Just for some background, this was my original post :
Anyway, as I had mentioned, I tried every method of natural self-induction in the book because I wanted to have the baby before my husband had to go out of state for a week. Wednesday night, we were talking and enjoying eachothers company and he mentioned how it could still work out very well if the baby ended up coming on thursday, which I agreed with. I then told him that I was ready to 'let go' and just let whatever happens happens BUT before I did that I wanted to try ONE last thing, something I had already tried and then swore I would never do again but the only thing that seemed to stir things up a bit, the dreaded castor oil induction (again! what was I thinking). If that didn't work, I swore I would give up on trying to get myself to go and just let things happen by itself. During the time we were talking, I guess I was distracted enough not to realize I was actually having some contractions SOOOOO...before going to bed, I went to the kitchen, mixed up a 'midwife's cocktail' (castor oil, baking soda, and orange juice) and downed it. AS I was finishing it up, I realized that I was already having regular contractions and then had an 'oh no' moment where I realized I could already be in labor and would now have to contend with the effects of that in a few hours. I'll leave that to your imagination...
My contractions got closer together and very painful throughout the night, eventually the effects of the 'world's dumbest induction attempt' wore off but I had already been in labor so that continued. In the morning, I called the midwife to come over and check me. She told me I was now about 4-5 cm and 95% effaced, the baby was low enough now that she could confirm he was definitely posterior, hence all the back labor I'd been having. She canceled her appointment and instructed me to fill up the birth pool and then get on my hands and knees to get the baby to turn anterior while she ran by her office to get a few things and called her assistant to meet her at my house. After about an hour or so on hands and knees she checked again and the baby had turned anterior, I was now 6 cm and 100% effaced. She told me I was free to get in the birth pool, which, by the way...feels AMAZING. It was seriously a million times better than an epidural. Although I didn't find contractions very painful at all, it still felt very good and basically made me oblivious of anything other than tightening and pressure. After a while though, I started feeling like maybe I felt 'too good' so I opted to get out and walk around a bit to speed things up as I knew I hadn't hit transition yet. Walked around quite a bit, asked her to check me again (still 6 cm but she said I was now stretchy to 8, she mentioned my bag of water was what was dilating me and we really needed to get the baby's head firmly applied to dilate me itself but she didn't feel comfortable breaking my water.
This is where things basically reached a stand-still. I stopped dilating, my contractions trailed off and became irregular, eventually we got the baby's head down a bit further but it still was not doing its thing. Additionally, my cervix was beginning to have some swelling from all the pressure and such. We discussed breaking my water some more (I was pushing for it, she was against it) and her feelings (having seen similar things before) that while my body was in active labor, the baby wasn't ready to come yet and all of the things I had done to cause myself to go into labor had basically forced things before they were ready. She advised me not to give up since I had so far shown I could clearly dilate AND handle labor and she basically told me to just drink tea, relax, sleep and rest a lot, and take warm baths and showers until things restarted on their own and from there they would likely happen very QUICK. She said it could be a day or it could be that my body holds out for my husband to get back (5 days from today)
And now here I am, at home, walking around 6-8 cm (possibly on the higher side of that now honestly if I were to judge by my instincts) and waiting for things to take their course. I will say that people close to me who knew and were initially supportive of a midwife-attended homebirth have completely flipped, think I am completely insane, have called my husband (before he left) to try and guilt him into forcing me to go to the hospital (where I'd have the baby by the end of the day according to them...I don't doubt I would, just probably through a nice big incision), have insinuated I am going to kill my baby and I might be OK but he won't be, and have now enlisted family friends to call me up and lecture me about the need to go to the hospital or have the midwife break my water. What I just want to ask now is basically, I know this is a bit of an unusual case and have found a few (but very few honestly) mentions of similar situations online and on the forums here, and just want to double check that my instincts to wait ARE right and there is no reason for me to have to go to the hospital just because I am this far progressed and labor has paused for me? I obviously don't want to endanger my baby but at the same time don't see how he would be by this since my water is still intact? At the same time, being that things have stopped for so long, I worry that maybe everything I did kind of (this is going to sound stupid) "broke" my body and that I might not be able to get things going again naturally and maybe I have already put myself on the path to a repeat c-section? My contractions have not been super regular and are not painful but I've had an increased amount yesterday and today and mostly my ribs just feel very sore from the tightening of my uterus and its just making me feel tired and worn out. Any thoughts?
