[Though this is part 1 of Constantine’s birth story, the story really begins with the discussion leading up to my induction.]
I spent the day before my induction trying to do all of the following:
- Clean the apartment. It wasn’t in too bad of shape, but I wanted to come home to beds that were made, clothes that were folded and put away, a sink that was not full of dishes, etc.
- Praying, meditating, and trying to relax. I called my pastor and she came over to my apartment along with one of the female interns from my church, and my pastor prayed for me and blessed me. I reflected on some passages in the Bible that I’d found inspiring (maybe more on those later). Much later, at 3 AM on Sunday morning, I woke up and read through all of the accounts of Gethsamane in the Synoptics. Never had I felt closer to Jesus’ admission, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Or to his prayer: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” By that I mean that I really, really did not want to be induced, and was still holding out hope that maybe my labor would start on its own or my blood pressure and protein tests would return to normal and I would be allowed to wait a few more days. However, barring that, if induction was the recommendation I was going to accept it.
- I called the people who were going to watch our daughter for us while we were in the hospital and told them that our daughter would be dropped off the next day at around 6 AM. We’d drop her off earlier on the off-chance that I did go into labor spontaneously that night, but otherwise Sunday morning was the limit. I double-checked my daughter’s overnight bag to make sure it was all ready for her.
- I finished gathering everything I needed into the labor and delivery bag.
- I kept a religious eye on Constantine’s kicks and movements and watched out for all of the signs of pre-eclampsia that my doctor had told me to watch out for. I knew that he felt like he was taking a bit of a risk letting me go home for one more day, and I didn’t want to let him down.
- I did my share of bouncing on my exercise ball, and I even went ahead and tried sex with my husband that night (even though I don’t believe sex helps induce labor, I thought what the hell, we’re probably not having it again for six weeks at least).
- I put my doula on notice that it was probable that I would accept the induction the next day.
I did have weak contractions 10-15 minutes apart for about 1.5 hours that night, falling asleep to them, but when I woke up at 3 AM the next day, they were gone. I was also beginning to lose small globs of mucus plug, though it was all white and yellow, no pink or red.
The next day, I dropped my daughter off and headed to the hospital to meet with my doctor at 7 AM. My husband and I decided to take separate cars as he planned on going back to work as soon as possible, and I did not want to be stranded at the hospital without a car if they released me while he was at work. I had four weak contractions in the car on the way over, which gave me a little bit of hope that maybe they could just monitor me to see if labor was starting on its own, but somehow I doubted that was going to happen.
I reached the hospital and they ushered me into the non-stress test evaluation room. My blood pressure was taken and found to be high, and my doctor soon came in and sat down to talk to me. He said that the results from my prolonged urine collection test had come back, and they were even worse than the +2 protein that had shown in my initial urine test the day before, that I was well above the normal range. My result was .68 when the upper limit of normal was .2. So while he wanted to do another cervical check, unless I had really dilated since the day before, it was his recommendation that we go ahead with the induction.
I told him that I knew pre-eclampsia was serious and even I wasn’t stubborn enough to fight induction when that was clearly where I was heading (again), that I really hadn’t expected that I would be leaving without the induction that day, so we could go ahead with it. I signed the admitting papers and they showed me back to my room.
To be continued…