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Consultant contradicting scans...so confused!

(18 Posts)
redhead78 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:35:47

Has anyone else under consultant care had them contradict what the scans show?
For the last 8 weeks my scans have shown a baby in the 95th centile, although today she was down to the 90th centile (I'm 32+2 and having regular scans because of worry about her size). I was previously told they would likely induce me at 38 weeks due to her size but today the consultant told me he would probably recommend a CS to avoid going through a long labour and probably ending up with an ECS anyway.
However, when he actually felt my tummy he totally changed his mind and said he disagreed totally with the scans and that although my baby is above average in size she isn't anywhere near as big as the scans suggest and he has absolutely no worries whatsoever about her.
So now I'm really confused, not surprisingly! I did ask questions at the time such as how can his hands be more reliable than the scans but he said if 5 sonographers did a scan on the same baby they would come away with 5 different results and scans also don't take into account the size of the mother. I'm 5'10'' and he said whilst the baby is probably in the 80th-85th centile he's not worried about it in my case because of my size, whereas in a smaller woman it would be more a cause for concern.
What is the point of having sizing scans every four weeks if the consultant is going to poo-poo the results of them anyway?
Anyone else had a similar experience?

Foxeym Mon 17-Mar-14 18:08:14

I totally don't believe in scan size, all 3DC were showing as big on the scan with DC3 they said being over 10lb! He was 7lb 12 at birth and my other 2 were in the 7lb's as well. I'm more likely to trust your consultant

ceara Mon 17-Mar-14 18:54:22

The scans have a large margin of error. The consultant can draw on the scan, clinical examination and professional experience, though of course there is subjectivity and human error involved too. For what it's worth the scans in my case overestimated the baby's weight by a pound and a half whereas the consultant's estimate (interpreting the scan evidence in light of other factors) was bang on to the ounce.

redhead78 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:15:40

Thanks guys, you've reassured me a lot. The scan yesterday gave an estimated baby weight of just over 6lbs so as I'm only just over 32 weeks pregnant I was starting to get a bit worried that I was growing a monster baby!

Writerwannabe83 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:28:05

I've been having growth scans every 4 weeks from when I was 24 weeks pregnant.

At my 28 week midwife appointment she commented on how small my bump is and after feeling my tummy she said she thought I was going to have a small baby. I told her that the growth scans had him plotted at just under the 100th percentile (and showed her the graph) and she was genuinely surprised.

I continued to have my growth scans and baby is now well over the 100th percentile line.

I saw my midwife 3 weeks ago (at 35 weeks gestation) and she said I'd certainly gotten a lot bigger than when she last saw me. She looked at the growth scan graphs and then after palpating my bump she said that she thinks the baby is going to be even bigger than what the scans suggest.

Although baby was always over the 100th percentile line my bump measurements were always pretty normal and I was usually plotted on the 75th percentile line. However, my bump measurement from 4 days ago has now put me above the 100th percentile line too.

I'm booked to have an ELCS (for health reasons) which I was booked to have when I was very close to term but because of baby's size it has been bought forward so as to reduce any chances of me going into natural labour. At my 35 week scan the estimated weight for baby was already just under 8lbs.

My midwife said that even if I didn't have my health problems they may have had to think about a CS anyway just because of baby's size in comparison to mine (I'm just under 5ft 6 and of small build). My Consultant however has said that although he's over the 100th percentile line it isn't doesn't mean he is a big baby?!

I can't wait for him to be born so we can find out what he does weigh and see just how accurate all the scans and graphs are... smile

redhead78 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:12:57

It's all just too confusing isn't it?! I wish I knew what I was feeling when I feel my own bump so I could reassure myself that I'm not growing a giant!
It's enough to make me want to retrain as a midwife!!

You have to remember that scans are a diagnostic tool and not a whole diagnosis. The consultant will have had years of experience in palpating. Do you want an ELCS? If so you can argue that you are very anxious about the size of your baby and have one on that basis.

Also it is VERY unusual to have a baby that will not fit through its mothers pelvis.

really1234 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:22:52

I wouldn't rely on scans either. With ds1 he was estimated to be 10lbs but came out at 9lbs 1oz. ds2 was estimated to be 8-8.5lbs and came out at 10lbs 2oz.

The consultant has years of experience to call upon and scans are notoriously unreliable.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:23:49

My friend had an EMCS with her first after a horrendous labour. My friend is extremely petite (5ft 3ish and 8 stone) and baby basically got wedged hence the CS. The baby came out weighing 8lb 9oz. When my same friend got pregnant with her 2nd she had regular growth scans and everything pointed to that baby being a big one too and so she was booked in for an ELCS to try and avoid a repeat performance of her first labour. My friend didn't really want to have a CS but her DH and Consultant talked her round and baby was born at 8lbs 8oz.

Nobody at the hospital, neither midwife or Consultant has ever palpated me. The only person who has is my community midwife who does it during my routine appointments with her at my GP surgery.

LavenderFox Thu 20-Mar-14 16:27:45

If you have a history of long legs in the family scans quite often show a big baby which will then turn out to be normal size once born, because the algorithm that they use for the weight calculations uses the length of the thigh bone as one of the parameters. Equally I have seen babies estimated to be small or growing poorly pop out quite a healthy weight but just have shorter, stumpier legs since unfortunately not all of us have supermodels as parents ( I have really short legs and a massive trunk...).....

redhead78 Thu 20-Mar-14 19:15:21

In some ways I quite like the idea of a cs (mainly because it sounds like it would be much less messy afterwards!) but when I really think about it I don't like the idea of having major surgery unless I absolutely have to.
You've all reassured me a lot though. I'm 5'10'' and my husband is 6'5'' so I'd always assumed we'd have a big baby anyway but never thought it would present all these problems and confusions!

Writerwannabe83 Mon 24-Mar-14 09:26:21

Well baby arrived by CS on Friday and he was 8lb 7oz - so I reckon the scans were pretty close seeing as 3 weeks ago they had him at 7lbs 110z.

He's totally beautiful!!!! smile

redhead78 Mon 24-Mar-14 15:12:59

Congratulations!!!

I hope you're suitably in love with your new arrival smile Any name yet?

Was the cs scary???

ikeaismylocal Mon 24-Mar-14 17:52:17

My sizing scan was 100% correct, ds was predicted to be 10 pounds and he was born at 10 pounds. My bump wasn't huge until just before the birth, I think my tummy muscles that are now non-existant were doing their job.

I'm only 5 foot 4 and ds was <98th centile when he was born, I was told that if the mother doesn't have diabetes then it is unusual for the baby to be too big to come out.

My pushing stage with ds was less than 15 mins and I only needed to push 2 times. People said to me that bigger babies are easier to birth, I didn't believe them, I thought they were just trying to make me feel better about birthing a toddler larger baby but now I think it could be true, my birth certainly couldn't have been much easier.

frankiebuns Sun 30-Mar-14 21:58:02

My cousin was told all the way through her pregnancy that her baby was going to be 11lb ish on scans was huge, they induced her 2 weeks early told he would get stuck emcs etc, she delivered him naturally he weighed 7lb 13! They can be wrong

Writerwannabe83 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:15:17

Hi redhead - I'm totally in love with the baby though the sleep deprivation is indescribable. I'm exhausted!! We called him Arron smile

And yes, the CS was scary - it wasn't the best hour of my life, that's for sure!

redhead78 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:20:43

Well congratulations again writerwannabe smile I'm so happy for you that all's well that ends well!

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