From "Natural" to not-so-natural...if I go there, any tips?

I realize that most all members on this forum are very much anti-meds, anti-intervention. And that was my hope for my upcoming first birth. More than hope. My DH was going to do his best to help me make it through contractions without meds. But I think I may end up going with an induction. I don't want to be talked out of it (there is still time for me to decide) or judged. I would like feedback on what to expect, what questions to ask, etc (from those of you with experience) ABOUT induction.

But first here is the background to why I'm even considering this:

I'm currently on day 3 past EDD with my first pregnancy, realizing fully that a first time mom is likely to go past the estimated due date because the EDD is not a set-in-stone number, etc.

Yet, the level of my impatience and daily frustration is insane (which I also know is NORMAL). A month or two ago I actually was hoping I'd go a day or two late so I could enjoy Thanksgiving out of the hospital (EDD was 11/25). Once my EDD rolled around though I was already past ready, mentally, and I would have traded that turkey, etc for a daughter in a millisecond. But still pregnant today.

I truly wanted a natural labor for this first child. I wanted to experience the natural start of labor, the progression, etc... I wanted to power through contractions and make it happen without meds. And I know that a Pitocin induction can really mess that plan up.

Yet, unpushed by my doc, I scheduled a tentative induction for the 1st of Dec: 40 w 6 days. Why?

1) I'm going crazy waiting (alone this would not be enough reason)

2) I'm afraid of the 'possible' problems associated with cookin' a baby too long (complications with cord, complications with meconium). Yes, I know there are plenty of women who have NO problems and babies born JUST fine at 42 weeks or 42+ weeks. But just as there are those fearful of the 'possible rare' side effects of vaccines...I'm afraid of the possible complications of going late when there's no way to monitor baby 24/7 until labor begins.

3) My mom's schedule only allows her to be here until a set time in Dec which means if my baby doesn't come within the first day or two of Dec I won't see her or her help till after the first week of January. I could deal with this too, but I really WANT her here.

4) My inlaws already have tickets bought to come and help and if I waited till week 42 I'd have them for only 4 days instead of 13. That's also a big deal to me.

None of the above reasons on their own is enough to make me want to be induced. Impatience, though STRONG, is not enough. But put them all together and it really makes a strong case in my mind...FOR ME.

Not that I LIKE the idea. I am very afraid of pitocin and how yucky I've heard it can be. Luckily, my doc is confident (based on baby's position, my dilation/effacement, ripe cervix) that induction will go well (i.e. result in vaginal delivery) based on my Bishop score. But even then, ya never know. I'm trying now to work it out in my head for what I'll ask for. I would like to avoid AROM and I'd like to start on the lowest dose of Pit as well as get some reassurance my labor will not be rushed. I figure if my water hasn't broken and I've merely started Pit there is no reason to push things right away. Perhaps some of you can enlighten me on this.

I really don't have much faith in 'natural' induction methods because after all if the baby isn't ready it's not gonna work--otherwise people having sex, walking, eating spicy foods at 28 weeks would all go into labor. Since it doesn't work unless baby is ready...then 'baby being ready' is really the limiting factor and all the sex, spices, and walking in the world is useless til then.

Okay...so I'm ready for suggestions from those who've experienced induced labors. Please don't use your response to scare me out of it. I've read enough on that. I want advice on how to manage an induction, how likely it is I can avoid an epidural, what other options I've got during induction, and how to make it work best.

In the meantime, send me some labor dust so I don't even have to go there =)

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I've been induced with pitocin twice, and both times I had an epidural but it was because I was not prepared for how to breathe with my contractions and what non-medical comfort measures I could try. I would recommend that in the next 2 days you learn as much as possible about comfort measures and focused breathing and prepare yourself for facing those strong medically triggered contractions. These can include position changes, hot packs, cold compresses, getting in the tub or shower (if they'll let you take the IV pole with you), using a birth ball, toilet sitting, etc. With my 3 un-medicated births I found that these comfort measures along with a really great support team were what got me through my labor and helped me do it without pain medication.

