Tag Archives: false labor

“You’re still pregnant?!”

As each day goes by I still hear my former OB’s voice in my head (the title of this post) when I walked into his office at 41+4 in all my huge, pregnant glory.

That was a very nerve wracking day as I went from station to station at our medical group wondering if I was going to be given a bunch of chemicals and end up with a c-section by the end of the day.

And maybe then, as now, I should just stop viewing my lack of going into labor on my own as this horrible thing that is going to automatically spiral down into a c-section. I know quite a few of my readers have had them for various reasons and it really isn’t the end of the world or life or anything. So I should probably stop thinking of it like that. And many more of my readers have had successful inductions that did not result in c-sections.

But I really, really want another homebirth. It’s just me.

Anyway, I guess that is sort of a tangent from what I originally sat down to write about in this post.

Yesterday we made a quick trip to Bakersfield (as in drove straight there and turned around and came back) to see my midwife. I’m still growing, baby is still growing, baby is still moving, heartrate is good. She thinks the baby feels around 8lbs which has me a bit worried since I tore with Bean and she was only 7lbs 4oz at birth. I was definitely more dilated than last time (though she didn’t give me an exact number) she saw me, so I guess all these false alarms have at least been doing something.

We talked about the due date and those handy wheels OBs and midwives alike use. I guess one version of the wheel is 40 weeks plus 2 days and another version is 40 weeks. And up until 10 years ago you weren’t even considered past due until you actually hit 42 weeks, which explains to me why my mom’s OBs never gave her a hard time about her crazy cycles and when the baby had to be born by or why Stephen’s mom was allowed to go until 42 weeks with him.

Upon reviewing my fertility chart this morning, I had a very gradual temperature shift that occured between April 4 and 9. Using a simple due date calculator, that puts my due dates between December 26 and 31. So, I could just be as little as 41+4 today or I could be as much as 42+2. And then there is the admittedly inaccurate 20 week ultrasound due date of Jan. 7 which would only make me 40+4 (though a review once again of my chart suggests that there is a very slight possibility that this date works).

Anyway, I’m getting restless and nervous that things are not going to go the way I planned (do they ever?). So, I had my midwife strip my membranes yesterday. I’m sure this might sound slightly shocking to some of you since I’ve seemed so against this idea on here. Really, though I’m not against it, especially in a situation like mine where I’m overdue and I’d like to go into labor as naturally as possible.

I just think that patients have rights including consent and the right to be informed about things that are being done to them. When I was pregnant with Bean, I actually went into my OBs office that day planning to ask him to do just that thing, but for one thing he was making me really mad and uncomfortable because of how that appointment went. I felt intimidated like he thought I was the biggest idiot in the world and now here he was going to get to tell me “I told you so,” and as such I didn’t ever get to the point where I felt like I could even ask him anything. Then, under the guise of doing a normal cervical check he went ahead and did it anyway without asking me or telling me and when I mentioned that it was the most painful and uncomfortable and long check I’d experienced the whole pregnancy he LIED and said that he was checking out the shape of my pelvis. Well after yesterday I am now completely sure that he stripped my membranes because that was exactly what it felt like. Furthermore it isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing to go through, it would be nice to be a little prepared for what’s coming so you can breathe or try to think about something else or any of the other coping mechanisms one might use.

End of rant.

So after that yesterday I was really crampy and then I even started having some fairly intense contractions on the way home (last 20 minutes of our car ride was EXCRUCIATING, I seriously don’t know how you ladies make it to the hospital in full on labor, also something needs to be done about the bumpiness of CA-23). They were 4 minutes apart, getting progressively intense and then they just stopped. Again. And my midwife is probably laughing because she said, “I can do this, but I don’t think it will do anything really. If your body is ready, it is ready. We all have our little things that we think starts labor, but I tend to think it is all just coincidence.”

So if I still haven’t had this baby by Wednesday morning she wants me to call my OBs office (that I haven’t seen since November, for some reason I feel really awkward about that phone call even though things ended on very amicable terms with their office even wishing me the “very best” and to “keep in touch”) and get an NST done and see what he thinks.

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We are going on false alarm #5 over here…

Since Sunday, I’ve had four more false alarm contractions sessions. It is getting a little annoying.

The second to last time was over 21 hours long. The contractions never really picked up in intensity, but were just annoying and strong enough to keep me from sleeping or napping. I was actually a tiny bit relieved when it was finally over with yesterday because I knew it meant I would finally get to sleep.

So last night we were blessed with pretty much an entire night contraction free and sleep issue free as well (which, those of you who have been through pregnancy know all about that third trimester insomnia). I slept straight through from about 11pm to 5am when my bladder woke me up. I don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Upon relieving my bladder, drinking a little water, rearranging my pillows and climbing back into bed, I was hit with some fairly serious contractions. Much more intense than any of the ones I’d felt in the previous days. I seriously felt like it was impossible to breathe during them. After about three of these guys I woke up Stephen because I thought for sure this was going to be the real deal.

We started timing them and they were more along the lines of what early labor should look like: slightly intense contractions that are about 4-5 minutes apart. The contractions in previous days had always been around 2 minutes apart and were not intense at all, just annoying. They were intense in that I had to concentrate on breathing through them, but still not hard labor.

So little praise to my husband here. He has actually been reading the Bradley childbirth book and it has been like a dream come true. Just in these few false alarm experiences I can tell a HUGE difference between this time around and Bean’s birth.

If you remember from Bean’s birth story, upon arriving home I had him install our carseat. This was mainly because I honestly felt like he would be more of an annoyance to me than help. A few hours later when he was asking me questions like, “What do you want me to do?” and “Do you want to wear a sports bra?” I was definitely annoyed. I was in hard labor and couldn’t really begin to think about what he needed to be doing and didn’t really want to make a decision about whether or not I should be wearing a sports bra when our midwife arrived.

