Okay, well I'm not in labor just yet. Not even close, actually, as far as my body goes. However, my doctor's appointment yesterday did not go quite as I had expected. I think I was a little overconfident since Scarlett's non stress tests had been going so well, and I had been feeling her moving so much.
I had another growth ultrasound yesterday, and it showed that Scarlett had only grown approximately 5 ounces in 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks, she dropped from the 22nd to the 12th percentile in weight.
My doctor indicated that although things might still be fine, there is a chance that my placenta is not working correctly, and not giving her the nourishment she needs. She said it would be safer for the baby to be on the outside where we could ensure that she's getting enough to eat.
The plan is that they will induce me this week! They will start Cervidil tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 6:00 AM, and probably start Pitocin sometime Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, depending on how much I've progressed. So chances are, Scarlett's birthday will be on Thursday or Friday, July 11th, or 12th (our wedding anniversary!)
Being induced is about the last thing in the world that I wanted. I am preparing myself to labor for days with slow progress and long, painful contractions. With a labor like that, my plan to go without an epidural will probably go out the window (although I'll still try and see how it goes). I've been warned about the possibility of a c-section if labor doesn't progress quickly enough once they break my water.
My entire pregnancy I've studied natural childbirth and pain management techniques. Although I tried to keep an open mind, I was just pretty confident about how things would go since I had had such a boring pregnancy until a few weeks ago. I trusted that God would make things happen at the right time, and that He would give me the strength to get through the most painful, exhausting experience of my life.
As it stands now, I have an even greater opportunity to let go and trust Him in the next few days. There are a lot of different ways this could go. Up until yesterday, it seems that most of the stories I'd heard about inductions were horror stories. Labor that lasted for days with almost nothing to show for it. Labors ending in c-sections. Painful, long contractions. However, yesterday people seemed to come out of the woodwork with stories of easy, quick inductions. Inductions where the Cervidil put them into active labor, and Pitocin was not needed. Stories where the baby was born 4 hours after Pitocin was started. As my mom said, people are a lot more likely to share their horror stories than their boring, smooth, pleasant stories. And while I am still trying to prepare myself for the worst, it is nice to hear that most of these horror stories I've heard are worst-case-scenario stories.
I admit that a lot of the information I studied during this pregnancy was probably a little biased, and anti-medicated birth. I've read so much about the dangers of labor-inducing drugs, and pain-managing drugs. I've read all about the needless inductions and even c-sections that doctors schedule for their own convenience. And yes, there's a chance that this induction is unnecessary. But as my mom pointed out yesterday, what if it's not? To me, the chance that this labor and delivery will be long and difficult for me, and possibly stressful for Scarlett, is still better than the risk that she is not getting the nourishment she needs, and that I am putting her in a needlessly dangerous situation. I know a lot of people consider induction to be a needlessly dangerous situation, but I hope no one feels the need to comment on that here!
I also want to point out that I totally trust my doctor's judgment. When we were having trouble getting pregnant, I saw 4 different doctors in the span of a few months. I finally visited my current doctor, and knew she was the perfect doctor for me. I wrote about it in this post, and even said that I hoped she would be the doctor who delivered my babies someday. It is so surreal to be at the point where, in a couple of days, she's going to. I whole-heartedly believed that God led me to this particular doctor at that time, which is evidenced by that post I listed above. And maybe this is why. God was looking out for Scarlett even back then. It gives me chills to think about it.
Anyway, that is where things stand! I think I needed to write this post to sort through my own feelings about the situation.
And I have to admit, there are definitely some perks to being induced. As I told Luke last night, I don't have to worry about going into the hospital, thinking I'm in active labor, and then being sent home. I don't have to worry about my water breaking somewhere embarrassing. I can check everything off of the to-do list beforehand without being caught off-guard. We were able to change our schedules beforehand, and find people to fill in for our obligations for the days we will be in the hospital, which has been convenient. I won't have to worry about not making it to the hospital in time. I won't have to deal with the mental strain of wondering when I'll go into labor, or heaven forbid, being past-due. She will come about a week-and-a-half early, meaning I'll have more time with her before classes begin in the fall. And the best part? I know she will be in my arms by the end of this week at the latest! That alone makes everything else seem not-so-bad, because Luke and I cannot wait until she's here!
It was also nice to know that we had just a couple of days left, just Luke and I. Since our 5-year anniversary is on Friday, we decided to celebrate it with a date last night. We had a huge dinner at Carrabba's, complete with appetizers and desserts. We had to go big during our last night out before the big day!
We also went to Babies R Us to pick up a few preemie outfits and sleepers. I'm not sure if we'll need them, but I hate to think that she might not have any clothes that fit her! I just want to be prepared.
After that, we bought a few last-minute hospital necessities, and headed home to relax. When we got home, there was a beautiful flower arrangement on the porch. I still don't know who brought it! But I'm guessing it was my sweet grandparents.
Ignore Ellie's ear! She loves smelling and inspecting the flowers, but has yet to bother them beyond that.
It really is amazing how everything we still needed to complete just sort of came together over the past few days. We completed our online childbirth classes on Sunday night, I finally got a call from the hospital on Sunday as well to interview me about all of my preferences while we're there and during labor and delivery. My mom finished the tiny "mattress" for Scarlett's cradle over the weekend, which we will need right when we get home. Scarlett's diaper bag, which she received as a gift from a group of family friends, arrived on Monday (and I had so much fun filling it!) Everything is just coming together, and I really can't think of anything pressing that still needs to be done.
I had fun filling her bag with the most frivolous items possible. I couldn't help it.
I am thankful for one more day to finish the laundry, and clean the house so everything's just right for our return with the newest member of our family! Hopefully we will be home by Friday or Saturday. I can't wait!
I will try to update the blog after she's born! However, it might not happen until after we get home sometime. I can't believe I will have a baby the next time I write! It's a very surreal feeling after waiting so long!