Today Drew and I went in to see our midwife and talk about this problem baby of ours who refuses to be born. We started out with an ultrasound which went really well. The placenta still looks really good, I have plenty of amniotic fluid, and Griffin was beautiful as always. They are estimating him to weigh about 7 1/2 pounds right now which is really healthy. We even found out it looks like he’ll be born with a little hair!
Then we had a fetal non stress test (NST) done. This is basically where they monitor heart rate in conjunction with activity. When the baby moves around, they want to see a corresponding increase in heart rate. If the heart rate goes down, it may indicate a problem in getting oxygen or nutrients through the umbilical cord. For the most part, the NST looked really good. Our midwife just said that there were two or three small dips that made her uncomfortable. She said she was sure it was nothing, but she would feel more comfortable sending us to the hospital for more monitoring rather than sending us home. She was really sweet and re-assuring, but it still made me really nervous. Its never ok hearing that something *could* be wrong with your baby. Especially since she went on to talk about how if there was an issue, we’d be in good hands & they’d just immediately induce me. As much as I want to see my son, the prospect of an emergency induction terrified me and left me feeling totally out of control and helpless. Thank god Drew was there to get me calm and focused before the tears started. He is already an amazing coach.
I briefly called work to tell them I wouldn’t be back in, then my mom so she’d know what was going on and then we were off to the hospital. We were admitted into an observation room where I had to actually put on one of their scratchy robes, got hooked up to monitors, and put in a bed. Here’s me trying to make the best of it:
The nurse assigned to us was awesome and came in every now and again to tell us how wonderful and perfect everything looked on the monitors and how we had nothing at all to worry about. About an hour later, the monitoring was over and the midwife on call (Patti) came in to see us. Drew and I are really familiar with her and were relieved to see another friendly face. She told us that Griffin passed the NST with flying colors and that as scary as it is, 75% of women who get tested at the clinic get sent to the hospital for follow up for one reason or another. What a relief.
Since Patti knows us, she is totally down with my birth plan. She said that if there was any indication at all that something required our immediate attention, she would be honest with us, but since Griffin is so healthy and happy, she actually counseled against induction just yet. He is still totally within the normal birth range and she still thinks he could show up at his own pace. She checked me for dilation and effacement and found that I was about 1 cm dilated (a small amount, but more than last week!) and 75% effaced. She also said that she could see from the monitoring that I’ve been having some small contractions!! All such positive news! So she actually stripped my membranes while we were there (a simple procedure where she quickly separated the membranes of the amniotic sac from the wall of my uterus with her finger) the hope is that it could stimulate labor very soon.
So now we’re hoping that Griffin comes on his own within the next few days. We will go in for another routine NST on Friday. As long as everything still looks good then, we will allow him to go through the weekend. Since babies cant go past 42 weeks though, his deadline is Monday. If my stubborn son doesn’t show up by then, we will have an induction for that day. I’m actually 100% ok with that. I’d MUCH rather him come on his own, but I’m also not willing to put him in danger. As long as I feel like I have done my very best to leave it to nature, I think I have done my part. And induction has many phases so it’s possible we could still make the best of that too. I am really excited- one way or another, we’ll be meeting our baby within the next 5 days!
The funniest part of the day was finding out that I converted my husband into a hippie like me! He started out being VERY distrustful of the midwives, calling them “wizards”, and being very vocal about the fact that he’d rather have me see a doctor. After all of our experiences, meeting them all, and seeing the care I’ve been getting though, Drew ADORES the midwives. He actually told me today that he had to admit he thought I made the best possible decision and that he was nervous about Friday’s appointment because no midwives were available and I’d have to see an OB! Our learning and growing process together throughout the pregnancy has been incredible and it’s so amazing having him be so very supportive of me and what I want out of the birth process for Griffin. Today he told me that he’s Coach Keefer and he’s on Team Jess! Doesn’t get better than that!