eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: 35 Weeks Pregnant!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

35 Weeks Pregnant!

Today I went to the doctor. I had my Group B strep test done. The doctor also checked me. I wasn’t prepared for that! I thought he’d wait til 36 weeks to start the exams. I’m not doing anything- my cervix is still hard and closed.

After he checked me we had a long talk about options for labor. I had an induction with my first when she was 5 days late. I also ended up with 4th degree tearing after her 9 lb 3 oz self tore me apart. So with my second, we induced a couple of days early. He was 8 lbs 13 oz and I walked away with 3rd degree tearing. I had hopes for this pregnancy. Because it was my third, I thought that I might go into labor on my own.  I also thought that there might be a chance that if I went into labor on my own (versus having an induction) that I might be able to deliver the baby without tearing. I read some birth stories online about women who gave birth to babies bigger than mine and they didn’t tear at all. All of those labors seemed to have one thing in common: the women went into labor on their own. That being said…I’m a little too scared to wait til anytime after the 40 week mark for me to go into labor on my own. I’m scared that if I waited until after 40 weeks, I might end up with a c-section. Nothing about labor terrifies me as much as a c-section. For me, labor is so much about the baby at the end of it that being separated from the baby right after he is born is very upsetting for me to even think about.  

Ok, so back to our talk. My doctor mentioned I might like to go into labor on my own. I would like that. But he warned me that should that happen, I might miss my chance at an epidural because I might have progressed too far to get one by the time I get to the hospital. I am okay with that. I had epidurals with the first two because I have been told Pitocin is extremely painful and an epidural is a must when you have an induction. But if I was in labor on my own, I think I would be okay without pain meds. However, my doctor’s concern about me not getting an epidural is that I could have the 3rd or 4th degree tearing again and he said the local anesthetic will not take away the pain of him stitching me back up the way the epidural would. He said we would have the option to go to surgery and get a spinal block, but the baby wouldn’t be coming with us. I didn’t like that option. He doesn’t think I’ll walk away from the labor with anything less than 2nd degree tearing…and I kind of got the feeling he was being generous by allowing me to think I had a chance at that. It made me really sad. I guess I was living in a fantasy world, but I really thought I had a chance at delivering a baby and walking out of the hospital two days later without any stitches of any kind.

My doctor said the earliest he is willing to induce without cause is 39 weeks. So I can be induced a week early, get an epidural, have a baby who (hopefully) falls around 8 lbs 7 oz and walk away with only second degree tearing.

Or, I can wait and try to go into labor on my own. If that happens at or after 40 weeks, we’re pretty much looking at 3rd-4th degree tearing.  But I take a chance at missing my window for an epidural that way, which could be painful during the stitching.

Clearly, the best case scenario is to go into labor on my own before 40 weeks…but I don’t know how to do that. Anyone have any “How to go into labor” tips that actually work?


  1. I tore with my daughter who was 10 days late and 8 lb 9 oz and went into labor naturally (though he DID end up giving me Pitocin for some reason toward the end of the labor - they said it was because my water hadn't broken completely and they needed to speed labor along). So I'm not entirely sure how not to tear, but I have heard that doing perineal massage with oils before might help prevent tearing. That would be awesome, wouldn't it? I had the epidural when I was being sewed up and I'll have to admit I appreciated it but I don't think it would be the end of the world if you didn't have it for the sewing up. And really you can't be sure that you won't have enough time to get an epidural - that would be one fast baby!

    I am so not experienced enough to be giving advice, so I'll just end with this: Congratulations and I hope that your labor is easy and there is NO tearing! :)

  2. (Oh and I'm 40 weeks 2 days and have tried so many things trying to go into labor... the doctor even stripped my membranes and nothing has worked - just given me miserable days/nights. The best advice I've had is to do a lot of walking, try to relax (take warm baths), and maybe use evening primrose oil to soften the cervix.)

  3. I am so sorry about your terrible tearing experiences with your other births! That must make you anxious going into another birth.
    It sounds to me like perhaps your doctor is un-trusting of women's bodies and is very uneducated about tearing! The more research I've done in this matter has me convinced - the size of the baby has absolutley nothing to do with your chances of tearing. That may be surprising, but it's true. And it's not about perineal massage (during preg. Or birth), warm compresses, or oils or whatever.
    Your only #1 way to prevent tears is to NOT PUSH. That's right, DO NOT PUSH! The whole idea that a woman has to push her baby out is a complete fallacy. Women can birth their babies while in a coma. The uterus is the body's most powerful organ and it will birth the baby with ease and less damage than if it's "helped" along with our abdominals. It is not how we are designed to birth as mammals. You would never see a mama cow birthing in the field, heaving and straining with a bunch of other cows around her yelling, "Push Push! 1,2,3,4...!)
    Women's bodies were designed to be upright in labor and birth (standing, kneeling, squatting) this opens the pelvis 30% MORE than sitting or semi-sitting or (God forbid!) Lying down. With the pelvis open wide like this naturally, a mama can let her uterus do all the work and she'll gently ease her baby into this world.
    The feelings that come from letting your body do what it was designed to do and not have to blast your baby out are incredible! It feels amazing and powerful and perfect.
    There is never any need to "push" out a baby unless it is in critical, immediate danger. (Dr is impatient is not an emergency!)
    Here is a link to an excellent article on this topic: http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/inspired/river.html

    And here is a birth video that is a lovely example of birthing a baby gently without pushing (don't worry, it's very modest. No close-ups!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qriqhDFo088&playnext_from=TL&videos=a9Wrv-ucORA&has_verified=1

    I have to tell you, from my own personal experience, this is absolutely true. I pushed my first baby out semi-sitting in a hospital with a chorus of "PUSH PUSH 1,2,3..." and ended up with several very painful, significant tears. My doctor said my vagina basically "exploded" and that my baby was "too big" for me. He was 8lb 14oz
    With my last baby, I was kneeling in a birth pool in my bedroom and I never pushed. I let my body birth my baby and it felt AMAZING! She eased gently out and I had NO perineal tears! NONE. And she was 9lb even! (Take that, Doc!) :)
    Women's bodies are absolutely incredibly designed to conceive their babies, grow their babies, and birth their babies.

  4. Aww, I hope everything works out for you this time! I tore a little with my baby who was 9lbs 9oz but my doctor helped stretch me out with some oil and stuff so the tearing wasn't bad. I didn't even notice/feel it later. I was induced too cause I was 41 weeks +2 or 3 days... now i can't remember, haha.

    Maybe talk to your OB about your concerns and you guys can come up with a solution? So excited for you!!