To Induce or Not To Induce…

Last weekend I was sure I would end up going to the hospital.
I woke up at 6:00 am having what felt like a full-on real labor contraction. It lasted for 20 minutes straight. The on-call doctor told me they were Braxton Hicks contractions and told me to take some Tylenol. I had another around 11:00, decided the on-call was crazy, and got all my stuff ready for the hospital. I camped out at my mom’s only to be sadly disappointed when nothing else happened. My hips, back and pelvis ached for the rest of the day, but I never had another contraction. On Tuesday, I had another on my way home from work. After such intense and labor-like contractions, I was sure my doctor would have a good progress report at my visit on Thursday. She informed me that I was likely experiencing the spreading of my pelvic bones to make room for baby’s head, and that they indeed were not Braxton Hicks contractions. She had high hopes that I would have made some serious progress as well. No such luck.

At my 37 week appointment, I asked about who would be delivering Eli. When Alston was born, I had a doctor whom I had never met before. Apparently there are 6 doctors that deliver at my hospital, and the one that delivers your baby is just luck of the draw depending on who is on-call. My OB said the only way to be sure that she would deliver is if we induced. She said she had been induced with her second baby and she enjoyed it because it was so convenient. She put it out there as a possibility that we could discuss. At my 38 week appointment, after the disappointing news that I had not progressed as hoped, she started talking about induction again. I don’t even know how it came up, but then all of a sudden, she said she couldn’t induce until I reached 39 weeks, so she wanted me back on Monday (today) to recheck and see if I was ready. Then she tentatively scheduled me to be induced on Tuesday (tomorrow), since that is the day I reach 39 weeks. I asked if we didn’t induce, if it would take forever for him to come and she said he would eventually come on his own. Later that evening, I went for a very long walk with Alston and Mammy. I started having contractions that ended up being about 4 minutes apart. After they stuck around for over an hour, I called the on-call and made Alston and Patrick take showers. I was told that I could go ahead and come in if I wanted, or I could increase my fluid intake and stay off my feet for a while to see if they would space themselves out. The contractions were strong, but didn’t seem to be getting any stronger, so I decided to wait for a while.  I absolutely refused to go all the way to the hospital only to be sent home. After about 3 hours, they were still coming every 4 minutes but had gotten much weaker. I decided it was false labor and headed off to bed. When I woke up Friday morning, they were completely gone. And I haven’t had many since…

I have very mixed emotions about inducing my labor. On one hand, I do not prefer to be pregnant any longer and it would be nice to know exactly when he’s going to be here. On the other, I’m a pretty much a let-nature-do-its-thing kind of girl, and I don’t really feel right about rushing something that will eventually happen when its supposed to. I had this uneasy feeling that I  just couldn’t shake, so I decided to do a little research on induced labor…

The number one most common fact that I found through my research, is that most induced labors are preformed when the risk is greater to mother and baby to wait for natural labor to begin on its own. This immediately threw up a red flag. Why would or should I induce unless it were deemed medically necessary? Does the doctor think I need to be induced or is she just doing it for convenience sake? And whose convenience? Mine or hers? I continued my research and found that, with induced labor, there is a greater potential risk. Labor and delivery is already risky enough as is. Those risks are increased when you induce labor– risks like the need for a c-section, lowered heart rate for baby, infection, unbilical cord problems, uterine rupture and bleeding after delivery. These things do not sound even remotely appealing at all.

So after much thought, I’ve decided that induced labor is just not the thing for me. I know I can have a sucessfull labor and delivery without a c-section or an epidural because I’ve already done it before. I would rather be uncomfortable and have a doctor that I’m not familiar with, than to increase the pain and potential risks for me and my baby by inducing. I figure when he gets ready, he’ll come. I thoroughly believe God is teaching me a lesson in patience. And that’s okay.
Although I don’t want to be induced at the hospital, I don’t see any harm in trying some natural ways to help speed up the process. No one really knows how well (if at all) any of these tricks work, but I found this super great list of 40 ways to naturally induce labor here.

I’m almost half way through the list so far, and have several more on my “to try” list.

1. Acupressure
2. Balsamic Vinegar
3. Basil
4. Black/Blue Cohosh
5. Borage seed oil
6. Bouncing on birth/exercise ball
7. Bumpy car ride
8. Castor oil
9. Chinese food
10. Clary sage oil
11. Dancing
12. Eggplant
13. Evening primrose oil
14. Galloping
15. Glass of Wine
16. Golden seal
17. Kneeling on all fours
18. Licorice
19. Mandarin oil on heels
20. Massage
21. Motherwort – Taken in tea or pill form.
22. Nipple stimulation
23. Oregano
24. Orgasm
25. Pineapple
26. Quinine
27. Raspberry leaf
28. Relaxation excercises
29. Sperm
30.Spicy food
31. Squats
32. Squaw Vine
33. Stretch and sweep of membranes
34. Swimming
35. Swinging on a swing
36. Thyme Tea
37. Visualisation excercises
38. Walking
39. Walking up/down stairs
40. Yoga

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