Induced Labor and Your experience...i'm Facing This Possibility

Updated on September 14, 2012
O.K. asks from Burlington, NC
29 answers

my daughter was due this past Monday and i have an induction date set for next Tuesday if she does not come before then. the last time i went to the doctor i was not very dilated and i'm worried that this is not going to happen without induction. this is my second pregnancy, my first one was a c-section and i never really got to experience the "real" thing and would like to. because my previous pregnancy was a c-section they can't induce using cervic softeners because those can also soften the uterus and they don't want me reopening my scar. so they will use pitocin, (not sure i spelled that right). my question is, who has had this experience and what was it like? all i've heard so far are horror stories concerning pitocin. another c-section is not an option because i am supposed to be moving immediately after this baby comes and i have a toddler to look after as well. i can't go through almost 2 mos of recovery time.

OK, just wanted to clarify that i understand i may have to have a c-section and definitely will if necessary. i was just would prefer not to do that again if i can avoid it, because it's going to be difficult to hold my son, (the toddler), and i don't want him to feel left out, not to mention i can't really travel like that and we are moving 6 hrs away. i think they are planning on inducing me at this time because she is supposed to around 8 lbs right now and i don't think they want me to attempt VBAC if she gets much bigger. i will do whatever is best for the baby no matter what, i'm just frustrated with this whole thing and ready to not be pregnant anymore!

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answers from Erie on

I was induced with my 2nd. The contractions were more painful, but the labor was a lot shorter. With my first, I was in labor for 16 1/2 hrs...when induced with my 2nd, labor was 5 1/2 hrs.

Either way, good luck! & congrats on the baby and the move! I know what it's like to move away with a toddler and newborn. We moved 6 hrs away when my son was 2 weeks old and daughter was not even 2 yet. Whew.

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answers from Dover on

I was induced with my 3rd and my 5th pregnancy (both my girls coincidentally) and I didn't notice any big difference. I was so relieved to be induced. I was ready to be done being pregnant. My contractions weren't more painful and my 3rd labor was just as long as the first two. My 5th was significantly quicker, but that had more to do with the fact that a) it was my 5th baby and b) it was 13 months after my 4th. If you get induced you will be fine.

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answers from Charlotte on

Sorry to tell you this, Mom, but you might not have a choice as to whether or not you have another C-section. The doctor will need to do whatever it takes to safeguard the life of your baby and your life as well. Using pitocin does not guarantee that you will dilate - what it WILL guarantee is that you will have really hard labor pains. I hope for your sake and the baby's that they won't be really close together (it's hard on the baby's heartrate during a contraction, and pitocin can push those contractions pretty close together.) The medical personnel will be watching your monitor very closely to make sure that the baby's heart rate goes back to normal after each contraction (a contraction slows down the heart rate). If it doesn't, they'll be wisking you in to have a C-section because they will be too worried about the baby's heart to let a vaginal birth continue.

A V-bac, like you are trying for, is a wonderful thing, and lots of women can do it. However, just wanting it doesn't make it happen. Trust your doctor and the nurses to help you make this very important decision. The fact that your baby is already late makes this harder - the bigger the baby, the harder it is to birth vaginally. One of the women on this site who was hell-bent on a V-bac delivery at home with her midwife ended up in the hospital screaming at people because she had to have an epidural (which she didn't want) and a C-section. Turns out that her baby was FAR too big to be delivered vaginally PERIOD - over 10 pounds. Her body could NOT deliver that baby. She was very upset about it the first time she wrote. Then later, after she had time to really understand and think about that baby in her arms, she admitted that she really understood how important that C-section was. Of course, she went through more hours than I can imagine trying to birth that baby at home, but it was not to be. That baby would have died if she hadn't gotten to the hospital, and I give kudos to that midwife who pushed that woman into going into the hospital.

Anyway, the "real" thing is just one way of giving birth. Don't let it be such a huge goal that you are upset with yourself if you can't do it. Your birth is NO less as a C-section than if it's a vaginal delivery. Vaginal deliveries are great for getting over them after you get home, but the GOAL is a healthy baby and a mom that's alive to take care of that baby.

Best of luck next week, to both of you!


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answers from Chicago on

I chose to induce with #2. Started with pitocin at 6am, and they slowly dialed it up.
I chose to get the epidural, so I never felt a contraction! (I did with #1, and was TOTALLY OK with bypassing that again! LOL!)
They broke my water, and things went normally.

I did wind up with a c-section. My daughter was stuck in where I couldn't push her out with out breaking her neck. She was just positioned wrong, so for both of our safety, they went in to get her.

