Thursday, September 3, 2009

Preview to our birth story....

I'm going to split this into two posts because so much has happened in a week!

After the Braves game last week (Wednesday), I had my 37-week appointment with my midwife. Everything looked good (BP, urine sample, baby's heart rate, etc. etc.) until she measured my uterus and found I was only measuring about 34 cm. Now, I had been measuring about 2 cm behind for weeks now, and she wasn't that concerned, but 1-2 cm off is okay and 3 is something to be a little worried about. We decided to have an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay.

At the ultrasound, the baby looked great- size was good, heart/organs normal, practicing breathing, etc. Problem: my amniotic fluid was really low. 5-25 cm is considered normal, and I was measuring 5.4 cm. Anything below 5 is an automatic induction. Luckily my midwife decided to give me the weekend to try to get my fluid levels up. I was supposed to drink as much water as I could (which is tough, because I already drink a ton!) and come back on Monday for another ultrasound. If my levels were the same or lower, we were looking at an induction on Monday or Tuesday.

I spent the weekend pretty much in the bathroom, as I was drinking about a gallon of water a day, but when I went back to the midwife's on Monday, my levels were up to 6 cm! Yay for no induction! But now for the complication- after my cervical exam, it turned out I was already 4-5 cm dilated and 80% effaced, which should have been exciting- except for my midwife was going out of town the following weekend! So we had to decide what to do. I was really worried because the doctor scheduled on call has a super-high intervention rate- pro-epidural, etc. My midwife basically told me that the natural birth I wanted was probably not going to be a possibility with that doctor. What to do?!?!

I thought everything over and came back for another appointment on Tuesday. Although I could have justified an induction due to fluid levels (thereby assuring my midwife would be there), I definitely didn't want to push the baby at only 38 weeks if he/she wasn't ready. But I was so scared about birthing without my midwife- I've never even seen another doc for a prenatal visit!

In the end, we decided to take some natural steps to see what would happen. Basically, these steps would potentially speed up the labor process if I was ready, but if my body wasn't ready, basically nothing would happen and I would take my chances on making it through the weekend. I decided to: 1. Have my membranes stripped 2. Do the castor oil treatment.

I had my membranes stripped on Tuesday at about 12:00 pm and did the castor oil treatment when I got home (2 tablespoons in a smoothie, then wait an hour and repeat). The membrane deal wasn't that bad- sort of like a deep, thorough exam, but caused some cramping after. I don't think the castor oil was necessary because I started having contractions before it really kicked in- around 2 pm.

I basically spent the rest of the day Tuesday praying the contractions I was having wouldn't go away. Up until that point, I'd only had Braxton-Hicks- that is, tightening but no pain. These were definitely different and uncomfortable, but still not really regular or timeable. At about 8 pm I took a bath to relax, and for some crazy reason decided I wanted to go for a run. I know, I am crazy, but I can honestly say this is what my body was telling my to do. So about 8:30 pm I headed out the door to run in our subdivision.

I had a glorious run- because the baby had dropped, I could breathe really comfortably, and because of the cold front moving through it was really nice out. I got about 2 1/2 miles in when all of a sudden I couldn't run through the contractions anymore. I actually stopped to walk- which I NEVER do- and realized I had to really breath and vocalize to get through the contractions. Then I promptly threw up in someone's yard and knew this was the real deal.

I made it back to the house (somehow)- I knew I had to do it because I'd told Brett not to look for me until I'd been gone at least 30 minutes, and it hadn't been that long yet. I immediately grabbed my birthing ball and headed for the nursery- where I turned out the light and hid like some kind of animal for a few more contractions on the ball. I felt kinda bad because Brett knew things were getting serious, but I definitely didn't want ANYONE around me/touching me/talking to me. About 10 minutes after I'd gotten home my water broke. And that's where I'll leave this for now!


Denise said...

Super exciting!!!! I am loving this!!!

BTW, I *almost* asked you over Facebook if your midwife stripped your membranes Monday after you appointment b/c of the fact that you went into labor so quickly (relatively) after that. :)

She's a beauty! Can't wait to meet her!

Jenny said...

I'm so glad you didn't have to have a pitocin induction! That's such a sad predicament to be in, having to choose between beginning labor naturally and having your care provider of choice present. Very exciting so far--can't wait to read the rest!

I am seriously considering taking up running (or just jogging?) once I'm fully recovered from this baby. I haven't run since early college but you (and several of my other friends) make it sound so wonderful, and it'd be a good way to get into shape and de-stress. I think I'll start out just walking and work my way up. Now all I need is a double stroller.

Kacie said...

OH wow! That is amazing! You are the only pregnant woman I've ever heard of who went on a run while in labor. Amazing!

And geez, don't leave us hanging for long! :)

Emily said...

You're right, Jenny. The question was which was more natural- inducing through non-chemical/hormonal means and having a care provider dedicated to my wishes present, or letting nature take its course and risking a birth with a high-intervention provider. But ultimately I'm happy with what we decided to do.

....Another argument for homebirth!

Ed and Elizabeth said...

OKAY...first of all you are INSANE to go running when you are pretty much in early labor. You are my hero b/c once I got to be about 36+ weeks I officially couldn't even walk around the neighborhood without this awful shooting pain up my spine. Seriously Ed and I would go out on a walk and within like 10 minutes the pain would be so bad that I was lucky to hobble home. BTW you are lucky the castor oil worked b/c I totally tried that and it pretty much did NOTHING except cleaned me out. I did that I think the day I was due and Jack wasn't born until almost a week later. I CAN'T WAIT to hear the rest of your story!! I have to work 14+ hours the next 4 days in a row so I might not even get the chance to read the rest...but I can't wait!! :) "Lucy" is GORGEOUS!! Great job!!! Isn't it amazing????