So, how did I get here?

I don’t know where to start writing. Do I start at the beginning? When I think about it, it’s more like a disconnected series of events, none of them make sense. Pieces of a nightmare.

Thursday started out like a good day. We had arranged for one more biophysical profile and ultrasound. We wanted to be sure the fluid level was ok. MW arranged for it to happen at 7 am. The kids spent the night again with Grandma and Papa. I took the cohosh supplement on Wednesday night. Maybe I should backtrack now and explain things in sequence …

On Friday, January 2, I was officially 42 weeks and 1 day, if you calculated strictly by the dates. DD2 was born at 42 weeks and 5 days, so, even though I had convinced myself that this baby would be born sooner, it wasn’t completely surprising to go past 42 weeks again. Another factor to consider, though, was that our last ultrasound had pushed the due date back a week. So, if we considered the revised date, I was really only 41 weeks.

My parents had arrived on Monday, and everyone was eagerly awaiting a birth. Every day, we would joke about it – but nobody was concerned. The girls were spending wonderful quality time with their grandparents, and DH and I were enjoying some alone-time. I treated myself to a pedicure, another henna belly tattoo, and a massage. I was just trying to relax and enjoy these last pregnant moments, and I felt great.

So, on that Friday, my parents took the girls to Galveston. We had gone to Galveston the day before DD2 was born. Part of me wanted to go again, but I did not want to be in a car for that long. MW came over, and we did a Non Stress Test on the monitor. Her heart rate and variability looked great! We talked about cohosh and inductions and exams – and we did not want any of it. I had no signs that she was ready yet. She was very squirmy and content in my womb and hadn’t dropped any. We felt comfortable just waiting for the baby to “be” ready.

Emotionally, I was close to that point of being “done,” but even that wasn’t convincing. Mostly, I was bored! I was anxious to be birthing and move on to the next phase. Women eventually come to a point in pregnancy where they think they can’t do it anymore, and that is often a sign that it’s almost over. Some women reach that point a lot earlier than others. With DD1, I never reached that point, and I felt sad when she was born at 37 weeks. I never will understand why it happened that way, but she was clearly “ready” to be born. With DD2, I whined and complained a lot in the last weeks, but I didn’t reach that crisis point until 42 weeks and 3 days. That’s when we needed reassurance that she was ok, and the biophysical profile gave us that. She was born 2 days later.

This time, I was waiting for that feeling to happen. Each day, I got a little closer, but I still felt like I was missing something. Since I never really got to that crisis point, I wasn’t worried about being “overdue,” either. But on that Friday, I was getting a little bit more anxious. I was worried about the girls being in Galveston and maybe out of phone contact. What if labor was really fast and they missed it? But nothing happened, and another day came and went.

Saturday night, we had Mexican food for dinner. Maybe spicy food would do something? At dinner, we discussed dates again. Mom says I was 3½ weeks late, and my brother was 10 days late. My dad asked how “late” I was now, and he seemed to get a little distraught when he realized how far away 21 days was. They had been planning to go home on Monday, but now they knew that wasn’t going to happen. My brother, who doesn’t have children, brings up his theory again that maybe we just don’t know “how” to induce the baby to come out. All of his knowledge about babies is from the tv show “Friends.” He asked again, if we were really doing everything we could do. “Yes,” I told him. He started to ask again, and I said, “yes, that, too.” Then I said that there was one thing we would not do – castor oil. My mom heard me say castor oil, and she quickly said, “Don’t do that! It doesn’t work. I tried it.” I promised her that I had no intention of trying it. We were willing to try a lot of things, but that was not one of them. I do not wish to be miserable from an upset stomach while in labor. My brother asked if it would make you throw up … we all laughed.

Another night with no labor. I went shopping with my mom. And then I had a massage from R, who does a lot of prenatal therapy. She worked hard on the legs and pressure points that tend to encourage labor. I had a little snooze while she was working, but it did not encourage labor.

Sunday, 10:42 am, email
Past Due - And Not Inducing ...
I just thought I'd start a thread to boost my/your confidence in yourself when you go "past due". I'm currently 42w3d or maybe even more, depending on how you calculate the EDD. I'm 1000% positive of my dates. MW isn't worried. I'm not worried. BUT, I'M BORED BORED BORED BORED. And that's affecting my demeanor now. I reached the point of being "done" finally about 5 days ago.

I had attempted to induce DD1 with EPO, sex, etc. I freaked out at 42w3d and had a BPP, which was perfect, if overly inaccurate on weight and due date. But I did cohosh one day, and she was born at 42w5d. Perfect. Well, this time, I've avoided all internal exams, and haven't done any EPO - and have not really decided about cohosh yet. I'm done having sex - I nearly fell off the bed yesterday. I did an NST on Friday, which looks great - thinking about another today - torn on the BPP because I was so disgusted by the information 5 years ago. I'm ok with just waiting it out now, I **think**.
Sunday, 5:23 pm, email
I just got home from a massage *and* a nap. I feel great! Sitting on a ball, hoping the baby will fall out or something now ....

