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shall I ask for induction? Is it so bad?

(43 Posts)
KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 08:39:57

I'm 7 days overdue tomorrow and there doesn't seem to be anything happening. It's the first, last and only baby I'll be having and I just want to see it safely out and in my arms where we can all make sure it's ok.

My mw has left the option of an elective c-section on the table (for no medical reason) but I would like to give birth as naturally as possible. I've got a sweep booked for tomorrow, if mw thinks it will help, but I wondered about asking her to send me to the hospital to be induced. Am I mad? My nct teacher would choke on her muesli.

MamaG Tue 01-Sep-09 08:45:48

I certainly wouldn't go for the CS unless it was for a good medical reason and I'm very surprised your MW have offered it to you!

Be patient, hang in there - most hospitals have a policy re induction of X days overdue (some 10, some 14) so they woudln't induce you before their stated time unless there was a medical reason. Sweeps can get things going.

You have my sympathies. I was 10 days over with first baby, 11 with second and 6 with third(and last) baby

I was induced with the first two and it was OK, I had nothing to compare it to and didn't know whether it was more painful than a "normal" birth or not. In fact, with second baby i didn't have any pain relief! Not for any heroic reasons, it was jsut a quick birth grin

With third baby I went into labour naturally and I was so pleased, after two inductions.

SO. Enjoy your last few days at home, get the choc in, get the DVDs in, go for a nice gentle stroll and just wait for things to happen. If they don't, the hospital WILL induce you, prob in no more than a week

Good luck

Scorps Tue 01-Sep-09 08:46:57

A normal pregnancy is up to 42 weeks

I would avoid syntocin drips if i could, there should be no huge hurry at 7 days over. Sweeps are very effective.

Very odd youre being offered a CS for no medical need - it's major surgery!

juuule Tue 01-Sep-09 08:47:58

I'd wait and see what happens in the next week. Lots of time yet.

If nothing has happened why would m/w give the option of cs before induction?
I was induced at 14 days overdue with my last baby. No problems at all. No mention of c-section.

puffylovett Tue 01-Sep-09 08:50:59

The longer you leave it, the more chance there is of your body and baby being more ready to come out imo. Either naturally, or via induction.
If you're induced before you're ready, you're more likely to have complications I would think.
I'd go for waiting - enjoy the next week or so, put your feet up, lots of walking and sex - your life is about to change dramatically grin (for the best of course wink)

KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 08:51:35

Hi MamaG, I know you speak sense - it's just agony waiting.
I'll see mw tomorrow and find out what state my cervix is in.

KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 08:58:31

Argh, I think I'll go for a brisk walk and a swim in the sea.

I just want it out out out I can't bear it. The details are no longer registering in any sensible part of my brain.

reikizen Tue 01-Sep-09 09:01:05

Some things I would say about induction from both a personal and professional point of view. As this is your first baby you are likely to require the cervix to be 'ripened' using prostagladin gel. This is uncomfortable and some women think painful. You will be continually monitored for approx 40 mins before the gel and 1 hr afterwards. You will then be free to mobilise but return to the ward hourly for them to listen to baby's heart. 6 hours later they will reassess your cervix to see if anything has changed. Most primips (first time mums) need at least 2 doses and sometimes 3 (each 6 hrs apart) so you can see it is a long and boring process. Then, when they think they can break your waters (ARM) they will send you to delivery to have this done, and start an oxytocin drip. This will depend on when a bed is available, in our unit sometimes women are in for 2-3 days before they even make it to delivery and bear in mind that September is super busy on maternity units. This will mean IV access to your hand or arm and continuous monitoring. You are more likely to require epidural pain relief with an oxytocin drug. The risks of induction are over stimulation of the uterus leading to either rupture or oxygen deprivation to baby. All the usual cascade of intervention following epidurals and being bed bound in labour (slow progress, higher chance of instrumental delivery, DVT etc)
I am very keen that women appreciate the implications of induction, not just physically but that it can take a long time with a first baby and just because they attend the hospital that morning they may not have their baby that day! No labour or delivery is risk free whether it is natural or medically managed. Good luck, I'd wait it out if I were you it's much easier that way! Hospitals are boring and smelly and the food is crap!

juuule Tue 01-Sep-09 09:12:42

Reikizen, My first baby was induced with one dose of a pessary given in the morning. No oxytocin drip. Could have refused arm. Just wanted to point out that induction doesn't necessarily follow the route you have described.

