Friday, November 14, 2008


...the brief version: Nothing is happening :-)

The longer version: Sweeping the membranes didn't hurt nearly as much as I remember from last time. Dr. Fugate said it was b/c my cervix has really dropped, so it was easier to access. Apparently I misunderstood last week and I was only at 2.5cm dilated last week, this week it was a very stretchy 3cm.

We had the "what to do next" discussion. She feels baby is around 8.5lbs by now...I'm sure she's close! I gained 5lbs in one week, which is what happened with Graeme - those last 4 weeks, I gained 5lbs every week! Okay, I'll admit that I indulged a few times this week (had ice cream for the first time in weeks LOL!), but not enough to cause a weight gain of 5lbs!! I don't know what it is about my body. I've felt a little swollen some days, so a bit of it may be water retention. Sigh.

If I make it through the weekend without labor, I go to the hospital for non-stress tests next Monday and Thursday. Thursday, Dr. Taylor, the head OB, will see me and discuss our options. There are two: 1) They do a teeny bit of pitocin to kick-start contractions - or break my water, or both. I will be interested to see what he thinks about that. Dr. Fugate felt comfortable giving me just a bit of pitocin, but I recall Dr. Taylor being rather hesitant to use it, as it does increase my risk for a uterine rupture. I'll be doing research on that in the coming days. 2) schedule a cesarean.

I woke up quite discouraged, as nothing happened overnight. I visit several forums that support natural birth and VBACs...and I read posts all the time about natural induction methods - and it seems I am quite in the minority as far as this stuff just doesn't seem to work for me. With Graeme, I learned that if the baby doesn't wanna come out, nothing you do will get labor started. But I was sincerely hoping that this time, since I've been having contractions off-and-on for, what, 4 weeks?!, that maybe the membrane strip would be what I need. Now, it could still help - maybe today, right? But it is easy to get into the trap of hoping and longing for labor to happen all day - whether I'm having some contractions, so I think "This is it!" or with the membrane stripping: "Surely something will happen now!" Honestly, I was hoping to be one of those like I've read about - that 6 hours later, they're in labor! What is up with my body?! Castor oil, cohosh, EPO, walking (and walking and walking)...hey, even the pineapple and the eggplant parmesan - none of these things seems to do anything for me! Mark jokingly suggested jumping up and down on a trampoline??!!!

Most of all, my struggle is trusting God. It is a constant battle within my heart and mind to submit to the Truth - God's Words to me - instead of believing the doubts, fears and frustrations that fill my feelings. Many times, I *know* the Truth, but my *feelings* don't match, and I have to really do battle within my spirit. I thought this morning "What can I do today to keep my spirits up?" And it occurred to me the answer was in The Spirit - not in boosting my "spirits". I humbly ask that ya'll would pray for me, that the Spirit would have full reign over my spirit.

Mark has a way of encouraging me so well, and his words yesterday helped me. As the verse says,"God's ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our own". And further, God's way is always best. If God knows that a vaginal birth is the very BEST thing for me and our baby, He will cause my body to go into labor at just the right time and in just the right way. There is no mistake in God's way of doing things. Mark showed me that I tend to focus on the wrong parts of this - I focus on how I want it to be, and second-guess and doubt when it doesn't seem to work out my way...but isn't my body in God's hands? If He wants me to go into labor, I will. If the end result of all of this is once again a c-section, no one has failed. We did everything we could this time around to support a natural birth...and if God does not grant us one, there is a reason for it, whether I ever see it or not.

It is hard to know which "side" to take this time around. Yes, Graeme was a big baby. But from all accounts, my body can handle it. The midwife-model of care believes that in most cases, our bodies do not make babies "too big" for the woman's pelvis (obviously there are exceptions). [Pessimistically, I have to ask: when do you begin to believe that you are an exception??!] My 5'3" mother birthed two almost 10lb babies naturally...both post-date by 3 weeks. So from the midwives perspective, I have a genetically greater chance of going post-date and having a big baby. Some woman "cook" babies longer.

From the medical community, we have the perspective that going past 42 weeks statistically increases your risks...the longer you go past that point. Dr. Fugate tried to do the scare-tactic on me - basically that the reason I couldn't birth Graeme last time was that he was "too big" for me, b/c I went so late (how does she know this?). However, my surgical report states that I was +3 station (that's as low as the baby can be without his head being out!) and 8cm dilated - I had actually gotten to almost 10 when we were pushing at home. The doctor offered forcep or vacuum delivery as options - but he felt that b/c of the funky position Graeme's head was in, being OP and kinda wacky, he felt a c-section was the best option. So the needed changes this time were: keep baby in a good position and try to clear my diet of things that might contribute to over-growing a baby (I've worked hard at this, but what can I say?!) Since we've chosen a hospital birth, they won't LET me go 43 weeks, unless I were to simply not show up for a schedule c-section! That's part of the pressure I'm feeling.