Monday, 10:03 am, email
baby still in utero.
I'm gettin' grouchy.

Tuesday, 7:36 am, email
nope, nada, nothin', zilch
a LOT of frustration this morning, though.

Wednesday, 1:44 pm, email
well, i'm now 42w6d, and I'm officially emotionally wiped out. I think i'm losing the mucous plug. I had BPP last night, slightly low fluid, but otherwise the baby looks great. I had NST monitor last night and this morning, and baby looks great - except one huge decel that really scared us all. But that was while lying on my back, and I felt what "may" have been a contraction. Then I lay on my side for half hour, with no more decels. And nothing today. MW will come back again this evening. We have another BPP scheduled for tomorrow morning at 7. Then, she did an exam because i had some discolored discharge last night. Soft and the cervix is in the right place, but not more than 1cm. I know that means nothing. I wasn't even going to have an exam, but I'll do anything to avoid the hospital now.

We talked and talked and talked about what to do, and of course, it made me cry. I don't want a hospital birth. I want my home, my peace, my children, my bathtub. I don't want pitocin, interventions, monitoring, or to have a baby on a bed in bright lights. I don't want to be in a car during labor. I don't want to have to take antibiotics (gbs+) or have separation from my baby. But, I want a healthy baby more than anything in the world. An emergency transfer would be worse than just "going".

But, for right now, I'm not going.

Wednesday, 9:27 pm, email
fortunately, here, we don't have too much to worry about with time-lines, but of course, it's generally frowned upon by the medical establishment to go this long. I'm officially 43 weeks tomorrow, but the 37week u/s actually gave a later date, so we 'could' use that if need be. (but I knew i was pregnant within 7 days of DTD, so there really isn't any way to be that far off) The conversation I had with my MW was one where we hashed out all the pros & cons of all the possible scenarios, and we're left with really desiring to wait it out but being fearful at the same time. The only hospital where we "might" have a chance with a respectful doctor is far away and not where we'd go in the event of an emergency transfer - but even if we went to that hospital, there are no guarantees. It would still be in the hands of the nursing staff mostly. And to make matters more scary for me, the emergency transfer hospital is just NOT where I want to be, but it's super close, and they are certainly qualified. I just don't want to be in a hospital, that's the bottom line.

I started taking a cohosh concoction this afternoon. I'm actually a wee bit sad about doing all this because i *was* content not to do any of these things, but I think I've been pushed to my limit now. I'm hoping that I have to cancel the BPP for tomorrow, but who knows.


43 weeks
Thursday, 10:48 am, email
Still here.
The cohosh "might" have been responsible for something. I slept like crap last night - very crampy and nauseous and now I have a full-blown migraine. I made DH stop twice on the way to BPP to puke out the car door. lovely. Afterward, I went back to bed. Just now getting online. BPP showed fluid levels up to normal, baby active - so that's a relief. Midwife will be coming in an hour for another NST monitoring. For some reason, that just makes me feel better.

I think I'll go take a shower ... I might even attempt to get a haircut today. That's what I do when I'm depressed, so maybe I should ....

So, after that, I did take a shower, got dressed, and I actually went to get a haircut. That felt really good. I was having mild contractions, so I was excited. I talked with MW, and she was coming over in the afternoon to do the NST. I went to shop and chatted with friends. I picked up a few clothes for the girls, and a new shirt for me. If I wasn’t done being pregnant, at least I could get a new long sleeved shirt! To my surprise, it was a nursing shirt – bonus! When I got home, we had to rush out again – we had arranged to have the car seats checked out. Unfortunately, it’s rather hard to get done here. There are places, but they are in the suburbs or only open one day a month. We were very fortunate to meet the man who teaches car seat safety to everyone else! He was very personable, and I was very relieved to have done it finally. Of course, we had the seats in correctly, but we did learn a couple things to make them even better.

I was still having really little contractions, but now they were every 15 minutes, so I was sure this was finally it! My parents dropped off the girls, and I told them that I was having some contractions, but nothing was “really” happening yet – we’d just have dinner like usual. MW came for the NST, and we bribed the girls with tv, so we could do it quietly.

Thursday evening was a blur. Never had I felt so scared. There were decelerations in the baby’s heart rate after each contraction, and there was very little variability. We had been so relieved with the BPP in the morning, that it never occurred to us that something could be wrong. These decels were too big, and it was too early to be seeing them. I was also having more discharge. I knew now that it wasn’t the mucous plug – it was probably meconium. The discharge increased after ever few contractions. The presence of meconium meant that the baby was in some type of distress. The contractions were now between 10-15 minutes apart – still very mild, but very regular. We had talked very bluntly about our options. It seemed like everything was pointing to us needing to be in the hospital for this birth. We needed the safety net of medicine. But we still thought we would be getting a “birth.”

