Tonight is the night. I'm going to the hospital at 7:30 pm (unless this little girl decides to be a gem and throw me into labor before then, which is doubtful). I'll be given a small dose of Cytotec (a pill used to ripen and dilate the cervix - please do not email me with potential side effects, okay?) this evening, then spend the night resting up for the work to come tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, my midwife will break my water and give my body a few hours to start labor on its own. If that doesn't work, we will start on a small dose of pitocin and slowly up it until my body begins to labor. If and when my body regulates itself, I can be taken off pitocin and have the water birth that I've been hoping for.
How do I feel about all of this, considering the fact that I was hoping for a natural water birth with as little medical intervention as possible?
I'm torn. It's been really, really difficult for me to come to terms with being induced. Let me begin by saying this - I trust my midwife wholeheartedly. I have been able to build a fantastic relationship with her since I switched from an OBGYN about three and a half months ago. She knows my birth plan, and she is absolutely dedicated to giving me the birth I want. Sometimes, though, things just don't go according to plan. We had a heart to heart at my appointment on Monday and discussed my options. She made it clear to me that it was my decision, but she also laid out the facts.
- There is a HUGE push for induction once a pregnant woman hits 41 weeks.
- Induction greatly increases the need for even more medical intervention, and the risk of c-section is much higher with induced births than it is with natural births.
- Because I hit 42 weeks on a holiday weekend and our hospital was booked for inductions the Tuesday following Memorial Day, I could either be induced Friday (tomorrow) or go in the following Wednesday night to be induced next Thursday.
- If I chose to be induced Friday, I would only have to undergo one non-stress test and one ultrasound.
- If I chose to wait it out, I would have to do four non-stress tests and possibly 2 or more ultrasounds.
- My baby has been engaged for over three weeks, but, for some reason, my cervix is not dilating at all.
I'm going in this morning to have my cervix checked. If I'm dilated at all, my midwife will strip my membranes in the hopes that it will help with the onset of labor.
So. Now onto how I feel about all of this. I wish I could say that I'm totally A-OK with being induced. I am... to a point. I would not have agreed to an induction if I didn't think that it was the best choice. My midwife reminded me that it is my choice, and that I could refuse induction if it was not what I wanted.
That being said, I'm disappointed. I always knew that induction was a possibility - many first-time-moms end up being induced. I guess, though, that since I've had such a perfect, easy pregnancy (don't punch me), I thought that labor would come on its own. I assumed that I'd be able to have the water birth that I so desperately wanted. I told myself that a water birth might not happen, but I think I wanted it so badly that my subconscious just blocked that out.
I'm also relieved. Relieved that, in a couple of days, I will finally be holding my little girl in my arms. Let me be completely honest here and let you guys in on a secret - I have broken down a few times in the past week as I've watched friends have their babies. I was so, so happy for them, but so jealous. Why did they get to have their babies and I still don't have mine? When I had an appointment postponed because my midwife had to go deliver a baby, I lost it. It just wasn't fair. I should have had my baby days ago - why wasn't that me? I know the hormones are a huge reason I'm feeling these emotions, but let me tell you this - there is nothing more frustrating (to me, anyway), than not being in control of a situation, and lately, I've felt like an out of control whale without any clothes that fit.
Basically, I'm still praying that I won't have to be on pitocin for the entirety of my labor (or at all, for that matter), but I am absolutely determined to not let this "bump in the road" ruin my plans for a natural birth. I may not get a water birth, but that doesn't mean that I can't still have a completely natural, completely beautiful experience. I'm trying to remember the things that are most important - the fact that my baby will come into this world safely, the fact that my husband and midwife will be by my side, supporting me, and the fact that everything happens for a reason. I have a loving Heavenly Father who will be watching over and protecting me tomorrow as I welcome my little girl and her precious spirit into the world.