Counting the days

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Still very much pregnant, and getting really, really grumpy Smile The phone won't stop ringing and since people seem to be getting pissed off or something that I haven't had the baby yet, or they just make fun of me or act like there is something wrong, I just don't answer the phone anymore. I'm only like 4 days overdue. Actually, since I ovulated a little late in my cycle it could be only like 2 or 3 days overdue. All that aside, I'm just miserable. My knees, back and hips hurt from carrying the extra weight, I have sciatica that gets really bad when I try to sleep, and for some reason my right wrist hurts like heck and I have lost most of the use of my right thumb :? Most of all, I just want to finally hold my baby and I have these nightmares like it is never going to happen. I said something like this yesterday and my DH thought I was in a joking mood and said "yeah, maybe you'll just reabsorb her, like a rabbit" and I started crying. I cry a lot now, though. My hormones are just out of control.
I see my midwife today and I am going to ask her to at least do an internal (I haven't had one yet) and I'm going to discuss stripping my membranes. I'm having light, irregular contractions a lot, off and on, and I lost part of my plug, so I think it might work. I don't want to do pitocin, and I am afraid they are going to start threatening me with it soon. I will feel somehow like a failure if I do that, and I'll feel like I'm evicting my poor Monkey in a very harsh way. I actually felt bad about the castor oil and I'll feel bad about the membrane stripping if I do that, but I figure those things will only help labor along if and when Monkey is ready, they won't actually evict her.

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The appointment went very well yesterday. The midwife said that it is totally normal to go overdue, and that my baby is fine. She did an internal and stripped my membranes (which didn't hurt me at all). She said I am 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated and she said this is good for a first-time mom, but I think she might have been saying that just to make me feel better. I know it doesn't mean much at this point anyway.
I think I might be having light contractions- well, I am having light contractions, but I don't know if it means anything yet. Just cramps that come and go, along with cervical pressure and pain. It sure would be nice to meet my little Monkey soon.

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I'll FINALLY post this long version of my birth story. She was born on 7/1 but she doesn't like me to set her down so I don't get much chance to write.
On January 4th I started getting light contractions. When they started getting regular in the late afternoon, I decided to call my mom because the weather was getting really bad and, from most of the birth stories I had read, I figured I might deliver her the next day.
My mom braved death to come over the pass and got there that evening. The contractions were a little heavier and more regular but nothing that required more than a little concentration to manage. I slept poorly that night, but I did sleep.
The next day the weather was horrible so we went to the mall and walked around and around and around. The contractions kept coming and I had horrible pressure in my cervix and back pain. I tried to go about life as normal although I was so ready to have my baby. I hardly slept that night because I was woken up by what I thought were pretty painful contractions, although they were only coming every 20 minutes when I was lying down.
The next morning I called my midwife because I just wanted to be checked to see if I was making progress. I had, but just a little: I had gone from 1 cm and 50% effaced to 3 cms. and 100% effaced. The midwife called it early labor and said she thought she would see me that night.
Well she did- the contractions kept coming and the weather was getting really, really scary. I went to the hospital at about midnight thinking I had better get there before the weather got too bad, and as soon as I got there the contractions spaced out a bit. They hooked me to the monitor and everything looked fine. The midwife told me that I would either go into hard labor soon or not, and said she could give me morphine to let me sleep, or break my water. I refused both at first but thought I’d better accept the morphine after a few hours of no change in contractions. I was so tired and knew I wouldn't have the energy to deliver if I didn't get some sleep.
I did get a few totally blissful hours of sleep, thank goodness, and then I went home in the morning because a new midwife came on and said she thought I was in latent phase and wouldn't go for a while still, and she wouldn’t break my water then when I asked, even though she was low enough, like at 0 station I think.
Soon after I got home the contractions picked up again. The weather got worse and worse. By now I was in active labor but was kind of in denial about it, I kept thinking the contractions would slow down again. It was pretty obvious, thinking back, that I was really getting somewhere by that point but I think I was in “Laborland”. My mom and husband were very good at helping me through the contractions. I spent a lot of time in the bath, listening to the freezing rain hit the window and trusting that my family would get me to the hospital however they could when the time came. When they would hear me howling in the tub or wherever I was, one of them would come in and sit by me. It was really nice to have them there.
No pain management technique helped with the contractions, but I kept thinking about the things I read in Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May’s guide to Childbirth about keeping my bottom loose so that I could open. I would go totally unconscious between contractions and forget where I was, and I would be surprised when another contraction woke me up.
My water broke in the bath about 5:00 a.m. and I got jittery and knew we had to leave. None of the cars would move and they had to call the ambulance. My mom called 911 and I guess they were telling her to boil water and have me lay down on the floor, and it took her a while to explain the situation, that I wasn’t crowning but we just needed a ride to the hospital because of the weather. The ambulance arrived in what seemed like 3 minutes. I almost bit it walking outside to get in the ambulance, but the EMTs caught me- it was too icy for them to bring the stretcher up to the door. That was a bumpy ride but the EMTs were great.
When I got to the hospital the midwife checked me and I was only 4-5 cms.!!! I despaired a little bit but my mom and DH were great and gave me lots of encouragement. I guess the Bradley book really helped my mom, and my husband was just great because he is great, I don’t think he relied on any technique he read about.
I got inthe jaccuzzi tub and it really, really helped for a minute, but then it became painful again and I tried every conceivable position. I got no rest between contractions by now at all, it was one after the other, and I had horrible back pain and cervical pain that made it impossible to rest. I got in and out of the tub and squatted and got on all fours and leaned on my mom and DH. There was a midwife in training that came on at 8:00 with another midwife and she applied counterpressure like a pro, and I think she was probably sore as hell the next day because I wouldn’t let her stop. By the time the sun was coming up I was begging for drugs, I told them to check me and if I wasn’t dilated very much that I couldn’t do it. Well, they checked me and I was 9 ½ so I started pushing; even though I didn’t have an irresistible urge, I could tell that it was time to push because it felt better when I did, and I had been pushing a little bit for a while without telling anybody, worried that I would mess up my cervix. It was such a relief to hear I could finally push, I couldn’t believe it. The midwife, midwife in training, nurse and my mom and DH were all really encouraging and would cheer me on with each push. I pushed in every position, and it helped me to think of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth book again, thinking “I’m going to get huge”. I could feel myself stretch. I never really felt the ring of fire but I felt a little bit of pain. I finally delivered her in a squatting position, hanging off my husband’s knees by the crook of my arms while he sat on the bed and whispered encouragement in my ear. It was so surprising to see my little monkey. They put me on my chest right after she was born. She didn’t cry at first but she was very alert. Her Apgars were 9 and 9. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was, and how much hair she had!!! It was so strange to think she had been living inside me for so long.
I didn't tear but I had what they called a first degree "abraision" in my labia that they put two stitches in.
I couldn’t be any happier and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth, although I wish it could have been shorter. I think it makes a good story, though.
She loves to nurse.

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