Thursday, August 14, 2014

Single Digits...Maybe?

The irony... The first half of this pregnancy I was so concerned with carrying a healthy baby to full term. Perhaps it's because so many people are delivering early these days and/or experiencing NICU stays; whether it's from carrying multiples, choosing to do elective C sections, OB's pushing inductions to accommodate busy schedules, or some just delivering early naturally. For the most part, I think most pregnant women would agree, it's like you sit there holding your breath to make it past the Week 20's and into the 30's, and then when you get towards the end, you just start getting antsy. So, here I sit patiently waiting to see if my body will show ANY signs of impending labor whatsoever at almost 39 weeks (8 days until EDD of 8/22).

Of course, I want a fully baked bun, which means going until at least 40 weeks. I guess it would just be nice to see SOME sort of indication that this baby has ANY intention of making his debut in the next week or two...or three if it comes to that. At last OB check, I was still 0% effaced and 0 cm dilated. My cervix is basically like Fort Knox right now.

I know that everyone is different. Some people show thinning of the cervix and dilation steadily progressing in the weeks leading up to birth. They may experience baby dropping into position and contractions for weeks before delivering. Then for others, it just kind of happens all at once in the matter of 24-48 hours right before giving birth. I would love to have some sort of sign that things are beginning to move in the right direction, but if my lack of progress cervically is any indication, I'm still just holding out hope that I'll be one of those last minute moms whose baby comes just in the knick of time, before any interventions are necessary.

So when would it be time to intervene (meaning induce...ick)? Before my OB read my birth plan, he suggested that he'd recommend inducing if I went 10 days past my EDD. I DO NOT feel comfortable with this. Why? Because only 5% of babies are even born on their actual due date, and it is not uncommon at all to go 2 weeks early or 2 weeks late. This is just a fact well known for thousands of years. So, no you're not going to pump me full of meds when I'm still in a very normal range for something to happen on it's own.

True story: I, myself, was born 2 weeks late @ 8 lb. 13 oz. My parents were so poor that my mom received no prenatal care whatsoever, not even a doctor's visit prior to giving birth to me. In fact, they decided at 9 months along to move cross country from Maine to Texas, because my dad could find construction work in Texas easier. So, they drove all that way with my mom about to pop. She figured she'd just go to the nearest hospital if/when she went into labor. Then, when I was born (at a charity hospital with a doctor she didn't even know), her labor just came all at once, was very short, and I basically flew out of her vagina with a full head of hair at almost 9 lbs. Ha! At least that is what she told me.

Furthermore, ACOG's most recent recommendations even state that post date is considered past 42 weeks....not 40, not 41, but past 42 weeks. As you probably know, artificial induction (Pitocin, cervadil, cytotec, etc). causes much more painful contractions than would occur naturally. Once you opt to induce, there is a higher likelihood that you'll then request an epidural, which can then actually slow down labor (funny huh), which can then lead to baby "not progressing" or having fetal distress, which then increases likelihood of a C section, and ultimately higher risks for mom and baby both. Sounds fun right!?  I am by no means dogging anyone else who's gone this route, and inducing doesn't lead to the entire domino effect of interventions 100% of the time. I'd just prefer a natural alternative ideally.

At the end of the day, a live healthy baby is the most important outcome, and everyone has to make the decision best for them. However, you can see why induction is the enemy to most people who want a NUCB. There are women who are induced that do make it through with zero pain meds, but they are the exception rather than the rule. I would really just like to avoid all that jazz if humanly possible. Luckily, my OB has not mentioned the "I" word once in these late stages. In fact his words at our last apt a few days ago were, "Don't worry. It'll happen. I promise." Talk about a weight being lifted from my shoulders to just hear his confidence in allowing baby and my body to do it's thing in it's own time!

We will cross that bridge if we come to it, but for now I have no intention of letting anyone pull the induction card on us any time prior to 42 weeks. Nor will we fall prey to the "big baby card"...saying our baby will be too big or something crazy like that. Nope, not buying it!

