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41 weeks + 1 day pregnant . . . seriously!

Yes, I’m still pregnant.  I’ve tried every induction method to date (minus rupturing the bag of waters), and obviously none have worked.  I even tried the castor oil and my worst fear came true, for yet the umpteenth time this pregnancy, I barfed . . . 2 hours after having castor oil.  It never even made it to my bowels to work as a laxative to get things moving in that direction.

Either I am carrying the world’s most stubborn baby or my uterus just refuses to contract in such a way as to get things rolling.  Or, it’s a combination of both.

I’m baffling everyone with my ever so slow progression of labor.  No, it’s not unusual for a first baby to be 2 weeks overdue, that’s not the crazy part.  What’s crazy is that I had serious signs of early labor at 37 weeks, and then I was dilated to 4cm since 38 weeks with the baby’s skull very descended and engaged ready to go in addition to at least 50% effacement.  All in all, it appeared as though I would most likely deliver EARLY and definitely not too overdue.

And yet, every exam revealed more dilation and effacement with the baby’s movement and vitals still normal and healthy.  Although I don’t get checked again until tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere between 7 and 8cm dilated.  I’m not even kidding.  No, I’m not in pain, although sometimes I’m a little uncomfortable when walking or sitting.

Have I had painful contractions?  Not really.  I’ve had lots of contractions, sometimes even 5-10 minutes apart for hours on end, but they’re typically painless.  I’ve had a handful that feel like mild menstrual cramps, but they’re seldom regular and they haven’t kicked into active labor.

On Saturday, I hit my wall.  I’ll call this transition.  Most people define “transition” as that period when a mom is dilated to around 7-8 cm and the physical pain is intense.  This is usually the timeframe when she’s grumpy, angry, desperate, yelling expletives, cursing her husband for getting her in this situation, asking for pain meds, and just hitting the wall.  Usually, it only lasts 20-30 minutes, then it’s time to push out the baby.

No, I have not hit any major physical pain areas of labor just yet (although 8 months of heartburn have plagued me to extreme frustration and irritation).  The most bewildering thing to me is that I have mentally prepared myself to deal with the pain of the birth process.  I know it will suck, I know it may be the worst pain I ever endure, and I know it may surpass even the worst menstrual cramps I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some so severe that I wished I would die).  I am ready to embrace physical pain.  What I was never prepared for was the pregnancy that would never end. . . one that isn’t exactly covered in the textbooks . . . one that defies all labor induction methods. . . one that just baffles everyone.

Steve says my biggest hurdle isn’t necessarily the physical pain of childbirth (pain sucks for everyone, let’s face it), but my biggest and most intolerable factor is that this is utterly trying my patience.

I’ve heard from so many people that I should have had this baby by now based on the way I’ve been dilating.  Or that certain induction methods are fail-proof.  Well, they all fail on me.  Those that tell me that I’ll have a fast active labor because I’ve progressed so far, I just block that out.  If it takes me this long (weeks) to dilate this far, then how do I know I won’t be pushing for 4 or 5 hours?  I’m just going to mentally prepare myself for it, and if it’s all over in less than 2 hours, then hey, I won’t be disappointed.

When people tell me I’m not in labor or the baby will come when it’s time . . . well, that just pisses me off.  Just because my labor doesn’t look like everyone else’s doesn’t mean it’s not labor.  Sure, you can have Braxton-Hicks contractions for months on end, but that doesn’t mean they’re contractions that progress you toward active labor.  My contractions may mostly be painless, but I’m definitely progressing.  It’s just VERY VERY SLOW.  Of course the baby will come when it’s time, but PLEASE don’t tell me I’m being impatient.

If I was impatient, I would have had a hospital birth.  Had that happened, by now, they would have broken the bag of waters, given me pitocin which may have escalated into them offering me an epidural or wheeling me off to get a cesarean section.  And, by now, I’d have had the baby.  But no, I’m not willing to go that route.  And, Steve and I don’t think there’s been anything negative or harmful to trying an eggplant recipe, warm baths, stout beer (yes folks, it’s okay to have a little alcohol at the end of pregnancy), rupturing of membranes, acupuncture, sacral massage, herbs, etc.

