Ask any mom and she'll likely tell you that while birth plans can be beneficial, they almost always change. I ended up needing to be induced twice, both due to pregnancy-related complications. People, that was not part of my birth plan. But I was thankful that alternative options existed that made sure my babies and I remained healthy. Still, it can be disappointing to want one birth experience and end up going through another, which is why there are more than a few mantras for women who are induced. From reminding a laboring woman to keep her eyes on the prize, to validating her feelings (whatever they may be), there are a slew of reminders that are worth repeating when you're going through an induction.
I suffered from severe hypertension during my first pregnancy, so my high blood pressure, swollen limbs, and erratic heartbeat called for an induction. I knew changing up my birth plan was for the best, but I was still bummed that I wouldn't have the chance to experience the intervention-free birth I had envisioned. I ended up wading my way through a slew of emotions that I didn't really expect to feel, which is why these mantras ended up coming in handy.
I relied on these calming statements again, five years later, when it was time to give birth to my second child. I was scheduled for an induction after my provider realized I was leaking amniotic fluid and, again, had to say goodbye to an intervention-free, medication-free labor and delivery. So believe me when I say that as a woman who has been induced not once but twice, I know how difficult it can be to stay positive throughout the entire labor and delivery process. So with that in mind, here are five mantras to get you through the potential disappointment and anxiety, should you ever find yourself in need of an induction, too:
"It's OK To Be Disappointed"
Even if your induction is pre-scheduled, it's common to feel disappointment about missing out on an intervention-free birth. I wanted to know what it felt like to have my water unexpectedly break, or to have random contractions at the movie theater or at work.
So when I was hooked up to machines and my contractions were started by medications, I had some feelings. I felt like I wasn't really in control, and that was frustrating. Any woman going through an induction is entitled to those feelings because, believe me, those feelings are valid. You don't have to be thankful or keep those feelings to yourself because "a healthy baby is all that matters." You matter, too. So repeat after me: your feelings are valid. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
"I Still Trust My Body"
There are numerous reasons why an induction might be necessary, and many of them are scary. It's OK to feel anxious or afraid, and those are feelings you should absolutely discuss with your health care provider. Make sure your voice is heard and if something doesn't feel right, speak up. Taking care of your health and calming your nerves is literally your health care provider's job.
But it also helps to remind yourself that even if your body needs some help during labor and delivery, it's still a very capable body. You can trust it to continue to do its best and that, with help, it will safely deliver your baby into the world.
Trust me when I say that reminding yourself to breath helps. When I found out I had to be induced I was inundated with questions and fears and a slew of anxieties and self-doubt. So it absolutely helped to take a step back and just breath. It also helped to continue breathing when the contractions became intense and when it was time to push. So whether you're taking a beat to wrap your mind around the change of plans, or preparing to meet your brand new baby, just breath.
"I Can Do This"
When I found out I had to be induced, and even though induction required more medical intervention, I felt alone. This change in plans felt isolating, especially since everyone was telling me that it was necessary. It was necessary, to be sure, but it was also not part of my plan and I seemed to be the only person in the room who really understood what it felt to have my brith plan change so suddenly.
At that moment, and in many moments to come, it was important that I remind myself of my capabilities. I could give birth whether it was sans medications or with medical help. Whatever life throws my way, I can handle it.
"This Too Shall Pass"
No matter how your labor and delivery begins, one thing is for certain: it will end. You will not be in labor forever, even if it feels that way. Eventually, a newborn baby will be in your arms and your induction will just be a thing of the past.
You got this, mama.