Well today I am officially 40 weeks +12 days. It’s the day that Portsmouth hospitals offer you an induction – although different counties have different limits (between +10/ +14 days). It would be a bit of an understatement to say that I REALLY don’t want to be induced. I know that you really can’t plan your birth but you always have you ideals – my ideal would be to give birth in a midwife run unit, making use of a birth pool with limited pain relief (maybe a bit of wishful thinking but you’ve got to at least start off with a plan!). However, I am starting to run out of time to be able to have my choices. Obviously I just want what’s best for little Ayliffe and more than anything I just want to meet him/her, but I hate the idea of rushing into the process of induction and loosing a lot of the empowering, natural experience of birth when potentially a few more days could have made all the difference. So I’ve chosen to put off my induction…
I’ve had 3 sweeps now (only research what these are if you’re not feeling too squeemish!) which have shown that my body is making progress – the first sweep showed I was 50% effaced and 1cm dilated but the baby was a bit high and far back, the second sweep showed I was 1.5 cm dilated, a bit more effaced, head a bit lower and bishop’s score of 5, the third sweep showed I was almost completely effaced, 2cm dilated and bishop’s score of 6 but the head is still a bit high and not pressing down on the cervix enough to start the contractions. It’s good to know that progress is being made but generally pregnancies aren’t allowed to go much over 14 days ‘overdue’ so will things develop quickly enough?!
Full term is anywhere between 37-42 weeks. Your due date is far from an exact science and apparently the period between your due date and 42 weeks is called ‘post dates’ and overdue isn’t until after 42 weeks. I’d like to let my body get to 42 weeks at least – my mum gave birth to me naturally at 40 +14 after all – to try and let things happen naturally, trying to focus on the fact that we’re not designed to stay pregnant and the baby will come out when it’s ready!
But it is so difficult to play the waiting game. I will probably go into the hospital tomorrow for a check up (as well as keeping an eye that movement remains the same) which will be good as I want to know that everything is ok with Attila, the placenta etc. and to see whether things have progressed any more. The reality of course is that a healthy baby is so much more important than my birth experience, but if everything’s ok, I think it’s worth the wait.
The likelihood is that if I do need to go in for induction, I would be given a pessary first and monitored – which means staying in the hospital for 24 hours. My lovely cousin Becky had the joyous experience of a pessary last week and, although it wasn’t that enjoyable for her, it did get her contractions started and after that things were able to progress naturally – so I could potentially use the birthing pool still (as long as I can get a room which has a pool!). However, if that didn’t do anything then other than another go at a pessary (with potentially another long wait) the other options could be having my waters broken (with only a few hours to see if I went into labour naturally) swiftly followed by being put on a drip. This would then mean I would have limited movement options and definitely no water birth. The contractions would be a lot more intense so I’d probably need more pain relief and they’d be essentially unnatural so could cause Attila more distress which could therefore lead to a c-section. This is what worries me, once on the induction path it can move very swiftly from a tiny bit of intervention to completely medicalised procedure which could even more more unsafe for my baby 😦 I’m pretty grumpy that I’m even having to weigh up these difficult decisions and wish things would just happen over the next few days!
So, now that everyone’s up to date – please know that as much as you are excited and impatient to meet our little one, I am a hundred fold, plus having to think about and make pretty hard decisions. I will let people know when things actually do start happening and the latest I’ll probably be able to wait for induction would be Monday 8th September so there will be a baby around by the end of next week, but in the mean time we will just be waiting …
Some good articles I’ve been reading: