As I’m approaching 35 weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the internal exams that are done starting at 36 weeks. I’m actually thinking of saying no to them.
From what I understand, no real information can be gained from seeing how dilated and/or effaced I am unless I’m going to have an induction. At this point in time, I’ve been told that I’m doing great and induction isn’t a consideration (at least not yet). Of course I’d be willing to revisit this if I am headed down the induction path.
Dilation and effacement can’t tell you how soon you are to going to go into labor. You can be 3 centimeters for 3 weeks. Or, zero centimeters one day, and deliver a baby the next. There is no hard and fast rule concerning dilation and effacement.
I also think that I want to limit the number of internal exams I receive while I”m in labor. I don’t want to be checked every few hours to see how I’m progressing. I don’t think I’ll say no to all of them, but I certainly want to limit the amount that are done.
I’ve also started a game plan for pitocin during labor if it’s given. I had it with my last delivery and it was MISERABLE. I had contraction on top of contraction on top of contraction with no break in between. The contractions were also way more intense than they should have been.
This time, if they need to start me on pitocin, I’m going to want to have a conversation about it first. If I feel like my contractions are picking up in intensity, I’m going to ask for more time. I might ask to be hooked up to a breast pump instead to try nipple stimulation, which would produce natural oxytocin. I’m also going to demand that they start pitocin at the lowest setting and that they have to inform me before they turn it up. If at any point, I have back to back contractions, I’m going to tell them to turn it off. My doula has told me that I’m perfectly within my rights with all of this, so I feel confident about it.
I really want a natural labor this time, and I feel that the more augmentation that’s done will send me toward the epidural route again. I really think that the epidural caused Henry to be lethargic for days after he was born, and that it caused us to have a rough start with nursing. And, I’m really hoping to avoid all of that this time around.