delivering at 34 weeks... please help... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone delivered their baby at 34 weeks? please help...?
my doc said he might deliver (break my water) at 34 weeks. (baby cant break water and im having contractions) will my baby be ok?? how long will she be in the hospital?? please help..

might i mention doc says baby is perfectly healthy..good weight.. she's out of room to stretch (im very thin).. so shes getting stressed...
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#2 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 10:42 PM
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When you say stressed, what do you mean? Has the doc been doing BPPs or ultrasounds or something?

Unless he has a really damn good reason, I would not let him do that. JMO

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#3 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 01:16 PM
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Do you have low fluid levels? If your baby is healthy and growing I would NOT induce! I have never heard of a baby who is healthy becoming stressed because the mother is short or slim. Contractions can be quite normal and don't necessarily indicate PTL and I'm not sure what you mean by "baby cant break water".

Are there other mitigating factors?

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#4 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 03:15 PM
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your post was very cryptic and I hope the doctor has good reason for your baby coming so early but here are some thoughts from my two preemies' deliveries. I had a 33 weeker and a 34 weeker both due to prom(my water broke at 33 weeks with both girls and I was induced within days due to risk of infection).

34 weeker:
-5lbs 3oz, 20inches long
-11 day hospital stay
-steroid shots to mature the lungs before delivery
-breathing room air at birth with no problems
-trouble eating and coordinating suck/swallow/breathe patterns so she was ng tube fed for 8 days
-maintaining her temp well at 8 days old
-lots of apnea episodes(stops breathing for more than 20 seconds and sometimes experiences a drop in heart rate. happens due to immaturity and the baby FORGETS to breathe), came home on an apnea monitor and kept it for 6 months because she truly needed it
-some issues nursing but figured it out pretty fast

33 weeker:
-4lbs 12oz, 18 inches longer
-11 day hospital stay
-no steroid shots, needed only supplemental blow-by oxygen for the first few hours
-no problems eating other than getting tired quickly. nippled all feeds from day 1
-trouble maintaining body temperature until 10days old
-just a few minor apneic, bradycardic episodes(breathing stops more than 20 seconds, heartrate drops) in the hospital

Today my 34weeker is 3 years old and a bit on the thin side but otherwise completely caught up. She's got some sensory issues but that may or may not be related to her prematurity. Up until about 18 months or so she was definitely a bit delayed on her milestones. My 33weeker is now 3 months old and while she has some issues with nursing, she's a big chunky 11lbs! She's doing great so far and is definitely delayed with her milestones as well. Guess 6-7 weeks really does make a difference to them in development.

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#5 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 06:43 PM
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DD was 35 weeks and change and I would try to wait if you can. I'm not clear why your doctor wants you to deliver early or what you mean by "stressed". If babe is really having issues, then there may be a genuine medical reason, but I would want to be VERY sure before delivering early.

DD was healthy and a good weight, but had issues breathing, had severe jaundice, and had pretty significant issues feeding for a while. Compared to earlier babies she did great, but having one early is not the way to go if you can at all avoid it.

Can you ask your doctor some questions about the specific reasons he wants you to deliver early and re-post to update us?
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#6 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 08:01 PM
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please get a 2cd or 3rd opinion.

why does he want you to deliver at 34 weeks?

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#7 of 14 Old 04-02-2008, 12:23 AM
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I totally agree that you should get another opinion.

Please remember that if you do deliver at 34 weeks, all babies are different and your NICU stay will be entirely different than what others experience. Experiences, treatments, outcomes, and length of stay all depend on why the baby was born early, what complications it might have, etc.

If you and your doctor have agreed that there is nothing that can be done, and your baby ABSOLUTELY must arrive at 34 weeks, you could ask for a tour of the NICU ahead of time so that you can get your bearings. It is a scary and disorienting place, so sometimes it helps to at least know where it it and what is in there. Also talk to a lactation consultant now and get all of your pumping equipment ready to go just in case. Get a few good preemie books and start reading. You are going to be hit with tons of medical jargon and treatment options from day 1, so the more you know, the better off you will be.

Good luck to you. I hope you get to skip the whole NICU experience.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#8 of 14 Old 04-02-2008, 11:39 AM
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My girls were either 33 or 34 weeks (my doctors and I had a disagreement about my due date). They were in the NICU for 25 days, one on CPAP for quite awhile, one with a PDA, both with major jaundice, both slow to nipple their feeds and keep up their temps. They were 4 lb, 3 oz and 4 lb, 7 oz; but they were probably smaller due to being twins.

They're still working on learning to nurse. I third or fourth or fifth waiting if it's possible. Your baby wouldn't be a micro-premie, but it's good not to have ANY kind of premie if at all possible. Save you and your baby the stress and hardship. I hope it goes well for you!
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#9 of 14 Old 04-02-2008, 05:20 PM
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Just as everyone else has said, get a second opinion.