My sister was induced with pitocin and was able to labor and birth without any pain medication. It IS possible, but being prepared and having the right support team is critical. My sister was blessed with a nurse who had no other patients that night, knew how to coach her and was able to stay with her throughout the hardest part of labor and coach her every step of the way. You may not have this same opportunity if your nurse doesn't know how to support natural labor or has more than one patient to care for and can't or won't stay with you. Having a doula there will definitely help you stay focused and will help you know what to do. Your husband can be very instrumental if he knows what to do and what to suggest. Education is key, as well as the right support. Whether you're preparing for medical induction or planning spontaneous labor, the preparation is the same if you are planning to forgo pain medication. The experience may be different, and the risks are different when medication is involved, but you still must be prepared for it.

Although medication can be very effective in inducing labor, it is the same as natural induction methods. It only works when your body is ready. If your body is not ready the medication will very well stimulate contractions, but may not produce a suitable labor pattern for vaginal delivery. As you know, with a good bishop's score you have a better chance of having a good induction.

I hope you're able to experience spontaneous labor, because I know from experience how different it is from being induced artificially. But, regardless of how your labor is triggered, I hope you have a wonderful birth experience and a beautiful healthy baby!
Thank you for the encouragement. I was thinking over my 4 reasons for induction and really I could live without Mom there and with MIL being only there briefly...I can handle the mental stress of waiting. But the thing that gets me is prolonging my baby's stay without any knowledge of her safety. NST and BPP tell me what's going on at that moment, but aren't predictive I'm told. I just don't want to do anything that could endanger baby or me. And yes, most of the time everything's fine. Little baby you have 3 more days to come out on your own!
I delivered both my daughters, in the hospital, induced by pitocin. No pain meds of any sort.

I have no basis of comparison for how it feels based on what a naturally occurring labor feels like, but I will say, if I had not been dedicated to labor with out pain medication, I wouldn't have made it. I reached a point with my oldest(which turned out to be transition) that I was ready to throw in the towel. My labor had progressed very quickly, and I thought for sure I was looking at hours of that intensity and asked for an epidural out of fear that I wouldn't be able to push the baby out. Low and behold, with the next contraction came the urge to push and my first girl was born 2 pushes later. I'm telling you this because this is probably the point where your husband will have to step in and really support you to "just do one more". Both of you should be prepared for the possibility that you feel like to you've hit your wall, and he needs to help you remember that you CAN scale it.

That being said, you would never ever ever get me to go that route again unless medically necessary. It is NOT fun to not be able to move through contractions without dragging an IV and and cart around. Fetal monitoring is a pain in the a$$, and as much as I had to pee during both my labors, I was close to ripping the IV's out so that I could get to the bathroom and back to a comfortable position before another contraction.

I'm not trying to scare you, but you have asked a question and I want to answer it honestly with all my experience. I will keep my fingers crossed that your baby comes before your scheduled induction.

In the mean time, try to rest as much as you possibly can, you will need all the extra energy you can get.

Good luck!