However, the induction, Pitocin, etc... I never felt a thing and would do it again in a heartbeat!

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answers from Washington DC on

I was induced with both of mine. Both with softners and one with additional pitocin. The first labor went from nothing (no signs of ever coming out) to full on labor pains a few minutes apart within 2 hours. It was my first pregnancy so I was scared and stressed and that may have had some to do with the intensity of the labor.

My second labor, I was expecting the same thing. Was not looking forward to it. It turned out to be the complete opposite. I slept well, had no real pains just some pressure. I set hubby to work because I was feeling fine. When I got to the hospital the next day they said 'anything?' I said nope. They hooked me up, checked me out and I was already 4 cm dialated. Say what? That delivery was so night and day from my first we couldn't get over it. When I started to feel some pain they gave me the epidural. I slept. Then I woke up just as a nurse came in and said, I feel alot of pressure. Really? Yea, its getting a bit uncomfortable, like I have to pee. She took a look and the baby was crowning. Oh my!

So for me, while labor is all physical, but its also mental. If you work yourself up, except the worst, that is how your body will respond. If you take the twitches and pains in stride, your body will be relaxed and you'll have an enjoyable (as much as it can be) labor. Also, please don't rule out a c-section. I know that isn't your ideal delivery right now, but the goal is to deliver a healthy baby, however that needs to happen.

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answers from St. Louis on

#1 was pit-induced, vaginal w/ epidural 8lbs 2oz

#2 was pit-induced, emerg c-section 5lbs 2oz

#3 was pit-induced, vaginal & all natural 7lbs 11?oz (bad Mom, I should remember!)

What will be, will be. & as for a c-section & moving: it can be long as you have help. With my c-section, I had a 6yo at home/school + a new puppy + torn stomach muscles.....& my DH moved 90 minutes away so he could be at the hospital with our newborn daughter - who lived her entire life in the NICU at Children's Hospital. Thank goodness we had family in the city....providing my DH with a homebase & support system!

Good luck & I wish you a safe & speedy delivery!

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answers from Minneapolis on

My SIL was induced all 3 time with her babies... they were big and overdue each time. She had very positive experiences.

My first was induced, not such a positive experience... so I'll spare you.

You have a whole week - have lots of sex with your husband... he'll appreciate it since you'll be going through a dry spell after delivery :) Maybe you can get that baby out without the induction.

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answers from Chicago on

All four of mine were induced with Pitocin. It was wonderful. Easy, fast (4-5 easy hours start to finish with only 20 minutes or so of actual work and pain), in fact the third one came out no pain at all, 2 pushes. I plan for my 5th to be induced, too. I would be afraid to just go into labor. I have no idea what that's like! I always got the epidural too and some babies were more painful than others, but I was never in more than 20-30 minutes of actual pain, if that.

My babies would be late never come by their due date and they are close to 10 lbs! So, I always ask the Dr. to just induce on the due date (but never earlier).

I read that all these moms are saying being induced hurts more. Really? All I've ever known has been induction, and it was fine. Obviously I'm on baby #5 and ready to be induced again. So if simply going into labor hurts less at ALL phases, well that's awesome! It must be a breeze!

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answers from Dallas on

I never dilated with my daughter and was a week past the due date. The doctor told me that we could induce, but since nothing had started yet, the chance was very high that she'd have to do an emergency c-section. I had no interest in being stressed or the baby being stressed so I scheduled the c-section a week later. I still never started going into labor and my child was nearly 10 lbs and 22 inches. I am glad I had the c-section even though I was very against it.

My sister just gave birth to her first child. She was also late, but had started to dilate (I think to 2cm). The doctor used pitocin to induce her and the labor progressed, then stalled. She went 19 hours and then ended up with a c-section anyway.

I would say it really depends how far along you are and if you want to spend time trying with the possibility of ending up with a c-section anyway. My sister didn't have any trouble with the pitocin, but it seems like a lot to go through to then end up with a c-section. I hear you about the recovery time though and understand why you want to avoid it, so definitely check how far along you are with dilating and decide from there. I'm not sure at what point you get past the "high risk of emergency c-section," but hopefully the doctor can tell you.


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answers from Charleston on

I was induced twice with pitocin with no complications. However, I was 4 cm dilated with the first, and 6 with the 2nd. My labor only lasted about 3 hours the first time, and 1 hour with the second. My inductions were done because of high blood pressure, and a very difficult and high risk 2nd pregnancy. First was done at 38 weeks, the second at 39 weeks, and both of my babies were over 7.5lbs.

