Need Some Advice - Bountiful,UT

Updated on September 04, 2008
N.P. asks from Bountiful, UT
49 answers

I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with this kind of situation.

I have a friend who has been in a situation that none of us would ever want to be in. Her and her husband became pregnant with her first baby after much trying. They were so excited and looking forward to their new little girl. But she went into premature labor at about 33 weeks and delivered a stilborn baby. It was such a heartbreaking story. Quite a while after that, they were able to get pregnant again. She is now about 3 months along.

Her doctor is telling her that since she cannot carry a baby to full-term, she will have a C-section at 30 weeks.

Now....I'm no doctor or anything....but isn't that EXTREMELY premature? My other question is why do you think the doctor would do this? I know three other women that have had stilborns with their first babies. They went on to have regular pregnancies and regular deliveries. So this sounds like my friend may have other complications. But do any of you know what those could possibly be? I thought that when they pronounced a baby as stilborn, there was really no known cause as to why it passed away. If their was a known cause, the cause would have been spoken of. And even if the cord was wrapped around her neck, that doesn't mean that will always happen to your babies.

Anyway, I want to sensitively suggest that she get a second (and third and fourth) opinion. Right now I'm sure that she just wants a baby so badly that she will do whatever they tell her she needs to do. If she is prone to going into premature labor, they never decide to do a c-section to prevent it, right? Plus premature labor is not the cause of still birth. And if she were to go into labor, there's medicine and bedrest that can help keep the baby in longer than 30 weeks. Anyway, I just want to see if anyone has heard about this before, and what the validity could be with such a diagnosis. I want to be very sensitive to my friend. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Whew.... I found out that she has a condition. One where her uterus stops growing prematurely, and that is the reason she lost her first baby...before they knew of her disorder. An important detail! So she is being montitored closely and they will let her go as long as they can. Hopefully she can get a little farther. I was SO concerned for her! They take good care of preemies this day though. Thanks for ALL of your help and all of your responses! They really meant a lot and were great!

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J.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I've never had that type of situation, but one a little similar. I would suggest that she go to a dr. that specializes in high risk pregnancies. I know of a WONDERFUL dr. Let me know if I can be anymore help.

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T.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi N.-
I would recommend that she go to an infertility specialist. I realize that she is not infertal. My friend had years of miscarrages late in pregnancy. What they found was that she needed a horomone coctail everyday she took at home to be able to carry her babies full term. Her Dr. is in Ft. Collins Co. Hope this is an option. I would love to know how this all works out. T.

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D.G.

answers from Billings on

N., I want to say first of all, you must be one terrific friend!. Second, I want to say your fears are real. Sometimes there are causes known for a stillbirth, but not always. I have a cousin, Sandra, who tried unsuccessfully through 3 pregnancies to carry a baby full term. Her longest was 6 months. This was in the 1970s, and medical research and techniques have improved a lost in the past 30 years.
Yes, I do know of a case very similiar to your friend. A co-worker I had about 11 years ago...his wife was going through the same thing. First pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 4 months. The second, the baby was born at 26 weeks, and lived almost a week. Felecia was put on bedrest and in the hospital at 24 weeks. The third try was the charm. After bedrest and lots of monitoring, the dr. did a c-section at 30 weeks..a beautiful little boy who has thrived, who has grown to be one great kid. He also has a sibling now. I have heard that a baby born at 7 months has a stronger chance outside the womb than one born at 8 months does. Why, I don't know, other than there are a lot of complications in the 8th and 9th months for at risk moms and babies.
I know you want the best for your friend. This is what I would suggest....wait until after the 4 1/2 month mark. Then ask her if she might want to get a second opinion. Maybe she has things she is not sharing with you that her ob-gyn has discussed with her. It does not hurt to show your support, love, and encouragement.
Could you let me know how this turns out. You can email me at [email protected]____.com if you like. My prayers and good thoughts are with you and your friend. D.

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R.T.

answers from Colorado Springs on

There are several reasons to deliver a baby early. It has nothing to do with having a previous stillborn. There are a few conditions that it would be safer for the baby to be delivered than to be kept in mom. Severe Preeclampsia is the big one.

I'm a labor and delivery nurse and if she is in true pre-term labor most likely they won't be able to completly stop it. Usually the doctor and nurses will try to buy some time (a few days to a few weeks) and try to get some steriods on bord to help the baby's lungs. If her water has ruptured there is always the problem of delivering the baby before infection sets in.

Its tough to know exactly whats going on with out all the facts. A second opinion can never hurt. It sounds like you are a great friend!

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A.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

30 wks is pretty much the minimum for a reasonably healthy baby. My friend just delivered twins at 30 wks, so I did a little reading online. Anything before that, and there is a much greater risk of 'problems'.

