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First baby: head not engaged at all at 37 weeks...how common is this?

(13 Posts)
DangerMousey Fri 09-Nov-12 17:04:01

Had a presentation scan today cos MW thought LO was breech. Happily, he is not, he is head down, which means I can hopefully give birth in the lovely MW led unit nearby smile

However, the sonographer also said that his head was not engaged in my pelvis at all....I thought first babies were usually starting to engage by this stage? I am 37 weeks tomorrow).

Is this common, or unusual? Does it mean that I am definitely in for the long haul, going overdue etc etc?? (please god no, I have terrible backache and can't sleep, the idea of upto 5 weeks more of this makes me want to weep!!)

He was also measuring off-the-chart massive, with an enormo-head and his weight is already predicted to be 7lbs 7oz!! I suspect this is a whole other thread, but please can someone reassure me that these scans can be wrong, size and weight-wise?? Eeeek.

Chunkychicken Fri 09-Nov-12 17:44:02

I had my DD at 39+3 (just, 00.42) and the week before at my MW appt, she was only 1/5 engaged, so at 38+2.

I don't think there is any hard and fast rule - baby will engage earlier (usually) in a first pg and tends to stay engaged, but it can be wks before baby is actually born. In fact, this baby was 1/5 engaged at 36+1, 3/5 engaged at 37+1, 2/5 engaged at 37+6 and then totally 'free' again at 38wks, but then this is my second & I think they tend to bounce in and out!! smile

Oh and it is notoriously difficult to predict actual birth weight from scans.7lb isn't that big at 37wks, given it is considered term and I was under the impression they only put on half a pound a week at most at the end... My 32wk scan predicted this baby to be 4lb 12oz already, but given my DD was only 6lb 5oz and measured 'average' at both 12 & 20wk scans, I doubt I will be having a 9lb+ baby this time around!!! I'll let you know though... with tears in my eyes I expect wink

(^Waves at dangermousey^ good to see you're doing well!! smile )

Spinity Fri 09-Nov-12 17:49:07

My daughter was only 1/5 engaged til she was born, she only moved down in labour, so for me it didn't give any indication of labour approaching at all. This baby is fully engaged and I'm 39 weeks tomorrow, no sign of labour yet!

crunchingautumnleaves Fri 09-Nov-12 18:03:48

Think yourself lucky - I was 4/5 (mostly, sometimes 5/5) engaged for over 3 weeks with one of mine. My thighs were in agony by the end. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is engagement of the head can indicate labour is close but it's not a definite sign and you can go quickly from not engaged to full blown labour, even in first pregnancies - there aren't any hard and fast rules really, so relax and know it'll happen when it does. Hope you don't have to wait too long!

crunchingautumnleaves Fri 09-Nov-12 18:08:48

Also, had a growth scan around 37wks that reckoned I was having an 11 pounds plus baby - a week later and my off the scale baby was just under 9 pounds, normal delivery at home and no tears or anything. It is very common to be inaccurate by plus or minus a pound, but as you can see, it can be a greater difference than that.

incyspider Fri 09-Nov-12 18:38:46

If it makes you feel any better I WAS engaged about 3/5 from 37 weeks but 12 hours before she was born she was completely free from the pelvis. So I don't think it's makes a difference.

DangerMousey Fri 09-Nov-12 22:15:09

Aw thanks guys that's reassuring! It's so stressful once to start thinking about these arbitrary numbers and figures! I will sit on my bith ball loads and hope that helps him move down. And will try to stop freaking about the size issue (see other thread I posted this arvo about my "enormous-baby"..!).

Hey chunkychicken good to hear from you and hope everything's going well for you too? How many days/weeks do you have left now? X

Chunkychicken Fri 09-Nov-12 22:53:40

Hey. I'm 38+4 so hoping it won't be long now!! Had a different pg to my DD's - more stressful definitely but despite feeling a bit worried about how I'll manage with 2, looking forward to meeting baby. Hope things continue to go well for you and you get to meet your LO soon. smile

PragmaticWench Sat 10-Nov-12 07:57:38

I'm also 37 weeks today and the baby isn't engaged at all either. It does worry me a little when other people say they're engaged already but my midwife isn't concerned at all so I'm telling myself to relax. Hope you can too!

As for the engaged part, I think some people are getting it the wrong way around, according to my pregnancy books. It's how many fifths of your baby's head can be felt above the edge of your pelvis. So 5/5 means that five-fifths of your baby's head can be felt and your baby hasn't dropped down yet. While 2/5 or less means that only two-fifths of your baby's head can be felt and your baby is almost completely engaged.

Chunkychicken Sat 10-Nov-12 08:58:20

PragmaticWench I converted my 'palpable' to engaged - so my DD was 4/5 palpable 1wk before she was born (i.e 1/5 engaged) and this baby was only 2/5 palpable at 37wks, so 3/5 engaged... Which, according to my pregnancy book, is officially classed as 'engaged' but as I said, it seems to be changing from day to day!!!

crunchingautumnleaves Sat 10-Nov-12 12:04:47

Pragmatic, some people may confuse palpable with engaged, but my baby's head really was 4/5ths engaged (only 1/5 could be felt by MW) for over 3 weeks shock

PragmaticWench Sat 10-Nov-12 17:11:03

Ah ha, people are smarter than me then!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 10-Nov-12 17:12:24

None of mine engaged - ever. Presumably they must have at some point but hours before I went into labour they hadn't.

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