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Worried about induction - first baby, not engaged at 40+10, no signs of labour

(13 Posts)
idreamofbeanie Wed 07-Oct-09 23:07:04


I'm pregnant with my first baby and my EDD was 27th September. The whole pregnancy has been really easy - just a touch of heartburn and a few restless nights - and I just assumed she would arrive sometime around the due date. I am now 10 days overdue and still showing no signs of going into labour. The baby hasn't engaged although her head has been 'at brim' for weeks and I haven't had any other signs that labour is imminent. My midwife wanted to book me in for an induction this Friday but I refused - I'm still holding onto that last scrap of hope for a homebirth if she arrives before Sunday. She seemed to be more concerned about how high I am carrying and why the head won't engage rather than the dates to be honest. I have agreed to see the registrar on Friday for a quick scan and to discuss possibly being induced on Monday (40+15) but I am quite concerned. Most of the stuff I have read about induction when there are no signs at all of labour starting and the baby is high (for a first baby at least) seem to suggest it is a horrible experience usually ending in a c-section. I don't know whether to go for the induction or not. I'm finding the waiting stressful and want it to be over plus my mum carried me to 43 weeks and still had to be induced. On the other hand if the induction isn't likely to go well what's the point?

Any advice, experiences, thoughts welcome. I just can't make up my mind what's best.

PS I have spent 4 weeks bouncing on my birth ball and taking long walks to help her engage with no effect and I've tried all the usual suspects - pineapple, curry, sex, long walks, RLT - to get labour started but nothing is working. The midwife won't do a sweep as the baby is still high although she said the doc will prob do an internal exam and a sweep on Friday.

spiralqueen Wed 07-Oct-09 23:27:34

I was induced at 40+13 and delivered at 40+16 (emcs). What I hadn't appreciated beforehand was that the 1st attempt often doesn't work and that you can only have 2 attempts in 24 hours. My first 2 failed and due to cockups in the hospital the 3rd attempt got delayed by 8hrs (should have been at 8am but didn't happen til gone 4pm). So the first 2 had completely worn off and the 3rd was a waste of time.

Apparently the 2nd one normally does the trick and doesn't necessarily lead to a cs. You may not get much choice if the trust have a policy of always inducing at a certain date.

My bad time was basically caused by there not being anywhere near enough staff and the trust not shutting the door to new admissions when they were overflowing. I'm sure if it had coincided with a slack time with not many patients I wouldn't have had to go through the problems with the 3rd induction and could have had a normal birth.

I guess after all this rambling my advice is just to go with the flow. Birth plans are a waste of time as they can rarely be actioned and then it can be upsetting if things don't happen in the way you had planned.

Good luck and hopefully DC will decide to make an entrance under their own steam.

OmicronPersei8yourbrain Wed 07-Oct-09 23:32:29

I feel for you - I ended up with an induction instead of a planned homebirth, but it was my second baby so a quick affair. I just caved in the end and agreed to the induction because I was so fed up of waiting and I knew I'd probably be quick.

You'll get lots advice about holding out, MN offers great support. I was too holed-up to even remember to ask on MN, so only have the experience of the induction to share with you. So if you were to end up being induced I'd say you should find out what the hospital's policy is on labour and birthing positions for induction, monitoring (constant or not - preferably not), where you are induced. I was in a room not a ward at any point, which made things better than I'd thought (although I wasn't a fan of the whole moving from antenatal then labour then postnatal ward thing).

The night before I went in I wrote a birth plan specifically for the induction - it really helped me think things through and make decisions about what pain relief I'd ask for and when. I went in feeling more in control. In the end it was quick and I didn't have any pain relief, but as I said it was a second baby and I labour quickly. For a first induction I'd say please consider an epidural, if you have one use the time to rest, lie on your left side.

If you do go into hospital make sure any bits and bobs you have lying around in readiness for the homebirth are hidden away for your return: it isn't the best thing to come home to.

I'll have my fingers crossed that you go into labour before it comes to any of that though.

Whatever happens you will be meeting your baby very soon.

OmicronPersei8yourbrain Wed 07-Oct-09 23:43:00

In reference to birth plans being a waste of time, I didn't necessarily expect anyone to read mine, it's just that when you plan a homebirth you haven't really thought of what a hospital setting will be like. Writing one made me focus on that.

I actually visited the hospital when I was told I'd been booked in for the induction - I noticed they had birthing balls there so didn't take my own, and I did use one during labour to lean against (I wasn't being monitored at the time), depending on hospital policy you may be able to sit while being monitored. It helped me cope better to be able to ask all these questions - but that might just be me.

VirginiaLoveGlove Wed 07-Oct-09 23:49:34

ask about 'expectant management'. advance search the pregnancy and childbirth threads with this as the key words. lots of info about it on MN.

I delivered naturally in a hwb at 40+10 after a terrorizing induction with dd1. Tell yourself over and over and over again that this baby will come when it the time is right. Be at peace with that knowledge.

