Why I Chose Induction of Labor

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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?

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    To further clarify, Jessica’s early induction was performed due to the severity of her pain due to the lodged stone. The procedures necessary to remove it were not possible while pregnant.

    Induction before 39 weeks should not be performed unless medically necessary.

    Induction with the first baby does increase the c-section risk and should be avoided if possible.

  2. 2

    Claire says

    The procedures necessary to remove it were not possible while pregnant. Induction before 39 weeks should not be performed unless medically necessary. Thanks for sharing your site.

  3. 3

    says

    I was induced with my first because of PIH/renal failure. I hated it. Really, really hated it. The Cervidil gave me terrible contractions that did jack. And the pit contractions were worse.

    With my second, I PROM’ed at 33 wks and began natural labor the next day. It was so much easier to handle. I couldn’t believe the difference.

    I know it was absolutely the right decision to be induced with Nathaniel. I was sick. But it didn’t make it any easier.

    I think induction has its place. But choosing an unnecessary induction for convenience’s sake is silly, IMO. Having had 4 c/s’s now (and losing my ability to bear children because of them) the very real increased risk of c/s makes it a stupid decision if it is just for convenience.

    • 4

      Jessica says

      Tamara, I agree. Choosing induction for convenience is not wise. It should definitely be reserved for necessary cases. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5

    Laura Prochaska says

    I have two daughters and was induced both times. With the first delivery I went to the hospital because my contractions were 5 minutes apart, yet when they checked me, I had only dilated to 2cm. After taking my vitals it was discovered that I had a temperature of 102, which meant my baby was “cooking” at 104. It was imperative sufficient labor be induced to get her out as soon as possible. A strep test was performed and sure enough, I had developed Group-B strep, which meant the baby more than likely would get it or already had it. Add to that I had pre-eclampsia, it became crucial to get the labor going more aggressively.

    First, they treated me: they gave me an IV drip with a high dose of acetaminephin to reduce my fever. It worked. But in ridding my fever, my labor stopped. I was told this was because I actually wasn’t in labor because the baby was ready to be born; rather, my contractions were resultant of my body saying, “Hey, the baby isn’t ready to come out, but we’re getting her out anyway ‘cuz she’s burning up in here”. Then came the pitocin. Hours went by – no progression. About 12 hours later, they broke my water because the baby was just not moving down the birth canal. In fact, she wasn’t moving at all. Long story, after 32 hours of cramping and labor pains and 90 minutes of pushing every 10 seconds, out she came! She was actually born on her due date but was small, 6.3 lbs, 18″. The OB said she may have gone another week or two and been bigger, but because I was ill, my body started labor to save her. I didn’t get to hold her though. She was whisked off to the NICU where she spent her first 10 days of life hooked up to IV antibiotics. They had to treat her as if she had Group-B strep, not knowing whether or not she did. This was a safety precaution because of her lack of an immune system, waiting to see if the disease developed, she might have died.

    The second pregnancy was a nightmare. Where the first was perfect and serene (up until deliver), the second was a pain in the butt – literally! At eight weeks I developed such a severe pain in my butt cheeks – I could barely sit and when I stood to walk, I could barely move my legs because of knife-stabbing pain radiating down the back of my legs from my butt to my ankles. Diagnosis? Bilateral Sciatica! Treatment? NOT pain pills. I couldn’t take narcotics for the pain due to being pregnant. Yet, I had a 2 year old at home, worked outside the home 40 hours per week, and had a husband who worked full-time and went to college at night – every night. I was all but “single-parenting” while living in severe pain 24/7. It was awful. The bigger the baby grew, the worse and more intense the pain. At 10 weeks I couldn’t take it any longer. I begged my OB for something, anything to relieve the intense pain. He sent me to a physical therapist who hooked me up to a T.E.N.S. unit (Transelectrical Nerve Stimulation). I affixed wired electodes to my butt and the backs of my thighs, then turned on the unit which provided electrical impulses that blocked the nerves from sending the message to my brain that I was in pain. Awesome! A non-invasive, non-narcotic, baby-friendly means of reducing pain so mommy could live and baby could grow. It didn’t totally relieve the pain, but enough so that I could function as a wife, mother of a 2-year-old, and 40 hour per week employee. At 36 weeks I was dying, though. My uterus was tipped to begin with, pointing towards my spine. As the baby grew, her body pressed against the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation and pain. By the 3rd trimester, it felt like my butt and thighs were enflamed! I had just started weekly visits with my OB. I sat there and cried, no sobbed, while gasping for breath. I begged her to take the baby sooner than full term. I hurt so badly, I didn’t think I would live 4 more weeks. This was on a Monday. With great compassion in her eyes and voice, she told me “yes”, she would take the baby at 37 weeks, one week later. Went to the hospital that next Monday at 6:00 a.m., started a pitocin drip, and my second little girl was born 6-1/2 hours later.

