The first time I was admitted for induction of labor, I was 40 weeks 5 days pregnant with my daughter. I had spent a lot of time researching induction and felt totally prepared. Then my water broke on the bathroom floor of my hospital room and I didn't end up needing to be induced. My second two inductions were completely different. Both times, I had to deliver early for medical reasons and, as a result, there were so many things I wasn't prepared for when I was induced.
I am a serious planner. You might even say that I am a bit of a control freak. The idea of going into labor spontaneously was bad enough, but the idea of someone else controlling my labor seemed so weird and frightening. When I learned I had to be induced, I was seriously upset and scared. I heard that induction was slow, painful, and that sometimes it didn't even work. To make matters worse, I had very little time to get used to the idea that I was having my baby early. This caused me to have serious anxiety, which was compounded by the fact that I was having medical issues and was seriously worried about about my babies' health. Fortunately, both of my inductions went smoothly, and both of my sons were born healthy. Unfortunately, they were so different from each other that there were things I didn't expect, even the second time around.
Child birth is a lot like parenthood: no matter how much you read up on the subject or think you're prepared, something surprising or unplanned always happens. I've learned that it's best to go with the flow, accept things as they happen, and try not to worry about the things I can't control (which is seriously easier said than done).
Having My Baby Early
The last time I gave birth, I found out the night before that I was going to be induced early or medical reasons. I had to prepare emotionally for a new plan with very little time to get used to the idea that I was having my baby the next day.
How Long It Would Take
The first time I was induced it took forever, or at least it seemed like it because, well, 18 hours of back labor seemed endless (especially when things doesn't seem to be progressing). I literally cried every time the midwife checked my cervix. Fortunately, once I got my beautiful epidural, things sped up, and my son was born less than an hour later.
Being Up All Night
The first time I was induced, they started my induction in the evening, which resulted in me being up all night before having to give birth. Why did they schedule it that way? Seriously? It makes no sense.
I have no words to describe how painful Pitocin contractions are, especially when I had back labor. They were so bad the first time that the next time I gave birth, I asked for the epidural before they gave me Pitocin. It was magical.
How Wonderful Epidurals Are
My epidurals were freaking magical. The first time I was induced, I had a bizarre notion that I would do it without pain medications, which lasted through 18 excruciating hours of back labor. Afterwards, I felt a little stupid for trying to power through. Why do women do that to themselves? The second time, I got an epidural before my induction even started. Best birth experience ever.
Feeling Like I Was Starving
While I understand that there is often a legitimate medical reason to avoid food while you are being induced, that doesn't change the fact that I literally felt like I was starving and had to push a baby out of my vagina on an empty stomach.
Being Confined To A Bed
I guess it never occurred to me that the hospital would want to continuously monitor me during my early induction for preeclampsia. That meant I didn't have a lot of options for moving, showering, or using the jacuzzi tub to manage pain. In the end it was OK, because of my aforementioned magical epidurals, and TBH, the thought of taking a bath at a hospital seriously grosses me out.
How Short It Would Be
My second induction lasted seven hours, from breaking my water to holding my baby. Holy crap was it fast. I had no idea that was possible after my first two labors were almost day-long endeavors.
How In Control I Felt
How Much I Would Enjoy Labor
As it turned out, being induced wasn't as scary or horrible as I thought it would be. I ended up seriously enjoying my last labor a lot. I hung out with my husband, sharing some last private moments before our baby was born, watched some home improvement shows, and even cracked a few jokes with the nurses. I had no idea it would be so awesome and fun to deliver a baby.