Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is there no such thing as waiting it out any more?

I'll admit it. I'm getting antsy to get this kid out of me. Not because the pregnancy is bad. Far from it. More because I am bored with this stage and ready to move on to the next: motherhood! I'm also not at the "scared out of my wits" to be a mom stage yet so this would be the perfect time for the kid to pop out. In 4 weeks I'll probably be begging her to stay in...

As a part of my obsession I have been doing a lot of web board reading on WebMD (third trimester) and (March birth club). At it appears as though every other woman out there is having a scheduled induction or c-section. WTH? One woman writes, "I have an EDD (estimated due date) of 3/14 but am being induced on 3/12." Why? There is no medical reason for the induction aside from scheduling. Not to mention the number who are whining that their doctor won't let them schedule an induction. Women have been giving birth for hundreds of thousands of years (would millions be accurate? probably). Let it come naturally! The best are the women who say, "I am at one centimeter dilated and have been for a week so I am scheduling my induction." or "I have been having small contractions every two hours for the past week." That probably means you needed a week to prepare yourself for labor. Just because you aren't progressing and you have one day to your due date doesn't mean somethings wrong. Gah! Am I wrong to be disgusted with some of these women?**

I have heard that inductions end up with more complications like the need for vacuums or c-sections. So even though it would be nice to not be pregnant I'm not going to rush it on my end. However, if I'm a week past my due date (which was already pushed out from 3/21 to 3/28) I will take the freaking induction. But that's more of a fear for a huge baby than anything else.

So, what do others think about the number of inductions and c-sections? Any corroboration for increasing percentages? Does anyone else roll their eyes at the whining?

**I reserve all right to completely change my mind when I am at 40 weeks pregnant and suffering from contractions. That is my right as a pregnant woman. Deal with it.


LauraC said...

After reading a lot of pregnancy and childbirth literature, I made an uber-crunchy choice to go to a birth center with midwives. My issue with unnecessary inductions (which have been proven to increase c-section rates) and c-sections is that they are less healthy for both the mother and the baby. There is quite a lot of scientific research on this. I think the increase in rates is driven by medical malpractice suits.

But... I can't really judge what other woman do to their bodies and their babies. It's their choice.

And as someone who had 12+ lbs of baby, I do find it funny when people carrying one 6-8lb baby complain about how uncomfortable they are and how much everything hurts. I still think it is valid for them to complain bc being pregnant is really hard on your body, but man I find it hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Stacey, you are very correct. C-section rates are at an all-time high, and the percentage of labors induced or augmented with pitocin is also extremely high (I'd have to look up the stat on that one, but I'm pretty sure it's more than half).

A pregnancy is not considered postdates ("overdue") until 42 weeks. That's the medical definition. So those that would advocate for non-medically-indicated inductions on or even before the EDD are being ridiculous, perhaps even reckless. And induction does raise the risk of c-section, several studies have demonstrated this "cascade of interventions."

I could go on all day with this. Instead, I'll just recommend 3 books: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, Pushed by Jennifer Block, and The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth by Henci Goer.

Danielle said...

Personally, I wanted to avoid Pitocin or major abdominal surgery any way possible. I went 2 weeks early, but unfortunately ended up getting Pitocin anyway. My water broke and my labor wasn't progressing. At least that's what they told me. Should I ever have another I want to have a birth doula.

Like Laura said above, to each their own. But I do believe that it's healthy for mom and baby to wait until the baby is ready barring any real medical conditions.

A. said...

Oh, I'm with you. I can't believe all these women on the BBC boards that are getting inductions on or days before their due dates because "obviously their bodies weren't going to go into labor on their own." Insane. It's just a date, people, it doesn't really mean anything.

I CAN'T go early, or else no one will be around to watch Finn while I'm in the hospital. So definitely no methods of speeding things up on the horizon for me! I did have a little pitocin with Finn's birth, but that was after about 40 hours of labor and just to get me to completion (was already ~7 cm and had an epidural).

There are many ways that my birth experience with Finn was not ideal (one of these days I should write out the birth story just so I can remember it), but I'm SO glad that my doc didn't rush me in for a c-section when things got a little difficult, and the practice was willing to let me go to 42 weeks before inducing. I have a new practice this time, and I'm hoping things go just as well!

Donna said...

I ended up with an induction for the first. It was not my choice, but a medical issue. My ds1 had a sua so there were fears of waste build up due to the natural degradation of the placenta that starts in the late 3rd trimester. I was pretty upset with the idea of it, I really wanted to go into labor myself. It ended failed and I had an emergency c-section after 16 hours of horrible labor. But the results were well worth it. With number 2 I came to my senses early, realized my cervical issues were still there, did not want to risk it and went with a planned c-section. It was the best birth experience ever!!! But I am with you, if my body would have cooperated I would have loved to go into labor on my own

Danielle said...

Oh and I just wanted to say not to let them scare you about the size of the baby. Late term size predictions are very very unreliable, even if you have an ultrasound. They predicted that Brady was close to 8lbs 2 weeks before he was born and he was born a healthy 7lbs 5oz. I've had several friends terrified by size predictions both ways and all of them have had perfectly average sized babies. So even if they tell you that your little one is HUGE, it's no reason to panic.