Can anyone feel the head? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So a little back story, I've been having this 'feeling' the whole pregnancy that baby will come early. It's been in my dreams and in my bones from day one. There is no reason I should think this or put any stock into it. In fact, I'm trying to tell myself I'll go to 42 weeks. Starting early, this baby has felt extremely low. I'm carrying way differently than I did with DD. At the 20 week ultrasound they told me his head was right up against my cervix. The last couple of midwife appointments have concluded that he is very low but still not quite engaged. I haven't had any cervical checks by my midwife thus far.

I had a bout of practice contractions I guess a couple of weeks ago (around 30 weeks). They felt like menstrual cramps, not braxton hicks. They were coming about 10 minutes apart, yet somewhat irregular all day long. Chalked it up to dehydration, drank lots of water, felt better the next morning. Well the past couple of days I'm feeling crampy again. Not any pattern to it, it's more a constant pain. Could be in my muscles, or bones or uterus I can't really tell at this point, everything down there just hurts. Starting yesterday I've felt tons of pressure down there. Rectal pressure mostly, but also pressure on my pubic bones. So today I decided to check my cervix to try to see if anything is going on. Well, so much for that, I can't even find the darned thing.....lol. It's just seriously moosh in there. I'm guessing that means that it's thinned out and possibly dilated a little, but I couldn't tell how much if at all. What I did find was a bit of a surprise. Babies head!!! Yup. Nice big, round baby head just hanging right out in my vagina. That certainly explains the pressure I've been feeling. I'm assuming that means he may be engaged now. So I have to wonder if it's early for that to happen. DD never engaged until the last week or so of pregnancy and I don't ever remember feeling this type of pressure with her. (P.S I'm 32 weeks and a couple days today).

So here are all the questions that I already know the answers to but I'll go ahead and ask anyway.

Is anyone else able to feel the head yet?
Does this mean baby is engaged?
Could this mean an earlier baby? (I'm really feeling like it's time to take it easy until 37 weeks. I don't want to go into pre-term labor, but I certainly wouldn't mind a 37/38 weeker).
Can I really seriously go on like this until 40+ weeks? I'm feeling like baby will fall out at any moment and I can't imagine handling this for 10 more weeks.

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#2 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Wow, you make me want to go and explore. My DS came at 36 weeks. He was low the entire time. Anytime people there was an ultrasound (there were many due to high risk) they would comment on how LOW he was. And he FELT low. This baby feels low too, but I do not have as much pressure this time. I also weighed about 50 pounds more with DS.

Anyway, obviously, I am not in any position to make real official statements, but just wanted you to know that my super low baby did not stay inside as long as I had hoped he would have.
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#3 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I'm with you!

My babies, with the exception of my first and the third (transverse) are always really super low from about 30 weeks. In fact, I just had a MW appt, and when externally palpating the baby, the head was nearly too far low to feel-she mostly got good shoulder!

I don't check my own cervix, as it's basically impossible for me in pregnancy. When I'm pregnant, mine is very high and posterior. Last pregnancy, my OB ran way into his head before my cervix, and it was so painful and difficult to reach. It stays that way until about 4-5 CM when it opens up and baby flies out, LOL!

I went to 41+ weeks with my last baby, who was essentially engaged for weeks...I was induced in a hospital VBAC. My 1st was 34 weeks but due to pre-eclampsia. 2nd I was induced at 38 weeks for "size". 3rd was c-section because of transverse and nuchal cord, and 4th was a forced repeat, but she was also extremely low and I hung in there till' 38 weeks and change.

Now I'm having a homebirth, and I'm guessing I'll go overdue, despite having this baby hanging in the sling he/she calls my crotch.

Blessed Christian Wife and Homeschooling Mother to 8: 17 (our 1st homeschool graduate!), 12, 11, 9, 5, 4, 2 and with blessing #9 and #10 due to arrive April 2015



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#4 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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My last baby was so low it was painful to have all that pressure down there for so long. I think she prolapsed my cervix, lol. This baby is following in DSis footsteps...very low, tho more on my hip most of the time. I'm assuming he'll be down there pretty soon as he continues to grow and needs what limited room I offer him, lol...

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#5 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Yes, I can feel the babys head - SMASHING my bladder!! To use the bathroom this morning, I actually had to lift up my belly to stop the cramp I was having....

This has just happened over the weekend, so I am not really looking forward to the next 6 -7 weeks. I was told this morning that the baby was low, but not engaged...yikes for my poor bowels and bladder!!!

Christian helpmeet, homeschooling, homebirthing, homesteading wife, happily raising our family completely naturally. Mother to 5 children, 1 angel and new baby due in August!
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#6 of 13 Old 06-14-2010, 08:51 PM
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I can feel the head. It is very low. Her butt and legs are smashed against my ribcage, though, so I'd also say she's high. Really the truth is I have almost no torso and she's a big baby.
Both my boys came at 39 weeks and I expect her to as well; I'll be 33 tomorrow so I still have a ways to go! I'm only 1.5-2cm dilated and my cervix is behind baby's head. I wouldn't mind terribly if she decided to be born at 37-38 weeks, though!
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#7 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Phew.....it makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one. I was just feeling like this can't possibly be 'normal' this early on. But than again this pregnancy is so different from my last that I'm just not used to this feeling I guess.

My cervix is always a fingertip dilated since my last birth. Around 28-30 weeks it definitely felt more dilated than that. I could fit almost two fingers in, but I wasn't sure if it was just the outer part of the cervix or what. This last time I checked I felt the head, like I said, and my fingers slipped into something. I could fit two fingers and move them side to side. I just couldn't tell if it was my actual cervix or if my fingers were just falling behind the baby's head. Between all of that and the crampy feelings I've been experiencing I've decided it's time to try and take it easy and minimize stress. I'm not doing any more self diagnostics for now....lol. I'll ask for a check at my next appointment which is at 34 weeks. I've pretty much been given the ok to have my homebirth at 36 weeks since my LMP actually puts me a week further along. So I'm telling little man to stay put at least until then. (After all this fear of early labor, though, I'm sure my luck will bring me a 42 week baby and I'll be thinking 'any day now' for 6 weeks!!!)

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#8 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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You all amaze me with your ability to assess yourselves. I know that my babe is low and pressing relentlessly on my bladder and cervix, but I can't reach high enough to find out anything else. I don't have another mw appt until 35 weeks (last one was at 31 weeks; seriously loving the hands-off, low key style) and while I have to get the GBS swab this next time, I wasn't planning to have any internal exams at all until labor kicks in, but I'm getting curious! Maybe I'll have just this one....

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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#9 of 13 Old 06-16-2010, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
You all amaze me with your ability to assess yourselves. I know that my babe is low and pressing relentlessly on my bladder and cervix, but I can't reach high enough to find out anything else. I don't have another mw appt until 35 weeks (last one was at 31 weeks; seriously loving the hands-off, low key style) and while I have to get the GBS swab this next time, I wasn't planning to have any internal exams at all until labor kicks in, but I'm getting curious! Maybe I'll have just this one....
Ah, resist the urge to be checked!!! Checking myself has only got me stressing for probably no reason (and here I am tempting all you ladies into doing the same ). And I know that I could very well be 3 cm dilated for weeks with no baby, or not dilated at all and go into labor early. It really doesn't tell me much and knowing doesn't really benefit me at all. When I was pregnant with DD I only ever dilated to 1cm before labor. I was stressed then because I thought I should be more dilated. Now I'm stressed because I feel like I'm too dilated.....lol. It's a lose/lose in my case.

Happily unmarried to DP guitar.gifParenting: DD (March '06) energy.gifwaterbirth.jpg, DS (August '10) fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.gifhomebirth.jpg, and our furry kids dog2.gifGuiney Pig, dog2.gifPo the POlice, and cat.gifMrs. Puff. Loving WAHM life in the Mortgage Bizz with DP.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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ddc crashing to say Yes! it's possible to hang out like this for a while...with my first my midwives kept saying "I don't think you're going to make it to your due date" as I was 3 cm and somewhat effaced and having lots of cramping and BH contractions by about 35 weeks. He was born at 42 1/2 weeks. Others were the same but due around their due dates pretty much. This baby has been -1 station on a 3 cm dilated cervix since 30 weeks also. I figure this is just how I'm going to feel for another six weeks. But it IS a crazy feeling!!

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#11 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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I can also feel my LO's head, I'm 30 weeks. I had a bunch of contractions last week that dilated me to a full cm and she went head down a few days later. It was REALLY neat those few days though where she was still sitting breech and I could feel body parts besides head through my cervix

When I was pregnant with DS, I was dilated to a full cm at 31 weeks when he engaged (yes they can do it this early!). I had weeks upon weeks of prodromal labor with him before he finally made his appearance at 38+6 weeks.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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I too went exploring. My cervix feels long, but mostly squishy instead of hard as it was in early pregnancy. It is also dilated a cm at the opening, but seems more closed toward my uterus if that makes sense. Not sure what that is all about or if that's normal.

I couldn't really feel the head though. Any pressure I put on my cervix to try was really uncomfortable and a little painful, so I quit. She feels up pretty high though as my ribs can attest.

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#13 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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My babies all sit very low, too. DS was 35w5d (and, thank God, was fine with no NICU at all). He sat so low the whole time that towards the end, his head couldn't be felt by external exam. DD was 39w2d with ptl at 30wks. She was also so low at 28wks that the mw couldn't feel her head during palpatations. But after bedrest at 30 weeks for ptl contractions and bloody show, she flipped breech and then sat higher even after moving back vertex until about 37 weeks. This time around the baby has been low, but only moved into a vertex position (from transverse) a couple weeks ago. I'm hoping that buys me time to get to at least 36 wks.... but I'm planning for a 42 weeker

Another anecdote: for my mom, all three of us sat very low for her entire pregnancies. With her third, my brother, she was 3cm dilated and his head was so low she could touch it through her cervix at 38 weeks. And there he sat until 42w2d. So, yeah, it could mean something. Or it could mean nothing. (helpful, huh! )

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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