View Full Version : Delivering before due date

06-15-2002, 09:56 AM
I hope someone can give me a clue about this! My mother didn't carry most of us (five kids!) to our due dates - we were all between five and two weeks early, with the exception of the last one, but by then my mother had been diagnosed with MS for ten years, and her OB was pretty sure she wouldn't go into labor anyway. Back to the real subject... My sister had her first child a year ago and was just over a month early. I'm wondering how likely it is that *I* will carry to term. We all have cycles between 23-25 days, and I've talked with three OBs in my MD's office, and they've given me three different answers. One said it's more likely due to cycle length, one says it's hereditary, and the other says it just depends on the baby. I'm hoping it has to do with the baby, because I have a very good friend who is getting married during my eighth month, but I'm worried about going into labor early! I would REALLY appreciate any real-life experience and insight before I buy my plane tickets!

06-15-2002, 01:06 PM
Statistically speaking, I just saw on the Discovery Channel that first time pregnancies are more likely to go long. However, my mother had all four of hers early (three to one week early), my first was three weeks early and my sisters kids were both about two weeks early. One of my good friends just had a baby at 34 weeks. I know MANY MANY people who had their first early. Long distance travel in the eighth month is just not a good idea. While many people do so safely, the possibility of early delivery is very real.

I was SO SURE I was going to be late. We moved cross country when I was 32 weeks (one of the WORST things I have ever done, but we didn't really have any choice). My DH's job involves a LOT of travel. He returned on a Friday from what was to be his last business trip before the baby and my water broke on Monday! In retrospect, that was also really stupid, but we were naive.

Can you tell I am encouraging you not to go? You will also probably be pretty miserable flying at 8 months. If this is a good friends, they will understand, especially when she has her own kids!


06-15-2002, 01:25 PM
I have also heard that you go later with your first, but I have also heard that going early is a hereditary thing. I have a question kind of along the same lines: If both of the parents were early, is the baby more likely to arrive early too? I was ten days early and DH was a month early. However, in my case, my mother was very petite and I was 8lbs 6oz. I think she had to deliver me then because I would have popped her! As for DH, his mother had several problematic pregnancies before him (none of which went to term), so I'm sure that has something to do with it. We were both firsts. I don't think I would want to get on a plane in my eighth month, it's just too risky. Also, I think that some airlines don't allow women to fly once in their third trimester, due to the high risk factor.

06-16-2002, 12:31 AM
Okay, I was born a month early, but that's because my mother was induced because of concerns over RH factor stuff (long story). I don't know about DH.

My son was born 16 days early. I thought I would go late because he was my first. I was at like 1 cm and nothing when my water broke.

My cousin had her first on her due date (her 30th birthday, BTW).

A former coworker went past her due date by 10 days with her first (and he was 9 lbs 15 oz). I believe she was induced, and no c-section.

Another former coworker was convinced she would go early because she and her sisters were all born weeks early--she had her first the day before she was due.

I know another woman who thought (along with her doctors) that she would deliver early. And she delived 13 days late by c-section, after going through about 28 hours of labor and still no baby. And if I remember he was also a big baby.

For the most part I would say it depends on the baby. But that doesn't mean you won't deliver early. Personally, I wouldn't be flying anywhere in my 8th month.

06-16-2002, 09:47 AM
Okay, I'm convinced not to fly - it's a very short flight, but it IS better to be safe than sorry. I'm still worried about delivering early and having to deal with my company's maternity leave policies (and the fact that the last TEN women in my department to have babies all had C-sections!), but there are those things I can control, and others I can't. I'll just have to make sure we have everything ready just in case! Thank you for all of your insight.


06-17-2002, 10:59 AM
Hi there,

I can totally relate to you.