Last baby was induced with 2 lots of gel, 6hours apart. Straightforward labout/delivery no different from my spontaneous labours/deliveries. No oxytocin drip and membranes ruptured spontaneously just before delivery.

I also didn't find the insertion of pessary or gel painful at all.

thesecondcoming Tue 01-Sep-09 09:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 09:22:39

Thanks for your views. I am resolved stay calm - I'm only 6 days over and the sweep might work. I'm being egged on by DP who as a control freak concerned partner would like me to be booked in, operated on and returned with a baby.

I do appreciate that any intervention might lead to another, and I do have faith in my body to do this, it's just that ivf at 41 sets you up for stress despite an amazing pregnancy with no probs at all..

Cluckadoodledoo Tue 01-Sep-09 09:26:56

Mine happened just as reikizen said. Horrible experience and narrowly avoided cs due to very distressed baby. (ds born on operating table in the end forceps as by then I had full spinal block ready for cs horrid)

Give nature a chance first.

Both mine were 2 weeks late, frustrating but totally normal.

Mimile Tue 01-Sep-09 11:32:47

Hello KateMess! I'm in the same boat, 40+7 tomorrow. Been offered the elective c-section too in case head still not engaged tomorrow, as the registrar seemed to think that inducing would only lead to distress for the baby. That wouldn't happen until 40+14 though, so plenty of time for things to happen by the, especially with the full moon on the 4th (wishful thinking!). My main concern is that the baby could get distressed, and I'm growing more and more paranoid by the day. Was wondering whether it was reasonable to ask for a placental check? Also, noone ever checked my cervix etc, and coming from France where this would be a routine check at each visit, I find it a little surprising and stressfull.
BTW, Reikizen, any idea why labour wards are busier in September? Is it the Xmas aftermath? Anyhow - fingers crossed, maybe today or tomorrow?

PennyBenjamin Tue 01-Sep-09 12:14:23

I have a similar story to many here - induced at 41 weeks due to suspected (but very borderline) pre-eclampsia. Had my waters broken, then put on the drip and went from nothing to contractions every 2-3 minutes in 2 hours. Pretty horrific. Ended up with epidural, episiotomy, vontuse, forceps, retained placenta and major hemorrhage.

I know all of these things could have happened anyway, but I do think being induced led to more and more intervention, and I would love to know how it would have gone if I hadn't been induced. I am pregnant again, and suffice to say I will avoid induction like the plague this time.

Like others, I think the syntocin drip is the thing I would really avoid - they just turned up the dosage every 15 minutes until I was contracting every 3 minutes, then left me alone for the next 12 hours!

reikizen Tue 01-Sep-09 12:18:10

Yes, Christmas and New Year parties = busy labour wards in Sept & October! You should have had the placental site checked at your scan appt and this information should be recorded on your scan reports in your notes (ask your midwife if you can't find it). We do not perform cervical checks as there is no benefit I am aware of unless you have had surgery which may have left scar tissue? Even then we would have no idea how the cervix would dilate until you were in labour. If it is your first baby we would expect the cervix to be closed and uneffaced until labour starts. What do they check it for in France out of interest? Once you have had a baby your cervix changes.
I would have expected baby's head to be engaged any time from the 38th week for a first baby (again, different in subsequent pregnancies) so they may offer a controlled ARM as part of an induction or as you say, a c-section.
Please don't worry about baby being distressed, a certain amount of stress in labour is actually beneficial, priming them for life on the outside. They are pretty hardy little things and nature is far better at these things than doctors!

KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 12:44:13

Mimile I think we are indeed in the same boat. To me, the baby is safer out, where I can see it and look after it. Every day it stays in there makes me wonder why, why isn't coming out? Also, because I'm 41 I'm worried about the placenta, although there is nothing to indicate a problem, I have heard that, ahem, elderly primates such as myself aren't allowed by many doctors to go overdue.

I had half my antenatal care in Germany and they drove me nuts checking my cervix was closed every ten minutes, for no reason.

