Went to the clinic this morning for a post-dates appointment. Met with Viv, a midwife I’d seen before when Shelley was out on call, and a very confident student named Ophelia. Had an internal exam conducted and there are no signs of labor approaching, which is disappointing to hear when someone is elbow-deep in you. Viv swept my membranes and then booked us for an induction on 3 March at 10 am.
Induction of labor involves synthetic hormones. (We’re aware of all the ways people attempt to induce labor naturally. We’re trying whatever seems feasible.) The first one they’ll try is synthetic prostaglandin. You can still have a waterbirth with a dose of this. If that doesn’t work within 24 hours, they hook you up to an IV with synthetic oxytocin, which means you are now going to have a regular hospital delivery. This causes intensely painful contractions and can lead to uterine hyperstimulation or in extreme cases uterine rupture. Women induced with synthetic oxytocin are more likely to want an epidural for pain relief, which limits mobility and can also interfere with the mother’s ability to push effectively.
Synthetic oxytocin is also associated with higher levels of fetal distress in labor, so electronic fetal monitoring is used to constantly trace the baby’s vitals. This often means a mother is stuck on her back for labor, leading to a longer and more painful ordeal since you cannot use gravity to deliver your child. Ultimately, this cascade of interventions that begins with synthetic induction frequently leads to emergency caesarean sections.
Suffice it to say, this is not what I want for Bean. I wanted it to be as gentle a process as possible and to not have her be handled by surgeons or pumped full of drugs. Also, there will be issues with Trev’s leave– he is running out of paid leave– and Mom will have to extend her ticket to ensure she gets to meet the baby. I love my in-laws, but if I don’t have someone from my own family present to meet the baby I know I will be depressed.
Finally, at this point I won’t be going back to work until very late March or early April– later if I have a c-section. I am the family breadwinner. This is not stress I need right now.
Kiddo, get a move on, please. It will be better for both of us.