DH going away when I'm 37 weeks

(41 Posts)
PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 16:46:35

DH has been offered the chance to go on a work trip to the Far East which will bring him back when I'll be 37+4. This is our first DC so can't go on any previous births but I don't have any obvious indicators for a pre-term birth and would have plenty of support around me for the week he's away so I've said to him he should go, as I know he'll have an amazing time. However I know he would be really upset if he missed the birth and I'm not sure if I'm being crazy by telling him it will all be fine! confused

So straw poll - WWYD?

cravingcake Mon 25-Feb-13 17:05:59

My DH works away sometimes and is about a 5 hour drive away. His last week working away while I was pregnant was when I was 38 weeks. My DS decided he wanted to arrive early and my waters broke on the morning DH was due to come home (he left immediately rather than working that day). However, it took 4 days from waters breaking to DS finally arriving.

I would say let him go, but make sure you are BOTH alright with this. You need to ask yourself how you would feel also if you were to go into labour early without your DH there.

Chances are all will be fine. However, I would make sure you have checked with both his work and the airlines how quickly and easily he could get back if he needed to.

PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 17:22:59

I think I'm more relaxed about it than he is! But I think that's only because I've convinced myself there's no way I'd go into labour that early. It would be really sad if he missed it though, for both of us. I'm not worried about the lack of support through labour as my mum would be on hand to step in but it of course wouldn't be the same and I'd hate for him to miss out as much as I'd miss his support.

Checking on emergency routes back is probably a good plan!

Undoubtedly if he doesn't go I'll end up going two weeks over or something! Grr...

PastaBeeandCheese Mon 25-Feb-13 17:31:23

My DH works abroad a lot. I asked him to stay home from 37 weeks. I didn't have any support beyond friends though and I desperately wanted him to be there.

PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 17:38:04

It's so frustrating because if it was a week earlier I'd say definitely yes and if it was a week later I'd say definitely no. Arghhhh!!

Fairypants Mon 25-Feb-13 17:40:43

I think you need to assume there is a reasonable chance he could miss it and make sure he is happy to take that chance - you wouldn't want him to blame you for encouraging him to go if he does miss it.
Realistically, he would be highly unlikely to get back to the uk (assuming that's where you are) from the Middle East in time but having the info to hand would mean he could be back maybe the next day?
Personally, I wouldn't risk it but I don't have a mum to take dh's place.

PastaBeeandCheese Mon 25-Feb-13 17:43:37

With hindsight I was possibly being precious as my DD arrived at 40+3 and I worked up to 38 weeks but equally my entire labour was 12 hours so he'd have missed it if he'd been abroad.

Is there no chance the trip could be brought forward / will it be repeated? DH works abroad all the time so he wasn't missing anything iyswim.

AThingInYourLife Mon 25-Feb-13 17:45:39

I would risk it.

But then I've never gone into spontaneous labour and have had two 42 week pregnancies grin

Given how you feel, probably best to let him decide whether he wants to risk missing it.

It's possible he will, but not likely.

PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 17:54:52

It hopefully won't be the only opportunity he'll get and getting back in time, as Fairypants says, probably isn't going to happen if I do go into labour (at least I hope I'm not going to have a labour that long!).

DH does seem to think I'm some sort of pregnancy/baby oracle so is totally trusting my judgment (nothing like a bit of added pressure! grin) but I think maybe it's just not worth the risk, unless it can be brought forward a bit.

I'm also slightly concerned my currently relaxed attitude might stem from slight first timers denial and when 37 weeks rolls around the idea of him being away would completely freak me out! confused grin

Thanks for talking it through with me! thanks

PixelAteMyFace Mon 25-Feb-13 17:55:05

It`s sod`s law that if you ask him not to go, you will exceed 40 weeks.


PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 17:56:14

Oh no - x post with AThing!

Now I'm undecided again! Think I need to talk it through with DH...

PandaWatch Mon 25-Feb-13 17:57:37

Exactly Pixel. Where's a reliable crystal ball when you need one?

<considers digging out a magic 8 ball>

AThingInYourLife Mon 25-Feb-13 19:38:39

Just let him decide.

It seems there's no wrong answer as far as you are concerned, so why should you be the one worrying about whether he goes?


You might be right about being freaked out at the idea of him being away when it gets that close.

There was a brilliant thread here once by a woman who mildly freaked out when her DH went to the pub around the corner. grin

cocktailhour Mon 25-Feb-13 19:40:53

My husband had his final pre-birth trip abroad last week (I was 36 weeks) and although this was long planned and I was totally cool with it, I was unprepared for how tired it made me! Maybe I'm being a mega-primadonna but I realized just how much he has picked up around the house (all dog walking for instance plus majority of housework) in the last month or so. My two cents: make sure it won't drain you to have him away! Plus ironclad emergency flight arrangements!

