Monday I ran a ton of little errands, and my parents arrived safely from Ohio. Yesterday we spent the day doing our part of the cooking for the Thanksgiving dinner we're eating over at the L's house. I got my bag sort of packed. I washed a load of baby clothes. I worked some on the biology syllabus for this next semester. Things are pretty much ready around here.
Unfortunately, Baby #9 has not received that memo. At my appointment this morning, I was basically unchanged from last week--still a (soft) 1 cm, cervix very high, about 50% effaced. And the baby is still on that right side, not pressing down on the cervix, just floating around. "He seems quite happy in there," said the doctor. Yes, well . . . I am not happy for him to stay in there. I don't think I have ever been this far along and been so little dilated! What we are looking at is a December baby, which is incredibly disappointing to Caleb, who has been so looking forward to finally having a "birthday buddy" of his own. All the rest of our birthdays are between February and June, while he hangs out all by himself in November. Nothing like feeling like a huge disappointment to one of your other children, one who actually DID put me into labor on his own, right before his due date, with no issues or problems, no less. Grrrrrr. At least December avoids the anniversary of Jennifer's death.
And of course, an overdue baby means an even bigger baby for me. The doctors seem to think that is simply not going to be an issue, but you know what? I have big babies--even when people don't think the babies are big. As one of the small minority who has pushed out a 10 1/2 pound baby, as well as two over-9-pounders, all with no pain medicine at all, I would just like to say I do not want to do that again. Sigh. The doctor said he didn't recommend even thinking about an induction now, since it's so obvious the baby isn't ready, and I have to completely agree. This reminds me (again) of Grace's birth story, where she wasn't ready and it was not my favorite birthing experience. And with her I was at least 3 cm dilated! But she was very high, took forever to move down, and wasn't in a good position when she did, such that she had shoulder dystocia.
This is also reminding me of Jonathan. He was due mid-May--around the 18th, I think. His birthday is June 2--my first induction. He was also "very comfortable" in there, way up high, not moving down. I never dreamed I would have a June baby when I was due in mid-May! Those last 2 weeks were some of the most discouraging of my life, as I chased around 3 other little kids (Nathan, the oldest, was 5).
I know a lot more about birthing, and about optimal fetal positioning now, though. I've read up on Spinning Babies about "oblique lying babies" (where the head is off to the side, in the hip), and I've been doing their suggestions. Unfortunately, however, nothing is working, obviously. I have learned even more though--it is such a fascinating website! For example, when I had Nathan, I stalled out at 9 cm. I had a lip on one side which just wouldn't dilate. Eventually (after Pitocin), the AF midwife had me lay on my back and push while she held my cervix out of the way. I never had any urge to push, and the whole thing was incredibly difficult, but Nathan was born after about 2 hours of pushing. Looking back, I am amazed that I avoided a c-section, and I am sure that if a doctor had been attending me, I probably would have gotten one. Wow--that would have changed things! Anyhow, I was reading on the site last night, and one part was talking about how to do a "side-lying release". It said this move was indicated in labor when the uterus is contracting strongly, but progress stalls at 6, 7, or even 8 or 9 cm. The uterus just can't bring the baby down evenly. Huh! In another place it even talked about how lying on your back and pushing, while uncomfortable, can get the baby to tip into the pelvis in a better way and avoid a c-section! Who knew?! The sad thing is that no one had any suggestions for me, other than pitocin--no changes of position, no "side-lying release move" or anything.
I would say that most causes of labor that is slow to progress or even slow to start are badly-positioned babies. But that doesn't answer the question of why, if I know this and am trying these techniques, they are not working for me?! Frustrating! So now I have added weird positioning exercises to my twice daily routine of pregnancy exercise DVDs and forced marches around the neighborhood. Whee! The fun just keeps coming! But not the baby . . . and I can't even eat cookies or chocolate to distract myself. My next appointment is Tuesday at 1:20. Although the doctor said, "Well, I'm sure you'll start progressing any day now", I am not so hopeful. Unless something changes with the baby (and there's no indication that is going to happen), I doubt anything will change, even in a week.