Congrats to the new mamas, and
to those of you getting frustrated with all the waiting. I'm churning out positive labor vibes for us all! I had an experience over the weekend that has made me very happy to wait, though. It's a looong story...
I've often read that women feel a need to talk about their birth stories and process them, and now I think I understand. I need to process my not-birth story!
On Friday afternoon I began leaking what I believed could be amniotic fluid, so I called my midwife and let her know. I began experiencing regular contractions overnight and gave her a call again once they got to five minutes apart. The contractions were never strong enough to be considered active labor, but Joe and I set up the tub and all the birth supplies to be ready.
Jeanette (the midwife) came over in the morning, and we agreed to do what we could to keep labor progressing as the risk of infection goes up once the bag has been broken for 72 hrs. She knew the last thing I wanted was to have to go to the hospital, so we were determined to bring the baby into this world at home over the weekend.
I had bloody show and began to dilate (just 2 cm), but contractions didn't intensify (baby hadn't descended yet and we thought a position change might be needed), so we started nudging things along with homeopathics, walks, herbals, position changes, nipple stimulation, etc. At the same time, I was trying not to try too hard (if that makes any sense), because I didn't want to stop things up with a sense of anxiety or urgency. I was really glad I had learned to relax so well with hypnosis/relaxation practice. It really helped, and the mood was still pretty low-key throughout Saturday. Joe (dh) was a wonderful support throughout everything--just quietly there and loving, exactly what I needed.
Saturday evening, I did start to feel the pressure of a deadline because I knew Jeanette was required to consult with an OB at 48 hrs. (Sunday
afternoon) Jeanette did an exam and very gently stretched the cervix for a little while to get me contracting. I was 3-4 cm, but I hadn't experienced any active labor yet. She said I was very soft, stretchy and ready to give birth. We were just waiting for the baby to get in position, put pressure on my cervix, and start moving things along. We had also tried castor oil earlier that evening to see if it would help. My temp and baby's heartbeat had been fine throughout the day, so we were confident about no infection or distress.
I woke up early Sunday morning despairing at the lack of contraction progress (still regular, but weak) and decided to just stay quiet and visualize my way into birth. It worked very well and kept the contractions coming, but then I stopped contracting entirely at 9:30 a.m. when Jeanette and her assistant Pat arrived. Joe and I talked with them for a while about our options and plan for the day and then went back into visualizations to see if I could get things going again.
However, the pressure had just become too much. I finally broke down at about noon, and boy did I break down! I just couldn't stop crying because I was afraid the doctor would tell us we needed to go to the hospital. On the one hand I felt confident that we could still make the best of the situation in a hospital, but on the other it was so totally what I didn't want. I had a birth plan and had prepared myself in advance that there was always a chance a hospital birth could happen, but the upsetting part was that I knew I was fine and the baby was fine. All I needed was time and space, and that didn't seem available at the moment. I knew I didn't need a hospital, so I was just very frustrated.
Jeanette, Pat, and Joe were great. They sat with me at I cried my way through an entire box of tissues and helped me process what I was feeling.
I knew I could cope much better with any eventuality if I just got it all out, so I was very thorough! Haven't cried like that in years. :-)
As it turns out, the consulting doc was not too concerned, especially as my bag of waters was still bulgy. The news he gave us was the best possible:
he believed the bag was still intact and as long I continued to show no signs of infection and the baby wasn't in distress we could wait as long as we wanted for birth. We just had to do one additional test on the fluid, and that came out fine. Almost like the leaking had never happened!
So now I'm sooo relieved that the pressure is off to pop this baby out.
Sophia or Dmitri was obviously just not ready to come into this world, and now the baby has all the time that he or she needs to get labor started. I am more than happy to wait!
On the upside, I got a taste of what labor can be like and feel like I had a dry run (or leaky run?) of sorts. Also, I now know from experience how great my husband, the midwife, and her assistant are in potentially stressful situations. I'm now going into the birth knowing how strongly yet gently I'll be supported throughout the process. So there's my silver lining. Thanks for listening.