Snazzynewyear Mon 25-Feb-13 19:43:28

It's not that unusual to give birth in the 37-40 week range, and the Far East is a long flight - it's not like he's in France or somewhere he could come back from in a matter of 3-4 hours. I would be inclined to nix it, though I agree with Pixel that if you do this you're then guaranteed to hang on till 40+10 or whenever they induce you. Still, I wouldn't underestimate the feelings you will have at the birth and the happiness you would both have at being there together to share those. In your position I would say don't go.

iloveholidays Mon 25-Feb-13 20:29:38

I wouldn't risk it although I had DD1 at 36+2!!! smile

I always make my decision on what I would regret most... Not going or missing the birth....?

iloveholidays Mon 25-Feb-13 20:30:19

Sorry if that sounded harsh but think you need to both be entirely comfortable with what could happen.

Noodled Mon 25-Feb-13 20:33:05

1st baby 37 weeks and 4hrs from first contraction. Just saying.... if he goes so will you if he stays you will get to 42smile

leannac Mon 25-Feb-13 20:36:04

My DH wanted to go away with work from 34.5-37.5 wks to Tanzania where he was 2-3 days travel away. I am on dc2 & dc1 came on due date so was expecting to go a little earlier this time. I said he should go & he did but it was a really hard time for me when he was away, being that heavily pregnant & having to do everything myself. I was looking after a 21 month old though which prob made a huge difference!
As it was we both spent the entire time on edge that he might miss the birth & I'm now nearly 40wks & still nothing!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 25-Feb-13 21:16:31

First baby with supportive dm? I'd say go, but then DS arrived at 40+13! I do agree that he's hold make the choice though, as you're ok with either. Don't let him be able to hold this against you if baby does turn up earlier than expected.

I found out, when late with DS, that the average gestation for first time mums (Caucasian, don't know about other) is 41+3. So likelihood is you will go overdue. But it all comes down to risk and how badly you want home there/ he wats to be there. If either of you couldn't bear the thought of him missing it, then he shouldn't go.

I think I'd say to him to go, but I was working myself up to 38 weeks. One thing to consider is if the trip is going to lead to lots of work, which he will find hard to do because of paternity leave. If that might be the case it would be better for another colleague to go instead.

sittinginthesun Mon 25-Feb-13 21:21:46

I'm trying to think back to DS1 - think our cut off was 38 weeks. But it was only Europe, so DH could have got back fairly quickly.

DS2 arrived at 36 plus 5. DH was away over night, but in UK. I had to phone him in the middle of a meeting to tell him my waters had gone. smile

In your position, I would probably be okay about it (but DH was pretty useless when I was in labour anyway grin).

Startail Mon 25-Feb-13 21:28:31

I'd let him go, babies have a nose for when and when not to be born.

DD1 was born exactly as she was due to be induced (small for dates at 39weeks). DD2 was a HB and she appeared over night 3minutes before her sister woke up.

I'd bet money that your body will sen not this week signals and it will be fine.

alarkaspree Mon 25-Feb-13 21:34:46

I think you have been too reassuring. You've basically told him that you're sure you won't go into labour while he's away and obviously you can't really guarantee that. Talk to him again and tell him exactly how you really feel. Either that you're happy for the decision to be his, that there's a chance that he would miss the birth of the baby but you are okay with taking that risk if he is. Or that you feel strongly that he should be at the birth and you don't think he should go.

In a year it probably won't seem that important whether he was there or not, but you should try to be sure in your own mind that you won't feel resentful if he does miss it.

You should also make sure that his work are aware that if he goes there's a chance that he will have to rush home half-way through the trip. They might prefer to send someone else under the circumstances.

duchesse Mon 25-Feb-13 21:55:22

Chances are you'll be fine. You should get some warning of impending labour in the days running up to it. Can he pull out of the trip closer to the time if you're looking a bit parturient?

bettybyebye Mon 25-Feb-13 22:08:40

I had my son in November when I was 37+2. First baby, no indicators of pre term labour (ie completely healthy and straightforward low risk pregnancy) and no signs of imminent labour in the days leading up to my waters breaking. DS was born less than 12 hours after my waters broke.

Although it Is unlikely you need to accept that it is possible you could give birth while your DH is away. If you are ok with him missing the birth then let him go. Fwiw I would have said no...

Snazzynewyear Mon 25-Feb-13 23:22:08

The key thing from your OP, for me, is:

"I know he would be really upset if he missed the birth and I'm not sure if I'm being crazy by telling him it will all be fine"

If he'll be really upset to miss it, then IMO it is too risky to travel that far at 37 weeks plus. There is no guarantee you'll get warning signs, and while you may very well go beyond 37 and even 40 weeks, you don't know. Tell him clearly that it may happen then and there is no way of knowing, and let him make the decision. But I think, as you've acknowledged, you have told him 'it'll all be fine' and if for him that = 'I will not miss the birth', it's a guarantee you can't make.

BIWI Mon 25-Feb-13 23:26:08

DS1 - waters broke at 36 1/2 weeks (actually delivered at 38 weeks, but in hospital all that time)
DS2 - born at 36 weeks

I wouldn't risk it. It's one of the most significant things that you will ever do in your lives, and it would be a terrible shame for him to miss it.

