Early Labor. No End In Sight.

Updates at bottom of post

I had my 40-week check-up yesterday. The nurse took my blood pressure. It was high. She didn’t seem too alarmed. I was very alarmed. I don’t mean to brag, (like I have any say in it at all) but all of my life I have had a blood pressure that has been greeted with responses like, “I wish I had your blood pressure.” Words like “beautiful” and “amazing” have been tossed around as well. So getting a high reading all of a sudden, 39 and 6 days into an otherwise fairly solid pregnancy, was alarming. I said something. She said, “Well, it’s not uncommon for this to happen late in pregnancy but if you’re nervous, ask the doctor about it.”

The doctor came in and I told her about my history and the fact that anything above 120/80 for me was alarming. She looked back at my records and agreed with me. She said she’d run it again after I was seated for a while. Then she gave me an internal exam. Given the amount of action I have had recently, the amount of discomfort and pain, I was sure that things had changed. They have not. My cervix hasn’t moved. It hasn’t moved in almost a month. Which means all those contractions, all that hard work, hasn’t added up to anything. Tears came to my eyes.

She went over a few options and then took my blood pressure again. It was still high. She decided to send me to the hospital to get tested for preeclampsia (again) and have the baby monitored. She said, (and I quote) “If you’re OK with discussing induction come Monday, I’ll make your situation seem dire.” And then she smiled.

We headed to the hospital right away. And my dcotor called in to the delivery to give them a head’s up. I was admitted right away. The nurse came in and hooked me up to a fetal monitor, which also rated my contractions (not that I was having any at the time.) She ran a blood pressure. TOTALLY NORMAL. In a little over an hour, my blood pressure had gone back to what was considered a normal reading. But they wanted to keep me there for a while to make sure that my resting blood pressure stayed at that normal level.

The doctor came in, checked all my stats, told me I had just had a contraction and asked me if I felt it. I hadn’t. I talked right through it. She told me that most likely I’d be going home but that they wanted to check the protein in my urine as well run a blood panel, which is why we were there for so long, waiting.

In the meantime, my blood pressure dropped down to 106/68. That is a fairly normal reading for me.

But that’s right around the time where my belly began to seize up and my legs began to ache and I couldn’t get comfortable for the life of me. I kept saying, “Feel how tight this is?” And then I’d make Tobyjoe touch my upper abdomen. It would get tight and then loosen every so often. I thought the baby was moving up into my torso.

When the nurse got back, I asked her about my belly tightening and why that might be happening. She said, “It sounds to me like you’re having a contraction.”

That’s a contraction?” I asked. “I didn’t know they were up that high. I thought they took place lower.”

“I’m going to hook you back up to the fetal monitor and we’ll find out what’s going on.”

(Gotta tell ya, it would have been awesome if I had gone into active labor while there for tests. Although, we had zero of our needs and I hadn’t eaten a thing yesterday.)

The long and short of it is I’m having contractions regularly. I have been since about 3 PM on Friday afternoon. Tobyjoe and I watched them ebb and flow on the monitor before us. They aren’t intolerable, but they’re there. And sometimes they hurt enough for my eyes to shut. The nurse suggested I have another internal exam before they discharge me to see if my cervix changed at all, especially given the frequency and intensity of some of the contractions. In the meantime, my blood work came back. It was normal. My urine came back with a minute amount of protein. If it hadn’t been for the contractions, I would have been sent home right then and there.

At 7 PM, they gave me another internal exam and my cervix hadn’t budged. It was still exactly what it was before. I have a cervix of steel. The nurses and doctors kept muttering things like, “First time mother!” and “Baby doesn’t want to come out!” I want baby out. I want these contractions to amount to something. Upon discharge, I am to call or go in if my water breaks, if I see any strange discharge, if the baby stops moving, or if my contractions become unbearable.

It’s now 8:30 AM on Saturday and I had the most fitful and shattered sleep because I’m still having contractions every 30 minutes (with little ones in between) but nothing seems to be progressing. I watched lightning sweep through Brooklyn for hours, timing each contraction with each round of thunder. Nature moved outside my window, but nothing changed inside of me.

