Labour Day-Part 1

Since my labour was epic and I am a woman of many details, this is going to be a long and drawn out tale. I thought for the sake of you and me, we’d take it in stages….
For months now I had the instinct that this baby was not going to be coming out of her own accord.  For all my other kids, I’d had a lot of pre-labour warm-ups and I’d felt a lot of braxton hicks and just a general sense of “imminence” in the month or so prior to my due date. But this time I just wasn’t feeling it.  If I’d not known my due date I’d have thought it was a month or two down the road yet. I was  exercising daily and even when I exercised vigorously several days past my due date it did not seem to irritate/initiate anything.  The closer I got to my due date, the quieter my uterus became.
I would have been fine with the fact that baby might overstay her prescribed 40 weeks if it weren’t for the fact that I make rather large babies proportionate to my 5’2” frame.  I have not ever gone more than 4 days past my due date and when I did, I gave birth to a toddler sized 9lb40z baby which did a real number on my pelvis and prevented me from walking without pain for over a year. I was not up for that again and I started to consider the option of induction if I went to 41 weeks. Sure, I could wait til 42 weeks, but then we’d have an even fatter baby, and I was pretty sure she would need to be induced then too.
Induction is not something I considered lightly. I am a doula and have always been a fan of doing things as naturally as possible. My previous four all chose their own birthdays, and were born without pain meds. My last birth had been a wonderful water birth, and I had loved the experience. But I could not shake the feeling that we would need to nudge things along.  I thought I would run it by my midwives and see how much they protested to gauge what I should do.  They were surprisingly supportive of letting things go to 41 weeks and seeing where we were.
My due date came on Wednesday the 16th, my late mother in law’s birthday. The weather was gorgeous that day, and I was happy that I was getting to enjoy it, instead of being cooped up in the hospital. It was a fun and happy day. We went to the park with the dog, and just enjoyed being outside together. Thursday the 17th was St. Patrick’s Day. I volunteered in Finny’s classroom and then went and got a pedicure and had lunch with a friend. It was another perfect day. I was not anxious at all about baby not coming. I was sure she would come over the weekend.
On an amusing/bizarre note this was the 3rd pedicure place we tried that day.  The first guy yelled at us because I asked if they did designs. The second guy was unwilling to take on someone as pregnant as me. There was no telling when I might explode all over him….
By Friday the 18th, I was two days post due, and I went to the midwife to have a non-stress test and a check. I had dilated another cm from the previous Monday and I was about 3cm, I had a few contractions while I was on the monitor . Things looked nice and soft and favourable for induction if it came to that on Monday. We all doubted that I’d make it that far though.  The midwives predicted I would go into labour that night. The midwife stripped my membranes again and I was sure she’d arrive over the weekend.  We were hoping that the “Super-moon” on Saturday night would lure her out.
No such luck. I stayed home from church on Sunday morning because I had been up half of Saturday night, furiously painting baseboards and feeling somewhat distraught.  I could not decide what to do, whether we should go through with the induction scheduled for Monday morning or not.  If I had been feeling “done” with pregnancy and desperate for it to be over, the decision would have been a lot easier to make, but I was still relatively comfortable and perfectly content to still be pregnant and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to labour.  I knew though, that the longer I waited the greater the chance that the baby would be very big, and I also knew that I was getting increasingly sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted from the indecision.  After weighing the pros and cons with Aaron, my mom and some friends, I decided to go for it. We were sure that I would need only slight augmentation to get things regular since I was well on my way already.
At about 5:30am on Monday I morning I was awoken with contractions which were feeling different and pretty regular.  I stayed awake for about an hour and they stayed steady around 5 mins apart. By this time it was time to wake up and go to the hospital, and I was thrilled that it seemed that this was going to be the day the baby chose to be born anyway.
The kids had slept over with friends the night before so Aaron and I were able to get ready without distraction. We showered, did a few last minute chores and left the house at around 7:00am.
The little lake in the hospital parking lot….doesn’t the duck look so serene? :)
It was a beautiful morning, the sunrise was so pretty and I felt very calm and starting to get excited about meeting my baby. I was very pleased not to be in hard labour as I always have been when I arrive at the hospital, since it was about a 30 min drive and when we got there we had to wait a little while to register and get into my room (even though I had pre-registered….what a waste of time that was).
We got up to our room and started settling in at around 8:30am.  The nurse checked me and found no progress since Friday. I was still at 3cm. Shoot. I was pretty disappointed and surprised, but this did indicate that we were making a good decision by nudging things along, since I was now 5 days post due and my contractions of that morning had petered out.  They took a strip and decided my contractions weren’t regular enough. We decided to start the pitocin at about 10:00am.  With any luck, by the time the kids were home with school, they would have news of the arrival of their baby sister…
Waiting to get started..I was not as traumatized as I appear…not yet anyway ;)

To be continued:
Part 2
Part 3

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Kenwood said...

Wonder twins!

Gracie said...

I'm glad you finally got your toes done! Ella is so fun! I love her!

Peg said...

I think I recognize Flower Hospital...that's where my youngest was born. (Maybe 9lb or bigger babies are required there.)

BTW, don't know what it's like to labor without pitocin. All 4 of mine needed some nudging.

Jenny said...

I LOVE a good birth story!! Did I know you were a doula? Did we ever discuss that? Hmmm...