So my doctor comes to my room to let me know that the baby might react negatively to these cervix thinning pills. She will have to see if the hospital even recommends putting this pill inside me since I’m only barely 34 weeks pregnant and these pills are usually given to moms whose cervixes won’t thin naturally when they are past their due date (week 41-43). Past due date babies can handle these pills as well as the induction drug Pitocin but my baby might not. The doctor will make sure this is a good idea, asking the hospital and her colleagues but it’s ultimately up to me. Is she kidding? How would I possibly know? Of course I don’t want to harm my baby in any way but what alternatives do I have? A C-section? Is that really better and is that the only other way? Again the unnatural feeling of what is about is to happen strike me. I go into the bathroom to pee and change as I call my mom to tell her what is going on. We quickly discuss if a C-section really would be better? I don’t want to put any stress on my baby that a vaginal delivery could cause but at the same time I know a vaginal delivery might be good for her very underdeveloped lungs and there is also the long recovery after the surgery to think about. I have to consider the threats of the placenta rupturing during surgery (it is also high in the front of my stomach and the fear of them cutting in to it as they open me up), the meconium (baby’s first poop) coming into the water (fear of infection and sepsis) and the umbilical cord twisting. All these situations are serious threats to both me and baby. I know that the doctors are used to these threats though and are prepared if anything should happen. I have a whole team of high risk doctors on standby.
I’m already in tears and this process hasn’t even started yet. My doctor comes back to tell me that one pill should be fine and that my baby should be able to handle it (should?). I am already in my gown (the same ugly green one) with nothing underneath feeling vulnerable in in the control of the medical staff. My doctor uses a metal tool to help open me up manually after she has put the pill in and stretched me with her fingers. She can barely get two fingers in and I’m only 50% effaced and the cervix is still thick and still barely 2 cm dilated. The tool reminds me of the tool you use when you change a car to get the car off the ground before you can get the new tire in, it stretches my skin in my most fragile area and I can feel as well as hear the skin breaking and I feel blood leaking out. To say that it hurts is an understatement. I am holding it together however as my husband looks the other way, I cry silent tears and my doctor is telling me I’m doing great, “A little bit of blood”. I hear in her voice that she thinks I should be more dilated and thinned out but she is telling the nurse that she really hopes this pill will help since she really doesn’t feel comfortable giving me another one. The pill will work it’s “magic” for four hours and the nurse explains that they will re-evaluate everything then, seeing if I will be ready for the induction drug. Everything mostly depends on how the baby reacts and I’m back on the monitor; monitoring my baby’s heart beat and my contractions. Again, I’m stuck in bed and I can’t move. I have my IV with so many different bags attached I don’t even want to know what they all are and my whole stomach is strapped in and wrapped tight. I am also not allowed to move or switch positions at all and I’m really in an awkward side position. Of course I have to pee and am already starving but not allowed to do either for a while (peeing scares me because I’m hurting so much and there is no eating until baby is born). My husband asks the nurse when the baby will come, she laughs at him telling him that we are on baby’s schedule now, it could be hours, and it could be days. Days? I feel dizzy as the first contraction hits, oh I remember you I’m thinking, welcome back! Since we surely have time (even if my son came very fast after those first contractions it still took about five hours), my husband runs out to have dinner (jealous) and pick up the new TV series, “The Americans” on DVD (I had heard it was supposed to be good). As I see him leave after a quick kiss and an “I’m sorry babe; hang in there”, I feel very alone again and stuck as my contractions keep getting stronger. Four hours, sure I can do this but it better give me some results!