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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

After 2 Inductions, I’m All for Medical Interventions

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I’ve heard horror stories about inductions that sound nothing like my own experiences. Inductions that lasted days and many that resulted in emergency c-sections. There are mothers that insist their babies were forced out when they were ready, even when their gestational age read 40 plus weeks. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, or that natural birthing is a load of crap. I just see incredible value in medical interventions.

People used to die in childbirth all the time.

All. The. Time.

Women and their babies.

I’m uncertain that my daughter and I would have survived her birth without medical intervention. Yes, we were in the middle of an induction, but I never even touched Pitocin. She was in distress because of cord placement, and had the doctor not acted quickly, I can’t imagine what would have happened. If I had dared push to my 42 weeks against the advisement of my doctors, things could have turned out very differently. This was with a completely healthy pregnancy.

I know that my induction experience was positive and that changes things for women. I bet that I would be more reluctant to have a second induction if the first one had been horrible.

However.

I trust my doctors.

I don’t have a medical license. I only know what doctors, googling, and birth boards have told me. So I defer to my doctors. Everything is circumstantial, and not every birth is going to be the same.

My first birth was more traumatic than I realized, and I know more about how much danger my daughter and I were in now that I’ve been through a very similar induction a second time. Shit got real. Recovery sucked. A different perspective could have prompted me to refuse an induction and try to go naturally.

And part of me really did want to go into labor naturally. I was not looking forward to a repeat of being tossed into labor without warning with only a touch of cervidil. I was hoping a natural labor wouldn’t be so sudden and I could progress more slowly.

Of course, that was not to be. I was progressing less with my second pregnancy at full term than I had with my first. An induction was scheduled, and I whole-heartedly agreed. I wanted to meet my baby and I trusted my doctors. I asked questions and I made my intentions known ahead of time when I got to the hospital. My birth went smoothly, and although everything was a bit more vivid (including the pain, yay!) the overall experience was better than my first.

Perhaps I would have gone into labor naturally on my own closer to 2 weeks. However, there’s a real risk to extending pregnancy. I’m less worried about medical interventions and more worried about holding out for something that just isn’t going to happen for me. Waiting could have harmed my first and second child. So even if my first induction had sucked balls, guess what? I probably would have agreed. I trust medical advice, because I don’t know anything different. If I’m going to trust these people with my own life and my baby’s, I need to be all in. It’s one thing to advocate for yourself and make informed medical choices, and it’s another to make decisions out of fear. Negative things happen. My first born was literally ripped out of my body, and yes, I felt every bit of that. My second was delivered in 13 minutes of pushing and an hour of active labor, zero complications. It can be different.

If medical intervention during labor and delivery sucked for you, I’m sorry, but I only ask that you try to change your perspective. They probably saved your life, and your baby’s life.

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On Motherhood Pregnancy and Your Newborn

Should I Have Let Them Induce My Labor?

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.