To Induce or Not to Induce?

If you are not following Mamademics fan page on Facebook, you missed a very important announcement. Baby S made his grand entrance on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm; weighing in at 5 lbs, 8.7 oz, and 18 inches long. He came 18 days before his “due” date via induction.

This is the first of three posts detailing his birthing story.

As some of you know I had a pretty “textbook” pregnancy and I assumed that a complication free pregnancy would lead to a typical delivery story… boy was I wrong. On Monday, February 28, 2012 I went to my routine 36-week checkup and everything seemed fine until my doctor measured my stomach. For the first time he looked at my chart and re-measured, he then asked me when was the last time I had an ultrasound, which was 20 weeks since my pregnancy was “textbook.” He said the number was a little off and he wanted me to schedule an ultrasound for my next visit. I didn’t think too much of it and I was excited to see my little munchkin again. Well later in the week my husband mentioned it to his sister who is an OB/GYN and she told him the worst-case scenario, which was if they felt the baby wasn’t growing at the appropriate rate they would induce my labor. Of course hearing this freaked me out, but my husband reminded me that this was worse case and he highly doubted we were going to fall into that category. I decided to finish packing my hospital bag just in case, and we put it in the car for the next doctor’s appointment.

On Monday, March 5, 2012 we arrived at the doctor for our ultrasound and 37-week appointment. Baby S kept covering his face and we were only able to see his boy parts lol. The technician let us hear his heartbeat, which was very strong; and let us see his lungs and him practicing breathing. She took some measurements and we could see that he was measuring about a week and a half behind the “average.” After she finished we met with my doctor and he did his normal check of the heartbeat and measured me again. He seemed a little more pleased with the measurements this week, but then he pulled out the technician’s results. He explained to me that they were a little concerned about his weight at this point, but his fluid levels were good and he was proportional. He said he wanted me to go to a perinatal specialist that week, so they could take a look at the placenta and make sure he was getting enough nutrients. He reiterated what my sister-in-law had told us about inducing my labor if they didn’t feel he was getting enough, but that he highly doubted this would happen.

I didn’t believe him. When we got home, I started attempting to put together his pack n’ play, so he would be able to sleep in our room. My husband reminded me that we still had three more weeks and for me to just relax, but I was completely freaked out.

The next morning we arrived at the perinatal specialist where I filled out a ton of paperwork and waited to be seen. The ultrasound technician came in and asked a few questions. She then showed us our son’s heartbeat and lungs just like we saw the day before. She also showed us his umbilical cord and let us know that the blood supply looked great, but nothing about the placenta. She did some measurements and told us the doctor would be in to see us and take a few scans of her own. The doctor came in and asked a few questions. She took some scans and then told us that Baby S was measuring 2.5 weeks behind the average at this point. Her estimation was 5 lbs, 4 oz, which was 5 oz less than our doctor’s technician said. She told us that it looked like my placenta had started to calcify and that she would talk to my doctor to determine if they wanted to induce me before the week was out. As soon as she left the room, I burst into tears. My husband held my hand and reminded me that the most important part was getting our son here and that he was healthy.  She came back and said that my doctor would call me later that day, but that they both agreed I should be induced before the end of the week.

As we were walking out all I could think was that somehow I had failed my child already and he wasn’t even outside of me yet. I also couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that this would totally kill my birthing plan, and from all the research I’ve seen the statistics for first time mothers who are induced doesn’t end well. More often than not those women end up having c-sections and I absolutely did not want to go that route.

We called our parents and gave them an update, and headed home to start preparing. I got online and started researching calcifying placenta and induction. Initially the information I found made me feel like the doctors were expecting me to have a bigger baby because that’s the norm nowadays; but I’m a pretty small woman and I ate relatively healthy the entire pregnancy (very little processed or fast food). In addition, my husband was under 7 pounds when he was born, so I never expected to have a 8 or 9 pound baby. I started to read up on all the side effects of induction again, and I told my husband I didn’t think I wanted to go through with it anymore. If our son had to come early, I wanted it to be on our terms and maybe we could do natural things to induce my labor. He agreed and we came up with a list of questions to ask the doctor, when he finally called.

In the meantime, we went to pick up the baby’s car seat from UPS (long story), and stopped into Target to buy onesies for a less than 7 pound baby. By 5 pm my doctor still hadn’t called and I know they take their last patient at 4:30, I started to think that the perinatal specialist had been a little overzealous in her assessment. We went to bed that night convinced we were not going to have a baby this week, and ready to refuse induction.


To be continued…

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