41 weeks and 5 days...

Friday, July 24, 2009

I had planned on being late, but I didn't expect to go as far as two weeks past my due date. Yet here I am, still taking pictures of empty baby clothes.

I had my 41 week doctor's visit on Wednesday, hoping of course that he would say something about being dilated and ready to go any day. We started with an ultrasound. Blurry images of leg bones, arm bones, a circle for the head and another circle for the chest flashed across the screen. But she was big enough that we couldn't see very many features. Dr. Ed found plenty of fluid (in the small areas she wasn't filling up), and he was happy with the blood flow through the umbilical cord and the oxygen flow to the brain. Next he checked for dilation. I was about 50% effaced and quite soft, but not dilated. "You're safe to go as long as another week," he determined. He did give me a mixture of herbs (Mitchella, Rubus, Cimicifuga, and Viburnum), though, to help get things ready. Labor might, of course, begin sooner, but based on how healthy and comfortable the baby looked, he wasn't willing to do any kind of induction before next Wednesday.

And so I wait.

I began taking the herbs right away and they are definitely having an effect. I've had increasingly uncomfortable contractions intermittently throughout the day, but I really feel it at night. Last night they were on average 15 minutes apart and they usually woke me up. By 4:30 I was too uncomfortable to lay down so I moved to the recliner. About an hour later I had to sit up and breathe through them. I only hope they're actually doing something!

Having read several birth stories about long pre-labors like this, and also remembering how depressed I was after Lucy's false labor, I'm trying to ignore all this and just wait it out. Knowing the baby's so healthy and that I wasn't dilated at all helps. I'm not too worried about my water suddenly breaking and having the baby within minutes. It's better to have to make people rush a bit to get here than to wake up every morning trying to conjure up disapearing contractions.

And these really are the last days. We'll probably be inducing (with a prostaglandin gel) on Wednesday, but it's somewhat likely that things will start on their own before then. Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts. It's extremely encouraging to know that so many people, both near and far, are waiting impatiently too!

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