My induction story: the good, bad, and the ugly
If you are pregnant now or planning to get pregnant in the near future or just simply curious about medically induced labour, then this article is a must-read for you. Here is a true account of how an ordinary woman's medically induced labour was like. Watch it play out, hour-by-hour.
With both pregnancies, I was very against labour induction for multiple reasons. First of all, I had heard way too many horror stories of how much worse the pain is as opposed to letting one’s body go into labour naturally.
Since I am in favor of natural, pain medicine-free births, I was afraid that I would change my mind with the extreme pain.
Second of all, I believe that a woman’s body was made perfect for delivering their children and any medical intervention just adds complications.
Lastly, I believe that inductions are way overused for non-emergencies. My first pregnancy went as planned; went into labour naturally, didn’t use any pain medication at all, and had a complication free, relatively easy labour.
My second pregnancy was a different story. I was left with no choice but to go against my wishes. This labour was much different. Here is the good, bad, and ugly on labour induction.
Labour induction date set
At about 37 weeks pregnant, my blood pressure started to get high. My doctor mentioned inducing labour if it didn’t go down or I didn’t go into labour on my own soon. Nothing was set in stone and it was just a mention so I wasn’t too worried.
I decided to take it easy and go on maternity leave a little sooner in hopes of lowering my blood pressure. One week later, it was not any lower. My doctor brought up the induction possibility again, but set up some tests first to see if we could find a cause of the blood pressure issue. I was called almost immediately with some results.
The blood pressure issue was not resolved, but they inadvertently discovered that I had extremely low levels of potassium. There was no known reason at this point, but with such low levels; I was putting my heart (and the risk of my baby) in danger.
At my next appointment, my doctor set the induction date for a week later but stripped my membranes in hopes of putting me into labour naturally. I prayed that this would work as I was still very against the idea of inducing. However, I am not so stubborn that I would put my life and my unborn baby’s life in jeopardy. If I had to be induced for medical reasons, then so be it.
Labour induction date approaches
After the date was set in stone, I had about a week to go into labour naturally. I tried everything that I could think of or had heard of to start the process. Nothing seemed to be working. Before I knew it, it was the day before my induction.
I was getting more and more nervous about it by the minute. However, there is also some things about a planned delivery that make life easier. I was able to pack and double check everything to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.
Camera battery was charged, cell phone was ready, house was cleaned, baby’s stuff was organized and most importantly, my older daughter was taken over to my sister’s house at a decent hour. The last thing was especially nice as women tend to go into labor at the wee hours of the night. At least this way I could spend the entire day with her and then take her over and properly say goodbye.
December 18th, 2012
After a very sleepless night (who could sleep knowing what the next day holds?), I woke up at 5:30 and called the hospital to confirm that I would be admitted in an hour. I had to do this in case the labour and delivery ward was too busy with women who went on their own.
They confirmed that there was enough room for me. I was slightly disappointed, but knew that it would be over soon. An hour later, I was signing in and preparing for my induction. The process was slightly delayed due to issues with getting an IV in, but by 8:30 am the induction had begun with the introduction of a medicine called Pitocin.
Almost immediately, I started feeling contractions. They weren’t painful at first, just barely noticeable. However, they progressed rather quickly. With my natural labour, the contractions slowly got stronger and stronger, almost an unnoticeable difference. With the induction, they definitely noticeably got a lot stronger each time.
At around 10 am, the doctor broke my water to get things really going. The nurse checked my progress and I was only about halfway there. I felt like this was going to go on forever at this point, even though I had only been in labour for 90 minutes. That is exactly how bad the contractions hurt after Pitocin.
And the fun begins
At 11:30, an hour and a half after my water broke and 3 hours since the start, the nurse checked me again. I was still only halfway there. The contractions were pure torture now, the absolute worst pain I have ever felt.
My plan of not using pain medicine was quickly getting thrown out the window. If I still had so long to go, I was not going to make it in this amount of pain. The nurse, knowing I didn’t want an epidural, offered me a pain reliever that unlike an epidural doesn’t numb a person but takes a little edge off of the pain.
I accepted it after double checking that it would wear off before it was time to push and that it would not numb me. I asked how long it would take to kick in, she told me about 15 minutes. Ten minutes later, I was pushing and five minutes later my daughter was born. I pushed three short times and she made her appearance. The pain reliever kicked in shortly after she was born. I caved and accepted medicine and then it didn’t kick in until after labour was over. Such is my luck.
After everything was said and done, my daughter was born healthy and safely. All the horror stories I heard about induction turned out to be spot on for me. Maybe others have different experiences, but compared with my non-induction experience it was much worse.
However, the labour was much quicker and recovery was a lot easier. Lastly, again, the planning aspect of it makes everything much more organized. Both births had good and bad, but I would choose completely natural if I had the choice.