Inducing Labor Medically and Naturally: What I’VE Learned

My Baby Makin’ Machine is apparently SO GOOD that it just doesn’t want to shut off! Next time around I’m going to have to work on the “eject” button as a friend of mine put it.

I’m still having lots of contractions but they aren’t very strong, and they aren’t doing much as far as getting me more dilated and effaced. I’m not giving up hope though, and thinking maybe things will kick it up a notch before the little one arrives. A spontaneous birth does seem more exciting, and is usually better than getting induced.

For the record, I’m not being pushed into being induced, it’s my choice, I actually brought it up to my OB. She won’t even do them until you are over 41 weeks so the soonest I could be medically induced is at about 41 1/2 weeks. Not too bad if you ask me, since I’ll be only days away from 42 weeks in my pregnancy.

I’m no stranger to induction. My mom was induced with all four of the children she birthed because of going more than 42 weeks in her pregnancies. Even after her water broke when she was pregnant with me (early), contractions never picked up enough to get things going.

I don’t know if a lack of natural oxitocin could be genetic or something, but I suppose it’s a possibility.

Some people need or want fertility drugs, or progesterone to help get/ stay pregnant. Some people take medicine to cure a headache, I suppose we all pick our battles on when we are willing to let “nature take its course” and when we want a little bit of medical help.

At first, the realization of this possibility did make me feel a tiny bit bad. I mean, was there something WRONG with me if I couldn’t produce enough Oxitocin? Maybe I can and I’m just too impatient to know. Or maybe not. But then I thought for a moment–Even IF I went over 42 weeks and she didn’t come. Even if I end up medically NEEDING forceps, a vacuum, or csection to help get her out. Even IF naturally my body just doesn’t cut it… I FREAKING MADE A BABY! How much more of a miracle do I need? I’d almost feel selfish for wanting more when so many people need help, or have challenges conceiving. In the end I’m blessed with a baby–My baby.

Since my maternity leave has already begun I’m already loosing time with my little girl. That’s less time for learning to breastfeed, less time to bond, less time for lots of other important things in life besides just her birth. There are some business you can start from home like medical coding. Unfortunately my job isn’t like that. Unless things kick into gear before then, I’m planning to get induced Saturday.

Now this is a BIG “no no” to the natural birthing community. Especially since I’m not dying, leaking fluid, or more than 42 weeks pregnant, some people would say I should wait it out. I’ve thought and prayed about this a lot, and I’ve decided an induction this weekend is fine with me.

I did, however look into other natural-induction techniques beforehand and have pretty much exhausted all of my resources. If you’re pregnant and interested in getting things going maybe one of these will work for you. I recommend trying some of these before getting a medical induction but I also recommend talking to your doctor about some of these before you try it. Especially numbers 4, 6, and 7.

Besides lots of walking, here’s what I’ve tried:

1. Sex… LOTS of sex… and I know sex alone doesn’t do the trick, but trust me–The job gets done, and still, no baby.

2. Evening Primrose Oil
. I’ve been taking them orally and vaginally for weeks now. Sometimes I’m more consistent than others. I think it did help soften my cervix some, so I’ll keep taking it, but it’s not like it’s started labor or anything.

3. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. My husband moaned and groaned as he picked up the $7 box of organic potion. People swore by it so I tried it. The box is almost gone and while it may have prepared my uterus for labor, it hasn’t started it.

4. Nipple Stimulation. I tried this because again SO MANY people swore by it. It’s suppose to help release natural oxitocin in the body and get the uterus to contract. So much so that it’s actually warned, and you’re suppose to be careful with the usage. At first I tried it on my own after reading a few articles about how to do it. But since I’ve never breastfeed or anything I wasn’t convinced I was doing it right, so I busted out the breast pump. Still nothing. … And thank goodness nothing came out either cause it may have freaked me out.

I tried it when I was having a few contractions thinking it would make them stronger but it didn’t do anything.

5. Castor oil (topically). I read somewhere that drinking castor oil could induce labor, but so could applying it topically as a castor oil pack. So I went out, got some castor oil, rubbed it on my belly, and put a warm rice-filled sock on top. As silly as I looked (and smelled) I had really hoped it would do something. Besides, so many people SWEAR by castor oil. Nothing.

6. Castor oil (digestively). I didn’t think I would resort to giving this a try since I heard so many horror stories about diarrhea and discomfort, and even some possible side effects with it causing your baby to poop before she gets out of your uterus. But I got a great recipe from a doula friend who reads my blog who told me mixing an egg in with a certain shake would help it “stick” better.

2oz of castor oil, vanilla ice cream, an egg, and some milk… I gave it a shot. It didn’t taste that bad, but I normally don’t drink things that fast. As soon as I started to smell and taste the castor oil in the shake though it was hard to get it down without gagging. I finished it off but felt nauseous right after. I thought for sure I was going to throw it all back up, but I didn’t want that because I wanted it to WORK!

