Our sweet girl is already over 5 weeks old and I am finally getting the time/energy to write down our story. Hopefully it hasn’t been so long that my memory of the experience has been too diluted.
For anyone who followed our pregnancy journey through this blog, you know that my body was just refusing to go into labor naturally. From my first check at 36ish weeks, there was worry because my progress was minimal and our girl was hanging out quite high in my belly. Because of our desire to have an all natural childbirth experience, we were determined to do everything possible to avoid an induction.
In fact, I was scheduled to go into the hospital on July 10th to begin cervadil and then be administered pitocin the next morning… HOWEVER, on July 8th, it was seeming like things were going to happen. I had been seeing an AMAZING acupuncturist all week and after a morning session and a nice bath, my contractions were much more regular than they had been. My entire family (parents, brother and sister) came over that day to hang out and I just bounced on my birthing ball, secretly thinking this was it. Around 3 or 4, I saw a little mucous when I went to the bathroom. I wasn’t totally sure if it was my plug or part of it, but by 9pm, another more obvious glob came out. In fact, I was so excited, I called my hubs into the bathroom to inspect my toilet paper (at which point we high fived). Well, long story short, the contractions stopped that night.
Regardless, I was excited that there seemed to be some progress, so I called my doctor to see if she would allow us to take a few more days before resorting to an induction. She agreed reluctantly (because I would be past the 42 week standard), so, our new induction date was Monday, July 14th (at which point I’d be 42 weeks, 4 days). We would go in that night, get the cervadil and start the pitocin the following morning if needed.
So, with a few more days on our hands, I kicked up my natural induction trials into high gear. I was walking a minimum of 3 miles each day, listening to my meditations, seeing my acupuncturist daily, having sex, doing perineum massages with evening primrose oil, taking primrose oil, eating pineapple, howling at the full moon… pretty much everything you could think of.
By the Sunday before our induction day, I was desperate. I spent about 3-4 hours with my acupuncturist doing hip opening body work, electro-stimulation acupuncture, stress release, you name it. We even took a break mid-way through for Mark and I to take a walk in this really nice woodsy trail path in hopes of loosening things up. I left with no contractions. So, we went to Trocadero (a yummy restaurant) to eat my “last meal” before attempting our final natural induction method… castor oil.
If you’ve never heard of the castor oil method, it’s pretty much used to severely mess up your insides and stimulate some crazy bowel movements… and, in the process, irritate the uterus and induce contractions.
At around 2:15 pm, I drank a castor oil concoction that still haunts me. The recipe – provided by my doula – was as follows: Castor Oil (maybe 4 oz?), one shot of vodka (my first lick of alcohol in over 10 months), a couple drops of lemon oil, apricot juice and two tablespoons of almond butter. It was so sweet… ughh. I’m gagging just thinking about it.
Almost instantly, I was feeling nauseous. Maybe thanks to the vodka, I was able to nap until about 4, but with no visible symptoms, I took a second dose (this time castor oil and orange juice only). As the oil was working its magic, I chatted on the phone with my sweet friend, Marci, and tried to laugh about the sickness I was exposing myself to. Then, it was once again nap time. I woke up at around 8:30 pm just in time to projectile vomit all over the place… WITH CONTRACTIONS. By around 10:30, the contractions were getting stronger and actually stopping me in my tracks. I could still talk through them, but things were seeming pretty good! In fact, at 11:30 that evening, we had my parents come and pick up Toby the puppy,as they would be watching him while we were in the hospital… we were that sure. I even had what I thought was my outer water bag breaking. It was a mini gush that left a plum-sized wet spot. My husband took these stats… Color: clear, Time: 11:35 pm, Amount: about a TBSP, Odor: Smelled like vagina (nice, huh?).
The next morning we had our last non stress test (of about 6) and check before checking into the hospital that evening. Of course, by the time we went in, things had slowed down yet again. I had dilated to 1.5 cm (a .5 increase) and baby had come down a smidge. Regardless, our last ditch effort to poison me into labor was unsuccessful. So, we went home, took a walk, and packed up for the hospital.
Then, it was time for the real fun to begin…