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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2009 - 2012 › April 2011 › OB convinced me to schedule a date to break my waters. Yay or Nay?
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OB convinced me to schedule a date to break my waters. Yay or Nay?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I'm due on Monday, April 4. Urine has been testing fine. Blood pressure is fine, although ankles are really swollen. I've been dilated and effaced since Feb. 28. Now at 3-4 cm and 80%. Mucous plug has been shedding a small amount gradually for three weeks (had a rather large glob today). I've gained over 40 pounds already this pregnancy (yikes!), and I've been really uncomfortable for most of the 3rd Trimester. Baby's  been moving steadily and is in a good position. At my exam yesterday, my OB said he's concerned that my measurements indicate the baby could be large. (My first baby was 8 lb 1 oz four days before due date.) He said he that waiting much past this due date could pose complications in delivering vaginally and he recommended scheduling breaking my water to induce labor. My first inclination was to go for it. I chose my due date and went home excited that the end is in sight.

 

Then... I started reading online about the complications of inducing. We're not talking Pitocin here, just breaking water, but it seems that it can still lead to increased risk of having to have a C-section and that "big baby" predictions are not a good reason to induce.

 

I have the feeling I know what moms on this forum will say about forcing labor, but I am concerned that if the baby IS big, there could be complications from that, too! Anyone have advice or experience with this? Thanks much!

post #2 of 30

"Big baby" predictions are often wrong. I don't believe that women grow babies too big to birth except in extremely rare circumstances. Fat squishes. My tiny 120 pound sister has given birth to 10+ pound babies.

 

Inducing labor can start a cascade of interventions. I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but I will be frank. Once your water is broken, you will be on your OB's ticking clock. At that point there will be no turning back. If contractions do not start, you will be given pitocin and/or something to ripen your cervix. If the pitocin does not work, you will be considered failure to progress and end up with a C-section. I hear that same story so many times and mamas that are heartbroken over the results. This is my 4th baby and I was induced with number two. Never again. I narrowly avoided a C-section at the last moment by begging for a vacuum extraction (which is also very risky).

 

I totally get that you are probably ready to be done and meet your baby. I urge you to consider what you might be getting into. Ultrasound is a bad indicator of baby size and palpation can be just as bad. My first born was supposedly going to be so tiny but came out at 8lb 10oz. Everyone was so sure my youngest was going to be HUGE.. like 10+ pounds HUGE and she was my smallest. Less than 8 pounds.

 

It sounds like your body is doing everything it should be doing in order to birth in harmony with your baby. Everything you've mentioned sounds so normal for this point of pregnancy except for your doc wanting to meddle. ;)

 

Just my 2 cents. I hope you find peace with your decision, whatever you choose!

 

 

post #3 of 30

My biggest baby was my easiest labor/birth by far.  Also, my labors where my water broke at the very end were far less painful.  I wouldn't do it personally.

post #4 of 30

I have to agree.  My first was 8-12 and the second 9-11.  Second was a WAAAYY  easier labor and birth. 

 

I wouldn't be opposed to breaking water to induce but only if I was already pretty far along as far as dilation.  Like say I was 5-6 and not yet in active labor.  Then I would go for it.  The problem with induction is that 1 intervention sets you up for more.  Say they break your water and you don't progress, then you get pitocin, your on a time line, etc., etc.   I actually think that it would be better to do a low dose pit and not break water until further along. (just my opinion) You can always shut off the pit but once you are ruptured you are 100% committed to delivering within a certain time frame.  and as pp mentioned labor once you are ruptured can be so much more painful and intense. 