The egg didn’t do the trick with me as I had a MAJOR system clean out. Contractions did come, and they lasted almost and entire day but they never got very strong. I could have made a 2nd shake after 3 hours but I felt so horrible I didn’t think it was worth it. My husband told me “I told you so” and tended to me while I overcame my self-obtained sickness.

I didn’t learn my lesson though. One last resort, after my membranes were stripped I downed another oz of the crap before bed. I mixed it in with a cup of pudding… Ruining the pudding. I should have just taken a shot of the stuff then enjoyed my pudding afterwards. The side effects wasn’t as bad that time, contractions came stronger the next morning, but pittered out again.

I’ve read that this stuff works for SO many people, so I was really thinking it would work for me. When this failed, my faith in these “natural” techniques began to diminish.

7. Membrane Sweeping/Stripping. While this isn’t considered a “natural” induction technique, to me it’s better than the castor oil, and at least it’s releasing your natural prostaglandins (which everyone likes to point out is in sperm) and getting things going without increasing the risk of cesarean or causing infection.

I made the mistake of not asking about this sooner because some of my influences warned me it was an intervention–The same people who later suggested giving it a go once I started considering medical induction.

I had it done once and it didn’t hurt as bad as I expected… I’d heard a lot of people complain saying it hurt SO BAD, but I guess either my pain tolerance is higher than I thought, or maybe when it comes to getting this baby out, pain means progress!

I had my membranes swept Tuesday, and I’ve been having contractions ever since. We’ll see if they pick up. Normally you can get them swept around your 40 and 41 week appointment.

8. Positioning exercises. I know sometimes the baby just isn’t in the right position to get things going, so I’ve been trying all sorts of ways of sitting, rolling, and bouncing on my birthing ball. Knee-chest position. Walking up the stairs sideways, sleeping differently. It hasn’t started labor, but hopefully it’s still helped get her ready for it.

9. Acupressure. I looked up some youtube videos of pressure points and tried these. The ones on my legs and feet are hard to do since they’re so swollen full of water, but I’ve tried them on my hands and other places and it doesn’t seem to have done anything.

Some other things I looked into but haven’t tried are acupuncture, and blue and black Cohosh. I decided I was done with the herbs, and done spending money on trying to get this baby out. Maybe she’s not “ready” maybe not… Or maybe she is, but she needs a little help getting out. This takes me to the medical induction research I’ve done.

First off I was want to say how COMPLETELY DISAPPOINTED I am in that there isn’t much information out there on how to have a better medical induction. Everything I find either says pitocin is the devil, avoid it at all costs, or gives suggestions on how to avoid it. Nothing really breaks down ways to use it responsibly, or ways to make it more likely to succeed.

Well, great. Thing is, this is what I’ve decided to do, and it would be nice if there were more articles out there for people who either decide to have an elected induction, or who need to be induced. Otherwise I feel like they’re saying: “sorry, you’re screwed, it’s a lost cause.”

I know that’s not true though because my mom has perfectly fine inductions, and I’ve known several people to have them before their due dates even, and be fine. That said, I also know of people (mostly online) who it didn’t work out for an ended with sad stories of csections and personal promises to never get the drug again.

A lot of people also talk about the pain of contractions being stronger than regular contractions. To that, I see it the same way as I see birthing a “big baby.” Since it’s my first, I don’t really have anything else to compare this experience to. I’m sure it will hurt, but it’s not like I’ve labored naturally before and will notice the difference.

Here’s a good breakdown I read about pitocin from

“When inducing labor with pitocin, it works best when the uterus is ready to receive it. Giving pitocin before the uterus is ready or ripe enough to receive it is likely to produce a long drawn out, unsuccessful labor. There are natural and medical ways of ripening a cervix, both having to do with prostaglandins. Ask your doctor what you Bishop’s score is before you agree to a pitocin only induction. If it is under 5, labor is likely to be unsuccessful, and you may want to inquire about prostaglandin inductions as well.

This was pretty much as good as it got. Not many details, or much more than I already knew, but at least it was a little promising. I talked to my OB and I’m going to get Cervidil (one of those ripening agents) first. She says there’s a chance labor could get going on its own and I won’t need any pitocin. I’m thinking positive but not holding my breath, just knowing how many other things “got labor going” but not strong enough.

I’ve pieced together my own research to find things that help make medical inductions more likely to succeed.

The first resource I used–believe it or not–was something I learned in my Lamaze book. Yes, even though me not allowing labor to start on it’s own is breaking their #1 rule of healthy birth practices, (hey, I plan to keep the other 5!), I found in their book they break down some things that help make inductions more likely to succeed.

