Inducing a late baby and my doctor's thoughts

Due date has come and gone. We went to the doctor on Monday (40+3 weeks) to make sure all was still okay and to see what was going on.

Weight: 146.6
Blood pressure: 112/62

Non-Stress Test: I was having contractions so the nurse kept saying it must be time, but I told her that I’d been having those contractions for almost 2 months. Nothing exciting! My OB came in to check and said “hmm, how far along are you?” – UH, 40 weeks, I just saw you 4 days ago! Baby’s heart rate was a little low (115-120) so I was nervous, but anything over 100 is still ok, right? Anyway, then they sent me to the ultrasound.

Ultrasound: Baby was asleep (explains low heart rate). Fluid levels were excellent, which they even said was unexpected, being that I was past my due date. Baby reacted to the buzzer, breathing fine, just a bit cramped. All ok.

Doctor’s office:
*Fundal height: 35
*Internal: this is where it gets frustrating. I don’t even think I was supposed to have an internal because I just had one on Thursday and they didn’t tell me to plan on it. But I think after seeing the contractions on the NST (and having no idea who I am and that I’ve been having contractions all along ANYWAY), my doctor thought she’d get things moving. The internal was normal, just like Thursday (1-2 cm dilated, 70% effaced), until she started swirling her fingers around. It hurt. When she was done, all she said was “I helped things move along by stretching the cervix and releasing prostaglandins. I’d bet you’re in the hospital tonight for labor.”

I didn’t realize until we were out the door that what she REALLY did was strip my membranes. Where’s informed consent?! I would have said no. Steve and I went to the mall after for some Xmas shopping and to help walk the baby out, but I was in so much pain I couldn’t even walk. We went home and I had intense cramping and contractions for quite awhile. If I had listened to the doctor and called with contractions 5 minutes apart for an hour, we would have ended up in the hospital for sure, just as she was betting. With false labor. And ended up getting induced? I’m almost sure of it. But I know my body, and I knew those weren’t REAL contractions. Just a side effect of stripping membranes, so I never called in.

I’m still in shock she’d do such a thing without asking- or even telling! It’s an invasion and it’s unethical. And my body clearly wasn’t ready for it (because it didn’t work). OH she also said after the internal that she was hoping she had broke my water while she was in there!!! Um, what?! So glad she wasn’t successful. I can’t believe it. I may look like I’m 16, but I’m 24 and know very well what’s going on. Besides that, even a 16 year old shouldn’t be treated that way with their own body.

So… my induction date was set for Saturday the 26th at 7:30am. I didn’t argue then because I believed her enthusiasm that I’d be at the hospital in labor that night.

But when that didn’t happen… and it didn’t happen the next day… I decided to call them today and move the induction date. That put me at 41+1 and I just want baby to have more time to come on his own. Especially because I’m healthy and he’s healthy.

WOW I wasn’t expecting what I got. First I spoke to a nurse/surgery scheduler. I requested Tues. the 29th (41+4) and she said “no, you can’t go that late, you’ll need to be induced at 41 weeks, even that’s late.” I said, but baby is healthy and as long as he stays that way, why can’t I give him more time? The midwife from their clinic told me at my very first appointment I could go to 42 weeks. The nurse told me that the midwife was wrong and she no longer works there. She was getting cranky and so was I. My body, my baby, my choice. So she said she’d have to talk to the doctor and call me back.

My OB called me back in a few minutes. She said after looking at my ultrasound (honestly, I call BS she even went to look at it–bc if this were true, why didn’t they tell me that on Monday after I had the US???) that it was aged as much as it could be and she would haveΒ scheduledΒ my induction for Friday if it weren’t for Christmas.

I said–isn’t it normal for first time moms to go late, past 41 weeks even? She said no. (BS.)

I said–but baby is healthy and I want to give him more time to come on his own. She finally said OK, but that she’d have to make a note that I refused earlier induction so if something goes wrong, it’s all on me (awesome). Then she continued to say that it makes a higher risk that baby ends up in NICU, passes his meconium in the womb, the placenta stops working.. used the phrase “fetal demise” several times. Said she’s done 5,000 births so she knows how much risk there is to waiting. But really, if she always induces by 41 weeks, that means she’s seen these things happen earlier. Pregnancies have these risks at any point. And first-time moms DO usually go late, past week 41.

So, I got what I wanted–induction is now Tues, Dec 29th at 6am, but I feel awful. She scared me and put all this guilt on me.

Don’t treat me like I’m stupid. Don’t treat me like I don’t know what’s best for me. Doctors DON’T always know best and I’m in shock from this whole experience about it. In shock at how much they do for their own convenience. I wouldn’t harm my baby and if I sense something isn’t going right, I’ll know it and I’ll call in. But baby still moves a TON. And what’s 4 more days?!

