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?