That’s where I read for the first time about a bishop score. Basically it rates you based on your effacement (how thinned out your cervix is), dilation (how far open your cervix is), how soft your cervix is, position of your cervix, and station (how far down your baby has come).

The score is added up and between 1-10. The higher your number, the more likely you are to have a successful medical induction. As of Tuesday my score was a 6. According to this site, a score of 7 or higher for first time mothers has about a 1.4% chance of ending in a c-section. Of course, it would be ideal if I could get to a 10 before starting any pitocin.

I’m a dork, but for $.99 I downloaded this ap to keep track of how my score is. It’s easy to look at, plug in the numbers, and understand.Sharing what I've learned all about Inducing Labor Medically and Naturally. I wanted to share my experience with you all and give you a look. Sharing what I've learned all about Inducing Labor Medically and Naturally. I wanted to share my experience with you all and give you a look. There are also other options for medical induction. That’s a GREAT article by one of my very smart friends who writes for, and she breaks down the positives and negatives of each very well–From breaking the bag of waters to things like Prostaglandin Gels.

I’m still weighing my options and thinking about the positives and negatives of breaking my bag of waters before trying pitocin and vice versa. If my water is broken then I basically start the clock for getting the baby out within 24 hours. But it also allows me to walk around without having an IV, and not need continual fetal monitoring. However an IV isn’t the end of the world, and they do have wireless monitors which I could probably still use to move around.

Prolonged or premature rupture of the membranes (water breaking) does subtract a point from my bishop score, but I’ve also read on other sites that pitocin is more effective if your water has broken so I’m still trying to weigh these options. Breaking your water before the baby is engaged though is a BAD idea because you can risk the baby’s head coming down on top of the umbilical cord and that basically cuts off her circulation and then you need an emergency csection. Based on where I saw her head in my ultrasound Tuesday it doesn’t look like her head is super low, so I’ll probably pass on water-breakage.

The nice thing is Pitocin can always be turned off if things get going, or even if happened to change my mind. Once my water has broken I pretty much should stay. I see myself talking extensively with my OB about the pros and cons of each. Speaking of which, I’m so glad she’s working that day!

I’m hoping the Cervidil, and maybe trying a foley catheter (which basically is like a balloon that goes in your cervix, and falls out once it’s dilated to a certain point) before pitocin.

So, there’s a few of my thoughts on it all. Hopefully putting all of my thoughts down may help someone else out there who’s looking for the same information I am. I wish there was more out there on good rates to increase the pitocin, and at what point I can turn it off without contractions stopping instead of the black and white “pitocin sucks vs pitocin helps.”

The more I know the better I’ll feel if I do end up being medically induced. I plan to re-work my birth-wishes to add more about different medical induction options. I also hope to make good friends with my nurse and just stay informed and have fun through the process.

Yes, have fun! I had a dream last night that I was jamming around the room and working through my contractions. My husband and I were having a blast. The dream got weird when they switched my baby with some 3-year-old white kid, but that’s beside the point. I feel confidant and excited to have my little girl. I’m not worried about being taken advantage of, and I am not afraid to ask questions and made my own decisions.

Who knows, maybe Lil’ J will surprise us and decide to show up before her appointment. Either way, I know the way she’s born won’t matter to me once she’s here, I suppose I just like being in the know. Just wish us luck and please, keep us in your prayers!

PS: If you have POSITIVE lessons about induction please share! I’d love to hear how it went for you.

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  1. My Lesson about induction is don’t give up. I tried Cervadil but it didn’t do anything for me. I was on Pit for 36 hours and finally had a vaginal birth. The baby was fine the entire time and no emergency c section needed. I know you’ve heard a lot from the nay sayers but I love your post. I think you’ve done your research and I don’t think you should let ANYONE 2nd guess your choices even if they have mounds of “research” to back up their opinion. You have my full support. Remember what I said- Your baby, and Your body. You are the mama! (JosiahsMommy)

  2. I feel so sorry for you when you begin to tell “us” what you have decided is best for “you!” Holy cow…people…back up OFF of the Baby Makin’ Machine….okay?????? Sheesh…okay. #1 worked for me. I think the key here….is….orgasm. Oh crap, I said it! Not that you are NOT having one….but, if you can make it really intense…for a minute of more…I think you may be in luck! I went into labor…almost right after! Good luck little lady, I am praying for ya’ll! Oh yeah, that 3 year old white kid was Lil J in your future. Did your dream forget to put the red hair on her??????? Funny how dreams are! Ha!

  3. I know a lot of people who have had very successful inductions using Pitocin – and have heard that it’s much more successful after 40 weeks.

    Here’s a birth story of someone who was induced at 38 weeks for a medical reason and it was a successful vaginal birth!

    I think her main concern was similar to yours – avoiding a c-section.

