There was reluctance on my part to agree to the induction of labor which is standard of care between 39-40 weeks for a woman of my age (over 40 years old). I was wanting to trust the process and believe in the mantra your baby knows when; your body knows how. I enjoyed a prenatal yoga teacher training last fall, and we read and discussed a lot of Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s preeminent midwife and childbirth educator. She’s a strong advocate for empowering women to experience low to no medically intervened childbirth, achieving impressive statistics of safe and effective child birth. I wanted that experience for myself. Could I do it?
In my mind I was struggling to balance risk management for baby safety and not wanting to succumbing to fear-based medicalized childbirth. As was Dr. Ali Lewis. She has her training and professional standard of care obligations, but at the same time was not worried about me or Baby Sister. Then a moment arrived I did not think would have arrived: I was 41 weeks and 2 days and she was entering her last shift on-call at the hospital before going on vacation to Hawaii.
Finally as we’re on the cusp of making the choice to induce, and if so when, or to wait, this joke came to mind. It has always had extra significance to me due to where I grew up. I heard it as a child and it is fitting for the property of my childhood home, nestled in the Quinault River Valley and rainforest between two creeks prone to swell their banks during seasonal flooding:
There was a flood and a man holed up in his house as the waters rose around it. A rowboat came by, offering help. Oh no, thank you. I’m quite alright, the good lord will provide. The rain kept on and the flooding waters rose higher. A fire boat came by and declared evacuation of the area. Climb aboard, the rescue persons commanded. Oh no, thank you. I’m quite alright, the good lord will provide. The rain kept on and the flooding waters rose higher. The man climbed out the third story window and out onto his roof. Finally a helicopter flew over, flying low and dropping a ladder. Over the loudspeaker the pilot compelled the man to climb on and be flown to safely. Floodwaters were continuing to rise and the area would surely be swallowed. Oh no, thank you. I’m quite alright, the good lord will provide, answered the devout man.
Indeed the water rose higher and the devout man drowned. He appeared at the gates of Heaven and asked God in dismay: How come you didn’t save me? God answered, I sent a rowboat, then a fireboat, and even a helicopter.
Now we are at UWMC NW campus for induction. Our amazing doctor Ali Lewis, MD is here on her 24 hour shift, and our doula Meg is on the premises splitting her time between us, another patient, and sleep. Ali put in a Cooks catheter at 9am. That went well. It will stay in for 3-6 hours to dilate my cervix. It was still at 0.5 cm 60% effaced midline. Then plan for pit drip (+/- epidural: we will see how it goes. I have nitrous oxide for when needed), then breaking the waters… goal baby born in the window of after midnight and before 8am 🙂, in order to have the awesome birthday 2/20/20 and Dr Lewis before she goes off shift!
Thank you for the kind support !!