Talk to me about induction — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Talk to me about induction

I hope it doesn't come to this, but my OB is already talking about induction if I go past 41 weeks. We're scheduling an eviction date this week. What I've heard about induction boils down to: 1) pitocin is the devil; 2) there's a 50% chance you'll end up with a c-section. Not exactly reassuring. If you were induced, can you share your experience, good or bad?

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Re: Talk to me about induction

  • I had a positive induction story.  I went in at about 4PM on a Monday and they inserted the gel.  I was monitored for an hour and they say if nothing happens in an hour it probably wont and sent me home.  About 7PM that night I started having contractions, so I took a shower 8, they were only about 4 minutes apart from each other so back to the hospital we went.  

    I was admitted and got my epidural (even though i was only 1.5 cm) but with solid contractions that close together I was going to end up with a c/s if things didnt slow down a bit.  I was able to rest for a bit.  Sometime in the middle of the night I got 1 dose of pitocin and also had developed a fever and had to be given a sipository (sp)?? I did fine after that.  Started pushing a little before 5am, my dr left the room about 645 to book the OR ( I didnt know this) bc DS was still really high and his heart rate was dropping, but while she was gone, I kicked it into gear and he was born at 709.  It was my first baby so I didnt know any different but I felt that was a pretty positive experience.  I was induced at 39 weeks because they were concerned about how big the baby was going to be. 


    Good luck!!! 

  • I had a positive induction experience, too.  Actually, it even started out pretty long and boring.   Cervadil in the evening.  Pitocin the next morning.  By noon, absolutely nothing happening.  My OB said she wanted to break my water to get things moving, so I had an epi first.   After she broke my water around 1pm, things starting moving (dilating/effacing).  By 8pm, I was 10cm, so pushed for 20 minutes and voila - perfect baby. 

    The only downside was my epi wore off twice early on and that sucked!!!!! I didn't realize they try to give you lowest amounts and you should push the button to inject more - don't wait for it to start wearing off because it's too late!!!.  Third time was a charm though. 

    Added:  DD was born 38 weeks, 2 days - I showed up at my 38 week appt and tests showed I had high BP and was becoming pre-e, so I was directly admitted to the hospital.  She was born 8lbs 10oz.  OBs had wanted to induce at 39 weeks anyway because she was measuring big at my 36 wk u/s. 

  • If I had the opportunity, I would avoid the pitocin-induced contractions next time for sure. They sucked - they just came out of nowhere super hard and fast, until I got that sweet, sweet epidural juice. Overall, it was fine but if you're still leaning towards a med-free birth, I think the pitocin would make that a lot more difficult.

    I remember being exactly where you are. I was totally done with this whole giant whale pregnancy in the summer business but was conflicted about an induction. I even had a date on the books with my ob! I didn't end up needing it because my water broke before then, but I still got the cervadil and pit (whee!). Next time, I'm going to try to be a little more patient. 

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  • It's all very nerve-wracking, but I had a great experience with induction. I went in at 41 weeks and 1 day. They started the cervadil at 11 pm and it jump started my labor. We're talking back-to-back contractions with no break. By 2 am I was begging for an epidural and was 3 cm at that point so they gave it to me and it was in place by 2:30. I felt great and fell asleep. By 5:30, the nurse came to check on me because DD's heart rate had gone down a little and was very surprised to find that I was fully dilated and about to have the baby. We had to wake up DH and within 30 minutes, my baby was born very easily (20 minutes and a couple of pushes with NO PAIN - if DH hadn't told me there was a baby coming, I wouldn't have known). No pitocin and just about 7 hours from start to finish. If I had wanted to, I could have done without the epidural (not saying I wanted to). It was perfect. Having DD a week late made her more aware, made it easier to breastfeed, and she had less of the wrinkled newborn look. I'm glad I went over due date and glad I got induced. Overalll, great experience.
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  • I was induced 10 days after EDD.  They started the Pitocin at 7:30am and I was up to the highest level they'll give you by 4ish in the afternoon.  I labored there for a few hours w/o any progress past 3cm and my DD never was engaged at any station.  They gave me an epidural to try and get my body to relax around 7ish and waited another 1.5 hours or so and still had no further progress so I had a c-section and DD was born at 10:16pm.  I didn't think the labor was bad enough to make me have an epidural because of the pain.  I never got to the point of pushing.  My body and baby were obviously not ready and that's why it ended in a c-section. 

    My experience wasn't bad but it wasn't what I wanted (med free, vaginal delivery).  I am trying for a VBAC this time.

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  • I'll add that I'm definitely not inducing for convenience - I really want this kid to come out on it's own! But my OB won't let me go past 42 weeks, and my due date falls on a weekend, so I'll probably be around 41.5 weeks if I end up with an induction.
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  • I was induced w/my son around 41 weeks and I really, really didn't want it either.  It went really well and I progressed beautifully.  I pushed for 3 hours, but his head just would not come out b/c it was facing up and sort of sideways.  I did end up w/a C-section but I really don't think it had anything to do w/my induction.
  • Has anyone had Cervidil and been GBS+?  I need to ask my doc about it and I keep forgetting.  I read somewhere that you can't have Cervidil if you're GBS+.  I'd like to try that before pitocin if at all possible.

    ETA:  I'm pretty encouraged by my doctor's approach to inductions.  I asked about it b/c I really don't want to go over 41 weeks (I'm really worried about how big this baby is).  She asked me whether I wanted to go 41 or 42 weeks.  The choice was mine (and I'm still hoping she comes on her own before 41 weeks).  If you really want to give it more time, I would talk to your doc again about going up to 42 weeks assuming everything else is fine.  

  • I was not induced with either of my daughters, but I had a lot of pressure from my doctors in both cases to induce (different sets of doctors in different places--Miami and Northern VA).  I know plenty of women who have had great experiences with inductions, as the PPs demonstrate, I just want to encourage you to advocate for what you feel is best for you and your baby.  Due dates are estimated...and setting a date for induction arbitrarily at 41 weeks seems pretty silly IMHO.  My current doctor's office did this with DD#2.  I really thought the baby would come before the scheduled induction, but by the day before, labor still hadn't started.  In my case, I had had a completely normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, much like my first pregnancy (My first DD was 6 days late and labor started on its own and she was born vaginally with no drugs and no complications.).  With DD#2, aside from feeling large and not so in charge;) I felt fine and the baby was moving regularly.  I felt pretty strongly that the kid was going to come on its own. I won't bore you with all the details, but I had to fight the doctor to push back my induction and give the kid a few more days.  Ultimately my induction was pushed back and the day before the new induction date, I went into labor and had the baby, with no problems, 10 days after my due date.

    If you're comfortable and ready for an induction when the doctor schedules it, then by all means go with it.  But if want the opportunity to allow labor to come on its own and the doctor doesn't provide you with any specific reasons (and there are certainly very good reasons for inducing) why you have to be induced at a certain time, remember that it is within your right to reschedule.

    Whatever happens--GL!

  • Both of my deliveries were inductions and neither of them ended up being c-sections or were that bad.

    DS we went in the night before at about 1 cm dilated and had cervadil placed, started the pitocin the next morning at 6:30am and needed the epi about 6 hours later because I wasn't far enough along and the contractions were getting a bit much.  6 more hours later I delivered DS after 3 pushes.

    DD we went in the night before and turns out I was about 3 cm dilated so they didn't place the cervadil and started the pitocin at 6:30am the next morning.  Just before noon my contractions were starting to pick up in intensity (like with DS when I got my epi), but I was just about 10cm so my OB had me hold off while she finished stretching me out and I pushed several pushes and she was born at 12:35pm (no drugs other than the pitocin). 

    As far as pitocin being the evil enemy of contractions mine were honestly bearable with DS up until noon, but I was progressing slowly I think because I started out really tight and was avoiding going to the bathroom and having my water broken--once they did this the contractions got moving because there was more room for DS to progress.  With DD my contractions felt like nothing other than cramps up until I was ready to push at that 9cm mark.

