Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monkey Labor

(Slight TMI alert)

I'm 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant today.

We left this morning for my 41 week appointment. I went there with my fetal movement record in hand (baby's moving great), hoping to get some answers to some strange happenings with my body, and hoping to get some help in moving things along. My biggest worry is this drawing out too long as the birth center limits their clients to 42 weeks; after that, you can't birth there anymore. My other worry would be failing a nonstress test or AFI (amniotic fluid index). It was failing the latter one that led to the requirement of a hospital induction with Josh.

So, we got there. My urine tests were good. My blood pressure was fine, a tiny bit elevated, probably due to slight heat-induced swelling, but fine. My pulse was fine. I've gained a grand total of 15 pounds. I'm measuring 40 centimeters. Baby's heart rate was 128. She thought it felt like I had a good pocket of fluid as it felt like the baby was floating nicely...easy to move around.

She asked about how things were going and I explained all the weirdness of the past week. Approximately every second or third day, I've had contractions that are uncomfortable enough to wake me up at night. I've timed all 5 instances of them; they were 11 minutes, 9 minutes, 4 minutes, and 7 minutes apart. The last instance was last night and I couldn't time them because they seemed to be on top of each other. Each time, it was uncomfortable enough and consistent enough that I thought it was early labor. Finally, due to discomfort and the need to pee, I'd get up only to find they stopped completely when I was upright. The midwife agreed that usually you hear about contractions that pick up when you are upright and stop when you lie down. That's what was weird about it. We also discussed that I've lost a small amount of my mucus plug on a few occasions but not enough to think I had lost the whole plug. I also told her, that to appease those who strongly believe and suggest certain labor induction techniques, I had cleaned my kitchen floor (it's now very nice and clean) and taken a walk yesterday. I figure, at worst, I'd have a clean floor and might have helped the baby into better position.

So, we opted for an exam and some cervical massage to, hopefully, help things out.
The first good news was that the baby is lower than it's been feeling previously. The internal exam came out with a -2 station. She said I was about 50% effaced which is normal for a moms who've had baby's previously. She also said I was 3 centimeters dilated with a stretchy cervix that could easily be stretched to 4 centimeters...but you don't measure the stretchy measurement. She figured one good contraction and I'd be at 4 centimeters. So, I'm done a good portion of early labor already. : ) Then we got on with the uncomfortable part...cervical massage, which anyone who's had it done KNOWS isn't a "massage"...more like torture.

Now, we get to the explanation of my title "Monkey Labor". It's a term they like to use to explain what's been going on. It appears my body has been swinging in and out (like a monkey) of labor. Those night time contractions are definitely doing something. It figures. Every birth has been something different:

Mika's was 78 hours of very slow progress following premature rupture of membranes. After most of that, my cervix had swelled and we ended up transferring to the hospital.

Sam's wasn't quite so long but I hit transition (9cm and puking) and stayed there for 5 hours. We finally ruptured membranes to move things along as it was bulging in front of the head, making it so his head couldn't engage and finish the job properly.

Josh's simply never started on it's own; at 15 days past my due date, I had made very little progress cervix-wise. I ended up with a hospital induction using pitocin.

This baby has decided to do the monkey labor thing.

It makes me want to keep having babies just so I can have a "normal" labor with one of them! LOL

So, the plan now is this:

I'll be using Evening Primrose Oil to, hopefully, help my cervix keep ripening and moving along. I have a AFI test at 8am in Olympia on Friday (ugh, we have to leave home at 7am for it). I'll be drowning myself (ie. drinking TONS of water) in hopes to keep the amniotic fluid levels up. Following that, I'll be going straight to the midwife's office for a nonstress test. Assuming everything is going well, we'll do more cervical massage.

Of course, the real goal is that none of that is necessary on Friday because I'll have had the baby by then.

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Suswan said...

Yes! I'm hoping for the later (f course) that you don't have to go through all that. :-)

The Four Week Vegan said...

Hoping baby appears before Friday.

Twisted Cinderella said...

I Hope that you get into a nice labour patter soon and have your new little one before Friday.