To induce or not to induce, that is the question. My wife and I are past our due date and the decision has been made to induce. Our caregiver doesn’t want her going past 41 weeks and offered to go ahead with the next step. Our fingers are crossed that our baby girl makes her arrival naturally, but if not we are ready for her to be here yesterday!
Until 9 months ago I’m not sure I even knew what it meant to be induced. They don’t show that in the movies, and when I think childbirth I picture water breaking, pushing, screaming, a man getting his hand crushed by his wife, and then a beautiful baby! That is rarely the case I have come to understand.
I read that nine out of ten women don’t have their water break. For those that have this experience it is usually not the “gush” Hollywood likes to portray, but maybe a trickle at best. Thus, you find yourself waiting for other signs, like cramping, contractions, a mucous plug (ewwww), or a Bloody Show (which is not the nickname of a Civil War battle). If you are a first time dad and don’t know what these things are then you soon will, I would rather not explain. Guess what, some of these signs don’t even come!!
So you’re stuck waiting for an experience you have never had, and will be like no other woman before your wife. Every pregnancy is different, that is the one thing I have learned through it all.
My wife and I were up until 5 a.m. once counting contractions which turned out to simply be False Labor and Braxton Hicks. We thought that was going the night, but it’s been ten days since.
It’s tough not to heap more pressure on your wife, which is totally not needed. However, like the rest of the pregnancy, it is hard for the dad to feel involved. It takes months to feel a kick or see the stomach move. So I find myself asking multiple times a day if she is feeling anything different, and I imagine it is tough for her not to see my disappointment when she says no.
After nine months and then some of pregnancy I left it up to my wife, for the most part, when it came to inducing. We are fully informed about what happens, from the gels, to the Pitocin, to the length or possible shortness of it all. For me it was about making sure she was comfortable. At first there is a sense of relief that a date’s set, but then it sets in, you over think, and realize it’s baby time.
If you go the same route you will learn everyone’s opinion. Most supportive, others skeptical, because they’re accustomed to “natural births.” Let me tell you that only the health of mom and baby count. We felt that relieving my wife of the pain and discomfort was important, as well as getting the baby out of an ever shrinking environment. The fact that our OBGYN did the same thing for her first child made our decision easy.
There’s a point where it’s no longer safe for the baby and for our doctor that is the 41st week. We are right on the cusp of that deadline. We could hold out and wait, but could very well be in the same situation a week from now. So we made a big decision and decided we would rather see our baby sooner, rather than later.
Know this, only 3-5% of babies are born on their due date, and most likely you will go past. Of the three parents I talked to at work today all of their children came via induction. It’s not rare, it’s not natural, but it’s a common occurrence.
Whether it’s natural or induction all I know is that at the end of this very unpredictable road called pregnancy my wife and I will have a new best friend and true love.