Induction Scheduled for Friday, What to Expect?

Updated on August 10, 2010
M.M. asks from Chicago, IL
25 answers

Hi ladies,
I'm currently 39 weeks with my second child. I'm dilated to 3, and as of last Friday, was 80% effaced. I went ahead and scheduled an induction for this coming Friday. I'm just terribly sick of being pregnant. I hate it with all of my being. I'd like to hear what others have experienced for voluntary inductions? How long did it take? How were the contractions? Did you have complications that required an emergency C-section?
Please, I'm only interested in hearing from those that have done it or are planning it. If you're not in favor of having it done, that's your perogative.

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So What Happened?

Well the induction could not have gone better. Pitocin started slowly and increased over several hours. Contractions came on nicely, and when they were painful, I got the epidural. Honestly, it was the easiest thing in the world.
Unfortunately, my daughter face up and stuck in my pelvis. :( So after 2 hours of pushing, I could not get her out and wound up with a c-section. But, it had nothing to do with inducing. The doctor said I would have never gotten her out on my own.
So thanks for all of the help!

More Answers



answers from Miami on


I'm also 39 weeks with #2. I feel your pain - I'm tired of being pregnant also. I was induced with #1 at 40 weeks and 3 days. It was the most awful thing that ever happened to me in my life, thus far. I was supposedly 70% effaced and dialated to 2 at the time. I was told by the OB that I was "post-due" and my placenta would start to deteriorate. I was also told that I would have a 10 lb baby. Guess what? Not so much...

My induction began with 12 hours of cervadil in the hospital. After that, they hooked me up to pitocin and I had terrible contractions that supposedly "ended" according to the monitor but to me felt as if a vise grip was squeezing my entire abdomin and NEVER stopped. I know now that in "natural labor" there is a break in between contractions. I had none - for almost 18 hours. At some point, my OB broke my water with a hook to try to get things moving along. Super painful procedure! I went without an epidural for the first 14 hours of pitocin. I was a complete wreck - the only thing that might compare is middle ages torture. When I begged for an epidural I got one - and a catheter - and was basically immobilized from that point on. After another 4 hours (the epidural helped but did NOT take the pain away), I was told that the baby was in distress and if I didn't want a dead baby, I would need a c-section. We had the c-section - don't let anyone kid you, YES, you do feel it, my son was born at 6 pounds 4 oz (oops, maybe that sonogram due date wasn't as accurate as they claim) and he never learned to breastfeed. I tried to bf for over a month, struggling along with 3 different lactation consultants but he just never learned. I also got an infection in my incision - which meant extra time in the hospital and recovery was terrible. I couldn't get up to get my infant - couldn't climb stairs (we have a 2 story house), couldn't drive for 2 weeks, had scar pain for over a year.

I did ask my OB if induction would increase my chances of a c-section. She told me no - an out and out lie. Based on my situation at the time, the induction increased my chances of c-section by 50%.

You can read more online - if you haven't read A Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth - check out the author's website:

I'm not telling you that I'm not in favor of induction - but I am saying understand exactly what you are getting into and be willing to accept the risks. I'm personally extremely tired of being pregnant but will go to 43 weeks if need be to avoid my own personal nightmare.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I was induced with my second. No problems at all, no c-section. Total labor 13 hours.

I too, was 3 cms dialated and soft. I started pitocin around noon, contractions started pretty soon after. They were not bad contractions at all. By 7pm I wasn't really progressing, so my dr broke my water. I got the epi. Baby was born at 1:00 am! 3 pushes and he was out!

I'm not sure what your experience was with your first...but let me tell you, the second delivery is soooooooo much easier!! At least it was for me! My doctor said it best "Your first paved the way for your second" hahaha!

