Wednesday, January 09, 2013

To intervene or not to intervene...

40 weeks

Pregnancy with baby boo was kind of tough - I'll be honest. Even with mad prep for morning sickness it still took a toll on our family. The guilt that comes with not being able to participate in your own life is heavier than the frustration of being sick in the first place. Why does nausea have to be part of gestating a new life? I mean



And why do some women have almost no nausea and some wish for death? My favorite quote about severe morning sickness:

"First you are afraid you are going to die...Then you are afraid that you won't."

After coming back to survive from that, I was in the swamp that is a faith crisis and things were hard mentally.

Preparing for baby takes a lot of mental preparation and I was struggling with it. I had panic attacks. Thought I was tempting fate. Five beautiful healthy babies so far - what were the odds we'd be that lucky again?

And I knew what was in store birth wise, felt some undue pressure to be a pro at it. I thought what if it is harder? What if God punishes me for doubt through some horrific childbirth complication?  My mind wandered to OT school where we watched a documentary of a woman who's child was stuck (most likely shoulder dystocia though it was never stated) and she was in that situation for 14 HOURS while her husband traveled by horse and buggy to come back with help. Her baby survived with cerebral palsy.

I woke up a few times with classic anxiety attacks. Nameless fear, unbridled panic. My heart racing, not enough air in the room and like a child I had to turn on a light and sometimes even wake up Kyle.

All of this is hard to write now. I want nothing more than to sing the joys of pregnancy and motherhood but I can't help but keep it real. Sometimes it is scary and you feel woefully inadequate.  As the weeks drew closer and after spending some time with my mom I started to get a handle on things.

I was also reading intensely for my upcoming training as a Birth Boot Camp instructor. In one book, this one, it outlined ways to make sure the pregnant mother is taking care of herself in all areas. Under emotional, it said "Do you ask for the affection or communication you need when you need it."  And I realized I needed to talk about things with Kyle, out loud. I needed my words to go out into the atmosphere and get diluted by sense and compassion.

We were not taking a childbirth class ourselves this time around and I could tell the difference. There was no homework to report. No relaxation to be prodded to do. I did my squats upstairs, my kegels in the checkout line, and tried to relax on my own.

So I started to ask for what I needed. We talked. I said I was quite frankly terrified of this delivery.

And issue by issue it was worked out in my mind and through my words.

We had a wonderfully trained midwife who would be with us. With a back up midwife. We are not 14 hours away from a hospital.  Birth is natural. Birth works if you let it.

God, if he or she is there, loves me and doesn't actively punish life on this earth.

I took deep cleansing breaths and my heart became ready for the labor.

The labor that was NOT starting.

So there I was the morning after mall walking: Belly measured, pee stick good, weight check skipped (thank you very much), baby's head position down.

Do you want a vaginal exam? she asked - it would be the first one of the pregnancy five days past EDD.  And I said what any informed  but nevertheless desperate woman would say "I don't knowwwwww...."  slow blink.

Midwife - "It's up to you."
Me - "ok yes" wait... no..... ok yes.

Now have in mind I was almost 4 cms dilated at 38 weeks with my first child. So here with my sixth at 40 weeks 5 days I was:

2 centimeters!!!

I was not ok with this information.  And this my friends is the classic reason why vaginal exams are not only pointless but in fact harmful. They don't really mean anything, they are not a crystal ball telling you if, how, or when labor will start. And in my case it can make you incredibly frustrated and start doubting your body when you need confidence.

Everything seemed well overall and for precaution's sake only, it was recommended I get a non stress test by the back up OB. Problem was though that we were flying without insurance. Long story.

Actually its a short one, even with benefits insurance is too expensive. So we don't use it anymore. And being that we were paying out of pocket for everything, paying $400 for a non stress test on a baby I felt actively moving inside of me seemed unnecessary. So I declined and we talked methods of natural induction. I had tried all the usual suspects. Walking? check. Spicy foods? check. Sex? check.

The next options to discuss were herbal methods. I said hell to the no on castor oil. This wasn't my first rodeo I didn't want to start labor with forced diarrhea. The next up was a concoction called labor start with a base of cohosh.

I said I'd think about it.

Went home with a bottle. Left it in my purse and called a woman at church who's first labor was helped along with this herbal remedy.

Asked her every single question you could possibly think of. Hung up, meditated, took some deep cleansing breaths, rubbed my belly and thought to myself:

nope, not yet.

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