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Elective section at 38+3. Come talk to me about breathing difficulties. Have I made the right choice?

(30 Posts)
nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 18:07:17

Yesterday I pleaded with the consultant to bring my section date forward to next week. They advised that there is a increased risk of breathing difficulties and I've had two lots of steroid injections in preparation.

My reasons are SPD, pain and immobility. Now I understand that these don't affect the baby (I'm also a physio so I know what can and can't be done) and bringing the date forward is entirely for my benefit. Have also been on anti-emetics since week 15 and have felt sick and hungover and drowsy and unable to work for most of the pregnancy. I've simply had enough of not being able to function. (have two older children also).

Anyway, I'm tearful and utterly fed up.

The only other date they could suggest is at 39+3 but with the likelihood not only that I would get bumped for another priority case but that it might be to a whole new list which could be after 40 weeks.

Also my first baby was born with group b strep pneumonia and had severe breathing difficulties/SCBU/tube fed/delayed breastfeeding/difficulty latching. It's hard to make a decision that may increase the risk of this happening again although I am at least prepared for what that can entail.

But I'm at the end of my tether.

Any advice? I don't want to change my mind as such, I just want to feel less worried that I'm making a terrible mistake.

LauraStora Sat 29-Mar-14 18:09:35

Surely 38 weeks counts as full term anyway? I think breathing difficulties would be v unlikely.

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 18:10:35

well yes, 37 weeks is full term. I've consistently measured 3 weeks ahead in dates also. I feel like I'm carrying a toddler around.

TwentyFourteen Sat 29-Mar-14 18:14:49

I had an elective c section 10 days early baby was totally fine, don't worry all the best.

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 18:32:07

babies are born healthy at 38 weeks all the time. trying to console myself that at least i've had the steroids which should reduce the risk.

it's hard because i'm normally very risk averse in pregnancy. have given up all sorts of medication that keep me well, avoided all the high risk foods, no alcohol etc. then i get to the end and can't muster up any more patience.

just makes me feel bad.

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 21:18:06


not sure why i started this thread other than to get it out.

if someone comes along and tells me it's selfish and stupid, I'll be upset. and those that say it'll be fine, i won't believe them. smile

thanks though x

McPheezingMyButtOff Sat 29-Mar-14 21:26:13

I was induced 2 weeks early, for the very same reasons. I'd been in a wheelchair for months, in constant pain. And quite honestly it was starting to affect my own mental health.

It didn't go quite to plan for me, but after 5 failed Inductions I had dd by CS. She was then 39 weeks. If my body had done what it was meant to she would have been born at 38 weeks.

MolotovCocktail Sat 29-Mar-14 21:37:24

By the sonography dates, my dd2 was born at 39+3 (ELCS).

But, but, but ... by my dates of when we had conceived her, she was born at 38+3.

The evidence for me being right is strong in my mind. We ttc her for 2 years and I was on my 6th. cycle of Clomid. I knew when I was ovulating. I had strong implantation symptoms.

Also, if my pg had gone to 40w, she would have weighed similar to her big sis. Instead, she was a dinky 6lb 9oz (is a whirling, bouncy, monkey-like almost-2yo now grin).

No breathing difficulties. Screamed the place down as soon as she was delivered. She just took a while to 'pink up', but that's normal.

Good luck to you smile

Nades84 Sat 29-Mar-14 21:50:46

nevergoogle you sound exactly the same as me apart from I haven't got my CS date yet.

I'm 34 weeks (measuring 3 weeks ahead also) and will finally get to see the consultant on the 11th April to get booked in. I'm hoping for 38 because I don't know how much longer I can cope with my SPD. Haven't slept in months and yesterday I had to give in and use a wheelchair sad

I'm in two minds after reading about the slight increase in breathing problems in babies born by CS at 38 weeks instead of 39. My MW said the consultant will be very reluctant to go before 39 but there's no way I want to risk being bumped and having to wait even longer but I also don't want to risk baby having any problems!

On the other hand they will induce from 38 weeks and even the MW admitted that a lot of inductions end up as a CS so she doesn't see what the difference is?

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 21:57:33

yes, this is it also. i was initially told by consultant that I would be induced before 39 weeks, which in my mind would undoubtedly end in emergency section anyway (2 previous sections).