Good luck mama!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I was induced w/both of my children. I went in at 7 am and was in labor for 12 hours with the first and 10 with the second. The contractions did get fairly intense(but at no point was I screaming or crying) but at that point I was ready for an epidural. Unfortunately I can't compare it to going into labor on my own bc that didn't happen w/either. I did not have to have a c-section with eithr and they were 9'10 and 9'9. All in all it was a postive experience for me. Feel free to message me if you have any more specific questions!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I haven't been induced, but I know that if you've already given birth, you have a much lower chance of it ending in c-section because your body is quicker to say "oh, I've done this before...ok, let's go". First time labors have a 50% chance of ending in c-section for distress or failure to progress, but it's it's not that high if you're already given birth vaginally.
If they use pitocin, ask that they start with the lowest dose possible and up it less often than they usually would. It give your body a better chance of taking over so that it can be turned off and you have less chance of putting the baby in distress (which is likely since contractions are so strong, the baby just isn't made to withstand contractions like that for very long). Once your body takes over, there's no reason to keep using the PIT. Also, if the baby does seem to be starting to get distressed, you don't have to agree to an immediate section, you can have the PIT turned off and see if it gets better. It may prolong the labor, but it's better than hurting the baby and obviously it's better for everyone to avoid surgery unless totally necessary.

I just want to add...please keep in mind that not everyone's second labor is easier or faster. I went in knowing that every labor is different but in the back of my mind I kept thinking "the average 2nd labor is half as long as the first". My first was 8 hours. So I figured my next would be 4 hours. 17 hours later I had my son. I hadn't slept in a long time and I was so worn out by the end:( There are a lot of factors that can affect labor and your body not being ready for an induction is one of them. So, understand that counting up the days doesn't automatically mean that your body is ready, either does dilation or effacement. If the baby isn't quite ready and hasn't sent "I'm ready" hormones to your body, it's much harder to get your body to labor on its own. Be prepared for it to be longer than your first labor that was not forced early. It's great when the second is shorter, but it seems to take FOREVER if you expect it to be quick and then it isn't :P

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Johnson City on

There are so many variables, you just cannot say how long or anything like that.

I was induced with my first and the contractions were not too bad. She was sunny side up so the exercises and positions they kept putting me in made me more uncomfortable than the contractions. Unfortunately, her heartbeat kept dropping with each contraction and we never did get her to turn before she fully dropped, so I did end up with a c-section. My only real advice would be to wait as long as you can on the epidural, as my OB told me that the sooner you have one, the greater the chance of a stalled labor, resulting in a c-section. That was several years ago so might not even apply nowadays.

GL and just try to relax and let the labor go as it goes (we can't change it anyway! : -)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I was induced with all three of my kids. No complications with any of them, No c-sections. They slowly turned up the meds to bring on the contractions so they weren't too hard on me.
Good luck, I know how miserable it is at the end. I loved being pregnant though.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I've been induced with all 3 of my pregnancies. None ended in C-section or with any complications. I went in early in the morning, was hooked up to IV's and monitors and started on the Pitocin. With my first I waited until the contractions were bad before asking for the epidural. With the last 2 I told them to send the anesthesiologist in whenever he was available :-). The first two I was started on Pitocin around 6:30 am and my first was born at 11:30 pm and the second was born at 6:15 pm. My third I didn't start the Pitocin until 10:00 am and he was born at 8:00 pm.

Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I was induced with my son at 38 weeks. I was also 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. It was a total of 14 hours with 3 hours of pushing. He was face up, so it was harder to get him out. I sometimes wonder if I had waited, if he would have been in the right position. Either way, the contractions were very intense and close together, but since he was my first I have nothing to compare them to. Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It took a lot longer than I thought it would to go through the labor. I don't know why I was under the impression that it would be faster than natural labor but somehow I was. No complications at all and healthy twins at the end of it all so well worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I had to be induced with my third for medical reasons and although it was a very easy induction 2.5 hours start to finish, the agony of wondering if the baby would be o.k. and whether the induction would go without any problems was an awful feeling :(

I had all three of my kids without drugs my second was by far the worste but they gave me a brief dose of pitocin as my labor stalled at 7cm. I don't know if it was the pitocin that made it so much worse or the fact that my little man got stuck because of his shoulders. Anyhow I did not have pitocin with my induction and all was great there are other options then pitocin I would look into them.

