At the doctor’s today, she informed me that I’m dilated to 4 cm! Woo hoo! That’s Phase One of labor already nailed, my friends! According to hospital guidelines, I could get an epidural right now! Just go about my daily life, numb from the waist down…
She also performed a procedure called “stripping the membranes” which sounds much more painful than it is. Basically, she just ran her finger around the edge of my cervix where the amniotic sac is attached and separated the two. She could only get 80% around, as I have, apparently, a “very narrow birth canal” and she couldn’t reach that corner. Right away, I started feeling very crampy, but as yet, no contractions. Because of Mr. Polyp, though, there was much blood. (Aren’t you so glad that you are getting these wonderful details? I feel so close to everyone right now…)
The doctor then offered to send us over to Labor and Delivery right then to get induced. Oh, I was so tempted! I let Tim be the voice of reason, though, and he suggested that maybe we should wait and see if the membrane stripping did any good. She said that something usually happens within 24 hours. She then said she’d have her nurse call and set up an induction time for Thursday. Joy! A deadline!
I then came home and immediately called Judy (the doula) for her advice. She said that although it is best to go into labor on your own, doctors start to get really antsy when you are this far dilated and not in labor yet. They start to worry that once things start to happen, they may happen very quickly, leaving you going through transition in the car while trying to get to the hospital or something. She thought an induction on Thursday would be fine. Double joy! Even the doula is on board!
Of course, this was all for naught when the nurse called and said that the hospital had no opening for inductions this entire week. Apparently, they are just swamped right now with all of us preggos having babies! So then the real kicker is that my doctor is on vacation for the next week! Great!
So the nurse said, ‘You’ll just have to go into labor on your own,’ which is fine, but what if that doesn’t happen within the next week and a half? Did she not even attempt to schedule something for next week since the doc’s going to be gone? I don’t even have an appointment set up with her at any point in the future! Not to mention that I’ve never even met who might be covering for her next week! GRR!
Needless to say, I’m freaking out a little. I do feel a little better that I’m not going to be induced, though. For one thing, your contractions have a tendency to come on strong when they use pitocin. Plus, once they get an IV in you (which they use to administer the pitocin), this invisible clock starts ticking — timing your progression. If you don’t progress so far so fast, then your chances of having a C-section are greatly increased. Plus, I think that getting induced really goes against my whole birthing philosophy. I mean, I’m supposed to be a believer that my body can do this on its own, right? That no medical intervention is really necessary. The baby has to come out at some point.
So much to think about! But I must admit, I felt the temptation of just having this baby right now. Now I’m really in it for the long haul.