If Monday comes and there’s still no change, I was told to talk to my regular doctor about induction because my cervix might not have any plans on letting this baby on its own. It’s been at 1 centimeter for a month now. My body is otherwise working perfectly, contracting like a champ, trying to push it open. It just won’t budge.

So, I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next couple of days. I asked the doctor to give me an idea of when this baby might arrive and she said, “It could be 15-hours from now, it could be three days.”

At 3 PM today, I will have been in early labor for 24-hours. I’m exhausted. And the worst is yet to come.

Sunday Update: Still a whole bunch of contractions but nothing regular. Last night we thought it was finally going to happen, I was writhing in pain, and then right before the 1 5 1 (contractions lasting for one minute each, five minutes apart, for one hour) hit, it subsided.

I’m so tired of having contractions and not having them progress to anything more than that. :[ I can’t sleep. Eating has become difficult as well. Last night I took a bath at 4:30 AM because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m so tired, so very tired.

Late Sunday Update: I called the physician because I had some questions I didn’t want to ask Google (heh). The on call doctor turned out to be the same woman who I met on Friday, so I didn’t have to update her too much. The biggest reason I called was to find out if going into labor and then suddenly stopping was OK for the baby. Because last night Tobyjoe said, “It looks like he’s trying to claw his way out.” And that’s so true. The baby looked like he was in distress. We’ve never seen him move that violently.

The other reason I called was to ask her about the pain I have in my pelvic region. I have had it for over a month now but the past several days it’s been much, much worse. I’m having trouble walking, getting up, and putting on pants has become dangerous. The pain is tucked between both legs, way up inside my upper inner thighs. I read that hip separation causes this sort of thing and today the physician confirmed that suspicion. (This is also the cause behind the pregnancy waddle.) My hips have moved so much over the past couple of weeks, my groin is taking the brunt of it all. The pain is quite intense. She said it’s very common and that unfortunately there is nothing she can do for me.

She was nice and after I got off the phone I felt a little better about being in labor for 3 days. We’ll see what happens over the next 24. I have read read a lot about induction over the past couple of days, about the possible dangers and/or problems that can arise from it; I do hope that this eventually happens on its own.

Monday morning update: More contractions Sunday night and Monday morning. Took another bath (at 5:00 AM) to try and move things along. Feels like I have had my period for four days intermixed with (sometimes intense) contractions. Yet nothing grows regular. I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30 AM to find out if any of this has opened my cervix. Cross your fingers, toes, and eyes that I’m beyond 1 centimeter and there’s an end in sight.

Monday afternoon update: Well, no cervix change since Friday. For some reason it just doesn’t want to efface (any more than it has) or dilate (at all, really). My doctor gave me my options today. I’m scheduled for induction starting at 5:30 PM. At 5:30 PM I’m scheduled to have Cervidil inserted and placed behind my cervix where it will stay for 12 hours. Its job is to thin out my cervix (which should have happened naturally by now, I think.) After it’s thinned out, I will be induced. That should begin very early tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the baby will be with us by Tuesday afternoon.

I am scared. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I’m in good hands, but I’m still bordering on terrified. I was told to have a huge, awesome meal but I can’t think about food. Gonna try and relax a bit and then head back to the hospital.

If all goes well, the next time I write I’ll be holding a baby.

88 Comments

  1. Ugh, it’s too hot to suffer so. At least you and baby are healthy. Here’s hoping that it all resolves soon.

    Reply

  2. We’re thinking about you, sweetie.

    Reply

  3. Thanks, missy. That explains my mood as of late, eh?

    Also, I’ve read up a bit more about “early labor” and most of the books I have (as well as the online resources I have found) say that early labor is what actually softens and opens the cervix. So, maybe that’ll happen over the next day. Who knows. I did have 7-hours worth of them yesterday and nothing changed. I dunno. I just want it to work! Damn cervix of steal!