At any rate, I would still suggest she get multiple opinions, or at the very least make sure she completely understands why/what her doctor is telling her (maybe she does??). I'm an online research guru (self-appointed :), and if it were me, I'd be checking out every web-site there is about my 'diagnosis'.

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J.L.

answers from Casper on

I've never heard of that situation, that doesn't mean that it hasn't happened to someone else. Your friend has every right to ask her doctor why he wants to do a c-section at 30 weeks. Her doctor needs to tell her all the reasons for a c-section not just that she can't carry a baby to term. If her doctor won't answer her questions she needs to find another doctor. She has the right to a 2nd, 3rd,and 4th opinion. If she doesn't agree with something she needs to tell her doctor that too. It's her body and her baby.

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A.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would tell her to go to a high risk OB and get a second opinion. I would think at 30 weeks they would have her come in for weekly appts to make sure everything was okay and if she didn't feel movement come in. I wouldn't think they would automatically say c-section. They are still so small and need time in the womb at 30 wks. Yes they can survive out of the womb, but why do it if its not necessary. Definately tell her to get a second and maybe even a third opinion.

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M.H.

answers from Boise on

HI,
I have had to have 2 c-sections. The first was an emergency c-section and my second the twins were not in position to deliver. The doctors know more than they tell us, and your friend may know more than she is telling you. There could have been a reason why the baby was born stillborn and that is one reason why the doctor is recommending a c-section, a doctor would not suggest taking a baby early if there were not other complications, and the other is the hard time your friend has for getting pregnant. The doctor may be trying to make it so that she can have a baby. My suggestion is to comfort your friend and pray for her, she needs all the support she can get and all the excitement for being pregnant again.

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M.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Absolutely she needs to get another opinion!!! There is no reason why you would want to have a c-section at 30 weeks unless it was absolutely medically indicated due to poor maternal or fetal health. She should seek the advice of a perinatologist or at least another obgyn. If her doctor says she cannot carry a baby to term, then she definitely should be in the care of a perinatologist (a doctor who sees high risk mothers) so that he can monitor her and the baby, give her recommended treatments like bedrest, potentially give steriods prior to the birth to help with lung development, etc. I am a nurse and I see far too many premature babies with long lasting, life-long complications of prematurity. My niece was recently born at 27 weeks and spent 100 days in the NICU. She was extremely lucky that she did well, but it was a horribly rough start for a family!!! Please recommend that she seek another opinion!

As far as why her doctor would recommend this, I can't imagine. I don't think that any insurance company would pay for an elective c-section at that early of a gestational age, it would be ethically wrong to inflict months of nicu stays on a baby/parent, etc. I wonder if she misunderstood, and he said she would have to go on bedrest at 30 weeks and possibly need a c-section due to a prior c-section?

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J.M.

answers from Provo on

N.,

A very good and close friend of mine delivered a stillborn at full term, but has gone on to have two full term healthy babies. Most of the time there is no "medical" explanation for a still born baby. Many times it is due to the fact that the baby is no longer vital and the body has realized that and needs to end the pregnancy. Also, the fact that the cord is around the babies neck is not the cause. As long as the cord is still attached to the mother, whether the baby is in or out of the uterus, the baby is still receiving oxygen through the cord and does not need to use, or may not be using, it's lungs to breath. My most recent baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck three times and he never experienced any trouble with lacking oxygen. While in the uterus the fact that the cord is around the neck is irrelevant to how well the baby will do during and after delivery, or even if the baby will make it full term. I think you should gently suggest that your friend receive multiple opinions. She may very well be able to carry a baby full term unless there are obvious reasons why not. I hope the very best for you as her friend and for her in fulfilling her desire to be a mother.

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L.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would absolutely urge her to get second and third and fourth opinions. I have never heard of such a thing. It sounds like the doctor is covering his butt in case it happens again. Delivering at 30 weeks is going to cause a whole set of new problems for the baby. How does he know that she can't carry a baby to term? If the baby was dead before birth it was her body's way of terminating the pregnancy. Good luck! Let us know what happens.

