Our Attempt at Natural Induction

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.

 

Howling at the super moon...

Howling at the super moon…

Bring on the baby...

Bring on the baby…

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.

Bartender

Bartender

The fix-ins

The fix-ins… check out the oil globs on top…

Looking tasty...

Looking tasty…

Cheers...

Cheers…

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.

En route to the hospital

En route to the hospital

Then, it was time for the real fun to begin…

Protecting Me

Turns out, after leaving our appointment in tears and explaining to my hubs how much I didn’t want to face all of the inquiries about my progress or post-due status, Mark emailed our families and my close friends asking to be a little sensitive and give me a little space. While I didn’t know what he did until after my tears had dried, I am so incredibly grateful. I was able to wallow in the exact way I had hoped… In peace.

Now, it’s not that I don’t love how much everyone cares and how excited everyone is…. It’s just yesterday, I needed to sort through my emotions. I know baby girl will come when she is ready, and if she is unable to reach that decision on her own, come Thursday night, the doctor will help her to make her journey.

It’s interesting, when Mark spoke to my mom yesterday, she mentioned that the babies in our family tend to be born within a few days of other family members’ birthdays. This coming Wednesday would have been my Grandpa’s 88th birthday. Maybe she really is showing us the circle of life. Maybe, already in her infancy, she wants to bring us peace and remind us to be happy on that day. Or maybe she’s just a stubborn little gal like her momma.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, Mark and I took a 1-2 hour walk down to and through this nature preserve and back to the house. It was a beautiful day and a great way to spend it… Although my feet and back were a little sore afterwards. Then, it was time to head out to my bride-to-be’s house to help her set up for her wedding this weekend. Mark and I helped from about 5 or 530 until a little after 11pm. The place looks absolutely amazing. Her vision really came to life and looks perfect.

On the other hand, my back is killing me. We have to be back out there today for the rehearsal dinner at 2… Until then, I’ll be resting.

5 Days Post Due Date

Last night I woke up at 11:30 or so from my first “painful” contraction. I put the word painful in quotes because I know it will get worse and really, it wasn’t terrible. Anyway, I had the thought of, “this could be it,” but thankfully was able to get back to sleep. Alas, this was not it and here I am on day 5 post due date.

Today I am back at work after having Monday and Tuesday off, which has been nice. I’ve been trying to get as much done as possible and really tie up loose ends. My productivity was interrupted; however, by an appointment to go see my friend’s momma who has SO GRACIOUSLY offered to attempt to fix my dress for the wedding I’m in this weekend.

I had been putting off getting the dress tailored until I had a better idea as to what my body would look like. As you might imagine, I did not think it would look like it does today, which is ginormous. In fact, I was hopeful that I’d have a 2-3 week old baby by the time the wedding hit. Clearly not the case.

Anyway, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge job because last time I tried on the dress, it seemed like everything fit but the chest portion. Turns out, this is not the case anymore. My friend’s mom is adding in 5 inches of fabric from top to bottom in attempts of making this dress fit. The challenge? I only have extra fabric for the top, chiffon layer, not the bottom layer of fabric. So, while we did the best we could to match, the underlay fabric is a bit darker. Oy. I’m going to be a fat, sweaty, disheveled mess. Hopefully it will magically turn out perfectly.

As a little pick me up, I did grab an ice cream cone form Baskin Robbins on my way back to work. So that was nice… maybe not what I needed, as I’m clearly pretty giant, but helpful… from a mental standpoint. I’m feeling great again 🙂

Minus my feet that is. Holy smokes. Yesterday I spent about 6 hours sitting at our kitchen counter and when I finally looked down at the damage to my feet, it was too late! They were SO swollen… like, I’ve never seem them look worse… they’re flippers.

I'm sorry, but what is that limb? I don't recognize it...

I’m sorry, but what is that limb? I don’t recognize it…

Oy. They’re a little better today, but I can literally feel them jiggle when I walk. That’s just not good. Other than that, check out these fun pics I rediscovered yesterday from our honeymoon…

Swinging in Fiji

Swinging in Fiji

My hubbers.

My hubbers.

Perfection in a single sunset.

Perfection in a single sunset.

Pre-Honeymoon Cali Goodness... Look how agile I was.

Pre-Honeymoon Cali Goodness… Look how agile I was.

Me & my guy.

Me & my guy.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

So, I’m now 4 days post due date and still feeling pretty good… HOWEVER, I’m a little anxious. Honestly, not totally horrible, but definitely a little anxious. My remedy for such anxieties is simple… 1) stay super busy and 2) try anything and everything. So, here’s what I’ve been trying…

Of course, I’ve been continuing the regular natural induction methods I’ve been employing for the past few weeks. These include

  • bouncing and rolling my hips on the birthing ball
  • squats & pelvic tilts
  • sex
  • spicy food
  • tons of walks
  • Perineal Massage with almond oil

    As strange as this whole concept is, I think it's actually working. If nothing else, it's teaching me how to relax the right muscles during discomfort in the region.

    As strange as this whole concept is, I think it’s actually working. If nothing else, it’s teaching me how to relax the right muscles during discomfort in the region.

But, I’ve added some additional ones. Now, before you go off trying all of these, I am no doctor and have no idea if they work or if they’re safe for you. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing:

 

Obviously, this babe is going to come when she wants, but in the meantime, I’ll keep doing all this weird stuff that likely has no effect on when my body and baby will be ready.

Symptoms

Yesterday I went in for my first Non-Stress Test. The test was pretty darn easy… I laid on a recliner chair and relaxed while hooked up to two monitors. One measuring baby’s heartbeat, one measuring contractions of the uterus. Then, I had to push a button every time baby moved.

All hooked up.

All hooked up.

Baby has no stress, which is great. I figured as much… she seems to be happy as a clam.

As for me, I think I’m doing pretty darn well. Sleeping isn’t amazing these days, as my hips get pretty sore and I’ve had a little insomnia, but I can’t complain too much. And my mood, it’s been pretty good I think. Maybe double check with my husband on that one??  But really, I think I’ve been staying pretty positive. I find that I get crabby or down when I’m not doing anything.

As for how I feel the baby is progressing, it’s so hard to say. I definitely feel more pressure in my pelvis, but I don’t know if it’s much different than it was last Thursday. And I don’t think my belly looks much different. So really, I don’t know. I’ll be back at the doctor on Thursday, at which point, we’ll do another Non-Stress Test and schedule an induction if she hasn’t come yet. I really hope that if she doesn’t come this week, I’ll be able to keep my calm. As time ticks away, I can see the anxiety building up.

But, at least it will be a VERY busy weekend if she doesn’t come. My friend, Ashley, is getting married and I’m in the wedding. So, we’ll have rehearsal dinner all afternoon/evening on Friday and then wedding on Saturday. It’s such a hard struggle. On one side, I REALLY want her to arrive right now, but on the other side of things, I REALLY want to be at and be a part of my friend’s wedding. Definitely a very strange mind struggle going on… not that I have a choice either way. So I guess there really is no struggle?

 

 

Post-Due-Date Weekend #1 Update

It feels a little cruel to have neglected my blog for the 4 days post-due date. I’m sorry to say, it isn’t because I’m sleep-deprived with a new baby. While I might be a touch sleep deprived, baby is still inside.

So, here’s our weekend:

On Friday, I had lunch with this hot momma! Only 3 months post-partum and she looks this good! And check out that little man... such a cutie!

On Friday, I had lunch with this hot momma! Only 3 months post-partum and she looks this good! And check out that little man… such a cutie!

Baby Phoenix!

Baby Phoenix!

Momma & Baby!

Momma & Baby!

Friday evening, Marky and I went out for a delicious seafood dinner (complimets of my aunt and uncle who gifted us with a very geerous gift card!) to celebrate the big due date. After, we stopped by Mark's mom's house to say hi and visit with this cute little lady pup.

Friday evening, Marky and I went out for a delicious seafood dinner (compliments of my aunt and uncle who gifted us with a very generous gift card!) to celebrate the big due date. After, we stopped by Mark’s mom’s house to say hi and visit with this cute little lady pup.

Saturday morning I went for a mani/pedi with mom, sis and my sweet niece. I chose a salmony pink.

Saturday morning I went for a mani/pedi with mom, sis and my sweet niece. I chose a salmony pink.

Gabbers drying her nails.

Gabbers drying her nails.

After nails, Marky and I went for lunch with Pop, Mark's 97-year-old gramps! (And Toby of course.)

After nails, Marky and I went for lunch with Pop, Mark’s 97-year-old gramps! (And Toby of course.)

It was humid... check out those feet... and it was only 1pm (ish)

It was humid… check out those feet… and it was only 1pm (ish)

Hence, while Mark fixed some wires at Pop's house, I rested my ogre feet.

Hence, while Mark fixed some wires at Pop’s house, I rested my ogre feet.

After Pop's, Marky and I relaxed a bit, went for a nice walk with pups, and then went swimming. I swam laps for a little over an hour. It felt amazing. And my feet even recovered a little. Temporarily of course.

After Pop’s, Marky and I relaxed a bit, went for a nice walk with pups, and then went swimming. I swam laps for a little over an hour. It felt amazing. And my feet even recovered a little. Temporarily of course.

Big Belly Selfie. After swimming, we had dinner with my parents and then Mark and I went to the park to catch the local fireworks!

Big Belly Selfie. After swimming, we had dinner with my parents and then Mark and I went to the park to catch the local fireworks!

After such a busy day/night, ice was a requirement for those feet.

After such a busy day/night, ice was a requirement for those feet.

Sunday pretty much looked like this or the inside version of the same position.

Sunday pretty much looked like this or the inside version of the same position.

While hubs worked on our financials.

While hubs worked on our financials.

At some point during the weekend, we had our chair delivered. And... I don't like the color. Urgh.

At some point during the weekend, we had our chair delivered. And… I don’t like the color. Urgh.

My attempt at a panoramic of the room.

My attempt at a panoramic of the room. The chair is too similar in color to the walls. And I don’t know that I like the fabric.

 

 

 

 

On Your Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Been Your Birthday…

Dearest Baby Girl,

What better time to write you a letter than today… your due date? This is a day that your pops and I have been counting down for nearly 300 days. This is the day we had hoped to meet you. But really, knowing that you’re half me and half your father, how could we have ever expected you to be early or even on time? A very known secret about your parents… we’re pretty much always late. It seems as if you might follow in our footsteps.

But don’t worry, while we may get angry at you for your tardiness in the future, today, we are not. We are so grateful for you – whether inside my belly or outside in this world – and we know that when you’re ready to grace this world with your beautiful presence, you will. And when you do, the world and our lives will be better because of it. We love you so much already. You already make us laugh, we already enjoy playing with you (yes, when we’re poking and prodding you through my belly, we consider that playing), and you’ve already changed our world for the better. So as you prepare to enter this world, remember how much we love you and know that it will surely be a celebration when you arrive.

We are lucky, sweet girl. You and I have been able to share a gift that is more special than anything; the gift of life. You lived off of me and I lived for you. And soon, we will work together again to bring you into the world. It might feel weird and it might be a little uncomfortable and mommy might scream some words that you’re never to repeat, but remember, that I’m working for you and that I will keep you safe. Together, we can do anything.

So, happy shoulda, woulda, coulda been your birthday. I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Can’t wait to kiss your sweet toes,

Mommy

xo

40 Weeks… 10 MONTHS! (June 27, 2014)… THE due date!

40 Weeks... 10 Months! (June 27, 2014)... THE due date! It doesn't feel real AT ALL to think that today marks my 280th day being pregnant. HOLY SHIT. That's what I have to say. Honestly, I guess I would have thought I'd feel disappointed if she didn't arrive on or by today, but really, I woke up really happy. Today is a huge milestone and it's just so exciting. Plus, I feel good! Some mild aches and pains, but I feel really good and more importantly, really happy. By the way, that's a very weirdly shaped and GIANT belly... but, enjoy it! It could be the last of the belly pics... or there could be two more!

40 Weeks… 10 Months! (June 27, 2014)… THE due date! It doesn’t feel real AT ALL to think that today marks my 280th day being pregnant. HOLY SHIT. That’s what I have to say. Honestly, I guess I would have thought I’d feel disappointed if she didn’t arrive on or by today, but really, I woke up really happy. Today is a huge milestone and it’s just so exciting. Plus, I feel good! Some mild aches and pains, but I feel really good and more importantly, really happy. By the way, that’s a very weirdly shaped and GIANT belly… but, enjoy it! It could be the last of the belly pics… or there could be two more!

 

Another Day, Another Cervix Check

Well, today was my last pre-due-date appointment with my OB. After the past two disappointing visits, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one and really had pretty low expectations for progress. I can’t say I was way off, but miraculously, I don’t feel the same devastation as my last visits.

Something about today’s visit made me feel optimistic.

So, my measurements… I’m now officially 1 cm dilated (I could feel the difference, as it didn’t feel like she was poking the back of my eyeballs this time), I’m “more effaced, ” but forgot to ask for the actual number, and she’s still in the -3 position… BUT, my doc can feel that she’s coming down into the canal. After she optimistically said all this, I questioned how this was good even though everything was pretty much the same and this was her response (and just another reason why I really like her):

It always gets a little confusing when I stop lying. But this time, you’re really 1 cm and she is coming down. It feels like there’s more room in there than I had originally thought.

