I had my birthday without contractions. My due date was 10 days from then. The day after my birthday I woke up with strong contractions and called my mom. "Call me when you are really in labor," she said. I was frustrated by that comment and told my husband we’d call her after the baby was born. (Talk about cutting off your nose to spit your face)
I found relief in taking a bath. Around 3pm we called a friend to watch our toddler if we needed. When my mother called at 7pm we admitted we were on our way to the hospital. She felt badly about what she’d said that morning.
We went to the hospital thinking we were much farther along, only to find we were a 5. My nurse told me she thought I was crazy for trying to have birth without an epidural. I was stuck to the monitor for almost an hour while they watched the baby’s heartbeat. I asked to get in the shower, and finally they let me. I thought the contractions hurt more than the time before, but didn’t know why. The most relief I could get was when I was on hands and knees. It wasn’t till after that I remembered that baby E had had her legs out kicking (posterior) that I realized why hands and knees felt better.
I called the nurse in because my skin had become all tingly, like when you’re leg falls asleep. She told me it was because I was hyperventilating. "Don’t breathe that way," she said. I told her I wasn’t coping well with the pain and wondered what my options were. She checked me and said I was a 7, and had a bulging bag of water. She recommended an amniotomy, (breaking my water). Once that was performed, my baby was out 5 minutes later. It was intense, very intense.
I felt more powerfully during that birth that Christ really did suffer all our pain. I knew that he knew what I was feeling, in a way that only the atonement could make possible.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
So, with my first, the Doctor said he wanted to strip my membranes at 39 weeks, because he thought she would be big. I declined. From everything I found research wise, stripping of membranes only works if your body is ready to go into labor anyways... at which point, other methods would be effective as well. The option of having my membranes stripped, versus being close with my husband was a no brainer. (I apologize, but the following is blunt: semen has prostaglandtin in it which ripens the cervix and if things are ready any ways, will help you go into labor... so if you hare having too many contractions early on and are not wanting to go into labor, you should use a condom). The doctor was still adamant about possibly inducing me if I got to my due date.
Well, my due date was approaching -- and the idea of being induced with pitocin was very dismal. (Thankfully I know enough now to know that you don't have to just say "Yessir" to whatever your Doctor suggests and could've refused induction even if I passed my due date). I was going on long walks, and being close to my husband, and hoping that things would start on their own. I was praying too. Anyhow... I was talking to my sister about how I wanted labor to start and didn't want to be induced.
"Have you had raspberry tea?" She asked. "No, but it won't work anyways because I don't believe in placebo effects." Well, I went out and got some anyway and was drinking it like water on Wednesday. My aunt came to visit. "What are you drinking", she asked. I told her, and told her why. She laughed and with a wink on her eye said "Ooohhhh, yes, how do you think women have been having labor since the beginning of time? They have been drinking raspberry tea!" :)
Well, the next morning at 5 am I went into labor, and 12 hours later our first daughter made her entrance into the world. It has become a joke ever since for me -- and when I thought I was in labor with my second, I had my husband go get me some more tea. I don't know if it actually works or not, but it tastes fine and is worth a shot if you've tried everything else. My other advice is to just wait -- don't get your membranes stripped, go on walks in as much as it's pleasant but don't wear yourself out because you'll need your strength for labor, and don't agree to induction just because you are AT your due date. The baby comes when they are ready to MOST of the time, and I know many people who just take longer to 'bake' (42 weeks).
But, for laughs and smiles, we keep raspberry tea in our cupboard now.