Natural Birth: iVillage Pregnancy & Parenting

Read Andrea's story and learn from the Lamaze childbirth educator's comments that follow.

Andrea's Story

I was 42 weeks into my pregnancy, and I had an ultrasound in the morning. The staff found that the level of amniotic fluid was very low and estimated the baby's weight to be more than nine pounds. My midwife asked me to come in immediately. I knew this could mean only one thing: She wanted to induce the same day. I was very disappointed. I could not believe that after such an easy and healthy pregnancy, I might not be able to give birth just as naturally.

Of course my midwife said exactly what I had anticipated: I should go to the hospital that afternoon and be induced. I discussed my options with her and told her I wanted to avoid having Pitocin. She suggested two alternatives: I could try a breast pump and see if that stimulation was enough, or I could get a cytotec pill.

Later, in the hospital, they gave me the breast pump. I did have minor contractions, but I could hardly feel them. So at 7:15 p.m., the midwife inserted the cytotec. An hour later I started getting contractions, still very mild. At 10 p.m., we went for a walk, and by then I had to stop and breathe through the contractions. At 11 p.m., the midwife saw that I was clearly in labor and did not need anything else to get things started. What a relief!

Things really took off then. I got some relief from the hot shower, I discovered that it was helpful to chew and suck on a wet washcloth and I drank gallons of water. I also vomited several times. After a few hours, I was at six to seven centimeters.

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