I would suggest holding off and go naturally, I know what you are going through and trust me I found out there is much worse that you could be dealing with while pregnant that is more horrible then just being big, pregnant and miserable with no issues and close to the end. You and your baby could be on your death bed from being so ill, and by playing with nature you are choosing to risk complications. If you are healthy (even though miserable) and baby is healthy then stick it out, it's for the better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I would like to just suggest that you reconsider the induction, or at least give it another week or two. I know I'm overstepping here, since you're not asking for that information...

However, an induction is starting a process that is not ready to start. Every day, every hour that your baby is in there, up till 42 weeks, the baby is growing & developing in the best possible place. I know it's miserable, believe me, but your baby is not ready yet....

In addition, being induced can lead to a c-section, which is serious abdominal surgery. Google "cascade of interventions" or "induction c-section."

One of the main problems associated with the inductions via pitocin is the pain of the contractions---if you do go this route, once you're in a normal pattern of contractions, ask them (and ask your doc ahead of time about this) if they can turn off or turn down the Pitocin. Also, if you go with an epidural, as they tell you how you're progressing, tell them that you want them to turn down the epi. about 20-30 minutes before pushing. Turning it down doesn't mean you'll be in super pain, (you might have some but it should be very bearable), but it allows you to feel the urge to push, which is really important in preventing you from pushing too much & getting tired (c-section), and helping control the pushing so you don't tear.

Ask your doc how s/he plans to induce. Some use a "cervical ripener" and others use pitocin, and others use a Foley catheter to start or move dilation along, and some use all 3.

You can also try natural inductions methods (some are pretty simple, like nipple stimulation).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dothan on

Forced labor. Yea thats about it, nothing special just going in to get the baby out. You still get the full labor thing so there is no real differeance between natural and forced.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have four kids, and have been induced with my third at 39 weeks, and it was the most smooth and calm birth out of four. The reason for my induction was my super fast second labor, when my daughter was born only 20 minutes after arriving to the hospital (and 1 hour after I felt 1st contraction), so everyone was concerned that I won't make it to the hospital in time with my third. Plus I was due in the middle of the winter, and I work about 1 hour away from the hospital, so there was a concern that I might be stuck in the snowstorm in labor. Anyway, I didn't want induction, but my husband and my doctors talked me into it, and it seemed like the safest option.
On induction day I was 3-4 cm dialated, 70% effaced. We got to the hospital at 6 am, the IV and pitocin was started. Nothing was happening as far as strong contractions until doctor broke my water (which didn't hurt at all) around 9 am, then I got epidural at 10 or so, and had the baby at 11:30 am. Very easy, very calm, no complications, easy recovery, baby breastfed OK. The contractions didn't feel worse then regular labor.
However, even given really good induction experience, I still wonder when would've my baby be born if it wasn't for the induction? I feel like I didn't give her a chance to choose her own birthday and to come to the world on her own terms. So, in a way I still have regrets. So with my 4th baby, I declined the induction, went into labor at 39 1/2 weeks, but ended up with C Section because his head was too big and pushing got me nowhere. So you just never know.
Good luck, and let us know how everything goes. You might still go on your own before Friday :).



answers from Chicago on

I have 3 children and for the last 2 I've wanted to be induced. There are 4 doctors in the practice and 2 of them would tell me that I could schedule an induction at a certain point (say if you make it until next week and you want to be induced, just let me know). Well of course I wanted to be induced and both times for my last visits I saw the 2 doctors who would say "oh you don't want that, let nature take it's course." All I heard was blah, blah, blah and would be so incredibly upset. Really, with my last baby I remember her saying he already had a cone head. I called my husband and just started crying, devistated that my son would have a cone head!!!!!!! Well in both cases I went into labor the same day as my last appointment. So as much as I wanted to be induced, I haven't done it. I know you're more likely to require a c-section when induced so I get that it's better to let nature take it's course but I feel your pain and I would've done it if given the chance so good luck!!!!! I have pretty fast labors too and with my last although I was in labor, they gave me potocin (spell?) after my epidural and breaking my water to speed things up so my doctor who came in could deliver the baby so it's kinda similar. If you're dialated to 3 already - you've got a head start!!! Usually people who end up needing a c-section never dialate beyond 1.5 or 2 so I'd put money on it that you'll be fine :) Good luck and congratulations on your new baby!