It sounds as if you had a bout of false labor, not uncommon for a mutlip, that was made stronger by the castor oil. You are at 6 cms. We don't count the stretching. Stretching is a good indication of ripeness and smooth dilation to come but when evaluating, you go by the diameter without stretching the cervix. How many weeks are you? I was at a very similar birthless birth- stayed most of the day with a mom whose ctx eventually petered out after the castor oil wore off. She went into booming labor a couple of days later and had her baby in a couple of hours. Do you have any other risk factors? How many weeks are you?
I am 39 weeks (would never encourage someone to take castor oil pre-due date but I was a bit desperate in light of my husband's trip) and attempting an HBAC (csection was due to breech after spontaneous labor @ 36 weeks although I was laboring fine). Other than that I don't have any risk factors that I know of. I'm hoping my body may just be trying to hold out till he get back and once I am able to relax things proceed smoothly and quickly from there but want to double check that I am not endangering myself or the baby by staying as I am due to all the guilting people have been doing.
I think this sort of pattern happens more frequently in non-pit augmented births. Your membranes are not ruptured, you are not even at your due date, you have no risk factors and you have a "incompetent cervix" which possibly could be the reason you are at six and not in active labor. As long as baby and you are doing well, your judgement seems appropriate to me.
Fledgling midwife on hiatus, Wife to B, mama to C (c/s 12/04) and S (12/07), m/c (3/12) and expecting another bean 6/13 .
You know, I know exactly four women who have taken castor oil to induce labour, and every.single.one has a story like yours- labour stalled at 6 or 7 cms.
I'm no medical expert, but I'm thinking if your water is intact, there's no harm in waiting for nature to take it's course. Stay in touch with your midwife, monitor for anything out of the ordinary, and wait. Good luck!
If your water hasn't broken and baby heart tones are good....wait! I just had my 3rd vaginal birth and my labor had started and stopped over the course of 3 days (more prodromal I think). At some points, ctx were very close together and moaning through them etc. I had used some homeopathics to speed up labor and it worked for a bit but then I stopped them. I was offered the castor oil but refused. I also refused all internal checks and the offer to break my water. Also, when the midwives were here...my productive ctx STOPPED! I could only labor well if they weren't here. Do you have to be checked? Could you just let the labor runs it's course on it's own?? Are the midwives still there w/ you? How do you do if you're left totally alone w/ no one inside the house?? Can you turn inward and talk w/ your baby about it? Listen to your labor music??
Thanks everyone for the reassurance and encouragement to trust my instinct about waiting and listening to my body. Once I confirmed that I was not 'going rogue' and being unreasonable, I felt a lot better about my decision. And in the end, it was definitely worth it to do so. I birthed my son (8 pounds 2 oz! We hadn't expected him to be bigger than 6-7 pounds max) at home just before dawn on July 5th; from the time I was at the computer surfing the web (when my water broke suddenly) till he was in my arms was about 2.5 hours. It was a great experience and I am so glad to have had my HBAC.
Yeah!!! I came back just to check to see if you had your baby. I'm so happy for you!! Good for you for listening to your gut/intuition. Your baby picked his perfect birth day. Congrats on your VBAC and enjoy your babymoon. Love the advice/support we mamas can get here on MDC!
This is exactly what happens to me! I am 37 weeks with baby #5, and dilated to 7 or 8 cm. I have had 4 other babies 2-3 weeks early every time. They have all been over 8 lbs. I have had my water broken the last 3 times when labor has stalled like this, but this time my husband is really against it. He feels like we should just wait, like you, and let this girl come out when she is ready. My contractions are irregular and not painful, but I am just so tired from having them for weeks already! I was glad to read your story....I hope this baby will come quickly & easily. When I have had my waters broken at 7-8 cm before the baby is always born within a half hour. I am pretty stressed and can't stand the waiting game! Too impatient!
I actually stalled at ten with my first. Fully dilated without descent. Thank god that the liberal midwife was on call and "let me" wait it out. Five hours fully descended and I gave birth.