Some people are like–what does it matter, as long as you get the baby? But it matters a lot. Maybe to some it really doesn’t. But 90% of women induced with pitocin end up with an epidural and 40% end up with a c-section. And a VBAC is nearly unheard of (my clinic doesn’t even do them!) And to me, that matters a lot. It matters that you’re forcing your body to do something it isn’t ready for. Baby will come when he’s ready.

I need to go take a nice long bath and stop being angry with my OB. She’s also the doctor on call the 29th for the induction–now that she’s mad at me, how wonderful.

Everybody send the baby labor thoughts to come out now! Before the 29th at least πŸ˜‰

26 comments to Inducing a late baby and my doctor's thoughts

  • Hot angry tears are streaming for you. I can’t believe a doctor would do this. I’ve seen and heard it a hundred times, and every time it makes me so very angry and sad.

    Good for you for standing up for yourself! I soooo wish I was there to help you. No women should ever be told what to do with her body.

    Especially after the stunt she pulled Monday.

    Just know we are all here rooting for you! You are already doing an incredible job! Your little one is soooo proud of you, as are we!

    If you have any questions at all, I’m here. I will have my phone on always.

    If I don’t answer on twitter, feel free to give me a call (435) 851-9526.

    You are doing sooo great!

    Lots of labor vibes your way. You can do this!

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  • *hug*
    I really know how hard this can be. After trying twice, to get my birth the way I wanted it in a hospital, I opted for a homebirth on my last. I’m not saying everyone should have homebirths, nor am I saying hospital births are bad, I’m just saying I know how hard it is to be heard when you have certain thoughts and wants in regards to your body and your baby.

    I told you earlier that I agree 100% with you, and again, I know, and you know, and the doctor knows, that it’s more common for 1st time moms to go over their due dates.

    *hug* I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this. And, I’m really, really sorry she stripped your membranes without asking, I’ve had that happened and felt very violated as well afterwards. You’re so right, it’s your body and baby and you should definitly have a say so in it. I pray little man comes soon, in his own time, and you have the most beautiful birth you’ve ever thought possible! πŸ™‚

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  • Yikes. Good for you for sticking up for what you feel is right. I think it’s terrible for her to have stripped your membranes without asking. Good luck!

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  • Good for you! It makes me so angry that some OBs are like this because not as many FTMs are as informed and educated as you and will, unfortunately, blindly follow along with the doctor. Just remember to keep sticking to your guns. If she stripped your membranes without asking, keep strong about how you want your labor to play out, as well.
    Do not be scared. I see a midwife who works in an office with three OBs. She lets her patients go to 42 weeks before inducing, barring any medical causes, of course.
    In terms of natural induction methods, there are a lot of things you can do to help your body along! Lots of sex, of course, and are you taking Evening Primrose Oil? Also, seeing a chiropractor can help get the baby in an optimal position.

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  • Holy moly! I would’ve been just as upset as you if I had gone through your experience. Good for you for standing up for what you want and feel is right. I’m in your boat – the baby will come when it is ready. I know I don’t want to be induced either unless it is absolutely necessary. I can’t believe she stripped your membranes without asking. You have every right to be pissed. Just because she’s assisted with 5,000 births doesn’t make her god! Here’s hoping you’ve been able to relax some and let this wash over you. In the end, it won’t matter (hopefully). I’m sending lots of positive thoughts your way for labor to get underway!

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  • Kristen

    I cannot believe that you are having all this trouble with your OB. (Note to self…Send her a certified letter after she has cleared you from this birth and fire her.) You have been quite succinct all along on what your wants and needs are pertaining to this event and she should honor and respect your wishes. I have an amazing OB who I am seeing for my second pregnancy and I cannot imagine him EVER doing anything without informing me of what it was and getting my consent.
    Do not second guess yourself, all things point to happy healthy baby at this point and shame on her for trying to guilt you into following her timetable. That baby will come when he is ready. Good luck & Hugs to you!

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  • Kristen

    Oh…One more thought, if you HAVE to have a c-sec, from one girl to another, it wasnt that bad! Sure I was in the hospital for a few extra days, but the procedure itself was quick, I had a great team working on me & they even offered to let me hold my son before he was wisked off to the nursery. (I got a chance to nurse him a little later when we were both more comfortable, and there was NO problem with bonding with my little 8.5 guy:)
    Yes I was sore for a few days, but I was more terrified of labor than I was of surgery…for me it was a positive experience & I don’t mind that I get to do it all over again this summer. My OB also does not recommend VBAC, but I am fine with this descision.

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  • Argh, I’m so sorry she is making you feel this way! What she did is WRONG, and she should not be preying on you with fear.