Hopefully ya'll know me well enough to know I research the crap out of this stuff before forming an opinion. Baby is being closely monitored already with BPP's weekly. As long as there are no health issues with mom or with the baby and there is no disfunction indicated for the placenta, there are no real risks to either of us. Baby may just come a little late, and that's OK! A fellow mom relayed a quote to me that was drilled into her head in birthing class, and it stuck with me. They said to ask yourself, "Is mom OK? Is baby OK? Then, what's the problem?" I like that line of thinking!

So, in the meantime, I'm doing my normal...praying about it and just living my life. I've begun to do all the typical "come on baby voodoo" as far as drinking RRL tea, using a birth ball to bounce on/sway on, having intercourse, exercising 7 days/wk, and will begin acupuncture again next week if little one hasn't made an appearance by then. Also, doing all the stuff I won't have time to do once baby is here. I guess you could say this is my mantra right now...


My most recent reads, all good ones (lent from my doula)...



Got my hair did (added in some strawberry highlights)...



Did my own french pedicure (pretty proud of this)...



Have some food prepped for easy healthy dinners post-birth...




Preston's wardrobe is all washed and hung...



Most things are ready for the hospital bag, and car seat has been installed too. Now all we need is a baby!

48 comments:

  1. Yay, it's almost time!! I am so excited for you!!

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  2. If you do need to be induced, you don't need to go the chemical route! I had a midwife who knew I wasn't a fan of pitocin if we could avoid it, so she used something called a folley(sp?) ball or bulb. They inserted a balloon in my cervix and it was supposed to help me dilate to 4 cms and then fall out. It was pretty effective. I didn't research it before we got to the hospital so I don't know risks or anything, but I just wanted to mention it. I don't know why it is not a more popular route to induce.

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    1. This is great info. Will definitely read up on it and be asking about it if needed. Makes sense how that would help. Thanks so much for mentioning it!

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    2. The Foley catheter isn't fun, but it can do wonders I hear!

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  3. I'm so stinking excited for you!!!!!! Can't wait to see his precious little face :) xoxoxo

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  4. I had the foley bulb thing; kind of a pain going in and weird to shower, go to the bathroom with but otherwise not too bad! Almost time! I'm so excited to see Preston's face and see your glow when you hold him :)

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    1. You know what...I think I've maybe had one before too. It sounds like the balloon thingy they inserted when I had my laparoscopy/ hysteroscopy surgery. Hmmmm, good to know it didn't bother you that much!

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  5. I've been thinking about you a lot lately wondering how you were doing. So glad to hear that things are "uneventful" in a sense that that means things are great! Hopefully he starts making his entrance/exit (ha, depending on how you look at it) very soon!! You're SOOOO close. I couldn't be happier for you and these special moments that are just around the corner.

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    1. Guess I never thought about the fact that he's both entering and exiting at the same time. We will try to think of it as entering, because it's somehow less painful that way. lol

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  6. I sincerely hope your body starts showing some natural signs of progression soon. As a nurse who worked many years in the NICU, I can also warn you of the risks of going too far past your due date. Your placenta can start to be less efficient as it gets "old" and your baby is more at risk for releasing meconium and therefore at risk for meconium aspiration which can be very severe, even deadly. I have cared for babies that were just as sick from being too late as coming too early. I hope and pray that your body and baby comes naturally with no interventions needed and is born nice and healthy!

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    1. Thanks for the advice Beth. Just curious, what do you consider to be "too far past your due date?" I am well aware of the risks associated with going past due dates, but again....post term is considered past 42 weeks. I'm going to stick with ACOG's reco's on anything past 42 weeks being considered post term, and not the 40 or 41 that I see many women scared into believing. At 42 weeks, I do agree that it would make sense to consider our options.

      I truly feel we are doing a good job of doing what's best- monitoring baby doing BPP's weekly, growth u/s, and monitoring heart rate, checking blood flow to placenta, along with close monitoring of all of my own vitals...which are also very healthy. My amniotic fluid is outstanding (probably from drinking close to 1 gal water daily), and there has been zero indication of anything out of the norm. My OB and perinatologist are not exactly "natural birth" type of doctors typically and they both keep telling me to just keep doing what I'm doing and "We wish all of our patients took care of themselves like you." So, I'm just following dr.'s orders for now, but I do appreciate the concern. Technically, I still have 3 weeks until I'm even considered "post-term", so there is definitely still time for things to unfold on their own without intervention or the need to pull out all the scary stats.

