Apparently all my concentration on the mantra, “Stay pregnant. No labor,” worked far too well. Not that I think that’s the reason I’m still pregnant. But for some inexplicable reason this pregnancy has decided really really to go to term. I am quite the sensation at the doctor’s office, a real success story. Although for me, it still feels like a potential success story. Evidently I joined their care at the same time as at least one other woman who had “the same story” and she unfortunately went into preterm labor at 25 weeks and lost the baby again. I wondered if it was this woman. I’m sure she was sending her body “stay pregnant” messages constantly and I wish we knew more about why things work for some women and not for others.

I don’t know how OBs and high-risk specialists can handle it – I know most pregnancies work out well and seeing so many happy births must be incredibly satisfying. Yet my aunt asked me the other day if I was considering med school since I seem to spend so much time reading and thinking about birth. I responded with a hearty laugh. No way. Most importantly, I have no interest in dedicating another 6+ years to formal education. Also, I couldn’t tolerate going from one examination room where I’ve just had to tell a woman she has miscarried, to another where a woman like me sits – scared out of her mind, to another where a teenage girl sits with a surly boyfriend, all the while knowing that a certain percentage of these women will be devastated and I can’t stop it. I especially couldn’t enter each room fresh, leaving the joys or tragedies of the previous room behind to focus just on the patient and matter at hand. I’m not heroizing doctors, but it’s not a pain that I want to live with, certainly.

Monday’s appointment showed almost no progress. Dr. K told me that if she does see me on Monday, we will need to start considering options for induction. My due date is a week from Saturday, and we will induce at no more than 5 days beyond that. So we’re looking at a birthday of no later than Thursday, December 20th. As impatient as I am getting, induction increases the likelihood of c section and complications and as long as the baby is doing well and is active, I’ll suffer through the anxiety. I feel further from labor than ever – very, very few contractions. And yes, we’ve tried everything on everyone’s list. Even let Dr. K strip my membranes on Monday.


17 responses to “Wrenches

  1. “and is active”, you mean. Typing, typing!!! Ask about the hospital rules — will you still be able to walk around in labor if they start a pitocin drip? In my induction with the twins, i was not even allowed to go to the bathroom once the pit was started. I was NOT a happy camper. Still, maybe just breaking the waters will start labor.

    Oh, and i have heard that castor oil is a bad idea because it may cause the baby to release meconium…

  2. There is a saying you hear a lot when you learn CPR: Don’t be afraid of hurting the person who keels over on the floor in front of you, because that person is already dead. Anything you do to him/her from that point onward is 100 percent potential upside. I think high-risk OBs must have to embrace a similar philosophy. They know up front that they will not help everyone achieve a successful preganancy. But every patient who leaves the hospital carrying a healthy baby in their arms is a huge victory given the individual circumstances. To be part of making that so must be extremely rewarding, and would be the thing that I held on to during days when appointment after appointment seemed filled with patients I had to tell disappointing or sad news.

    On a completely personal note — Dec. 20th is my DH’s birthday, so if you go that far with the pregnancy, I’ll be thinking of you and yours as we have our own cake and candles over here.

  3. Yikes – thanks Kate! That’s what happens when you post while chatting and on the phone. I didn’t try castor oil – have also heard not good things about it.

    Thanks, Wabi.

  4. a part of me fantasizes about a side job in high-rish obstetrics – fantasy because, y’know, an M.A. in educational philosophy isn’t actually the usual starting place for that kind of specialization and like you i can’t see doing what would in my case be another ten or twelve years of school – just so i could figure this shit out and stop my own magical thinking on the subject.

    occasionally i fantasize that i already know everything the doctors do, too, ’cause i can read Dr. Google. and god, that is one dangerous little drift of the mind…that hubris.

    in any case, my imaginary doctor self says that that baby is going to come before the induction is needed. though of course, my imaginary doctor self is not actually certified, only certifiable. 🙂

  5. Eggplant parm. (I’m married to an Italian. I’m sure each ethnicity has its own baby-inducing food?) Otherwise, I have a feeling the membrane strip will do it. And no, I couldn’t do it either. The lows are too low for me, no matter the infrequency. But I do like the way Wabi put it. For peri’s, the highs are very high.

