Tuesday, June 07, 2005

In The Tank

NOTE: This post was written as dated, but when I was nearly through, Andrew began to freak out about taking a walk, so I had to save it to finish later. By the time I'd gotten home from our walk, I was pretty sure I was going to have the baby within the next 24 hours, and became distracted, so I never finished the post until now.

Frank is still firmly in the tank. As suggested by Sarah Kil, I had a long serious talk with Frank yesterday, but the general sentiment seems to be that the womb is the very greatest place to be.

Now, although I feel that I'll probably be pregnant forever, I must point out that babies DO come out. This fact is somewhat muddied by the fact that doctors often insist on inducing labor, but to what end?

I have one friend who went into the hospital, seemingly in labor on her due date, but then everything stopped, so they sent her home. Two weeks later, since there seemed to be no sign of things resuming, the doctor induced her, and about a day later of NOTHING (except the terrible pain of pitocin induced contractions), they had to perform an emergency C-section due to the stress the baby and mom were in.

Hannah (my sister) was just telling me about her friend, who had supposedly been in labor for two weeks, and the doctors finally induced her. She didn't deliver for 36 HOURS (this happened just two weeks ago). As it turns out, the girl wasn't in "true" labor at all in those two weeks, it was just the stop start crampy contractions that happen before the "real thing" starts. [I had similar experiences with pre-labor contractions during the same week, as did many other pregnant women I know in the area, which seems to be due to the full moon, which has a known effect on women's hormonal pull. My midwife had me take Epsom salt baths and also take the herb Valerian before bed (an herbal sleep aid), and I was able to sleep again.]

All of this inducing and such may sound hum-drum to you, and run-0f-the-mill stories that you've heard a million times, but let me tell you: this is not normal. If the life of the mother and/or baby is actually in danger, then there can be reason to induce. However, pitocin really sucks, doesn't always work, and there are much gentler, effective ways to bring on labor, some herbal, etc.

In the situations I described, the women's bodies were obviously not ready to give birth yet, and all the doctors were doing was getting in the way of the natural progression of things. Many times if labor is induced, the baby has certain problems, often respiratory, since the lungs are last to develop. Instead of causing multiple health problems for mother and baby, I strongly believe it's best to let the body go into labor naturally, no matter how long that may take. (Once again, to clarify, if the mother's or child's life is TRUELY in danger, than inducing may be the only option -- but that's a different story.)

Now, I don't want to go two weeks overdue. I don't want to be pregnant one more day. However, I am willing to let my body and the baby prepare fully for the huge undertaking of Labor. Who would run a marathon without first completing their training? Or if they do not train fully, expect to finish well? I want my baby to be sound and healthy, and I want my body to be completely prepared in every way. Labor is bad enough without adding impatience to wreak possible havoc on both my and my baby's health.

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