Friday, June 11, 2010

False Alarms

I have three due dates. June 15th, June 16th, and June 17th. I love it. Some women have a three or four week spread between due dates. That would just drive me crazy.

So Monday, the 7th, I had a little false alarm. I've been having lots of good Braxton-Hicks contractions for quite a while now (I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with all of the packing and moving and unpacking and nesting I've been doing). But Monday evening I noticed that they seemed a lot stronger than normal, and actually uncomfortable. I went to bed, tried to sleep, but kept thinking about the possibility of labor. So of course my brain went wild, and I had a pretty crummy night of rest, and nothing progressed. Oh well.

Then on Wednesday the 9th, I had my 39 week appointment. We're planning on doing a home birth, with an absolutely amazing midwife, and it was kind of surreal talking about labor and delivery as a real possibility of something in the near future. Our Little Girl is in the optimal position for delivery (LOA, for anyone who cares), she's "dropped," and her head is well engaged. It looks like my body just might preparing to birth a child.

The only thing is, my amazing midwife also has a life aside from delivering babies all the time, and is going to be out of town from the 13th to the 19th. And my due dates are right smack dab in the middle of those dates. I had decided quite a while ago that if things were beginning to look ready, maybe I would try to nudge nature along before my midwife leaves town. And if things didn't look very ready, I would just lay low and hope I don't go into labor until my midwife gets back in town.

So yesterday morning, Thursday the 10th, I tried a handful of labor inducers... including castor oil. Let me just say, castor oil is the most awful, horrible thing I have ever done to myself. Terrible, terrible stuff. I tried mixing and chasing it with V8 splash, and I don't think I'll ever be able to drink it again. So the afternoon passed, and not much was happening. I just figured my body wasn't ready, and I'd tortured myself for no reason. But then about the time Bryan got home from work, I noticed the contractions were picking up. He has a fancy app on his iPod Touch, so all I have to do is push a button when a contraction starts, and again when it stops. No fumbling with paper and pencils and watching a clock.

So around 9 pm, I realized that for the last several hours, contractions had been lasting 1-2 minutes, and coming every 2-5 minutes. Some were actually riiight on top of each other for 8 or 10 minutes. I thought "oh wait a second, I've seen this before... oh right, when women are in labor." So I gave my midwife a call, and she told me try to get some sleep, and to call her when I couldn't talk through my contractions. Then I threw up for the first time in three weeks. And then the contractions reeeally started hurting. I was even using some of the fancy breathing techniques I learned about in our birthing class.

I was so sure this was it. I got a few things together in between contractions, and even had Bryan set up the birthing pool. I tried going to sleep around midnight, but was waking up frequently. I almost picked up my phone to call my midwife about a dozen times, but kept thinking "I'll bet I could talk through this contraction if I had to if Bryan were awake, so I'll let everyone sleep just a little bit longer."

So I dozed in and out of consciousness for a few hours, and then woke up at 6:30 and realized I'd just slept soundly for two hours. I got up, walked around a little, tried the stairs a few times, and realized the contractions had given up. I was very confused. And extremely tired. So I went back to bed. Awoke again at 9:30, and realized I wasn't actually going to be having a baby any time soon, despite everything my body had just done. So I shook off my frustrations and disappointment, and have been mildly productive today, with the exception of a few naps.

I guess this Little Girl just isn't ready to make her grand appearance into the world. Which I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't for the horrible back pain and spasms I've been having (if only Ibuprofen weren't contraindicated, especially at the end of pregnancy). And if she decides to come when my midwife is out of town, there are two very wonderful midwives all lined up for back up. God is in control.

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