All the women on my maternal side (except for my mother) delivered early too. (between 7-8 mos!) I'm currently pg. with twins and was diagnosed with an incopetent cervix at 18 wks. (they did a cerclage to prevent losing the pregnancy and bedrest ever since). Perhaps this was why all my aunts and grandmother delivered early - but now we have the technology to detect things a little better. Have your dr. keep a close eye on your cervix length. We're seeing a perinatologist and he said the only sure statistic he knows of is if a woman's cervix is less than 1.5 cm, she's 90% likely to deliver before 32 weeks. Between 20 and 32 weeks, he measured my cervix with a vaginal ultrasound every 2 weeks. It did indeed shorten over the duration from 4 cm. to 1.6 cm. I did alot of research in medical journals and papers out there (my hubby is a scientist) and the cervix is definitely a factor in preterm delivery. High b.p. (preeclampsia) and other variable risk factors can come into play too. But if you're generally healthy, don't drink or smoke, you should be safe by watching the cervix very closely and preventative measures can be taken. I guess there's no guarantee, but with our histories, it's better to be proactive than reactive.

I was supposed to fly out with my husband for a wedding in California last weekend when I was 32 weeks, but with the bedrest and statistics, there was no way I was going. We were petrified that he'd be in CA and I'd be on the east coast and he'd miss the birth. If anything were to happen, we wanted to be in close proximity to our own hospitals and doctors who knew our history.

As far as your company's maternity leave policy, FMLA is the law. Check with your state for actual details. Your company can't deny you FMLA for any reason. If you have short term disability, that may cover your pay for a certain amount of time determined by the policy. And, it's none of their business if you 'think' you might deliver early. I'd say nothing about it to them or they could deny you projects, reviews, etc. Just continue working as you normally do and let nature and the baby take it's course.

The important thing is to focus on you, your health and happiness, and your new baby-2-be. Try not to worry about work. It can really eat you up (as it did me in the beginning!) Nothing is more important than bringing this new beautiful life into the world.

Best wishes to you!


06-17-2002, 03:21 PM
Unfortunately, not all companies must follow FMLA. It only applies to companies with more than 50 employees. Depending on the state you live in, your right to a maternity leave varies. Sad but true. :(

06-17-2002, 06:23 PM
I am fortunate enough to work for a Fortune 500 company, so we do have specific leave policies. Unfortunately, it's also a bank, so they're really sticklers. My concern is this - if I go into labor unexpectedly, my first 'week' of leave is either unpaid or I have to use a week of vacation (I only qualify for two weeks for the next two years). Otherwise, I get six weeks paid (eight for a c-section), and then I can use up to 12 weeks unpaid FMLA time. I know I have a ton of time to figure all this out - I'm not too far along - but I'm one of those people who likes to be prepared. I guess I should just plan for anything!


06-17-2002, 08:40 PM
That's a rather curious leave policy to penalize you for having an early delivery. I also worked for a Fortune 500, and my leave started the day I checked into the hospital, regardless. In my company, all maternity leave was short term disability, and was handled by a third party insurance company. Their policy was that they started your "leave" on your EDD, and if you delivered early or late, you had to notify them, which I also thought was pretty weird. Since I ended up delivering 3 weeks early, I had to notify them that I had delivered early. But other than that there was no big deal.

Our policy USED to be 8 weeks for a C section, but of course they changed that policy WHILE I WAS PREGNANT! Grrr.

06-18-2002, 08:45 AM
The current recommendation about flying is not after 30-34 weeks (depends on OB). It's just too risky. I also wouldn't advise being too far from home during that time unless you have identified a "just in case" hospital.

Dr. shannon

06-18-2002, 07:23 PM
The company I worked for (and the one that laid me off on my last day of maternity leave!) had a different policy in place when I was pregnant. I was scheduled to start my leave one week before my due date and I got 12 weeks paid under short-term disability (60% of pay) that ran along with my 12 weeks of FMLA. Didn't matter when I delivered in that time, I would only get the 12 weeks. And I was suppose to use a week's vacation for the first week, but I don't know whether they actually "docked" me or not. Used to be they only got 6 weeks, so if you left two weeks early and had the baby 2 weeks late you were screwed unless the doctor extended your leave.

Well as "luck" would have it, I delivered 16 days early--one week before I was supposed to start my leave, so I got my full 12 weeks. But then since they downsized while I was out, I received a call on my last day of leave informing me that my position had been eliminated--I was one of 15. They are only required by law to offer you a position similar to yours when you return, but if the position has been eliminated due to downsizing, all bets are off! I did get 6 weeks severence plus some vacation, and have been collecting unemployment pretty much ever since. (Because of the job market after 9/11, the UC benefits have been extended once and may be again.) Let's just say I haven't been motivated enough to find something else right now. And now we're thinking of ttc #2, so I really don't want to look for anything (although DH may feel otherwise).

