about the birth, part I

Yeah, I think the castor oil worked.

I have no proof of this, of course-- after all, I was eight days overdue, and it might be that I would have gone into labor that day anyhow. Nevertheless, I can now say to any full-term mommies desperate to give birth: give it a try, it may help, and certainly doesn't hurt.

At any rate, I took the castor oil around 8am on Thursday, September 7. At 4pm I started to time my contractions, hoping they were more than just Braxton-Hicks. At 7.30p I called my OB, who told me to go ahead and go to the Birthing Inn to get checked out. When I got there the initial pelvic exam showed me 2 cm dilated (which I had been the day before in the OB's office) but nearly 100% effaced. There was a shift change just after we got there, and my new nurse wanted to do a pelvic herself (I swear, more people had their hands up me during this labor...sheesh) before she called Dr. Duggal, and when she did I was at 3cm. Yay! So they checked me in, and by the time Dr. Duggal got there I was at 4cm! I was really excited about this-- at that pace this labor was going to whiz by.

Yuckily, the pace did not continue. Dr. D. broke my water when she got there, and after that the labor actually slowed down-- the contractions got farther apart, and I didn't dilate any more for like, three hours.

So then the Pitocin question arose.

For the record, I am adamant in my opinion that Pitocin is perniciously overused. I had also thought that I wouldn't even be offered it, since it increases the chances of uterine rupture in VBAC patients. Only it turns out that it's prostoglandins like Cervadil that actually raise the risk. Pitocin is generally considered safe.

So I thought, well, if my labor takes a long time, they will want to section me again. If using the Pit increases my chances of a successful VBAC...well, let's do it.

Then I remembered the agonizing Pit contractions from my labor with Colin, and said, what the hell, give me the epidural, too.

At the time I felt pretty bad about that-- I had been so gung-ho about a natural birth. But in retrospect I think it was a good decision, because it was now 3am, I was exhausted, and having the epidural allowed me to get a few hours of much needed sleep. I certainly would not have gotten those hours while dealing with labor pain, and I think the rest gave me the strength to continue the labor where I otherwise might have gotten worn out.

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