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  • I was induced and had a pretty good experience.  The only thing I would have changed would have been not to jump so quick on the epidural.  I would have probably benefited mentally if I could have taken a quick stroll around the floor before I got locked into bed.  Otherwise it started at 6:30am and DS was born at 11:07pm.  It only got rough around 8-9pm (ish).   


    Everyone is different (as evidence by the range of stories) and I think you need to trust your Dr and your gut.  

    Good luck! Keep us posted! 

  • image amh_navyblue:

    If you're comfortable and ready for an induction when the doctor schedules it, then by all means go with it.  But if want the opportunity to allow labor to come on its own and the doctor doesn't provide you with any specific reasons (and there are certainly very good reasons for inducing) why you have to be induced at a certain time, remember that it is within your right to reschedule.

    At my last appointment, my doctor discussed scheduling an induction for the week of August 8, which I'm not thrilled about, but I know there are valid reasons to deliver before 42 weeks, so I'm relatively fine with it. But this morning I got a call from the office saying they scheduled me for an induction on August 2 (Monday) - 1 day past my due date. I was like, "um, what?? I don't think so!" I know some people would be perfectly fine with that date, but I'm really hoping LO will come out on his/her own. That precipitated my post. Anyway, now they're going to reschedule me for the week of August 8. Hopefully I won't need the induction, but if I do, at least I gave it my best shot.
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  • kastlekastle member

    Well, I never planned to go natural.  So, I always knew I'd have an epi, no matter if I was inducted or went into labor by myself.

    I went to the hospital at midnight on Sunday.  They inserted a thing kind of like a tampon to ripen my cervix.  Then, I got an ambien so I could sleep.  then at 8 they started the pitocin and they broke my water (either before or after...I can't remember when).  I went for a few hours before I asked for an epi.  I probably could have gone longer, but I was concerned that it might take awhile to get it.  My progress was slooooooooowww.  By like 7pm they were like "if nothing changes by this next check, you're probably going to need a c/s"  At the next check, I had made a bit more progress but his head was still pretty high.  Rinse & repeat for the next few checks. By 10pm or so, I was at 10cm & 100% effaced.  But his head was still high.  We tried pushing for 30-45 minutes w/ no change in his head position.  My OB gave me the option of continuing to try or go into a c/s.  Since it was very difficult for me to push not being able to feel the contractions and kind of tired from contracting all day, I opted for the c/s.  Plus, I had already knew he was likely to be too big for me.

    My epi didn't work for the c/s though.  When they tried to push more so I couldn't feel anything, I got terrible neck pain which caused me to throw up.  Twice.  I was then given the option of a spinal block or general anastisia (sp?). I ended up choosing the spinal block.  I wish I would have chosen the general. While I couldn't feel pain, I didn't realize I *could* feel them actually cutting me open, tugging at the skin, etc.  It was kind of traumatizing, to be honest.

    But, at the end of the day, I have a healthy baby and I am glad I tried to have a vaginal birth.  Perhaps I may feel a little bit differently if there weren't other signs that I might need a c/s.

    eta: Oh, and the sproutster finally arrived, kicking & screaming, at 12:26am...just over 24 hrs after the whole process started. Luckily he was quite generous the next day & gave us a few 4 hr stretches of sleep.

  • Well, in regards to your numbered list:

    1)  Pitocin was NOT the devil for me.  By the time I got my epidural at 5-6 cm, the contractions were still completely bearable.  In fact, I'm a little worried that I won't notice that I'm in labor until rather late this time around b/c I barely felt contractions on pitocin.  If I hadn't been lying in my hospital bed doing nothing, I don't think I would have noticed them.

    2)  I didn't have a c-section.

     As far as my specific story, I was induced at 39 weeks 5 days due to GD.  I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am.  They broke my water then to see if labor would start on its own (I was already 2 cm dilated).  At 9:30 they started pitocin.  I got my epidural at around 2 or 3 pm and was 5 or 6 cm dilated at that point.  I started pushing at 7 pm and DS was delivered via vacuum extraction at 7:43 pm.  My OB said that he was having heard decelerations, but my DH overheard the pediatricians in the room disagreeing with that assessment.  Due to the vacuum extraction, I had a 4th degree episiotomy.  :-(  I'd say that was the worst part of the whole thing.  They had turned off my epidural at some point when I was pushing, so I had the joy of feeling my episiotomy and getting it stitched up.

