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Talk me back down and help me be more realistic!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Help me ladies! I am totally at a loss for what to do; or if it is even practical to do to begin with.


DH is shipping out with the Army July 17th. He will be gone for a minimum of 8 months, a max of 14 months. The midwife (home birth) said she is completely comfortable helping me induce labor anytime after July 6th...which is when she feels comfortable delivering me at home.

Here are the options I am trying to outweigh and pick between:

1. Induce with caster oil, sex, intense walking, strong doses of RRL tea (not taking any yet) etc etc the weekend of July 10th to try and bring this baby out. If I am getting so close, the midwife does carry pitocin and said she would be willing to give me a tiny dose that would cause me to contract for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, if I was still contracting, then we would know I was in labor. However, if the contractions were to stop, then we would know it didn't work. I could then reassess the situation, and decide if I wanted to try more Pitocin, or just not mess with it at all if it were too intense.

I have some serious reservations about all of this. I KNOW I will not be comfortable trying to home birth without DH here. I don't have a support system really, and I honestly feel like I will end up in a traumatic birth experience and no one in my family will stand up for my "crazy" choices (delay cord clamping, no vit k or eye goop...etc etc) The hospital around here is not breastfeeding friendly or anything either, and I cant bring myself to even think about birthing at a hospital.

I am concerned about if the inducing does work, she will be so little right? I mean, are babies at 36 weeks REALLY healthy? The possible issue is lung development, correct? What would all this inducing do to her possibly?

FWIW- I had all the preterm labor issues, I am thinned out, and I am 1 cm at 34 weeks.

With ds (our only child) we induced via caster oil three times before it worked finally at 41 weeks. So I am not convinced all this effort is going to bring anything with it but heartache. Then again, I feel like if I don't at least try to induce before DH leaves, that I will always wonder 'what if ' and be really upset with myself, and possibly have some fear come in to play during labor when he is gone.

I am usually pretty zen and all baby comes when baby is ready. However, I am just really struggling with DH being gone. I don't believe in myself with two kids alone without support. I fear birthing without the only advocate who feels the same way I do, and I really know how crushed he will be to miss the birth by a week or two.

I just think the reality of everything is sinking in. I am just scared. We have known his ship out date since February I believe, but back then, it seemed so far away. Now, we are 30 days away from him going, and it's really beginning to sink in (add in hormones and all the "worst case" thoughts passing in my head and I am honestly a mess!)

So, what do you ladies think? I know all I am doing is over thinking everything I can possibly over think! I feel guilty for ds, who is not even 2 and is going to experience losing his dad and getting a new baby in a matter of a few weeks. I just feel like this was the worst thing to do was get pregnant... not because she isn't wanted, but because the circumstances are way less than ideal. I just feel like I am starting this babie's whole new life off on the wrong foot. Ugh.

Would you ladies try inducing at 36 weeks? Would you just let nature do it's thing? I know it's easier to assess the situation when you aren't in it.... so that's why I figured I'd ask here!
post #2 of 29
Oh my goodness, what a difficult decision! I'm so sorry you're having to make it.

One thing to think about if the babe does not come before he leaves is finding a really great doula. If you can't afford one, there is an organization that provides doulas free of charge for military families and may be something to look into. It could give you the support you need to still have a homebirth or at least a little better hospital birth if need be.
post #3 of 29
In your situation I think I'd try to induce. Or get a doula like the pp
suggested.
post #4 of 29
I'm so sorry you're facing this. I can relate to a certain extent. I was in a similar situation with DD. My xH was in training during my pregnancy and got a 2 weeks leave around my due date. I ended up inducing with cervical gel. It definitely changed the course of my labor (22 hours from 1cm to 6cm and then with one more dose of gel went from 6cm to holding DD in 45 min). Looking back I realize that the induction played a part in a lot of what went 'wrong' in my labor, but even now, even after xH and I are divorced, I would still do it the way I did. I think it was so important for their bonding experience to have him there for her birth. He was gone for 16 more months after that, so it was important for him to have met her and made that connection.

