9 Pounds Now

I had both an appointment with the midwives this morning, and an appointment with the sonogram doctor this afternoon. I'm now about 3-4cm dilated "on the outside" and 2cm "on the inside" of my cervix, so it has definitely progressed from last week (when I guess the "inside" hadn't dilated at all).

The sonogram showed everything was fine. Enough amniotic fluid, the placenta is still pumping plenty of blood, the baby is in position and looks fine. The nurse who initially measured the baby said he was about 8 lbs 14 oz, which I thought seemed low (although I didn't say anything). I'd told midwife D this morning that I thought the baby was right around 9 lbs, just based on my intuitive feeling of things. She said that studies have shown that the mother's intuition about the baby's weight is better than either midwives' or doctors' guesses, and also better than sonogram-based predictions. However, when the doctor came in to review the measurements, he scratched off the 8 lbs 14 oz and revised the number to 9 lbs based on HIS measurements with the sonogram. Thus confirming my intuition.

All the prodding and examining today has set off contractions for me this afternoon. Although it hasn't been long enough for me to have a sense whether they are just plain old contractions due to the baby (or my womb) being irritated by all the intrusions, or if they are a precursor to labor. I just got home and am resting in bed now (we left the house before 10am, so it's been a long day for me), so we'll see if these contractions go away once I get some rest.

I did leave my midwife appointment this morning with a bag full of their home-induction kit. It's some combination of castor oil and herbal supplements. If you want to induce labor, you start the regimen in the morning, then there are instructions on what herbs and whatever to take every 30 minutes throughout the day. They say it often does kick-start the process, and that something will happen, which I took to mean that even if labor doesn't start at least the cervix will dilate more, or whatever. They report that some women take the castor oil regimen and it's no big deal, others get a little sick from it and would not choose to go that route again.

Right now I am leaning toward just continuing being patient and waiting for the baby to initiate. I don't even hit 42 weeks until Wednesday. I really don't anticipate getting anxious even before I've reached the end of a normal term. Now, if I wake up Thursday morning and still have not had the baby, I don't know what I'll do. Maybe I'll feel like taking the castor-oil induction rather than wait through the 43rd week. Maybe I won't care and will just continue to wait. My mood changes pretty often on this, although lately I'd say I spend about 85% of my time feeling very laid-back and patient about the whole thing, and only 15% of the time feeling that this is stupid, let's go already.

T noted during our office visit that even his feelings of apprehension and worry about a home birth are completely gone, and have been replaced by feelings of, "we're ready, let's do this already". Which he concedes is probably a much better attitude to have when I go into labor. He was pretty much a wreck when I was in labor with W. Not that he acted a wreck, he did a good job in the supportive husband role, but he was pale and nervous and clearly just wanted the whole ordeal to be over as soon as possible (and this was before W had breathing issues). I think T's ready to handle the situation better this time. Both because I'll be better able to handle the situation, having some idea about what labor is like instead of feeling it all for the first time, and also because it should be actually be shorter and less traumatic for all of us.