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    2. Didn't mean to throw out scary stats! If all indications are that everything is going well with you and baby, then you will probably be fine going to 42 weeks. I have seen some babies sick at 41 or 42 weeks but some of them had stressors like gestational diabetes or mild to moderate high blood pressure. You have to listen to your own body and do what is right for you. I commend you for not rushing into an induction. I've cared for babies that didn't handle them well either! It is definitely a harder labor and delivery on you and baby! Chances are your little one will come when he is good and ready and your body will know just what to do! Lots of prayers and best of luck!

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  7. LOVE this update!!!! Ok - the fact that you did your own pedicure - say whhhat! You be crazy. Ha! My friend Melanie went 42 weeks exactly with her Preston! I totally agree - He will come when He is supposed to! The Lord already knows. I can.not.wait for that announcement! So excited! Praying for you Emily while you wait - hope the next few days/weeks are filled with rest and peace

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Caroline! I know in my heart if he's not ready at 40 weeks, then it's not my job to rush it with unnecessary medicine and interventions that early on. And thank you for the pedicure props! I surprised myself! haha!

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  8. yay! its almost time!! your preg FLEW by ( for me anyway! lol)!!

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    1. It did fly by, but I guess that is a good thing!

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  9. Wow! I can't believe its so close! He will be here before you know it, when he is good and ready! So glad your doctor isn't pushing for anything... that is such a relief!

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    1. Thanks for the support Shay! It is a relief to know that my doctor (who only delivers about 5% of his births completely au natural) has a very close eye on things, yet he's supporting our plans for a natural birth thus far. I feel like we're in a good place right now.

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  10. I have to say I like your way of thinking. My SIL was induced and when my niece arrived the nurse asked her when her due date was. Apparently she was not at 40 weeks like her doctor thought. All is well with my niece but just the fact that her doctor pushed her to it scares the beegeezus out of me. Goodluck Em, hope he comes when he's ready but not to late.

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    1. Oh man, that is nuts. Sorry for your SIL, but glad everything is OK with baby!

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  11. Wow, I can't even believe it's time already? When did this happen?

    I am so stinkin' excited for you. My friend just gave birth at 42+a few days and they even did a home birth, baby is perfectly healthy. You do what's best for you and baby and the family! Way to be your own advocate!

    I can't wait for the announcement!! YAY XOX

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    1. Love the natural home birth stories. Thanks Morgan!

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  12. Over prepare, then go with the flow... ha! Love it! This is so me lol.

    Oh Emily, you are just so cute! I'm so happy for you! I cannot believe little Preston will be here in a matter of days! Way to go you for standing your ground on things that you've researched yourself. Way to go for always educating yourself on major opinions like these! I totally agree with not starting the big "I" until 42 weeks UNLESS there is a true medical need (ie: GD or problems with baby).

    EEK! I can't wait for a birth story in the very near future!

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    1. Glad you can relate Darcie. Gotta prepare for any outcome of course. It's what gives us options in the first place!

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  13. You got this girl!! I was terrified of being induced and also showed no signs of labour until all of a sudden contractions started! He's going to be here before you know it :)

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    1. Love hearing from women who were just late to progress and then BAM it happened! You are one of my inspirations right now, because you got the birth you wanted, so thank you for that!

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  14. I, for one, just really love that you're here, discussing labor and wondering if you'll go past your due date… I mean really, how surreal? It wasn't all that long ago that we were hoping just one embryo would stick! So happy for you, Emily! Enjoy these last days of pregnancy! Wishing you a successful natural birth as you welcome Mr. Preston to the world!

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    1. It's definitely surreal Amanda. To think, the very last embryo we had left (either a BC or CB embryo....not sure which he was) ended up being our winner. Who'd have thunk it? Excited for your day to come too Amanda!

