Sunday, April 25, 2010

The end is in sight

Yes, it is Sunday morning, and I am in the lab (and will be most of the day). But this will (probably) be my last day in for a while. I had my doctor's visit on Friday, and she agreed to induce me tomorrow morning. Hooray! So, maternity leave starts tomorrow. I will probably be in on the weekend as soon as I can physically stand it (my guess is 2 weeks) to finish some experiments. This is not ideal, but it is necessary to finish my paper, and I want that out ASAP.

So, Friday I went in for my appointment. I was really bummed Thursday night, and I coped by making a list of things I wanted to talk to my doctor about. I also printed off an article from Uptodate about how induction didn't increase rates of c-section after a woman has had one child. Armed and ready, I nervously waited to see what my doctor would say.

As soon as she came in the room, she told me, "Let me do your exam first, because that is going to affect how I approach things." I was good with this. She was very pleased with how I've progressed (like I can take credit for it...). I was a "good" 3 cm dilated, 70-80% effaced, head down still. I told her about some of my other signs and symptoms, and she seemed to think things were moving right along. She swept my membranes in the hopes of starting some labor, and then we talked.

She began by saying that large babies aren't themselves a reason for induction. She also said that ultrasound measurements are notoriously inaccurate. At this point, I had a bad feeling that her answer about induction hadn't changed.

But then she said that for women with favorable cervices and history of prior delivery, induction didn't result in more c-sections. She again asked if I thought he was bigger than Sophie, and I said I thought he was. She thought he was pretty big too by her estimate. So, me plus her plus ultrasound all agreed.

I told her that my concern was that he was already too big, and more time would make it worse. I mentioned that his 42 week head scared me more than his weight. She didn't seem to think his head was too big yet.

I also said that I felt like my labors weren't destined to progress on their own. My mom has a history of induction, and with Sophie, my contractions never organized. Even after my water broke on its own, my contractions never did anything. I had to max out on Pitocin to get things happening with her. It hasn't been a problem of dilating/effacing--it's actual contractions. So I feel like if I had to wait for labor to start, my water would either have to break on its own again (which isn't that common--the statistics I've seen are 10-20% of labors start that way), or I'd have to go way overdue and be induced anyway.

She listened to my comments, and she agreed that all things pointed to me being a good candidate for induction. It's still termed an elective induction, which I am fine with, since large for gestational age isn't a medical indication.

She checked her schedule, and she would be around Monday afternoon, so we planned for me to arrive at the hospital at 6 AM and start the pitocin at 7 AM.  I went to meet the nurse to schedule the details.

The nurse, whom I have talked to several times now, laughed when she saw me. She had just gotten off the phone with the ultrasound doctor who saw me, because he wanted to follow up and make sure they had seen his recommendation.

We went over the process, which is very similar to what I did with Sophie, I signed the papers, and I was off.

I called Tim, and I was absolutely elated that we were being induced. I was cramping pretty tightly from having my membranes swept, but that never went anywhere with Sophie, so the plan to induce made me feel like I had a chance to not be waiting eternally to give birth. I know pregnancy doesn't last forever, but it sure feels like it. I passed the word along to my family, and then I had to go tell my boss.

I know my boss wanted me to have this upcoming week in the lab to finish experiments, but such is life. The postdoc graciously agreed to finish off the blots I am running today, and then I'll come in over a weekend and run another set.  Tim thinks I am crazy for being up here on a Sunday, the day before I deliver, but I had to do it. And of course, everything that can go wrong has gone wrong this morning, so it's taking me an hour or two longer than I initially planned. Still, I'll have a set of experiments done today, and then I just have to get some writing done at home.

Exciting stuff! I'm not sure how long I'll be in labor once they start the induction--all the nurses I've talked to since Friday say that I should plan for it to be fast, but they said that about Sophie too.  Hopefully, by evening Monday, they'll be a baby!

I'll probably have pictures sometime on Tuesday, if I can get a wireless signal with my laptop. If not Tuesday, I'll have them up as soon as I can. Wish us luck!

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