I'm Being Induced for a Second Time and It's Totally Different
byAnna LuceSep 27, 2016
Photograph by Twenty20
I'm one of those women who
loves being pregnant. It's a miraculous transformation, starting off as one
person and ending up as two. The adorable baby bump, the stretchy pants, feeling the baby move, I love it all.
That said, I'm not yet 39
weeks pregnant with my second child, and I'm ready for this baby to COME OUT.
When I was pregnant with my son
five years ago, 39 weeks pregnant felt very different. It felt early. I’d
read the natural childbirth books and attended a months-long natural childbirth
class during which I learned the mantra, "Eight days late is normal. Eight days late is normal."
I learned the dangers of medical interventions
and the domino effect of inducing: you get Pitocin, which makes contractions
more painful, which makes you want an epidural, which can stall your labor,
which hospital policies won’t allow, and BOOM! You’ve got an unnecessary C-section,
which all moms know is the Worst Possible Outcome.
I wasn't going to let that
happen to me. I was going to let my baby come on his
So when my blood pressure rose
during my last pregnancy, I refused to acknowledge the possibility of an
induction. When my pressure started rising
even higher a few weeks later, I pushed against the idea that anything was
That worked for a while. My
labs kept coming back clean, and my due date came and passed. At 40 weeks and 2
days, my midwife said, “Enough,” and told me to go home, pack my bag, eat
dinner and meet her at the hospital that night.
So my husband and I reluctantly
headed into Labor & Delivery, my mind stuck on no, no, no, no, no, no.
Did you know there are mental-health professionals on staff in Labor & Delivery who will come in on day two
of your slow-moving induction and ask if there’s anything you want to talk
about? Or maybe that's only if you've spent the previous 36 hours doing
nothing but crying as they upped the Pitocin. Not crying out of pain, but out
of mental anguish and denial that you were being induced.
Most of that time I
spent wringing my proverbial hands over my terrible fate, and how I’d failed
this first test of being a good mother.
I was confined to a
hospital bed for more than 48 hours before my son was born. Most of that time, I
spent wringing my proverbial hands over my terrible fate and how I’d failed
this first test of being a good mother.
Five years later I'm pregnant
again, and generally speaking, in better health. My blood pressure was
acceptably low through the first 35 weeks of my pregnancy—so
low, in fact, that I started prepping my home for spontaneous labor, buying absorbent
pads for the car and a birth ball to sit on before heading to the hospital.
At 36 weeks, I got my first
elevated blood pressure reading, and I wishfully thought it was a fluke. No, this time is supposed to be different, I thought.
It didn’t take me long,
however, to realize that I can’t control how similar or different this
pregnancy and labor are from my previous one. I've had five years of parenthood to
beat the inflexible out of my brain. I have a new mantra: Do the best you can with what you have. And if what you have is
gestational hypertension, it's a non-negotiable, serious situation. And for
the last 2.5 weeks, my blood pressure has been good at times and unacceptably
high at others. My labs are all still clean and I don't feel the slightest bit
sick. But when my midwife suggested induction at my 38 week appointment, it
took me exactly four hours to come to terms with it.
I gave myself permission to momentarily grieve
for a labor experience I wanted and then I pulled myself up and away from the
grief, and agreed to induce my second child at 38 weeks and 6 days. And now, I’m relaxed and excited
to go into Labor & Delivery tomorrow.
I’m ready to not be pregnant any
I’m ready for this baby to come out.
And I know no matter
what my labor entails, the hardest part—and the best part—will start right