Childbirth - What is the Best Way?
The saying “Patience is a virtue” develops a new meaning when you are overdue with a baby. Not only do you feel as big as an elephant (mind you elephants are pregnant a lot longer – 22 months), but also, it is very uncomfortable, for most of us, at least during the last couple of weeks.
My Induction Story
I remember when I was due with my first child. I had comments like “are you sure you are only having one baby? or “you look ready to pop”, which always made my day. I would go home and cry for a while, and hope that the baby would come soon. Then when all my pregnant friends gave birth before me, even though their babies were supposed to be due after mine, I started my desperate attempts to induce labor. What a silly young fool I was!
The doctor had predicted that the baby would be due on July 24, and here I was hiding inside my house, trying not to be recognized as still “hanging on”. My first attempt involved walking briskly for a couple of miles. That only made me tired and miserable. Then someone suggested that I “hang” from the end of a clothesline because this would help bring on labor. Wrong! I even have a picture of myself hanging on that pole.
Then I heard the idea of taking castor oil, which had been successful for some ladies. It was certainly yucky and not at all easy to get down, but I was impatient and desperate. I ended up taking several trips to the bathroom, but alas, no labor pains. The next morning, I did start having contractions, but they were very irregular.
Being my first labor, I was shocked at the intensity of the pains I felt. I figured from the pains it was time to go to the hospital, so my husband rushed me over. We were so excited! They told us that I was not even dilated to a “one” and told us to go home and try to relax. Relax – how could I relax when I was having contractions every few minutes, the pain of which to me were fairly intense? My sweet husband took me on rides in the car to try to get my mind off the baby.
After two days and two nights of irregular contractions and pains, I was exhausted. The doctor seemingly had mercy and decided to put pitocin in my veins. However, he did not believe in giving drugs for the pain, so I suffered through another day of forced contractions with no relief.
Three days after I took the castor oil, my beautiful baby girl finally made her appearance. It had been a very hard and difficult labor, and I was grateful that it had not affected the baby. She was perfect. However, I decided from there that it might have been best to let the baby come when it was ready. I am sure there are legitimate reasons for induction, but I didn’t truly have one.
Be Patient - Induction Hurts More!
We should not let our own impatience and human inconsiderate comments to influence us into taking drastic measures. I am wondering if I would have had a much easier labor and delivery if I had just allowed nature to takes its course. The number of cesarean sections done today provide evidence of our society’s impatient behavior. Are we really concerned about the baby, or our own convenience? In fact, there are some obstetricians who have on their answering machine an option when you call to “schedule your induction”. What have we come to?
I hope we will try to be more considerate with our comments to obviously pregnant women so they will not make a desperate attempt to force the baby to come early. I agree that there are valid medical reasons for induction, but those apply to only 10 percent of pregnancies.
Bad reasons for induction:
Just to suit your working schedule or that of the doctors.
An ultrasound technician tells you the baby seems big and moves your due date closer.
You are told that your baby is getting too big. Even though I looked 11 months pregnant my first baby was normal size 7 lb 6 oz.
If your doctor is going on vacation so you need to have it before they leave.
Your amniotic fluid is low – this can be remedied sometimes with bed rest and drinking more water.
Pitocin, the most commonly used drug of induction does have side effects. It doesn’t give you much chance to recover between the back-to-back contractions and also decreases blood flow from the placenta which can lead to fetal distress.
Good Reasons For Induction
If your blood pressure is very high with signs of protein in your urine which indicates you may have preeclampsia. This means the baby needs to be delivered asap.
If the fetal monitor indicates the baby’s heart rate shows he/she is in distress meaning that the oxygen supply has been cut off.
If the bag of waters has already broken but labor has not started. This means there is an increased risk of infection if not handled carefully. Usually the doctor will wait for six hour after the waters have ruptured before inducing as labor may start on its own.
If the full-term baby is much smaller than normal which means that his nutrient supply has been cut off.
If the baby has stopped moving around normally, the doctor may feel it is best to induce.
Anyone past 42 weeks which means that the placenta may start to break down which will supply less oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
Another would be if the amniotic fluid is low or the fetal nonstress test is nonreeassuring as determined by the doctor.