How certain are you of your dates? Mine moved around a fair bit over the various scans. So 37+4 could easily be 38+2 IYSWIM.

DH missed my DTs birth as he was working abroad and they were pre-term. Not something I'd wish for TBH.

AThingInYourLife Tue 26-Feb-13 01:13:27

"if you're looking a bit parturient?"

Beautifully put smile

IcedSmelt Tue 26-Feb-13 11:06:43

Haven't read all of the replies, but make sure that he books a flexible ticket!

Ooh, thanks Duchesse, not often I get to learn a new word smile.

daytoday Tue 26-Feb-13 11:43:31

Its really hard to know how to answer this question. You simply don't know when baby will arrive. Nor do you know what sort of birth you will have. But you need to think about him NOT being at the birth as a serious possibility. I've had three babies - one late, two early (37 weeks). 37 weeks is considered due! Not premature.

What I will say is - if for whatever reason your DH misses the birth will you as a couple be able to get beyond it? Do you have other support for the birth? Giving birth is wonderful but also the scariest thing ever.

Knowing how much I needed my partner there for all the births - I really don't think I could ever get over not having him there, if he had a choice that is. I think it would have negative impact on our relationship too for years to come. But that's just me being honest.

You are both being asked to think about something that has never happened to either of you and to consider how you might feel in the worse case scenario.

AmberLav Tue 26-Feb-13 13:40:01

I would ask your mum and female relatives exactly how far along they were with each of their pregnancies when they gave birth. My neighbour planned to move house at 38 weeks thinking it would be fine, and she gave birth about 12 hours before they were due to move - turned out that her mum had given birth at exactly 38 weeks with each of her 3 children, and hadn't wanted to mention it in case her daughter got worried!

History may not repeat itself, but mothers can give an indication of what you might expect!

Norem Tue 26-Feb-13 14:13:23

High op if you and he are happy for him to miss it he should go.
I am a midwife and we had a mum last night who's partner did not get back from a work trip ( in this country) in time.
What does he stand to gain from this trip? Is it super important for his career?
Does he recover from jet lag well? Because if he misses the birth then keeps complaining about how tired he is you just might see red smile

PandaWatch Tue 26-Feb-13 16:49:42

Hi everyone and thanks for all your replies!

There's no way he would go if I asked him not to and he wouldn't make me feel bad about it at all, so it would be as much down to me if he missed the birth as him and wouldn't be something I would ever blame him about.

I know the trip is important for him and his business and whilst someone could go in his place it would be preferable for him to go but he has said there would be no question of him not getting the first plane back if I went into labour - although I explained that I may not just be able to keep my legs crossed until he got back grin

My three siblings all went over due date and I was born on my due date. My eldest sister went over with her only dc and my other sister was a week early with her first and late with her second so I don't know if that would have any bearing!

As for my scans, I had an early private scan that put my due date at five days later than the date I had worked out from LMP and cycle length but my "official" due date has always been that calculated using LMP and cycle length so I'm not sure whether that's because it matches the scans exactly or because, as it's not an exact science, the midwives and sonographers have just been working off the estimate confused

The hospital I'm booked into do a 32 week growth scan as a matter of course and I have mine next week when I should be 32+6 so I think we'll wait until then to make a decision to see if there's any change in my EDD!

Doesn't help that until this came up I was operating under the misapprehension that it wasn't until 38 weeks that you were considered full term - not 37!!

MammaCici Tue 26-Feb-13 17:08:38


I found ths online calculator to work out the odds of labour on a given date. Are you a gambling woman?

I'm expecting DC2. With DS1 I called DH home from work a week early (he works closeby). I thought something was happening. It gradually built up over the week and DS came on his due date.

CitizenOscar Wed 27-Feb-13 22:04:11

Sounds like you're quite keen for him to go and would cope ok if he missed the birth.

Personally, I wouldn't be and neither would DH.

I'd like him there to support me when heavily pregnant AND if I went into labour and gave birth. If there were problems during or after the birth, for you or for the baby, I think it'd be so difficult for him being so far away and not able to help.

But it really is up to the two of you to weigh up the pros and cons. I know where I stand but I'm not you (obvs!).

Snazzynewyear Wed 27-Feb-13 23:02:52

I don't really get this, as you've said he would be upset to miss it. Whatever the calculations you can make on the basis of what happened to your mother/sister/most people you know, you can't actually predict or influence when you go into labour. So be casual about it if you want, but that didn't sound like what your husband really wanted from the OP you wrote.

Snazzynewyear Wed 27-Feb-13 23:04:01

Plus, sorry to sound negative but you said in one of your other posts that 'there should be other opportunities' [to be at other births, I assume]. That's something else you can't guarantee.

Bouncey Wed 27-Feb-13 23:21:58

You'll probably be ok. My DD was born at 35 weeks but I had some forewarning as my waters broke 5 days before I went unto labour. Similar thing happened to someone in my NCT group.

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