I've been having mild random contractions, but nothing that feels significant. Yesterday the OB swept my membranes, which is not exactly painful but weirdly uncomfortable. My cervix was about 2 cm dilated, and after the procedure it was almost 3. The actual cervix manipulation didn't hurt at all, but the pressure against the whole nether region was almost unbearable. The process is supposed to get things going by introducing the whole idea to the body and hoping the body takes over and keeps going. Kinda like putting on dance music at a lame party and hoping that everyone starts to boogie down. And, from what I can tell, maybe just as likely to work...
I've had two acupuncture treatments to stimulate my uterus and calm the rest of me, but so far my ute is still reluctant and the rest of me is still antsy. But it is nice to lie down somewhere else for 90 minutes and listen to this CD which supposedly syncs the two hemispheres of the brain. It's kind of hypnotizing. As my OB said, it can't hurt, so I guess I'll keep trying it every few days. Anything to at least give myself the illusion that I'm doing something to get this labor going.
I know that, short of cervadil and pitocin, there isn't that much that can be done. And I know I'm heading towards those things, so I keep telling myself that the goal isn't so much labor as cervix ripening, since pitocin on a rock-hard cervix is supposed to be a recipe for pain. My next OB appointment is Friday (unless I have the baby before that - I mean, I can dream, right?) and she says she won't let me go another week after that. Monitoring low fluid is so random anyway that it just gets riskier and riskier.
Anyway, I have finally made a birth plan. It basically says: do what you have to, but I'd appreciate it if you could support my desire for a non-medicated birth. The main other thing it says is please, please no cheerleading. If somebody starts chanting "Push-push-push-push-push-push!" or "You can do it! You can do it!" I will just scream at them to shut the #@%! up. Last time I tried to just ignore all that and concentrate on maintaining my zoned-out non-awareness of pain. I think I said "Shhhhhh," once or twice. This time I already know that I am starting off with weak muscles and less stamina than I had before. I just can't worry about being polite on top of everything else.
I put the plan in a basket of individually wrapped Newman's Organic cookies. If I wanted to be totally Miss All Natural, I guess I could have made a basket of seasonally appropriate fruit. But who wants to eat fruit in a germy hospital? Anything sealed up is a better bet. Plus, if I was really Miss All Natural, I would probably be planning a home birth instead. I really do want to be in a hospital - things have been risky enough already that I need the reassurance of having a whole staff of emergency specialists there. So, cookies it is. But at least they're not laden with extra chemicals - and I hope I won't be, either!