    I’m wishing you the best, and hoping your little guy decides to come before the doctors put you through more of this!

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  • Good job standing up for yourself! I’m sorry they are doing this to you. I would not worry if I was you, your Ultrasound and NST say your baby is doing great, and now he has time to start the labor process on his own!
    I went past my due date too and I did a lot of Evening Primrose Oil, Red Raspberry Leaf, squatting, walking and sex to start labor. Just relax, don’t stress and enjoy these last few days of your pregnancy! Your baby is on his way, good luck!

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  • Lisa

    It is so awesome to see a woman who knows the real facts and is standing up for herself & her baby. Would love to see more women choose your path instead of just doing what the doctor says. You & women like you give me hope for the future of birthing.

    How she treated you is typical & despicable. I hope you’re refusing any more exams & have warned your partner to keep an eye out for amnio hooks during labour. If you want to share your story, there’s a site collecting pregnancy/labour abuse stories: http://birthraped.wordpress.com/

    My ob pulled the get induced or I have to make a note that you’re killing your baby bs on me too. Well, a)it was my due date & b)in most countries, you’re not “overdue” until after 42 weeks.

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  • geesh em, when did you get so BALLSY??!?!! I LOVE IT!!!! can’t believe that mean old doctor didn’t even ask if she could strip your membranes (and the only reason i even know what that is is because of your wonderful blog) without asking you! very glad you got your way with the induction date and am crossing my fingers that baby bacon comes before then anyways, though hopefully not in the middle of a blizzard πŸ˜› every time my phone rings i jump up thinking it’s the birth anouncement – can’t wait until it actually is! goooood luck πŸ™‚

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  • Miracle Pending

    Wow. I begged my OB to strip my membranes and he just wouldn’t. He let me go to 41.5 weeks though. I had pretty regular contractions on my induction date and they still guilt tripped me to the point of using the Pitocin. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be until the dumb nurse doubled up my dose when her shift was about to end.

    It sounds weird but I was really anti-Pitocin until I got to the hospital. Once I was hooked to monitors and in the sterile environment I just wanted the baby out quickly and wanted to be out of there. If you end up being induced just keep an eye on their dosages. Every miliunit is equal to 3 mL. Make sure they aren’t upping your dose more than you can handle. If the pain is bad but the contraction meter isn’t showing them to be “effictive” tell them to f-off. My monitor was obviously broken. It was showing that I was having ineffective contractions for hours and somehow the next time they checked me her head was practically sticking out.

    I ended up agreeing to the epidural once I reached 7-8 cm when she doubled my dose just because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I probably could have done it all naturally if not for this. My sister gave birth to her first with Pitocin and without an epidural so I’m sure you’d be able to handle it as well. I think delaying membrane rupturing keeps you “off the clock” as well.

    I wish you all the best. The most important thing is that both you and baby are healthy in the end. I, personally, won’t be having any babies in hospitals from here on out. I’m definitely going to opt for a birthing center next time.

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  • I was three weeks to the day late. My mom was induced at 42 weeks and 5 days then she had an emergency c-section at 43 weeks due to fetal distress. She also fired her original OB in that time and asked for the OB on call (who she loved so much he became her OB for when my sister was born!). I know that none of this would happen now and they would never let a woman go that long, but it did happen and I’m ok. I’m 32 now and healthy.

    My daughter was born by planned c-section because she was frank breech (she decided why go head first when you can sit on your butt!). My doctors were incredible because they were very careful to do an incision so that if I have another baby and that baby is head down, I can do a VBAC. I’m starting to realize that I was VERY lucky with my OB’s and hospital! The c-section was hard because it was a surgery, but my husband held our daughter right after she was born and she was placed on my chest while the doctors finished the c-section and closed me up. I spent an extra day in the hospital and moved a little slow for awhile, but it was ok. My MIL was absolutely sure my daughter would turn out mentally retarded (not kidding) if I had a c-section, but she’s healhty too!

    Good luck with everything and stick to your wants and needs and don’t let anyone push you around! Thinking labor thoughts for that baby of yours! πŸ™‚

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  • I know a woman who’s baby was born at 45 weeks just fine.

    With my first the ob stripped my membranes without telling me she was doing so. I went into shock, and a little while later, I went home to wait until my second induction date. They were full for the first one & sent me home.
    Induction is not evil, but w/ snapdragon we didn’t do pitocin and I vastly preferred that. I could handle the pain without pitocin.

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  • quazydellasue

    I am shocked and saddened by your story, but also so impressed by you! You are doing a wonderful thing for you and your baby by sticking to your guns. It is a slippery slope–doctor pressure to induction to epidural to c-section to the next c-section, etc. By starting the process with your goals clearly in mind, I have no doubt you will rock this!

