The Waiting Game
After spending my due date in prodromal labor, I spent the longest ten days of my life waiting for the real thing, answering every phone call from Tyler or Mama with ‘I’m not in labor.’ I saw my midwife, Mrs Lynda, on Thursday, and then Friday, Emma Jane’s birthday, Mama brought my sisters and the kids (little siblings) to spend the day, have a picnic at the park, and try again to walk into labor. (I think we tried every ‘DIY labor induction’ trick in the book over those days!). Still no baby.
I saw Mrs Lynda again on Tuesday, April 9, for a 41 week checkup, and had my first cervical check. I was really hoping to hear that I was already several cm dilated, but instead I was barely 1cm. We talked a little about options–it’s not unusual to reach 41 weeks in an intervention-free pregnancy, but if I went past 42 we would have to start talking about going to the hospital. We recalculated the dates–they were all accurate. We agreed to continue to let things be, but planned to go for a biophysical profile ultrasound if Ezra waited another week.
Thursday night Mrs Lynda texted and asked me to consider going for the biophysical (which is a check on baby, placenta health, and fluid levels) the next day. Mama had come back that afternoon–I needed the emotional support and we felt that I would surely go into labor that weekend…though I was starting to feel that I was going to be pregnant forever. Ezra had changed positions a lot over the last couple of weeks and I was concerned that he would end up posterior (which would mean a long, difficult labor if he didn’t turn) or even breech (which would mean a c-section). If the baby didn’t come by Tuesday I’d have to go to the backup doctor and we’d be considering medical induction. In my emotional state I was really pretty unreasonably upset about that. I decided to go in for the ultrasound first thing Friday morning.
The ultrasound results were good: baby was still looking healthy, placenta showed no signs of aging, and fluid levels were good.The baby was very crowded and his head was deeply engaged. I asked for a weight guesstimate–he was 9 lb 13 oz by the technician’s guess, but she added, ‘That can vary by up to a pound either way.’
We decided to head to the park and try some power walking again. First, though, we dropped by Mrs Lynda’s for a cervical check. The result was a little more encouraging this time: still technically just 1cm, but a ‘stretchy’ 1cm that would only take one or two contractions to reach 4 or 5. We briefly discussed some options for getting things started, but didn’t do anything further that day. After 3 or 4 miles of walking we turned for home where I tried just about everything I could do at home to start things up. At 10 days past the EDD, I was ready. to. have. this. baby. already. I regretted not doing a membrane strip that day.
At the end of the day, I posted ‘OK, Ezra. Joke’s over.’ on Facebook and went to bed not really expecting to go into labor that night (I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole thing at that point).
Okay, I promise the next part will be more interesting. Things were about to start happenin’!