Induced labor without tears?
February 9, 2006 2:50 PM Subscribe
I wanted an unmedicated birth, but at 41 weeks and counting I've agreed to schedule an induction. How can I make the best of a less-than-ideal situation?
posted by libraryhead to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My first pregnancy, at age 35, has gone just about perfectly. No problems with blood pressure or blood sugar; every test passed with flying colors. Having read Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and attended a doula-led birthing class, I was determined to have a natural birth -- not so much because I'm opposed to modern medicine, but more because many interventions standard in modern obstetrical practice tend to have the effect of slowing down labor and encouraging more interventions to the point of increasing rates of unnecessary Cesareans and creating a very disempowering experience for the mother. The OB practice and hospital I'm signed up with are, I think, very good, but certainly in the high-tech, high-intervention mode. I'm worried they're going to turn my low-risk birth into a circus of beeping machinery and "procedures".
The baby is now a week overdue. Because of increased risk of stillbirth and many other bad outcomes, my OB regards 42 weeks as a cutoff point, and I've reluctantly agreed to schedule an induction for next week. We've been trying all the folk remedies (sex, walking, spicy food, evening primrose oil) to bring on labor on our own, with very little effect so far.
I have two related questions: First, what can I expect from an induced labor? I'm scheduled to go in the night before for Cervadil to ripen the cervix, with Pitocin to follow the next day to bring on contractions. I'm mostly terrified of the Pitocin since I've heard that the pain is so much worse that I'll have to end up having an epidural. Stuck in bed flat on my back for endless hours seems like a one-way track to the surgical suite. But, maybe Pitocin isn't that bad, and I'll be able to avoid the epidural and have an upright labor like I planned. Does anyone have experience with this? Labor pain is so subjective, and there's an element of self-fulfilling prophecy, too... FWIW, I had gall bladder surgery a few years ago and do long-distance mountain hiking, so I feel like I have pretty good stamina and tolerance for pain.
Secondly, is there anything I can do to make the best of this? Are an IV and continuous electronic fetal monitoring inevitable? Are there alternatives I should be asking for? My husband is very supportive and will be there with me, but this is his first time as well. If I could just get my confidence back, I feel like the whole thing will go better, but the threat of induction has thrown me off track. Help!