    And although I consider myself pro-natural, every person is different, every baby is different, and every woman’s body is different. So there’s no judgment from me (just wanted to respond to the idea that everyone who is pro-natural would be against doing anything otherwise!).

  4. Had my membranes stripped with the oldest and it hurt like hell and didn’t do a think. With the second baby had it done on Friday, and had mucus leaking all day Sat and baby was born early, early, Sunday morning. Girl, you are just like regular first time moms, you just want it to be over with so you can kiss and love all over your little girl. I say, let nature take it’s course. Things are starting to happen and that’s a good sign. Don’t worry, she’s coming.

  5. My friend was induced 3x. The first (she had high blood pressure)they broke her water because they needed to put internal monitors on baby (his heart rate dropped at one point but changing positions helped). She wasn’t progressing fast enough and the inserted a balloon type thing in her cervix to force it to open more. She had a healthy 9lb11oz baby just before the 24hr mark.

    The 2nd was size of baby and went fine. He was 9lbs 9oz at 37 weeks.

    The 3rd was more a convenience. Dr. offered she took it due to two other children to take care of /plan for. She kept waiting to get the Epi. When she finally decided she wanted it it was too late. She had her with no Epi and was okay with the pitocin contractions until the end.

    Doesn’t everyone get pitocin after birth anyway to help contract the uterus back down or was that just me because I had issues?

  6. You have definitely done your research! I’m praying that you have a safe and healthy labor and delivery- no matter how it happens!

    Just wanted to say a couple things-
    About red raspberry tea: I’ve never heard of it helping anyone go into labor when they started drinking it when the baby was due. It’s supposed to be taken throughout the entire pregnancy. And also the tea bags rarely do much except burn a hole in your wallet. The actual tea leaves are much much more effective! ๐Ÿ™‚

    One thing you might try…if you feel like trying anything else…is to eat an entire pineapple core. I did one morning and had my baby that night {I was 4 days overdue} and my friend did one night and she had her baby the next day {she was also several days overdue}. Just an idea.

  7. I don’t comment on blogs every often but I figured that I would share my induction story. I was 8 days past my due date with my first child. My water broke but I didn’t actually know that it was my water breaking and I didn’t experience any contractions. Long story short, I had an ultrasound the next day, they saw that my water broke, and they put me on pitocin. I was freaking out because I wanted a natural birth and didn’t think that it would be possible with the pitocin. I had an IV but I didn’t let that slow me down. I was going to have as much of a natural birth as possible. I walked, I used the birthing ball, and the birthing pool. The birthing pool helped me go from a 4cm to 8cm in an hour. The contractions were out of this world but I had my mind set to do it as “natural” as I could. 9 hours of labor/pushing later, my son was born. At the end of the day, I did what I needed to do to deliver my son and you will too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I really have no information to share – I’m 7 months pregnant with my first so I haven’t quite gotten to the labor horror stories phase yet. However, I did want to mention that I had a dream similar to yours. In mine, hubby and I were in the hospital room with music on. I kept dancing through contractions and having a great time. We were having so much fun that the nurses would join us! I like that dream – it was the first time I wasn’t freaked out about the labor and birth, but actually looked forward to it!

  9. I don’t have personal experience with inductions, but I’d suggest that you prepare mentally and physically for a long process. In other words, rest rest rest before you start. Keep yourself nourished and hydrated during the induction. Pace yourself. Don’t use up all your labor coping techniques too soon, only to find yourself up a creek still in “early labor.” Stay mobile and try different laboring positions. Ask about using wireless telemetry so you can move around and be monitored without being tethered to the monitor (which usually gives you a short leash of about 4-5 feet).

    And if it doesn’t take as long as expected–great! But if it does end up taking a while (first births do generally, and inductions can often take longer since your body hasn’t gone into labor spontaneously), then you’re prepared for that.

    You might also want to ask your docs about their Pit protocols: how often is it upped? How much at a time? Are they willing to adjust/level off the dosage if you feel it’s too much/too fast? (Well, this is something the nurses will be doing, with permission from the docs, so keep that in mind).

    And of course ask your docs what tips they’d suggest for a better/more effective medical induction.

  10. I’m sorry you’ve had such a stressful time with people criticising your choices! You have nothing to apologise for — you’re making the choices that are right for you. It’s too bad that you’re having trouble finding some balanced advice out there, I hope you manage to turn something up!

    And if nothing happens tomorrow, good luck on Saturday!

  11. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do! It’s your choice and you shouldn’t feel like you have to explain yourself.

  12. I don’t have any induction tips, but I wanted to say I’m so impressed with your positive and strong outlook on the whole thing. You’re such an amazing woman Jennifer! Lil’ J is so lucky to have such a strong-willed incredible momma like yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I was in the same boat. My son was 7 days late(according to the doctor but he came in his own time!) While waiting for the doctor to call me back, at the 40 week appointment, a lady in the waiting room told me to suck my thumb and that it was a trick from her family. I didn’t do it and have a healthy son!

