Read Part 1 first…
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012 I woke up early with my husband before he left for work. He reminded me to be assertive with the doctor and ask a lot of questions once he called. By noon he still hadn’t called and I had spent the entire morning doing even more research. If you frequent the Mamademics fan page on Facebook, you probably saw a status message that read: Awake early eating raisin toast and drinking raspberry leaf tea, while researching calcifying placenta and the risks of refusing induction at 37 weeks. Yea it’s a serious morning in Mamademics world. How’s your morning?
This time what I found scared me. There were several first hand stories from women on message boards with “textbook” pregnancies that resulted in a stillborn somewhere between 38 and 40 weeks. Most of those women were told that their placenta had started to calcify, but unlike me the issue was not caught in time, because their pregnancy seemed healthy and normal. This new information worried me, but I still was not ready to say yes to being induced, AND my doctor still hadn’t called me yet. If he hadn’t called then everything was okay.
Around noon that day I decided to take a nap, but I left my phone in the living room. I was startled by UPS waking me up about an hour or so later, and saw several text messages from my husband. Apparently, the doctor’s office had the wrong cell phone number for me, and my doctor had been trying to get in contact with me to no avail, so he called him instead. My husband told me to call and let them know the updated number, and that the doctor might call our home phone number soon. He reminded me once again to be assertive and to ask all the questions we came up with on Tuesday night; and to not just say okay to whatever he said. I don’t handle confrontation well and we both know that I have to write things down to make sure I get them all out.
When my cell phone rang and I saw the hospital number pop up, I immediately started to shake. My doctor joked about me being a hard woman to reach and then asked me if I was ready to have a baby this week. I replied, “maybe.” I’m sure my response caught him off guard, because he asked me why maybe. I went into all my questions and fears. My biggest fear was the fact that I know most first time mothers who are induced end up having a c-section. I also know that when you’re induced you are hooked up to monitors constantly and it makes it very hard for someone with a natural birthing plan to use any of the techniques they have planned, since you’re confined to the bed most of the time. I asked him how long they would let me labor before doing a c-section. He said typically a couple of days as long as neither the baby nor me are in distress. I asked him if I would be able to labor in the water with the cordless monitoring, but he reminded me that they would have to monitor me constantly, so the water is a no go; but I could use the rocking chair and birthing ball. I also asked him if I absolutely had to do this now or if we could wait a week. His response: “If it were my wife or my sister, I absolutely would not want her to wait.” He reminded me that I was in fact full term and my little ones lungs were developed; and that he more than likely would not have to be in the NICU; but if we waited who knows what the outcome would be.
At this point, I asked him to give me a rundown of what would happen. He explained the process to me they would admit me in the evening and place cervadil in my uterus to thin my cervix; and I might go into labor on my own that night some women do, but more than likely I wouldn’t and they would start the pitocin the next morning. Then he said he wanted me to come in that night, but no later than tomorrow. He waited for me to make a decision, and I told him I needed to call my husband first and call him back.
Mr. S was not pleased. He wanted me to wait until he got home from work so we could talk more, but I needed to call the doctor back before the office closed. I explained my position to him that while I really didn’t want to be induced, the chance of having a stillborn absolutely terrified me. So, we agreed to go in on Thursday. I called the doctor back and told him we would come in tomorrow and we scheduled the process to start at 3:30 pm. I called my parents to give them an update and my mother let me know they would leave out on Thursday evening, and see me Friday morning at the hospital. My mom could tell I was upset and she knew this is not what I wanted to do at all, but she reassured me that I was making the best decision for Baby S in the long run. I started doing random things around the house to kill time while waiting for Mr. S to get home from work; and repacked the hospital bag with smaller onesies for the baby.
Once Mr. S came home from work we put the car seat in the car, and decided to do my belly cast. We also decided to do some walking and other things to hopefully naturally induce my labor. We talked and while we still weren’t in total agreeance I knew he would support whatever decision I made. I realized that all I was thinking about was the chance of losing our baby, but he was thinking about the risks to me and the chance he would lose both of us. The next morning I went to work with him, so he could submit student grades, and I walked up and down the stairs while waiting for him. We went and picked up lunch and then took another walk around our neighborhood, and made our way to the hospital. During our walk we went over the birthing plan again and what he’s supposed to do if I ask for an epidural or if one of us goes into distress and he has to make the final decision. I reminded him to always ask if the baby or me are in immediate danger and if they say no to ask them to give him a second to think before pressuring him to make a decision.
On the way to the hospital I decided that I was going to pretend that this was the Hunger Games, and I was Katniss Everdeen. My husband hasn’t read the books, so I had to try and quickly explain it to him. I packed my Kindle, since my mom suggested trying to read through the pain, and decided to start rereading the series.
As soon as we got there I started having a change of heart, and after a paramedic student failed to get my catheter for IV in initially I was so ready to go home. I know I have small veins, but messing up to the point that there is enough blood to make me change my gown and the nurse change my sheets is unacceptable. I really wanted to cry and complain, but instead I just looked at my husband and reminded myself why we were doing this right now. They hooked me up to monitors, so they could keep track of the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. The doctor came in and checked my cervix I was only 1 cm dilated and in her words “that’s a thick cervix” *sigh* that’s not what I wanted to hear at all. The nurse came in and put in the cervadil and later brought me an Ambien, so I could sleep. I tried to get some sleep and prepare myself for the long day ahead of me. I vaguely remember the nurse waking me up a few times in the middle of the night to adjust the monitors, but no one told me that I was having mini contractions that Baby S wasn’t handling well until the next morning.
To Be Continued…