  • I had one of the more negative induction experiences, including a nasty infection (from all of the interventions and insertions of various things) that ultimately led to a second hospitalization and a 4-month recovery from my c/s.  I still don't like talking about it in detail.  In hindsight, I regret my insistence on wanting a med-free experience without using a doctor that would let me wait longer for an induction (40.5 weeks with the due date the OBs used for most of my pregnancy), because I feel like I would have avoided a very painful and long recovery if I had given in to the c/s after 12 hours in the hospital instead of 31.

    I'll throw out there that once you start with induction, it's EASY to go downhill in terms of interventions you never wanted just like the books say.  And it's hard to say no to them.  Esp. once you go for the epi (which I did, 12-14 hours after starting on the pitocin, and 16 or 17 hours after my water broke on its own - that was enough "college try" for me, since I was only 6 cm dilated after all of that).

    I hope you have a much, MUCH easier time of it.

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  • I was induced with #1.  The pitocin did suck - it made my contractions too strong too fast so they had to keep changing the dosage.  However, Once I got the epidural (which I think I got too much of because I could not control my legs at all) the pain subsided quite a bit.  Anyway, I only pushed for 45 minutes and DS was out.  It was a long process which kind of stinks and I threw up the entire time I was pushing and for about 2 hours after but, it wasn't as bad as I've heard for some people.

    With #2 I was not induced, it was really fast and definitely the preferred way to go but my induction was not a horror story either.  I think the sickness was a mixture of some of the meds and the anxiety of DS's CDH.

  • image gtown_bride:
    image amh_navyblue:

    If you're comfortable and ready for an induction when the doctor schedules it, then by all means go with it.  But if want the opportunity to allow labor to come on its own and the doctor doesn't provide you with any specific reasons (and there are certainly very good reasons for inducing) why you have to be induced at a certain time, remember that it is within your right to reschedule.

    At my last appointment, my doctor discussed scheduling an induction for the week of August 8, which I'm not thrilled about, but I know there are valid reasons to deliver before 42 weeks, so I'm relatively fine with it. But this morning I got a call from the office saying they scheduled me for an induction on August 2 (Monday) - 1 day past my due date. I was like, "um, what?? I don't think so!" I know some people would be perfectly fine with that date, but I'm really hoping LO will come out on his/her own. That precipitated my post. Anyway, now they're going to reschedule me for the week of August 8. Hopefully I won't need the induction, but if I do, at least I gave it my best shot.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that you don't need an induction, but my guess is that if you do at that point, the induction will go well.  As much as I pushed for moving the induction date back in my case, I wouldn't have waited all the way until 42 weeks and I think that if I had gone through with the induction, just the act of breaking my water (which is what would have been done first in my case--then they would have waited before giving me pitocin), things probably would have gotten started and progressed naturally more or less. I think sometimes your body/the baby does need just a little nudge to get things going.  (That last week I was pregnant, I felt like if the kid was any lower, she would have been out;)

    In any case, as I said before, do what feels right for you.

  • i have no advice but i just wanted to say... c'mon gtown baby!!! don't give your mama a hard time!
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  • I am one of the ones who had a rough time with induction.  The cervadil did nothing to help me progress.  I was on pitocin for about 8 hours and still made very little progress.  The contractions were insane.  Turns out I had scar tissue on my cervix that was impeding my progress.  Once that was taken care of things moved a little bit more steadily, but my water didn't break for about 10 more hours (I did have the epi by this time).  Buy the time I got around to pushing I had been in labor for 36 hours.  Pushed for an hour and half and then had to have an episiotomy.  So, I won't was hard.  I had a giant baby (9 lbs, 6 oz) so my recovery was tough.  Thankfully, despite all that, c-section was never even put on the table.  I was grateful the doctors didn't immediately go down that road when it was taking so long for things to get moving.
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  • I was induced at 37 weeks due to high BP with my first and wasn't even a fingertip dilated. I had cervadil overnight and then pit in the morning. My contractions were very painful so I did get the epi early on. I went from 3-10 cm in under and hour and pushed him out in 3 pushes. Super easy, no tearing and no pain.
  • I had 2 VERY easy inductions. Both at 39 weeks on the dot because of baby's size - both were estimated at my last us as over 10lbs.. Both times dr assured me I'd need a c-section. Both kids delivered vaginally within 12 hours of starting pitocin. 45 minutes of pushing for DD (8lbs, 6 oz), 10 minutes of pushing for DS (8Lbs, 9oz)..