Okay, enough about me.....lol......just wanted you to know that I understand your position. First of all, I think you need to allow yourself to be okay with the decision to try some induction methods. Don't feel guilty about it, or like you're doing something wrong. It's warranted in your situation, and it's great that your midwife is backing you up on this. If I were you, I'd start taking RRL right now. Drink a glass or two a day to strengthen your uterus. In the week leading up to the date you would like to try stronger methods of inductions, I'd eat lots of pineapple, spicy foods, walk a lot, have sex, and do some meditation. Take some time each day to visualize baby moving down and out. Maybe do some yoga or stretching to get baby low and in a good position. Then when you get to your dates of wanting to induce you can try the caster oil. Be prepared, it's no fun, but if taken repeatedly every couple hours it can work. The pitocin (as a last resort) sounds like a good plan. Not many women have the option to start and stop pit as they chose. It seems to me that nothing here is set in stone, no one is pressuring you to do this, it can be you and your DH's decision down to the very second it's happening. If you feel something just isn't right, you can decline the pit.

As for 36 weekers, it's hard to say. My friend just had a baby girl at 36 weeks. Her placenta was detaching, baby was breach, she was 5cm and her water broke so she had to go in for a csection. Baby was born perfectly healthy (even with the other complications) breathing normally and all was as if baby had cooked for 40 weeks (besides her being a peanut at 5lbs4oz). On the flip side, I've heard of 37-38 week babies that are born a little slow to start that need extra care. I think unfortunately you won't know until you know, but in general I think 36 weekers will do well. Good luck to you and I hope your LO will cooperate and come out to meet daddy. If not, remember that you can do this!!! A doula is a great idea, and it sounds like your midwife is increadibly supportive. You will find the ability to care for your children while your husband is gone. That strength will present itself and you'll get through it!!!
post #5 of 29
I don't know what I would do in your situation. I can imagine but can't really understand how you are feeling about all of this. 8-14 months is such a long time to have your childrens' father and your husband away, I can see how you would want to experience this with him before he leaves.

However, if you induce an unready baby at 36 weeks, you could end up with a baby in the hospital for a while. She could be jaundiced, she could have a little trouble breathing with lungs that aren't quite ready for air. At the less severe but still troubling end, she could be unprepared to nurse, and you'd have to supplement or bottle feed for a few weeks. These situations will only add to the stress of saying goodbye to your husband.

I would feel comfortable trying some at home methods of inducing: sex, castor oil, rrl, evening primrose oil, etc, but I would not be comfortable with pitocin at 36 weeks. If your body and your baby are not ready, going down the pitocin road could land you with a c-section, which, again, is going to make saying goodbye to your husband much harder.

I know this is a terrible situation for you to be in, and I understand you feeling regret if you don't at least TRY, so can you find peace with going the at-home route, and if those methods don't work, you can assume that it's not time and not right to rush things?
post #6 of 29
I would try all the natural labor induction methods you mentioned. If baby isn't ready to come out, then baby won't come out. End of story. I would be a little more leery of using the pictocin. Maybe if you have a labor that is starting and stalling, I would do it, but if all the natural stuff yeilds nothing I would be hesitant to try to kick it in chemically.

For what it is worth, I've heard the, um, oral administration of ALL labor inducing fluids can really help get things going.... get what I mean?
post #7 of 29
I wonder if there is some way you and your husband could set up a video conference type of thing so that he can see you and the baby if it doesn't happen until after he leaves.

Good luck, sounds like a tough decision.
post #8 of 29
I want to say that I would not try to induce, but given the situation it is hard to say. I guess you could try & if it doesn't work then baby just isn't ready.

You sound like if you go into labor after your DH is gone you are already set for being in the hospital. Why? Are you in a position to hire a doula to help you either at home or at a hospital? Any friends or family that you feel comfortable having at a home birth?
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! I guess I just thought from the get go that I would have this baby after DH leaves, so to hear him talk about the need to hold her before he leaves (which I completely understand) I am really wanting to give this whole inducing an effort. He understands it might not work, and at least then we can just chalk it up to the universe having other plans. However, I feel if I don't try to induce, he could possibly resent me or be upset we didn't try ya know? 8-14 months is such a long time to be gone. I know if he gets to hold her, he will carry that bond with him, and hopefully, she will warm up to him when he arrives. At least on his end she wont seem so "foreign" if he was there for the birth versus coming home to a daughter you never met and she is all most a year old. (That sounds harsh but please don't take it that way!)

There is no chance of him witnessing the birth in anyway. In fact, if he is gone, I will be able to call the emergency number and they will have him call me, but it will be just a few minutes long and that's it. Perhaps I could try and schedule it at a late phase of labor so maybe, just maybe, he could hear her being born. The only other option is to film it and send it, and wait until he has access to a laptop and then he can watch it. Not ideal, but it can be done.

