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Shelby’s Birth Story – The Induction

Be sure to first read Shelby’s Birth Story – The week leading up to her birth. It gives the reasoning behind deciding on the induction. Although looking back now I can say I wish I would have waited out the weekend like I had told my midwife. I wish I would have given her just a few more days to come on her own. But rationally I know that because of the situation I am not sure she would have.

I had a good week of strong contractions that had a pattern but then fizzled out or made no progress, which leads me to believe that my cervix did not have the pressure of the baby’s head to help dilate on it’s own.

Below is the boring part of our L&D.

We arrived at the hospital by 8:30 am on Friday March 2nd, 2012. They didn’t have my records or any information on my induction, which was said to have been set up the day before through my midwife’s office. We were put in triage and monitored. It took quite some time for them to get all the papers they needed. Thank goodness I brought my folder with all my records including ultrasound data information. Ashley showed up and waited around with us.

I had a hep, lock placed for when we would need it. Somewhere around 11am we were moved into our L&D room.
I was checked and was 1cm , 60% effaced and -2 station.

I had originally agreed to cervidil. I was told not to get cytotec because there were more risks to it. We waited around for hours for the pharmacy to bring up the cervadil. When the nurse and on call OB finally showed up I was told with the cervadil they would not check me for 12 hours for any progress. They said that cervadil works slower than cytotec and if I got the cytotec they would check me in 4 hours. I decided on the cytotec. It was placed around 2:45pm. This was the same time that we all were hungry and Pat ordered pizza. I was told I had to wait to eat at least half an hour to eat or get up. Around 3:20ish I had pizza and bread sticks. I had every intention to eat and drink as I wanted throughout L&D but after that I had no appetite for anything except for water.  One thing I was happy about is that they let me eat and drink water as I wanted.

After the cytotec was put in I had to also wait at least half an hour before I could get up and walk around. It would also be 4 hours before they would check me to see where I was at. Within 20 minutes of the cytotec being inserted I started having contractions. They started as a dull ache.

As soon as the half hour was up I wanted to get out of bed and use the restroom. This would also give me a little
break from the monitors and allow me to move around and stand up.

6:00pm- shift change. I got an awesome nurse named Shay. She was funny and loved to talk. She was also wonderful about letting me have as much from my birth plan as I could. They had their protocol but she allowed me to have an opinion on everything.

The on call OB was supposed to come back around 6:45pm to check me but it was more like 7:20 or so and Ashley went and asked my nurse to call the OB and check me. I think that was around 7:30pm. The OB said that I was 4cm but baby was still high, and I believe -1 station.

Ashley and I gave each other a high five. YAY for progress! The OB said we could start pitocin now. But since I was already contracting on my own and they were starting to get uncomfortable I asked if we could walk around for a few hours to see if there was any change to my cervix before starting pitocin. She agreed to let me walk and would be back around 9:45 pm to check for progress.

I was finally able to get unhooked from the monitors and walk around. Ashley, Pat and I spent the next two hours walking, laughing and entertaining ourselves. I was still very optimistic at this point and thinking I wouldn’t need a full induction. That I was going into labor on my own and all I needed was the cytotec to get my cervix started. I just knew that when I would get checked again I would be dilated to at least 5com.

We got bored walking and went back to my room around 9pm and just chatted the next hour away.

I think around 10pm the OB came back and checked me. Still 4cm. I felt so deflated. She also stripped my membranes and OMG that hurt so freaking bad. I remember trying to move away from her. Ashley kept telling me to just breath through it… boy did I try to just breath but my goodness it was painful. I was having much stronger and painful contractions and I was so upset that they weren’t doing anything!

This is when I started to really dislike the OB. She proceeded to tell me that I was still only 4cm and that we would start pitocin and if in a few hours I still didn’t make progress we should proceed with a c-section. I remember listening to her talk and just looking at Ashley like “she must be crazy if she thinks I’ll agree to a c-section already!”