PS If this post doesn't flow and seems ridiculously scattered, I apologize. I have major placenta brain right now. :P
I work in labor and delivery and we do at least 6 inductions a day, so I can tell you a lot about them.
First off, I have seen 1 person get induced without an epidural. The reason for this is that pitocin makes you contract in an unnatural pattern. There is really no break in between contractions for you to gain back your strength. They are so constant and intense, they are truly very difficult to get through without pain meds, so if you want to be induced, sign your epi consent because you will be wanting it very shortly after they start the pit.
Another thing to consider is how much your doc is going to let your babies heart tones dip and how much. With pitocin and epidurals, your babies heart rate is extremely likely to drop due to stress. Some docs will immediately c-section you, others will allow a little wiggle room. You need to know because you could be headed to the OR. There are tons of failed inductions that end up c-sectioned. That is a HUGE part of why the c-section rate is so high, because of all of the elective inductions that are being done.
If your cervix is favorable for induction, this isn't something you should have to worry about quite so much. It's the closed, thick and high people that are a little more concerning.
So in a nutshell, here is your induction.
You go to the hospital, they start an IV and stick you on the monitor. If you need gel or cervidil, you will get that put in and have it probably overnight. Sounds like you don't need that though. So at that point you are stuck in bed, on the monitor and they start the pit through you IV. They are going to keep going up on it probably every hour untily you are hurting. Pretty soon your contractions are starting to get super uncomfortable and you want your epidural because you are stuck in bed and can't move around. They come in and give you your epidural and you continue to lay in your bed the whole time. Oh and you get a foley catheter placed as well since you can't get up to go to the bathroom. If all goes as planned, you just lay there until they tell you it's time to push.
Obviously this is an ideal situation. At any of these times your babies heart rate could drop and then they will be flipping you around or taking you to the OR depending on the situation.
I wish you the best and hope you can go into labor naturally, and if not I hope you have a successful induction. I may not agree with you decision, but you ARE post dates. It's not like you are getting induced at 37 weeks, which unfortunately some people do. I also hope that your baby is ready and doesn't end up in the nursery seperated from you and sick. Sounds not so likely for you though. There is a time and place for inductions, hopefully yours is valid and you doc isn't a typical one that doesn't really care.
BEST WISHES!!!
I have never expirenced induction myself, but I was at 40 weeks with my second. My doc stripped my membranes, which takes out all the mucus around your cervix. They can do it in the office(its a little painful, not to bad) The next morning after my appointment I went into labor. I was trying everything , walking, sex, spicy foods etc. I didn't try castor oil, but that may be something to try. I completely understand that feeling of just want to have your baby and not be pregnant anymore. If you can try all of those things and get dialated a little they may be able to break your water to speed things along and you could avoid pitocin. Whtaever you decide it will all work out in the end with your baby. I hope all goes well and I wish you luck!
This may be TMI, but nipple stimulation has always worked well for me in getting things going. Early on it seems to temporarily boost the mild contractions into stronger ones, and it has even caused my water to break at least twice. As someone mentioned, you could try having them strip your membranes as well, although that hasn't worked for me in the past. I think different methods work for different women.

Here is a website with an article all about inducing labor, including 12 questions to ask before being induced:
Inductions - Your Just About Complete Guide
Thank you for the link---hubby printed it out morning of my conx!
I was induced. I really didn't want to me, but there were reasons that the baby needed to be born prior even to EDD. Overall, I'm ok with my experience... but just a few words:

1) I never had pitocin, but the cytotec they needed to use to prep my cervix was enough to cause stronger contractions with no break. There was also a decel episode that was a little scary. The positive of this is that the doctor was very against using pitocin after seeing what the cytotec did. She kept saying "let's let the body do it's work" and I was like "of course, lady... that's the point!

2) If you are induced, they will have you in bed. It sucks... so just be ready to be uncomfortable. Bring a laptop and DVDs, people t distract you, etc.
The IV was a non-negotiable, as was the monitoring. I didn't have to have a catheter until very late in; and they didn't just leave it in... they are able to catheterize as needed. I found that a much better option.

3) I was going to try for natural, but ended up with the epidural. Even though I never had the pitocin, my contractions were very strong, and VERY close together (even though my cervical change was s.l.o.w.) I will give you that I wasn't prepared for that. I was expecting contractions that started out manageable and got progressively worse. But, I went from nothing to excruciating right after my water broke. I also was banking on being able to move around, but because of the decel and my water breaking, they didn't want me out of bed. I was registering contractions on the monitor that I never felt, so when I the big ones came they really caught me off guard. The nurse didn't push the epi on me, but did suggest it a second time adding that "you aren't even getting a break between these..."

When I do it again, I will try again to do it naturally since I'm convinced the reason I needed the meds was from the induction.
Just as a side note(since I know you had your baby). As a nurse, I always get my pit patients up and walking, and bouncing on the birth balls. They have to monitored continually, but you can move around close to the monitor. Also, our unit has a telemetry monitor that allows a mom to move around where ever she wants on the labor unit. I think movement is key!!!

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