While the Ottoman Progressed, Labor Didn’t
After I announced that I wanted to call a halt on the C-section, my doctor was very gracious. She did an ultrasound to make sure the baby still had enough amniotic fluid; there was plenty, but our little one was face up. The doctor and the nurse gave us some tips to encourage baby to flip and to promote labor. We rescheduled a C-section for Wednesday in case nothing happened. They pulled my IV, disconnected the monitors, and sent us on our way.
For the rest of that day, my contractions seemed to follow a pattern that deviated from everything I had read. During times of inactivity, I had steady (though still painless) contractions; if I was active, they abated. So, in the car as we drove away from the hospital, I continued to contract. When we walked around the mall hoping to stimulate contractions, they occurred less frequently. At home, when I reclined on the couch and read a book: contractions. When I worked on my re-upholstery project, they ceased.
Er, yes; I was working on a re-upholstery project during my 40th week of pregnancy. Last summer, I had bought a chair and ottoman at a garage sale, intending to re-cover them. On the night before my due date, partially out of antsiness and partially out of a desire to have somewhere to put up my feet after the baby came, I decided to tackle the ottoman. By the day of my C-section, the ottoman had been stripped of its original cover and the pieces for the new cover had been sewn. That night, I started attaching the new foam, padding, and cover to the base. I was desperate for distraction!
By 9:00 p.m. on Monday, contractions stopped altogether. At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, I decided to take castor oil. Prior to this point, I had thought that since I shouldn’t be induced medically, I probably shouldn’t try to induce myself. (Plus, the idea of drinking slimy oil made me want to gag!) But now I felt like my body was perhaps on the brink of labor and just needed a little prodding. I didn’t want the C-section cancellation to be for nought. So after consulting with friends who had taken castor oil successfully and reading a few medical studies online to confirm it wasn’t too risky, I did it. Two tablespoons in two shots of orange juice.
My friends who had taken castor oil said they started having strong, frequent contractions within 4-5 hours. During the waiting period, I (can you guess what’s coming?) worked on completing my ottoman. At 2:00 p.m., 5 hours after my castor oil dose, I put my feet up on my finished ottoman and wrote the following text message to a friend who had asked how I was doing:
“Some contractions, but they still come and go. Feeling tired of waiting and somewhat discouraged. Kind of expect I’ll need C-section after all, but we’ll see.”
Stay tuned for Part 3…