The OB also got in my face about how we came in for induction and at what point would I actually let them induce me. I guess I was just hoping that I would go into labor on my own. I remember from when I was in labor with Samantha how painful induced contractions were and how they were nothing like natural contractions. She wanted to break my water and put a monitor on Shelby’s head. I refused to let her break my water. I was only 4cm and at least I had things in my favor with my bag of water still intact.

At this point we had to start pitocin to get my contractions stronger and work on dilating my cervix. I asked Shay if we could start it as low as possible and go up in increments of one. She agreed and started me at a 1. I had already been breathing through contractions with the help of Ashley. I felt like such a wimp because I was only 4cm and the contractions were already hurting pretty bad. I was able to sit up in bed still but I couldn’t  get out of bed and they had to monitor Shelby’s heart rate continuously and of course monitor the contractions.

I remember that the contractions were coming right on top of each other and I would get 20-30 seconds in between them to breath and talk. I would be in a mid sentence when a contraction would start and I couldn’t finish it. I had to concentrate on breathing through the contractions.

Ashley and I decided to start watching Pirates of the Caribbean on Strangers Tides, I am not sure how far we got into it before the contractions kicked up and I really couldn’t concentrate anymore. I was fighting back tears, and thinking “this is just not how I wanted this to happen.”

Megan arrived sometime after 11pm. We all talked, and everyone helped me breath through the contractions. I think around midnight I convinced myself there was no point for me to be in all this pain, the contractions were on top of each other and if I was still only 4cm this could take all night. I couldn’t get out of bed to stand up and hope gravity helped. Laying in bed makes any kind of contraction 1,000 times worse. I gave in and asked Ashley to tell my nurse I wanted an epi. My pitocin was only at a 2 (out of 22 being the highest), and I knew my nurse would just keep upping the pit. and the contractions would only get worse.

(pictures below were after I got my epidural. We didn’t take any pics before my epidural. All these were take between 1:30 am and 2:11 am.)

I felt so disappointed in myself. Everything I didn’t want in my L&D was happening. I didn’t want an induction, I didn’t want any medical interventions and here I was having them all. I think I was so disappointed in myself because I knew I was doing everything my midwife is against. I didn’t want to do an epidural because I wanted to “be like the other moms at the birth center who do it naturally”.

All those years of dreaming about a natural water birth was gone. All those months of talking about what I wanted in our birth with my midwife was gone and I would never have that experience.

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She has four children and they currently reside in Texas.


  1. Mandy, I so know how you feel! It’s so disappointing to continually agree to things you had been so against. I know it feels like you failed, or your body failed. I know you compare yourself to every one else. I know you think “If I just did this…” or “I should have…” Take the time to work out those feelings mama, because they are so valid. Giving birth is hard. And sometimes we just have to grieve the loss of our expectations. Take your time and heal with that little precious girl in your arms. xoxo

    1. Thanks Jennie, slowly I have started feeling better about it. Unfortunately I can not turn back time and change anything. All I could do at the time was make the best decisions I could to have her come into the world as safe as possible and try to make it the best I could under those circumstances.

      She is perfect and healthy and I am doing good (physically).

  2. It’s disappointing but, at the same time every birth story is different and the end result is getting a beautiful, healthy baby. I had two pretty bummer births because they involved surgery. My second was way better because I just gave into the thought that, whatever is going to happen, will. Your daughter is gorgeous!!! Congrats

  3. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m expecting in April (baby #1). I’ve been reading lots of mommy blogs and am learning from each of you amazing ladies who bravely share your stories (from ideal to the unexpected). Thank you!

    1. Heather, go in with an open mind. I hope you have the perfect birth and come back and share your story with us.

  4. I’m sorry things didn’t go the way you wanted & had planned. That has to be really tough but I’m a sunshine type person and want to mention at least you didn’t need a C-section. {{HUGS}}

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