I have also heard bad things about being induced with pitocin when you are not very dilated. I actually knew someone who was induced at 1 cm dilated and her labor lasted 36 hours. I'd ask to be checked again tomorrow and possibly Monday to see if you've progressed. I'd rather keep the bun in the oven a little longer than to have to struggle through days of labor.

Good luck!

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answers from Detroit on

I was induced 3 weeks early, was in labor for 12 hours and do not dilate past one.
The reason I was induced early, because during an ultrasound the baby's heart rate was too low. After being monitored the whole time I was being induced, her heart remained fine. They wanted to give me a c-section but I refused because personally, I thought it was too early, neither of our lives were threatened, and it wasnt necessary.
So, I went home for two weeks, and at 39 weeks was induced again and everything went fine!

I think the first failure was due to just being too early. She and I werent ready.

My two children after that were c-sections because they were huge.

Either way they come out, it will be fine.

My induction wasnt as breeze the first time, but I wouldnt call it horrifying. I think you are ready, and who knows, you might just go into labor before then. Try to relax, you are in good hands and everything will work out the way it is supposed to. :)

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answers from Augusta on

I was induced with my youngest due to size 9 days early and he was STILL too big to have vaginally. Ended up with a c section because his ginormous head got stuck. I healed MUCH faster from my c section than from my vaginal birth.

Pitocin makes the contractions harder than they would be normally. They hurt more.

ETA : even with vaginal you can't pick anything up heavier than baby

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answers from Los Angeles on

All 5 kids were late and I was induced for all of them. The first 4 I did it without meds and the last one I decided to try the epidural. I did walk around about 2-3 cm before the induction and even with the pitocin, the nurse had to break my water every time. The pain was pain, I think people have different reactions to pain and I'm not sure if you can compare it to pitocin induced except that it accelerates birth. All my kids were birthed in less than 6 hours with only 30 minutes of pushing. Does it hurt? I had all kids over 8 lbs coming out of my whahoo... why wouldn't it hurt? But you don't fight the pain and don't be so afraid you counteract your body.

Right now, I totally understand that last month "I don't want to be pregnant anymore". lol I remember those last few months when it's no longer fun. But hang on, not much longer. Don't fear pitocin, it's the worst thing to do. If it works for you, it works, if not, it doesn't. But don't walk into a birth with any extra fear than you need to have.

BTW, the epidural baby... I tried it for the last one and didn't feel a thing. I kind of missed the pain of labor actually.

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answers from New York on

How far past your due date are you?

I ask because my son was 10 days "late." After 5 or 7 days (approx), my midwife asked how I felt about induction. I said I was opposed unless it was medically necessary and requested an ultrasound. U/S indicated that everything was fine. I delivered naturally, no meds, etc., and had (still have!) a healthy, wonderful, amazing little boy.

So, I've never been induced. From what I understand, it makes labor pretty much unendurable for anyone, but if you get an epidural, you're fine. Just takes natural childbirth off the table.

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answers from Raleigh on

Not everyone dilates ahead of time, so all of your labor could still happen suddenly. Consider waiting until at least two weeks past your due date for induction. Because you had a C-section, your body may start labor much more slowly, as if this were your first birth.

I've had a C-section and a VBAC, and the VBAC is worth it! Also, in the majority of situations, the VBAC is safer, despite the popular fears in our culture.

Good luck!

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answers from Rochester on

Congrats on the second little one!

Please don't say that a c-section is not an option, because you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you say that. What if you have to have a c-section? Never say never. I have had two emergency, and the next one planned but turned emergency because I went into labor a week before scheduled. There wasn't two months of recovery time...maybe two weeks. :) You'll be okay no matter what happens.

I was induced with pitocin with my first child because my water broke and I did not go into labor within 24 hours. I can't remember how many hours it took to go into labor after that, but things did eventually progress quickly (once labor started, it took about 45 minutes to progress from not dilated at all until ready to push) and I was in labor for many hours before my stupid doctor bothered to check on me and realized the baby was transverse. Hence the emergency c-section, which should have been performed before my hours of intense, undrugged labor.

I know maybe none of that is helpful, but I'm trying. :)

I have known women to go several weeks after "due" date before going into labor, and I'm wondering why they are inducing after just a week over. Due dates are estimates. Especially with a VBAC, I think the common practice is to let labor happen naturally because that's your best chance of actually being successful. Push for natural!

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answers from Indianapolis on

DO NOT let them induce you! Seriously, it's not medically necessary. It's ok to be "overdue". The due date is only an estimate anyway. And the Pitocin will actuality slow down your labor because it intensifies the pain and they'll have to up your pain meds. Then you'll end up with an "emergency" c-section that was all started by the Pitocin!

