When I was 40 plus weeks pregnant with my first child and staring down the face of an imminent induction, I did what most women (ill advisedly) do. I Googled. Wide-eyed and terrified, I read horror story after horror story about labor inductions. The night before I was scheduled to be induced, I could barely sleep. Every horrible detail from the internet kept playing through my head. Was that to be my birth story too? Unbearable pain and a never ending labor ending in a C-section??
Well, I am happy to share that I had quite the opposite experience — a very positive if not enjoyable (can labor be enjoyable?!) experience with induction.
My labor clock started promptly at 9:00AM when my nurse gave me my first low dose of Pitocin. Quickly after that, my doctor broke my water and things really took off! The one thing I will admit is that I was not prepared for the contractions. Wowzers. I hadn’t even had any Braxton Hicks contractions. (At least none that I knew of. But, then again, I was a first time mom!) So I didn’t know what to expect. I dealt with them through gritted teeth for a couple of hours while experiencing back labor between each wave. After two hours, I hadn’t dilated any further than when we arrived. I was disappointed and in so much pain. I couldn’t focus.
From the beginning of my pregnancy, I planned on getting an epidural. I had been advised time and again, however, to wait as long as I possibly could. I felt like two measly hours was too soon to give in. But I could hold out no longer. The epidural went in flawlessly, and the relief was heavenly. Suddenly, I could get comfortable, relax, and actually enjoy myself.
My contractions remained strong and regular enough that they were able to keep my Pitocin at the lowest dose. My fabulous nurse came in and put my legs in these funny pretzel positions while I was on my side. She claimed that they help encourage the baby to descend into the birth canal—but I digress. For the next four hours, I chatted with family, opened baby gifts, watched Netflix—and napped. It was so nice.
Amazingly, once I could relax, my body progressed quite quickly.
By noon, I was dilated to a 5 (I had come in at a 2), 2:00PM, I was a 7. Thirty minutes later, I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push. I could not believe it! Everyone and their mother (and even my doctor) had warned me to expect a long, drawn out labor that spanned days—not hours. Instead, I was ready to push after a mere six hours.
I did push for two hours. This was, without a doubt, the most exhausting part of labor. Labor indeed! Things got a little intense at the end, but I honestly don’t believe it had anything to do with the induction process. Miss priss got stuck behind my pelvic bone which was causing her heart rate to plummet with each contraction. Thankfully, my nurses and doctor (along with about ten other people who were suddenly in my room) jumped into action and quickly got her out with the aid of the vacuum. Before we knew it, we welcomed a perfectly healthy 7 pound baby girl into this world!
From start to finish, my whole labor was eight hours long, with two of those hours being pushing.
I was shocked at how quickly it went. And so were all of our family and friends. In fact, my best friend missed it because she was certain I wouldn’t deliver until the middle of the night! The aspect that resonated with me the most, however, was that it was an unbelievably great experience. All of my fears about being induced proved to be unfounded. I know that not everyone has such an easy time with induction. But then again? Some people don’t have an easy time with natural labor either, right?