I’ve had this post in my mind for a few months. Every time I went to write it I stalled, for fear of opening a huge can of worms on this blog. I realize there are many who are completely against induction of labor. I’m not trying to convince anyone they should choose this path. I simply want to share my experience in hopes that it will help another mom-to-be possibly facing induction.
My pregnancy with my first child was pretty wonderful. I barely had any nausea and I felt great. Aside from an earlier than normal diagnosis of gestational diabetes I danced through the first 8 months with joy and ease. Perhaps my perspective was skewed by the fact that I had waited so long to be pregnant. . .I wasn’t going to let any minor symptom bring me down. That was until the day I thought I was in labor. . .
Not having ever experienced labor, I didn’t know what to expect. So when I began to experience severe pain in my abdomen that moved from back to front, I naturally wondered if this was it. I laid down on the couch at work for a while but when the pain did not subside, I asked my coworker to drive me to Dr. Rupe’s office.
Within minutes and after a mere pat on my lower back, Dr. Rupe announced, “You have a kidney stone.”
“I have a what, I my…what now?!” A kidney stone is one of the last things you want ever, let alone at 37 weeks pregnant.
I was admitted to the hospital where they tried to fix me up. I was there two nights and left in more pain then when I arrived. (That’s just how things go with kidney stones.)
A few days later after checking in several times throughout the week, I received a call from Dr. Rupe.
“I’ve consulted the high risk specialist and neurologist and I’ve prayed about it so I feel good about inducing you this week. My colleagues agree.” Have I mentioned that I love having a praying and partnering doctor?!
I was scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks anyway because of my gestational diabetes. With GD, babies are closely monitored in the last few weeks as they can tend to get large. Typically, GD patients are induced at 39 weeks to avoid complications that arise from the birth of a very large baby. So I had planned on induction for months. Initially, I desired to have a natural childbirth. Mainly because my mom had me naturally and I wanted to prove to myself that I was as awesome as she is. But I let go of that desire when I learned I had GD and after talking with my husband about his thoughts on my labor and delivery. Perhaps that series of events allowed me to accept more willingly the fact that I was to be induced 2 1/2 weeks early.
I know that if I had told Dr. Rupe I would brave it through to the end, she would have let me wait. And I’m sure if I begged, she would have let me go until 40 weeks, even with GD, because through ultrasound we could see that Hope was not very large.
But I chose to move forward to induction of labor at 37 1/2 weeks. It felt like the right decision for me and my baby. I trusted Dr. Rupe’s expert opinion and the Godly wisdom she received after praying for my situation.
With my son’s birth last summer, I was not officially induced, however I was given pitocin to help things along. When I came to the hospital thinking I was in labor, I was actually in the very early stages and moving slowly. Since I had been induced before, I decided after Dr. Rupe’s green light to move ahead with pitocin because I knew what to expect and I trusted the process. Once again, I experienced a pretty textbook labor (aside from my epidural not working very well – just like my first labor – but I’ll save that story for another post).
I realize that not all inductions go this smoothly and some end in an unwanted C-section. This is why doctors are very cautious in recommending or approving induction and avoid this method unless extremely necessary. But most, medically necessary inductions such as mine, go very well and end in an uneventful, smooth delivery. Induction is not something you do because you can’t wait any longer to get your baby out. Induction is not something you do because you want to pick the birth day of your child. It is a method reserved for special circumstances and medical needs.
If your doctor has suggested a scheduled induction or you have been considering one, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why induction? Is it truly medically necessary? Has my OB fully explained why she recommends it?
2. Am I prepared for the type of labor an induction might mean? Slower? More intense?
3. Am I OK with giving up the chance to have a natural labor?
4. What does my spouse/support system think?
5. What wisdom/guidance have I received through prayer on the matter?
The truth is, you cannot compare your unique situation to that of any other mom around you. So don’t ask your friends what they think you should do. Doctor Rupe already explained she wouldn’t even tell you what to do. She would simply make her medical recommendation and then let you decide.
Induction of labor tends to be an extremely taboo subject. My hope is to dispel some of the unnecessary fears and controversy surrounding induction and remind moms-to-be that every pregnancy and every delivery is different.
Talk with your doctor, trust their input and ultimately, seek the Lord for his leading on this and every decision you will make regarding pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Have you had an induction? Does the idea of induction upset you?