August's Birth Story: Part I


Roughly one week before my due date I went in for a sonogram to see where things stood. This sonogram revealed a very healthy baby that they suspected was already around 8 pounds.  His size spurred the question: Should we induce?

Going into pregnancy I'd read a lot of horror stories. I was convinced (and maybe still am) by my friends and families experiences and by documentaries like The Business of Being Born that doctors are not on your side when it comes to natural child birth. And I don't just mean whether or not drugs are given to ease the pain. I mean the whole birthing process. Doctors seemed take an overly medical and rushed approach to bringing life into the world. It's scheduled. It's invasive. It's unnatural.

I was right about this and I was wrong about this. But more on that later...

When the question came up my initial feeling was that I didn't want to induce. I think that your body knows best when your baby is ready to come and my preference was to wait until things happened naturally---not to do anything artificial like pitocin or breaking my water. Plus I'd heard pitocin made for more painful and unnatural laboring.

My doctor's take on it was...we can wait...but if we wait the chances of a c-section are increased the bigger the baby gets and a week over might mean a 10 lb baby. 2 weeks over could mean an 11 lb baby. Inducing might help avoid a c-section since the likeliness of cesareans increases everyday that you go over your due date. On the other hand, your chances of having to have an emergency c-section also go up when you induce compared to natural labor. Something like 30% of women who are induced end up having a c-section.  One of my close friends had been induced 2 weeks earlier and ended up having a c-section. Yet I knew other people, including 2 women in my immediate family who had been induced and still had their babies (otherwise) naturally. And if I went too far over, they'd induce anyway. So it felt kind of like a numbers game.

We eventually decided to induce. I should say I somewhat reluctantly agreed to induce. I felt a little pressured but I also knew that I could say no if I wanted. I just didn't really know how I felt about it. I second guessed myself. I almost called my doctor to say I'd changed my mind more than once. Pros. Cons. Good. Bad. I was conflicted. But what I did know was that I wanted my baby here. I was tired of being pregnant. I knew I wanted my mom to be able to be there which was suddenly possible where before it had not been. And my feelings about induction weren't strong "no-never" sort of feelings.

Maybe if I'd had a midwife or a doctor more set on natural childbirth we wouldn't have induced. And maybe I could have demanded to wait. And maybe I should have. I don't know. I am well aware that you can have a 9 or 10 lb baby naturally as both my mother and mother-in-law did. But I didn't demand we wait. And it's done. So I refuse to regret it. Who knows what would have happened if we'd waited? Maybe things would have gone the same way, and maybe they would have been different. Regardless, I have a healthy baby boy at the end of does it really matter?

So on a Sunday evening I ate my 'last meal', double-checked my bags, installed the car seat into my car, and off to the hospital we went.

The plan was to "prep" me the night before and induce early Monday morning. I figured after a day of labor we'd have a baby by Monday evening...

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