By the way, I've had two completely natural births. My first was a waterbirth. And my second came out too fast to get to the tub. And with my second they gave me Pitocin after I gave birth to my daughter. It hurt like hell! So I can only imagine how much it would hurt during labor.

They can't make you induce. Please consider your options.

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answers from Washington DC on

My second baby was induced because the sonogram said he was almost 11 pounds. He was due on May 1 and was induced on April 20th. He ended up being 8.13, so he would have been close to 11 if we let him stay those last 11 days! However, his heart rate wouldn't stand the pitocin and the cord dropped under his head, so we had an emergency c-section.

The pitocin itself was not bad. I always wanted to feel some of the pain of labor, but I don't remember it being bad. They started my drip at 630am-ish, and we did the c-section just after noon. Granted, they had to keep turning it off for my son's sake.

So if you end up being induced, just get the epirudal when it's offered.

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answers from Chicago on

Getting induced feels nothing like "the real thing". I went into labor on my own with my first child and didn't need any meds. With my second child, I asked to be induced because he was full term, and I was huge and uncomfortable. I didn't get an epidural, and it was very painful. The contractions with pitocin were much stronger than they were during natural labor. Luckily, my labor went fast. With my third child, I went into labor on my own and didn't need any meds. It was a fairly easy and textbook labor.

If you don't go into labor before the Tuesday iinduction, definitely be open to the possibility of an epidural. All of my friends who were induced and also got an epidural were pretty happy with the whole experience. Good luck to you! Please let us know when your sweet daughter is here :-)

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answers from Phoenix on

I was 2 weeks late, too. Obgyn offered me csection or induction. Induction, like Dawn said, doesn't quarantee the delivery, but hard labor.

My sister tried to be like you, but she end up with csection.
We already have csection scar, why we must add vaginal scar,too.
I can understand that recovery can be really long. It must be a dilemma to you. But my sister told me it depends on the obygn, too. Her 1st one was awful, the 2nd and 3rd one were done with a very good doctor. She had the surgery in the morning, and in the night she already sat and eat. She asked my mom to take care of her 1child whenever she had csection.

Can you arrange the things like this, you have some days to plan this. Good luck. Hope mom and baby are born healthy :))

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answers from Los Angeles on

I was under the impression that they wouldn't induce regardless of method once you've had a c-section. Unless your baby isn't passing the non-stress test (or whatever it's called), I'd see if you could wait as long as possible to try to go into labor naturally.

Otherwise, honestly if I were you, I'd schedule the c-section rather than go through a pitocin induction. Once they start with the interventions, the likelihood of it ending in c-section anyway goes up quite a bit. I've heard that the recovery is so much easier with a scheduled c-section than it is with an emergency. You're not all worn out from having gone through labor.

And yes, pitocin is much harder on your body than normal labor. I had a pitocin induction with my first and ended up with a c-section anyway. I don't want to scare you, but my recovery was not the easiest. I was so fortunate to be able to have an epidural-free VBAC with my second.

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answers from Detroit on

I was induced with my first. Water broke 3 weeks early, but NO other signs of labor or dialation. Everything went well - I would just advise to be prepared to take the epidural. Pitocin contractions are WAY stronger than regular contractions. I know many people that got pitocin in smaller doses than moved to stronger. I'm pretty sure they went full strength on me right aways. Got pitocin around 11pm. Was white knuckling the bed within the hour, contractions 2 minutes apart. Asked for the epidural in less than an hour after contractions started. But after that, slept through most of the night, and delivered around 8am.



answers from Fargo on

My first: (15 years ago) 2 weeks overdue, dialated to nothing, I was tight as a drum, not even trying or contemplating starting labor. I went in and started pitocen at 6 am, she was born at 1 pm.

My second: (7 years ago) 1 week late, I went in to the hospital, my labor slowed so they told me to go home at 10:30 at night only to come back in the monring to be induced - I was so mad. I got up to get dressed and I had this gross yucky stuff, a little bloody on the floor and on my socks. I told my husband - you get the nurse, she has a mess to clean up - I was so mad at her!! I was in the bathroom changing and she came in and said Your water broke, you just got yourself a ticket into the hospital. I thought it was all the gels and goop they were using when they kept checking me. Well, at 6:00 am, I was only dialated to 3 and labor was not progressing, so they gave me pitocen and the doctor leaves saying I have a few hours to go. At 6:15 the nurse checked me again and I was 5. At 6:20 am I felt the need to push, got the nurse - I was fully dialated ready to go and no doctor. She said I needed an episiademy (spelled??) and she couldn't do it so I had to "NOT" push - so I not pushed until we got a doctor and when I could push, 2 pushed and she was born at 6:45.

