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how far along is my niece.

By August 6, 2009 - 10:56am
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Well this is what i am saying she knows she had sex on the 26th of nov and her period was nov 15th the last day of her period and then she had a 2 day period on the 15th of dec now if i am right she concived on the 26th or a few days later right? And her Dr is trying to tell her that she is only 33 weeks preg, but she has been having horriable contractions and has lost her mucos plug and the baby is far down that the dr said she can feel the head but told us that she is not dialated and her cervics have not thened. She has only had sex one time and that was on the 26th of nov. Please help me i want to know is there any way the dr could be mistaken or am i just worried about it. I am my nieces Foster Mother. Please help. Thank you

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EmpowHER Guest

the doc dont know what he is talking about! they said the same thing to me!!! I knew when I got pregnant and they told me I was only 13 weeks when i knew I was 15 at the time. women hold babies in their uterus for different amount of times. sometimes it takes longer or shorter time for a fetus to finish growing. the doctor just bases when thebaby will be born on the size of the baby and then what parts are developed yet. They dont know shit it's all assumptions based on a chart of standards (what it should look like howbig is it, what can it do,etc). lol (seriously)

September 8, 2009 - 12:24pm

Thank you for your advice and its not that i want to proove them wrong not at all but if she were futher along then what they think and having these sign i think i could and she could rest better, And if she is only were they say she is then i just tend to worry that something is wrong maybe even if there is not i am a worry wart, But the answer to your questions she started taking prenatel care when she first found out she was pregnant and that was the end of Dec and baby seem to be ok with the weight like I said at her u/s about 4 and half weeks ago the baby weighed 3lbs. Thank you again for your help and advice it is greatly apreciated. I know I should not worrie so much but with her being so young and the baby being that low and well it just scares me.

August 6, 2009 - 1:36pm
(reply to granannie)

I'm so sorry you are scared. Do you feel that you and her are prepared for her labor & delivery if it does happen sooner-rather-than-later? It may help to have her bags packed and other things in order, so that you can feel as prepared as possible.

Whether your niece is 33 weeks or 37 weeks now, she is probably receiving great care, and you can continue advocating for her. The baby may be low for a while, and this can be OK, or she may deliver soon...and this can be OK, too. Women are having very healthy babies after 24-26 weeks of gestation. If she is further along and is 37 weeks, then she could be having a "full-term" delivery at close to 38 weeks which is considered ideal.

Have the doctors told her to rest better, since the baby is "so low"? The nurses and doctors will probably advise her conservatively (meaning, if she probably should rest, then they will tell her it is recommended, given her younger age and symptoms). She has not dilated yet, but loss of the mucous plug can mean that labor will most likely start within the next few weeks (or sooner), as this is an indicator of the cervix opening up.

Your niece sounds like she is doing well, the baby is at a healthy weight (the baby could probably be at least 4 pounds now, if s/he was 3 lbs. a month ago!). You are definitely not a worry wart---it is just going to be a stressful time for both of you. And, you would not be an "obnoxious patient advocate" to request her chart, if you are worried about this...it is quite normal and could put your mind at ease; a nurse could even talk you through it.

Best wishes, and please let us know how your niece is doing!

August 6, 2009 - 1:49pm

Does your niece trust her doctor in other ways? Is this the only person that ever checks her, or are there several doctors or nurse practitioners in the practice? When a woman is this far along (into the 3rd trimester) into her pregnancy, the health care professionals use many other means to determine EDD (estimated due date)...which tells us how far along in the pregnancy your niece is. One of the important ways is by ultrasound, measuring the baby, measuring the mom's belly, etc. Is she receiving these important prenatal exams and tests?

If she would answer yes to these: good, trustworthy doctors; good prenatal care...then I would also trust the doctors have a pretty good idea of how far along her pregnancy is. The four weeks that you are concerned about (November 15th or December 15th as being her LMP) would be a known factor this late in her pregnancy. There is a big difference in the size of the baby, development of the baby, as well as how big the mom's belly is (and many, many other factors), that the doctors would know about how far along she is. Has she been progressing through the pregnancy normally, with the predicted milestones? Did she hear the heartbeat at a certain week? Did she feel movement around a certain week?

I think what is even more important now to learn is: what does it mean for her and her baby if she delivers the baby now, or is on bedrest. It is possible to be 33 weeks pregnant, lose her mucus plug, and have contractions. Has her water broke yet? Do the doctors know how big the baby is (approx.)? Is she on bed rest?

Just to let you know---when I read your question, I thought I was reading my own story! I started strong contractions, lost the mucous plug, water broke (even though I was dilated)...all at just 33 weeks. The birthing education classes (has your niece gone to any of these? How old is she, by the way?) tell you that you may experience contractions called Braxton Hicks that should go away ("false labor"). Unfortunately, my contractions were real, and I did deliver my baby at 33 weeks gestation. Fortunately, though, he was in the NICU for just 2 weeks and was perfectly healthy. The doctors say that, for many woman, 32 weeks is the magic week they want woman to get past in their pregnancy if they are going to deliver a pre-term baby (although, full-term is ideal, obviously).

