...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.
6 ways we do a chill-but-orderly summer with kids
22 hours ago