06-19-2002, 12:17 AM
I had my first at 34 weeks in the middle of our "last chance vacation getaway"!!!!!Luckily, we were in Santa Barbara, only a couple of hours from my home in L.A. . My water broke, DH was out for the day playing golf, and i wasn't REALLY sure if much had happened, so i called a friend who had a baby , she wasn't home but her DH said, "oh, i think you can go a few weeks like that!" so i just kinda laid around alot that day, went out to dinner w/ DH & a group of aquaintances, and discreetly asked the other women what they thought about my "slow leak". None suggested calling the doctor (amazing!!) but i did anyway when we got back to the hotel, and i was shocked when my doctor said that we would haveto induce the baby that night, since it had been over 14 hours since my water broke. I was so surprised and said " But i have a manicure/pedicure scheduled tommorrow, and the brunch is supposed to be fabulous!!" (keep in mind, 1st baby & no clue about these things & we were at the Four Seasons Hotel- all expenses paid trip!) Well, with no painful contractions and relative ease, we gave birth to a healthy 5.8 oz girl. ( i had horrible pregnancy up to the birth so it was a nice payoff)
My 2nd DD was born 10 days early, again water broke a tiny bit & stopped, I went to Dctr, said i was fine and just in case, went to hospital36 hrs later, and same thing, had the baby- this time 8.4 oz, healthy, so you never know what can happen, better to play it safe. I was sure i would be very late, coz thats what everyone told me about 1st babies. I was 1 mth early BTW, never thought of the connection.

06-19-2002, 09:39 AM
Yep, I had the "slow leak" and nobody thought my water had broken until they checked me--which was only 1.5 hours after it happened. Because of the possibility of infection, the baby has to be delivered within 24 hours, I was told. On one hand I was panicking because I didn't have anything ready and brought nothing to the hospital with me. On the other hand it was nice to know that I had been right about my water breaking--I was feeling pretty stupid for going to the hospital until they did the internal exam and confirmed it. They thought it was just pressure on my bladder or something up to that point. I think Evan's "big head" was preventing the "big rush" I was expecting. Like you, I had no pain or contractions until I was induced.

06-19-2002, 10:37 AM
Isn't it strange that the doctors don't clue in sometimes. With my 2nd, i went to the office and told them of leak and prior history, my reg doc was on call, so a different doc checked me, said yes, it was amniotic fluid , but membranes intact, so go home. Good thing, 40 hours later, i called doc's office and said i just wanted to be sure MY doc knew what had happened. They told me to go to hospital for another check, and i was 3 cm dilated and had the baby 6 hrs later. I was just going to hospital to "make sure" all was okay. Never thought i would stay & deliver, so you never know, LOL. I brought my bags and music and such, just so i wouldn't jinx it and have the baby right there without any of my stuff, lucky i brought it all. You are the first i have heard to have a similar tale.It seems i always relate to all your posts, Sue.
Take care.

06-19-2002, 10:54 AM
"The baby has to be delivered within 24 hours" is not true. Standard procedure is to induce if you rupture your membranes and haven't gone into labor in 18 hours. Since most women's labors, especially if they are induced, take a lot longer than 6 hours, most women would go over that limit. I didn't even convince myself that my water had broke until 30 hours after it happened. Even then, the nurse I talked to was wary that I had actually ruptured. If I had been held to 24 hours, I would have ended up in the operating room with a c-section right after I was checked. So long as you get a full course of antibiotics during labor you and your baby should be fine.
I agree, though, that the "slow leak" doesn't get much attention. It seems to happen to a lot of women. I wish my lamaze class and baby books had been a lot clearer on the subject. The make it seem like you will "know" when your water breaks. That is simply not true for so many women.