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J.M.

answers from Boise on

My heart goes out to your friend, but I am happy to hear that she is expecting again! With the C section, I really would think that is normal. Depending on the complications of the first baby, the doctor may have determined that a C section is the safest route. I myself was a C section after 26 hours of delivery for failure to progress, and during the C-section they discovered my baby's umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. Because of this my doctor has given me the choice, I can try for normal delivery, or I can have another C section. Did your friend have a C section when she delivered her stillborn? This could also be the reason. Also, with her being such high risk, the C section might just be the more controlled option... and the doctor might want to have as much control as possible in the delivery room with her history. While it does seem that 30 weeks is early, I can't help but think there must be a reason for it. Also the baby really does have a good chance of survival in the NicU at 30 weeks....past 28 they are able to save babies born that early. I know my friend had major complications with 2 of her 3 pregnancies, and was told that they would C section the baby (again because there were too many variables with a natural birth that could not be controlled) anywhere from 30 to 36 weeks, so I know it happens. Also your friend could have other complications you are unaware of, Gestational diabetes, Toxemia, or detached placenta, all of which could cause the doctor to C section early and not take the chance things could go downhill fast if he waited. I would of course ask your friend if she has asked for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion, because it certainly cannot hurt. You are such a good friend to care this much, and she is lucky to have you. One thing to remember is your friend is most likely tiptoeing around EVERYDAY thinking though and re-thinking through every decision she makes worrying if it is right for her baby. I would think the worry would be crippling…be careful not to plant seeds of doubt in her mothering abilities as she is most likely scared they are not where they should be anyways (which is not true, but I know I could not help but feel that way if I were in her situation). I hope this helps!

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F.N.

answers from Denver on

I would suggest you are open with your friend, let her know that you think (and others) that sounds crazy. Ask her to please share with you her Dr's plans-
Are they doing Nonstress tests, stress tests, Biophysical profiles etc.. These tests would help determine if and when the baby starts to have any problems. I am sure they have more specific tests to help. If she had a still born due to RH- factor they due tend to induce early to protect the baby from Mom's body. But thaty is normally closely monitered.
With my youngest daughter I had nonstress tests weekly-due to gestitional Diabetes (had GD with all 3 kids), she was doing fine. I ened up being scheduled early for a C/S-placenta privia (one day before 38 weeks)because I wanted him to due the C/S before his vacation. I went for an amnio Mon morning and found out my fluid was extremly low, they could not due the test. I was sent to the hospital for more tests and the baby was fine. I was being released, to keep sceduled C/S date. I went potty before leaving and had started bleeding so I was worked into the O/R schedule. Extremely low fluid, bleeding placenta, and cord around her neck twice, time to have a baby. Even with all of these things, there was no cause for 'panic'.

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D.J.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Wow, scary is my first response. But I have been through a similar situation. The doctor can give your friend medication to make sure the baby is developed enough at delivery. There may be other high risk factors he is worried about. I was glad they delivered my son early after losing my daughter. The thought of even approaching the same number of weeks were stressful. My doctor did and awesome job and my son is quite healthy and happy.

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S.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi N., it looks like you've gotten a lot of good responses already. I'll try not to repeat, but have some experiences that may be helpful.
My first baby was stillborn at 20 weeks - she had Turners syndrome (a genetic disorder). My next pregnancy ended in a early miscarriage at about 9 weeks. My third pregnancy I had a healthy baby girl, who had to be delivered Csection since she was breech. My 4th pregnancy I delivered a healthy baby boy, and had a successful VBAC with no complications!
So my point, each pregnancy is different. She might have a condition that causes her to deliver early and then the doctor might be right. Or it might have been an isolated event with that pregnancy or the condition of that baby, and future pregnancies may be totally fine! I definitly think she needs a second opinion. I think that even if she does have a condition that causes her to deliver early, she should take it day by day with frequent monitoring - if 30 weeks rolls around and everything is still fine, then maybe she can wait longer. I don't think the idea of planning a section at 30 weeks sounds wise - or it should at least be reassessed at that time. And if she wants to do a VBAC, there are docotors and hospitals that will do it. It wasn't an issue at all with my MD - but that's partially because of the circumstances around my previous Csection - it wasn't because I physically couldn't deliver the baby, it was becasue my daughter was breech - but my son wasn't.
I hope this made sense, and is a little bit helpful. Just tell your friend that you care about her and the baby, and you want what's best for them - then gently make some suggestions, or ask her more details on her stillborn baby.
Having had a stillborn baby, I know that I always desire to talk about her, but is not something to just bring up casually. But when people ask, I am always willing to share, and enjoy the chance to tell my baby's story. I know that is not true for everyone, but I think it is for a lot of people. It's nice to know that other people remember and acknowledge my first baby too, even though they never met her.
Good luck!
S.