Again, if your niece's doctors, lab technicians, nurses...if they have all been providing excellent prenatal care, please trust them with the number of weeks gestation. If you have been questioning their care all along, is there another doctor in the practice that she can seek help from? Are you just worried because of her new condition, and now questioning everything..or, have you been questioning this from the start (and asking the doctors to clarify, too)?

August 6, 2009 - 12:04pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

She is 16 and i have been asking the nurses and the dr but they never give you a straight answer. But when she had her last u/s the baby weighed 3lbs and so. But when we talked to another nurse and explained to her that she new she had sex on the 26th ov Nov and never befor that or after that and on the 15th of Dec she only was bleeding for about 2days maybe even less she said that she is prob longer then what was on her chart but she did not wright it down. So when i took her yesterday to the dr that is when they told us that the baby was already in position but were hesatint to tell us if she were dialated or not but when i told them these are things i need to know she said that she was not and I asked if she lost her mucos plug and she thought that she was leaking fluids could she be ready to have the baby she did not give an answer and she did say they would check her to see if she was leaking fluids well I called them back and asked if they did the test and if she was leaking they said they did not do the test and that they never said they would. I did go to the same ob when I was pregant and loved it but I am worried that they are not listening to any thing we say and that she is further along or there is something wrong and they just are not saying. I know that if you have sex the sprem can only last up to 5 days. And if that is the case along with when she did have sex she is further along then what they are saying and it is not like she cant have a very small baby she is a very small person her self. I dont know what to do and we cant change dr because that is the only dr office that her insurance will pay for because she is under a goverment insurance.

August 6, 2009 - 12:30pm
(reply to granannie)

You sound like you are advocating well for your niece..she is lucky to have you.

Can you speak with the nurse again who said "she may be further along than what is in her chart" and stand there while she writes it down. Ask her a direct question: "What do the exams and tests suggest in her medical chart as to how far along her pregnancy is? 33 weeks? 37 weeks?" Again, this is possibly more important then pinpointing date of conception at this point. She has had 7-8 months worth of prenatal care that should provide more medical insight as to the health of her baby and pregnancy.

What about my other questions: has your niece hit the appropriate milestones at the appropriate times in her pregnancy? This will be even MORE important information than the exact time the fertilized egg was implanted. Do you have records when her prenatal appointments were, and at what week you think she was at (compared to the week the doctors have in her chart)? Somewhere this discrepancy will be obvious, as there are very distinct milestones regarding the development of the embryo and fetus, beyond just weight:
Week 8: 2 inches long
Week 13-16: 3 inches long, 1 ounce
Week 17-20: 5 inches long, 5 ounces
Week 24-26: fully formed organs, about 1.5 pounds
Week 33: 3 pounds, 15 inches long
Week 37: 4 3/4 pounds & lungs are fully developed
Last 12 weeks the fetus' weight triples and length doubles
You can read more about the fetal development at Baby Center

Your nieces medical chart is also her property, and she can request a copy of her chart, if you are still uneasy.

One question: what would you do differently if your niece is 37 weeks instead of 33 weeks along? If she has contractions, her water breaks...any of these symptoms of labor and deliver...regardless of the exact week she is in: wouldn't you do the same thing? Take her to the hospital each time? I'm just wondering why you need to prove the doctors and nurses right?

I do not understand why the doctors & nurses would be hesitant to tell you if she is dilated or not. Is your niece speaking up for herself, too? Since you had such a great experience with this team of doctors personally, I am surprised that they would not willingly provide updates after her physical exam to you and her. Your niece needs to ask while she is being checked for the nurse to explain step-by-step what she is doing, what she is checking for, and what she finds. If she does not understand, ask the nurse to repeat herself. You can bring a notepad and write down the answers, and ask the nurse to spell something if she mumbles. Your niece can also request a different nurse, and they are required to send another nurse to help.

Is your niece at the hospital now? What was the latest test they have done on her? They may not be able to tell you if she's going to have the baby or not, but it is within your right and duty to talk with a nurse or doctor and tell them the words you said to us: "I am worried that no one here is listening to me. I am worried that something is wrong and you are not saying anything. I am feeling like I can not trust you, and this scares me.". A doctor or nurse who is most sympathetic will listen to you---the best time to reach them is first thing in the morning and/or at the beginning of their shift. Do you have a nurse/doctor whom you can talk to (call and ask for this person's schedule).

Have the doctors said what condition her baby is in? Has she had a healthy pregnancy this entire time? Has her baby been at a good weight throughout? What do her medical records and tests and exams tell you from the previous 33 weeks?

I hope some of this information helps. I know you are scared and frustrated, so please let me know how we can help any further.

August 6, 2009 - 1:02pm
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