    And, both times I wasn't even 1cm dilated to start...

  • JKM416JKM416 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments

    I was induced on DD's due date because I was already 5 cm and effaced, and I needed 8+ hours of antibiotics for GBS (OB didn't think my labor would last long enough to get them if I went into labor on my own).  I stayed overnight in the hospital to get two doses of antibiotics, and the pitocin was started in late morning.  I was then technically in labor for less than four hours before DD was born.  I asked for an epidural towards the end, but the anesthesiologist was in surgery (a small hospital), so it didn't happen.  It was not pleasant, especially since I hadn't done much preparation for a med-free birth (though afterwards I was glad I did it).  I blamed the pitocin.


    However, I went into labor with DS two days before his due date.  And that labor was med-free as well, and no pitocin.  And it felt just like the first one (as far as I can remember) now I don't think the pitocin was the culprit with DD.  It's just the way my body reacts to labor.  That labor lasted about 10 hours from first hints of contractions to delivery.


    So I wouldn't be too scared of the pitocin, especially if you plan to get an epidural.  I would be cautious about an OB or hospital staff who try to start you down the path of interventions almost immediately after you get there.  I had my water broken with both kids once I was in active labor, and that sped things up, but it was all I was willing to do because I was scared of a c-section.  I definitely felt like I was put on a timetable with DS's labor (threatened repeatedly with pitocin), and I hated it.  So just make sure that you and your DH have talked ahead of time about what your own game plan is when the hospital starts suggesting things, because when you're "in the moment" and things are uncomfortable and unfamiliar, it's easy to just take the experts' word for it and assume they know best.

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  • I've had 2 good inductions and both with full term babies,

    The 1st was due to pre-e, so I'll spare the details.  DS was born 4 hours after I was given pitocin.

    #2 was due to DD not making any plans to come out.  At 41.5 weeks, she was still sitting high--in fact, her head looked like a "perfect" c-section baby b/c she spent no time in the birth canal.

    I only know pitocin-induced labor, but I don't think it is that bad--labor hurts but the pain still isn't as bad as what I've conjured up in my head all theseyears.

     Anyway, with DD the pitocin was started at 7:45 am, I got an epidural at 2:00 (I could have held out longer, but everyone was worried that I would go as fast as with the first).

    After the epi. I felt nothing until around 5:30 p.m. when I felt only a little bit of pressure.  By 5:45, I felt a lot of pressure and the need to push and after one push, DD was born at 5:57.  Not bad at all! 



  • I was induced with DD1. I had been walking around 1-2cm dilated for weeks and 75-90% effaced at my last prenatal appt. I really wanted an intervention-free, med-free birth. My doctor was really working with me on that, thankfully. I was most worried about the c-section rate and that if my water had been broken we'd only have 24 hours for her to be born. I really didn't want a c-section just because of a time restraint like that. Ahead of time, my doctor and I agreed that when I went in for induction they would use pitocin (didn't need cervadil b/c I was already so effaced) but not break my water, even though we knew that breaking the water can help speed things up. That way if pitocin did nothing I could go home for a day, rest, and try again and not be rushed off for c-sect.

