During my last trimester of pregnancy, I was looking large. I was so confiddent my son was going to arrive early that I started my maternity leave early! But the weeks were getting longer and I was getting more bored by the day. My mother and I were going for daily 2 mile walks, I was eating dried dates, and even tried pumping to bring on labor! None of it was working! So at my 39 week appointment, I asked the doctor about choosing an induced labor.
Why I Chose to Have an Induced Labor
I discussed why my doctor and I agreed upon an elective induction for labor in my 39 weeks pregnant vlog post. I had my doctor’s appointment on Monday, February 24th and my cervix was 90% effaced and 2cm dilated. My doctor mentioned we could induce from thursday through the weekend. This worked perfectly, since my husband was on PTO, with the expectation that I would give birth sometime in the 39th week of pregnancy. We scheduled to be put on the induction list on Wednesday, February 26th.
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I used the excuse of the ARRIVE studies that an induction while being 39 weeks pregnant would decrease a chance of cesarean. I was also worried about horror stories of overdue babies aspirating own meconium (poop) and having lung difficulties. But, in hindsight I was impatient and was ready to meet my son!
A Scheduled Elective Induction Does Not Guarantee a Delivery Date
There is a list of priorities for labor and delivery rooms. Those that come to the hospital in active labor come first. Then, medically necessary inductions, such as those for mothers with gestational diabetes, babies with IUGR, etc, come next. At the end of this list are the mothers with elective induction, which included me. I called the hospital twice asking where I was on the list and I hadn’t moved – even when my due date came and went.
Finally, 8 days from my last obstetric appointment, the hospital called. I was bored and exasperated and I felt like my pregnancy was never going to end. It was 11:45 pm. My husband was in bed after playing Red Dead Redemption II and I was moping around. I had finally got the call – they had a bed ready for induction!
My Experience of Having an Induced Labor
We arrived at the hospital a mere 30 minutes from our phone call, at 12:15am on March 4th. At 1am, the pitocin drip was started to induce labor. My doctor decided against the foley bulb or any other medication – he was confident this would get labor started.
At 5am my water broke on its own! It felt like an uncontrollable gush and trickle. I texted my mother (who was trying to catch some extra sleep) to “Hurry the hell up and get to the hospital!”
Choosing to Have an Epidural During Induced Labor
At 7:20am, I was 3cm dilated but in excuciating pain, even though I was only 3cm dilated. I was crying through the contractions, as I was terrified of getting an epidural. My mother finally arrived and I asked her through tears, “Please tell me it’s okay to get an epidural.” I needed the comfort in knowing that what I was doing was okay (and I already knew she was very pro-medication).
When the nurse came in I told her I would like the epidural to relieve my labor pains. I was first set up with intravenous fluids for an hour. When the anesthesiologist came out of his C-section, he came in to give my epidural.
More Drugs, Please!
It took two boluses of the epidrual anesthesia before I felt nothing. It was the first time I was able to relax, whereas before I was gripping the side rails of my bed crying. I tried to take a catnap, as I had been up all night.
At one point during labor, the nurse set me up with a giant peanut ball in between my legs to help with labor induction.
Around 10am I was in pain again. I asked for another push of anesthesia and it didn’t feel like it was helping. I felt major pain in my abdomen and lower regions. The nurse confirmed – active labor was upon us!
Active Labor Began 9 Hours After Induction
Once the nurse confirmed that my son was ready to be born, she called the doctor. He arrived within fifteen or so minutes. My husband was standing near my head and my mother was on the sidelines ready to watch her first grandson being born.
I was instructed to push three times for every contraction. I was doing what I thought was pushing, which felt like I was holding my breath. However, after the first two contractions the doctor told me that we had to get the baby out soon, as his cord was starting to wrap around his body. The doctor told me that he would need to use the vacuum if the baby wouldn’t come out during my third contraction.
All of a sudden, my mothering instincts kicked in. I realized I needed to really contract my abdomen, which was easier said than done with an epidural. However, I pushed for that third contraction and my son was born at 10:49am.
Meeting my Son Two Days After His Due Date
I honestly am not sure how I felt when I first met my son. I think I was in awe. I had finally got to meet this little being that had settled in so nicely in my abdomen. He was beautiful. My husband told me I meekly said, “Hi” and nothing more when the nurses placed him in my arms.
Once my husband cut the umbilical cord, my mother followed the nurses and Baby G to the cleaning & weighing station in the corner of the room. My husband stayed by my side, as I had slight hemorrhaging from labor and the doctor had to stop the bleeding and then stitch me up from my second degree tears.
Would I Recommend an Induced Labor?
Yes, I would recommend an induced labor. However, I also believe in educating yourself on the pros and cons. I knew that an induced labor meant that it would have been more painful and there was a chance of more medical interventions (eg, my son with his cord wrapped around him and my hemorrhaging). However, there were also risks associated with delivering after 40 weeks of pregnancy, such as aspirated meconium and stillbirth.
After my experience, I would choose elective induction, again. I also am no longer fearful of epidurals. I consider my labor and delivery experience to have been a positive one.