I never did post for the 40-week appointment, and haven’t really been in the mood to write since, but this post will wrap all that in, I guess.
Kiddo isn’t here yet (he is “due” April 24/25). I guess at this point I am supposed to be completely miserable and uncomfortable and anxious for the birth, so here’s one more place in which I am deviating from the norm: I’m actually pretty okay. I mean, yeah, I want to meet the little guy. I want the waiting to stop. I want to stop feeling guilty about taking “unnecessary” time off work…. But I, myself, am not in that “oh my gosh please get this baby out of me” frame of mind that seems to hit most moms. I’m no more uncomfortable than I was two weeks ago… I would be okay right now if he weren’t due for another month.
The problem is that the doctor has set a giant countdown clock, and so now I feel like a kid with test anxiety being asked to solve 100 math problems in 100 seconds. (Which is funny, because I love that sort of thing, but I think I understand the feeling now.) HAVE THIS CHILD NOW, the countdown clock seems to say, OR WE WILL FORCE HIM OUT OF YOU ON THURSDAY.
And yeah. I don’t want that. I don’t, strictly speaking, believe in it. But it is hard to know what to believe, when the doctor says that the chance of stillbirth increases after 41 weeks… I don’t want any sort of interventions, but I REALLY don’t want anything to happen to my baby.
Doctor has three recommended routes for induction. There’s the standard “straight to pitocin” induction, which will necessitate being tethered to the bed (dislike) via IV (dislike). The doctor’s recommendation — or so it seemed — was to start with cytotec and then move on to pitocin if needed; cytotec is an ulcer medication that also sometimes starts labor. What he didn’t mention is that cytotec apparently (apocryphally?) has some pretty scary nasty side effects (fatal ones) and there are no statistics on them because it’s an off-label use. The third path, which R and I feel seems promising, is to go in the night before and use a balloon catheter to mechanically dilate, which may start labor on its own — and if not, we can proceed to medical induction.
In all honesty, I’m extremely unhappy and anxious about this whole “you’ve got until Thursday at 6 AM to do this on your own, and then we’re taking over” thing. I really feel like I need to talk to the doctor again so that I can get my head on straight and stop freaking out. Things I want to talk to him about:
- What are the actual risks of cytotec?
- Do I stand a reasonable chance of avoiding an epidural if induced?
- How much dilating does the catheter actually do — is it going to make much of a difference if I’m already at 2cm?
- If we use the balloon catheter, is the sleeping pill he mentioned mandatory?
- Does he believe me when I say that I am unusually sensitive to medications, including hormones?
- Why, if first babies often show up 7-10 days late, are we rushing to induce at only 7 days past the arbitrary due date? Follow-up: can we wait a few more days?