    Morning of induction I got there and she checked me and I was 3cm, completely effaced and the monitor showed regular contractions, though I wasn't feeling them at all. In hindsight I probably should have just said that since I was obviously in early labor I didn't need to be induced, but it didn't even occur to me at the time since we had our plan set. Anyway, she basically said that I was definitely having that baby very soon and she wasn't even the least bit concerned about the induction not working (you can ask your dr about your bishop score, which helps determine how ready you and your baby are for delivery). So we changed plans... she broke my water at 8am and I started to feel contractions, started the pitocin drip at 9am. The nurse came periodically to up the pit drip, but apparently it never got to a really high amount. Somewhere around 11 (I think) I rememver saying to DH that I couldn't go naturally. I was still fine handling things the way they were going, but I was thinking that I still had HOURS of labor ahead of me, not to mention transition still to come. Well, as it turns out, I was ALREADY IN TRANSITION. By 11:30am I was ready to push, doctor across the street at her office (she had said she'd be back to check on me around 1). By the time they called her and she got over to me it was noon. She literally threw on gloves and a gown and I started to push. DD was born at 12:10pm, just over 4 hours after my water was broken. The pitocin contractions were hard core - I didn't really know it at the time because that was all I knew, but after having DD2 non-induced I can say that the pitocin ones were stronger. btw, when you go without pain meds and you are told not to push for 30 min... it's near impossible.

    All told, it was a really positive induction. I was confident that my doctor was working with me. DD came out fast! I had no pain meds or any other interventions.

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  • This sounds so familiar to me!  I was due on 7/31/09, was making no progress, so induction was scheduled for 8/6.  I ended up going into labor on my own and madeline was born on 8/4, after 23 hours of labor (and I ended up needing pitocin anyway to keep things moving).  Fingers crossed baby gtown shows up soon!
  • I have a positive and recent induction story! 

    On the monitor, I was having some contractions I couldn't really feel but had been having runaway contractions for about a week and a half (may remember my first alarmist post haha).  They would be regular for a few hours then runaway.  I had made progress (was at 3 and 70 prior to induction).  Based on all of this, my OB started my induction with Cytotec (a peptic ulcer med discovered to also induce labor).  I had my first dose at 9, second dose at 12, and by 4 they broke my water and my body took over.  Bambino was here by 0217 the next morning.  I had a completely Pitocin free induction which I didn't think was possible.  

    Each hospital is different though so you may want to ask your OB about Cytotec and if he thinks it's a viable option.  I was going in prepared to ask for Cervadil but my hospital doesn't use that very much at all anymore based on cost and not very convenient.  I'd say popping a couple pills and having my water broke was uber convenient!''

    ETA that the Cytotec only lasts about 3-4 hours each when they broke my water, my body took over as no meds were on board at that point and within 10 minutes I was having very intense contractions.  I was in hard, active labor for about an hour and a half and got my epidural when I was around 4cm (my doc lets people get them whenever) around 6pm.  After I got the epidural, I started progressing very nicely and was at 9cm by midnight.  I had been in the "maybe epi/mabye not" camp and I'm glad I got it. 

    Best of luck and hoping for a successful, safe induction!

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  • I was induced at 41 weeks, 3 days with a Cook's Cervical Ripening Balloon.

    It went great.

    No drugs!

    Does your doctor do Foley balloon inductions or Cook's catheter inductions?

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  • rnin02rnin02 member

    I had a good, but long induction. Arrived at the hospital around 7:30, got started on pitocin around 8 something. Didn't even notice my contractions for hours and hours, literally I thought the baby was just stretching and kicking. Around 1pm my OB broke my water (I probably wouldn't have agreed to this normally, but my BPs were crazy high, so I knew we had to get things moving). My contractions were still extremely manageable. I found a position I liked, and the baby liked, and that's where I stayed:) I had to have internal monitors placed around 4pm I think because they couldn't get a good reading of the baby's heart rate. That was not much fun, but after they were in it wasn't too bad, except I wasnt' allowed to get out of bed anymore:( It did start get painful around 6pm (I think) but I was still able to work through them. Around 8:30pm I got some IV pain medicine, it was great stuff (fentanyl)! Short acting, but it took the edge off. Pitocin made my contractions pretty close together, and it was hard to relax in between, the fentanyl let me do that. Finally around 11pm I was ready to give in and get my epidural, my OB did a cervical check and I was almost complete, and knowing the end was in sight helped me say no to the epidural and keep going. I pushed for about 35 minutes and baby was born at 11:52pm. It was a long day, but nothing too evil about the pitocin or the induction. The first half of the day was almost boring, I was very glad we brought our portable DVD player!

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