We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

41 Weeks (Tomorrow)

In case anyone wants an update, I figured I should record one.  This is mainly for me to remember how things were at the end, as well as for family and friends who keep asking.

My blood pressure has been alright the past couple of weeks.  It's still higher than it was throughout my pregnancy, but it is significantly lower than 2 weeks ago when the midwives kind of freaked out about it.

I went in to an appointment today and asked them where we go from here and when we start talking induction and the like.  I was told that typically, at 41 weeks, 3 days, women are sent in for an ultrasound to make sure everything is alright.  They check things like amniotic fluid, how the baby is "breathing," and moving around.  They give a score out of 8.  If I get an 8, meaning everything is just fine, they'll send me for another ultrasound 3 days later to check the same things.  If the score is anything besides an 8, then we talk about our options.  Depending on the severity of the factors that give a lower score, we could be looking at induction at the hospital.

I will be 41 weeks, 3 days on Saturday and they aren't open on the weekends, so if no baby by that time, I will have the ultrasound on Friday.  If everything is fine, the next ultrasound will be on Monday.  If I don't have the baby by 42 weeks, they won't let me give birth at the birth center, which has been my plan all along.

So, there isn't a specific time that they'll do an induction no matter what; it's more monitoring baby to make sure she's not in distress or anything.  I think they'd like to avoid induction (as would I), but obviously the health of me and the baby are the biggest concern, so we'll go there if we need to.

I'm trying my hardest to keep my spirits up.  I think things would have been a little easier if I didn't think that it was possible to have the baby at 39 weeks.  It's been a full 2 weeks since they said that the best thing would be to get the baby out as soon as possible.  So every day for 2 weeks, I keep thinking "this could be the day" and every night before I go to sleep, I think, "maybe I'll wake up with contractions and we'll have this baby!" Every day, I've had to tell friends and family, "nope, no baby today." And, every day has been a little bit of a disappointment.

But, I'm very grateful that I've had Sam to keep my mind off of things.  She still needs her mom to help her and she still needs to get out and run around every day, so I've been able to think of things other than baby coming.  That's been helpful!

And because no blog post is complete without a picture, here's me at (almost) 41 weeks.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Frustrating Week

It's been kind of a frustrating week for me.  If you care to read about it, then read on.  If you don't, cool with me.

Last Tuesday, I went for a normal midwife appointment (I was 38 weeks 6 days) and at the end of the appointment, they took my blood pressure and the diastolic number was a good 20 points higher than my normal, so my midwife got very concerned.  She said the best thing would be to get the baby here as soon as possible.  The way to cure high blood pressure late in pregnancy is to have the baby.  She asked all the questions about pre-eclampsia and I had none of the other symptoms.  She sent me for immediate blood work anyway, just to make sure.  She also sent me home with some castor oil/verbena oil but told me to wait until she called me about my blood work before taking it.  I wasn't worried during this time, but at that point I didn't feel like I had anything to worry about just yet.

That night, my midwife called me saying that the blood work had come back perfectly.  No signs of anything wrong.  Good.  She said she'd call again on Thursday morning, but she still thought it'd be a good idea to take the castor oil concoction starting Thursday morning.

I thought about/researched castor oil as a natural induction method all day Wednesday.  When my midwife called Thursday morning, I asked her if she still thought it was a good idea to try and get the baby here quickly since the blood work came back negative for pre-eclampsia.  This was how she put it: she said she'd rather not wait around for me to develop the other symptoms of pre-eclampsia because then we'd have to do more invasive, more medical ways of induction.  I didn't want that, so I made the decision right then to trust my midwife and go with what she suggested (let me just explain that if I was told "It's up to you," I probably wouldn't have done it.  I'm the type of person that is just fine waiting until my body naturally goes into labor.  I have never felt like I needed to jumpstart things, no matter how uncomfortable I might be.  But, I'm also the type of person who will listen to someone who is much smarter than I am when it comes to their area of expertise.  So, I will typically listen to my doctors/midwife when they suggest I do something.  This is why I made this decision).

I took the castor oil/verbena oil and nothing happened.  I called my midwife 3 hours later, as per her instructions and she told me to take a second dose.  I did that too.  Nothing happened again, except later that night, I did start getting Braxton Hicks.  They went away as soon as I went to sleep that night.

On Friday, the midwife came to my house (that's a nice thing about midwives...) to check my blood pressure.  It was high again when she first got there.  As she was leaving, she took it again just to be sure and it was beginning to drop.  She was happy with this, as was I.  (Side note: she said something that I thought was forbidden to say to any pregnant lady at the end: "If you don't have you're baby today, I'd be surprised..." What? Way to get hopes up!) Before she left, she asked that I take my blood pressure on my own on Saturday.

I took my blood pressure the next day and it was completely normal.  I tried again 30 minutes later and it was still completely normal.  I called my midwife.  She still suggested that I try castor oil again(this time, I'm not sure why...) and since I had no real adverse reactions the first time, and because I had begun to get excited at the idea of having a baby soon, I didn't even think about not taking it.  So, I went and picked it up from her.

On Sunday I started the castor oil again.  3 hours later, I called her to tell her nothing had happened except that this time, I started feeling pretty nauseous from it.  She told me to take the second dose and to do everything I could to keep it down.  She also said that if I didn't go into labor, we'd just wait until my next appointment on Tuesday before we did anything else.  I literally gagged the second dose down (I don't know what was different from Thursday to Sunday) and felt sick the rest of the day.  A few Braxton Hicks that night but not really anything noteworthy.

Monday, nothing all day.

Which brings us to today.  I went in to my scheduled appointment, she took my blood pressure, which was normal and she asked me what I wanted to do.  I said I wanted to leave it alone.  And she said that was fine.  So, now we're waiting for labor to start on its own.

I'm frustrated because all that really came from last week was getting me hopeful that I'd have my baby early, getting me a little worried about blood pressure and what that could potentially do for me or the baby, and getting me to think non-stop about going into labor when I would normally try not to think about it so time went faster.  I guess one good thing that came from it was that I learned that I should trust my instincts a little more.  I don't regret my decisions last week at all (I'd rather be safe than sorry!) but my instincts told me nothing was wrong and I shouldn't worry.  My instincts told me that baby would come when she was ready and I shouldn't force it.  So there's something to be said about trusting your instincts.  But, then again, there's also something to be said about trusting the people who have been put in charge of our care.  So as much as I wish last week didn't happen the way it did, I don't regret how it went either.

So now, we just wait.  I'm 40 weeks tomorrow.  We'll see when she decides to make her appearance.  I'm hoping that high blood pressure does not show it's ugly face again!