Induced Labor: What It Is Really Like

Induced Labor: What It Is Really Like

I have known my entire life that I was meant to be a mom! As a child, if I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was a mom. Nothing else mattered in life, besides finding a wonderful husband and starting a family. I dreamed of the perfect pregnancy and birth, and once I was finally pregnant, I wanted everything to go as I planned. But as we all know; nothing ever goes as planned. I never imagined I would have an induced labor, but that is what I got (not once, but twice).

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The Beginning

My husband and I were together for six years, and I wanted a baby BAD, but my husband just wasn’t ready. I was understanding of that, and I patiently waited until he decided he wanted to have a baby.

He was indecisive; some days he said he wanted a baby in a year, and other days he said he didn’t want kids for another 10 years. Until one day when we were leaving a birthday party, and he casually mentioned that he wanted to try for a baby!

I will never forget this day! It was mid October, and after hearing him say those words, I was ecstatic! We immediately started trying, and two weeks later I saw those two lines on a pregnancy test. 😀

After wanted this for so long, I couldn’t believe how scared I was to finally see that positive pregnancy test.

So I got to work planning exactly how my pregnancy and labor and delivery were going to go. This was a mistake, because nothing went as planned!

The Pregnancy

About a week after I found out I was pregnant, I started getting morning sickness. I could barely move without feeling nauseous. I couldn’t stand to look at food, smell food, or even eat it!

A week into the second trimester and I started to feel better. I was so excited to finally get the perfect pregnancy I had planned! But unfortunately this only lasted about a week until I started having excruciating back pain. The way the baby was sitting was not allowing my kidney to drain, and there was nothing the doctor could do about it.

The pain finally started to subside at the beginning of the third trimester, which is around the time I found out I had Preeclampsia. I could not catch a break with this pregnancy!!

I was in and out of the hospital for weeks during the third trimester. The doctor would tell me they might have to induce me, I would sit at the hospital for hours, and then I would be sent home time and time again.

This was beyond terrifying. I spent so much time in the hospital hearing talk about being induced, and I started to realize there was no way I was going to be able to go into labor naturally.

Related: 17 Ways To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy

Induced Labor At 36 Weeks

At 35 weeks, I spent the majority of the week in the hospital, and the doctor told me they were going to try to get me to at least 37 weeks before the induced me. 37 weeks was the magic number; the baby could safely be delivered, but they didn’t want my pregnancy to go past 37 weeks for my safety.

I woke up the day I was 36 weeks pregnant, and I felt odd. The first thing I did when I woke up was tell my husband that I couldn’t explain it, but things just felt weird that day, like I knew I was going to be having a baby soon.

I went for my scheduled NST appointment, and told the nurse I had a horrible headache. She told me I needed to leave and immediately go to the hospital. I was very close to just heading home, because I had spent so much time at the hospital in the last few weeks. I thought going again was pointless, but I decided to go anyways.

After arriving at the hospital, I sat in triage for about 7 hours being monitored. They took my blood pressure every 30 minutes, did blood work multiple times, and monitored the baby’s heartbeat.

It was a thursday night at about 10 pm when they told me they needed to keep me overnight to monitor my blood pressure and central nervous system. I was taken back to a room, and within an hour, they told me my blood pressure was rising way too high and they needed to induce me.

It took a few hours to get admitted, answer all of their questions, and give them my birth plan.

Cervidil

At 1 am I was told that my central nervous system was overactive and I was at risk for having a stroke or seizure, and because of this I was put on Magnesium. Magnesium slows down your central nervous system, so I was put on bed rest and given a catheter.

They padded up the sides of my hospital bed incase I did start seizing. I was moved to a high risk room right outside of the nurses station, and a nurse was in my room 24 hours out of the day because of the high risk of my pregnancy.

Once I got my new room, they started to induce labor right away. My cervix wasn’t dilated or effaced at all, so they inserted the Cervidil by my cervix to start softening it and preparing for labor.

The night was pretty uneventful. The nurses kept telling me to sleep, but I was so anxious I didn’t sleep the entire night.