I took Sunday off from thinking about pregnancy and labor.  Mostly because I wanted to be home to run to the toilet after taking the castor oil.  I also didn’t want to go to church and be be reminded yet again by people that I was still pregnant.  Like I’d forgotten the obvious.

Steve answered the phone and ran interference for me.  We listened to a sermon on CD, cooked together, and just enjoyed a day at home alone together without being busy or without any routine associated with pregnancy or inducing labor.  Yesterday was wonderful.  And last night, I finally had a decent night of sleep for the first time in at least a week . . . thanks to a shoulder massage and lavender oil.

I’ve had 5 acupuncture treatments for labor induction to date.  She’s only really charged me for the first one because she said, “It’s not your fault you have a stubborn baby!”  The most she’s ever done on a pregnant mom (aside from me) into active labor is 3 treatments; yet the average amount of treatments is only 1.  Yes, I’m defying the odds because I am an anomaly.  So, every day, they set me up an appointment to come in the next morning for another treatment.  Hey, it’s not harmful to the baby, and it’s relaxing.  I’m not expecting anything to happen because nothing has happened thus far.

I’m just gonna keep taking each day as it happens, and at some point in time . . . hopefully THIS YEAR, this baby will be born, and we can start a new chapter as new parents.

Until then, know that I do appreciate the love, support, and concern from friends and family.  I’m over my transitional period of being pissed off at the situation and the things people say to me.  But, your best bet is to not ask me if we’ve had the baby yet . . . trust me, you will know.  I’ll call many of you, and others will read about it on the blog.

At this point, we are continuing to pray for a healthy baby.  If we hit 42 weeks, we will go in for a biophysical stress test at a hospital.  Steve’s grandparents return approximately on Wednesday.  So, we’re praying the baby is born before then so that I can labor and birth in privacy in this house.  Unfortunately, we thought I was in early labor last Thursday, so they went away to visit a relative and to give us space and privacy.  How were we to know that early labor would last so many days thereafter?  We thank you for keeping us in your prayers.  That’s the most wonderful thing you can do for us right now.


Read my summarized  birth story in my letter to my son when he turned one.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

26 Responses

  1. Any chance your babe is posterior? It can lead to a longer prodromal phase. You may however, just wind up being one of those lucky ladies to have a painless or relatively low pain birth. In either case, I don’t blame you for one bit being impatient and ready to go! Even at 30 weeks I’m starting to feel ready lol I hope things move for you soon and that you have a lovely delivery.

  2. Your story makes me feel better…mine is very similar. This is my second, and my first was born on her due date. I was induced 1 week ago but would not allow them to break the water and after 8 hours of little progress we went home. I was relieved to read that your baby did not stay in there forever, as I am still waiting. Its also good to know that your little one was perfectly healthy, as I am feeling very little movement from this little guy for about 3 days now. Like you, I have been screening my phone calls to avoid the annoying question with the obvious answer: “Any baby yet?” Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Your situations sounds very similar to mine. I have had a relatively painless experience problem for me is that I have no idea if am dilated! My midwife like to do very minimal vaginal exams… and if one more person asks me why I haven’t delivered I may just scream. I am stumped that nothing and I mean nothing is putting me into labor. i feel as though I am a serious disappointment to everyone around me, because of this.