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M.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I think that you are asking some great questions out of sincere concern for your friend. Any baby delivered before 37 weeks risks complications - these need to be weighed against what happened when her other baby died. It's not an easy answer. As a mother who lost a baby at 20 weeks I think that you are doing the right thing by acknowledging her fears and listening. Some things that I consider now that I am again 20 weeks pregnant - my last experience is different from this one, I want the best care for my baby and myself and I have to weigh what that is, I try not to engage this pregnancy from fear - there is fear and then there is what is happening now and what is happening now is ok - everything is fine - I work with my fear so it doesn't take over my pregnancy. I appreciate my doctor - Dr. Branch for not being overly paranoid. He is an expert with women with pregnancy loss and he is very reasoned in his approach - not into a bunch of unnecessary tests and interventions unless I ask for them. He informs me of the choices before me - makes sure to educate me well and then lets me decide. Ultimately as her friends\ let her know you love and support her no matter what she chooses, encourage her to think through her decisions from a clear place, not from fear and share with her your concerns about cesarean at 30 weeks, acknowledging that they are yours.

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E.G.

answers from Grand Junction on

Glad she has a thoughtful friend asking questions on her behalf. I'm sure you will get some great and wise advise. Liz G

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T.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would definitely encourage her to get a second opinion, since there are a lot of risks to giving birth so early (respiratory issues, incomplete lung development). It can never hurt to get a second opinion. I hope she'll consider it.

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A.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi N.,
A second opinion from a high risk OG-GYN is a great idea, any reputable physician will welcome another opinion. If your friend is told the same thing by another Dr., 30 weeks is not SO early that the baby would have a lot of complications. Yes, the baby will be small, but they will give your friend steroids to help mature the babies lungs and the baby most likely will be fine. Good luck!
A.

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M.W.

answers from Fort Collins on

N.,

I feel as you do that this young lady needs to get a second opinion.
I am 59 years old and have never heard of a doctor suggesting such a thing.
A second opinion never hurts anyway in any medical situation.
Just tell her that you feel this doctor is not correct in his judgement on her pregnancy and feel as her friend that you should say something.
And yes you are right that with most premature labor you are put on bed rest and given medicine to stop the labor.
It is never a given that premature labor is immenent.
Good luck dear and I will pray for your friend.

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N.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Well your friend should be going to a high risk OB in the first place. Now WE are no doctors...so if it IS that she has to have a C-section at 30 weeks, I'm sure the doctor knows what he is doing. If your friend is following blindly then, hell yes tell her to get a second opinion. Clearly she knows her situation, and has consulted with the doctor and that was what they needed to do to have a baby. Babies delivered at 30 weeks have an extremely higher chance of surviving today then 15-10 and even 5 years ago.

C.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

If they could find no reason for the stillborn, then it is HIGHLY unlikely that it will happen again.

If her baby was stillborn due to her premature labor (premature babies do not tolerate labors as well as full term babies), then she can look into other options, such as cervical clerage: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/c...

C. M., CBE, CLD, MWA
www.westsidebirthconnection.com
###-###-####

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C.B.

answers from Denver on

The other women responding have given great advice and I agree with them. As the mother of a healthy 29 week preemie, I just want to emphasise that you definitely don't want to put a baby through all the medical risks and procedures that follow such an early birth, unless it is absolutely necessary! Delivery at such an early age is a big risk and a trauma to the baby, so do your best to sensitively learn if she has really explored all options. My own opinion is that no decision this dramatic should be made without consulting at least three specialists. Prematurity, while better than some other options, has the potential to affect a baby profoundly, and this plan you describe should be done only with great research and understanding of the various factors.

One other suggestion: I lost my second baby at 5 months gestation, and my third baby in an early miscarriage. By the time my fourth pregnancy came around I was a wreck! I can testify that the fear of losing a pregnancy can sometimes cloud your judgement, so it is good to have a competent support system off of which you can bounce fears, concerns, questions, and ideas. If you two are close, it sounds like you can be an important part of this support system for her. Please update and let us know what happens!

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

I would say, your friend has gone through a very traumatic time. Why is it she cannot carry a child to term? That is the biggest question there. There has to be some underlying medical reason, stillbirth aside, like something else going on that her Dr is aware of.
Babies can and do survive after being delivered at 30 weeks, it is not the safest bet but they do. A lot of multiples deliver early and are fine after NICU care and a long stay in the hospital.
Some women have weak uteruses, where they baby cannot sustain after they grow to a specific size. There is issues that can take place with the placenta. I am not sure all of the reasons but that is obviously what is going on.
If the baby before had the cord wrapped and that was the cause, then of course that isn't a guarantee it will happen again, but sounds like there is a reason medically she cannot carry and maybe just doesn't want to discuss it. If you are very close to her, then politely ask if she minds you asking about it. Don't alarm her though as I am sure she has thought of all the bad scenarios herself.
If you feel your friend has researched and trusts her Dr, just be there for her. She probably has covered every avenue to ensure she has a healthy baby and this is a very stressful time for her. Getting another opinion may confirm or change what can happen, but that has to be between her and her husband.
She just needs you to be there and support what she is going through.