I DO have a doula for this birth as well. She volunteered her services knowing our circumstances. I have only talked with her once though, and she is going on vacation the week of my actual due date, so she has a much higher chance of attending the birth if we induce instead of holding out.

The pitocin is only going to be given if my body seems to be ready and/or labor has started and stopped a few times. I trust my midwife 100%, and I know we would really take her opinions seriously. If she thinks we aren't getting anywhere, then that's it. If she thinks it would really make a difference, then I will give it a try. I feel much better knowing it's not like at a hospital where it would be a constant drip. At least this way, it's a one time dose and see where things go from there.

So wow, it looks like we are on track to inducing a mere 23 days from now



Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarlady View Post

For what it is worth, I've heard the, um, oral administration of ALL labor inducing fluids can really help get things going.... get what I mean?

Ok I spit my drink out all over my keyboard when I read this! I made DH come over and read it, and he was said "yeah! Listen to that lady!!" Look what you started
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
I don't know what I would do in your situation. I can imagine but can't really understand how you are feeling about all of this. 8-14 months is such a long time to have your childrens' father and your husband away, I can see how you would want to experience this with him before he leaves.

However, if you induce an unready baby at 36 weeks, you could end up with a baby in the hospital for a while. She could be jaundiced, she could have a little trouble breathing with lungs that aren't quite ready for air. At the less severe but still troubling end, she could be unprepared to nurse, and you'd have to supplement or bottle feed for a few weeks. These situations will only add to the stress of saying goodbye to your husband.

I would feel comfortable trying some at home methods of inducing: sex, castor oil, rrl, evening primrose oil, etc, but I would not be comfortable with pitocin at 36 weeks. If your body and your baby are not ready, going down the pitocin road could land you with a c-section, which, again, is going to make saying goodbye to your husband much harder.

I know this is a terrible situation for you to be in, and I understand you feeling regret if you don't at least TRY, so can you find peace with going the at-home route, and if those methods don't work, you can assume that it's not time and not right to rush things?
Yeah that
post #11 of 29
It sounds like you're making the right decision that everyone can be comfortable with. How wonderful to have such a great midwife to work with!






Quote:
Ok I spit my drink out all over my keyboard when I read this! I made DH come over and read it, and he was said "yeah! Listen to that lady!!" Look what you started
This is why I have specifically refused to share that tid-bit of information with my DH! Although it is apparently true that prostagladins work better orally than topically... so maybe in your situation I would give it a go!
post #12 of 29
Your plan sounds like a good compromise. And lunarlady's advice is worth a try, but I'd ask for the "meds" in a shot glass that late in pregnancy.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
Your plan sounds like a good compromise. And lunarlady's advice is worth a try, but I'd ask for the "meds" in a shot glass that late in pregnancy.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
And lunarlady's advice is worth a try, but I'd ask for the "meds" in a shot glass that late in pregnancy.
hahahahaha! I'm just imagining asking dh for a sample in a shot glass....
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
Your plan sounds like a good compromise. And lunarlady's advice is worth a try, but I'd ask for the "meds" in a shot glass that late in pregnancy.
Oh my goodness, our poor significant others and the things they have to put up with in this last month of pregnancy. I'm just picturing DP's reaction if I asked for a *ahem* sample......hahahaha.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Oh my goodness, our poor significant others and the things they have to put up with in this last month of pregnancy. I'm just picturing DP's reaction if I asked for a *ahem* sample......hahahaha.


DH would be beyond thrilled to give a sample.... I showed him this thread late last night to laugh at everyone's replies, and he said he cant wait to help me out in about 21 days!!

He said he'd have to give me 8-14 months worth

Oh goodness ladies! I guess this will be one induction method I definitely fail to tell my mother we tried
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaKitten21 View Post
DH would be beyond thrilled to give a sample.... I showed him this thread late last night to laugh at everyone's replies, and he said he cant wait to help me out in about 21 days!!

He said he'd have to give me 8-14 months worth

Oh goodness ladies! I guess this will be one induction method I definitely fail to tell my mother we tried
Oh yes, mine would be too, just not sure how thrilled he'd be if I asked for it in a shot glass....lol. He'd probably think I'd fallen off my rocker.