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    2. I love last embryo stories! Can't count them out!

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    3. Yep yep! I didn't quite understand why my RE's lab doesn't even typically grade embryos, since so many do. I basically forced them to give me some sort of data on my embryos...so they humored me. But, they kept telling me that AA is not necessarily better than BC at the end of the day. I am now a believer!

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  15. It looks like you are ready!! I hope he comes in a time frame that you can have your birth plan and everything you have planned. He is going to be one lucky, loved little boy!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Very excited for your upcoming transfer to your GC too! So many things for both of us to look forward to!

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  16. Such an exciting time for you! With my first, I had NO signs of labor. In fact at my 39 week check my dr chuckled after checking me to see if I was dilated and said, you're sealed up tight, we will see you next Friday. 2 days later I was in full blown labor. Unfortunately it wasn't an easy one, I ended up needing pictocin after about 20 hours and at hour 31 babe was showing signs of distress when I tried to push just once. I ended up having a C-section. It wasn't so bad. I knew I didn't want one, but our birth plan was simple, get our little girl out in whatever way necessary to be safe and healthy. I think you are amazing for having a great plan! Keep on doing what you are doing! You are already an amazing mommy to your son!

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    1. It really can go so many ways, but the one thing that remains constant is that a healthy baby is the goal at the end of the day for all of us. Thank you for sharing your story and for the words of encouragement Lindsey!

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  17. I love your attitude in regards to letting that baby "cook" a little longer if necessary. I roll my eyes whenever doctors tell people their babies will be too big. I've yet to see any babies actually weigh as much as the doctor's estimated, and our bodies were made to deliver babies of different sizes. We have no idea what our body is or is not capable of just based on the estimated size of a baby. Also, maybe I'm missing something, but have you ever heard of a baby just getting so comfortable they decided to never come out ever? No! And there were plenty of babies born before inductions were done, so I don't get why people start pushing mothers into inducing all the time. I hope that Preston comes on his own with no intervention necessary, but more than that, I hope you and he are both happy and healthy throughout the process!

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  18. Almost there!! I can't believe it!! Lots of good thoughts and prayers.

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  19. Just thought I would chime in... My edd was 8/5 (also currently pregnant through IVF) so dates are pretty darn correct. I've had two NST's and baby is happy with plenty of amniotic fluid.. But I reach 42 weeks this coming Tuesday and my time is up... Induction will be happening. I've had sparatic contractions here & there but nothing consistent... Just continue to trust your body and be prepared for anything. Trust God as he won't give us anything we can't handle. Good luck with a successful birth & will continue to follow!

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  20. So glad to hear your Dr. is ok with where you are at right now. I hope you don't have to fight an induction too early and that he comes on his own and soon! I'll be thinking and praying for you in the coming days/weeks.

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  21. oh my goodness! You are already like SUPER MOM! Hair done? You did your own pedicure? Meals planned and all ready? Wowzas! YOU ROCK! Love ya girlie! xo

    waitingforbabybird.com

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  22. I can't believe it's finally almost time. So excited for you! Looks like you are ready!!!

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  23. Yay! I can't wait to hear of Preston's arrival! And you seriously did that pedicure yourself?!?! Amazing!

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  24. I could barely do my own pedi before I was pregnant. Can we say super woman?

    You are officially on the bump/labor watch. Can't wait to hear your sweet news!

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  25. This post made me laugh because I remember writing a post a long time ago about your being the most informative blogger. Still living up to your reputation, I see. Hoping Preston makes his entrance before any intervention is needed. Can't wait to meet him.

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  26. I can't believe its almost time! I should have enjoyed the last few weeks and not have felt on edge too but I think its just a natural feeling when you have been waiting so long. That and the task of putting on pants (or doing anything) is just horrid ;) Good Luck Mama! I wish you a speedy and healthy labor. Can't wait to read your birth story!!!

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  27. also how in the world did you reach your own toes?!!! O_O

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  28. Peeking in and hoping for good news soon!

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