MW had left to tend to two other Mamas. I decided to make dinner and try to have a normal dinner with our family. My parents and brother were on their way. I was having extremely mild contractions, so there was no reason to rush to any decisions. We would tell everyone after dinner. Once it was in the oven, I lay down with the monitor again and asked my mom to join me. She knew something was wrong. When I started to explain, she thought I was trying to justify staying at home, and she was immediately defensive. So, it took a little more explaining to clear that up. I tried to explain why I was so against going to the hospital – fear of interventions and loss of control were just a part of it. But we really did know that there was no other option.

This is how home birth is supposed to work: we had a Plan B, and now we had to use it. Our midwife is completely in tune with birth, and this wasn’t looking right. Decels during early labor just proved that something was causing the baby to be in distress. If she was in this much distress “now,” we were afraid of how much distress she could be in “later.” And later could prove to be too late.

Thursday, 8:39 pm
I'm so very sad right now. I have to go to the hospital. I can't believe I'm typing these words. I know it's the only choice we have - the baby has been showing decels after contractions, and I'm not even in hard labor.

*Anyone reading this needs to know that home birth is supposed to work this way. Hospitals are here for a reason - they are the back-up plan for emergencies, just like this. I know it doesn't mean that we've failed or that home birth was wrong. It's just the way it is - we don't get to control some things in life - and some things are just not worth the risk. I'm sad, I'm devastated, but we just have to do this.*

MW is on her way now to help us get what we need and get to the hospital. We'll be able to birth with an OB who respects home birth - which has always been my biggest fear about a hb transfer. Our kids will be able to be in the room. My mother is coming with us.

I'll have a baby in my arms tomorrow, and that's what it's all about. Pray for us - that we get through the night without being induced or pressured too much.


After dinner, we told the family that plans had changed, and we were going to the hospital. DD1 was distressed, and we did our best to reassure her that she would still be involved with the birth. We were going to the hospital because we thought it would be best this way. All I could do was cry. DD1 helped me pack. She is so intuitive. She knew something was wrong, but she tried to be motherly and helpful. She picked out an outfit and a blanket for a boy and for a girl.

MW arrived and helped us figure the rest out. I was in a daze. We caravanned to the hospital – my parents following us following MW. Of course, the hospital was so very far away. We finally arrived, but it was after the main doors closed, so we had to enter through the emergency room. We were an odd bunch. Not wanting to be there, not knowing what to do. Everyone wanted me to be a typical pregnant woman, who would go into the hospital in a happy joyous mood. Nobody knew that my dreams were being shattered just standing there. They wanted me to use a wheelchair, but I refused. They argued that it was policy in case I accidentally had the baby outside of Labor & Delivery. I tried to be rational – I was very aware of my body NOT being ready for delivery. Nobody was listening. But I wasn’t going to sit in a wheelchair.

We walked through a maze of halls and up to the second floor. They knew we were coming. They took us straight back to a room. Immediately, I was given a cup to pee in and a gown to put on. And so the fight began. Every time I said no, they said it’s policy “just in case.” In my head, all I could see was my hopes of a natural birth getting slashed – but still, I didn’t know it was going to end up in surgery.

I did refuse the gown. I put my own on and climbed into bed. They stuck me for blood and hooked up the monitor and blood pressure cuff. I was able to lie on my left side, but the baby continued to show no variability and regular decels. My blood pressure was rising, but MW’s records showed that I’d had normal blood pressure up til then. Everyone was worried. I didn’t like the nurse. We were both trying to follow different agendas: she was following hospital protocol, and I was fighting for some control and dignity.

Every time they left the room, Pat helped me sneak a sip of something to drink. I was so thirsty. I was being bullied, and it was really getting to me now. They demanded that I get hooked up to the I.V. and start taking oxygen. "Just in case." Now they were threatening the health of my baby with everything. I was terrified. I looked to MW for advice each step of the way, and she was agreeing with them now. My mom is a doctor, and I also looked to her for reassurance. She was quiet. Then the paperwork came. I had to sign away all my rights – episiotomy, forceps, anesthesia, medication, c-section ... it just felt so wrong to have to do that. MW promised that they would always ask before they did anything, but I wasn't convinced.

One thing that bothered me a lot here was that the nurse kept arguing with me and making me cry – and my children were in the room. I wanted them to be a part of the birth, but I didn't want them to be scared. I was deeply distressed by how this all might be affecting them. When the nurse began fighting with me about the I.V., I finally had to insist that she stop for a moment and let me talk to my children first – then, I would be happy to discuss it with her again. She was clearly not happy not to get her way. So, sometime around 11:30 pm, I gave my daughters kisses again and promised them that they'd be involved in the birth, that they just needed to wait outside for now while we did more stuff.

The oxygen and I.V. did slow down the decels. My contractions were still so mild that they weren't even registering on their monitor most of the time.

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