06-19-2002, 02:35 PM
Me too! Me too! I was 36 1/2 weeks. On Monday night, we were sitting on the sofa watching TV and I felt a "little" gush. Went to the bathroom and just thought it was a lot more discharge than normal (I was having VERY heavy discharge those days). It happened again about midnight. At 2:30 am I went to the bathroom and had a MUCH heavier gush (but still not the BIG "whoosh" they scare you with in the movies in Lamaze class and had me in fear for my bed...) I finally woke DH and said "I *think* my water broke." "You think?????" he says. Don't you know? Well NOOOO I didn't know. Called the doctor on call and they had me come into the hospital to "see". Bring your bag "just in case". (The bag that I had not yet packed of course and had to pack then at 2:30!!! Well, sure enough, ruptured membranes and amniotic fluid.

They let me stew for awhile to see if I started contracting or dilating. After hours, still nothing. They started pitocin and gradually cranked it up. After I'd had all I could stand of the pitocin induced contractions, I had the epidural and they cranked the pitocin up to the max dose. After 16 hours of pitocin contractions, nothing. No dilation, no effacing, no nothing. My doctor offered to go ahead and do a C or I could wait until the 24 hours were up. (Their protocol was to do a C after 24 hours of ruptured membrane and no progress. Obviously you could refuse...). I was so sick of it at that point I said do the C. After the C, my OB said baby was in an odd position so that her head was hitting my pelvis and wouldn't engage in the birth canal. Her head was actually just slightly swollen (but no issues).

I too wish that they would talk about the "slow leak" in birthing classes. I certainly NEVER expected that!

06-19-2002, 08:12 PM
My birthing instructor told us it would be a slow leak, and the gushes you see are only in the movies. Well, at 38 weeks I was very surprised when my water broke and it was like Niagara Falls! An hour later I so embarrassed walking through the emergency room sloshing as water was still pouring out. I thought for sure that something must have been seriously wrong. Turns out that b/c baby was breech, his head was not acting like a stopper.
I love these types of stories!

06-20-2002, 11:29 AM
For me it was 7:30 on a Sunday morning and DH was at the grocery store (nobody shops then, so he likes when the stores are empty). I of course was lying in bed, half awake when it happened. I called him on the cell and said, "I think you'd better come home. I think my water just broke." When the phone rang, he was thinking, "What did she forget now!" I jumped in the shower (more important than packing a bag, I thought--because I knew if it was labor, I wouldn't be getting a shower any time soon) and called the on-call number when DH got home. The doc called back around 8:30am. Twenty minutes later I was at the hospital. They waited until about 12:25pm to start the Pitocin. I was still at like 1-2cm and nothing. Around 4:30pm I wanted to push. They checked and I was at 10cm so they let me push. And after about 1.5 hours of pushing, Evan was born at 6:24pm. It took me a while to figure out "how" to push, and Evan's head wouldn't make the "turn" or I think it would have been sooner. They were just about to get the vaccuum when I gave a few good pushes, and out came Evan! His weight and height have always been in the 25-50%, but his head is always 95%+! So, hence the slow leaking (or little "gushes") and trouble pushing, I think.

Of course in retrospect I probably could have taken time to at least throw a few things in a bag, but the baby clothes weren't washed yet, and I like to pre-wash stuff. Guess I could have started a load of laundry. At least if there's a next time, I'll at least know what to throw in a bag if it isn't packed yet. But I vow to have it packed weeks/months in advance. Yeah, right! ;-)

06-23-2002, 09:06 PM
My sister-in-law asked me if I was carrying around a jar of pickles! She said that if your water broke in a gush, you could drop the jar of pickles and blame it on that! So weird, but she said she had been advised to do it! (she didn't, she just thought it was a funny story). Seriously, though, I've always heard that you should consider your due date to be a window of two weeks on either side of that date. I don't think you can ever predict what's going to happen or when the baby is going to come. My personal theory - the baby will come early if you haven't even gotten a crib yet and be late if you have your bags packed, the clothes washed, and the room all ready to go!

