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Old 09-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Hi Ladies -

Well, I wasn't anxious until now. I had my appointment today at 40 weeks, 3 days. Already, there's talk of stripping of membranes. I declined today but I did let her feel my cervix. She said my cervix is soft, but not fully effaced since she said that the cervix is still a little bit behind the head. I am 1 cm. Does that make sense to all of you who know your anatomy better than I do?

I am going in on Friday for an ultrasound to check the fluid levels and a NST. I'll be 40 weeks, 6 days. I know she'll ask me at that point if I want my membranes stripped. I really don't want anything invasive, but I know this is the least invasive thing that can be done on their part. I want to avoid pitocin like the plague - just a personal choice for me - as we want to be as natural as possible. I feel like I have a better shot at a natural birth without pitocin. She mentioned scheduling then another appointment for Monday or Tuesday, which would put me at 41 weeks, +2/3 days, and could be an option to strip membranes then instead.

I do believe she'll come when she's ready and when my body is ready - but modern medicine has it's own ideas. All this talk of membranes has me anxious. Poop.

Any thoughts? You all have so much more wisdom than me, as so many of you have birthed a baby before (or FIVE!).

Thanks so much for your insight.

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Old 09-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Angela I would just hold out. She WILL come when she is ready. For all I know the day before I had Kate I was 1cm dilated. It is going to happen. Don't let them talk you into things that you do not want. As long as she sounds good and everything else checks out well I would hang in there. 40+5 almost killed me after Nikolas was 38+3.

Please feel free to post your vents on here so that we can give you the support that you need to get through these last few days.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Thank you Shannon. It's a good reminder to listen to my heart and gut. As long as her fluid levels check out, and she passes the NST with flying colors like I know she will... then there's nothing to worry about, right? 40 weeks, 5 days you say? Well, that's only two days away. I hope, I hope, I hope...
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

If you feel your body's getting close I am not opposed to a membrane sweep. My midwife is hesitant to do them because she says it does increase the chance of membrane rupture but I have heard that it can only put you into labor if you are close.

I think I'd get it done...but it's a personal choice. I wish my midwife would offer...but I am impatient!

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Old 09-07-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Oh Angela, this waiting can be one of the hardest parts of the pregnancy.

Please try as hard as you can to not let them worry you. As long as the baby looks fine on the NST and the fluid levels are good, you have nothing to worry about. What is the statistic... I think it is 90% of women will delivery their baby in the two weeks before OR two weeks after their DD. It is totally normal and FINE to go a week or two weeks late with your baby. Add to that the fact that first babies tend to cook longer. Plus - I think Laura was the one with this factoid - Caucasian women tend to have longer first pregnancies as well. It can be genetic as well, did your mom go late with her kids? Or was she induced or sectioned closer to the EDD?

Anyway, my personal opinion is this: pitocin is a dangerous drug that is very, very overused in hospitals today. It definitely has its purpose and can be useful, but I think you are right on track to avoid it as much as you can.

You are only a few days late right now, so I wouldn't be worrying too much about trying to jumpstart labor. Maybe at your next week appointment if you are over a week late you can think about striping your membranes. Personally, I don't think I would do that until I was close to 2 weeks late. I think it sounds painful and I would be scared that it would prematurely rupture my membranes. And my family has a history of long, healthy pregnancies so I am comfortable going past 41 weeks. (Well, comfortable might not be the right word. I don't like it, but I trust it.)

As far as your cervix, that sounds exactly like what my OB told me about mine when I was just past my EDD with Rosie. It stayed that way, as far as I know, until I actually started labor 9 days past my EDD. She was born 10 days "late."

I know how frustrating and scary this waiting past the EDD can be. Try to keep busy and keep your mind off the "is it today??" stuff. Your girl will come when she is ready.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Thank you Jamie. I feel that way about pitocin too. My mom did go late with all of us (me, my two sisters, and my brother)... so that should ease my concerns a little. I think you're right. If I get to 10 days past my EDD, then maybe I need to think about my options to avoid pitocin.

It is strange how one little appointment can instill that fear in me. It IS scary. I was happy this morning and then whammo! "do you want your membranes stripped?" sent me into a downward spiral.

I am free to decline anything they offer, right? I keep forgetting that I have rights and that they can't do anything without my consent.

So, I took the zucchini bread to my Uncle's on Saturday and only got a taste. Looks like I found my distraction for the next hour. I want some!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Hang in there!! She will totally come when she's ready. Don't let the NST scare you. My fluids were "low" with my DD1 and I was induced after my membranes were stripped. I had cervadil followed by pitocin and ended up with an epidural. We had some complications due to the epi so the next baby I decided to switch from on OB to a midwife.
The mw informed me that low fluids doesn't necessarily mean danger. They can up it with IV fluids or even drinking lots of water yourself. I had low water (found out during L&D) with DD2 but everything was FINE! I was successful in having a 100% natural birth and it was wonderful.
I personally would avoid being stripped. In my experience it didn't really matter since my OB was going to start the induction anyways. I was very uneducated And as for pitocin....it's the devil! It's incredibly overused in this country. Your body will manage just fine without any extra measures. I know how incredibly hard the last few days are...well more like the last few months. lol. But in the end a 2 year pregnancy would be completely worth it!

I wish you lots of luck!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

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Old 09-07-2010, 12:19 PM   #9
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

Well, imo, I'm all for both.

I had pitocin with both of my kids, and while yes, it did make my contractions stronger, it also helped speed labor up, and a little while later, I had two kiddos.

I've also had my membranes stripped, after I already arrived at the hospital IN LABOR, but not progressing. My midwife suggested the strip & the pitocin both to help things go a little faster because DS was having some light heart patterns during contractions.

Both times, I managed to avoid the c-section trap, so... I see no harm in either.

Although, that's just my opinion.
Just do what feels right to YOU mama. You know your body better than your doc, better than your SO, and much better than us.

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Old 09-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Your Opinion on Stripping of Membranes and Anything Else

I think it's completely up to you and how you feel. I know my docs let you go until 42 weeks but a friend of mine was going to a mw practice and b/c her NST's were good they let her go 43 weeks. I think it's like anything else, unless your body is READY nothing will really kick start it anyways. I hope this baby comes before you have to make any decisions.
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