Saturday, August 20, 2016

Always Something New

This baby has done nothing but kept our stress levels up the second half of this whole pregnancy.  Just when everything came into place the week prior, the baby it didn't give us two practice breaths on the monitoring ultrasound on Monday, and we got the news that my amniotic fluids have dropped into the very low end of normal.  They went from just about 11 to 5.68 in one week.  The perinatologist came in and we all discussed what we desired in our birth plan.  He explained that the fluids had dropped a significant amount, to the point where he would recommend an induction so baby could make the most healthy entrance into the world.  He fully supported us if we wanted to have another monitoring appointment on Wednesday or Thursday to double check on baby, but if the fluid levels had dropped more then we may be talking about a C-section instead of an induction.  That was all I needed to hear to burst into tears!  We were supposed to have a perfect water birth.  Just a week ago all of the things on baby's list were checked off and we were given the go that baby was large enough and head down so that we could have this water birth that I've dreamed of since giving birth to Spencer.  Do we chance it and have the appointment on Wednesday and hope, by the grace of God, that the levels would rise?  I feel like we have already used every power of God's grace to get us to the point where we are.  We decided to schedule a monitoring appointment for Wednesday and really make our final decision after our appointment with Liz on Monday afternoon.    

I'm thankful that my day on Monday was packed with appointments, activities, and middle school open house so I didn't even have time to think too much about making a decision without talking to Liz first.  My hope was that baby would be low enough and my body ready so that Liz would strip my membranes and/or pop the bag of water so we could get labor going on it's own.  I brought my hospital bag just in case she could break my water right then.  I had no idea what we would hear from Liz and I still longed to have this perfect water birth.

Liz came into the exam room and I could just feel heavy energy from all of us as we started discussing baby's exit plan.  My stomach was in my throat as we started talking about different options.  I believe I asked if she could just check and see where I was at before we really started trying to make decisions.  She had mentioned right before checking my cervix that she hoped she could open the bag of water and we could try to do this without Pitocin.  Those were the words I really wanted to hear, but baby was still pretty high and I was only dilated 2 cm still.  She said she wouldn't even be able to open the bag of water where I was at then.  My heart sank again!  Liz suggested we cancel our monitoring appointment (which already had me terrified that we were going to hear that we needed a C-section) and we schedule the induction for Thursday, with the hope that baby would be low enough by then that she could open the bag of water and hopefully not have to use Pitocin.  We wouldn't know until Thursday what the day might look like for us.  She also said that there may be a possibility that if we needed to start labor with Pitocin that we could eventually turn it off and still have a water birth.  Liz did strip my membranes before she left and gave me a list of things to do to try to start labor on its own.  There was a glimmer of hope, and deep down I still had peace that everything would turn out ok.  

My IPs and I sat in the exam room after Liz left and we had a deep discussion about our game plan.  Liz presented us with many options and we needed to come together and make a final decision.  It's tough when we're talking about their baby in my body.  We all were on the same page that in the end we just needed to have a healthy me and a healthy baby.  That was our top priority!  IP-B had a gut feeling that we should schedule the induction for Wednesday.  I'm sure I looked like a deer in headlights, because we were talking about a Thursday induction with Liz not Wednesday.  I think I took a deep breath and said, "I think I might need some time to think about that one!"  I looked into IP-B's eyes and realized that the difference between Wednesday and Thursday wasn't that great, so I told them I respected the gut instinct and would agree to a Wednesday induction.  I just knew we needed to avoid another monitoring appointment at all cost, because I didn't want the fluid to be too low and end up with a C-section.  We had Liz come in and we asked about a Wednesday induction and she had many reasons why Thursday would be a better choice.  It was the only moment that I heard Liz go from "professional" to "sister" while talking to us ... She looked at IP-B and said, "You have to trust me on this one!"  She was a breath of fresh air for me at that moment!  I knew 24 hours could give me a little more time to get things moving.

On my way home from the appointment I stopped by Walgreens to pick up the recommended Castor Oil and Evening Primrose Oil and try really hard to start things moving along.  I immediately took a shot of Castor Oil when I got home and almost puked it up instantly.  There isn't really a flavor but it's so thick and oily that it's hard to get it down.  Castor Oil is a laxative and a mighty gentile one on my stomach.  I was cleared out within 45 minutes of taking it and didn't end up with any kind of terrible stomach cramps.  Maybe that was the idea of how it induces labor?  It didn't work other than making my colon really clean!  Ben and I walked 3 fast miles while the kids rode their rip sticks along with us.  We were working so hard to induce labor that I think I may have pushed myself too hard.  I had to stop and take a small break after about 2.5 miles.

On Tuesday morning I started getting quite a bit of bloody show.  This was different than the mucus plug that I lost a week prior.  It was bright red and constantly coming out all day long.  Liz called me on Tuesday to see if I wanted to meet her the next day for her to strip my membranes again.  I only needed to know where and when and I was totally on board!  Wednesday at 4:30 we would meet at Serena's (her sister who lives half way between us) and she would strip my membranes again.  Ben, the kids, and I went for another 3 mile walk on Tuesday.  I contracted quite a bit on Tuesday night and all day at work on Wednesday, so I was very hopeful that she would feel improvement on my cervix when I got to Serena's.  I was dilated to 3 cm and baby was lower than on Monday.  Liz thought that if baby was that low the next morning that she would most likely be able to open the bag of water and get things moving.  I was pretty much a bloody mess on Wednesday night after Liz did an amazing (very painful) job stripping my membranes.  We both were determined that this was going to end the way we wanted!  I was contracting so much Wednesday night that I thought at about 10:30 pm that I should call and get our boys settled at Jack's friend's house where they could stay the night.  At some point I fell asleep and when I woke up I was quite disappointed that I was having minimal contractions.  I knew we would make it to the morning and we would see what the future holds when we got to the hospital for our scheduled induction.   


Last Belly Photo!

Just about to be a big brother

Birth story to follow...

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