My baby is engaged! What does that mean?
Last year, it meant wedding bells on the horizon. Today, it means the baby has moved into the
pelvis, and you’re closer to giving birth.
The doctor said the baby does not have to be engaged for me to go into labor.
Yes, you can go into labor without the baby being engaged. But the baby cannot get through
the pelvis if it does not get into the pelvis to begin with.
That’s what labor is, pushing through.
If the baby is not engaged, you’ll spend hours more in labor trying to push the kid
down and then out. If the kid has already engaged, labor will be the standard six to
sixteen hours, unless he inherited your husband’s big head.
I’ve heard that’s when they get the vacuum cleaner out.
The vacuum is less risk than the forceps, which could dislocate a kid’s arm or cause
brain damage. Or having a C-section.
The only thing worse than having really long labor, is having a C-section afterward.
When the baby is engaged, the baby is around stage zero, plus or minus one. If the kid
is not engaged, the nurse says that is a minus two or minus three station.
So I want the baby at this point.
You’re way less likely to have a C-section if he’s engaged, and more likely to have
a shorter labor.
So I’m about to go into labor.
Most babies engage around week 38, and labor is normally week forty plus or minus two weeks.
You could drop the load this evening, or lug it around another month, but you better hope
he doesn’t dis-engage.
Does that ever happen?
If the mother goes into labor and the kid has not engaged, you’ll see the labor pause
when the kid drops into the pelvis. That’s when the body rests before the next big push.
Or a thousand pushes for that last few inches.
This is why they jokingly say you are pushing a bowling ball through a straw, and why no
one jokes when they call it labor.
So having the kid engage is a good thing.
In utero, yes, and any other time in the next eighteen years, heck no. There are women doing
hula hoops on a birthing ball, and open knee stretches trying to get their kid in that
The doctor says the kid is punching the bladder and kicking the diaphragm, so I do not think
it is breech. Then I’m glad I’m in this position.
That’s head down all right. Now get yourself to bed so you can catch up on sleep, because
you won’t get enough for the next six months.