induction

Doctor(s) Update(s)

Patient #1:

 

Was cleared of wearing her sling on Monday!  Doc said the bones should already be healed due to the fact that she is so young.  Crazy.  It was amazing to us how fast she bounced back to her old self following the break.  She was bearing weight on her arm within about 48 hours and her pain was next to nothing after about 24.

She will go back for a follow-up x-ray in 5 weeks just to make sure.  In the meantime, she is supposed to stay off of playgrounds and trampolines for about 2 weeks. :(.

Doctor also said because she is so young she should not have any permanent cosmetic effects from it!  She may have a bone callous that will remain for the next few months, but it will disappear in time.

The only thing that remains now is this nasty yellow bruise:

 

Patient #2:

I saw the doctor today for my 39(.5) week check-up.  All looks good!  I’ve made some good progress so we are both hopeful that I won’t have to be induced this time.  IF I do however, she is willing to follow the same plan as last time where they broke my water and avoided Pitocin as much as it is possible.  Since I’m ripe, she seems confident that this will work.

(I’m going to miss my little doctor dates with her!)

Friday I go in for an ultrasound to check fluid levels.  (and they don’t know it yet, but I’m going to be double-checking that she’s still a girl :)).

Last night I experienced my first round of Braxton Hicks!  I had regular, uncomfortable, but nonpainful contractions that lasted from about 9pm-4am.  Really hoping that’s a good sign that we don’t have too much longer.

Today through next Wednesday marks our “ideal window” for Mayby’s birth due to our schedules.  But even if she decides to come a little late, the end is in sight (2 more weeks!).

Yesterday I asked MG when Mayby’s birthday will be.  I mentally willed her to give me a divine answer, as if I was shaking a magic eight ball.  Her response, “Ethan’s birthday!”.  Ethan is a buddy from playgroup and his birthday just so happens to be this month–May 28.  Maybe it really is a sign??

 

MG’s Birth Story: D-Day

Well D-Day rolled around, and of course it was very anti-climatic. But I wasn’t surprised in the least.  Although the doctor had spun a paper wheel to determine my due date to be November 18, I knew it should more realistically be later than that.  I had set my sights specifically on November 20.  It was the seven year anniversary of our “dating life” and it was a nice, round number.  It was soon enough before Thanksgiving that she would never have to share her birthday with a holiday.   And it fell on a Saturday.  Less time off of work now, meant more time off later for Daddy.

I was also 100% convinced that I would go into labor in the middle of the night.  This theory wasn’t totally unfounded as most first-time moms start this way and I hoped to follow in the foot-steps of my mother.  Wake up at 4am, shower, have baby by 8am.  Sounded easy enough, right?

Well things were progressing  just as they should.  MG had “dropped”  a few weeks prior, the doctor told me I was dilating and thinning, I’d had my membranes stripped  (twice) and labor signs were aplenty.  I had not, however, felt a single contraction.  Not even a Braxton Hicks.  I checked my stomach constantly to see if it was hardening.  Every time the baby moved, I tried to imagine it was contracting. During a low point, I even googled, “what does a contraction feel like”.  Nothing.

I went to the office on my due date to check my progress.  Throughout the pregnancy, I met with all 4 of the doctors in the practice.  However, there were two doctors that I saw the most: my regular doctor and another female doctor.  During this particular visit,  I met with a doctor that I had very little experience with.  Frustrating enough, it had been a week and nothing had changed.  The doctor made a negative comment about this and I said something about,  ‘I  just hope she comes before Thanksgiving’.  The doctor looked at me very seriously and said, “Well, we can help you out with that!”  She meant an induction.   Instantly my heart filled with dread because I knew if  I was going to have a natural birth, an induction would make that extremely difficult.  The goal was to go into labor on my own.

I told her I would rather wait until it was absolutely necessary and she agreed.  I wrote it off because I just KNEW this baby was going to come soon.

Well the days ticked by and still no sign of baby.

On the 20th, I woke up very disappointed that my “perfect labor vision” had not yet come true.  All day long, I consoled myself by thinking, “I still have time.”  I convinced N to go to the mall with me to do some early Christmas shopping and thought all of the walking would start some phantom contractions at least.  We did some jewelry shopping for our mothers and the saleslady asked me when I was due.  “Today.” I said.  “You’d better get to the hospital!” she said, panicked, as if my water was going to break right there.  If only I could have gone back the following Saturday and said, “I’m still here“.

We became desperate.  All week, we had been doing things to help stimulate contractions.  He massaged pressure points in my legs.  We went for long walks every night.  Our walks turned to skips and jumps. We drove over train tracks and speed bumps.  We went swinging.   I googled, “Natural ways to induce labor.”    We tried all of them except castor oil and herbs.  There was a full moon on the night of the 20th and I thought, “Surely this will do it”.  But it didn’t. All around me, people were giving me suggestions that were “guaranteed to put you into labor”.  I wanted so badly for each one to work so that I could tell a very pregnant woman someday  what worked for me.  Each morning, I woke up really, really disappointed.

