Week 39 1/2 Update: The Final Countdown

7 Jul

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

The landlord has officially handed out his eviction notice. I arrived at my doctor’s appointment yesterday with another elevated blood pressure (148/106), as well as swollen feet and ankles. While there is still no protein showing in my urine (which would strongly indicate a progression to pre-eclampsia), the doctor expressed concern over the implications of a steady rise in blood pressure at the end of term. So now it was time to discus options…

You may recall in my last weekly update, that my next appointment should have happened on Monday. All weekend I had anxiety about Monday’s appointment and the probability that the doctor would begin pressuring us toward an induction or other intervention, as he hinted at in Week 38. After much debate, Garrett and I decided that seeing the doctor just four days after our previous appointment was too much pressure and might set us on a path toward a medicated and hospitalized birth. We decided to continue letting my body progress as it had been (slowly, but steadily), and to postpone the doctor’s appointment until Friday.
Unfortunately, I did not progress into active labor throughout the week, despite trying many of the natural methods suggested here and in our birthing books, and this set up the inevitable uncomfortable conversation with the doctor. To be fair, the doctor was very receptive to questions and gave us answers that I felt were balanced and not “fear-mongery.” however, he also clearly stated that he would be professionally criticized (i.e. would lose in a lawsuit) for failing to induce at this point, if further complications were to develop as a result of my elevated blood pressure. Since I am 4+ centimeters dilated and 80% effaced, he is recommending that we perform an aminiotomy (aka break my bag of waters), in hopes of inducing my labor.

While this may seem routine to those who only know medicalized birth, deciding to do this is a HUGE compromise to the natural birther. It means not laboring at home, but in the more uncomfortable setting of the hospital with all of it’s intrusions and staff interruptions. It also means that we have at most 24-hours from the time the water is broken, before the baby must be delivered by any means necessary. If breaking my water doesn’t result in my progressing to active labor, then it puts me on the road to Pitocin and other interventions, which are highly medicalized and the opposite of my natural vision for birth.

After some discussion with doctor, and some alone time to discuss the pros and cons ourselves, Garrett and I decided that we would like to have this weekend to continue with our natural induction methods. If my body does not begin to move into active labor, and we have not had a baby by Monday morning, then we have agreed to be admitted to the hospital and have my water broken. Since my cervix is soft and very dilated, then the research says I am a great candidate for only needing an aminotomy to activate labor and will not need additional interventions.

So, now we wait and we see. We visualize this birth going naturally, without intervention. We ask for you all to carry that same vision and to send that positive energy our way. Should labor begin on its own, you will definitely see an update here. Otherwise, expect to watch the play-by-play on Monday.

Until then, we’ll be walking, spicy food eating, nipple stimulating, sexual intercoursing, and meditating away.

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