What Are You Due-ing on Thursday?

February 14, 2012 § 12 Comments

Me? Oh, I’m getting induced for labor. 🙂

At today’s prenatal appointment, everything was going along just fine…until they took my blood pressure and found that it was reading 140/86. My OB didn’t like that number, so after checking my progress, she sent me along my merry way to labor and delivery at the hospital across the street. She wanted me to have some lab work run, as well as a few more blood pressure readings taken. Fortunately, Robert had chosen to take the afternoon off today in order to be present for this appointment. (Since this was the week of my due date, we figured playing hookie was acceptable.) So the two of us drove over to the hospital (I got curbside valet service from my wonderful husband), and I spent the entire forty-second car ride wondering aloud if I had done something wrong that would have caused my blood pressure to spike. All of a sudden, I was not only afraid of having brought about an “early” labor, but now I was actually starting to think that it was a bad thing. (Not to worry friends: Robert helped clear the air on that misunderstanding pretty quickly.)

An hour and a half felt like it lasted an eternity as they drew blood, had me pee in a cup, and squeezed the crap out of my right arm. I was put into a hospital gown, made to lie on my left side, and told to just try to stay calm. I have to admit, three weeks of sleeping in our recliner rather than in our bed has really spoiled me–lying on my left side was almost excruciating. My hips and round ligaments really started to hurt after a while. Once I got an extra pillow to put between my knees, though, I found some relief.

By a little after 5, my lab work returned as normal, and my blood pressure was down to 119/64. Much more like the numbers I’m used to–actually, those are more like my pre-pregnancy numbers. Melanie’s heart rate was awesome. After an hour of lying against my left side, though, she grew annoyed by the device strapped to my belly and rolled away from it. The nurse assigned to my observation room had to chase her around my uterus in order to get a good heart rate reading on her before I was released. I couldn’t help but laugh because my already independent-ish daughter was not making this woman’s job easy. We could hear her move against the doppler device, and finally the nurse found her heart. One thing I have always known about my daughter is that she loves moving. She’s been a squirmy baby from the very very beginning. At my second ultrasound, at about 13 weeks, she was so wiggly that we almost couldn’t get a clear image of her to print off. From that point on, Melanie has let it be known quite clearly that she loves moving around. This girl is going to be so good for my health! 😉

With normal readings, we were sent home.

But just before that happened, my obstetrician made a surprise cameo–we really hadn’t expected to see her again. She asked if I wanted to be induced on Monday. Although I initially told her we’d defer to her, I laughed and admitted that Robert was really ready for Melanie to be born right now. She replied, “I can do Thursday. Would you like to be induced on Thursday?” All I had to do was make eye contact with Robert to see the right answer. “Thursday would be perfect.” I babbled about my parents being out-of-town and how a Thursday induction would allow them to come see Melanie early. So then it was decided: February 16th will be Melanie’s Birth Day…as long as she doesn’t decide to come tomorrow.

I appreciated this trip to the hospital because it was like a little practice run. Robert and I drew up a list of loose ends that we still had to take care of at home; as soon as we got home, we tightened those loose ends. I also know now to bring a pillow for between my knees. I have a specific pillow for that job. We’re going to walk into that hospital like we’re planning to move there…but I don’t care. It’s all about the creature comforts, right?

The reason for the induction? Melanie’s size. I want to try for a vaginal delivery (although I don’t have anything against a Caesarean). If we let Melanie continue to wait and grow, she will only get bigger, thus diminishing my chances for a vaginal delivery and almost ensuring the chances of a C-section. In a funny way, I do have some mixed feelings about being induced (shouldn’t I just let nature run its course? is this another instance of the over-medicalization of American births?)…but I also know that this is my best opportunity to deliver my baby in the way that I want to.

Melanie must know something is going on…I am sitting here watching my belly undulate in waves that would rival some of the South Pacific’s most incredible surfing conditions.

In a truly A.Hab-ian twist on something that once caused me intense anxiety, I finally have a plan for something that has been entirely out of my control for the past 40 weeks. One way or another, we are going to have a baby by this weekend. 🙂

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