Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Induction Introduction

This week we celebrated my youngest's first birthday!!! So of course I started reminiscing about the day she was born. All my children were on time (my first was 2 hours shy of his due date), or early (4 days, 1 week respectively). So when my fourth came around I naturally assumed she would be on time or early like the rest. To my surprise, the little girl did not want to budge. Normally I would have freaked, but because she had not been planned and I had a one year old at the time, I figured the longer she wanted to hang with me the better. Still, when she hadn't been born a week after her due date my doctor went ahead and scheduled an inducement for me. I thought for sure she would come before the induction rolled around, but still no baby!!

I didn't like the idea of being induced so I started trying all the natural ways of getting a baby out! The doctor stripped my membranes, I went for miles of walks, I ate spicy food, I ate pineapple by the pound, I even resorted to sex and the ever popular nipple stimulation technique (whoever thinks sex is sexy while 9+ months pregnant, I take my hat off to you!). Despite all my efforts, my little one was comfy cozy and did not make any effort of her own to find a way out.

(Other ways to induce labor include massage, pressure points, caster oil and acupressure. There are also other weird and unexpected foods that can work too. Make sure you check with your doctor or midwife before you try anything. Your medical professional may also have some good ideas for you to try.)

Finally inducement morning arrived. It was really strange driving to the hospital and not being in labor. With all my other deliveries, my husband was racing to the hospital with me in full on labor. I walked in without having to stop through any contractions, I chatted easily with nurses as we got ready and finally it was time to start the process.
The first step was to insert a Foley Bulb into my cervix. OK, seriously, you might have to stop reading. . .
A foley bulb is like a rubber balloon that is deflated when they insert it, they fill it was water and it applies pressure to the cervix to thin it and dilate it. Now my cervix just happens to be tilted back and so it was not easily inserted. I felt like I was on a Saturday Night Live sketch or something as the doctor pretty much had to get onto the bed and I swear had their entire arm up inside me. I thought to myself, "Hey, lets save some time and just yank the baby out while you're up there!"
Finally when that was in, I had to wait until I was dialated to 3cm, that is when the foley bulb would supposedly come out. My husband and I watched tv, talked with nurses and just hung out. While waiting I had to use the restroom and all of a suddent this big water balloon plopped out. (Very glamerous) The thing was, that part of it was taped to my leg and so I had this thing just hanging there. Luckily the nurse came in at about the same time and said that it was a good thing it had come out on its own. I was relieved I wouldn't be doing another sketch for SNL! I then was given more pitocin to really get the contractions going and before long I was in full labor. The labor went well and I had no complications. My baby however, was pissed off we forced her out and literally cried or should I say screamed for the first 3 months of her life!

Now this is my take on inducing labor. If you can avoid it, don't do it. I have heard of women scheduling their deliveries for no other reason than they want to know when and how the baby will arrive. I have also heard lots of stories of first time deliveries gone very wrong because they were medically induced. I believe more in the natural way and letting your baby and body be ready. Even though things went fine with my induction, it was my fourth baby and she was a week and a half late. I would never have done it otherwise.
After I had been induced I read spoke with a midwife concerning inductions and over due babies. She said she normally let babies go and advised to wait until body and baby were ready even if mom was over due. She only recommended inducement if something major was going on like not enough amniotic fluid or other distress. She said that some women genetically go over due especially women with nordic heritage. I don't know how true that is, but there is a strong nordic line in my family and I was 2 weeks late as a baby myself. Several of my aunts, cousins and grandmas also delivered late so . . . who knows. I sometimes wonder if my little Cadence would have been a happier infant if I had been more patient and let her come on her own time?

Have any of you been induced, are planning on being induced or have tried any of the natural ways to induce labor? What have been your experiences?


  1. no foley bulb for me (it just sounds so odd!!!)

  2. I have MANY MANY thoughts on induction. I am really against it. I think babies come when they are ready! A lot of women get caught up in the fact that the baby has to come on or by the due date, but it is just not true. With my second I was eight days late. I had finally let my dr. talk me into induction and scheduled it for Friday morning. Well, I went into labor the day before and she decided to come on her own. I believe now, more than ever, that babies come when they are ready. Since it was your 4th baby, your body took well to the induction and knew what to do. That doesn't happen for many first time moms and that leads to more and more c-sections being performed. I totally agree with you and I say wait until your baby is ready.