  4. Thanks for the summary. I am 41 weeks and 1 day. Just had another non-stress test. Baby is fine. I am NOT dilating or thinning at all. I have tried EVERYTHING to induce my own labor. I have had countless false labor episodes. I think it is so funny you mentioned not going to church on Sunday to be reminded. I have 2 days until church and this will be my second Sunday AFTER my due date. Everyone is telling me what to do to induce labor and I’m trying to be a good sport. If my cervix doesn’t dilate after everything I’ve tried, it’s not going to. I’m tired of explaining it. My mom told me basically told me to go to church and be the positive person I was this whole pregnancy. Come up with something funny to say so the conversation doesn’t go further than laughter. Just be bigger than their cynicism. I am being induced on the 11th. I am soooo hoping she comes naturally, but I’ve been saying that since July 28th. I was due July 31. So, we wait upon the Lord and PRAY for lots of patience

  5. SO glad I have come across your story ..it too makes me feel alot better. I am now currently 41 weeks PG and was told at 37 weeks that I was in early stage labour. I have have several trips backwards and forwards to the hospital thinking that things were moving forward only to find it all stops. I too got own to 5 minute contractions… although not ever so painful they were regular.
    I think today must be that transitional day you speak of. I am so fed up and tearful. I don’t want to speak to anyone in fear that I just might lose my temper with them. I have become a hermit in my own home as I can’t bare to bump into anyone. Should one more person say to me try pineapple, raspberry leaf tea, sex or any of the other 101 old wives tales, ALL of which I have tried .. or if anyone points out the obvious ‘you still not had it yet’ or tell me to try and forget about baby and labour when I am constantly uncomfortable and so HUGE I swear I will go mad at them. I do hope this feeling will soon pass by and I can start to relax and just go with the flow a bit more. Thank you once again .. good to know I am not the only one !!

  6. It is good to see that other women are or have gone through similar situations! I find it ironic that I have felt the need to stay home from church just so that I don’t have to answer another question about how late I am or what I am doing to induce. I find that of all people, the ones at my church drive me nuts more than anyone else. God is definitely testing my patience in every way. I hope and pray that everyone is given a bit of grace during this time of waiting. 🙂

  7. Really good to see I’m not the only one! I am now 41weeks + 2 days over and feeling really frustrated. I’m 1cm dilated, have had a membrane sweep and tried every other method known but still not getting anywhere. I’m booked to be induced this weekend which is my worst nightmare so keep praying, walking, eating hot foods etc and trying to “will” a natural birth. I too have become a grumpy hermit ! I was due October 6th – Abby did you have your baby yet?

  8. I was you last year. Doctor scheduled an induction and the little guy decided to do it his way to avoid that! Hope all is well?

  9. I just want to say that I went 42 weeks on the nose!!! I ended with an Ec section, he was so loving it in there.

  10. I know this post was from 2007, but I feel like I am in the same boat you were in two years ago. What was the outcome? I’m currently 41 weeks and no baby yet either. The outside world is making me feel like I am plagued with an awful disease b/c I’m late! My husband and I are againt getting induced with pitocin and have prepared for a natural childbirth.
    Please let me know how your delivery went and when you had your baby.

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  13. I’m 40 plus 5 days with extreme pelvic pain. I can’t walk!!! my rib bone is pressured in pain,and have not been able to sleep well in a long time.. Is there a reason why my baby is not coming out yet?? I’m seriously going crazy… I sometimes gag still and vomit as well. I’m scheduled to get induced ok tues and I really hope she makes it naturally before..

  14. Thank you so much for sharing! I know this post is several years old, but I am finding some inspiration in your story. I am worried about my first child’s birth and hopefully all will go well. It seems my bundle of joy is coming late. Keeping my fingers crossed she is healthy.

  15. It sure is inspiring to read when you’re feeling so “overdue”..I’m 41 weeks tomorrow with absolutely no signs of anything at all…just praying for patience that bubs will come when he or she and God have planned:)

    • I actually went to 42 weeks before my son was born. We get so hung up with the 40 weeks gestation, when some of us were just designed to have longer gestational periods for our babies. Hang in there!