Back to the originally scheduled topic, I agree with the others who have said the pit should be a last option. There is definitely more risk with pit, like fetal stress and rupture of the uterus, but I believe those risks go down significantly when you're not on a constant drip. It sounds like your midwife and you have weighed out the risks versus rewards and you have a good plan in motion. Here's to hoping the other methods work first and you have a beautiful birth with your DH. Keep us updated as we get closer to that date.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
So I posted in the breastfeeding forum to seek out some advice as far as nursing would go...

and every single person who replied said don't induce,(which, mind you I wasn't asking whether we should induce or not... just explained we would be and asked about how this would/could effect breastfeeding) and threw out some pretty scary information about preemies and all. I mean, my midwife wouldn't suggest something and be so confident about something if she genuinely didn't feel it was safe, right? I have never had that vibe from her before, and I know several people who have used her before. She has also been doing this for 15 years.

The mom's in the breastfeeding section gave links to sites that talked about NICU stays, jaundice, respiratory issues, serious breastfeeding issues, etc etc. Not to mention issues with temperature regulation, slow start, always sick beyond infancy, etc etc.

Ummm any thoughts?
post #19 of 29
Personally, I feel like the more natural methods of induction won't work unless the baby is more or less ready, thus reducing your chances of NICU stays and other premie complications. That's one reason why I would avoid the pit, personally.

My ds was born at 35 1/2 weeks. He was 6#7oz, was a little slow to start (woulda been absolutely fine if they'd have given him to me instead of whisking him down the hall). He was never in the NICU, never hooked to a tube, etc. It did take us three weeks to teach him to nurse (no suck reflex.... lot's of pumping and cup feeding!) and he was quite jaundiced (heel pricks every day for the first 10 days before it stabilized at a low enough level). The jaundice cleared up the week he was due. He was definitely "under cooked", but I never call him a premie because most people associate that term with really sick babies. All of that to say, he came early and he was pretty much fine.

Your situation is pretty unique and pretty intense. Given my own experiences with a pretty healthy pre-term baby, I'd have few hesitations to begin trying gentler methods of induction at 36 weeks. But, I'd have to give myself a stopping point. A time to say, well, this isn't really workign so this baby must need more cooking time. I can't imagine being in your shoes, honestly! It seems like a really stressful situation! I know I would really want my husband to at least be able to meet his baby before leaving for that long. I think you've made an okay decision. No one wants a very sick baby and that is a risk you'll be taking. I'm just not sure how likely it is. It seems like it can go either way for a few weeks there depending on the baby (I mean 35-37 weekers can be mostly or completely fine or be really under-developed still).

I'm not sure that was very helpful!
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaKitten21 View Post
So I posted in the breastfeeding forum to seek out some advice as far as nursing would go...

and every single person who replied said don't induce,(which, mind you I wasn't asking whether we should induce or not... just explained we would be and asked about how this would/could effect breastfeeding) and threw out some pretty scary information about preemies and all. I mean, my midwife wouldn't suggest something and be so confident about something if she genuinely didn't feel it was safe, right? I have never had that vibe from her before, and I know several people who have used her before. She has also been doing this for 15 years.

The mom's in the breastfeeding section gave links to sites that talked about NICU stays, jaundice, respiratory issues, serious breastfeeding issues, etc etc. Not to mention issues with temperature regulation, slow start, always sick beyond infancy, etc etc.

Ummm any thoughts?
DDCC from new posts. This is the aspect that I would worry the most about. I have seen several inductions at 38 and 39 weeks where the baby breathed fine and it's APGARs were good, but from there started the vicious cycle of complications from coming before they were ready. The last thing to develop is actually the ability to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing, which is vital for nursing.

I completely understand your desire to try this for your husband and his desire to meet his baby before he leaves. I know this would be a decision I would struggle with as well. However, as an outsider, I would just like to mention that just as you worry about him feeling resentful, how would you feel if your baby ended up unable to nurse (at all or for a few weeks) because of this decision? I don't know anything about your midwife, but I do know that for the docs that I have experienced inducing early, they do not take this into account. They have a baby that is breathing, had decent APGARs and a live, healthy mother, success! What ever happens after that is not their concern and babies do just fine on formula, so no big deal if breastfeeding doesn't work, right? (said tongue in cheek) This attitude is much, much less prevalent in midwives, especially homebirth midwives, so I hope this is not the case. I just wanted to share my experience in case you find it helpful in your decision making.

I would definitely be taking walks, having lots of sex with nipple play, eating pineapples and spicy food, etc, but I'd avoid the castor oil and pit.

Best wishes to you and your family in what ever happens!
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