    Reply

  4. and thanks, Jen. (we crossed in cyberspace.)

    Reply

  5. you are so almost fucking there! i love it. brings back so many memories, i have shivers. you have all my good wishes!!!

    Reply

  6. I am beside myself with glee. :D You’re having a baby!

    Reply

  7. Took a hot bath. (Frowned upon normally because they are said to thin out the cervix, but since I need that right now, well…) That only made me sweat and feel as tho I was having a period.

    We did get to see the baby close up and on the awesome ultrasound yesterday. His little face was right there! I saw his lips and his nose and his shut eyes. He looks awesome. I kept saying, “he’s right there! Can’t we have him now?!” :]

    Damn cervix.

    Reply

  8. Hang in there honey!! I am right behind you…it’s soo comforting to read your page…now I know what to expect!!! We can’t wait to meet him!! Steve says hi!!!

    Reply

  9. I don’t know if you still aren’t eating and drinking, but fuck that shit. At least drink some diluted juice to keep your blood sugar high enough to have some energy to do this thing! I am diabetic and I drank diluted cranberry juice with lots of ice all 23 hours of labour. I have no idea what they are worried about with liquids. Take care honey! I will be checking your blog and twitters religiously all day!

    Reply

  10. i’ll be thinking about you every minute. we’re so excited for you!

    Reply

  11. It could be days, folks. The way things are going. :[ I hope not, because I am really anxious. Nevertheless, thank you for all the kind words. Y’all are great. Now, can you do something about my cervix? Maybe a little dance to make it dilate?

    Reply

  12. Note to cervix: open the hatch!

    I keep checking your blog a few times a day! Typical Leo baby already! Stubborn!

    Reply

  13. I just remembered that I had a dream last night that you were going to have your baby the next day (how that was known I have no idea), except that that baby was a girl and you accidentally called her by the name you hadn’t yet disclosed, Karen. And I thought, what a nice name, nobody names their daughter ‘Karen’ anymore.

    This is my way of saying that perhaps my dream clairvoyance means today is the day!

    Reply

  14. Hang in there! It’s almost over and I’m sure…..SO worth it. Can’t wait to see a pic of the little guy (or girl…yah never know).

    Reply

  15. Oh, I am thinking of you guys!

    Reply

  16. GO TEAM MIHOW, GO! : ) xoxo

    Reply

  17. Yay, the baby is coming…albeit on his terms it seems.

    My suggestion is to start walking. From what I hear if you walk it can really get the labor going.

    Well, that and sex. Hey it is worth a shot, plus it is quite fun as you know!

    If you really become desperate try caster oil….(yuck)
    http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,5329,00.html

    At any rate I wish you the best of luck and know that you will receive the best gift ever once everything is done.

    Reply

  18. Best of luck! Maybe when things do happen, it will move really fast. We’re thinking about you! :)

    Reply

  19. Wow, Michele, hang in there! You’re on the home stretch now! Soon you’ll have your beautiful baby boy in your arms.

    Reply

  20. “At 3 PM today, I will have been in early labor for 24-hours. I’m exhausted. And the worst is yet to come.”

    AND the best is yet to come!

    I’m rooting for you guys! Yay!

    Reply

  21. Damn, I forgot to tell you that when Greening sent us to the hospital because of my high BP Brian and I stopped and had lunch before we headed over. I thought, crap if I have this kid it better be on a full stomach. When I saw Grace’s face in the US, she was sucking her lip, which is what she did for like the first week after she was born. That is the face you will see. Isn’t that freaky?

    Did you get a stool? Go sit in the bathtub and run that shower and relax. Heck open a guinness and take a sip or two to relax. Sometimes if you are too tense that cervix will take longer to open. Honey I am surprised how much your and my pre pregnancy drama is similar. Enjoy all of the attention! Call me if you need anything.