    I think it’s so weird how doctors push induction so quickly these days. I was born 7 days “late” and they didn’t even discuss induction with my mom at any point. Odd because it’s not like birth was more dangerous 30 years ago! Doctors are just more concerned about litigation now than they are about patients–period. That’s why I used a midwife and recommend one to every woman I meet!

    Just a thought–since you will be, uh, distracted, during labor, maybe prepare your husband to stand up for you FIERCELY if your doctor is super impatient during your birth? She sounds like she might be the type to force a c-section on you if your body needs to push longer than she thinks is acceptable (even if baby is fine). But she cannot make you do ANYTHING, please remember that!

    You are going to have an awesome birth and I admire you so much!

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  • Kelly

    Hey, I was 10 days late being born and I turned out fine. πŸ˜‰

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  • My goodness I’m so sorry!! I’ve never heard of such a dissrespectful OB!! So far mine seems so nice, she walks us through everything step by step and always gives us lots of extra time for questions and getting to know us. I trust her, but I’d be so hurt if she tried a stunt like that!!

    I’m guessing Its too late to switch? Do you trust her enough to deliver your baby? I feel so bad that they’re putting you through this, I’d hate for you to hate your birth experience after this and have a hard time πŸ™ it also sucks that she’s giving OBs such a bad name! Now I understand more why so many people bash on them!

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  • PS: good for you for sticking with what you want! You rock

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  • Mandie (Briggs) Pofelski

    With my first one I was due on July 11th and my doctor didnt induce until August 4th and was still in labor for 18 hours. and with my 2nd I was due on April 9th and they induced on the 18th. Both of them were fine and didnt need any nicu visit. they were both very healthy and only weighed 7 lbs a piece so if they would have taken them on their due dates they would have been much smaller, espically my first one, probably under 5 pounds and would have needed to be in the nicu. Good for you doing what you think is right!!! You and the baby should be just fine and take care! Hopefully he will come when he is ready!!

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  • Sounds like my dimwitted OB with Gory. My membranes were stripped, and HOLY HELL did that hurt! There were lots of things that were done that I did not like, like NSTs 2X a week, and they broke my water.

    Kinda makes you want to say forget it, and switch doctors at 40 weeks, right?!?!

    I am sending labor thoughts!!

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  • Beth

    Nice Em!!! Lots of wonderful support!!! πŸ™‚

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  • Kim

    Good for you standing up for yourself and your baby like that! I know it is hard to do. I am a midwife, serving mothers choosing homebirth in my area. You’re absolutely right; most first time moms go at least 41 weeks. Term is anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. As long as all is well with your baby, the increased risks from induction outweigh the theoretical increased risks of waiting. My protocol is to do an NST at the 41 week appointment and schedule a biophysical profile at 42 weeks. Many moms are interested in stimulating labor when they get to 42 weeks, and if a mom in my care wanted to do that, I would help her with “natural” induction methods at home, although the best labors are started by the baby (not by induction, “natural” or otherwise). I’ve never referred someone for induction purely for being “overdue” alone. You’re not overdue until you’re past 42 *completed* weeks anyway.

    Good luck! Maybe you’ll have “car trouble” on the way to the hospital and have to reschedule the induction again πŸ˜‰

    Kim

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  • Oh my goodness! I can’t believe this woman! That is awful… sending labor thoughts for you. Wow… I can’t get over this woman! Didn’t your husband want to punch her?

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  • I’m so sorry. One of the midwives at my clinic (the only 1 i didn’t like anyway) did that too. I had no idea until she was done, and i was in shock. It hurt SO much, and i bled SO much (her hand was totally covered in it) and i was just in shock. I’d been molested before in a similar situation and let me tell you… this did not help. I couldn’t think, i could barely answer her. After talking to so many women online who had this happened, i couldn’t believe it happened to me. I trusted her, and she absolutely broke that trust. My husband almost burned that place down, lemme tell you.

    I can’t believe she WANTED to break your water. Too bad it’s sorta too late, i hope you change providers after this. that is RIDICULOUS. They want to break your water means they want to rush you and will do anything to do so. UGH!! People like that shouldn’t be in positions of authority over people.

    I’m glad you’re a strong woman & know what’s up & can stand up for yourself (and your husband can too)- i hope you a easy birth, and soon!!!

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  • rachel

    Good for you for sticking up for the two of you! I had my membranes stripped with both kids (without consent), and it was VERY unpleasant and unsuccessful. Good luck to your family and Merry Christmas!

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  • uggh! Any word??? I’ve gone past my due date with four children (most recently in October I went to 42 weeks and one day) so I know the frustration, but I wouldn’t change it. My body just takes longer to “bake” my babies! πŸ™‚ Great work on your part researching and knowing what is best. I look forward to your annoucement!

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