Monday, February 18, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 4 Days: Like If Your Lifeguard Drowned

41 Weeks + 4 Days

It's amazing what a day can change, or the number of times in can change in just a twelve hour period.

I woke up to high fasting numbers, 119 mg/dL... 40 points over my normal and 20 points over what is safe. We did spend part of the night in the ER with a sick baby (Ashley was struggling to breathe, croup) causing an adrenaline spike and stress, and I didn't get much sleep, all of which can cause high numbers, but this still concerned me. A high after meal is one thing, high fastings are another. I am not in a place in my pregnancy where I feel like it's safe to give it time so I started to seriously think about induction options.

I talked with my midwife and she agreed to come over and strip my membranes again and also do her famous induction massage that she has practiced and taught all over the world. She has an 80% success rate. In the meantime, I started to mentally lay out a plan if my numbers continue to be high today and tomorrow... what kind of medical intervention am I ok with?

I went for a walk. I know I don't want an induction, I don't feel comfortable with the risks involved, but I know there is another level to why it is such an upsetting option. Natural birth is my passion and I love the process of birth. I am not getting down on myself as a failure in anyway, actually, I think the fact that I can take such an active role in making these decisions is a testament to the importance of birth education... but there is a definite sadness in the thought of potentially losing out on part of the process I am so in love with. It's like if Jillian Michaels got fat for some unavoidable reason. Even if she knew to not blame herself, she loves fitness, it's what she is passionate about... but is being forced to struggle in. And I do think about the fact that I'm an educator, I already feel like I will need to defend my induction even though I do truly believe all these interventions exist to help some people, I don't want to be one of those people. One of my friends or a student can be, but I don't want it. Who wants a lifeguard who nearly drowned and needed to be saved? I know this is a me thing, that no one who knows me will think I took the easy way out or chose an unnecessary intervention, but it is in the back of my head when you've met 20 people, all needlessly induced, it's hard being that one person who is like, "no I really needed it." So many levels... I'm not even touching on the physical risks baby and I are facing.

I decided to leave all of that on the side walk and make some decisions despite how I or anyone else might feel. If my numbers are high tomorrow, I'll go in tomorrow evening for an induction. I know the OB on call during the day is one I don't know and one I haven't heard the best things about, maybe someone better will be there by evening. Women are more likely to respond favorably to inductions at night, and hopefully staff would be more likely to leave me alone. If baby is at 0 station (engaged in my pelvis), I'm going to ask them to break my water instead of starting pitocin. I don't even want an IV if possible.

If they break my water that would be the most like natural labor, after all, it would be possible for my water to break at the start of labor. If no one does cervical checks, I should not have to worry about infection. Contractions will have a more normal pattern than with Pitocin, and I wont be strapped to monitors. I have a history of postpartum hemorrhage so rupturing my membranes is more favorable to Pitocin there as well.

Breaking my water does come with risks. Baby has to be at 0 station or the umbilical cord could prolapse--come through my cervix and cut off oxygen to baby. That's instant cesarean. Even if that does not happen baby could get stuck in a less than favorable position or begin to distress, though that is also possible with Pitocin. Contractions will also be more intense. There is a small risk of placental abruption, slightly higher for me since I have gestational diabetes.

Kinda sounds like ignorance would be at least temporary bliss, huh? It's too late, I already know too much.

It was nice to have made a decision though.

My midwife got here to do my massage around 3pm. The massage incorporates I believe 40 acupressure points. Other midwives in the area send their overdue mamas to her and or call her to come during a stalled out homebirth. I'm sure you are all wondering why I didn't do this last week... I just really didn't think I needed to... and I wanted to go into labor totally spontaneously.

I've heard from a friend this massage hurts. While something like a "vigorous membrane sweep" won't bother me, a chiropractic adjustment or massage has me twitching in pain or irritation the whole time. This wasn't as bad as I thought, but some pressure points are definitely uncomfortable, like between rib bones. However I rather feel something than nothing! It was very weird feeling how one pressure point would affect another area of my body. Definitely made me feel like something was happening.

Afterwards I asked her to check my cervix, baby's station, and strip my membranes again is possible. She said my cervix was very posterior. The OB said it wasn't but I've always heard it was! Poor Eric was sent in to get a nearly unreachable cervix. She said I was 4cm, 80% effaced, and now baby had come down two stations from -2 to 0! Great news, that means if it comes to it, I'd be a candidate for breaking my water instead of Pitocin. She said that I had been thoroughly swept and couldn't detatch any more of the membrane. Ok... so maybe that OB did an ok job.

She said there was no reason why I shouldn't be going into labor. I got dressed and started to have some mild cramping. Now I'm having some mild contractions. Going for a walk and I may take some cohosh which strengthens contractions.

The day was definitely a roller coaster. Sometimes I was really discouraged or concerned, especially at that first glucose reading this morning. Sometimes I felt really motivated to make something happen and ready to take on whatever the next 48 hours was going to bring. Right now I feel like I've done all the thinking I've needed to do today and now it's time to just work with my body. It isn't even one day at a time right now, it's a half day, a morning, an afternoon, an evening at a time. If I wake up pregnant tomorrow morning, we will be able to take that on too, even if we have no idea what that will look like.

Ash helping. So cute. Milo was doing the same thing every so often.


  1. I'm thinking about you! Blessings and thoughts your way. I hope the massage helps and baby comes tonight :)

  2. I hope everything helped and you are in labor as I type this. Sending as many labor vibes and baby come out thoughts as I can!