When I found out I had to be induced I was pretty damn scared. I'd heard induction was a slow, painful process, it often didn't work, and it would likely lead to a C-section. So I was anxious, compounded by the fact that I was having health issues and was concerned for the health of my baby. Thankfully, induction was nothing like I expected. In fact, more than a few things caught me off guard. I know that labor can a pretty individual experience, so I asked other moms if anything caught them off guard about induction, too. Turns out, I'm not alone.
A lot of the following moms, like me, were totally surprised by how their inductions went, and quite a few things caught them off guard about their birth experiences. Like, for example, how being induced wasn't as scary or horrible as they thought it would be. Also surprising was the fact that their inductions went smoothly, and they didn't need the C-sections so many people promised them they'd inevitably have.
In pretty much every aspect of pregnancy (and parenting, really) your mileage may vary. Not everything you hear, or read on the internet, about other people's births will be true for you. Inductions can be necessary for you and your baby to get through delivery healthy, and that's way more important than having the "perfect" birth experience someone may or may not try to convince you you absolutely have to have.
Read on for more induction experiences that were totally unexpected, surprising, or didn't go as planned, proving once again that birth has a way of catching you completely off guard.
"The biggest thing that surprised me was that I loved being induced. I'd heard from the natural-minded community that if you're induced, you'll have to end up with an epidural, and if you get an epidural you'll end up with a C-section, and overall your experience will be traumatic.
But I woke up that morning early, got ready for the hospital without a rush. It was super lovely and peaceful. I ended up getting an epidural, which was heaven. My husband and I binge-watched The Big Bang Theory all day. We were laughing and joking with the doctors and nurses the whole time. We were nervous wrecks, but it was a beautiful, relaxing, peaceful experience, and I'm grateful to have that last memory of my husband and I preparing for the birth of our son. I ended up laboring for 12 hours and pushed my son out in 50 minutes. It was the best experience of my life. I would be induced with an epidural a hundred more times if I could."
"I was caught off guard by the fact that because my water broke, I ended up with an induction. No one told me that your water can break with no contractions, but that means there is a risk of infection, and baby has to come out. I was totally unprepared for going in and getting an induction, when I assumed they would let me progress on my own."
"After going into labor naturally with my first, I didn't expect to love my induction with my second so much. It was calm, I got the epidural in time to make sure it worked this time, and I could still feel the contraction pressure to push. I had always heard an induction would almost surely lead to a C-section along with the epidural slowing down progress. I didn't even need Pitocin, and my labor was faster this time around. It ended up being a dream labor. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
"I didn't realize how boring labor would be and that I'd be stuck in bed and not allowed to walk around or do anything. (Although it may be different if you don't have high blood pressure.) I honestly hated my induction."
"That it would take so long to get started. I came in at 8:00 a.m., got an I.V., and a half dose of Misoprostol. Walked, bounced on the yoga ball, repeat. My cervix was not changing. I received another half dose of Misoprostol at 3:00 p.m., and walked and walked and walked. Nothing. I received Cervidil at 9:00 p.m., which led to a night of painful labor.
By the next morning, I was only 3 centimeters. Pitocin was started at 9:00 a.m., and that's when things really got moving (and miserable). By the time I asked for an epidural, I was 7 centimeters, hit transition, and couldn't really talk anymore. My baby was born at 2:15 p.m. I was surprised I survived without an epidural. If I am induced again I will ask for one much sooner."
"The shocking part was that it was my easiest birth by far. It wasn't some 'cascade of interventions' horror show the natural community and Ricki Lake told me it would be. I was experiencing medical issues that would be resolved by not being pregnant anymore, and was past my due date. So, we scheduled [my daughter's] birthday.
They started the Pitocin, and I was encouraged to eat and drink, walk, dance, and use the restroom. It was amazing. For me, going into labor naturally and being induced were absolutely not different in the slightest. But, my 'natural' labor ended with screams of pain. My induced daughter was laughed out between pushes as I sang and joked with my doctor, nurses, and husband. If trapped in a time machine and told I had to experience one birth or the other exactly as it happened the first time, I'd choose the induction. Easily."
"I wasn't prepared for the pain of synthetically-induced contractions. I had already gotten it in my head that I would labor without pain relief, and it was excruciating. I wish my doctor had discussed pain relief with me beforehand, as it was really my own anxiety about needles that was stopping me, and some reassurance could have completely changed my birth experience."
"I didn't realize how long induction could take. My induction took 56 hours, and I didn't get an epidural until the very end, because I didn't want to stay in bed. Pitocin was really not that bad. My doctor did it very slowly, so it was a pretty 'natural' build."
"I had my induction very recently at 40 weeks. I went in for a Cervidil at 8:00 p.m. By 11:30 p.m. my contractions were regular. By 1:30 a.m. I was in active labor. I was surprised that the Cervidil jump-started my labor so quickly. We had prepared to be there all night and all day the next day. My water broke at 4:00 a.m., and by 5:30 a.m. I was completely dilated. I had to labor down for several hours but only pushed for one hour."
"The internet told me it would be absolutely horrible and 'unnatural.' I was so sad that I was 'missing out on spontaneous labor,' and I really thought I would have that baby out in like four hours with a fast and furious labor. In reality, it was peaceful and comfortable, and my 23-hour labor seemed very gradual and natural. I was surprised at how pleasant the whole experience was. I got to shower and eat and wear exactly what I wanted, without rushing and panicking on the way to the hospital."
"When I found out I had to be induced I was mentally preparing myself for a 24 (or more) hour labor. I've heard many times that inductions take a long time. I was so surprised when my labor was 12 hours. My doctor didn't use any Pitocin. She started me on Cervadil, then broke my water, and that was all it took."
"The biggest surprise for me was that it was not horrible. Something about being pregnant draws out all of the birth horror stories, so I was prepared to absolutely hate it, but my son's birth was an absolute dream, and I wouldn't change a thing."