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How Long is Babby Formed?
December 16, 2010 9:49 PM   Subscribe

"Normal" human pregnancies last 40 weeks, right? Well, no; they can vary quite a bit by the mother's race, age, number of previous children, family history of delivering early or late, home state, work habits, and even the fetus' HLA type. So where does that "40 week" thing come from? Oh, dear. So check out this super-nerdy pregnancy statistics website, from an engineer mom who is collecting data from the public (see the raw data and auto-generated graphs, and read the FAQ about the survey, with more cool graphs). Looking for day-by-day probabilities on when that baby's due? This would be your stats table with daily prediction (adjust dates at top of page as needed). Of course, you could always shut up your constantly inquiring relatives and friends another way.
posted by Asparagirl (45 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Probability schmobability. Our baby is due on Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the absolute latest. And I have instructed him not to arrive any earlier, as I have way too much to do between now and then.
posted by The World Famous at 9:56 PM on December 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm aiming for this weekend, myself. Hence my interest in the subject.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:01 PM on December 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


AWWWW! Congrats!!!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:17 PM on December 16, 2010


My husband registered isthebabybornyet.com to deal with inquiring family/friends/coworkers. It was really handy.
posted by lexicakes at 10:18 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


They pushed our due date twice, and the little schnorbler still showed up 16 days late and had to be dragged out kicking and screaming.
posted by iamabot at 10:21 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


My family likes to tell this story.

So roughly 26 years ago my Mom is pregnant with me and pretty late in the process. She's at a routine check-up and says how funny she's been feeling lately and getting more pain - notably a particular kind of light-headed dizziness that her mother noticed right away and said she did that right before she went into labor with her so like maybe that is a sign or something?

Her doctor scoffed. Please. You've got another 2 weeks, minimum, this is all just normal pregnancy stuff and don't listen to old wives tales you'll only get stressed out and confused.

The second he finishes, her water breaks and she's rushed to maternity.
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 PM on December 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I was induced (because I'd sprung a leak) but the small human must have ready to turn up because it only took about 6 hours. He arrived on his due date too.

Thanks to a friends horrid 3 day inducing experience - which ended up in a c-section I found out they still gotta be cooked before inducing will work. Not many babies I know actually turn up on the due date though.
posted by gomichild at 10:31 PM on December 16, 2010


The World Famous: "Probability schmobability. Our baby is due on Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the absolute latest. And I have instructed him not to arrive any earlier, as I have way too much to do between now and then."

HA! If only it worked that way.

My wife's c-section was scheduled for February 7th, 2008 at 8:30am. 4 weeks earlier than her due date, but the pregnancy had so many complications that her OB said they'd cooked enough. Great, I thought. No problem. Babies by Appointment. Four weeks early, but we won't have to rush to the hospital. We'd already dealt with been dealing with false labor and two hospitalizations.

On February 5th while I was at work, at 5:20pm (the heart of rush hour in NYC,) I got The Call.

"I think my water broke"
Oh shit. "Are you kidding me?"
"Well, I can't tell. And that's a nice attitude, mister."
"What do you mean you can't tell?!"
"I was in bed sleeping. Let me turn on a light."
Oh hell. I have a fashion show this evening, and the c-section isn't scheduled until Thursday, and it's RUSH HOUR and I'm so screwed.
"No, my water definitely broke. But I don't feel contractions."
"Ok. I'm leaving for home. Will get there as soon as I can, sweetheart. Call the doctor, find out who's on call. Tell them what happened. If you get contractions, count them. Grab that bag we packed. I'm on my way and I'll call you from the road."
"OK. I love you."
"Love you, too."
*click*

OH HELL.

I RAN to the car. Peel out of the space. Smoking tires. 90mph. 3 blocks. Traffic in front of me blocking the intersection. I swing into the oncoming lane. No one coming. Weave around the jam. Back in my lane.

See the cop.

Who points at me, and then points to the curb.

I'm SO screwed.

"Officer, I'm guilty. 100% guilty. I know what I did was wrong, and I'm really sorry. But do me a favor please. MAIL me the ticket. Take my plate number down. Here's my license and registration. My wife's in labor. She's in Queens. I'm here. It's rush hour. I can't wait. I don't care what the fine is, or how many points. Just take my info and let me go, I'm begging you."

*stare*

"Officer, I'm begging you. My wife's having my babies. Twins. I'm not joking. I have to get home, NOW."
"Uh huh. Give me your stuff. I'll try to get you out of here quickly."
"Thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thankyouthankyou."

This is where I try not to hyperventilate.

5 minutes go by. So I call my wife:
"SO?!?"
"I'm on hold with the doctor's office. Call me back."
*click*

And you think to yourself, "Babies take a while to be born, right? I mean, it's not like the water breaks and the baby comes flying out. Contractions are required. Pushing. That special huffing and puffing thing. She'll be okay." And then you remember that every few months, you see a news story about some random woman who gave birth in the back of a cab. Or on a bus. Or on a subway. Because labor isn't an exact science. And you think to yourself... "Ohshitohshitohshitohshitohshit."

"Son, you need to calm down."
"Officer, my wife's having two babies. TWO BABIES. RIGHT NOW. This is the one time in my life I can freak out and get away with it."
*big smile* LETMEGOLETMEGOLETMEGOLETMEGO....
"You're going to calm down. Now. Because you're behind the wheel and if you get on the road and keep driving like that, you're gonna kill someone. Or yourself. And your babies need you."
"Uh. Good point."
Many deep breaths
"Are you okay, son?"
"Yes sir. Thank you."
"I'm not going to give you a ticket. If you're lying to me, it's on your karma."
"Thank you, sir. I swear I'm not lying. I can call her. She'll tell you she's in labor!"
"Son, just drive safely, okay? It's rush hour. You'll get there when you get there, and if she needs an ambulance, she'll call one."
"Thank you, sir."
"Good night, and good luck."

*Light bulb*
"Sir? Excuse me?"
"Yeah?"
"You're a cop! My wife's in labor!"
And I got a look that said, "Look at this. That poor boy's slow."
"No, I mean, you can give me an escort to Queens!!! Can you?"
"Well, no. You see son, if your wife was huffing and puffing beside you, I could give you an escort to the nearest hospital. But it's just you, buddy. So you're on your own."
"Ah. "

I race uptown. Stopped traffic at entrance to the Cross Bronx. Call Home. My wife's okay. She's not in labor. Apparently one's water can break, but not trigger labor. Isn't that special? Doctor told her to relax and maybe take a shower. Need to calm down. Really have to calm down or I'm gonna lose it right here in the car. Call my brother in law. "You have to calm me down, man. Your sister's in labor. I'm stuck in traffic. It's rush hour. It's 6:12pm. I just talked my way out of a ticket, but I'm panicking. I have to get home to her. Get her to the hospital. Tell me I'm gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be ok, right?"
"Calm down. You're going to be fine. Just fine. Breathe, dude. Breathe. You're okay. These things take time. Everything's gonna be okay. Where are you?"
"At the entrance to the Cross Bronx."
"Yeah, you're fucked." You Rat Bastard.

Traffic starts to move. It took half an hour to go 9 miles. Our little Toyota Corrolla's speedometer goes up to 110. I got to a clear stretch of highway and floored it. I'd never done that before. Turns out, our car goes faster than 110. Pull up to the house. Wheels smoking. (OK, not really.) Run into the house. My wife's happily, blithely getting out of the shower.

"ARE YOU OK!?!? WHY AREN'T YOU DRESSED?!? GET IN THE CAR!"
"I'm fine. I'm not in labor. Relax. Look, I can lift my leg in and out of the tub again!"
"WHAT?!?"

Getting her to the hospital, I ran a red light and had a picture taken of my license plate. Ticket. The universe balances out.

And I'm (still) learning that life unfolds at its own pace. My kids were born that night, at 12:00am and 12:01am. A day before they were supposed to come into the world. They've been surprising me ever since. :)
posted by zarq at 10:40 PM on December 16, 2010 [42 favorites]


There's this western guy, married to this Japanese girl. One day she gives him the 'big news'. Woot!

So ... things roll along; she has a checkup now and then, and one day somewhere along the line, the topic of 'when' comes up. She starts to think out loud ... "Let's see, we started back in August, and it takes ten months, so ..."

At this point, he interrupts, "No, it takes nine months." She looks at him like he's crazy, "Are you nuts? It takes ten months. What planet do you come from?"

The conversation goes back and forth for a while in this vein. They didn't have the internet back then, so never did resolve their little difference of opinion, but these days, a quick Google search will show ... she was right!
posted by woodblock100 at 10:55 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


For the record, the original due date for my arrival was my father's birthday, but I was two weeks early... so I was born on my mother's birthday. Certainly made remembering dates easier on my dad. I never got a lot of details about the process except that it was 'challenging' and I officially popped out at about 10:30AM then was put in a 1950s-technology "incubator" for 2 days. Of course, as I mentioned before, I got a movie named after my birth date and right after I emerged from the incubator, both Captain Kangaroo and The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on TV. Perfect timing for the birth of a couch potato.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:04 PM on December 16, 2010


My first child? My water broke at 12:52 AM on my due date, after a week of prodromal labor. Swear to God. And it was the due date I'd fought for based on when I knew I'd ovulated, because I did that temperature-taking thing. Lillian was born 4.5 hours later.

My second child (11/07/2010), though, not so statistically pristine. I had the midwives break my water at 39 weeks 2 days, after a MONTH of prodromal labor, because I just simply could not take it any more and I was six centimeters, and I had been feeling like my contractions were ramping up but they started spacing out again and they mentioned it could take some time, like maybe days, and I just said "NO NO MORE I CANNOT DO THIS ANY LONGER." They broke my water, I went straight into transition, and Alden was born after 78 of the most intense minutes of my life. (At one point, I told my midwife "I will fucking CUT you if you make me get out of this tub.) Seriously, I only pushed for eight minutes. It kind of sucked and I wanted it to be over fast. Maybe if I'd refused the amniotomy, he'd have been born on his due date, too. . . but I just couldn't take it any more.
posted by KathrynT at 11:09 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm always amazed that the due dates and the actual delivery dates are so close. Jimmy Jr was 1 day overdue.

zarq, that's funny. It's never like Hollywood. My advice to first-time fathers would be this:

When your wife starts going into labour come home from work (or don't go back to work) and try to get some sleep. As hard as it is, go straight to bed and close your eyes - because, by Zeuss, you're going to need it. My wife went into labour on the Monday evening, we didn't get admitted to the hospital until Tuesday midnight and our daughter wasn't born until Wednesday at 10am. I've never been so tired in my life.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:13 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do Metafilterbabies come with an account, or do you have to pony up an additional $5 for them?
posted by Justinian at 11:15 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't dare choose someone else's username for them -- too personal and presumptious! -- so I suppose they'll have to pay up out of their allowance when they're older. I did buy up Baby's First Domain Name (first and last name, dot com) and register a Twitter name (same) ASAP after my son was born, and will do the same after this one comes, so that they won't be able to yell at me when they're older for not grabbing those while they were still free.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:21 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I officially popped out at about 10:30AM then was put in a 1950s-technology "incubator" for 2 days.

You were just a little too late for Coney Island.
posted by pracowity at 12:23 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


When a baby arrives is its first signal of complete dominion over you.
posted by Neale at 12:38 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great post. That 'Oh dear' wikipedia page is a little hard to follow in places, though: 'auxonomic'?
posted by Segundus at 1:54 AM on December 17, 2010


My dad owned Dairy Queens when I was a child. One day, my mom and I took a close family member there for lunch. She was 14 days overdo with her first baby and just miserable. She had a DQ BBQ sandwich, the baby was born by evening. Daddy put " If you are due, try our BBQ" on the marquee sign out front. We had pregnant women come for years and many claimed that it works for them as well. Sold a lot of BBQ!
posted by pearlybob at 3:52 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh dear indeed, I thought that the wikipedia article had been written by laypeople out of their senses, but the wording is actually from the referenced article, which gets the quantum mechanics reference from a thoroughly confused Polish endocrinologist named Rudolf Klimek. Yes, "Let man be born at his own due time", but damn, leave Einstein and quantum mechanics out of it.
posted by ikalliom at 4:05 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a cool post.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:56 AM on December 17, 2010


Yeah, I totally absorbed all that "the first labor will last forever" stuff and the "if you can't tell it's a contraction then it's not really a contraction".

So I was trying to finish the book I was reading and was up until 2am. And I was getting these twinges and some of them were pretty strong, and regular, but other ones were not so it didn't feel like anything was ramping up.

So I went to sleep. Two hours later my water breaks. I get up, and still think I've got a long time. So I eat some breakfast, which I promptly threw up. Still no contractions. Well, maybe the occasional one, so we don't bother calling the midwife yet. Told my husband to get more sleep. About 6am I decide that maybe we should call the midwife just to check in. And against my better judgment we go into the hospital. I was all about laboring at home as long as possible.

Baby gaspode was very nearly born in a NYC yellow cab.
posted by gaspode at 5:38 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


While we're on the subject, since when is 40 weeks equal to nine months anyway?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:39 AM on December 17, 2010


40 x 7 is 280.
10 x 28 is 280.
9 x 31 is 279.

