Friday, February 11, 2011

To Induce or Not To Induce

My first daughter was induced at 41 weeks. My second daughter is about to go past due as well. And now I have to decide what to do. My initial plan was to let the pregnancy do its own thing until 41 weeks (when most doctors recommend that you be induced because your risk of complications exceeds the benefits of staying pregnant; natural birth advocates usually disagree. But when it comes to a Stanford University study v. natural birth advocates, I side with the smartypants Standford Doctors and cross my fingers that my due date is accurate). However, at my 39 week appointment, I asked my doctor when in between 40 and 41st week of pregnancy was he on call. The answer was Wednesday (40 wk, 2 d). Is 4 or 5 days worth stressing out about? To that I ask, is the device your child consumes beverages from worth stressing out about? Is the type of diaper your child poops in worth stressing out about? Obviously. When it comes to parenting, nothing seems to escape the realm of stress-worthy. Or failing that, the realm of Something Other Moms Will Judge You For.

Hannah's birthday

Advantages of Inducing on Wednesday (two days past my due date)
  • Hannah can continue to go to daycare while I am at the hospital (Wednesday through Friday), thus minimizing disruption to her schedule (and consequently, my guilt).
  • I can be prepared. I can take off the day before and go shopping, cook some casseroles for the freezer, get my hair or nails done for the last time in a while and eat a gigantic meal the night before.
  • I won't have to buy any more of the super expensive (thanks for nothing, insurance company and your stupid third tier drug list) heart burn medicine that was the only thing that would stop the incredible burning sensation in my chest. My current script will list me until Monday. So I can tough it out with alternative treatments on Tuesday night and be heartburn free on Wednesday.
  • I will for sure have my doctor at the delivery.
  • I can stop wearing maternity clothes. Or at least, the biggest of my maternity clothes which are the only ones that still cover my stomach.
  • I will be minimizing the odds of meconium in the amniotic fluid, which landed Hannah in the NICU for just long enough to stress me out that our entire breastfeeding relationship was doomed.
  • I can eat sushi again sooner. Maybe have a sip of wine or beer. And sleep on my stomach or back.
  • I won't have to worry about going into labor in the middle of the night (luckily, not a huge deal for us, as my parents live close by and can come over and sleep at our place until Hannah wakes up. but still.) or over the weekend (when Hannah wouldn't be able to go to daycare with her wonderful teachers who are pros at making her nap and eat her veggies; also when research has shown you get less experienced medical staff and are more likely to die in the hospital. Of course, I'm pretty sure those studies were specifically about cardiac events. but still).
Disadvantages of Inducing Before I Absolutely Have To (i.e., on Wednesday)
  • I will feel weirdly guilty that Hannah got more time to cook and will wonder if any differences between the girls are related to the fact that I short changed my younger daughter by four days.
  • The baby will have less time to get as fat as Hannah got. And I loved having a 99th percentile baby. I took pride in the fact that I grew and vaginally delivered all 9lbs 2oz and 21.5inches of her. Maybe that is weird and not unlike the way guys probably feel pride when they take a really big dump. But it's still true.
  • I feel (perhaps foolishly) confident that I can stay pregnant until Monday (the 21st) and still have the advantages of a Wednesday delivery.
  • I might go into labor on my own and actually get to see what that is like.
  • Less time to have just one kid to feed, put to bed, entertain and stress out about. Although, who am I kidding? I've stressed out about this second kiddo since she was the size of a period at the end of this sentence. But it does add a different dimension of stress when you can hear the kid crying and their feeding system is no longer on autopilot.
Maybe I'll just go into labor on my own before then and this will be a moot point. But I'm not holding my breath...

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