labor & delivery

Writing has (almost) always made me feel better in the past, so I decided to try it again tonight- from labor and delivery.
Turns out my membranes ruptured prematurely- sometime over the last day or so (24-30 hours probably) – and this puts me at increased risk for infection, especially because it’s not clear that labor is actually progressing. There was no burst of fluid followed immediately by active labor and the arrival of a chubby, relatively blood free baby- as is so often portrayed in the movies. It’s been more like a slow leek, and it’s difficult for me to pinpoint the moment it first happened. And this makes the medical profession nervous.

So I sit here, in the dimly lit L&D room, listening to the sounds of my little man’s heart rate, watching for each contraction, while Tim rests comfortably on the couch (preparing for the onslaught of sleepless nights), waiting for – what feels like – my fate to be determined. Will it be door #1 (Labor Augmentation) or door #2 (Natural Progression)?

My last birth was not at all what Tim and I imagined, and I can’t shake the feeling that we’re heading there again. The docs want to make sure that labor is progressing, but that requires pelvic exams and those increase the risk of infection. The docs want to get my contractions to 2 minutes apart, but my body doesn’t seem to headed there on it’s own- at least not fast enough. I don’t want to take unnecessary chances (of infection [for me] or sepsis [for him]) by prolonging labor but as I sit here, knowing that a dose of pitocin is just around the corner, what I fear more than infection is increased medical intervention.

And then I see these words written and they sound crazy: I am more afraid of medical intervention than having a serious complication or outcome. Really? That doesn’t feel right.

With Eleanor’s birth we had a very rosy picture of how things would proceed. My mother did not suffer complications during any of her (three) pregnancies or labors, and I conceived just as easily as she did, so surly delivery would be the same. Right? Wrong. But in the end, I had a healthy baby girl and that was all that mattered. Plus, I would have the chance to do it all over again; and, I told myself, the next time I would have the birth I imagined (which is to say more natural, less medicalized). Except now it sort of feels like that’s not going to be true either. And that is making me anxious; I feel out of control.And every time someone comes in – to cover the risks of TOLAC or talk about a possible course of action – I feel my whole body tense. I don’t want to be owned by those feelings.

These are my last hours with our little man kicking around inside. The last nine+ months have sped by, and I can hardly believe that the time has come (or that it draws near) to welcome him into our family. Regardless of how he gets here, I look forward to the moment that I can first hold him, when all this other nonsense has slipped away, and the thing that is most important – a safe and healthy baby – is realized.


13 thoughts on “labor & delivery

  1. I’ll be thinking of you Kiya. I will hope for natural progression for you but most of all for a safe and healthy baby – and as you know, everything will melt away when you hold him. It might help to remember that most decisions don’t have to be made right away – if they want to go with pitocin and you don’t feel ready, just ask for an hour. You might progress or you might feel ready within that time span, and then you’re more relaxed about how everything is going. But at some point you have to let go and know there are tons of things not in your control right now, but everyone there has your and your baby’s best interests at heart. And oh yeah, how exciting to have a little boy on his way!


  2. I can’t believe that you are blogging when you are so excited about having a baby, you are so close, I am excited for you! Having been just there 2.5 months ago, I can tell you it is a wonderful place to be. I love new life. Good luck! ICLW 48


  3. I felt so similarly to you – like the way my baby came out had to be the way I planned in order for me to not feel disappointed. My friend put it in these terms, which really helped me: you have a plan A (natural childbirth), a plan B (interventions to help labor progress or to allow me to continue without surgery), and a plan C: c-section. Whichever plan ends up being realized doesn’t really matter, because this is the day you get to meet your baby!
    Best wishes to your whole family 🙂


  4. Also, everyone’s body works differently. My contractions with my first child NEVER got 2m apart. Even while I was pushing, there’d be a contraction and then wait, wait, wait (5-10 minutes of waiting!). Yes, the whole labor took two days… and yes, they tried to push pit, but you can always say, “I want to wait. What are some other options? Is the baby showing signs of distress?” Remember, dr’s today don’t trust YOUR body. They don’t want a two day long labor. You CAN say, WAIT!


  5. sorry, I can’t stop:AND, don’t let them do exams. You’ll know when you’re progressing. More exams = more risk.
    You can say No!


  6. Thinking of you guys all night and this morning. You are in good hands where you are — nonetheless, everything you write here resonates with me. It is a mystery how our intellectual knowing (the goal is healthy baby and healthy mom) can exist alongside and in contradiction, seemingly, to one strong natural (and perhaps irrational) desire to do what our mothers and countless mothers before did successfully. I get it. Now stop making me cry.


  7. Oh, Goodness! Good luck! I can’t wait to hear about how this turns out- my hope is for a smooth and happy delivery! Both scary and exciting. I’ll wait for your “Labor and Delivery- While My Newborn Naps” post. 🙂


  8. I totally understand this! I’m terrified of another c-section even though it sounds like DH would be most comfortable with that. I hope things start moving for you quickly and you don’t need the pit.


  9. Unfortunately, your feelings are very familiar to me, except that I was 32 weeks pregnant. My best wishes are with you. Be kind to yourself and trust the universe.


  10. I had no idea this happened before little Oliver arrived. Oh my gosh! Wow, well I hope it was closer to the birth you wanted. Sorry for the interventions, but look what came out!! Can’t wait to feed Oliver his first Cambodian mango! xoxo


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