Tuesday the 23rd rolled around.  We were 5 days overdue.  I thought, “This is it”.  N would have off from Wednesday to Sunday for Thanksgiving.  He wouldn’t have to use his paternity days and could take days off  later if he wanted to.   Nothing.  We continued our rigorous exercise.  Not a single contraction.  I read birth stories to help me visualize labor.  People around me, some who weren’t due for weeks, started going into labor.  Every other day the doula called to say that she was at the hospital with someone who had unexpectedly gone into labor and she would call when they were through.  And that to me was always a sign that it wasn’t going to be that day.  Because we weren’t planning on doing this without her.

I went back to the doctor (the same one I’d had the previous time).  Nothing had changed.  She sentenced me to an induction.  I stalled,  “How long will you give me?”  “Friday is the absolute latest.”  I left the office and called N.  I broke down over the phone.  They wanted us to come in Thursday night (Thanksgiving) and start Cervadil.  The next day (Friday), they would hook me up to Pitocin and start contractions.  I called Julie (the doula).  I told her I was ready to take her magical concoction of herbs.  On the way back from the doctor, I stopped at a Patchouli-scented store and filled my cart with Black and Blue Cohosh.  I stopped at the drugstore and guiltily purchased castor oil. Of course I had to ask the lady at the front where it was and of course she had to page a manager because she didn’t know.  I felt like I had to rationalize my decision to everyone, “I promise I’m only buying this because I’m almost a week overdue and they want to induce!!”

Julie told me I could fight the doctor’s decision if I wanted to.  I was not even a week overdue yet and according to my early ultrasounds, I was right on track.
I didn’t want to call the doctor’s office myself because I was an emotional wreck.  N was so sweet; he volunteered to do it for me.  Thanks to his charming ways, on the Friday we had planned to induce, they agreed instead to do a Non-Stress Test and possibly an ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing okay.  If things looked bad, they would take me in right away, but if they were good we had bought ourselves a little more time.

I was so relieved.  My resolve to take the herbs faded.  I just kept thinking there had to be a reason why labor hadn’t started yet. N and I wrestled over whether a natural induction was any better than a medical induction.  Maybe they are equal.   Were we taking things into our own hands and not trusting God?  Or was giving my body a push part of His plan?

On Thursday I woke up with a little hope.  Maybe this would be a Thanksgiving baby after all.  We were a week over-due.  My early ultrasounds had predicted this would be the day.  My Mom had set her sights on the 25th.  My sister had come up to share Thanksgiving dinner with us and N’s family.  But as the day wore on, my emotional strength faded.   I hit a very low point.  All I wanted was to hold that long-awaited baby in my arms.  I felt like I had “served my time” and I just kept praying contractions would start. Plus, wouldn’t it be wonderful if my sister was there when we gave birth?  Surely that’s what God had kept us waiting for……………….or not.

Thursday came and went.  Friday I woke up (from yet another sleep-deprived night), again in tears.  My sister and N were so sweet.  They tried to distract me, they tried to cheer me up, and when things got really bad, they prayed over me.  M offered to take the castor oil with me…um…”I don’t think you want to do that!”

We had our NST and of course, the baby looked great.  I was having contractions but couldn’t feel a single one. The doctor (the same one I had seen the last 2 times) called me later and said “Monday”.  There would be no more negotiating.

We were still (somewhat) hopeful that I would go into labor on my own before Sunday night.  But each day that passed seemed like a year.  On Saturday, I made a last ditch effort and attempted the castor oil (I chickened out on the herbs).  N mixed me up a nice, greasy glass of 2oz plus 7up.  It condensed and globbed up all over the top. I couldn’t drink it.  I started crying.  He drove me to Wendy’s and bought a Frosty.  In it, we mixed 2 more oz of castor oil.  I drank the whole thing and let it take it’s awful effect on me, praying that it would be enough to do the trick.  At some point that afternoon, Julie called to see how I was holding up.  I told her about my last resort.  She asked me how much castor oil I had taken.  “2 ounces”  She told me that I didn’t take nearly enough to do anything.  If I wanted it to work, I would have to keep going.

But  I couldn’t do it.  I was at the end of my rope emotionally.  And now physically,  I was completely exhausted.

And then it was Sunday. D-Day. We were now 10 days overdue. That night we would go in to begin Cervadil (a cervix-ripening medicine).    All day long, I felt like there was a death sentence hanging over me.  We went to church and then went forward after the service to have the elders pray for us.  One was a doctor and he tried to comfort me that God had a perfect timing for us.  I tried to believe him.  But I questioned why God would have us wait.  We had passed over so many “perfect opportunities” already.  All we wanted was an unmedicated natural birth, was it too much to ask?  Instead of enjoying our “last day” as a family of two, I was emotionally and physically depressed.

I took my usual Sunday nap that afternoon, but the difference between this Sunday and last was that we didn’t do anything to try and start contractions.  No more speed bumps, no more castor oil, no more pressure points.  We resolved ourselves that God did have a plan for us and nothing we could do would affect it.  I tried to eat a snack before we left, but I started crying.  N came over and prayed with me.  I cried through that.  We said goodbye to our cat and I really cried through that.  I cried the whole way to the hospital.  N kept saying, “Just think.  The next time we are in this car we will be with our baby.”

To be continued {tomorrow}….

 

part VII