    Reply

  22. It’s funny… I wrote something very similar just before I had Makenna. I even wrote about having contractions regularly and nothing happening—and a cervix made of steel. I’d send it to you (my old site is no longer up) but you’ll be having a baby soon and won’t have any time to read it.

    Reply

  23. (Sorry – couldn’t finished a demanding 2 year old wanted attention)

    What I’m trying to say is you are now on the path to an exciting (and some times exhausting) journey. And, you’ll have lots of stories to tell.

    Reply

  24. Sharlene, what eventually happened? Did you finally dilate? Did they induce? DON’T LEAVE ME IN THE DARK, WOMAN!

    Everyone, thanks for your well wishes, believe me, I am excited as well. I’m just ready to fight the good fight and meet my little man. :]

    Reply

  25. Wahoo you are almost there.

    If the baby’s head doesn’t hit the cervix full on but has his head cocked to one side early labor can go on for days.

    So maybe have a talk w/the little guy, tell him you really would like him to come out now.

    Can’t hurt?

    Reply

  26. “Cervix of Steel” would be the greatest band name EVER.
    Sending lots of good cervix-thinning thoughts your way. :)

    Reply

  27. we will be thinking about the three of you, the best is yet to come as well.

    Reply

  28. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you move along quick!

    Can’t they induce you on Sunday? I’m all about the induction, it made my labour so quick and did the trick on a stubborn cervix.

    I’ve heard spicy food and walking will get you going faster, but don’t know from experience.

    good luck!

    Reply

  29. Ohh! Good luck mamma! Come onnnn baby Ndugu!

    We’re all sending our thin cervix thoughts across the universe to you. xoxoxo

    Reply

  30. I am so excited for you!

    I missed out on going into labour, I was induced due to high blood pressure. I was lucky, my induction was quick. The night before my induction I had a chat with the babies and told them that it was time for them to come out and that we were really looking forward to meeting them. I like to think that the chat really helped speed up the process. I also had a mantra that I repeated with each contraction, “open and out”. It reminded me to not fight what my body was trying to do.

    I agree with Rachel, have a glass of wine and then have a nice bath or shower.

    I will keep you, TJ and baby Ndugu in my thoughts. Go Mihow!

    Reply

  31. Michele, I recently found your blog and am checking several times a day in anticipation of the little guy’s arrival! Hang in there – you will have your beautiful boy in your arms before you know it!

    Reply

  32. Hang in there. This is the hard part—the waiting & the pain. Since you’re probably exhausted when the contractions are 151 go to the hospital & have the epidural! It may slow things down, but the pain will subside. You’re in the home stretch & the reward is fantastic. You might be surprised what you’re body can do. Good luck & godspeed.

    Reply

  33. Goodluck hun! You’ll get to meet your son so very soon. I’ve been lucky so far in that I’ll have good contractions until I decide I need to sleep. I’m being induced today because the hospital was completely full yesterday. I’m sending you good labor vibes!

    Reply

  34. Good Luck!! This is all very exciting and I hope that everything goes well and quickly (at least, I hope everything after the early labour…you know, the full-on labour when it’s really that time for the baby to come, goes quickly for you)

    Reply

  35. Michele Chaves August 4, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I’m thinking about you Michele. It’ll be soon. I was induced because things just wern’t going on their own…It wasn’t what I hoped for, but it was ok. The goal is the get that baby out safely for both of you. From most women I’ve spoken to, the first baby is always unpredictable. You’ll be treated like a queen in the hospital, though, probably the best care you’ll ever get in your life so take comfort in that. Good luck!!!

    Reply

  36. I just wanted to tell you to let the hospital staff know that you are having pain in your pelvis, there are some pushing positions that you should avoid (on your side is not good) and if they know they will keep you out of those positions.

    Reply

  37. Sandi, thank you for that information. I have to say, I did wonder about it, but more about how awful it’s going to feel after the fact. I had no idea it would matter during labor, but now that you mention it, it totally makes sense. And now that you mention the position that might be off limits, that too makes sense. Because when I have to move my legs while lying on my side, that’s when it hurts the most. :[

    Reply

  38. Keep strong, lady! We know you’ve got it in you… now you’ve just gotta get it the heck out!

    You know those old movies and tv shows, where the woman wakes her hubby up, and says, “Honey, it’s time…”? That’s all a load of bullocks, isn’t it? Nothing so worth while was ever that easy.