My third: (10 months ago) Was 2 days early, no induction, again very quick labor. My new doctor doesn't cut you, she lets you tear (which honestly scared me to death) . . . I will say the numbing for stiches is worse as i didn't feel the numbing from being cut (I think baby head blocks the nerves so you don't feel it) but I healed much faster and easier.

I don't do epidurals - scared to death of them. Everyone says the pitocin hurts worse - but I don't know if it did or if it's just because it was longer than my third. Anywho, the induction it's just a means to an end - just focus on the prize. Congrats!!


answers from Jacksonville on

I had to be induced with my first baby due to complications. They used pitocin and ended up breaking my water. I did not have a bad experience with the did what it was supposed to do...I have heard that it can make the contractions stronger and more painful, but it wasn't anything I couldn't deal with. I was only dilated to 1 when they induced me, so my only real complaint is that labor took a long time. Try not to worry or stress about it. Do your research, educate yourself, and do what is best for you and your baby. :) I hope you are able to have VBAC like you are wanting. Good luck mama! :)

ETA: just wanted to say that being given pitocin does not guarantee you will have a c section. That is absurd. I was given pitocin with my first and both were vaginal. Could it happen? Sure. But to say it happens every single time is misleading. Just as misleading as saying an epidural will slow/stop your birth and you will end up with a c section every time. I was given pitocin with my first and chose to have an epidural with both of my births, and guess what, it didn't slow anything down. In fact, with my second baby I pushed for less than 3 minutes. And with my first, less than 15.


answers from Kalamazoo on

I used pitocin with my first baby - he was just over one wk "late". Looking back, I wish I would have waited just a little bit longer.........
Worked for me. Took awhile for it to kick in, which sucked - I was just laying there in the hospital for HOURS waiting and nothing. Then my baby pinched his umbilical cord or something and the monitors went off. All the doctors and nurses rushed in the room, stuck an IV in my arm and a oxg mask on my face and started prepping me for C sect and then his pulse came right back (hence why they assume after the fact that he just pinched his cord for a sec.) Anyway, after that, since I already had the IV jabbed in my arm, the gave me something else to help "move things along" not sure what it was??? I was in labor in less than an hour after that though and then my body just took over from there. My labor start to delivery was less than 3 hrs.
Note: my labors are just fast, it wasn't because of being induced. My second baby came 100% natural, zero drugs and she was born in just 1.5 hrs start to finish.


answers from Dallas on

I only have 1 child and she is 17 so it has been a LONG time since I did it but I was induced, I did have pitocin and it was no big deal. I also had an epidural when the timing was right.

I checked into the hospital at 7, was officially induced by 9ish and she was born at 6pm that day.

No regrets or horror stories from me.



answers from Reno on

I was induced with 3 out of 4 pregnancies. First baby for pre eclampsia, second came on his own and even though he was well over 9pounds and 23 inches long he was by far the easiest to deliver-shortest labor too at 3 hours long. Most recently I was induced 5 weeks ago for a few reasons because my water had broken but hadn't fully "broke"-just enough to where I thought I peed myself. Anyways 24 hours later I finally went to the hospital and while they were testing the fluid they noticed our little one was having serious decels and a flat heart rate so 10 minutes later they walked in with some pitocin and he was born 4 hours later. The only natural labor was by far less intensly painful than the other 3. I'm sure being allowed to walk around wold have helped with the pain but with the last one especially I was flat on my back hooked up to monitors. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

With my DD, I stalled overnight. They gave me pitocin the next day and I chose an epidural when I felt that I needed it, but I did not ask for it right away. Neither was as horrible as other people have sometimes described. The pitocin and breaking my water did increase the contractions but that was good because I wasn't going anywhere without it. I felt like I had a preferred way to have DD but the ultimate goal was a baby in my arms when I left the building, however the method used.

You should have some discussions both with your OB and with your family. If you do end up with another c-section (and frankly, even a vaginal birth takes time to recover. I wasn't up and at 'em immediately and DH took DD for her first walk because I was sore) you need to have a plan so that YOU are not doing all the moving and lifting. Hire someone. Get family and friends to help. Etc. Regardless of how your DD comes into the world, you shouldn't be stuck moving most of the stuff. I know what you mean, but rather than say "no c-section" you should have a Plan B for the move.



answers from Dallas on

I was induced for my first, and I couldn't handle the pain and had to get an epidural. With my second, I went all natural and it was a breeze, the pain was almost nothing in comparison to the pitocin contractions. So, if I were in your shoes I would resign myself to pitocin but insist upon an epidural to go with it.

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