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4th pregnancy - baby's head pretty much engaged at 35 wks

(14 Posts)
Zoffany Thu 07-Jul-11 14:21:46

I am 35 + 4 weeks pregnant with number 4 and at my midwife appointment earlier, I was told that my baby's head is pretty much engaged - only one fifth to go, something like that. My other 3 were all born in the 38th week but their heads were not engaged until the week of the birth. My midwife thinks that this baby might be earlier still. For those of you who have had 4 or more:

Anyone else's baby's head engage early? What was the outcome?

Also, did your labours get shorter each time? My other labours were as follows:

DD1 - 38 + 5, 12 hours ending in an emergency c-section at 9cm due to her being is distress - was fine until I had an epidural then her heartbeat kept dropping. There's no proof that the two are linked but in mind I couldn't help but think they were and hence I decided on homebirths for the others.....

DS1 - 38 + 2, 8 hours, natural homebirth, 2nd stage 25 mins

DD2 - 38 + 3, 6 and a half hours, natural homebirth, 2nd stage 4 mins - 2 pushes to get her out!

I would love to hear about your experiences.


Four4me Thu 07-Jul-11 21:50:47

Hi I can't remember when dc4 engaged but he definitely bobbed in and out a bit! I think it was at about 35 weeks. He went to term. But I'd pack a bag anyway.

In fact I have gone longer with each preg!

Dc1 (7years) at 35 weeks less than 2 hours. G and A in hospital.

Dc2 (6years) at 37 weeks about 3 hours. G and A in hospital.

Dc3 (20months) at 39 weeks about 4 hours- back to back labour (the worse one) G and A home birth.

Dc4 (20weeks) at 40 weeks 1 hour from first twinge to babe in arms. It was supposed to be hb but all of the midwifes were out so had hospital birth. a mega rush, they offered to send us an ambulance!

Good luck and for what it is worth I have found the jump from 3 to 4 dc's has been the 'easiest'!!!! grin

Flossie2 Fri 08-Jul-11 13:59:20

Just wanted to say - good luck. I am expecting number four and feeling pretty daunted by the whole thing! Great to hear you have found it ok 'Four4me'!

Zoffany Fri 08-Jul-11 14:42:54

Four4 me - wow, I hope my fourth labour is, nearly, as quick as yours! Good to hear that the jump from 3 to 4 was the easiest too.

I will also have 7 years between my oldest and youngest. DC1 is very nearly 7, DC2 is 5 and DC3 is 25 months. I found the jump from 2 to 3 hard - I think although 3 years isn't a long gap necessarily, it felt like I'd been out of that baby zone (DC2 had been sleeping though the night for ages, was potty trained at 21 months & was a really easy toddler) for a long time so it was a bit of a shock going back to it. Also, coinciding with DC3 being born was the start of school and nursery runs in two different locations. On top of that, DC3 didn't really properly sleep through, as her teething was relentless, for ages and ages and ages and ages - in fact, it took her 20 months! Anyway, in deciding when to go for number 4, I thought it was either now (2 year gap) or never as although I'm not in the thick of it anymore, it's all still fresh in mind - when I explain my logic to others, they just think I'm mad!

Interesting that your DC4 bobbed in and out - two weeks ago, my midwife said that she could still move the head but this week she said it had moved down quite considerably. You never know though, I think probably things are a bit looser etc once you get to number 4 so the head may still move back up again but at least the baby's in the right position. I keep thinking this one will come in the 38th week like the others, everyone else keeps saying, they bet it'll be later but then when the midwife told me that the head was engaged, I suddenly thought, what if it's earlier?! The 38th week will the week after school finishes which fits in quite nicely but I haven't really made any plans for it being earlier so ought to really have a think about it! However, your experience proves that the head being engaged doesn't necessarily mean that the baby will come earlier.

Flossie2 - good luck with your number 4 too, when are you due? How old are your others? I know what you mean but funnily enough as I've neared the end of the pregnancy, I've definitely reached that point where the daunting feeling has been replaced by me thinking that I'll take a newborn over being pregnant any longer, even if it means being run ragged by four little monsters - I think nature's quite clever like that!

Thanks for your replies.

Four4me Fri 08-Jul-11 22:42:52

If you get all organised it'll prob stay put. I am guessing you are planning another homebirth so you'll have to get to 37 weeks at least (that is the 'rules' here for a planned hb). With dc4 I had one false alarm at 38 weeks, I also had mega intense bh for weeks. My uterus obviously needed some getting going.

We had dc1 and 2 close (14months apart) but I was only 27 and 28 at the time so had time for a gap before the next two! Also dc1 has got downs syndrome and didn't walk till he was 2 and half and was in nappies till he was in reception so I needed a gap to cope! It was lovely having dc3 when both of the boys were at school. I really enjoyed her as a baby but the school run, hospital appointments took some juggling. Dc4 has just slotted in and is the most chilled out baby ever. I think a massive part of how I've coped with them all is that (don't shoot me) they are all good sleepers! Even the bf ones! The first three have gone 12 hours since 8 weeks and dc4 since 9 weeks!

I love having a big family and seeing them all interacting and actually like the chaos of it. The house is loud and there is loads of washing and they eat loads. Come back and let me know how you go on! Best of luck, here's to a nice quick labour at 38/39 weeks at home in the night when the others are asleep!

Zoffany Sat 09-Jul-11 12:09:17

Yes, I'm having another homebirth although I was a little worried yesterday that the baby might have other ideas as I was having really strong BH (am 36 weeks on Monday). It felt more like the real thing than BH in previous pregnancies as it went on for quite a while and it wasn't just my tummy tightening - sorry tmi but that feeling of heaviness and tightening in my bum too. Is that how your BH felt fourth time round? Luckily though, it subsided as the evening went on - good job really, as my husband is away camping with the older two until tomorrow. Maybe it's the raspberry leaf tea and tablets doing its thing!