    Sending much love to the three of you. xoxoxo

    Reply

  39. Try saying this, softly but firmly, in the direction of your abdomen:

    “Hey, check it out—Cheney’s getting impeached!”

    Believe me, even the unborn want to see that

    Reply

  40. SIGH! I keep hoping for a call that our new nephew is here. Tell that boy to get out!

    If it makes you feel any better, I had the pelvic issue/round ligament pain with Simone from 6 months on. It was horrible. I could only sleep in the recliner. I would stand up and almost scream. Not really appropriate in the middle of a business meeting. It was greatly relieve almost minutes after she arrived and totally gone within days. Shep wasn’t quite as bad but one of my hips would pop constantly in the last month. Again gone really quickly. That baby pressure wreaks havoc but once it is gone you will be amazed how quickly you recover. We’re thinking about you:)

    Reply

  41. thinking of you over here!
    i hope you’re well and your boy is finally on the way :)

    Reply

  42. Consider all things crossed here!
    Thinking of all three of you today…

    Reply

  43. hang on tight (you, not your cervix) and good luck! we’re awaiting news…

    Reply

  44. Re Twitter: Good luck today. Thinking of you. Can’t wait to meet TJ Jr.

    Reply

  45. I’ll be thinking of you. Remember, be flexible. Mentally. You’ll be fine!

    Reply

  46. Hang on girl. you are almost there. I had the same situation as you. I never got past 1cm either. I was given a similar medication. I hope it will help.
    As far as the food, I know they say you will not be able to eat once you get into the hospital but you will need the strength to do this. You may not want it now but it will help. Plus you instead of just eating ice chips in the hospital you can ask for a popsicle which is usually allowed. Also, try to bring your own pillows to the hospital if you can. The pillow there really are not all that great! Bring your own P.J.’s. After all is said and done it is so much more comfortable to be in your own clothes instead of those hospital gown thingies. (Just a thought!)
    We are thinking about you over here in San fran. We know you are strong. You can do this! :o)

    Reply

  47. Michele, I had the cervadyl at NYPH and it started active labor right away. They had to take it out after an hour and I did not need pitocin. I went in without any contractions and a week past my due date. The good thing is that you have the element of surprise. No longer when is it gonna happen. Just tell Toby not to go far, I had to call Brian back in because he thought it was going to be 12 hours and I would get some sleep. The nurses rocked, the docs are great. you may want to punch out a resident or two along the way but I think that is par for the course. Look now, I have Grace. Eat a big freaking meal before you go and good luck. see you on the other side.

    Reply

  48. Michele Chaves August 4, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    You’re so close! I so remember being where you are. It is so scary because you have so little control over what is happening and it is completely new and unknown. Do your best to just go with it and think about the result, don’t worry too much about all the details. Induction isn’t terrible at all, we can’t all be these natural, earth mothers who just pop ‘em out without blinking. Whatever needs to happen to make sure you and that baby are safe is the important thing. I can’t wait to see the pictures of your little boy!

    Reply

  49. Good luck! (Castor oil!)

    Reply

  50. I can’t wait for your next update! Keep cool – you can do it!

    Reply

  51. still thinking of you. just so you know. not that that would help, but… you know. i hope all goes well but i’m sure you’ll be fine. hugs

    Reply

  52. I am SUPER excited!!! Can’t wait to meet the little man!

    Reply

  53. what a cliffhanger! thinking of you and your cervix. open sesame…

    Reply

  54. Perhaps by now the little dude is so ready to come out and your body wants him out that, once the cervix cooperates it’ll be over in a small pinch. Yeah? Fingers crossed.