    Although waiting is so not fun, you’re one smart cookie and know you’ll find something to help get Lil J out! Whew!

  14. I was induced with both my babies. The first was three days past due. Pitocin started at 8a.m., pushing started at 9p.m., he was out at 11 p.m. Very normal time frame for a first delivery (and he was even good sized at 9lbs 3oz). My doctor cheerfully told me before we started the induction that morning, “You’re almost dilated to a 1!” But I was fully effaced, and he was definitely engaged. For my second baby, we induced 7 days before her due date. It went very smoothly. Pitocin started at 6a.m., started pushing at 2:55 p.m., she was out at 3:03 p.m. I don’t have any non-Pitocin induced contractions to compare with, but I noticed that the contractions before my water broke were much more pleasant than the ones after.
    Also, with both labors, I had a mobile IV pole and a wireless monitor, and they encouraged me to get up and walk around as much as I wanted. Every once in a while, the nurse would stop me in the hall to readjust the monitor. They even let me go in the tub with the monitor on. I was more concerned about the amniotic fluid puddles I was leaving behind.
    I hope you get to go into labor on your own, but a Pit induction is a safe alternative, and the vast majority of the time leads to a very standard labor and delivery experience.

  15. It’s hot you are ready to have your baby it will happen. I was went in after being overdue at dilated at a 3 for a month before my due date. We went with no drugs and after 27hours we ended up in a c-section only b/c they found her cord was around her neck. Praying for you and your little one. It’s all going to work out.

  16. Baby #1: Induced with pit at 42 wks. No progress after 8 hours so they shut it off to let me sleep. Started ctx on my own and delivered a 9lb 3oz boy 12 hours later. Dose of Nisentil

    Baby #2: Water broke at 41 weeks and delivered a 9lb 10oz girl after 4 hours of labor. No drugs

    Babies #3 & #4: AROM (broke waters) at 38 wks. Baby boy A (7lb 1oz)born after 6 hours (no drugs). Baby boy B (7lb 9oz) was born 2 hours later (no drugs).

    Given the same circumstances today, I would most likely have different outcomes. They usually don’t turn pit off once it’s started (ALWAYS ask!). I probably would have been told my 2nd baby was “too big” and either been induced at 38 wks or c-sectioned. If you find a doc that doesn’t insist on a c-section for twins, they wouldn’t let you go 2 hours in between births. I’m thankful for my outcomes, but if I could have one more…I’d do a water birth in my bedroom surrounded by candles, music on my Bose, eating whatever I felt like, no monitors attached and I or my husband would catch our baby. I now have the pleasure of helping to create that environment as a doula and I am blessed. Every birth is a miracle from God :0)

  17. You just do what you gotta do to get that baby here happy and healthy. I was induced with both of my prgancies because of hypertension. I have no idea if pictocin is more painful than going into labor naturally (though I’ve been told it is). Labor sucks (in my opinion), but soooo worth it. An I did get epidurals (pain=higher blood pressure) which seemed like a better thing than getting put on magnesium! But that’s mt story. Everyone gets to have their own special story. Including you!

  18. I’ve been induced with two of my three kids and they were both completely awesome. I had absolutely no problem with the pitocin, my babies were never in any sort of distress at all, and everything went very smoothly. Both inductions were done 8 or 9 days early because I have freakishly fast labors and my doctor wanted me to avoid having the baby in the car or something like that. Both babies were completely fine, as far as having had enough time to cook, and were very healthy. I also epidurals and had no problems with those. Oh, and just a warning in case you haven’t figured this one out (no one told me), once you start nursing, your uterus begins to contract and it hurts! So, just expect that for your first few days of nursing!

  19. haha – you’re HONEST and you DO YOUR RESEARCH! I love that about you! that is soooo very me as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t believe the motivation you have to blogblogblog too – I’m sure it’s helping to take your mind off of the waiting though!

    Good luck girl! No advice here – just fur-children for now ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll let you know next summer…

  20. When I talked about wanting an induction in my first pregnancy, my friend looked at me with pain in her eyes and said “Whatever you do, don’t get Pitocin.” I laughed it off and figured whatever she had experienced wouldn’t happen to me because I was different.

    10 minutes into the Pitocin contractions, I understood what she meant. I actually became ANGRY at her that she had not held me down and said “STOP BEING STUBBORN AND LISTEN TO THIS – YOU WILL NEED THIS INFORMATION.” Instead, I live with my cesarean scar now.

    I wouldn’t let them give me Pitocin the next time – and I got my VBAC because of it.

