Well, here we are...the due date has come and gone. This means nothing other than everyone I know including me is getting anxious and wondering when. I'm feeling really good and not at all like I am about to go into labor.
Actually, I do feel like it *might* be coming soon. I have been having irregular contractions for about a week now. Nothing painful, not even really uncomfortable, they just feel like kind of bad menstrual cramps. Sometimes they do get a little uncomfortable and annoying, but it isn't painful. The nurse said that those are indeed contractions, so if I could just get them to get steady and closer together, we'd be good. :) At my appointment this morning everything looked good. Weight, blood pressure, and everything else was all on target. The doctor did a Biophysical Profile (an ultrasound, why the fancy name? Who knows.) and the baby's lungs are pumping strong and the heartbeat looks really good. Baby is still head down. We didn't peek between the legs. The only thing that was slightly concerning was that my amniotic fluid was slightly low. This is usually fixed by hydrating, so I am upping my water intake and also going to start drinking coconut water to make sure baby has enough floaty juice in there. Unfortunately, my cervix is still not showing signs of being ready for labor. That could change at any time, though. I hope.
We talked about the plan for the next week. I am going back to the doctor on Tuesday to do another Biophysical Profile and to recheck for any signs of labor. If I do have a favorable cervix, we will induce Wednesday. If not, we'll move forward with the section on Thursday. Josh and I asked about possibly doing things a little different during the C Section than how they were done last time. We weren't sure if it was even a possibility, but we asked, and the doctor was so supportive. He said yes to all of our requests, except to let Josh cut the baby's cord (sterilization and infection issues with my abdomen and guts laying out and what not). The big things that he agreed to are that he'll let me have my arms free instead of strapped down. This is huge - it means I'll be able to actually be able to touch and even hold the baby after she's born. Last time I didn't get to touch Audrey until she was almost two hours old. We also asked if she could be handed to us immediately after she comes out, rather than them showing her to us over the curtain and then whisking her away. Josh will also be allowed to watch (if he wants) her being born - they might lower the curtain for him or have him stand up and watch. Last time they wouldn't even let him do that! I was hoping that they'd let Josh and the baby stay in the surgery room with me the whole time, but the doctor said they will have to go to the nursery for about a half hour because the hospital does not allow baths and all that in the surgery room. Finally, he agreed to discharge me a day early if I'm feeling good. These are all great things that we are very happy about. Of course, none of this affected my ability to bond with Audrey - I bonded with her immediately anyways. But it will be nice to be able to have these things in order to make it feel a little more like childbirth and not surgery. Most people don't understand why these things matter or make a difference, but I don't care. They matter to me and that's enough.
I've been doing all the suggested things to get labor going. I'm bouncing on my yoga ball all day long, stretching, squatting, pumping, drinking the tea, walking...and none of these things bring on contractions. We spent an hour at the park on Monday, walked two miles Tuesday and Wednesday....and nothing. Not even a cramp! Whew. Baby is snug as a bug in there, I guess! I am actually really ok with how things are going. Of course I would like to go into labor spontaneously on my own and have the natural delivery I want. That would be ideal. But ideal is not always real, and I'm ok with that. Last time (with Audrey), I spent the entire last week of my pregnancy crying every day, all day. Trying, praying, willing her to flip and not be breech so I wouldn't need a C-Section. I think the difference this time is that at least I know I've been given a fair chance. Going to 41 weeks for a VBAC is really something - many doctors don't even allow a woman to go past 39 weeks or even attempt to have a vaginal birth at all. Many other doctors won't even consider inductions for VBACs. Last time I felt betrayed by my doctors and this time I feel fully supported and like he really is giving me a chance and setting me up for success. So if I end up with another C-Section because baby or my body isn't ready to do it on its own, at least I know that I tried to let it happen naturally and for whatever reason, baby needed help getting out. I'm OK with that!
We are spending the next few days the same as we've spent that last few. Relaxing, trying our natural inductions methods, enjoying being a family of three and having a baby that goes to bed at 730 and doesn't make a peep until 730 the next morning. Man, I'm going to miss these nice quiet nights!