 grams. (read: huge ) My provider options this time are limited because of my VBAC status, and my current provider wants a scan near the end of pregnancy to estimate fetal weight. I'm planning on having the scan at 37-38 weeks pregnant to hopefully avoid the dreaded "5000 grams" tag.

Oh, and this is where I get the ACOG practice guidelines for macrosomia. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010701/practice.html

so to the OP: if you decide not to skip your scan, you have really good reason to question an induction or scheduled c-section if your baby isn't 5000 grams (cause it goes against what ACOG recommends). Even if your baby is over 5000 grams, the science really isn't there to support induction/section, and you can make a good case for laboring on your own.
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#18 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LacieD View Post
With all that, I just don't want to take the chance on something being truly wrong, you know?
what is interesting about this comment, is that even going into the hospital could cause something to go wrong, that otherwise wouldn't have been.

Quote:
Thank you so much for your stories! I'm on a mainstream board and I don't know of anyone there who has NOT had a c-section for a 'big baby'. I'm fairly confident that my midwives won't push me into doing something I'm not comfortable doing, and I'm very informed as to what my options are and all that, but a little extra encouragement never hurts, KWIM? Keep the stories coming!
Your midwives are apparently CNM's(my guess) and are not used to big babies(or they are working under protocols that won't allow anything bigger than 10 lbs or so). Anything under 10 I don't consider a big baby. I personally know of 3 11+ pounders born safely at home, and one lady I know has birthed a 12 lb, and 12.6 lber at home waterbirths... so big is relative. The pelvis moves and so does the baby. And upright positioning helps the baby move to the best location for birth. I think part of the current section rate is "training of expectations" by the medical staffs the moms are relying on. If one gets "trained" to think a 9 lber is big, then the staff has an easier time talking her into an abdominal operation if the baby is 9 lb 3 oz...and the worst shoulder distocias I have seen(not many) were from babies less than 8 lbs(and the moms were on thier backs)....You might want to wait to go to the hospital til the contractions are 2-3 min apart or less, and 60-90 seconds long...and stay upright(standing, perhaps?) the entire time you are there...
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#19 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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10 pounds 2 ounces in the water at home with nada for pain relief (unless you consider the water pain relief, which I do.) Didn't feel any different than birthing my 8 pound 12 ounce baby. They just have more fat padding and maybe a little more length. Fat squishes....

You can totally do it. I would skip the scan. It could mess you up mentally even if the babe isn't that big.
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#20 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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My mother had a quickie birth with my brother who was almost 12lbs. She started pushing in the car on the way to the hospital. Minimal tearing...not so minimal stretch marks!

My own 3rd child was 9lbs 3oz with huge head and shoulders. I birthed him quickly in a tub. When he started crowning, I held him in with my hands for about 30 seconds until I could handle it and then I pushed him out into my hands. I was on my knees.

Our bodies make babies that we can birth.

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#21 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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But what about the OP's troubling symptoms?


History of miscarriage
MTHFR
Borderline GTT results
Swelling
Very fast weight gain


I don't blame her for being concerned. Maybe I'm feeling defensive because I'm pretty sure the OP and I go to the same midwife practice (I'm not stalking you Lacie.... I just recognize your name from the Tribe forum) and I know that if they aren't full-on crunch, they're at the very least crispy.

I dunno.... and heaven knows I'm not an expert..... but it seems to me that there's enough smoke here to maybe justify a test for fire.

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#22 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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My babies have all been between 10 and 13 pounds.....all came out beautifully easy. Unassisted too.

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#23 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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I was told my son would be about 5 lbs and he came out over 8!
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#24 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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I have 3 friends who've given birth in the past 6 months. They were all 10 lb. babies, all born vaginally. One had a scan indicating very big baby -- then came pressure to induce, and an OB who looked the woman over and said, "I think you may be able to handle it." Yeah. How's that for encouragement?

You can do it!

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#25 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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My 2nd babe was 11 lbs 1 oz.. it is *not* fun to do with a partial epidural on your back... but it *can* be done...
YOU CAN DO IT!!! And if pushing gets a little tough in a different position, take advantage of hands and knees.. it opens you up *so* much more, and makes it easier for babe to slide out

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#26 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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My friend had an almost 11 lb baby in a hospital birth--she did have IV pain meds but no epidural, and he came out in two pushes (I'm sure she was on her back to push) and she didn't tear. My SIL's 3rd was over 11 lbs and her second stage was very fast as well (another hospital birth--the nurse wouldn't believe her when she said he was coming RIGHT NOW)...I don't know if she tore but she's very dramatic and I'm positive she would have said something if she'd torn badly.
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#27 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post
But what about the OP's troubling symptoms?


History of miscarriage
MTHFR
Borderline GTT results
Swelling
Very fast weight gain


I don't blame her for being concerned. Maybe I'm feeling defensive because I'm pretty sure the OP and I go to the same midwife practice (I'm not stalking you Lacie.... I just recognize your name from the Tribe forum) and I know that if they aren't full-on crunch, they're at the very least crispy.

I dunno.... and heaven knows I'm not an expert..... but it seems to me that there's enough smoke here to maybe justify a test for fire.
I'd have to agree...I don't know that I'd agree with a recommendation for a C-section based solely on a suspected big baby (assuming that is/would be the sole reason), but there certainly seems to be enough going on to justify an ultrasound as the next step in the decision-making process.
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#28 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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My good friend just had an 11 pound baby at home in 2.5 hours with no tearing. She was back on her bicycle for short journeys within two weeks.

As a PP said, we make babies that fit our bodies.

Good luck!

Sarah, mother to Eloïse (5/2005), Lucas (3/2008) and Ilias (7/2011), and due with #4 (March 1, 2014)

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#29 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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my us with my daughter said she was a 10 pounder and she was 8 lbs 2 ounces. My son was only 8 lbs 8 ounces but he had a 15 inch head and was born without a tear at home.

In light of the rapid gain and measuring 10 weeks ahead i would probably get checked out, but I would take guestimates on babies size as just guestimates.
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#30 of 51 Old 06-05-2008, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input, everyone. I definitely, DEFINITELY won't be letting them talk me into anything based on one ultrasound measurement, and I'm pretty confident in my midwives that they won't try and force anything on me. As Belia said, they're at the very least a crispy practice, if not full-on crunchy, and don't take c-sections lightly. (Very cool that you see the same ones, BTW - Midwest, right?) The exact quote from the midwife I saw this morning was 'if the u/s shows he's already 11 lbs., we probably won't recommend a vaginal birth'. I would expect some level of concern from them over an 11 lb. baby at 37 weeks, especially when I'm borderline GD.

I will be sure to update after the u/s tomorrow morning.

Lacie, mama to Ethan (5), Logan (2), and Dylan, born 5/12/11!
 
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