By 1 pm on Friday my cervix was slightly effaced, but no major changes had occured yet.

Foley Bulb Induction

Around 1:30 pm, the doctor decided to try a foley bulb induction method. They inserted a catheter into my cervix, and inflated the balloon side inside the womb. This put pressure on my cervix, so hopefully it would start dilating.

The doctors warned me that it could be very painful, and they waited for my reaction with anticipation when they inserted it. But I must admit, getting a regular catheter was much worse than the cervical catheter.

After this, I started having contraction pretty quickly. The contractions were mild, and just felt like bad menstrual cramps.

This lasted for about 4 hours, when a resident came to check me. She pulled on the catheter and it came out, which meant I was dilated to 3 cm!!

After this, the contractions starting coming pretty regularly, and started getting much more intense.

I thought I was dilating pretty quickly and the baby would be coming soon, but man I was wrong!

By 9:30 pm, my contractions had completely stopped, and I was still dilated to 3 cm.

I fell asleep for about an hour, before I was woken up by nurse telling me they were going to put me on Pitocin.

Pitocin

By 11 pm, the nurse had put a small dose of Pitocin in my I.V. The contractions immediately started up again, and were getting more intense by the minute.

Up until this point, I was still unsure if I wanted to get an epidural. I figured I would try to last as long as possible without one.

I stayed up all night just breathing through the contractions, and at 3:30 am I heard a loud popping sound. My body was aching and I could barely move from being on the Magnesium.

At this point, my belly was big, so I couldn’t see anything, but I was pretty sure the loud popping sound was my water breaking. This was the first time since I had arrived at the hospital that the nurse had stepped out of the room (of course).

Funny story- my husband is really deep sleeper. We will have full conversations in the middle of the night, and he won’t remember it in the morning. He had just fallen asleep, so I woke him up to tell him I thought my water had broken. He looked at me and said, “hmm that sucks, you should probably tell someone.” And he rolled over and went back to sleep!

I could have killed him, but he has gotten a teeny tiny bit better about this after two kids! Anyways, he didn’t even remember this the next morning. Make sure you read 12 Labor And Delivery Tips For Dad!

So I pressed the call nurse button, and she told me to adjust my hips so she could check me. When I lifted my hips, a huge gush of water flooded the bed.

The Epidural

After my water broke, the contractions were unbearable. They seemed to last forever, and another contraction would start before the last one had finished.

I couldn’t talk to anyone or even think straight. By 8 am I was calling my mom begging her to come to the hospital.

I had intense back labor and couldn’t make it through a contraction without having my husband push on my back. By 10 am the pain was bad, I couldn’t catch my breath, and I was holding back the tears.

I finally asked for an epidural, and it took the anesthesiologist about 45 minutes to get to my room. When they finally arrived, she told me she couldn’t do the epidural without taking more blood work, because my blood hadn’t been taking since before I was admitted to the hospital.

The anesthesiologist left, I had to get more blood work done, and then wait again for her to return. While I was waiting for the results of my blood work, I was practically begging the nurse to make the lab hurry up.

It was about 11:30 am by the time the anesthesiologist had been able to come back and finally give me the epidural. The epidural worked like magic, and within just a few minutes I couldn’t feel a thing.

10 cm

I spent the next hour finally being able to talk and laugh, and laid there with the peanut ball between my legs. I felt a small contraction, and I thought, “ugh, not this again, I better press the pain medicine button.” About 30 seconds passed, and I felt a horrible contraction that completely took my breath away.

Another 30 seconds passed, and the next contraction had me flying in the air in pain. I ripped the peanut ball from between my legs and basically screamed in pain.

Then all of a sudden I felt like I had to poop! They always say that when this happens, it is time to push, but I still wasn’t convinced.

I told the nurse, she checked me, and confirmed that I was dilated to 10 cm. She called the doctor and started getting the room ready for delivery. It was such a surreal feeling. I was about to meet my little baby for the first time ever, but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle pushing him out.