  6. birdiesknitknit


    Wowzers, I can’t believe it, no progress. I wanted to ask you if you had tried acupuncture? I have heard it works for some. Maybe try going for a hike? That is something that I wish I had done a lot more when I was around 40 weeks, nothing to rugged, but a good long mild hike for a few hours every few days to get my hips really moving to hopefully bring on labor.

    thinking of you!

  7. Wow. ANOTHER eggplant parmesan suggestion. May have to get some eggplant. I’ve been walking a lot and doing things around the house in hopes for some progress. A hike would scare me given the weather – cold and icy. I hadn’t thought of acupuncture – I was thinking about an intense prenatal massage but I was wondering about scheduling! Perhaps making an appointment would be enough to get the baby moving.

  8. Why eggplant parm? I mean, we had both Indian food and latkes yesterday. So, really heavy food that was both salty and greasy. I’ll be happy to make eggplant parm, though. I certainly like it.

  9. Hi Beruriah:

    Even though it probably seems like it’s taking forever, it’s still such good news. I had my membranes stripped (I went til the day before my due date) and just so you know, it’s not pleasant, but not really painful either, especially considering what the removal of the cerclage sounded like.

    Hang in there.

  10. Haha Amy. I had my membranes stripped on Monday. It wasn’t really painful but it was so weird and I feared I’d lose control of my bladder! You’re right though – detached from my anxiety that my body still has the opportunity now to screw us – this is a good position to be in.

  11. I know. My high risk docs and my midwives are my heroes! And I did my fair share of complaining about them, too! I wish I had the money to buy them all lunch or something – maybe once I’m back at work. Thank goodness for unexplained blessings! I’ll be chanting “stay pregnant” when I think of you too!

  12. oh they have a way of staying in until the end. that end being whenever they feel like it. I was almost 2 weeks overdue by the time they induced, which to them was only 3 days past my due date. It is almost time and I have no doubt that you will be holding your boy before you know it and all 3 of you will be doing well.

  13. My GP jokes that at this point, I know more than here, and frankly, so do my high risk OBs, which is a little scary. You could be a support person for high-risk pregnant or labouring women though.

    Anyway, the baby does eventually come out, I swear. And at 4 cm dliated and 100% effaced, you are so close the baby is hanging out, so I’m sure it will be soon.

  14. Oh gosh, it can’t be much longer! Can it?? I find it hard to believe you will go another week or more, but I guess anything is possible…

    Every pregnancy, every baby, every situation is so unique. I try to remind myself of that when I start thinking about all of the ways our loss might have been prevented. While there is a lot that can be done, it is also important to remember that sometimes even when everything is tried, things still don’t go as we had hoped. It’s a mystery… this life, birth, faith thing…

  15. Yes Aurelia is right. I would have been very happy to be in a 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced mode eruv-labor. Are your lists all in order? Whom to call? Where to send the baby to college? Are you nesting at all? I know you know, but be careful about pitocin, because of more strain on the heart. Don’t pay attention to you, I’m just still worried for you, BUT, I’m very excited for all of you too. SMOOCH!

  16. It’s really hard to believe that you’re so close to the finish line (couldn’t think of a better metaphor). But, just out of curiosity, why did you and your doctor decide to not let you go more than 5 days after your due date?

  17. Because at a certain point new risks are introduced by a post-date pregnancy. You aren’t postdate really until two weeks beyond the due date, though, so no one should take me as a model. We’re very very certain of the dates with this one since my ovulation is very reliable and all the ultrasounds have lined up perfectly with the dating.

    I asked at what point we would think about scheduling an induction and she said around 5 days to a week past the due date and I said, I’d prefer not to give birth 7 days past the due date because that’s a year from Natan’s birth on the Hebrew calendar, and she said that’s a good enough reason, we’ll induce at 5 days then. So it was a mix of science and personal preference.

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