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I questioned my early induction date and I'm so glad I did

I questioned my early induction date and I'm so glad I did

by

Jamie Reed

posted in Pregnancy

I was supposed to be induced today. Had things gone according to the original plan, I imagine I’d be somewhere in the middle of labor right now, (hopefully) just hours or minutes away from meeting my baby for the first time. But instead, I’m home finishing up house projects, getting work squared away, and trying to rest as much as I can. It’s a really good feeling, and I’m so glad to be where I am today.

hospital bag packed

Still trying to pack my bag for the hospital!

I mentioned before that the hospital called me recently wanting to schedule my induction (I’d be just over 38 weeks pregnant), and I kind of freaked out. It seemed too soon and didn’t make sense to me. I should clarify, the timing wasn’t random. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes a few months ago and an early induction can be standard procedure.

My gestational diabetes diagnosis completely freaked me out at first (Needles! Blood! Diet!) but it turned out in my case it was not only very manageable, but pretty much nonexistent. I never had to follow any type of diet, and though I checked my blood sugar regularly just to keep an eye on it, I never once had any questionable readings.

My ob-gyn, gestational diabetes doctor, and nutritionist all agreed there was a strong possibility my diagnosis came from 1) the stress of the glucose test (I don’t do needles/blood well) and 2) the fact that I don’t consume a lot of sugar normally and that the test can sometimes give higher readings to people who don’t.

When I first questioned my induction date, the nurse who called me said it was standard for gestational diabetes patients and they were just following orders. When I messaged my doctor’s office to ask again, I received the same response from the nurse practitioner who replied (my doctor was out of the office).

Pregnant-mom-sleeping

I resigned myself to the idea that this was happening.  Even though I didn’t feel good about it, who was I to question the doctor? After all, I’m a first-time mom, I don’t know what to expect, etc. Many people were quick to tell me I had every right to refuse induction, but I also didn’t want to do anything that might harm my baby. (What if I refused and something bad happened? How could I live with myself?)

I began researching every “natural” induction technique out there — special foods (I’ve eaten a LOT of fresh pineapple lately), bouncing on an exercise ball, you name it, I’ve tried it. But I knew my body wasn’t ready. This baby needed more time.

When I went to my weekly check up (just a few days before my induction date) and my doctor entered the room and asked how I was, that’s when the tears formed in my eyes. I wasn’t even sure at that point if I was going to say anything about the induction, but she could tell I was upset and encouraged me to talk to her.

I told her I was confused about being induced so soon, not feeling like my body was ready, and how I had really been hoping I’d go into labor naturally, or at least be closer to that point. All my fears and concerns were spilling out and I couldn’t hold back. I fully expected her to be respectful of my feelings but to simply explain the reasoning and try to alleviate my fears. Instead, she said “Let’s push it back.”

She was so understanding about my thoughts and feelings and agreed with my reasoning. She didn’t think my body was ready for labor yet either. She understood my fears of complications, a longer labor, and the higher risk of a c-section, and agreed that pushing the induction date back would allow my body more time to progress on its own. I was so relieved. (And yes, I did ask several times if she was sure it was totally safe to push the date back!)

pregnant woman - questioned my doctor

While I don’t think my doctor was being rash or irresponsible to schedule my induction when she initially did, I’m so grateful she was willing to listen to me and take the time to consider my circumstances. When you’ve been dealing with a team of medical professionals instead of just one doctor/patient, I imagine it’s hard to communicate and follow up on every issue. (Not to mention, all the other patients they’re seeing too!) That’s why I’m so glad I advocated for myself and how I was feeling. If I hadn’t, I know I would have regretted not trying.

I trusted my instincts when it came to my body and my baby, and I couldn’t be happier. The past few days I’ve felt so much more relaxed, more excited, and though I’m still totally freaked out about what to expect, I feel much more at peace about it all. I’m now using the time I have (before the next induction date) to rest, allow my body to progress naturally, and hopefully start laboring on its own this week. And if it doesn’t? I feel very confident that my induction date (just a couple of days before my actual due date) will work out just fine.

Have you had to advocate for yourself in pregnancy? How did it turn out?

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