AllotmentMum Thu 08-Oct-09 00:14:37

My experience at 42 weeks was very like Spiral's. Ended up with 3 induction attempts, 4 days ineffectual labour, forceps and then emergency c-section. Horrible experience, and I always feel very jealous of some of the lovely birth stories I read on MN. As long as the baby appears fine, don't be bullied into an induction. I forget the stats, but a very high number end up in C sections. One of the worse things for me is that all 3 of mine have ended up the same way, as once you have had one c-section "they" won't risk long labours and whisk you off to theatre at the drop of a hat. So, hang on in there, and good luck!

swottybetty Thu 08-Oct-09 13:33:56

you poor thing, the waiting is awful and must be even tougher when you feel like the birth isnt imminent.

after being induced witrh dc1 at 40+10, i got my HB with dc2 at 40+13 (and tho' he was low, he showed NO signs of coming until my first contraction 5 hrs before he arrived) incidentally, a friend of mine had a HB over dates with a baby that didnt engage til very end (it was her first baby).

there are some horror stories re induction, but then there are horror stories about all types of births. an MN search will show a fair few people talking very positively about their inuctions. Mine wasnt ace, and was a long way from what i had imagined, but it was ok. no CS, no forceps etc etc. plus it was nice just to get it all over with!

if you do get induced, here's what i thought afterwards i would have done dif.

i was pretty clueless about dif types of inducing (membrane rupture, pessary, oxy drip) before i went in - i do wish i'd known more.) also, i wish i had been a lot more assertive asking for information at the time. when induction looked like a very real possibility with dc2, dh and i sat down and talked through it step by step. it made me feel a lot better. omicron's birth plan for induction idea is a great one - also going for a tour. gen up! finally, i had my dc1 at 9.42am with no problems, but the dr didnt get to check her before he left at 5.30pm so i was kept in for an overnight stay despite it being against my wishes and completely unnecessary. that sleepless night on the postnatal ward was far worse than the birth. if you think that getting home is going to be a priority for you, gen up on reasons they can keep you in and remember there are very few reasons to keep you in.

i hope you get your HB. 4 months ago, i posted here asking for people who went over 40 +10 but then had baby before 40+14 to come chat to me. there were a fair few! ummm... i had a couple of fairly aggresive acupuncture sessions at the very end (one the night before baby came.) good luck

FABIsInTraining Thu 08-Oct-09 13:35:43

I think it is relevant that your mother went so far over with you and this might be worth mentioning.

beautifulgirls Thu 08-Oct-09 16:14:52

Just to share a positive story - I was booked in at 40+12 for induction with my first, she never engaged in my pelvis, just sat on the brim like your baby is doing. The night before I was due to go in I went into labour on my own (still not engaged!!) and didn't need the induction after all. So try not to worry too much about her not being engaged, it doesn't have to happen for labour to start.
For the record DD#2 didn't engage until after labour started (40+8) either - though more expected in subsequent pregnancies.

Good luck - I agree to ask about/search for threads about expectant management here.

MoonlightMcKenzie Thu 08-Oct-09 16:27:30

My DS wasn't engaged 7 hours before he was born. My dd wasn't engaged 20mins before she was born.

Don't get hung up on these things. It would have been useful to have known how long your mother would have gone with you naturally.

Do you have long cycles?

idreamofbeanie Thu 08-Oct-09 21:45:48

Hi all,

sorry it has taken me all day to post but my internet connection keeps crashing halfway through writing a reply angry. Thanks for all the responses - I guess I just have to see what the doctor says tomorrow and if there are no signs that labour is imminent I really have to consider putting off the induction for a few more days and just being monitored. If my internet connection holds up I am going to go and search 'expectant management' and induction threads.

I'm glad to hear a few babies haven't engaged until the last minute so there is still hope. My mum told me today that her consultant told her that when he opened her for the c-section I finally slid into the birth canal so we girls do tend to take our time hmm.

I have mentioned to the midwives that my mum was very late with me but I will mention it again tomorrow.

Thanks again.

Toady Thu 08-Oct-09 22:01:19

Please do remember that you are not actually overdue until you are 43 weeks, normal pregnancy is 37 weeks to 43 weeks as stated by the W.H.O.

Also remember that this is your decision and whatever there policy is they cannot force you to have an induction.

It suggests to me that with your mums history of late babies that this could be the case with you although this is only my opinion. not sure if this does run in families.

If baby is all fine during scan and everything looking ok maybe leave it a bit longer and request another scan a few days later. What can they say if all ok?

Good luck with what you decide. smile

cory Fri 09-Oct-09 07:54:41

I as induced at 37 weeks (baby not yet engaged) because of IUGR. I'd say it was a bit rough, rather than a horrible experience iyswim. Not one of those beautiful sensual birthing experiences that you read about, but nothing to leave me traumatised either. And it was a vaginal.

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