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Jane Seymour's Premature Birth?
January 31, 2011
10:00 pm
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MegC
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So, I was just searching around looking for some trivial piece of information when I stumbled on a website claiming that Edward was born prematurely.

Of course, it's easy to figure this out:  Clearly the Queen's pregnancy was kept pretty hush-hush until it was determined that she really was with child and not just missing her period (I would assume this was usually not until quickening occurred).

So…does anyone know when first mention is made of Jane Seymour's pregnancy publicly to the Court?  Since Edward was born in October, if he was anywhere close to full-term then Jane should have gotten pg in January.  I would imagine the EARLIEST that her pregnancy would have been publicly mentioned (especially with all the previous miscarriages in Henry's life) would have been March-ish?

I could look all this up, but I feel lazy right now and I'm hoping someone has an idea off the top of his/her head, or can lay hands on a reference book immediately to find this info (many of my books are currently in boxes).

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

February 1, 2011
9:51 am
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Sharon
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In Starkey's, Six Wives, he states, “on 23 May her pregnancy was known at Court…”    “In mid-July, Jane, then six months pregnant, was eating quails for dinner.”  Jane went into confinement on Sept 16.  She delivered Edward at 2am, October 12th.

February 1, 2011
11:45 am
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MegC
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Thanks for looking that up for me, Sharon.  If it's not on my Kindle, it's packed up.  

If she was 6-months pregnant in July, then she would have gotten pregnant in January…

So that's right on schedule.  He might have been a couple of weeks early, but he wasn't “premature” by anyone's standards.  

Besides, it's not like they had the sophisticated measuring techniques that we have now.  October 12th could have been right on time.

Of course, Starkey may also be assuming that Edward was born on time and reasoning that July would have been her 6th month of pregnancy.  But for all accounts of his birth, Edward seemed healthy and I don't recall hearing any kind of reports of him suffering from the typical maladies that many preemies experience (breathing difficulties, jaundice, etc.).  I mean, my son was born at 36 weeks which is just barely considered premature and he had some pretty serious breathing problems.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

February 1, 2011
1:01 pm
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Sharon
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You are welcome Meg.  I am sitting here with plenty of time on my hands while waiting for the second part of that huge storm to hit us. It's funny you should say that about your Kindle. I decided to put my novels on Kindle from now on and buy the nonfiction books for my shelves.  I was running out of room for everything. God forbid we should ever have to move.  I'd go crazy if my books weren't at my fingertips.  I don't envy all the packing and unpacking that you will be dealing with.

I don't know about Edward having been premature.  It sounds as though his birth was right on time.  If he was early, it was only by days, certainly not weeks which is what is considered to be premature.  He was definitely a healthy new born.  I wonder if premature babies even had a chance of a healthy life in that time period?

February 1, 2011
5:45 pm
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MegC
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Well, as Prince he certainly would have had access to all the best doctors and midwives and medicines available, but if he'd been born with a pneumothorax or anything like that, I just can't see him surviving.  And premature white baby boys frequently have difficulties with lung problems even if they're only a little premature because their lungs are absolutely the LAST thing to finish developing.  I just can't imagine that if he was anymore than 3 weeks early that he would have survived–maybe but it would have been rough and someone would have written something about it.  I mean, we know about all the rest of Henry's stillborns, premature births, and miscarriages.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

February 2, 2011
10:45 pm
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Bella44
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Hmm, i've never heard that Edward was born prematurely.  I have read that Jane had a very long and difficult labour so maybe that's where they're getting mixed up, 'cos there's nothing to indicate that Edward himself wasn't healthy. 

February 2, 2011
11:07 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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MegC said:

And premature white baby boys frequently have difficulties with lung problems even if they're only a little premature because their lungs are absolutely the LAST thing to finish developing. 


Ah yes, the “wimpy white boy” syndrome! Seriously. I'm a respiratory therapist working in a children's hospital and they're not quite sure why boy preemies do worse than girls, and whites do worse than minorities. So, theoretically, a black girl preemie survives more often and with fewer problems than a white boy preemie.
And yes, the lungs are the last to finish developing, by producing a substance called surfactant, that keeps their lungs from completely collapsing and sticking together every time they exhale. If they can delay the premature labor, they'll give the mother steroids, as that will stimulate surfactant production in the baby. As will the mother being under prolonged stress.

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

February 3, 2011
6:41 am
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MegC
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Impish_Impulse said:

MegC said:

And premature white baby boys frequently have difficulties with lung problems even if they're only a little premature because their lungs are absolutely the LAST thing to finish developing. 


Ah yes, the “wimpy white boy” syndrome! Seriously. I'm a respiratory therapist working in a children's hospital and they're not quite sure why boy preemies do worse than girls, and whites do worse than minorities. So, theoretically, a black girl preemie survives more often and with fewer problems than a white boy preemie.

And yes, the lungs are the last to finish developing, by producing a substance called surfactant, that keeps their lungs from completely collapsing and sticking together every time they exhale. If they can delay the premature labor, they'll give the mother steroids, as that will stimulate surfactant production in the baby. As will the mother being under prolonged stress.
 


Yep!  We got the parents crash-course in lungs and breathing with Thing 1.  He was born at 36 weeks and developed a pneumothorax in each lung.  He wound up having a chest tube put in on the left side to let it seal up.  Then, of course, he had jaundice.  Fast forward to 2011 and he'll be 3 on Monday and he's a crazy healthy 3-year-old.  Meanwhile, Thing 2 (my daughter) came a 35 weeks and had zero lung problems and her jaundice was so slight that she only required the billi light for, like, a day.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the only thing that saved my son's life was modern technology.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

February 3, 2011
7:58 am
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Impish_Impulse
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“Thing 1” and “Thing 2”! I like it. Do you read them “Cat in the Hat”?

ETA: That spontaneous pneumo at birth happens more than you might think. There are two RTs here at my hospital that have had sons born with a collapsed lung at birth. Both had the chest tubes and both have done well, but still, very scary!

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

February 3, 2011
10:03 am
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Nasim
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MegC said:

So, I was just searching around looking for some trivial piece of information when I stumbled on a website claiming that Edward was born prematurely.

Of course, it's easy to figure this out:  Clearly the Queen's pregnancy was kept pretty hush-hush until it was determined that she really was with child and not just missing her period (I would assume this was usually not until quickening occurred).

So…does anyone know when first mention is made of Jane Seymour's pregnancy publicly to the Court?  Since Edward was born in October, if he was anywhere close to full-term then Jane should have gotten pg in January.  I would imagine the EARLIEST that her pregnancy would have been publicly mentioned (especially with all the previous miscarriages in Henry's life) would have been March-ish?

I could look all this up, but I feel lazy right now and I'm hoping someone has an idea off the top of his/her head, or can lay hands on a reference book immediately to find this info (many of my books are currently in boxes).


 

As the pregnancy was being discussed as early as Feb 1537, indicating Jane became pregnant the previous month, I think it is safe to say Edward was born on time. The fact that Jane experienced a long confinement is further indication that Edward arrived as planned. There are no reports that he was a small, sickly baby – quite the opposite, contemporaries attested to his vigour.

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

February 3, 2011
11:23 am
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MegC
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Impish_Impulse said:

“Thing 1” and “Thing 2”! I like it. Do you read them “Cat in the Hat”?

 

Actually, Andrew's not so much into Cat in the Hat…but bring out Little Blue Truck or a dinosaur book and the world may as well stop turning! 

 

Nasim:  My thoughts exactly!!  If Edward had been in poor health at birth, someone would have recorded that information somewhere.  Where do people come up with some of this crap?  Maybe they've been reading too much P. Gregory (I'm sorry…did I say that out loud?).

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 12, 2011
12:41 am
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Sarah
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Please pardon me if I am mistaken, but wasn't Elizabeth also alleged to be born prematurely at 8 months?

If this is true but had she not been prematurely she would have been born on my birthday! – October 7th  Oh what if!

"For her behaviour, manners, attire and tongue she excelled them all."— Lancelot de Carles



 

 

April 12, 2011
7:15 am
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MegC
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sassuhfrass93 said:

Please pardon me if I am mistaken, but wasn't Elizabeth also alleged to be born prematurely at 8 months?

If this is true but had she not been prematurely she would have been born on my birthday! – October 7th  Oh what if!


That is my mom's birthday as well!

All these reports of babies being born prematurely when, clearly, they couldn't possibly have been so.  I realized that obstetrical medicine was almost non-existent at the time, but it seems like people just couldn't count!

Or perhaps human gestation was presumed to be longer back then?

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

April 12, 2011
7:22 am
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Sarah
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MegC said:

sassuhfrass93 said:

Please pardon me if I am mistaken, but wasn't Elizabeth also alleged to be born prematurely at 8 months?

If this is true but had she not been prematurely she would have been born on my birthday! – October 7th  Oh what if!


That is my mom's birthday as well!
 

All these reports of babies being born prematurely when, clearly, they couldn't possibly have been so.  I realized that obstetrical medicine was almost non-existent at the time, but it seems like people just couldn't count!

Or perhaps human gestation was presumed to be longer back then?


 Thats an interesting thought. I have inkling that I read somewhere that it was said in tudor times that if the pregnancy lasted 9 months it was a boy and 10 months for a girl (Gotta love the sexism!)

Hmmm.. Im actually curiously now to have a read of that midwifery book 'The birth of mankind” that was published in 1541 (or 2?) Perhaps we'd get some insight onto their beliefs back then, no? 🙂

"For her behaviour, manners, attire and tongue she excelled them all."— Lancelot de Carles



 

 

April 12, 2011
11:33 am
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Sharon
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sassuhfrass93 said:

Please pardon me if I am mistaken, but wasn't Elizabeth also alleged to be born prematurely at 8 months?

If this is true but had she not been prematurely she would have been born on my birthday! – October 7th  Oh what if!


Anne 'took to her chamber' 10 days before Elizabeth was born.  Protocal dictated a month to six weeks before the expected date of her confinement.  They either miscalculated her due date, or Elizabeth was  somewhat premature.

April 12, 2011
3:57 pm
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Bill1978
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Maybe this is evidence that Anne knew she was carrying a girl. She thought she had another month up her sleeve ;-P

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