I had not long turned 27 when I had my first too, I had DC2 when I had just turned 29 - there's 22 months between them but they are only a year apart in school because of how the academic year falls - DC1 has a September birthday and DC2 was born in July. They are the best of friends so it's quite nice. I then left a 3 year gap to have DC3 just before I turned 32 and I've just had my 34th birthday as DC4 is about to be born.......and that's me done although my husband has other ideas!!!

It's nice to hear your positive experience of having four - I can imagine that it will be chaotic at times but ultimately lovely. I love that they always have someone to play with - they enjoy each others company and miss each other if one of them's not about. Of course they squabble from time to time though like any siblings do but as annoying as it can be, I think it's also a good way for them to learn to negotiate/problem solve/compromise etc. I lost my mum earlier this year so it is also comforting to think that they will all have each other in their adult lives.

Don't worry, I don't want to shoot you but I DO want to know what your secret is on getting them to sleep through so early?!! How wonderful. This is what I've had so far:

DD1 - textbook baby, relatively easy, slept though consistently from 7-7 from 17 weeks. She was hard work between the ages of 3-4 though, an glimpse of what she was going to be like as a teenager!

DS1 - nightmare newborn who didn't stop crying and I'm not exaggerating for about 4 months due to colic and reflux. Slept through from about 5ish months but had periods now and again of getting up in the night with teething until about 14/15 months. An angel toddler though - he was so chilled out and easy going, we never had tantrums!

DD2 - slept through the night at 9 weeks but only for a week! Woke up regularly in the night with teething issues until she was 20 months. Definitely not an angel toddler like her brother was but she's not too bad really, just the occasional 'no' and tantrum!

Surely DC4 will be one of those 'angel' babies I've ready about, right?!!! If not, hopefully I'll be older, wiser and therefore more chilled out so she'll just slot in! I must admit though that I'm still crossing my fingers..........

Your family sounds lovely, keep enjoying them!

buttonmoon78 Sat 09-Jul-11 14:39:24

DC1 engaged about 2 weeks before birth @ 41wks

DC2 can't remember! Born at 39+4

DC3 engaged in labour, induced at 38wks

DC4 currently 37+1, induction booked for Friday (38wks), engaged since 35+5

Lots and lots in fact, endless BH for several weeks now, all v painful.

Four4me Sat 09-Jul-11 14:44:40

So spooky the similarities I turned 34 last October and dc4 was born Feb. Does your dh what some more babies? We are the opposite, I'd keep going but dh says no!

Sorry about losing your Mum, have you being coping ok with losing her?

The only thing with the sleeping that I put it down to is that I loose patience fussing with shussing, rocking or patting small babies to sleep. I am probably seen as a bit mean but if I know they are def tired I am a plonk in cot put to bed and close the door mum. I think they soon learn to settle themselves to sleep. I'm sure they still wake in the night but are able to get back off to sleep independently. I also do seem to spend nearly all of the waking 12hours feeding them so they are full. All have mine have napped well in the day. I have obviously been up in the night with them when they are ill which is of course normal.

I take it you know that baby is a girl. So you'll have 3 pink 1 blue! We are the opposite! There are some photos of us on my profile. I'm sure your new baby is going to be the prefect little angel and you won't even notice the extra work or the broken nights grin

Have you got all your stuff together for the delivery? And a bag packed if it comes early. When dc1 came at 35 weeks I had no things with me and it was awful, I got dressed again after the birth and dh had to come home to get my things. He literally tipped my knickers drawer into a bag. The frilly thongs were no use to me! Typical man! He was just in such a panic! It was all a bit of a nightmare ds went to scbu then was diagnosed with downs, not exactly how I'd planned the arrival of my first child!

Take care.

Four4me Sat 09-Jul-11 14:45:50

Good luck buttonmoon let us know! Love the name btw.

threecurrantbuns Sun 10-Jul-11 15:11:27

Just to be noisy button why the inductions? Getting baby two weeks before due date is fab smile

threecurrantbuns Sun 10-Jul-11 21:24:51


buttonmoon78 Mon 11-Jul-11 06:54:05

SPD, scoliosis, compression of discs. I'd rather wait and not have that but hey ho!

Zoffany Thu 14-Jul-11 14:12:19

Buttonmoon - ouch, you poor thing, hopefully it should all ease up soon. Good luck for tomorrow, hope it all goes really well.

Four4me - I am totally for the tough love approach but it was just completely lost on my DC3 but then again, I guess I was so paranoid about disturbing the neighbours - I'm sure I had them knocking in annoyance in the middle of the night once when I was having a shocker with DD - that I probably didn't let her fuss for as long as I did the others. BUT she out of the three has had all her teething problems during the night only, she's always been fine in the day. I just need to soundproof the baby's room this time, I guess!

I had a look at your pics - your children are beautiful. I love that your DH took you frilly knickers for after the delivery, that's so funny - imagine negotiating a mattress maternity pad with those! Must have been so scary when your DS was rushed off to SCBU. The exact same thing happened to a good friend of ours last year - thankfully, their baby is now 1 and also doing really well but it was all very traumatic for them at the time.

Good point about having a bag ready just in case, just three more days to go now though until I'm considered full term, fingers crossed.........

Four4me Sun 17-Jul-11 11:44:23

All the best for you both zoff and button would love to hear how it all goes. Enjoy those newborn curly cuddles. X

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