    So there you have it! First pregnancy, non-eventful until labor which started and stopped and was re-started and lasted 32 hours. Second pregnancy, lived with pain worse than childbirth for 7 of the 9 months. Induced at 37 weeks, had a baby within hours, great delivery.

    Baby number three? Not to be. My OB advised me not to have more children because the likelihood of experiencing bilateral sciatica again was almost 100% guaranteed. No problem – I could follow that advice. My husband and I are perfectly satisfied with two beautiful, healthy daughters. Would I go through it all again? In a heartbeat!

    • 6

      Jessica says

      Wow Laura. You’ve been through it! Thank you for sharing your story here. Sometimes the path we have to walk to motherhood is really, really tough. I’m glad you found the strength!

  5. 7

    DynnaLou says

    I think this is definitely what we all need to learn and know more about especially to us mommies.. Anyway, thanks for the help here!

  6. 8

    Karen says

    Dr. Rupe is my doctor. She was very careful to explain all the risks that were facing me in my induction. I was induced at 37 weeks because of a blood clotting disorder. I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I would go early, I knew I would be induced, and I knew it was likely I would be a c-section. I think deep down, I always knew that I would be. In the end, I was a c-section, I wouldn’t change a bit of it.

    I went into the hospital on Thursday evening so that Dr. Rupe could give me cervidil. Friday morning I had pitocin, my water broken, and an epidural. For the next few hours, nothing happened. I had contractions (that I couldn’t feel because of my epidural) but I didn’t dilate. Around noon the nurse came in and ripped off a piece of the paper recording the baby’s heart rate. She came back in, turned me on my side and gave me oxygen. She came in again a little while later, turned off my pitocin, ripped another piece of paper and left after telling me that my daughter’s heart rate was dropping and she was calling Dr. Rupe. Dr. Rupe came in just a short while later and told us that because her heart rate had dropped multiple times we were going in for a c-section. She was very calm. She told me that she knew I was scared but that she would be there the whole time. She was awesome.

    In the OR I remember her pinching me on my stomach and asking me if I could feel it. I told her that I could, the anesthesiologist gave me some more meds and she tested me again. Again, I felt it, and before they could give me more drugs, my daughters heart rate dropped again. This is where things got really interesting. I heard Dr. Rupe’s voice change. She said very calmly, but very directly, that we could wait no longer. Dr. Rupe is not a big woman. She has a very sweet voice and would never be described as “harsh.” On this day, in that moment, to me, she was the largest person in that room. She was determined and fearless. I am glad that I got to hear (because I couldn’t see anything but the sheet) that side of her. I knew she meant business and I knew I was in GREAT hands.

    The anesthesiologist looked at me, told me that there was not time to do a “spinal” and that I was going to take a few deep breaths, then go to sleep. I asked him “Where is my husband?” He told me that he would not be able to come in. I cried, then I went to sleep. I woke up later in the room, screaming in pain. Dr. Rupe was there. She got me meds and I went back to sleep. I don’t remember anything until I woke up Saturday morning.

    My induction was not “normal” nor was it what I expected but it was what was supposed to happen. Knowing now what I know about Dr. Rupe, I know that I was placed in her care for a reason. God directed me to her. I am glad he did. I also know that the voice I heard in the OR that day was a voice directed by God. She needed his hands to guide her to deliver my healthy baby and I needed her to be strong. HE knew that and HE was there.

    Dr. Rupe will be delivering my next child in August. It will be a planned c-section. God willing, I will be awake for this one. My husband will be there with me and I will get to see my new daughter when Dr. Rupe delivers her. God will be with me, my husband, my child, Dr. Rupe, and all the nurses, just as he was the first time. This time will be different but the players will once again be in HIS hands.

    I wouldn’t change one thing that happened 3 years ago. I wouldn’t change it one bit. I would do it all over. Because of the events that unfolded, I am closer to God. That weekend was a turning point for me. It was a gift from God, just as my child was. Dr. Rupe had a hand in that and I am super proud to call her my doc.

    • 9

      Jessica says

      Karen, Thank you for sharing. Another wow story! I’m so glad you have a physician you trust in Dr. Rupe. It makes all the difference when you know your doctor has your best interest in mind. Blessings to you as you look towards August and your new baby!

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