Saturday, December 22, 2007

Routine freak out

I'm 41 weeks today. This morning I went to have a non-stress test at my midwife's office. This is when they strap a monitor to my belly that measures the baby's heart rate over 20 minutes or so. They look for a spike in heart rate of around 15 bpm for 15 beats. They want to see two like this over the course of 20 minutes.

Well, she didn't. She thought it could be because the baby is sleeping, so we tried waking him up - drinking ice water, moving him around - but didn't really get a response.

So, she sent me to see the OB triage at the local hospital. The idea is they would monitor as well, to get their own set and see if there was any change and also to perform an ultrasound (biophysical) which would look at fetal movement, breathing, fluid, etc.

At the hospital, the OB looked at the charts that came with me and recommended induction. Then they hooked me up to the monitor, and I got several good spikes and even had some contractions, too. However, I had one deceleration down to 91 bpm right around a contraction (that I didn't really feel) and they immediately go for the red flag. She wanted to induce.

The US looked good, lots of movement, plenty of fluid, breathe movement, etc. But even with all of that, they wanted to induce within a few days. The L&D nurse seemed uncomfortable with me even leaving tonight even though the OB said we could wait a few days.

My feelings are that most everything was fine, but that one deceleration in over 2 hours of monitoring that could have been any random thing. Although I'd be open to the idea of a little assistance to get labor started, once I agree to induction, it's hard to leave the hospital and I'd like to avoid that road.

It's not just that I have a "plan" or that my heart is set on doing this one way. It's that I want what is really best for me and my baby. Is it better to give myself up to the whims of ultra-conservative "experts" who don't think twice about directed pushing, constant monitoring and c-section?

I've read the studies and I don't come to the same conclusions they do. I don't trust hospitals. When I'm there, I feel talked down to and am fed mixed messages. Today it was all about, "everything looks really good!" and then "we want to induce."

I don't get it and I'm not ready to give up everything until it becomes much more clear that a change needs to happen. That does not seem obvious to me at this point.

My midwives are on the same page. Tomorrow I will go in to my midwife's office for another non-stress test. We will try to stimulate some contractions and see how the baby responds. If we get good accelerations, we'll be happy. If we get decelerations, it's time to rethink our plans.

If I go into labor spontaneously, it's clear they will want to monitor me more closely than normal, but nobody's particularly nervous and neither am I. I'll only become alarmed if I have decrease in fetal movement, which right now, due to the belly quake going on, seems unlikely.

Other than that, I'm just really glad to be out of the hospital. While we were in the OB triage area, most of the time it was quiet and I was fine. But as other's started coming in, I started to get really antsy and just wanted to hit something.

We came home, took the dogs for a walk and now I think I'll punch a pillow and lay on my birth ball for a while watching Angel.

That's the news that's fit to type.

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