  21. I was induced at 41 weeks with my first baby after a normal and healthy pregnancy. It was a positive experience for me. We were scheduled to go in at 5:30 AM and I ate a half a bagel beforehand because I knew it would be a while before I could eat again. My Pit drip started about 7:30 AM and my son was born a little after 3 PM. My contractions were not terrible and my water broke on its own when I was bouncing on a birthing ball. I actually did not feel a lot of pain until I was almost ready to push. My doctor was awesome and numbed my up “down there” so I did not feel the burn I have heard of when babies come out.

    Overall, my induction experience was a good one. Don’t worry about what others say about your labor. After all, it is YOUR labor. And sweetie, the advice won’t stop after the baby is born. People are going to tell you how to raise your child and what you should and should not be doing. In the end follow your instincts. They will tell you what you should do for YOU and YOUR baby and YOUR family.

  22. I was given pitocin with both my babies. It didn’t work for #1 (fetal distress resulted in a C/S) and I only got it with #2 because my labor stalled (water had already broken spontaneously, though). It worked the second time! I went from being stuck at a 4 to a 10 in two hours. Whee! Good thing I had an epidural because those contractions were MONSTROUS.

    Like I said before, statistics don’t matter, but your instinct always does. If you feel like you need to go this route, please do it. Don’t say, “But the NCB community will scorn me!” Because there ARE a lot of complications that can arise in late gestation. Placental breakdown, infection, fetal distress … You have to go with your gut!

  23. I wasnt induced but cannot believe you are still pregnant :O)
    Youre doing great and almost done…unless youre going to be the first woman ever to stay pregnant for an eternity

    Good luck. Ill be here waiting!

  24. Well girl I’m very impressed at your research. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ANY MAMA: do your due diligence and make your OWN decision based on the information you collect. Ignorance is what creates regret – it’s only when we learn stuff after the fact that we feel frustrated and angry that we had not done our research. Making an informed decision is sooo key.

    For a comparison though – I was induced with #1 because I was stuck at 4cm, waters broken, then pitocin… and I would not recommend EITHER. That cascade of interventions that begun did NOT end in a c-sec (though they damn well tried) because I was so stubborn (I actually had to ASK the OB WHY he wanted to cut me, and he couldn’t give me a reason, so I told him until he had a VALID medical reason, he was NOT cutting me open). 9lb 14.5oz baby came out the hole he was meant to, albeit via forceps and a BRUTAL episiotomy, after 49 hours and 13 minutes of labour. Postpartum hemmorrhage, retained placenta, and TEN MONTHS until I could make love to my husband without pain because of the episiotomy scar.

    Baby #2, I was recommended that I should have an elective c-sec because “you make big babies,” and was told that I would NOT be allowed to go past my due date (read: induction at 40w on the dot). Paranoid about my first experience, I booked in for induction accupuncture (with our chiro/naturopath) for 37w4d… thinking, “well, baby1 was a long haul, this will probably take a few tries to get stuff going.” …… WRONG. Baby #2 was born 2 days later, after exactly 4 hours of labour, 100% natural, in HIS BAG, with NOT a single tear, not even a fissure…. at 9 pounds.

    I’m 22w with baby #3, and I WILL do accupuncture again… but I’m gonna wait until 39w5d…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Needless to say I can not recommend accupuncture more highly to a woman who wants to have a natural birth.

    Good luck with it all, can’t wait to hear the news!

  25. Found you via Dagmar. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My first pregnancy, I went to 41 weeks, and then induced because baby was huge and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Was given Cervidil and a dose of Ambien at about 2am (checked into the hospital at 12:01am), Pit at 9, had a baby before noon. (15 minutes of pushing. 9 pound baby.)

    A year and a half later, was induced with baby #2 at 39 weeks because of Gestational Diabetes. Was given Cytotec orally (this was before I knew that this drug was potentially bad news), Pit several hours later (was in a military hospital, and had to wait my turn), NO PUSHING, 8.5 pound baby came out on her own. (That was pretty cool.)

    A year after THAT, was induced at 38 weeks because of psychological issues (my second baby was killed, and the midwife wanted to make sure that she could be in my room throughout my labor and keep a close eye on me afterward in case I did anything nutty.) Had my membranes swept, water manually broken, Pit, two hours later and one or two good pushes, had a baby. (Could’ve had him much faster, but we were waiting to see if he’d push himself out like #2 did. He was 8 pounds.)

    Not one intervention was needed to get any of my babies out – no episiotomy, forceps, none of that. And because I went so fast, there was never talk of c-section. Breastfed all of them just fine.

    My body just takes well to induction, I guess. If/when I ever get pregnant again, I’d like to try to go into labor the old-fashioned way, but being induced was NOT the end of the world for any of my three go-rounds. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once your kid starts walking, nobody will care to ask you what your labor was like. I agree that in the end, it is YOUR labor.

