Last week I wrote about having been in Prodromal Labor for basically the entire week. It hasn’t stopped. Each day and night, I have many, many contractions. The weird thing is I don’t know if they’ve gotten less intense or if my uterus is just stronger now, so I notice them less. I suspect the latter because when I poke my belly during one it is as hard as a ROCK. I have a feeling that strong uterus muscles will come in handy when it’s time to push our little girl out!
We’ve had two non-stress tests (NSTs) this week to make sure our daughter is safe and sound, and on Monday we also checked my amniotic fluid levels. Everything checked out fine. This coming Monday if she’s still not born, we have another NST and ultrasound for a fluid check.
People are starting to ask me all sorts of questions that really show me 1) how little faith most women have in our bodies to give birth to the baby we grow, and 2) that the estimated due date is really seen as a deadline, which it shouldn’t be at all!
- When will they induce you?
- “They” don’t make that decision. My husband and I do. They will induce me when I give permission, which will only be if baby and I are no longer both measuring healthy and wonderful at our non-stress tests. As is, my blood pressure, her heart rate, my amniotic fluid levels, etc… are all textbook perfect. There is NO reason to rush things by inducing. Some babies need to “cook” longer.
- Won’t you have to have a C-section? Your baby’s going to be huge!
- Basically, no. The only risk factor for a macrosomic (big) baby I have is “prolonged gestation.” I don’t have gestational diabetes, haven’t gained an excessive amount of weight, am not obese, etc. Also, no one has even ventured to guess the size of my baby which is fine with me because those guesses are often POUNDS off. “They” can tell you you have a 10 pound baby based on an ultrasound image, but when you deliver (probably via C-section if their scare tactics worked) you might have a perfectly “normal” 8 pound baby. I have faith that my body isn’t growing a child I can’t give birth to. Especially if I move around during labor, possibly taking advantage of the squatting position to push (which gives an extra centimeter of “room” amazingly!) The American Academy of Family Physicians does not recommend C-sections or induction (which results in more C-sections) for suspected macrosomia.
- Why don’t you just let them break your water so you can get it over with? Aren’t you exhausted?
- Yes, I’m tired. Yes, my husband is tired. We want to meet our daughter. BUT as I said, as long as our non-stress tests and fluid levels check out, there is no reason to believe that hurrying the labor will be better for our daughter than letting her stay warm, happy, well-fed, and protected in my uterus. Artificial Rupture of Membranes (AROM) doesn’t necessarily start active labor. Some people don’t have contractions for hours after the rupture. And once the membranes are ruptured, chance of infection is an issue, especially if the baby isn’t delivered within 24 hours. There is no turning back once the bag of waters is broken… so often, this will result in pitocin being given to “get things going” and if that doesn’t work (it doesn’t always), a C-section which could have been avoided may result. Yes, AROM “works” for MANY people… but it’s not a sure shot, and it’s not without risk.
Also, What to Expect says that 70% of “post-term” pregnancies really aren’t… that they’re based on miscalculated conception dates or something. Who knows? In any case, our baby WILL be here soon!
Plus, if you’ve heard things about “calcification of the placenta” at 42 weeks? They really mean at the END of week 42… not until you hit 43 weeks does it possibly become an issue (usually) — but non-stress tests should be able to detect if there is a problem anyway.
I have still been having contractions every day and night, all week. We have been to the hospital twice for non-stress tests to make sure you are still doing well, and one time they did an ultrasound to make sure there is enough amniotic fluid for you. You are very healthy in there, and you have plenty of fluid. I’m doing well too, and my blood pressure is perfect. So we are not worried about anything! We just hope you come out and meet us soon because we want to kiss your little cheeks and smell your sweet head and cuddle you close.
PS. While I’m totally not down with “no turning back” induction measures like AROM, we have still been trying all the “wives tales” type things… I actually even did the castor oil thing yesterday. As per my midwife’s instructions, I mixed 2oz (that’s a quarter of a cup, y’all) of castor oil with 4oz of orange juice and chugged it. It was horrible and I almost threw up right after, but my husband reminded me to chase it with some regular orange juice and somehow I kept it all down…
My midwife was SURE it would throw me into active labor (after clearing my bowels) since the nurse who had checked my cervix that day said I was at 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. (Also, all the nurses were super-surprised I was “so comfortable” and walking around at 4cm… evidently that’s when “active labor” starts for a lot of women.) In my midwife’s experience, as long as a woman’s cervix is at least 2cm dilated and 70% effaced, the castor oil usually results in active labor within 2-4 hours.
Well… I felt a bit nauseated, tried to nap, but couldn’t nap because baby had hiccups. (This was at noon, right after chugging it.) 4 hours later, I had the “bowels clearing out” poo. All the stuff you hear about castor oil causing insanely painful crampy explosive diarrhea? Didn’t happen here… I just felt like pooing and it all came out… sure it was gross but there wasn’t anything “explosive” or painful about it.
I thought for sure after the poo things would start up. That’s usually what happens in the castor-oil-success stories you read. But no… nothing. Normal contractions like the ones I’ve been having for almost 2 weeks now. 4 hours later at 8pm I had to poo again, but not much was there. Had a bit of cramping but nothing bad.
And then? Nothing. Things were normal. No active labor. No baby. Oh well. Like everything else we’ve tried, it’s one of those things that only works if the baby’s ready to come out. And I guess ours really, really isn’t!