This time has not been like that at all. Stephen totally takes charge of the situation. There are not 50 questions about what to do. He knows what to do and he handles it and gets it done. This morning when I was having trouble breathing while lying down and found that sitting up helped more, instead of letting me sit with no back support on our bed, he ran around the house gathering up pillows to get me propped up and as comfortable as possible. He rolled a towel to stick near my lower back and provide counter pressure during contractions since back massage wouldn’t be easy in my semi-reclined position. He was completely attentive to every body part when a contraction was going on and constantly reminding me to relax my forehead or not clench my hands. He payed attention to my breathing and reminded me to stay calm and take deep breaths. Gave me visualization cues to concentrate on during a contraction.

In short it was awesome. A couple weeks ago Stephen said he has learned way more from the book than he ever did from our childbirth class. The class was useful, but the book just provides way more information about what to do in certain situations and why to practice things like breathing through a contraction standing up in case your wife has to go to the bathroom during labor and has one on the way there, etc. So for all those men out there that say they don’t need to read the book and that they’ll just get enough information from their childbirth class, I offer up this example. Books really do get the information into your head in a different way and a more thorough way, in my opinion. And I think anyone who says that they don’t need to read the book is just being lazy. You have nine months to get the reading done. It really isn’t that much. Be a good coach. Read the book. End of public service announcement for all the husbands who are probably not even reading this.

Anyway, back to my story. After about an hour of timing, my husband called our midwife and based on what we were experiencing, she too thought this sounded like the real deal. So she left Bakersfield fairly early this morning and carefully navigated her way through some soupy valley fog and an hour of LA freeway driving.

Stephen got everything arranged with his sister to watch Bean and got her all packed up and out the door.

By the time my midwife arrived the contractions were around three and half minutes apart, but still around the same intensity level. She did a cervical check which hurt like heck because I had a contraction during it. I was so disappointed when she told me that I was still the same as our visit from over the weekend which was 2cm and my cervix was still posterior. Seriously? All these contractions and intensity and no progress at all? What the heck?

She said we should go for a walk and see if that helped things progress. So we did a couple laps around our apartment complex. During our walk I stopped being able to feel individual contractions because I was experiencing some fairly instense pelvic pressure. When we got back to our apartment, I still had a lot of pressure and was not feeling any contractions. Then as I sat for a bit the pelvic pressure began to subside, but I still was not feeling any contractions. I was starting to get even more disappointed. Not only was this seeming to turn out to not be the real deal, my midwife drove two hours to hang out for nothing for a few hours and my sister-in-law and her family had to get all coordinated and rearranged to watch Bean. Plus this was false alarm NUMBER FIVE. I was starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf.

A few minutes later I got up and walked around our livingroom. I started having some contractions again, but they were really weak and didn’t seem to have any pattern. Stephen was making me some food to eat and by the time I’d finished my meal I wasn’t feeling anything. It was all over.

So completely frustrating.

Because of work schedules and vehicle coordination, my sister-in-law wound up watching Bean the whole day. While it was kind of nice to be baby-free, after about an hour of sewing and hanging out by myself I was pretty much bored and already missing Bean. So I guess if anything this helped me realize that I’m glad we’re no longer DINKS.

Anyway, that’s your second installment of Baby Watch 2009. Stay tuned…

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38 weeks, a false alarm story.

Sunday afternoon on our way home in the car I thought I felt a few contractions. But I was kind of in denial about the whole thing and thought that maybe it was just the way I was sitting or the car ride itself. They were pretty mild.

I was exhausted because Bean decided to wake up at 4:30am and talk to herself until 8am when we finally decided to stop fighting it and get up with her. Her vocabularly recently increased so she’s pretty facinated with her new “words” (mewing like a kitten, barking like a dog, cawing like the crows at our apartment complex, OK, bye bye, no, upstairs, toes, and ew… with OK, ew and the animal sounds being particular favorites… oh and ew comes with a scrunched face to match). So anyway the plan was for me to take a nap when we got home.

Once I was laying in bed with nothing else to really think about I definitely knew that what I was experiencing was contractions, albiet very light ones. I laid there for a few minutes and then decided it might be a good idea to tell Stephen what was going on. So I did. Then of course he went into full manager of the situation mode. Brought the computer upstairs so I could use the Contraction Master site to start timing the contractions. Called our midwife. Started packing up Jillian for a possible overnight (which with her dietary issues is a little more complex than most kids).

They were extremely mild and if I was doing other stuff and not paying attention I would miss them. I tried taking a bath to make them go away, but they were still happening. My midwife said taking a walk and drinking more water might help. So we went to get some lunch and walked around a shopping center for a bit while I drank a whole liter of water. They still were not going away and starting to get a little stronger.

We talked to Stephen’s sister about watching Bean. Stephen also talked to her husband (his boss) about the week ahead work wise. I decided that I really wanted to take a shower because it might be my last chance to do so for a couple days. So I did that. I even shaved my legs because it just seemed important. I had some pretty strong, physically visible contractions in the shower. Got out, blow dried my hair. Still having contractions.

Then I went downstairs and got on the computer to try and distract myself and everything completely stopped. And it has been that way ever since. I’m still kinda pissed about missing my nap yesterday and for going through all that to have it turn out to be nothing. In all it was about 3.5 hours of regular contractions about a minute and a half apart and 15-30 seconds in duration.

So anyway, that’s the latest Baby Watch 2009 update. Figured it was blog worthy.

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