    (P.S. My favorite was induction #1, because I slept through a lot of early labor. I vaguely remember feeling some of it, but I wasn’t even really all the way awake when they hooked me up to the Pit.)

  26. I had a very successful induction at 41.5 weeks. I must have had a very high bishops score though because I walked in 4cm dilated, 100 percent effaced and and -1 station. Elise was born 13 hours later. I managed to do it all without an epidural until I was about 8cm and maybe in transition. My only advice is to try to put the epidural off as much as you can just in case it stalls the labor.

    You’ll do great.

  27. I had a successful induction around 40 weeks because my back was in so much pain. I walked into the L&D ward and I was 5 cm dilated. The nurses kept asking why the midwives sent me home.The nurses started the drip around 11 pm, my water broke around 1 am and my son was born at 618 am. I did have an epidural but it did not help with my pain, not even when he added a second dose!
    Overall, if I had to “evict” my child again, I would surely go the induction route.

    Good luck and I hope your beautiful daughter comes soon!

  28. I have had 1 labor that progressed on its own…my first, and it was EXTREMELY painful, major back pain…I attribute it to baby position. After an epidural, life was good.

    2nd baby water broke, no progress, and had pitocin. Also very painful, again baby in same position. Epidural made me a happy mamma again.

    Baby 3 and 4, water broke, no progress, had pitocin, but labor was not very painful in comparison to first 2 the last babies were in the right position.

    For me the pain had more to do with baby’s position rather than the pitocin.

    Medical intervention is also a blesssing ๐Ÿ™‚ most of my babies or I may not have lived without intervention.

    I wouldn’t think of getting a root canal or tooth pulled without anesthesia…just for the experience of it. But good for those who do.

    For me,

  29. wow, well you have certainly done your homework, way to go!!!! I had a natural birth plan myself and for the most part got it however things don’t always go as planned. My little one came at 32 weeks, my water spontaneously broke on it’s own and within 7 hours I was in labor at a hospital I’d not planned to birth at (needed a nicu). My BF had 2 planned inductions and the babies came on THAT day on their own. I wish you the very best and can’t wait to see that baby =)

  30. I had pit with Hayden because my labor slowed/stopped after my water broke. I’m hoping this time I don’t need it. I *think* that it made my labor harder and I’m sure I have a high pain tolerance but I just couldn’t keep going without an epi. I was even stressing my husband. My birth goal for this one is to not use it unless i need it.

    Good luck this weekend! I can’t wait to hear you gave birth to baby J!

  31. I know you are tired of the advice, but I thought I’d share my story with you.

    I was in pro-dermal labor for 10 days with contractions every 5 minutes and lasting 30-60sec each. A friend had suggested that my baby’s head wasn’t sitting directly on my cervix and recommended sitting on a yoga ball and doing hip circles. I sat on the ball and did homework and hip circles for probably 3 hrs. I gave up around midnight and went to bed. I woke up at 4am, with different contractions. They were harder. I had my daughter 7hrs later and a successful vbac.

  32. Oh hunny, castor oil is soooo awful! I should have warned you. My son was late so I resorted to downing the nasty stuff to try to get things going. At least you made a shake though. I tried mixing mine with orange juice but all it did was separate into tapioca sized balls of nasty. And then I spent the rest of the day in the bathroom. That was a Thursday and my son was born on Sunday….so whether it got the ball rolling or whether it was just his time, there’s really no way of knowing. Good luck though!

  33. My first kid induction…here it goes….
    Gave the hubby a truckload of cash then proceeded to tell him to go scout all over our little town for the spiciest burrito, most caffeinated soda (turned out to be Coca Cola French Vanilla Wild Cherry…I think currently discontinued) and a Mountain Dew, and a GIANT cherry slush from 7 Eleven. My reasoning was that since I was the most cautious of pregnant women through the whole pregnancy not touching a single drop of those things that this first time over the top indulgence would get my little boys legs kickin’ and itching to come out.

    So when I put atomic hot sauce on that mondo burrito and chugged two cans of soda and downed that Slushi what happened next was what I planned all along…..

    INDUCTION!!!! Water broke 3 hours after that, and I was holding my baby 5 hours after that.

    I’m telling ya Jenn, feel the burn….Taco Bell awaits! ;o)

    My best, Lynn

  34. I think you made a great point about the fertilty drugs and the other benefits of drugs when we have other ailments! Its your body and your choice and you do what’s best for you. Sometimes out bodies just fail us (not that yours did) and needs a little help or push! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish you nothing but the best of luck!