 

I was considering doing homeopathics to induce labor starting soon because I am pretty much unable to physically do my job anymore and I don't want to sit around waiting on a baby for 3 weeks of my leave time. I was thinking I would start them at 39 weeks but ultimately decided that wasn't right for me.  I probably will do them at 40 weeks but not before.   I just had to really weigh out my options and decide what was best for me and what choices I could live with.  For me personally, I am okay with doing the labor prep herbs, EPO and stripping membranes prior to 40wks. I'm not comfortable doing anything else until after.  I know others who would not even be comfortable with that much but I am making decisions only for me and my baby.  You have to do what you are comfortable with- weigh your pros and cons and make an educated decision and ultimately be ok with it. 

post #5 of 30

Also realize that baby's growth slows WAYY down as you approach and pass your EDD.  

post #6 of 30


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
 and as pp mentioned labor once you are ruptured can be so much more painful and intense. 

 


Absolutely. I have had 2 out of 3 labors start with spontaneous rupture of membranes. It's no picnic.

 

post #7 of 30

How large of a baby is large to the OB?

 

Do big babies run in your family?  From what I've seen in our family and with friends is that most babies within a family tend to weigh around the same amount.  Mine tend to run on the smallish size (so far) as do babies in DH's family.  A friend had a 10lb baby but there was a large occurance of large babies in her family. (Note - she did have a c/s but her baby was transverse and had been for awhile)

 

There are complications with babies of all sizes, not just big ones.  I know that shoulder dystocia is associated with larger babies but even that is apparently rare and can also occur with a smaller baby.

 

It sounds like your body is doing what it should to prepare for birth.  Maybe you'll have the baby this weekend and won't have to worry about the induction!  Regardless, good luck in whatever you choose.

post #8 of 30

My 3rd was 2 weeks early and was 8+3...my fourth came on his due date and was 10+2...home water birth....10+2 baby was the best labor I've ever had...now...remmeber you will be pushing while laying down....and if your water has already broke....it makes it even harder. I would not schedule to have my water broke at all. What about sweeping your memebranes to help move things along.  I would really spend laot of time here on mothering about the pro's and con's of having your water broke...even in active labor....the water bags if left intact helps the mother to stretch...Something you will HAVE to stand your ground even in the mist of hard labor. Good Luck with what ever choice you do make

 

post #9 of 30
I agree with the others. Inductions put you at the mercy of the doc and the clock, and a domino effect of interventions can easily follow. My first baby was an induction. It started out with pitocin which at first was not too bad, but the second the nurse broke my water it went from easy to pure hell. I ended up with an epidural, and when i was pushing the baby would not descend. My only bit of luck is that my OB is very good at being a doctor. He was able to safely use the vacuum, but even he was not convinced it was going to work because they were already prepping th OR for my c/s. I got really lucky that i was able to have a vaginal birth.

My OB (same doc) wants to induce me at 39 weeks because I birth 9 pound babies and I am 41 years old. I made him promise that, as long as I am healthy, he will not even talk induction until 41 weeks. So far there is no reason to induce, although I know it is making him nuts. ROTFLMAO.gif. But he is extremely skilled at what he does, so heaven forbid I do need serious interventions I am glad to have him there, but twice now he has successfully avoided c-sections for me, and I know he respects my desire to have as close to an intervention-free birth as possible.

I know it can be hard to both wait and to confront your doc about what you want, but try to think of the end game - what kind of birth are you striving for? If you do end up with a failed induction will you regret it later? Are you just done done done and can't take it anymore (oh boy I can relate to that!)?
post #10 of 30

I agree with your reservations and what you have read online. Perhaps you have read this article linked below - basically advising against inducing b/c of suspicions of big baby. "Cases" like yours should be handled expectantly - wait and see, and not preemptively with inducing as it leads to higher c/s in the end, which is what your OB is trying to avoid (but could lead that way anyway). http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0115/p302.html Estimates by care providers are also far from accurate - they like to think they know but can be very wrong, to the detriment of the baby in being born too soon.