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S.G.

answers from Cheyenne on

Well, I have no medical background whats0ever, so please take this with a grain of salt, but one question keeps coming up in my mind. Why would you schedule a c-section at 30 weeks (thus premature) to prevent a premature birth? I don't get it...that just doesn't make sense to me. To keep her from delivering at 33 weeks, they are going to deliver her at 30? Isn't that even worse? And I can understand the need for a c-section or whatever because of complications or the baby not being able to handle the labor process prematurely, but in the event that she goes into labor early, can they not to an emergency c-section then? This just sounds so strange to me. I like the idea that someone else had about just asking why the doctor said she couldn't carry to full term and letting the conversation flow naturally from there. She's already somewhat invited you into the situation by telling you what the doctor said in the first visit. Maybe she was looking for reassurance from you that it was a bit unorthodox sounding? Whatever you do, just be understanding and don't make her feel bad for whatever she does decide, even if you don't agree with her. (if she says she doesn't want a 2nd opinion for example) I'm sure with everything she has been through, she is doing research like mad to find out what's best for the baby already. I hope it turns out well!!

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A.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

first of all, your friend may have misunderstood. The doctor may have meant that 30 weeks was their minimum goal. She should ask her doctor for clarification. Second, from my experience most hospital won't let a doctor do a c section on a preemie for no reason. I think their would have to be an approval from some kind of board, which I would imagine would mean that a least one other doctor would have to think it was necessary. But like i said, she really should just ask her doctor about it...why he said it, did he mean something else, stuff like that.

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L.E.

answers from Provo on

there really could be many reasons. i would first ask your friend why she cannot carry full term. i have conditions that i don't usually tell people about unless they ask, some of which are not very well understood by doctors either. for example, i didn't dilate with my first two babies. it could be the endometriosis, it could be the position of my uterus, or something completely different. then the amniotic fluid level drops so fast when i get past the due date that i can't be induced. so i've had 2 c-sections. and now i have adenomyosis, which is the lining of the uterus growing into the uterine wall. as the disease progresses, the chances decrease for the uterus holding the baby full term or even for a fertilized egg to attach. so i was pretty nervous about the success of my current pregnancy. i have a scheduled c-section for these reasons. yes, 30 weeks sounds pretty early to me, but my point is that there are many possible reasons. if the reasons don't make sense, i think it's ok to suggest she get a second opinion.

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L.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I haven't heard of this before. It seems very odd. I would switch doctors. A good diet is what really prevents complication in a lot of cases. I'm trying to think of a good resource to give them confidence in the natural process. Maybe a SHARE or the Compassionate Friends meeting would help. They are support groups for those who've lost a child.

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L.C.

answers from Pocatello on

I am sure there are reasons why the doctor would induce labor that we don't know about, but with this kind of planning, the baby is sure to healthy. I knew a woman who couldn't carry her babies full-term and they just planned for an early delivery giving the baby steroids so that she was healthy and had developed lungs at the time of birth. I wish your friend the best of luck.

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J.P.

answers from Las Vegas on

N., I strongly encourage her to have another opinion. Do you know if an autopsie was done? Delivering a stillborn baby after 33 weeks has nothing to do with anything. Sometimes babies die. If this person would have been delivered by C Section at 30 weeks, he or she still would have died. Our maker is in charge of all that. I have had 3 premature babies and one stillborn. One preemie son was born at 26 weeks, he lived for 9 hours. Another son born at 32 weeks is 19 years old today. Another son was born at 25 weeks, he was in the hospital a long time. He is now 14. It is soooo hard having preemies. I strongly don't recommend it. God gave us a uterus to keep the baby in as long as possible. It is much better than an isolet in the NICU. By the way a baby born at 30 weeks gestation weighs about 3 pounds

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M.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

N.,
I know this topic is very sensitive. I personally have had two children premature. I don't reccommend it in any way. My first of the two was almost born at 22 weeks. They gave me medication to stop my labor. I was on a strict bed rest after that and had a lot of help with my two older children. I was in and out of the hospital with monitoring at home. My second child on bed rest was worse than the first. I almost had her at 20 weeks. They stopped the labor and had me stay in the hospital for 2 weeks with tons of medication. I did monitoring with her at home and another strict bedrest. I ended up with a medication pump to keep the medication in my system. I will spare you all the details. I did have the healthiest babies out of all the premature babies they had there. I was very blessed. However, I did exactly what my doctors said.
I don't know much about the still born part of this. My children were both born at 35 weeks. Both ended up in the hospital for a week with tubes and such.
I was told that after 36 weeks the baby is out of danger with the brain and organs having problems. Anything born before that the baby is in a ton of danger.
By the way, I just had a friend have a baby at 27 weeks. The doctors could not stop her labor and the baby was coming out feet first. They did an emergency c-section. She weighed 1 lb 7 ounces. She is in danger. Her life hangs in the ballance. If she does live they don't know what kind of life she is going to have. Time will tell what kind of damage has been done.
The parents are in an emotional state I can't describe.
Please if you can, try to change her mind. I have been through so much heart ach and pain. I can't imagine having a baby on purpose at 30 weeks. Do some research and ask specialist - HIGH RISK DOCOTRS, ask anyone for information about the risks of having the baby that early. IF you give her facts and just let her know how concerned you are hopefully things will go okay with her. You have to try.
Good Luck! Keep us posted.