One way to look at it is that every calendar month is worth a 2 or 3 day discrepancy. Get nine of those together and you're talking about nearly a full calendar month.
posted by condour75 at 5:55 AM on December 17, 2010


My brother, me, and my sister (in that order) were all born around W36. When I found out about this, I naturally asked my mum what it was like; she said that when my brother was born, she was much worried to death at first, but then everything turned out to be just fine, so that when I was born, she wasn't quite as worried anymore, even though she wasn't really expecting me to be born that early, either. And when my sister was about to be due, she already knew it'd be the same with her as well and took it all in stride.
posted by daniel_charms at 6:11 AM on December 17, 2010


We have our second baby due on january 21st and I go back to grad school on the 18th so now I am trying get my wife to become a black teenager so I can go to the first day of classes.
posted by shothotbot at 6:17 AM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was born six days before my "due date." However. Upon looking at me with my creepy long baby vampire fingernails and my wrinkly, pruned up skin, the doctor announced that this one was two weeks overcooked. Back in the 80s, before ultrasounds to measure gestational age were routine, I guess due dates were way more... flexible... than they seem to be now.

I'm due March 11, and I'm already planning on going late. I also really don't think they should use the label "due date" as it's really not an accurate description. "Full term date" or "You've cooked for 40 weeks!" or something, but those don't really have a good ring to them. In any case, I know just enough about birth to know that the odds of my little guy actually having the TOTALLY AWESOME birthday of 3/11/11 are just barely above nil.
posted by sonika at 6:20 AM on December 17, 2010


I am trying get my wife to become a black teenager so I can go to the first day of classes.

Um. Could you please to explain what this means because... well... I have no idea what you're referring to and it reads a little... off.
posted by sonika at 6:21 AM on December 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine popped with her first one five weeks early. She went into labor all at once, very strong, and said to her husband, "I think we have to go to the hospital because even though it's way too early for me to be in labor, but this is not normal, I'm in a lot of pain and I'm worried about the baby."

So they get in the car and start driving and her contractions get stronger and stronger and they live in the back ass of beyond an hour from the nearest hospital. And she in the backseat screaming, "DRIVE FASTER! DRIVE FASTER!" and he's screaming, "I'M GOING AS FAST AS I CAN! DON'T DELIVER IN THE CAR!" and they're going 70 down unlighted, curvy, hilly rural roads in the middle of the night. And she's screaming, "I'M CROWNING! I'M CROWNING!" and he's screaming, "NOT IN THE CAR! NOT IN THE CAR!"

They made it to the hospital in 45 minutes. She delivered on the gurney on the way into maternity. Under an hour, start to finish, five weeks early, with her first. So my personal definition of a successful delivery became "One in which I make it to the hospital and am not crowning in the car." Luckily it only takes me 5 minutes and 43 seconds to make it to the hospital if I hit every red light. I timed it like six times to be sure.

As it turned out my first was undeliverably breach and had to come by C-section ... and I went into labor between arriving at the hospital and having the section! So that baby was coming at 39 weeks, 0 days, one way or another!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:57 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


First and second links, sonika.
posted by not that girl at 6:59 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


When your wife starts going into labour come home from work (or don't go back to work) and try to get some sleep. As hard as it is, go straight to bed and close your eyes - because, by Zeuss, you're going to need it. My wife went into labour on the Monday evening, we didn't get admitted to the hospital until Tuesday midnight and our daughter wasn't born until Wednesday at 10am. I've never been so tired in my life.

Heh.

Near the end of my pregnancy, I was working very late into the night, doing layout on a booklet for an organization I volunteer for. Because it was the middle of July, 11 pm - 2 am was the only time I was really comfortable enough to sit at the computer and work.

This particular night I go to bed at 2 am, but am up again at 5 am, wide awake, slightly more uncomfortable than I had been, so I go back to sit at the computer some more. My husband leave for work at 7:30, and as he's leaving I say to him "I think today might be the day". He leaves, and I continued to feel kind of crampy and weird all morning, but not like I expected labor to feel like - more like just bad menstrual cramps.

Somewhere about 830 am the cramps got so bad that I couldn't stay sitting in the chair at the computer, and had to walk around the house as each one passed. At that point I called my husband and said "You need to come home". He replied "I'm going to call you back in half an hour, I think its a false alarm." Heh. Famous last words.

Ten minutes later my water broke. He came rushing home, drove me to the birth center, and our son was born at 11:50 that morning -- a little over three hours of "real" labor, start to finish.