My son was born at 34w2d. My water broke and he was born 4 hours later. He was 5lbs.4oz. and 18.5 inches. We were in NICU for 9 days. Considering, he was a healthy boy. By the first day he was off oxygen and maintaining his body temp. He had jaundice and has to do two rounds under bili lights. I fed him with a modified s/s and nipple shield and he was exclusively breastfed by day 9: dr's stipulation for us to leave. However, there is a huge variation in 34 weekers. We were in a small NICU w/ only six other babies who were all born 33-34 weeks and some of those babies had been there for weeks due to health problems. Bottom line is 34 weeks is premature and I would definitely stay pregnant as long as possible unless there is a pressing medical reason for you dr. to break your water.

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#10 of 14 Old 04-03-2008, 02:48 AM
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I'm sorry to hear you might have to deliver early. My first child was born at 34 weeks b/c my amniotic fluid disappeared (no PROM). I had steroid shots & she was in the NICU for 2 weeks. It was scary & stressful, but she's 6 now & it's only a memory. Things I remember.

Breastfeeding: When she was born her suck reflex wasn't strong so she was fed with a tube. They also gave her a pacifier to help with her suck reflex which she loved. I pumped while she was in the NICU and while my supply wasn't great, she got every drop. The nurses in the NICU I was at were wonderful (except for 1 which I was able to ignore) and helped me bottle & breastfeed her. They wouldn't release her until she could bottlefeed. That was not a battle I chose to fight b/c I just wanted my baby home. While I had some supply problems, she drank every drop of milk I produced for over a year & the pacifer & NICU bottles did not seem to affect her ability to breastfeed. I also had supply problems with full-term #2 so I think that was more my body.

Going home: My baby was in the NICU for 2 weeks so I went home w/o her. That was one of the hardest things b/c it felt like I had left a body part at the hospital. In hindsight it was fine b/c we hadn't prepped the room or anything yet & it gave us time to do that w/o a newborn & w/o worrying about paint etc. in the house w/ a newborn. I cried a lot but tried to let myself feel what I needed to feel. I reminded myself that I had an amazing baby & that no one was worried about survival or serious problems w/ a 34 weeker.

Baby home: The main thing I remember from having her home was that she could not get sick. The slightest fever would mean she'd have to go back to the NICU so we stayed home for about 3 months. We let family & friends see her but we didn't go to big gatherings w/ lots of people. We also made EVERYONE wash their hands b4 getting near her. We got some grumpiness about it but most people understood it wasn't personal, it was just that she couldn't even catch a cold.
We also bought a timer to help us remember to feed her every 4 hours until she reached her due date b/c preemies often will sleep through hunger. We also had a thermometer b/c her room needed to stay at around 72 degrees b/c preemies don't regulate their body temp well.

Development: For the first year and a half, she was about 2 months behind her peers which was pretty typical. She's 6 now and still amazing. From the age of 2, I'd say she's been the same as her full-term peers. She's in kindergarten & reading & doing gymnastics & occasionally (often) driving me nuts. The only effects I think might be left from prematurity are her sound sensitivity & cough-variant asthma but those could both be genetic too.

I hope you can carry your baby a bit longer but if it doesn't work out, focus on the present, and being there for your new little one, and keeping her super healthy until she's bigger. Sending you lots of mamma love.
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#11 of 14 Old 04-03-2008, 11:45 AM
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Hmmm Something sounds off with your doctors reasoning... Baby has plenty of room. Your belly will expand to accomodate the uterus. Its not like the baby is going to be squished in there... If mamas can carry 6 babies then one baby with a small mama is not going to be a problem. If you arent into active labour then I wouldnt start it now.
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#12 of 14 Old 04-07-2008, 11:27 AM
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I agree you need to ask your doctor ALOT more questions

I had my daughter at 35weeks, AFTER my doctor did an amnio to make sure her lung were developed. She did fine, she was tiny & still is. We were in the NICU for 9 days due to jaundice. Other than that she was breastfeed and is doing well not, BUT AS YOU SEE I'M THE MINORITY
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#13 of 14 Old 04-21-2008, 08:24 PM
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Hoping if you had your babe already that she is healthy, happy and home by now! Just thought I would add my experience. My youngest was born at 34 weeks. He was 5 lb 7 oz, 18 1/2 inches long. He used CPAP for about 5 hours and then was fine with breathing other than for some apneas/bradycardias during the first week and a half. He had severe jaundice for just over a week. He also had digestive trouble - his tummy didn't want to wake up and work so he was on TPN for almost a week. Then he had trouble waking up to eat so spent three weeks total in the NICU. Since then he has done beautifully and is now 7 months and about 17 pounds. He nurses like a champ and had no trouble with that once he got home. He is delayed with his milestones - not sitting yet, just started rolling both ways about a week ago, etc. Hoping everything turned out well for you and your little one!

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#14 of 14 Old 04-23-2008, 01:02 PM
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I wonder how this mama is doing. She's never posted again since posting this. In fact, her only 2 posts were the same post in different forums...strange. I hope she is ok, I thought she'd at least come back to check the responses.

Mama, if you are reading this please check in and let us know how you and the baby are doing!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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