Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

The short answer? Absolutely. For all I know the induction, as well as my quick-thinking doctor, saved my daughter’s life.

There’s a huge trend leading towards “natural” childbirth, whatever that is supposed to mean. There is no right or wrong way to birth a child, but some insist that that birthing without medical intervention is the way to go. For some, it probably is! Some women feel completely comfortable laboring away in their bathroom at home. That’s great! However, not every woman can give birth without interventions.

Medical interventions save lives.

Yes, women gave birth before there was anything like a C-section or induction, but many more women and children died in childbirth back then. Now, doctors can save lives! How great is that! And medical interventions allow birth to be much less painful. Just like how a doctor isn’t going to saw your leg off with a barn tool if you have an infection, you get treated with amazing new medicine! Isn’t that exciting. Birthing mothers are allowed the same.

I was induced at 41 weeks.

I debated over the induction, because I was only 41 weeks. I technically could have pushed my medical team to let me wait until 42 to see if I would go into labor on my own, but honestly, I’m not on the natural birth bandwagon. I trusted my doctors, and if they believed that induction was the way to go, I was all about it. It seemed preferable to the constant tension of wondering when I would go into labor. Would I know I was in labor? Would I get to the hospital in time? With an induction, I had an appointment. A predictable time. A window in which I knew that I was going to finally meet my baby girl, and I figured she just needed a tiny bit of encouragement to make her appearance.

I didn’t want the epidural, but I was open-minded.

I did a lot of my own research about epidurals. I’m not against them at all, I just don’t trust my body’s reaction. I don’t have the best reactions to medications, and the smallest doses knock me down the same way half a beer makes me tipsy. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, and although I heard all the stories of epidurals being heaven-sent, I also heard about the side effects that I wasn’t willing to risk. I get enough migraines, thanks.

Turns out that in the end, I didn’t need one. You can bet your ass I asked for one once I started pushing, but by that point I was already in it. But I had only labored for about an hour at that point. I wasn’t one of those women enduring back labor for days. In a different situation, I might have taken my chances with the epidural.

Babies don’t always come when they are ready.

I consider my induction a successful one. I had medicine placed directly on my cervix to soften it up (I was dilated a whopping 1 cm), and they expected nothing from me until morning. I was informed that Pitocin would be given to me in the morning to start contractions, but to not expect anything soon. We were all so wrong. After only a few hours of the cervix medicine, Hallie was ready. My contractions slammed into me back to back, and suddenly, calls were being made to get the doctor on call back to the hospital immediately. The doctor had gone home people!

Pushing was going great, and my girl’s head was starting to appear, when my doctor realized that the cord was wrapped twice around her neck. Within seconds there were clamps everywhere, and my doctor told me that this would be the last push. It had to be. I didn’t know at the time what was wrong, but I knew she was serious. I screamed once in this final push, because my doctor had shoved both her arms in after my girl, twisted left, twisted right, and pulled her free of her umbilical cord.

Hallie was stunned for a few seconds, but perfectly fine. Her heart-rate had never dropped while in labor, and she was no worse for the wear. Lucky me, I had third stage hemorrhaging due to the doctor’s invasion, but I considered myself blessed. I was carefully sewed up (which has healed nicely, thanks) and got to enjoy a peaceful stay in the hospital with my new baby.

If I hadn’t been in a hospital, we both could have died.

I’m certain that had I attempted a home birth, things would have happened very differently. Both of our lives could have been at risk, and I dread to think about the outcome if I had insisted on the extra week. No one had a clue that the cord was tangled, and Hallie could have easily been a stillbirth had I not agreed to an induction at 41 weeks. My induction may have saved my daughter’s life.

Things do happen that can’t be prevented, and birth is serious business. I have nothing against those women who approach birth naturally in their own homes with the assistance of a midwife. For me though, I have no doubts that I will always give birth in a hospital, surrounded by a team of medical staff. I’ll always try to avoid the epidural, but I’ll never turn down medical interventions that will help myself or my baby. Induction was the right choice for us, and I’m glad I trusted both my mom instincts and the doctors.