Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last Day of Pregnancy

I had an appointment with my midwife first thing in the morning yesterday, and she finally pulled the plug on my hopes for a med-free, birth center birth. I'm being induced at the hospital this evening. Sad face.

Things have been deteriorating over the last week. I have an awful, unbearably itchy PUPPS rash that started on my belly, but has spread to my arms and legs. A rash like this is sometimes an indicator that your liver is stressed and the toxins it is not able to cleanse from your blood have nowhere to go but up through your skin. Lovely.

In addition to being driven out of my mind by itching, there are some other indicators that things are not going well. For one, Snapdragon is still floating really high, not settling into my pelvis at all. She seems to be head-down, but was so far up that Joyce could not even reach her during my internal exam. I am a tiny bit effaced, but not dilated at all. Add that to the cyst, my low iron, and the fact that even Tufts thinks that she will be a 9-pounder, and there are just too many risk factors for the birth center. Snapdragon's eviction notice has been served.

Joyce gave us the option of being induced right away (Monday night) or waiting until Tuesday (today). We opted for Tuesday so that we have a bit of time to get our affairs in order, contact our families, and repack our bags for what will be a longer hospital stay than we were anticipating.

I was pretty disappointed about the whole thing and cried right after the appointment, but I am feeling resigned to the reality of it now. There are plenty of positives: We get to meet Snapdragon! No more waiting! No worrying about going into labor at an inconvenient time/place! Time to charge the camera and phones! Time for my parents to travel in a non-emergency fashion!

Still, I am feeling a little bummed that I have to go to the hospital and worried about the level of intervention I may be getting into. They'll start the induction with a 12-hr dose of Cervidil tonight. There's a chance that that will get everything started, but if it doesn't, they'll have to bring out the Pitocin. More worrying than the drugs is the fact that drugs mean constant fetal monitoring, IVs, etc. Not only will I not have the comfort of the birth center, where they have beds big enough for Pete to get in with me and whirlpool tubs for laboring, I may not even be able to walk around very much (depending on the monitor/IV situation). If I'm stuck on my back, I won't be able to make use of all of the pain-management strategies and positions that would allow me to cope with the pain and avoid the epidural.

I have to decide whether I am ok getting the epidural. While I don't want to abandon my plan, I also don't want to put myself in a situation where I have the worst of both worlds: all the pain of going med-free with none of the freedom to use coping strategies. There are lots of reasons why I don't want the epidural — groggy baby, higher risk of c-section, inability to walk — but I may need it if I can't use warm water and movement to get me through. If the induction goes smoothly enough that I can still have some freedom of movement, I think I'll be able to make it. If not, I have to be ok with accepting the epidural without feeling like a failure. I don't want it, but it may be the best option for my situation. I'll have to discuss this with the midwife and doula before they start the induction so that my final decision is not coming from a place of panic in the moment, but from reasoned, conscious choice.

So, wish me luck. I check in at 8:00 pm. If all goes well, I should have an outside baby by Wednesday night — Thursday morning at the latest.

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