Related: 50+ Shocking, Gross, and Weird Things About Labor And Delivery

Finally Time To Push

It was 1 pm when the doctor came in the room, and she sat on the edge of my bed. She said next time you feel a contraction, just push.

WHAT?? This lady must be crazy right? Just push? Like I am supposed to know how to do that? Well I did exactly as she said, and I pushed.

Next thing I know, the doctor and the nurse left my room. I was in there all by myself (well with my husband and mom), pushing this baby out.

The doctor and nurse returned, and I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing. It had been 54 hours since I had slept (aside from a short hour nap). I was exhausted and I found it very difficult to even stay awake between pushes.

My Baby Was Finally Born

I pushed for 45 minutes and my son was born!

At some point a neonatologist had come into the room, and as soon as my son was born, he was taken to be examined.

He was born a month early, and didn’t cry when he was born from being on Magnesium. Not hearing your baby cry after they are born, is a mother’s worst nightmare.

It was just a few minutes, which seemed to last a lifetime, and he started crying. The neonatologist told me that he was healthy as could be and I could FINALLY hold him. When they plopped him down on my chest, I couldn’t control the flood of emotions. It was the best moment of my life, and  never wanted it to end.

It is impossible to put this moment into words. No one can understand the feeling of holding your baby for the first time until you have experienced it yourself.

After Delivery

After he was born, I had to get A LOT of stitches. And because of my high risk pregnancy with Preeclampsia, I had to be on Magnesium for another 24 hours after giving birth, which meant I was still on bed rest, still needed a catheter, and I couldn’t even take a shower.

The worst part was, I couldn’t hold my baby unless someone was standing right next to my bed watching me, because the Magnesium slowed down my central nervous system, there was a chance I could have dropped him.

This was difficult when I was learning how to breastfeed, and I had to have someone constantly hovering over my shoulder watching me. If you are new to breastfeeding, make sure to check out The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. You can read the review of The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class here.

Good news is I never dropped him, and we got to go home 48 hours later. 🤣

Final Thoughts

How Long Does Induced Labor Take?

When you have an induced labor, it will more than likely take much more time than if you go into labor naturally. This is because your body is not ready to have the baby yet. The doctors are forcing your body into labor, and when your body fights back, it can take some time.

How Bad Is Induced Labor Pain?

Personally, I cannot compare the pain of an induced labor to going into labor naturally, because I was induced with both of my pregnancies. What I can tell you is, because induced labor does take longer, the pain my seem to be worse because you are dealing with it for much longer.

Additionally, when you are given Pitocin, the contractions can start coming very quickly and they can be very intense. If you go into labor naturally, the pain of your contractions might increase at a slower rate, making an induced labor seem much more painful.

Pros Of Having Labor Induced

I was ready to be done with my pregnancy, because it was miserable from day one.

Fun Fact: I always wanted a large family, but because both of my pregnancies were horrible, my husband and I decided we are done having babies, so I don’t have to go through that misery again.

It your doctor wants to induce you, it is because either you or your baby is at risk, so being induced is the better choice than risking you or your baby’s life.

I never had the fear of going into labor at home, and wondering when the right time to go to the hospital was. I was at the hospital with professional help from the minute my labor started.

Cons

It is unnatural. This can be scary, because your baby just isn’t ready to come into the world yet. Many babies that are born premature have many medical issues, and I was very lucky that my son was healthy as can be.

Fun Fact: My son was born at only 5lbs. 11oz., and has yet to catch up to the average height and weight for his age. Although he is very ahead when it comes to his cognitive development, he is only in the 5th percentile for his weight and height.

You will spend a lot of time at the hospital. A lot of this time is pretty boring, so make sure to pack things to keep you occupied in your hospital bag.

Are you getting induced? What are you worried about? Or were you induced? How did it go for you? Please comment and let me know, I would love to hear all about it!

Alison

Alison

I'm Alison! I married my high school sweetheart, and had two wonderful babies. I'm a stay-at-home mom just trying to live life to the fullest. I'm just your everyday mother: I need coffee to get out of bed in the morning, I live for hugs from my little ones, and I love sharing my stories and experience.

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