  16. Thanks heaps for that…my mw is coming today and I’m thinking about asking her to do a cervix check if I’m ripe or not…and then asking for a sweep next week if we get to week 42…both my girls were “late” and I guess I’m just being a bit paranoid…and bored..lol..thanks again:)

  17. I have to say that even though I am sure you have delivered your beautiful baby now as it is June 28 2010 I am so thankful you wrote this article. I am now 3 days past my due date but like you have been showing early labour signs since week 38. The baby has descended quite low and I have tried every natural induction method except the Castor Oil. I love being pregnant, until the last couple days this time round. this is my third pregnancy, my first was 6 days over due, my second was 1 day early, and this one is so far 3 days late, about 3 cm dialted and have had several false starts as well. I loved reading how your were tired of hearing people talk about what worked for them to induce, I have actually been hearing this for about 3.5 weeks now…Don’t they know that typically gestation periods last for around 40 weeks??? Anyways, it was particularly painful the last week of school as everyday i showed up to drop off or pick up the kids, I would get these looks of pity and people would actually tell me I am sorry that your baby hasn’t come yet??? Church was very difficult as I had to hear from everyone that I was still pregnant…REALLY? I didn’t know???

    Anyways, we too skipped church today and it was quite blissful. I see my dr. tomorrow and will know a little about how far I have progressed since thursday and we will go from there.

    Thanks for your encouraging blog it was nice to hear that I wasn’t going batty and that someone else gets frustrated experiencing the entourage of people speaking stupidly to me for a few weeks now.

    While I am really excited to meet the baby and will welcome her at any time now, I am not freaking out that I have not delivered, it is just most frustrating talking to anybody….

    God Bless you and I trust you are totally enjoying your baby….I k now I will be soon too! 😛

  18. Thank you for posting your story. It comforts me to know that I’m not the only anomaly. We will be 41 weeks on Wednesday, and I’ve yet to have anything happen except for BH! No dilation, no thinning, nothing. I definitely agree with the trying of patience. I have none left and I’m tired of the phone calls. I’ll definitely be shouting it to the world when our little girl arrives.


  20. Dear Dr. Garnecki and all, thanks so much for sharing – I enjoyed reading and was even comforted through laughter/tears! I appreciate your words as my EDD was Oct 2nd. God is in control and I am excited! 🙂

  21. I am 41 weeks and 3 days and just want to have this baby but he’s just not coming! I am extremly tierd and very tearful! Just want this baby out! Doesn’t seem like its ever going to end! I am also a hermit in my own home because I am sick of people asking me the same question ” U still haven’t had that baby?” I am only 1cm and have lost my mucus plug 2 days ago! Everyone says oh it will be any day now and here I sit still pregnant. If I don’t have him by Tuesday the 23rd then there going to induce me All I care about is a healthy baby!

  22. I’m currently 40w6d and your story definitely comforts me. Your post definitely reflects what i’m currently feeling especially how everyone else in this world don’t understand that some babies do takes longer in the womb! Every single day people would ask me the same question, “Any baby yet?” ughhhh… I’m starting to ignore all calls and Facebook messages. I’m 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby is at -2 station. Haven’t had contraction at all… not that I know how it actually feels.

    I’ve been looking through your archives to find your birth story, but couldn’t find any. It’s just nice to hear the how the story ended on your part 🙂 Can you point me to the right direction?

  23. MIne was due on Aug 21 and my doctor told me I was not dilating at all. I had a 6th sense my baby would be born on Aug 29. Since my doctor would be on call on the weekend only, my husband and I decided to start staying in the hospital on Aug 27 morning after a big breakfast. At the moment i was sent into the hospital I was not allowed to eat anything. I was on pitocin and IV and epidural. The next day, Aug 28, the doctor said only 1 cm dilated. So he ruptured my water and we wait for another day, i was injected with morphine and antibiotic. 2 cm dilated the next morning. I was schedule to have a C section that afternoon, Aug 29th. There we had a healthy beautiful daughter. She likes to be fed and feel cozy all the time. Like most Virgo, she likes to be cleaned and enjoys it very much. LOL

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