But what is this placental site check and what scan? I haven't had a scan since 28 weeks!

gallery Tue 01-Sep-09 13:02:20

I have been induced twice and gone into labour spontanously (prematurely) once.
I would be induced again quite happily. It seemed fine to me- everyone is different of course. I was 41weeks+ when I got induced (think due date was 1 Jan and birth date 12 Jan). I have to add that the first time i was induced was horendous (had to give birth to 17 week old foetus) but it did not put me off asking to be induced again. Also please please believe me that I think it is way better to be in the position you are in now, then the scary place of the baby having arrived early

reikizen Tue 01-Sep-09 13:36:34

The sonographer routinely checks the placental site at the 12 and 20 week scans to see how close it is to the os (the exit if you like!) If it appears close they will rescan but not if all seems okay. It may 'migrate' upwards but not down due to the uterus growing to accomodate the fetus. You are not an elderly primate as that would make you a monkey! You are a primigravida. We don't use terms like elderly primigravida anymore (I hope) and the risks posed are statistical and theoretical and may never apply to you personally. Doctors should make a decision (in partnership with you) to induce based on the clinical picture not on outdated stereotypes...

CricketsMum Tue 01-Sep-09 13:48:14

Personally I would be doing everything I could to reduce the likelihood of induction - trust you are trying all the old faves - raspberry leaf tea, nipple massage, reflexology (last one worked for me - magic pressure point in ankle apparently!) etc etc? I wasn't induced but ended up on Continuous Monitoring and whilst my labour was basically fine the CM did irritate me and restrict my movements. A couple of close friends/family were induced and it didn't go smoothly. There is definitely a time for it but I wouldn't go for it until the medics think you need to. You will have your baby in the next couple of weeks one way or another, just enjoy every last minute of time for you until then - your life is about to change beyond recognition!!! Good luck with whatever you choose!

KateMess Tue 01-Sep-09 14:33:56

Ooh that sounds interesting, where in my ankle is this magic place?

dinkystinky Tue 01-Sep-09 14:38:35

KateMess - I'd try the walks, sex, booking something in (e.g. hairdressers appointment), reflexology and/or accupuncture route before going down the induction route. If your baby isnt here yet, it probably means he/she isnt ready to come out yet - DS1 didnt come out until 42 weeks and that was with an induction after 2 days of early labour, but when he did come, he came out quickly. He just wasnt ready to appear earlier. Enjoy your lie ins while you can - your baby will be here soon.

Dontpanic Tue 01-Sep-09 15:02:03

If you've got any relaxation music you could have a listen to that and use some HypnoBirthing techniques on top of the other suggestions like reflexology & nipple stim (or sex).

visualise a closed rosebud with the petals starting to gently unfurl and open out (and go the whole hog by seeing you baby's head in the centre!).

Also, you can imagine you have crisscrossed horizontal ribbons across your uterus, and visualise your fingers vertically over them pulling the ribbons up gently and easily (this is what happens when you have braxton-hicks, outer muscles pull up the inner ones to get them to thin out).

Finally, you should visualise your baby in the correct birthing position, head down, spine towards your tummy. If the head isn't quite in position yet, nothing's going to trigger any contractions.

The more you can relax the better, as any tension you're holding (eg disagreements with DP over CS!) could be stopping things happening. The more you can take yourself out and about doing day-2-day things the better, take your mind of the event if you can.
As someone else pointed out, you're not term until 42wks, if there's nothing wrong with you or your baby then what's the rush to save yourself a couple of days?

CricketsMum Tue 01-Sep-09 16:59:37

sorry - don't know exactly where as am not a reflexologist but she didn't go near my ankles till i was overdue then the first time she did i had a show 3 hours later and a baby within 72 hours!

mrswill Tue 01-Sep-09 20:18:32

Mine happened just as reikizen said also, at 10 days over. Went in at 8am on a friday, had the pessary, which i found very painful, was having very painful contractions until 7am the next morning as i was not allowed painrelief, due to not dilating. They started drip, which was agony, begged for epidural, 7pm the next day, the baby was not doing well, so had me in for a c section. Found induction to be a nightmare, strapped to a bed for 2 days, and constantly being messed with. Baby was distressed for first few days with a high pitched scream when touched, as i think she had been experiencing the strong contraction for 2 days. I didnt think that the baby would also experience this induction as well as me.

I wish id read up more about induction, as i was just so keen to get the baby out, i agreed. And im still sad/jealous now when i get to hear about people starting labour and having natural births. 38-42 weeks is full term, doc's and mothers ourselves get too hungup on the 40 weeks. Although i do remember the last few weeks as just uncomfortable so you have my sympathy!

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 20:22:40

i would not go for an induction unless absolutely necessary.

i had an induction with dd1 and went 7 days over with dd2.

please try and let it happen naturally unless there is a good reason. wouldn't bother with a sweep either. did me no good either time and there doesn't seem to be any statistical data to show it works beyond chance.

for the sake of just a couple of days, hold on as long as you can.

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