  35. I will admit upfront that I don’t know much about medical induction, but I can tell you a couple of things:
    1–stay away from cytotec. It’s an ulcer medication, not approved for use in pregnancy, and yet frequently pulled out as an induction drug–and it has caused more than a few serious injuries and deaths. There are other methods, avoid cytotec!
    2–visualize the baby out–in your arms, etc. One of my friends spent her whole pregnancy enjoying being pregnant, and when she finally delivered (at 43 weeks) she concluded that probably the reason her body never kicked into gear to get the baby out is that she never visualized the baby on the outside so her body didn’t ‘know’ to go into labor. I know that sounds cheesy, but I do think it helps. I spend the last couple weeks of my pregnancy talkign to my babies, telling them I’m excited to have them out, to hold them, to see them, and that they can come out anytime now because mommy is ready… I suspect you’re doing some of that, but in case you weren’t it’s something to try.

    For the record, I had two miscarriages where the fetus stopped growing 3-4 weeks before I actually miscarried. My body is *very* good at staying pregnant, even when there’s no reason for it. And my full-term babies did eventually make it out…they all do. I know you have work schedules and things to work around, and I’m glad you’ve had the wisdom to at least make sure you’re postdates before considering induction (your OB sounds like a good one). If you do end up going the induction route, try to still do all the labor-helping things–being upright and moving as long as you can will help no matter how labor starts. And warm water (shower/pool) made a HUGE difference for me I can’t recommend them enough.

    Have a beautiful birth day and a happy babymoon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Oh, and if you ever try to give it another shot…my mom’s midwife recommended mixing the castor oil with scrambled eggs…they are a little greasy but the flavor is covered. (no personal experience there, so ymmv)

  37. I am planning on writing a post about Norah’s birth with lots of detail sometime soon, but even though my labor started on it’s own, her positioning made it se we needed to get her out fairly quickly so they put me on pit. It didn’t suck and I have no complaints, so don’t worry ๐Ÿ™‚ granted, I elected to have a epidural (and LOVED it) so I didn’t feel much, but it was nice to help speed up the process or else I would have ended up having to have a c-section.

    1. Thank you, Gina, for this amazing gift! How sciepal and precious to feel like we were there! Another miracle! Even more sciepal for us since we just got to meet Wren, hold her in our arms and welcome her into our family! Our love to you Ty, Gretchen, Carter, Whitleigh and Wren! Mom & Dad, John & Joni and Grandma & Grandpa

  38. Well now that you’ve made the appointment to be induced you’ll probably go into labor naturally. ๐Ÿ™‚ That happened to me! The night before I was due to be induced… I’m pretty sure I told you that before. Still, they ended up giving me Pitocin because my water didn’t break all of the way (hard to believe!).

    I don’t love Pitocin (evil evil evil! haha) but I didn’t love many parts of labor. The best part is that no matter HOW you have the baby, you are able to hold that little one in your arms after all that work. And it fades into the background. So amazing, such a miracle. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and I can’t believe you did all of that to get labor going! lol I thought I did a lot but mainly the more conservative ones. I’m glad you survived it. Here’s hoping you’ve started the ball rolling and you’ll go into labor soon!

  39. I wish there were more positive stories out there about being medically induced. I went into labor naturally, but still had to have pitocin to get things moving.

  40. I was induced with my 2nd son at 38 1/2 weeks for a big baby (first son was 10lbs 4oz. via scheduled c-section) well it didn’t work so they sent me home. 2 weeks later they induced again. (I was trying for a VBAC, which is a no no for induction)

    Here is my birth story if you get a chance to read it

    I had him naturally. I only had Nubain, I didn’t have an epidural. The contractions weren’t too bad until they broke my water. Then they hurt!!

    Good Luck today.

  41. Thanks for your thorough covering of induction. I knew about all those natural methods, and have tried about half of them in the past. I’ve never had to wait until week 42 though–you’re a trouper! I learned my Bishop’s score is about 7 1/2 a few days ago. I didn’t know that breaking the water before the baby is engaged could land them on the umbilical cord and make you get an emergency c-section–good to know!

  42. You probably won’t read this because you’re probably having a baby right now, but just in case, I thought I would let you know that I was put on pitocin for both of my babies. They were both born on their due date. The first, I was having pretty steady and strong contractions, but they stopped, so to keep them going, I was put on pitocin. With the 2nd, they thought that the cord was possibly below his head at my 40 week appointment, so they sent me to the hospital. I had to be checked about 4000 times before they told me that they wouldn’t send me home. I was having strong contractions by this point, probably from all that prodding down there, but they were inconsistent. I was put on pitocin once again to steady things up. They didn’t want me going home and having my water break if the cord was in the way. I was really afraid for a c-section, but everything worked out (it wasn’t the cord) and I had a healthy baby. And, by the way, in both births, they turned the pitocin off as soon as my body was doing everything on its own. Also, they had to break my water with both babies, but as soon as it was broken, the baby was out within 20 minutes. Good luck to you!

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