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K.D.

answers from Salt Lake City on

She either isn't providing you with the details or her doctor isn't providing her with them. There are so many variables. Next time you talk to her, I would just ask, "Out of curiosity, why is it exactly that your doctor thinks you can't carry full-term?" If she says, "I don't know." Then I would say, "You know you can always get a second opinion from another doctor." and the conversation will go from there. If she gives you reasons, then you can just ask if she's researched it, etc to see if there are other options. If she doesn't want to get into why he suggests an early delivery, then I would just let it go and hope and pray that everything works out this time.

It just seems that right now you don't have enough information to just tell her outright that she needs to find a new doctor.

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C.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I went into premature labor, my son was born at 26 weeks at 1 pound 2 ounces, this was in 1978 he's 30 now and healthy, THey weren't sure if my other pregnancy would be full term or not But it was and I had no problems so I would have your friend get a 2nd opinion as it is possible to go full term however if she does do into premature labor she should still be able to have a healthy baby!!!! hope this helps mom of a preemie...

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J.O.

answers from Denver on

I have a healthy 7 year old son who was born at 30 weeks by emergency C-section because of pre term labor that actually caused me to have heart failure so they took him to save both of our lives. 30 weeks is very common, there were even babies in the NICU then(7 years ago) who were 24 weeks and up. Thinking back to some of the other cases, I know there were some that the moms body would start fighting off the pregnancy like it was an infection or something so they would have to take the baby early. I am sure your friend's doctor knows what is going on. It is always good to get 2nd opinions though.

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M.O.

answers from Denver on

Please tell her! My first son was born at 26 weeks because of a placental abruption (no idea why). He was so tiny and only lived for 3 days. My angel for life!! After that experience I made sure my next doctor was someone who knew about complicated pregnancies. My second son was born at 33 weeks (water broke for no reason) He was 4lbs.3oz. and 13 inches long. He was was in the NICU for 9 days and I was so scared for him. He is now 13!! (Yikes I have a teenager) Knowing that I had a history of pre-term labor made having my third son a little different. Instead of pre-term labor I spent 2 months on bedrest and carried to term. He is now 11. Not once did my doctor say or do anything but keep that baby in there as long as possible. I can't imagine having a baby at 30 weeks unless the baby is in distress or the mom is having life threatening complications. After all that I went and decided to have a Girl! That pregnancy was a little different but I had complications at 35 weeks and they did NOT deliver her because her lungs were not ready and I spent the following month resting and keeping an eye on my blood-pressure (I was pre-eclamptic and very puffy.)She is now 5. With all that being said and knowing what I know now I would make sure that your friend sees a doctor that is sensitive to her history and that they keep a week to week check on her from the point where she had complications. A baby born at 30 weeks is tiny and very fragile and anything can happen I would not want to her experience the days or weeks of her baby in the hospital. The worst thing is going home without your baby and waiting for the day to come when the doctors say you can take him/her home. Best wishes for your friend and you. M.

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C.H.

answers from Denver on

second opinion! The guy sounds like a quack.

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H.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

It is hard to give much feedback without knowing more of her medical situation, but it does sound a bit odd. You are right that most still births are isolated events, but there are a few situations where it might be more likely to repeat and this may be the case with your friend. The odds of a baby surviving at 30 weeks are very good, but it certainly isn't ideal and there could be some serious repercussions so this is a judgment call that needs to be made carefully with all the information available.

As her friend I think it could be helpful for you to talk with this woman, asking some probing questions perhaps and see if she is aware of all of her options. Getting some other opinions can be quite helpful and really can't hurt. You might offer to help advocate for her, attending her appointments with her and helping her to ask the right questions. A lot of people get nervous and feel rushed when they are actually in the doctor's office and could use the help of someone less emotionally involved to be their advocate and ensure they get really excellent care.

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P.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Wow. I feel for her. If I were her friend, I would strongly encourage her to be treated by a high-risk pregnancy specialist. I don't know enough about the medical aspects to judge whether she's getting the best available medical advice, but I'd want to make sure she was getting best available.

