I have a confession to make. And an apology. First things first.
I induced labor with my third baby. I am a birth doula who has been pretty (mostly silently) judgemental of women who have done the same thing.
I'm sorry for my negativity, even if I never vocalized my disagreement. I did probably say things like this:
"Your baby will come when it's ready!"
"If you're not in labor, your baby/body isn't supposed to be in labor!"
"Babies don't have calendars!"
"Get a new provider if they won't let you go past 40/41/42 weeks!"
Basically, all of those "don't worry your pretty little head about that" kind of comments. And you know, I still believe all of those statements. I might even use them again, depending on the circumstances. But....I also have a little more empathy for women who feel like it's necessary to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Because I became that woman. It was distressing, to say the least. I felt like I was betraying my conviction that babies KNOW when to be born as long as everyone was healthy (which we were). But.....
I DON'T REGRET MY DECISION. Let me explain. No, let me sum up. (Please someone get that reference)..
I knew going into the home stretch of my third pregnancy that I would likely go past my EDD. My second was born at 41 weeks, and I just felt like this one would be the same or longer. I was right! At my 41 week appointment my care provider commented that it was apparent that I and the baby were doing well and healthy, and she was perfectly happy if I wanted to keep waiting, but that I needed to schedule a biophysical profile for 42 weeks in the event that I got that far. I was content to comply with this request (and find it a very reasonable one), however I realized rather quickly that the out-of-pocket expense is very high for this test. Like, really really high.
She gave me another option, one which she only mentions (unless there is a clear medical indication) to mothers who are past 41 weeks. She said that I could take a root beer float with a small amount of castor oil in it.
Castor oil! No way! I had basically heard two versions of castor oil inductions. These probably sound familiar to you also.
Scenario #1- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, but you have a baby.
Scenario #2- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and no baby.
Hmm...I think I'll take NEITHER. Also, it just felt wrong. I needed to give us more time. I couldn't betray my convictions that easily. However, I was assured that this method would NOT make me sick. I would just start having contractions or not. I wasn't sure if that was possible, but I trust my care provider, so I kept it on the back burner as an option. I felt like this baby was bigger than my last two, but that didn't scare me.
Each morning, I woke up still pregnant. No labor. Actually, no signs even of impending labor. I knew I'd have to schedule the test by Friday to get in, so Thursday morning, at 41 weeks and 4 days, still conflicted and feeling like a complete doula hypocrite, I called my mom.
"Pick up the castor oil and some root beer. I've got the ice cream."
....to be continued.
I look at birth from the perspective that our bodies are wonderfully made, and if we really believe that and work with the birth process and nourish our bodies properly, they will function optimally, most of the time!