answers from Chicago on

Hi Melissa,

I had an induction with my first born, because I was a week over due. The pitocin you will be given will get your contractions hard and close together quickly. It's not at all regular labor pains. Regular labor pains start slow and eventully goes into the hard labor where your contrations are a minute apart. Once the pitocin was given to me, my labor was a minute apart for 13 hours and I only got to 1 cm. I couldn't get my epidural until I was at least 10 cm dilated. I was throwing up every 15 minutes. After the 13th hour my baby's heart rate dropped and had to get an emergency C-section. Everything was fine oncethe baby was born but it was a little scary for me toward the end. My thinking is that don't volunteer for an induction unless your doctor recommends it.



answers from Rockford on

My first baby was 28 hours of labor, 3 epidurals, then a c-section because the little guy wasn't so little after all. Fun, fun, fun. My second baby was induced. I wanted to try for a vaginal birth, so a date was set, when he was supposed to be full term, and I was induced in the morning. It was a piece of cake and over in a few hours. The only thing I didn't like was that they somehow miscalculated the maturity of the baby. My doctor wanted to make sure he was full term and not as huge as my first so I could do the vaginal delivery. My baby was the size of a full term, but he was not quite ready to come out. He had very little baby fat on him and had some trouble nursing. He was perfectly fine and healthy, though, but I felt so bad for him that he was not quite all the way ready yet. I had no problem with the inducement, but make double sure your little one is fully ready to come into the world.



answers from Charleston on

Hey Melissa,

I've had two inductions, and both were easy and no c-section required. With the first I went in at 39 weeks, 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I was given pitocin at 7:30am, got the epidural around 10:00 and my daughter was born at 12:09pm, so about 3.5 hours. I pushed about an hour with her.

My second, I went in at 38 weeks and I was 6 cm dilated and 90% effaced when I arrived. (I induced this time because of a very difficult pregnancy with 5 months of bedrest) I arrived at 9am, was given pitocin at 11:00, epidural at 12:00, baby at 1:06. I only pushed about 10 minutes. (He came really quick!) .

The contractions were like really bad cramps after the epidural. Before it, as you probably know, they're crazy bad! With my son, the epidural didn't really have a chance to totally take effect, so I felt more with his delivery.

If you're already dilated to 3cm and 80% effaced, you'll probably go quickly. Good luck and remember that sweet baby will make your pregnancy all worth it. Thinking of you!



answers from Washington DC on

I was induced at 38.5 weeks because my son was measuring to be almost 11 pounds. I was dialated and somewhate effaced (I forget the numbers, he is 5 now) and so my doctor went ahead and induced me. I was started around 630am and by 12:09 had a healthy baby boy, via emergency c-section. His heart rate was not handling the medicine so we had to keep turning it off, but the kicker was when the cord dropped beneath his head. I have heard of this a lot. But I also have heard of no complications at all. It totally depends on how baby handles it. Good luck though!!!



answers from Chicago on

Hi. I had one 3 years ago and it went fine. By the time we got through all the checking and pretests it was about 9AM when they started the potossin (sp?) and my daughter was born at 5:03 PM. The contractions were painful, but I opted for an epidural and it was great after that. The nurses kept checking on me and told me when it was time to push. I didn't have to push long, especially for being a first time mom. I don't know if that was from being induced or good luck, but it was pretty fast. Whatever you decide, good luck!


answers from Philadelphia on

All 3 of mine were inductions. I didn't want it that way, but it seemed like my babies were never going to come out unless I had a little help from the pitocin. With all 3 of them I was induced by 8:00 am and had baby in my arms by 2:45 pm. With my 3rd, baby was born by lunch time!
I didn't have any complications and can't compare contractions with those of uninduced labor because that's all I've ever experienced. However with my first I was in pre-labor for 72 hours and never dialated more than 2 cm's and was dehydrated and exhausted. That was terrible because all the pain of contractions and no progress. I was 41 weeks preggo and couldn't handle it any longer, so being induced and having the pitocin was huge for me.
Just take a deep breath and be prepared for labor, that's all I can say. God Bless!



answers from Chicago on

I've had to be induced with all 4 of mine (3 were very overdue, 4th we did at 39 weeks due to GD), and I've had different experiences with all of them. How do they want to induce? With my first 2 we did pitocin only. First was 17 hours start to finish; the second was only 4! With my second 2 we did the cervidil first (12 hours of waiting...) then the pit. My third child was 17 hours and my fourth was 21 hours!