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K.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

i had a neighbor who had the same problem and was told the same thing. Because she listened, she has two healthy boys. Your friend will be ok

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M.B.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi, I don't have any experience with a stillborn pregnancy, but I would definetly suggest a 2nd opinion. I have however, had a baby born at 30 weeks. She was 2 lbs and pretty healthy considering her weight. She is now 10 years old and doing amazing. The medical field is amazing and what they can do with these premies. It is a long road tho. I know that there are other things that can be done out there to prolong a pregnancy, and keep the baby healthy, I would suggest a second opinion for sure!!!

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A.H.

answers from Provo on

I know you have more than enough replies on this topic, but as the mother of a baby born at 30 weeks and a woman who has had two high-risk pregnancies, I have a few words of advice for your friend.

First, a second opinion is always helpful. Because of my complications, my doctor sent me to a perinatologist, a specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. There I received lots of ultrasounds to track the baby's growth and development, as well as my own health. My doctor even consulted other OB/GYNs for advice. A good doctor will encourage a specialist's help.

Secondly, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for a preemie these days. I was first admitted in the hospital at 23 weeks and given a round of steroids to develop the baby's lungs in case he were to come that early. I also have a book that has helped answer a lot of questions for me - Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies by Dana Wecshler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, and Mia Wechsler Doron.

Yes, there are lots of concerns at having a baby born this early, namely lung problems. But generally a baby born at this point will only need a high-flow nasal canula or perhaps a ventilator for a few days (our little boy was on it for 3 weeks, but that is very extreme). A baby born at this point has an amazing chance of survival.

My final bit of advice I learned from our perinatologist. It is best for a baby to stay in the womb as long as possible. However, there comes a point (especially in a high-risk pregnancy) where the baby is actually better off outside the womb. The trick is finding that point. So if your friend's doctor(s) feel that she should deliver at 30 weeks, than it is probably for the best. My doctor was hoping we could keep our little boy in until 36 weeks and then he was going to deliver him c-section. However, our little boy had different plans. After 7 weeks of bedrest, he was ready to be born. My doctor tried to stop the labor 2 times, but finally felt he needed to come. After our baby's birth, we found that there were further complications than what we were originally aware of, and had our little boy stayed in any longer, he would have been born incredibly sick and most likely would not have survived. However, because he was born when he was, and thanks to an amazing NICU staff and lots of medical attention, our little boy is now 5 months old and is growing and developing at a normal rate. He has a chance of developing asthma due to his lung problems at birth (again, his problems were abnormal for his gestation, and therefore your friend may not have to even deal with what we went through), but that seems such a small price to pay to have him here, and so little in comparison to the problems he could have had.

It is scary to have a preemie. Trust me, I know! We experienced a lot of heartache watching our little boy struggle through his first months of life. But thanks to modern medicine and some amazing doctors and nurses, we witnessed a miracle. If I had to go through this pregnancy all over again, knowing what I now know, I would! Our little boy is so worth it!!

So encourage your friend to get all the medical help she can. But in the end, if the baby is born early and that's what the doctors feel is best, don't worry about it. That baby will be well taken care of!

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S.L.

answers from Fort Collins on

N.,

First of all, your friend is lucky to have a friend who cares enough about her and her baby to ask some questions. It is sad, but many people in this country are rarely willing to question what their doctors say. Doctors promise safety, and we simply fall in line. She is obviously so fearful that she is not currently capable of questioning her doctor.

This doctor's recommendation is not only outrageous, it is also EXTREMELY dangerous to the baby. 30 weeks is very premature for a baby to be born. Yes, the often survive, but they may be permanently damaged. She is looking at causing (yes, causing!) body and brain damage by allowing her child to be forced out of her womb before it is ready for bith. Just because we are capable of keeping babies alive prematurely on ventilators with tube feedings does not mean that this is in their best interests. And by the way, 1/3 of babies are born with the cord looped around the neck, that is why doctors ask you to stop pushing after you deliver the head. Ideally, they will slip the cord loop off the head. Many doctors have unfortunately lost the knack of this, so it becomes a big emergency. Normally, unless you have an extremely short cord, or unless the baby barrells out, the cord being wrapped around the neck is not a big deal during birth. As far as the cord wrapping or knotting in the womb, that is a big deal, but it is a random happening. It is not genetic, and there is no reason to believe it will happen again.

My best friend went through a similar situation - she had placental abruption (the placenta ruptured away from the uterus, depriving her baby of oxygen and nutrients, and causing dangerous hemmorage in the mother) and her baby was delivered at 33 weeks. Her daughter also had a heart problem and passed away at 28 days old. It was tragic, but her second daughter was delivered at 42 weeks, weighing 8lb, 12 oz and healthy as a horse.