06-24-2002, 06:39 AM
Don't say that!! I busted my hump trying to get at least the baby's stuff ready, leaving the rest of the house to rot. (We just moved a few weeks ago.) But I do have to admit that while the crib is ready, it's being used as a laundry center. But all the baby stuff is ready to go and I am sitting here counting the seconds. 4 more days (+ 2 weeks, I'm sure :)

06-24-2002, 07:21 AM
I agree with your "personal theory!" Evan's room was an absolute mess when we came home from the hospital. I was supposed to have that week before his due date to get things ready! The crib was up, but the sheets weren't on, and I had a bunch of quilting stuff and books in the crib. The sheets were washed, I think, just not on the crib. As you all know, I didn't have anything packed for the hospital. And Evan had Jaundice when we was born and had to be put on a "Billi Wrap/Lights" at home. I thought the nurse was going to call social services because of the clutter around the house (they came to the house with the unit on Friday night, and Saturday morning a nurse came out to take a blood sample and do an "evaluation." Or was that the one that came on Friday. Anyway, she checked the "clutter" box on the form.) We had moved the year before, but we still had (and have some) boxes everywhere. There was barely a path from the door to the crib to the changing table. Things are much better this year. :-)

06-24-2002, 01:07 PM
Hi everyone,

I've truly enjoyed reading all your experiences. I'm a first-time mom-2-be (with twins in the oven) and have been on bedrest since Feb. so no classes for us... just lots of books talking about the 'gush'... (though, I did line my side of the bed with plastic and towels just in case.) I'm almost 35 weeks, so the twins could decide to come any day now.

How did you know the difference between the slow leak and normal discharge? Was in intermitten or more constant? And here's a question that I have no idea about -- what exactly do you push during labor? Is it like pushing a bowel movement, or doing an abdominal crunch?

I'd say we're partially ready. My bags are packed, hubby's list is done for his bag, clothes and sheets are in the dryer. No stroller yet. Car seats are in the living room. Other than that, we're winging it. :)

Thanks for the stories and advice!

06-24-2002, 01:39 PM
It does get a little confusing down there towards the end :) All this stuff! I went to the hospital at 34 weeks because I thought my water had broken in kmart, went right through my jeans, pretty gross. It was right after I had peed. Anyway, it wasn't amniotic fluid, I guess just pee (not enough kegels!). I also had a nasty yeast infection (sorry for the gore) so maybe it was some of the medication for that. But right through my jeans, making me uncomfortable enough to walk funny (more so than usual :) I was told that water won't leave any sort of stain in your underwear, and that if you try to stop it (a la kegel), it won't. Also, if you lay down and it keeps coming, it's probably water.

06-25-2002, 07:28 AM
Well, maybe I shouldn't have said "slow leak." It was more like "spurts." Kind of like when you sneeze and something "comes out," only you didn't sneeze. And it was more than once in a few minutes. Of course when I described things to them at the hospital, they thought it might just be pressure on my bladder since it wasn't always happening. They did ask if I needed a "pad," which I did. (I put a towel under me in the car, but I don't think anything happened in the 15 minutes to the hospital.) The nurse uses something like a lithmus (sp?) strip to check for amniotic fluid, and it was negative (guess I "cleaned up" too well--sorry to be graphic, but you asked). The resident at the hospital did an internal exam, and he could see the fluid "pooling" and that was the only way they could tell for sure with me. At some point during labor, my doctor broke the sac down lower so that the rest of the fluid could come out.

And I can't explain what it's like to push. I was lucky enough that the nurse on duty when I started pushing was also the woman who teaches the Lamaze class. Without her it could have taken me longer. DH was not a very good coach, to be honest. DH is supposed to watch the monitor and tell you when you're "coming down" from a contraction, to help you mentally that the pain is getting less. My DH would watch the monitor and tell me as the contraction was getting worse! The nurse helped with breathing and when to push. But I don't think I was using my muscles correctly because I wasn't progressing. Then I figured something out, and things got better. Or so it seemed. Or I was just detemined to have it over with. I guess it's closer to an abdominal crunch, but I don't know. Two deep breaths, hold and push! That's all I remember. I do remember that it felt better to push than have another contraction. I had very little rest between contractions. And everybody was impressed with my "determination," but honestly I just wanted it to be over and see my baby. :-)

Hopefully things will go very smoothly for you!

06-25-2002, 01:58 PM
Thanks for sharing! (and for the honesty!) The info about the coaching about coming down from a contraction is really helpful too. In about a week or two, I should have a story of my own to share. :) I should check out the Lamaze website to find out more about pushing and breathing.

Thanks again!!