Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 282...

Our boy totally ignored his eviction notice. Apparently Hotel Henry has much more lush accommodations than I had imagined and he just can't be persuaded to leave. So here we are- week 41, day 2.

We had a visit to the doctor on Thursday. Everything still looked great. My BP was 104/72, weight gain around 21#, Henry is still measuring right where he should be and his heart rate sounded perfect.

The American College of Gynecology defines the length of normal pregnancy to be from 38-42 weeks. I'm technically not overdue for another 5 days. However, many doctors (including mine) get nervous when pregnancies threaten to go past the 41 week mark, and I found myself during the appointment being strongly urged to consent to an induction the next day (which would have been 10-22-10).

Will and I knew we were going to be facing this decision before going into the office that morning. Our doctor had already mentioned that they would let me go to 41 weeks with no problem. She had also said that they would (apparently begrudgingly) allow me to go to 42 weeks, but would want some additional testing done to confirm that conditions in my uterus were still okay for Henry.

When you work in the medical field there is constant exposure to what the wonders of modern medicine can do. Interventions cure disease, they save lives, and it's a wonderful sight to behold. BUT- I feel like so many times, medicine interferes when nature should just be allowed to take it's course. We, as a whole, are not a society who likes to take a "wait and see" approach. This at least partially contributes to the record number of inductions and c-sections that are performed every year.

I don't want Henry's birth to be an experience of forcing nature before it's ready to occur, and I definitely don't want to make a decision to induce if there is no medical indication that Henry would benefit from it. Inductions, while generally without complication, can increase a person's risk of having to undergo a c-section by 2-3 times. Often times inductions lead to harder labors, can cause fetal distress, and can lead the way for a "cascade of interventions" to have to occur- things such as artificial rupture of membranes (breaking the water), pitocin, epidurals, c-sections, etc.

So, with all that considered, Will and I have decided to go the way of the "expectant management" route. We went in the next day for a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound where they look at Henry's movement, breathing efforts, and the amount of amniotic fluid. Everything looked fine. They estimate that he is right now about 7 pounds 11 ounces. We will go back in tomorrow for another ultrasound and a visit with the doctor- IF young Henry doesn't make his arrival before then. We honestly feel that we've made the right decision for our son but can't help but allow that seed of doubt to creep in. Did we do the right thing? Will Henry be okay in there? It's going to make for a very worrisome next few days. If he hasn't come by tomorrow then we will be scheduling an induction for later on in the week, near the 42 week mark (because there are increased risks for Henry once we pass 42 weeks).

Over the past 48 hours I've been having intermittent contractions. I'm pretty sure that on Thursday, during my cervix check, the doctor attempted to "strip my membranes" which can sometimes stimulate labor. Maybe it worked. Last night the contractions were pretty regular and increasing in intensity for a couple of hours, but then tapered off. Pretty disappointing, but maybe things are just getting warmed up. We're about to head out to go walk for a couple of miles and see if that helps to move things along.

So, as always, thanks for checking in on us, and we'll keep you posted. Hopefully our Henry has already picked a day for check-out and will be here with us soon!

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