My experience has been that no matter how they start the induction, once my water breaks, its a-coming fast!!! Not much has ever happened for me. I've never dilated past 3 until my bag is broken, whether purposefully (my first 2) or naturally (last 2).

If they do the cervidil route, I would suggest trying for an evening induction, and here's why: the cervidil takes awhile to do anything and it must stay in for 12 hours before they will do anything further. I went in about 6pm and I was able to take it easy that evening and relax and sleep a bit. I wasn't really feeling any contractions until well after midnight, and it wasn't until about 4 or 5am that I needed an epidural. My son was born at 11:30am.

When I went in for a morning induction (9am), I was wide awake all day and bored out of my mind! Things didn't really start to happen until they started pitocin about 11pm, by which time I was exhausted! I needed the epidural about 2am, my water broke on its own a little after 5 (I was dilated to 6) and my son was born at 6am. (The doc barely made it!)

I can't really compare "induction" contractions to natural since I've always been induced, but I will say that the epidural is a wonderful thing! If you agree with epidurals, my only suggestion would be to ask for it when they start pitocin or shortly after. The contractions get very strong very quickly, so I have learned with each subsequent labor to ask for it as early as possible since it takes about an hour from the time you ask until it actually gets placed and working.



answers from Boston on

I was induced with my first because my water broke, and induced with my second because of a couple low-response non-stress tests. My first, the labor was long long long, and the epidural didn't take. My second, it took a while for the contractions to get going, and it took about 4-5 hours to get to 4cm. But then it took 2 hours to get from 4-8, and it felt like minutes to get from 8-10. My son was out in 3 pushes! I literally didn't break a sweat.

I hear you on hating being pregnant. I was not a fan either. I wish you the best of luck on whatever you decide to do, and of course with the new baby!



answers from Chicago on

I was induced with my first child and it was a breeze. I was only in labor for less than 3 hours, the contractions were not any worse than they were with my second that came naturally (they were actually worse with my second one). I didn't have any complications and did not need a c-section. I would have done an induction again with my second but she came early. There should be no need to worry.



answers from Chicago on

I was induced at 39 weeks with both of my children. My son was very large and the doctors were afraid of complications, so they took him a week early. I was induced at 7 a.m. and he was born at 2:14 p.m. the same day. I was dilated to 3 and not effaced at all. Everything went very smoothly. With my daughter, my blood pressure suddenly sky-rocketed and they were concerned for both of us, so they took her. I was induced at 7 a.m. and she was born at 10:56 a.m., the same morning. I almost didn't get my epidural, she came so quickly. I was dilated to 4 and 60% effaced, and she was my second induction. I didn't have any complications and everything turned out well. Both times the contractions were not very difficult at first, and I thought I might be able to do without an epidural. But then, quite suddenly, the pain got unbearable (for me) and I had to have an epidural right away! My friend was induced 2 weeks ago with her third child (third induction) and she had her son in less than 4 hours, too. I don't know how far along she was in her labor, but she didn't have any complications either. Anyway, good luck and I hope this helps!



answers from Chicago on

I know that my induction was not voluntary. However, it was a positive experience that did not end in c-section.

My water broke at 3:30 am, 2 days before my due date. I was 1 cm dilated and I can't remember if I was effaced or not. I was not progressing by 8 am and so they started pitocin. At 10 am I was still not progressing maybe 2 cm and they really "cranked it up" according to the nurse. Up until then I was not having any contractions that I could feel. It became extremely uncomfortable quickly. I requested an epidural (10:20 am) and one nurse told me I couldn't have it but 10 minutes later another nurse came in and had the anesthesiologist there within minutes with the contractions I was having. I ended up being 10 cm dilated around 3:00 pm and my son was born at 5:30 pm.

Overall it was a great birth, minimal discomfort. It was only about 30 minutes that was not great. But for the amazing boy I have I hope to do it again!


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