So, I’ll take this as good news. I mean, I can feel that she’s in a different position. She did say that she doesn’t think it’s going to happen until at least next week, but sheesh who the hell knows anymore. I’m just hoping that she comes when she’s ready and that it happens to be within the next two weeks. Also, my doctor is off from tomorrow until next Thursday. And one of my best friends is getting married on July 5th. Oy. So many dates to avoid.

Time to let it all go, right? Whatever will be will be.

Symptoms

Mentally, I feel really good. I don’t know how or why, but I’m not asking questions. Physically, I’ve been a bit uncomfortable today. My back is a bit achy (I NEED to go to the chiropractor) and I’m feeling crampy and pretty tired. BUT, it’s really sunny out and a temperature that is actually enjoyable… aka, I can be outside without insta-sweat. It’s wonderful.

Also, despite the fact that our due date is tomorrow, I just set up a baby pool online. The website is www.babyhunch.com and it’s seriously so fun/silly/entertaining. I’d recommend doing one. It’s free and just a silly thing to do with friends and family.

Other than that, tomorrow is Friday (the due date). Hubs and I are going to go for a nice dinner and then maybe go to this pottery place near us. I’m excited. Should be a fun weekend together. Also, lots of walking.

That’s all for now!

SHE’S GRABBING MY INTESTINES!

Okay, that is probably not true or even possible, as my husband reminded me, but I swear that’s what it felt like last night. My stomach has not been amazing the past 2-3 days… feeling nauseous at moments or uneasy or bloated like I’ve never felt before. A lot of awesomeness. Anyway, last night I decided to try sleeping in more of a sitting position as I had done very successfully the night before, but then all of a sudden I got the weirdest discomfort. I swear to you, it felt like she was using those mini paws to squeeze my innards. I started whining at a somewhat loud and panicky volume to the hubs… he rubbed my belly and ultimately, I found that laying on my side relieved the discomfort.

I’m sure she wasn’t actually grabbing my insides, but yikes, that was not pleasurable.

It’s funny, while I have not been enjoying any of my GI challenges these days, I can’t help but think in the back of my mind, “is this it? Does this mean she’s coming?” I try to put a kabosh on all similar thoughts, becuase they’re just not productive, but it’s impossible. Every new feeling provokes the, “is this it” thought. The positive… one of these times, the answer is going to be yes!

In other news, I really enjoyed my two maternity leave days this week. Yesterday I got my hair done and I even started working on the ruler growth chart I mentioned at the end of this blog post. Maybe I’ll even get to finish and hang it before her arrival.

I put different widths of tape on the board and left some wood exposed. Then used a mini roller to paint on one color (2-3 coats). Next, I'll take another "set" of tape off, cover up the first color with tape and roll again. This will continue until all four colors are applied.

I put different widths of tape on the board and left some wood exposed. Then used a mini roller to paint on one color (2-3 coats). Next, I’ll take another “set” of tape off, cover up the first color with tape and roll again. This will continue until all four colors are applied.

My make shift craft table set up in the living room. This allowed me to not only paint, but also watch "terrible tv" as my husband calls it.

My make shift craft table set up in the living room. This allowed me to not only paint, but also watch “terrible tv” as my husband calls it.

I know it seems like most of my maternity leave time has been go-go-go, but I’m not going to lie, there has been a lot of this…

Lounging...

Lounging…

And snuggling...

And snuggling…

And more lounging...

And more lounging…

And snoozing.

And snoozing.

The Pre-Due Date Weekend

This past weekend was the final pre-due date weekend… A little hard to believe, huh? Okay… A lotta hard to believe. We’ve had quite a few things on the to-do list, so I was anxious to get them done this weekend.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Hubs the handyman.

Hubs the handyman.

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

Admiring his handy work.

Admiring his handy work.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

Cute face!

Cute face!

She's so cute.

She’s so cute.

Chin nibbles

Chin nibble

Snuggle puppy

Snuggle puppy

After Milly's, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

After Milly’s, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

Symptoms im actually feeling pretty great lately. Tired for sure, but in good spirits and just happy and excited. I don’t think the little babes has moved a bit,  but that’s okay. She will I’m sure. .. Eventually. And for now, I get to enjoy my sweet husband and animals. Our lovely doula stopped over this weekend to bring us a relaxation cd and the feta scope to help us determine whether the baby is breech or not. Supposedly, if you hear the heartbeat below the belly button, she is head down. If you hear the heartbeat above the belly button, she is head up. Wouldn’t you guess that we could hear her heartbeat RIgHT in line with my belly button. Oh this little girl. She’s toying with us. Regardless, it was fun to hear her…

Listening to my little gal's heart.

Listening to my little gal’s heart.

Dr. Hubs

Dr. Hubs

He's so cute.

He’s so cute.