So a woman who is a member of a site I am very active on is pregnant and just posted a blog updated and I am very confused by it.
"Lets see. I am 38 weeks and 4 days today. WOW. I have been so frigign miserable lately. We have our induction date and time. Lucas should grace us with his presence Jan 7th. We have to be at L&D on the 6th at 10PM. I'm guessing so late, so that they can get everything started and let me labor all night since I will not be pushing or anything. It's a matter of time and how long it takes my body to push him out itself. It's so weird. I will be holding my son in less than a week."
Someone asked about not pushing and she responded with
"With my heart condition (congenital aortic stenosis) the pressure on my heart during actual pushing would be too dangerous. They are going to let me "Labor Down" which is basically what they did back in the 40s or whatnot. My body will do the work for me during the first stage of labor and most of the second stage. Once the baby is close enough to delivery, the doctor will either ease him out with his hands or if needed forceps or vacuum. The amount of blood volume loss during a c-section is more than vaginal plus the benefit of a quicker recovery and less risk of infection. So I will be very comfortable with a long range high dose epidural and they will tell me when he's out."
Does this make sense to anyone?
First, induction is much more intense on the body and baby, causing much stranger, longer and more intense contractions. And some of the side effects for mom are cardiac arrhythmia, premature ventricular contractions, hypertensive episodes as well as severe vomiting, all of which put a lot of pressure on the heart and make it work harder. If the condition is so bad that she can't push because of the strain to her heart, wouldn't letting natural labor take it's course be better for the heart(and for all the other normal reason too).
Secondly I have heard that it is very hard to labor down with pit, as it is not natural and being controlled by a pump. It seems like this could be very stressful on the baby.
Third, I understand that the epidural can help lower BP, but to have it up to the point were mom feels nothing seems like it will stall labor significantly. Also with the epidural mom wont be able to really use gravity to help get this baby low in the pelvis.
Maybe I am just crazy, and a little too obsessed with natural birth, but this sounds like a horrible plan and a recipe for very long, painful and traumatic birth with a ton of vaginal trauma and/or c-section.