If your friend is so fearful of her baby's health - and who among use wouldn't be - she needs to understand the extreme complications that she is looking at by allowing herself to undergo surgery at 30 weeks. The baby will be very premature, the chances of her breastfeeding are slim (which then inceases the chances of health problems in both her and her child). Also, as many hospitals are banning VBAC, and many doctors are no longer willing to do it anyway, she will probably be facing repeat cesareans with any future births, again along with increased chances for complications in pregnancy and surgery.

This path is VERY dangerous. Your friend has nothing to lose by simply talking to another obstetrician. I don't know what area you are in, but I have heard good things about Dr. Warren James and Dr. Elizabeth Serniak in Fort Collins. Ther perinatologists at Children's Hospital in Denver are awesome. The best thing I would think you could do is to help your friend understand the dangers of delivering a baby so prematurely. She is so frightened that her child might not survive, that she is risking permanent developmental disabilities for her child. Remind her that there is NOTHING to lose by simply talking to another doctor, and she may save her child a lifetime of trouble.

Best of luck,
S.

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D.F.

answers from Pueblo on

My sister-in-law had her one and only baby at 7 months stillborn. She never tried again. BUT, she also had some age and weight issues against her.

In your friend's case? Just politely tell her you're concerned the doctor is looking for an easy way out...that many do things as he has suggested as a form of convenience to them, not the parents. Then suggest a high-risk doctor as a second opinion.

Just off of what you've said here, it is an odd situation. Why is she being told she can't carry to term? Why is the doctor dead set that a c-section will need to be performed at 30 weeks? I think that usually they like to put mothers on bed rest, possibly even in the hospital, and monitor them each week. When premature labor is present, they try to stop it. I just don't understand what the issue is here...though I also realize it's only a partial story. Something you've already alluded to, as well.

I wish you and your friend both the best of luck. Different reasons, but still luck.

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J.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

PLEASE ENCOURAGE HER TO GET ANOTHER OPINION!!! There is no reason to take a baby that early unless someone's life is in danger--not just based on speculation. Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from Denver on

Hi. I'm an OB/GYN physician in Brighton. I don't know your friends' history, more than what you gave, but it sounds like planning to deliver her at 30 weeks is extreme. I would definitely encourage a 2nd opinion, especially if her doctor is a Family Practice doc. We would start monitoring her twice a week with non-stress tests (NST's) at 30 weeks, but she wouldn't necessarily need to be delivered prematurely if the baby looks okay. Hope this helps.

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J.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

that is really premature. normal is 40 weeks! there are so many things that aren't fully developed until 36 weeks. my first son was 4 weeks early and there were some complications where they put me on bed rest and they wanted me to get to at LEAST 36 so the lungs would be more developed. so yeah, a 2nd opinion would be good!

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L.W.

answers from Provo on

I echo the advice of her seeing a perinatalogist. If she is considered "high risk" which she sounds to me, then her doctor can write a referral for her to see one. They do tests to try to figure things out and regularly check on the baby. They also keep in contact with her regular doctor. Sometimes they can find a reason for premature babies (a protein is sometimes visible, or a tilted uterus is the cause) and other times babies just come early (in my case) and there's nothing that could have prevented it.

I also agree that the doctor can just be trying to give her a baby. If she's not sure why the doctor is telling her to "deliver" at 30 weeks, then she should ask. My doctor usually tells me anything I ask him; although he doesn't always volunteer information. Finally, it is ultimately her choice. She should know that there is nothing wrong with switching doctors (as long as she gives him/her the full run-down of her history) to find someone she's comfortable with, but she may be happy with her doctor. Good luck, and I hope to hear how everything goes. She just needs good strong, emotional support right now for whatever she chooses.

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T.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

There is sometimes a condition with pregnant woemen where they have certain antibodies in their blood that begins to destroy the placenta. This sometimes causes premature labor and still born babies, so the doctors do a c section early to prevent the placenta from being destroyed and the baby being still born. They have to make sure they deliver the baby early enough before the antibodies start killing the placenta. Even at 30 weeks, a baby has great chances of surviving.

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S.P.

answers from Great Falls on

I'll tell you about a girl I knew who was born at 25 1/2 weeks. She spent two months in an incubator and went home at a heathly weight. There was nothing wrong with this girl. She thrived and is heathly adult.

Guess what? I'm that little girl. I have a happy ending. I think now-a-days that a baby born in the hospital at 30 weeks can be healthy. Also, I believe that if God wants the child to be born, she/he will be.

My sister lost a baby at a few weeks, it was horrible but less than a year later she had a healthy girl.

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