We definitely learned a lot last time. The trouble is knowing what knowledge to apply when. Meanwhile trying to keep it all in the perspective that "God's way is best".

So, though I definitely ask you to pray that God would grant us a natural, vaginal birth with a healthy mama and healthy baby, I also ask that our thoughts, feelings, and decision-making would be guided by the Spirit of God, who alone knows what is best for us.


Grandma Beckie said...

Dearest Amanda,

I'm writing with tears in my eyes and an empathizing heart as I read your update. Through my cancer journey, the Lord has brought me to see as well how much I struggle with *knowing* the truth, yet my *feelings* not lining up. It truly is deep spiritual warfare which can only be waged and won by the Holy Spirit with whom God has so graciously filled us. I pray that as you submit to Him, He will flood your heart and mind with peace and rest. He will not disappoint for He loves us with a love we cannot begin to comprehend.

Thanks for sharing Mark's wise words of encouragement to you. They were a blessing to me as well. Even though we do all we know to do, the bottom line is that God is in control and He sees the whole picture when we see only in part. What comfort this gives us! Through my cancer journey, I am learning, as with your delivery, that God's timetable is not necessarily what I would have expected or hoped for even though I have worked hard at doing all the things I have learned to do that would enable my body to function the way God intended it to and heal itself. Though many others have experienced much faster healing and logically, my tumors should be gone by now, He has not chosen that path for me. This is where the realization of spiritual warfare comes in. It's not just about our circumstances, but what God wants to do in our hearts and lives. How privileged we are that He cares so intimately to have a personal plan for each of us. How exciting to watch it unfold, in His timing, as we submit ourselves to Him!

You had mentioned recently that you hoped you would go into labor during the day, so Graeme would not have to experience the trauma of going to sleep with someone else. Rest in the knowledge that whatever time of day or night, as with the delivery of this precious new life, God will be watching over Graeme with care and a love that far surpasses own.

You, Mark, and Graeme are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. I will continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide your decision-making, thoughts, and feelings and that the Lord will grant you the desire of your heart to have a natural vaginal birth with a healthy momma and healthy baby. Remember that God delights in doing that which to us seems improbable. May you rest in His love and may His peace, comfort, and joy fill your hearts and minds in the days ahead.

Much love to you all,
Mom Evans

IF said...

Praying for you lots!! I hope it gets things jumpstarted this weekend!!!
I remember how those last few days felt with me so vividly. Just being in early labor for days takes its toll physically and emotionally. I remember feeling so very anxious about everything and my blood pressure was terrible! The thought of being away from Iza just broke my heart. I missed being able to hold her before bed, so I can sympathize with that. However, Iza did so good and she did so much better than I expected. I bet there will be extra angels watching over Graeme while you are away! I also remember looking back and realizing God's timing for Olivia couldn't have been more perfect. She arrived the day after my mom arrived in Poland and mom was able to help me with Iza and Olivia for the entire time she was there. Irek was also able to be at the hospital with me because my mom was with Iza. Also, my doctor was at the hospital that day and not her office and the labor midwives were so sweet and helpful and one spoke a lot of English. God has that perfect birthdate already set and planned!! Sending hugs!

IF said...

However the midwife who spoke some english didn't know how to say push, don't push! haha!! Irek was trying to translate and it was insane!!!! I think though all of the confusion I didn't push as hard and didn't have the major problems like I had the first time! hahahahaha.

Laura said...

We're praying for God's will for all four of you, but also specifically that this little guy will come SOON and on his own. I don't know if you've ever had a non-stress test before, but it's definitely nothing to worry about. I've had several. When I was pregnant with Abigail I didn't have one contraction the whole time they were monitoring me, but labor started with bang a few hours later!

seamwrite said...

Bless you Mark... How often we forget Who is really in charge. I have been stuck at Colossians 3:15-17 for days now, remembering that "let the peace of God rule..." is a free decision of the will.

Jumping up and down is not all that far off... BOWLING! That was the trick for your birth! Seems to have naturally broken my water.

And remember, the doctor broke my water with Melissa. No problems, 12 hours later natural birth with no pitocin or drugs (well, a little bit of injected pain reliever at the very last minute got me from 9 to 10!).

You can do this - but it's not always up to you. Wise husbands are truly one of God's best gifts to us. Love to you all, Mom