Pregnancy lasts a long-ass time. I know this isn't a particularly eloquent or profound philosophical assertion, but it's a straight-up truth that cannot be overstated. Even if you deliver before your due date, like me, growing babies is slow, tedious work. Sometimes things are moving so slowly you and your baby might require (or request) a little nudge to get labor started. This is known as an induction. I asked a group of women to share what being induced actually feels like and, wouldn't you know it, there were as many different responses as there were women willing to respond. It's almost like everyone is unique and has their own opinions and experiences! Just like everything else having to do with pregnancy and childbirth! OMG! Who could have guessed this totally unexpected outcome, right?
Your maternity care provider might suggest an induction for a number of reasons, including medical concerns for you or your baby (such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia, or placenta issues), having your water break but not going into labor on your own, or being more than a week past your due date, which increases the risk of birth complications. In addition, there are several different kinds of inductions you can experience. There's medical induction — which will make use of medications like Pitocin, mechanical dilation via a contraption called a Foley blub, and/or artificial rupture of membranes (AROM or ARM) — and then there are more DIY home-induction methods, such as nipple stimulation and, my personal favorite, sex. For the purposes of this discussion, however, I wanted to talk about the kind of inductions performed by professionals.
While my first labor started spontaneously (seriously, straight out of a Hollywood movie and with the unexpected breaking of my waters launching me immediately into labor), my second was induced by a midwife via AROM. At 38 weeks my baby was projected to be almost nine pounds and, with my history of gestational diabetes, we didn't want her to "overdevelop." (Incidentally, she was born 9 pounds 2 ounces, so the induction was definitely the right call to make.)
In my case, my induced labor felt basically identical to my spontaneous labor, but I wanted to see what others had to say on the topic. Here's what they had to say, and it's definitely worth reading if you're planning and/or in the position of potentially experiencing an induction of your own: