Baby Girl will be one month old on September 22, and this week I’m finally sharing her birth story! Be sure to go back and read part 1 here!
As I wrote in part 1 of my third baby’s birth story, at the very end I was impatient–and fearful. Each day after my due date seemed to last forever, and I woke up each morning incredibly discouraged.
Like my friend Leigh Ann, I don’t believe in inducing labor unless medically necessary. And although there are many ways you can try to naturally induce labor, I don’t believe in trying much of anything to bring on labor unless you are trying to avoid a medical induction for whatever reason.
And that’s the point where I was a month ago. My midwife group is overseen by OBs, and they do not let any woman go over 42 weeks pregnant. (And, honestly, the more I’ve researched it, I don’t know that I personally think it would be safe to go much past the 42-week mark…but that’s another post for another day.)
When my due date came and went on August 10, my midwives didn’t once pressure me to speed along an induction. In fact, at every visit, they encouraged me that they were sure this would be my final prenatal appointment, and my baby would soon come on her own.
But as days turned into a week “overdue” (I also think my due date was off my about 5 days, which would have still made my baby a week overdue), they told me I needed to get some tests run to make sure the baby was still OK. I would call myself a cautiously “crunchy” mama. I love natural living–don’t get me wrong. But I believe there is a time and a place for medical intervention, so I had no qualms to undergo these tests. I just hoped and prayed they would turn out OK.
Around 41 weeks, I went in for an ultrasound with an OB, Dr. Al, to check my amniotic fluid as well as a NST (non-stress test) with one of the midwives, Cindy. Both Dr. Al and Cindy said there was no reason to talk about induction because everything still looked fine. I did have a trace amount of protein in my urine (one indicator of pre-eclampsia), so they wanted me to collect a 24-hour sample to be tested the following day. I also asked for my iron levels to be re-checked since I was anemic. To my disappointment, my levels were even lower than before! I determined to get my iron levels up as quickly as possible. Cindy was sure I’d have a baby that weekend!
Image by blue2likeyou
But the weekend came and went–and no baby came. And it’s really a good thing because I believe I overdid it so much on the iron that I got iron poisoning! I literally spent that Friday and Saturday eating as many iron-rich foods as I could think of as well as take my iron supplements. I woke up Sunday morning feeling very nauseated and was sick all day. My doula came over and encouraged me. There’s no way my body could have handled labor that weekend!
On Monday, Aug. 20, I had another prenatal appointment. This time, I saw the midwife Lynn. I did not have an ultrasound, but I did have another NST. While the NST results weren’t quite as good as the week before, the baby still seemed to have a good heart rate and be moving well. My urine still showed some trace protein, which was concerning.
And Lynn had some disappointing news. If the baby didn’t come by Friday, I’d have to be induced. I don’t typically get cervical checks because I really see no reason for them, but at this point, I wanted to see if I were dilated at all because I knew if I were or weren’t would help determine any methods of induction.
Lynn checked me. I wasn’t dilated–at all.
Thinking it would be the more “natural” route, I asked about rupturing my membranes if I were to go much longer. She said my practice no longer does that after a baby whose mother was GBS positive died after the mother’s membranes were stripped.
I said I absolutely did not want cytotec. She said because my cervix was no ripened, the induction would most likely involve me coming in on Tuesday night to get cervidil–in hopes that it would start to ripen–and then get pitocin on Wednesday morning if I weren’t already in labor. I never once felt pressured by her for the Wednesday induction. I believe she knew who I wanted to deliver, and that particular midwife would have been on call Wednesday.
But she also knew my wishes for a completely natural birth–and to not be induced. I discussed a few natural induction methods with her, and I left with the agreement that I would call and let her know when I had made a decision.
Have you ever had the experience of being “overdue” with a baby? Did your OB or midwife run special tests on you once you passed your due date? Did you ever feel pressured to induce?
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