So. Today is 40 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy. I’m scheduled to be induced tomorrow night, and while I’m holding out hope that I’ll go into labor on my own sometime in the next day-and-a-half, it’s not something I’m depending upon. I have a doctor’s appointment this morning where I’m hoping to have my membranes swept, and today I’ve planned a cocktail of old wives’ tales to get labor going. At best, though, I’m thinking I might manage to get a few erratic contractions started before I go in to be induced.
I’m not really sure how I feel about being induced. On the one hand, by Friday, when the action really gets started, I’ll be a week past my due date and the chances for a stillbirth start to go up. My blood pressure has been slowly creeping up into the unhealthy range the past couple of weeks. I haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep in weeks, and I know the longer this goes on, the more sapped and less prepared my body is going to be for labor. I’m enormous, exhausted and hurt constantly. At this point, there is no such thing as a comfortable position. Emotionally, I’m completely drained. For a variety of health reasons–both physical and emotional–I’ll be happy to get this thing over with.
At the same time, I’m fully aware that being induced dramatically increases my risk of c-section, especially as a first-time mom. Drugs can mimic your body’s natural processes, but nothing is a substitute for the real deal. They can’t always fool your body into doing something it isn’t ready to do. I really don’t want a c-section, not necessarily because I’m all about the natural birth experience, but because c-sections can have very real, long-term health consequences, and in the short-term, it will mean it will take me a lot longer to get back on my feet. Considering we’re moving in 3 weeks, I don’t have 2 weeks to recover from a major abdominal surgery.
I have lots of questions for my doctor in the morning. What exactly is the process for inducing at my hospital? I know I’ll start with cervidil tomorrow night. At what point would I be put on pitocin? Will I need to be continuously monitored, and if so, how mobile will I be able to be? Will they do an artificial rupture of membranes? (My preference would be not to, considering I know they won’t let me go home after that point.) Is there any sort of timeline to determine that an induction has failed, and what does failure mean? Can I go home, or will I get a c-section?
I’d still like to try going the natural route for things as much as possible. Being induced definitely screws with that, but I want to know what I can expect and how natural I will be allowed to go. I want to know in advance what kind of support I can expect from my doctor(s) and nurse(s).
Honestly, as worried as I am about a c-section, I’m almost just as worried about them sending me home if things fail to progress. I just can’t fathom having to do this for a few more days. Having to go another 18 hours seems like a lifetime…
So there you go. My very mixed feelings about being induced. In some ways, I’m very happy about it. In others, I’m very apprehensive. I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.