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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Week 21
~ So What Would You Choose?

This week has been fairly good. I didn't feel well on Monday (3-28) at all, but the rest of the week got better and better. That seems to be my MO: being unwell for one day out of the week while the other 6 days are pretty good. I suppose I can't complain too much, for I know many other women have much worse days and problem than I do.

Wednesday was a great day, for we had the ultrasound! And this little bean was just wiggling and squirming all over the place. I'm not sure why I haven't been feeling the baby move much, like I said last week, but this little one sure likes to move! (I'm feeling much better now, for I'm feeling more and more movement.) Everything turned out good and all accounted for. We also found out the sex. I wasn't planning to, but sometimes things don't work out that way you think they will. I'm going to keep it a secret for now, for the tech's printer wasn't working and I'm waiting for them to send pictures. Once I have them, I'll share them with you AND the sex. How's that for a teaser, eh?

I talked with my doctor about some things that I've been thinking about. One of them is being Group B Strep positive, which I have been for the last four children. I'm fairly certain that I'm what's considered "colonized". The only reason it's with the last four is because when I was expecting Maacah and Grace (10 and 8 years ago respectfully), it was not routine to check for the GB Strep unless there was a reason to. It showed up in the urine test when I was first pregnant with Damaris, but she was the only one for that. I have been taking an acidophilus since last June, fairly regularly, and I'm hoping that will do something to control the GB Strep so that I won't need the antibiotics at birth. At the end of my pregnancy with Damaris, I took Echinacea and that was helpful I think, especially since I didn't get the wanted four hours of antibiotic before she was born. If I'm positive again with this child, I'll probably take that again.

The other important thing we talked about was inducement. Under normal circumstances, I'm not in favor of it AT ALL. I think it is best to wait for when the child is ready to be born, and not try and rush it because mom is uncomfortable (who isn't at the end?), or you want your doctor there (who doesn't?), or it works best for your schedule (we all agree that would be quite nice). Quite frankly, those are selfish reasons and you're putting your child at risk of not being fully developed, for there is a reason they aren't born yet. Of course, I'm not talking about situations where the mother and/or child's life is in danger and delivery needs to be soon/now for their safety. Those types of situations are very different and need to be treated as such.

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Our situation is not life threatening, such as preeclampsia, but it has the possibility of being such. You see, all my children have been born past their due dates. Some of them considered "over due" (which means they are 42 weeks or greater) and some of them have just been "late". All of them have had meconium (baby's first bowel movement) in the bag of waters when they were born. 50% of them have aspirated on the meconium while the other 50% did not. Those aren't good odds. I will give a very brief run down on their "tardiness" and their health at birth:

Maacah: 8 days late. In the breech position and was a c-section. Meconium in the water and was perfectly healthy.

Grace: 18 days late. Large amount of meconium in the water, doctor said it had been there for sometime, the placenta was stained and stinky; she was in distress. Aspirated on meconium and need to be in the NICU for 2 days. (I took castor oil 5 days before her birth to get labor started, but it didn't work. I believe this is the reason such a large amount was in the water.)

Isaac: 12 days late. Meconium in the water and was perfectly healthy.

Malachi: 1 day late. Meconium in the water and was perfectly healthy (although he had SVT, but was not diagnosed with that until six months old).

Nathaniel: 8 days late. Meconium in the water, he aspirated the meconium and was not breathing when he was born. He also suffered from seizures (we are guessing that the morning of his birth, the cord got pinched and he took a breath. Hence the meconium in his lungs and brain damage from lack of oxygen.). He spent 9 days in the NICU.

Damaris: 27 days late. Meconium in the water, she aspirated the meconium, and she suffered from Pulmonary Hypertension (this was not caused by aspiration). She spent 5 days in the NICU.

So what we are looking at now is do we try and avoid the meconium passing in this child by inducing. We don't know why the babies pass the meconium. Some think it's because of the age in the womb; some think it's because of stress; some think it's because there is a "switch" in the brain that says a baby should be having a bowel movement now, not caring where the baby is. In our experience, the age of the baby has nothing to do with it, nor does stress (for Damaris had just as much meconium in the water as Malachi did, while Nathaniel had as much as Isaac did.). It is possible that the passing of meconium, for our children, has to do with the labor process. But of course, there is no way to know this. By inducing at 39 weeks, there is no guarantee that the stress of inducement won't cause meconium to be passed, hence we're not avoiding what we are trying to avoid!

The other issue I have is I have faith that Lord knows what He's doing. I have had this faith with the other children (which is why we didn't induce when given the chance). I have no doubt there are reasons why our children have been born in the time, manner, and result that they have been. I don't see why things should change with this child. Two of the three children who aspirated had problems because of it, while the other child's problems had nothing to do with it. There are people who trust that the Lord will do what He wants and so they don't seek medical intervention. I agree that He will do what He wants, but I don't agree with not seeking medical help when necessary.

Is this a situation where it is necessary? I suppose some would say that it is. Some would say that it's foolish not to induce if you have that option, and risk your child having problems when they are born late with meconium in our children's case. (Others would say that's it's foolish to have this many children in the first place, but that's another tread!). Due to the fact that we are dealing with possibilities and what-if's, I am not convinced that this is a necessary action.

I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer to this, but it definitely needs to be a decision that we are comfortable with. Thankfully, we have plenty of time to think about it, pray about it, and come to a decision. Many things can happen in four months time and different things can influence this decision. Ultimately, I want what is best for this child. I know that is what the Lord wants, too. So I have confidence that He will leads us to the correct decision, when the time is right and in whatever direction it needs to be.

Blessings this week!
Jennifer

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