Sometimes, the ride comes with an E ticket.
posted by anastasiav at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zarq, that was a wonderful story.

The highlight of my getting-to-the-birth-center-while-in-labor story: watching a 16-wheeler do a U-TURN on 10th Street Bypass/Fort Duquesne Blvd, within striking distance of one of the support columns for the convention center. And he hit the column. Hard.

I wish I had access to some of this material when I was pregnant last year. It would have made a great riposte to all the "well meaning" people who enjoyed speculating how late I was going to be based on my appearance. I was thrilled when Baby theBRKP came two weeks early. My water broke the day after my 38th week checkup, the one in which I spent 20 minutes ranting to the midwife about over I was with the pregnancy.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:33 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Asparagirl, you saw the link to spacefem in the same BoingBoing post I did, didn't you?
posted by emjaybee at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2010


I was supposed to have a NYD baby. THree weeks prior my OB said 'Nope, we're moving you up. There is no way you are going past Xmas"

Other docs "Huh? She cant' tell you that. There's no way to tell."

Xmas (technically midnight the 26th) huge water gush.

Yea I'm sticking with my OB.
posted by stormpooper at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2010


gaspode: "Yeah, I totally absorbed all that "the first labor will last forever" stuff and the "if you can't tell it's a contraction then it's not really a contraction". "

At 29 weeks, my wife went to her regular perinatologist appointment. He's fiddling with the ultrasound. Stops, looks at her and says casually, "So how long have you been having contractions?"

"What contractions? I'm not having contractions."

"You're having one right now."

"No, I'm not."

"I'm looking at it on the monitor right here. You see this? That's a contraction."

"I can't be having a contraction. I don't feel anything."

The nurse: "Do you feel a bit of pressure down there? Comes and goes?"

"Well, sure. For a few weeks now."

Doctor: "A few.... a few weeks?"

"Yeah. That's a contraction?"

"YES. That is a contraction."

"Oh. It's not like you see on tv, is it?"


I still don't understand why what a contraction feels like isn't taught to all women from a young age.
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


emjaybee, in the comments of that post, yep!
posted by Asparagirl at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2010


I still don't understand why what a contraction feels like isn't taught to all women from a young age.

We're honestly not taught all that much about our parts and how they work. I mean, hell, for many women the clitoris is something they just "found" one day and no one ever told them what it's for. These things aren't really explained beyond "Here's a tampon. Knock yourself out." unless you have very supportive and oversharing family members. Certainly a doctor is never going to tell you much of anything that's useful w/r/t "Sometimes, your bits do this" unless you specifically ask. Maybe if you get a really good doctor, you'll get better information, but most of it is vague at best.

Also, contractions are one of those things that feel different for a lot of women, so explaining "THIS is what it feels like" might not always be true from one woman to the next. I've heard everything from "They just felt like pressure" to "Felt like menstrual cramps" and then, there's back labor, which feels completely different entirely.

Blah blah blah. The uterus is a strange and mysterious thing. Blah blah.
posted by sonika at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I still don't understand why what a contraction feels like isn't taught to all women from a young age.

One of my friends bravely gave birth in a smaller Chinese city (small by Chinese standards). The one English speaking nurse who acted as translator during the delivery told her, "when you feel like poop, the baby come" which she found much more profound than intended.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


@zarq, I can say that contractions felt exactly like my menstrual cramps--they used to be that bad. So .... how do you describe that to a 9 year old girl? If I did that as an example then I would have freaked out thinking I was having a baby.

Contractions feel different to everyone. I didn't experience any BH contractions--nada but I also wasn't hooked up on a monitor. Maybe I was having them and I didn't know like this person showed. I only felt 3 contractions during labor before epidural was given and pitocin. But towards pushing I can tell when a contraction was coming because the epidural didn't work for the emense vaginal pain I was feeling (TMI). So like sonika said--the uterus is a strange and mysterious thing.

But I can tell you what a "sunny side up" kid feels like when it comes through....Like massive rug burn while pushing a watermelong. I felt his forehead, nose, and jaw before he shot out like a cannon ball.

Again, TMI. :)
posted by stormpooper at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Babies are often physically able to survive comfortably outside the womb several weeks before they are born, and in fact hanging on for longer terms often means their growth curves decline, their metabolic reserves lessen, their heads continue to enlarge, and labour risk increases. The crux of the problem is that we still don't know exactly what is the neurobiochemical "signal" to commence cervical ripening (the biochemical cascade within the cervix that slightly resembles necrosis and that that distinguishes "false" from "true" labour).

