40 Weeks

A mother's seventh (and final) journey through the wonders of pregnancy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

39 Weeks, 3 Days

At my 39-week checkup on Tuesday, the doctor was very optimistic that we'd be able to come in and have the baby while she was on labor and delivery this Sunday. I personally think she's a little over-optimistic, but I much prefer that to her resigning herself to doing a C-section!

As I understand it, if the baby is head down (which it was as of Friday morning, but no telling after all the somersaults he was doing last night) and the cervix is favorable (which it hasn't been,) I'm to call labor and delivery on Sunday and tell them I think I'm in labor, at which point they'll tell me to come in, I'll say the doctor wanted to see me, she'll examine me, and declare that I am indeed in labor, and we'll induce. I think she's wanting to avoid scheduling an induction because of how easily the baby is still flipping around and how long I could be postponed if the beds fill up.

The problem is, I can't see myself, expecting my seventh child, pulling off "Oh, I think I'm in labor" when I'm obviously not. With my fear of being caught in a lie and my aversion to breaking rules, it's more likely that as soon as they answered the phone, I'd spill the whole plot, get the doctor in some kind of trouble and find myself being told to stay home.

K wants to take me to his office for an ultrasound today to confirm the baby's position, but I don't see much point in going before tomorrow, since he can flip around as soon as we leave the office. I'd love to be induced tomorrow, because my labor is usually 14-16 hours from induction and I would probably deliver in the wee hours of Monday morning, which happens to be Layla's birthday. If K gets the dark-haired baby he's hoping for (Layla has been our only dark-haired child so far,) it will just seem even more like an extra special gift.

In summary, I might go to the hospital to have the baby tomorrow, or I might not. I'm trying not to get my hopes up so much that I'm disappointed tomorrow, but I need to get my hopes high enough that I have the motivation to go buy the baby things we still need and to pack a hospital bag. Here's hoping, then!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

37 Weeks, 6 Days

For those who don't know, the placenta previa was determined to be complete and unlikely to move at my 20-week scan, where we also learned we were having yet another boy. Poor Maya is destined to be outnumbered! My doctor resigned herself to most likely doing a C-section around 36 weeks, and I resigned myself to having it done.

Miraculously, and to the surprise of all involved, at my 28-week follow-up scan, it was determined that the placenta had shifted to the side just enough to allow for an uncomplicated natural delivery, should the baby choose to cooperate.

Today, at my 38-week checkup, it was not at all surprising to learn that my baby is not yet in a cooperative mood. He is in an oblique position rather than head-down, he hasn't dropped, my cervix is still tightly closed, and I show no signs of impending labor. Of course, although I'm great at carrying children to term, I'm not so great at spontaneous labor.

Labor history:
June 1989, Justin: 77 hours of consistent contractions that were strong enough to keep me from sleeping, but irregular and ineffective enough to be considered false labor. As the doctor was preparing to send me away from the hospital for the third time, he accidentally broke my water during the exam, cussed, and was forced to admit me. Pitocin needed to move labor along. Baby born about 13 hours later.

March 1997, Mina: Doctor decides to induce 10 days past my due date fearing deteriorating placenta and oversized baby. Baby born 16 hours later.

October 1998, Layla: Doctor decides to induce 10 days past my due date, mostly out of sympathy. Actually start having mild contractions that morning, but not effective enough. Baby born about 7-9 hours after introduction of Pitocin.

June 2002, Layth: Social induction about a week early due to impending move from Michigan to Texas. Can't even remember how long that one took, but started to recognize a pattern. Progressed fairly normally to 4 cm, very slowly from 4-6 cm, to the point of being threatened with C-sections, then very fast (under an hour) from 6-10 cm and the urge to push, drawing much skepticism from nurses and doctors alike. This pattern has occurred with every baby starting with Layla, at least.

February 2005, Maya: Unstable lie, meaning the baby wouldn't stay head-down. Uterus too roomy after so many children. Caught baby head-down via regular ultrasounds courtesy of K, and doctor let us induce around 39 weeks while she was in a good position. 13-14 hours total, but easiest delivery ever, with only one half-hearted push.

May 2006, Rayan. Almost exactly the same story as Maya, but with more pushing.

While there's probably more information there than anyone other than me would care about, it does illustrate just how unlikely spontaneous labor is to happen for me, ever. Since I'm hosting dinner for 8 at my house next week, I'm happy to wait another week, but the aches and pains are increasing enough that I'll be eager to start watching for that head-down moment and hoping circumstances permit an induction almost as soon as the dinner is cleaned up!