A few months ago I shared the story of how (I was judged by a home-birth proponent, and) I am a fan of giving birth in the hospital. I wrote about the birth in full detail, but here's a clip that will set the stage for what I'm going to write about.
And push I did. And push, and push, and push. My baby was stuck and they called in the anesthetist and OR team in case of a C-section. As it was a Sunday, it took them time to get there and my Doctor told me to keep pushing. I pushed for THREE HOURS.
Then I was wheeled into the OR and given a spinal while the OR team looked on – they were sure I’d be having an emergency C-section. My Doctor is as natural as they come and wanted to try to get my baby out. She started with the suction cup. She’s about 5’2″ and 98 pounds and flew backwards. She brought out the salad tongs (forceps) and encouraged me to keep pushing. I was completely numb from the spinal and didn’t know if I was, but they all kept encouraging me.
He had severe bruising on the back of his head from hitting my pelvic bone for three hours, which then turned into jaundice. He had a 38 cm head (35 cm is considered LARGE), he was 9 lbs, 12 oz. (ON HIS DUE DATE) and he got his Dad’s broad shoulders. This meant that I had a 4th degree tear (don’t Google it) and they kept me in the hospital for three nights, which rarely happens these days. Each nurse that had to “check me out” winced when they did so. One of the scariest moments of my life was when I felt the first urge to do a bowel movement. YOU HAVE NO IDEA (or maybe you do).
The reason that I'm bringing this up again is because my good friend Leah wrote a post over at Mom 365 titled “Elective Inductions before 40 Weeks Can Reduce Infant Mortality.”
I'm not going to argue about mortality rates, but I will share my story.
After going through the labour and birth that I did with my firstborn, my Doctor suggested an early induction with my second child. Babies tend to get bigger in subsequent pregnancies, and we knew how well the first one went. Throw in the fact that labour tends to be faster, too, and if you take out the three hours of pushing, my labour was five hours long. We live a forty-minute drive from the hospital.
So, for my second pregnancy, I was induced. The day before, I saw my Doctor and she stripped my membranes. I was already 3 cm. dilated, and that got the party started. When we showed up at the hospital the next morning, we were put on the drip and before I knew it, it was time to push. I pushed once, and she said “ONE MORE PUSH AND THEY'RE OUT.” My thought: “DARNED IF SHE'S GOING TO BE WRONG.” I pushed for the second time, and experience the RING OF FIRE that I had heard about. It was the only time that I yelled during labour, because SERIOUSLY. My ENTIRE INSIDES came out of my VAGINA.
Sorry about that, Dad.
The scenario was pretty much identical for my third child, except for the “IT'S A GIRL!!!!!” exclamations from everyone both offline and online.
Were my early inductions because I wanted to plan the birth date? No. (Though it was nice to know.) Am I saying that early inductions are for you? No. (Unless you birth ten-pound babies and end up with a Frankenvulva.Then you may want to consider it.)
I am saying that early inductions were perfect for me. I didn't have a ginormous baby stuck in my birth canal for many hours under stress, my labours went quickly, my babies were not battered and bruised, and there was no emergency surgery. My first delivery scared me, a lot, and if my second delivery hadn't gone so well I may not have the baby girl that I have today.
I'm sure you all have thoughts on early inductions. Or inductions in general. I'd (truly) love to hear them.