I had my 37 week appointment today. My due date is on a Sunday (March 7), and my appointments have worked out to usually be on Tuesdays, so doing this one on a Thursday seemed like waiting forever, and I guess I'm technically at 37 1/2 weeks.
As I reported last week, my doctor said that she would be willing to induce me at 39 weeks. When I went in today, I was desperately hoping to talk her down to 38 1/2 weeks, but apparently that's not actually something I can negotiate. She says that if she could induce me now, she would, given how many problems I'm having, but the hospital has a policy that they don't allow induction until 39 weeks, unless there is some kind of "extenuating medical circumstance," which actually seems to be a somewhat limited list of conditions, not including varicose veins.
So here's the update overall:
* I have gone from 2 centimeters dilated last week (and the week before) to 3 centimeters dilated. I was really hoping for more than that.
* I have gone from 50% dilated last week to 70% dilated this week.
* Plenty of contractions, but no productive ones.
* My (immense) stomach is measuring at where I "should" be for 39 weeks. That may mean that this baby is big, but given my previous pregnancies, it probably doesn't mean anything at all. I am a short person, and this baby (and my previous ones) just didn't have anywhere else to go but out. My old OB was convinced that Shay was going to end up being "too big for me to handle," which is why we ended up inducing with her, and she was all of 1 ounce heavier than Bryn (7 lb 11 oz for Bryn, 7 lb 12 oz for Shay). So probably we're just seeing more of the same now.
* I am in extreme pain. All the time. It was definitely NOT like this with the girls. I mean, yes, the final weeks of pregnancy are far from comfortable, but I could function on a daily basis, in spite of having PUPPPS and a pelvis that dislocated in 3 places. But this kid is constantly putting so much pressure on me and I am a freaking mess. It's kind of a "chicken and egg" thing with the varicose veins that I've developed this time around. We're not really sure if the way I'm carrying this baby caused the veins, or if the veins are just making everything he does feel a million times worse, or both. In any case, he needs to get out. Now.
* Without getting too graphic, apparently the swelling of the veins makes it pretty obvious how much pain I'm in, so my doctor is very sympathetic. I haven't been able to get any sleep for the last 2 weeks without the aid of Ambien, as that's the only thing that takes the edge off the pain enough for me to relax (or knocks me out enough to not notice the pain). I've only been taking a half a tablet a night, and Dr. M says it's fine for me to take a whole tablet, but the one time I tried that, my furniture kept flying around the room. Ben says that was only in my head, but hey, that's where I live. :)
* At any rate, my doctor wrote me a prescription for Vicodin today and suggested that I take it during the day in order to "take the edge off the pain." I haven't had Vicodin since I gave birth to Shay, and I took it very sparingly then because it knocked me out so badly, so I have serious doubts about my ability to care for 2 kids all day if I take it now. I hurt so much that I'm willing to try anything though, so I dropped off the prescription to be filled. I'm hoping to be able to survive tomorrow on my own and then give it a try over the weekend, when Ben is here to relieve me if it knocks me out too badly.
* Dr. M also stripped my membranes today in an effort to get this baby to come earlier on his own. Ahem. Let me just say that this experience brought a new level of torture to my already pained body. So it better work.
(Side note to Melissa, if you're reading this--after arriving home this afternoon, I started to think that I vaguely recall you saying or blogging that there was some very good, medical reason, heretofore unknown to me, that the stripping of the membranes should not be done. If such is the case, please do not remind me of that reason until after this baby comes, as the damage is already done, and dang, it hurts.)
* Unless Baby decides to come on his own, Dr. M can schedule me for an induction on March 1 (due date March 7). I feel a little hypcritical to do the whole early induction thing, since I fought pretty hard (and failed) to avoid induction during my pregnancies with both girls. I really, really wanted to go into labor naturally with both of them. I'd still like to go into labor naturally with this one. But as demonstrated by my experiences with both girls, it seems that my body might just not know how to do that. So if I'm going to end up having to induce after the due date anyway, I'm thinking I may as well just do it early and end my misery as soon as possible. The pain may just be clouding my logic, but it currently makes sense inside my head.
So that's the update. Baby coming on March 1 or before. T-minus 10 days. Meanwhile, any and all suggestions of effective natural methods for convincing this kiddo to come are welcome. :)
P.S. I'm going to enable anonymous comments for the blog again. I shut them off a few months ago because I kept getting spammed and I was sick of going back and deleting those, but now I'm sad about the lack of comments on all my recently blogging efforts, so I'm thinking that maybe more of you will be able to comment if I turn them back on. Yes, I like comments, they make me happy, hint hint. :)