NewDawnNewDayNewLifeForMe Sat 29-Mar-14 22:08:30

my ds was born by elcs at 37 weeks and we where warned abour breathing difficulites
but luckily he came out pink and crying no breathing problems

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 22:47:56

I think i'm having a last minute wobble about it all really.

The 'what if the baby dies' kind of wobble where it will all have been my fault.

The 'what if i die' kind of wobble where I feel i should be writing a goodbye letter to my kids.

My god, i miss my anti-depressants. sad

NewDawnNewDayNewLifeForMe Sat 29-Mar-14 22:50:55

oh bless you, it wouldnt be normal if you wasnt worried.

tethersend Sat 29-Mar-14 23:04:20

I was booked in for an elective with DD2 at 37 weeks, as the consultant read the dates wrong. When I pointed it out, they said it was up to me if I wanted to rebook it for 39 weeks or not. I did not.

DD2 was born without any problems.

MrsSpencerReid Sat 29-Mar-14 23:04:31

Ds2 was born at 35+6 I had steroids and he had no breathing probs, I know every baby is different and all that! And like others have said, 38w is full term, good luck smile

HeyNonny Sat 29-Mar-14 23:11:36

I had an ELCS at 38+0 (DC1 was EMCS at 42+3). I asked about breathing difficulties and the ob laughed at me, and said 'unlikely with that size of baby'. The ob was much more concerned about the risks of going overdue again. He was 8lbs9, latched on in the operating theatre and we were out 48hrs later, with none of the medical issues my DC1 had. I assume the ob has checked the scans and is happy with growth; they wouldn't schedule it if they thought there was a real risk to the baby.

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 23:11:39


nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 23:16:39

they did a growth scan a few weeks ago as i measure big. also had glucose tolerance test all normal and growth only a little over average. fundal height is 3 weeks ahead.

DS1 was 42 weeks emcs at 8.14lbs
DS2 was 39 weeks elcs at 7.8lbs

NewDawnNewDayNewLifeForMe Sat 29-Mar-14 23:47:53

Never sounds like you have a pretty strong instinct to have the baby at 38 weeks
I would listen to it

I know a lot of people from sands etc who wishws there baby had been born at 38 weeks

even if th ere are breath I ng problems which is unlikely. It would onky be a temporary thing at 38 weeks with an otherwise healthy baby.

good luck xx

nevergoogle Sat 29-Mar-14 23:56:34

true, i'm petrified of going into labour and repeating the problems we had with DS1. we nearly lost him and i didn't trust my instincts when i thought i might have an infection and that my waters had broken. i mentioned it, it was dismissed as a first time mum worry.

this time i've had to argue my point against advice, but i don't trust their advice given previous experience.

hope i'll feel a bit better tomorrow after a good sleep.


Flibbedyjibbet Sun 30-Mar-14 00:06:00

My elective was planned for 39 weeks but the impatient bugger came at 38 weeks 4 days. 3 days earlier than planned... how rude. All fine, no breathing difficulties.

fruitpastille Sun 30-Mar-14 02:29:24

Didn't they routinely do elcs at 38 weeks until recently? Anyway there is a good article here to reassure you.

SoonToBeSix Sun 30-Mar-14 11:02:34

They have you steroids? Very odd as your baby will be full term and not have breathing difficulties.

ContentedSidewinder Sun 30-Mar-14 11:14:35

I had emcs with ds1, overdue by 4 days, then chose elective with ds2. By their dates he was 39 weeks but I have endometriosis so my periods are irregular (anything from 26 days to 35) and I was using a urine dip test to find out when I was ovulating.

By my dates he was born 10 days early, covered in vernix but cried before he was even fully out of my body. He was fine.

That is the problem with pregnancy and delivery, we only get one shot per baby. What works for some, doesn't work for others. Babies born full term can have breathing difficulties too.

I have learnt not to regret stuff, you make the decision you make at the time with the information you have. Like the fact that you still seem to be beating yourself up over not trusting your instincts with your first labour.

If there were risks the consultant would raise concerns with you. Good luck whatever you decide.

nevergoogle Sun 30-Mar-14 14:25:00

thankyou, yes I've had 2 steroid injections. one on friday, one on saturday and section booked for tuesday.

i got the impression i was causing them admin work rather than any major concerns about whether the baby was ready.

reg was very dismissive initially and just said that there was nothing she could do and wrote that I was happy with that (before i'd agreed!)

i had to sit there and say, no i'm not happy with that, you haven't given me any other options to consider and are pushing me to just go along with your plan.

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