    Reply

  55. Thinking of you and hoping you’re well on your way to meeting Ndugu!

    Reply

  56. I’ve been thinking of you all day.. Sending all the strength and good vibes possible. You’re almost there! hugs to all of you.

    Reply

  57. Thinking about you guys!! Prayers, best wishes, and positive vibes …

    Reply

  58. Holy Leaping Ndugu, batman.

    Thinking of you…so excited for you and tobyjoe and the little guy. Sending you all my very best thoughts!

    Reply

  59. I’m among the masses cheering for you here! Come on, little Ndugu! :)

    Reply

  60. I hope everything goes well!

    Reply

  61. i absolutely cannot wait to meet the big guy! when he’s 16, you can embarrass him with stories of his labor in front of his crushes :) bringing on the best possible vibes

    Reply

  62. I’m so excited for you and TJ! I can’t wait to hear all about your little boy.

    Reply

  63. STILL no news. I feel like those 50s dads, pacing back and forth in the waiting room.

    Except.. well.. I’m a girl, and it’s the 21st century, and I’m on the computer…

    So – never mind. :-P

    HURRY UP NDUGU!

    Reply

  64. Seriously, chele – I feel like I’ve been holding my breath all day. I can’t imagine how the family must be feeling!!

    Back to quietly sending many good thoughts their way…

    Reply

  65. suspense … killing … me!

    Reply

  66. mommmmmmmm daaaaaaad are we there yet????

    Reply

  67. I’m getting nothing accomplished at the office, because I keep checking the website every hour on the hour. LOL Yes, this IP address? It’s me at work, Tobyjoe. :)

    Reply

  68. Thinking about you guys!! Sending LOTS and LOTS of good thoughts!!

    Reply

  69. man, i’m dying here. so excited and nervous and i just hope all is well with you guys. if ANYONE has any news, puleeease let us know! also, sending tons of good vibes over there! :)

    Reply

  70. Michele had the baby at 4:30AM. He weighed about 7-12. Both are doing well. We will update later today.

    Reply

  71. scbob – thank you for the update! so very glad they are doing well!

    Reply

  72. YAY!!!
    XOXOXOXOX

    Reply

  73. thanks for the good news!

    Reply

  74. [trumpet sounds] CONGRATULATIONS!
    Yea Baby Boy Boudreaux!!

    get some rest mihow… and on your belly (maybe? or is it still too early for that?)

    Reply

  75. De-lurking for a moment to represent for the hundreds (thousands, hundreds of thousands?) of fellow lurkers… WHEW! and CONGRATS!

    Reply

  76. Popping a bottle of breakfast champagne for you, Michele and TJ and Ngugu!

    Reply

  77. WOW

    Baby Boudreaux
    You cried when you were born, but the whole world smiled

    Reply

  78. Hurray!!! Congratulations!!!

    Reply

  79. I’m delurking, too, as I do on special occasions. Congratulations—that is so wonderful to hear!

    Reply

  80. Yay! Thanks for the update scbob!!

    Reply

  81. Yet another lurker…WOOHOO!!! congrats!!! Can’t wait for the update…after some much needed rest for Mihow of course.

    Reply

  82. nervous and small August 4, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Reply

  83. man, i hope you chugged that guinness when he popped out. you deserve it more than anyone! congrats guys!

    Reply

  84. Congratulations very much!!

    Reply

  85. Huzzah! So excited for the three of you! Can’t wait to see pictures of the little guy. And maybe a new feature—Every Day with Ndugu?

    Reply

  86. george Draguns August 4, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Wow. he looks really intense. uncle George calls the first “pull my finger” joke. Congrats!

    Reply

  87. Welcome to the other side!

    Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier to your question my time gets sucked away by a little kidlet named Mak. However, I think you already have your answer – a darned cute answer ;) – and a story to tell.

    Congrats and if you need any tips or recommendations you can always send an email to my gmail account which I get updates for on my phone (I’ve included it in the field above).

    Reply

  88. Heeeeey! I didn’t cross that text out—it crossed itself out…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s