We have a bunch of techniques to "ripen" and induce labor: membrane stripping, balloon catheter, extra-amniotic saline, hygroscopic dilators, prostaglandins, oxytocin, amniotomy, relaxin, mifepristone, breast stimulation/intromissive intercourse, castor oil, hyaluronidase, isosorbide mononitrate. The fact that there are so many options indicates that none of them really work superlatively, because the underlying mechanism of labour has so far remained relatively opaque. It's difficult to do experiments and RCTs on late-term pregnant women, and the mechanism is definitely significantly altered for multiparous women. Quoting UpToDate: Labor is a physiological event involving a sequential, integrated set of changes within the myometrium, decidua, and uterine cervix that occur gradually over a period of days to weeks. Biochemical connective tissue changes in the uterine cervix appear to precede uterine contractions and cervical dilation, and all of these events usually occur before rupture of the fetal membranes..

The foetus is probably a major mover of the process, but less so in humans. Experiments with viviparous animals (especially ruminants) demonstrate conclusively that through cortisol secretions, the foetus has the major control of the timing of the event. Human females however lack several key enzymes that are part of this cascade and thus our evolution seems to have decided to give the mother proportionately more "control" over the event through a more complicated, emergent hormonal control system. There's literally a vast shopping list of human hormones that have been analyzed to determine if they are part of "the signal" but so far no luck!

I learned all this as part of my ob-gyn course, which happened a few weeks before my first baby was born. After nearly two weeks "late", my wife did not appreciate me telling her that yes, the only way for the OBs to know if she was in labour was indeed basically to go down there and eyeball the cervix. She had hoped labour estimation process would more resemble Star Trek, with some sort of tricorder or scanner available.
posted by meehawl at 12:03 PM on December 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


My son was born 10 days ago, and was 15 days "late" -- there was no question that he absolutely was a 42-week baby, I know when I ovulated. But the midwife said he had all the appearance of a 40-weeker -- the lines on the feet, the amount of lanugo, etc. It just took him longer to cook, and he came out when he was ready -- which luckily for us, not doing a hospital birth, was allowed (I probably would have been induced otherwise).

He also was born after 74 hours of labor and 11 hours of pushing -- this was no back-of-the-cab baby! Again, I'm very glad I decided not to do a hospital birth, as I have no doubt he would have been a c-section birth due to my "failure to progress" or whatever.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:56 PM on December 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


74 hours of labor and 11 hours of pushing

O_o

Congrats on the baby!
posted by Asparagirl at 6:45 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay for all the new babies around here! (Not helping me cope with my raging Grandma Lust I'm trying to control, but yay for you guys!)

My oldest son was 44 weeks-I was young, hadn't ever even had a gyno exam and just picked a woman out of the phone book. She was a GP and wasn't all the interested in the OB side of things. He was due September 7, 1986 and didn't show up until October 2, 1986. The day after the GP told me to take caster oil and oh, she wasn't going to be my attending anymore, call these other guys who were a high risk OB group. Said good luck and showed me the door. After MUCH drama and scary moments, he was delivered the next morning by emergency c/section. The OB and NICU peds and staff told me that my son was significantly post mature. He had no vernix, he had passed meconium into the amnio fluid at least a full day before he was delivered, his skin was peeling and the placenta was beginning to calcify on the edges and showed signs of decay. Another couple of days he most likely would have been a still birth.

The next 3 babies were all scheduled c/sections 2 weeks early. No way was I going through that crazy delivery thing again. My Reproductive Endo studied all my previous pregnancy records and just theorized that my body is missing whatever switch it is that kicks starts labor and that I'd never spontaneously begin labor no matter how long I stayed pregnant.

My experience is in NO way normal, so don't anybody panic that their OB's or midwives will let them go 305 days-I was just naive and had an exceptionally inept prenatal caregiver that tossed me off at the last minute to some new guys.
posted by hollygoheavy at 4:07 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


rabbitrabbit- YOU are amazing! Congratulations on the baby!
posted by hollygoheavy at 4:08 AM on December 22, 2010


@hollygoheavy--holy cow. I'm sorry for your experience with your first son but hooray all turned out well. How the hell can any doctor have that happen. Ugh.
posted by stormpooper at 1:31 PM on January 13, 2011


74 hours of labor and 11 hours of pushing

Yea. You're better woman than I.

17 hours labor. 3 hours pushing and I was worn out.
posted by stormpooper at 1:33 PM on January 13, 2011


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