 

That said, it seems like you *would* be favorable for induction if it came to that because you're dilated and effaced, but this is your choice. It would still be dictating when baby is born instead of baby controlling the timing when he/she's ready to enter the world. And it is very true about being on the clock. vs say, your water breaking spontaneously at home and you being able to labor and go in when you're ready.(Contrary to hospital "policy", you do NOT have to go in as soon as your water breaks. I labored at home for 6 hours after my water broke before feeling like it was time to go ).  It's incredible how automatically they give pit once water breaks, they have NO patience for labor to start up on its own when it can very safely take days to do so.

 

Many, many, many mamas have birthed big babies!! Have confidence in your ability to birth.

 

And, the various things you mentioned with your physical state at this point sound just fine. Swelling in ankles is very common and normal.

post #11 of 30

Just to offer the Dissenting Opinion (tm), I would say, if you are already 4 cms and 80% effaced, I would go ahead and risk it. I was in the same position with my second child, and my midwife stripped my membranes--of course, it didn't actually start labor, but I did have several hours of contractions, and went into labor 3 nights later.

 

If you have a breast pump at home, you could try a little "natural" oxytocin, just to see if that's enough to put you over the edge. I know posters here often recommend s-x, but I'd imagine that feels pretty impossibly uncomfortable right now.

post #12 of 30

I don't know if an OB would want to wait for labor to start 3 days after sweeping the membranes.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Girl View Post

Just to offer the Dissenting Opinion (tm), I would say, if you are already 4 cms and 80% effaced, I would go ahead and risk it. I was in the same position with my second child, and my midwife stripped my membranes--of course, it didn't actually start labor, but I did have several hours of contractions, and went into labor 3 nights later.

 

If you have a breast pump at home, you could try a little "natural" oxytocin, just to see if that's enough to put you over the edge. I know posters here often recommend s-x, but I'd imagine that feels pretty impossibly uncomfortable right now.



 

post #13 of 30

Another vote not to break your water.  Really, if you were going to induce I'd probably pick a cervix ripening gel or pitocin instead of breaking the waters - that way if it's not working or baby isn't tolerating it well you can just stop the induction, go home to rest, and try again later (or not).  With broken waters your OB will likely want the baby out in 24 hrs (actual time may be more or less depending on the OB) and will do a section if you don't get there.

 

Also, keep in mind that baby positioning is so much more important than size!  You never know why you haven't gone into labour, maybe your kiddo is still trying to get herself into just the right position before coming out.  Breaking the waters may lock her into an unfavourable position and actually make for a tougher labour.  Anyway, just some thoughts from me, of course you have to decide what you think is right.

post #14 of 30

Some women have a lot of luck with nudging labor along with a simple breaking of the waters.  Others it leads to issues.  Hindsight will tell you who you are.

 

If the OB thinks you are that big why doesn't he do an u/s.

post #15 of 30

I had my water broken at 40+3 because I had been having prodromal labor on/off for 3 weeks, thought my water had broken that morning (it hadn't), I was 5cm, 80-90% effaced and done.  Worst decision ever. I ended up with a baby who was persistently posterior, pushed for 4 hours then had a c/s where my son was cut across the face with a scalpel.  I wish I'd given it whatever time it needed to take. 

 

Also, keep in mind that if you have your water broken and labor doesn't start, you are on a clock and will end up with pitocin to start things.

post #16 of 30

ive had my water broken for stalled labor 2x and honestly I found it harder when contracting and the entire labor just seemed more difficult to get control of. one of those times i did end up with pit and a spinal and felt horrid after. with the other I moved super fast and was never "in control" 

 

I dont like the idea of a time clock either. once your water breaks they will watch you and set a time limit. some OB's get bored or dont want to wait ect and then you have a "fever" or your still not going fast enough and then its just one more intervention.Ive gone down that road and it is not fun.

 

I know sex is the least comfy thing right now but it really may help.

 

 

ETA = the OB was off for one baby by over 2lbs. fat babies are usually squishy and not as hard to birth as you think. ive been reading up on it since i have some GD issues. I am a small girl but i dont have any trouble birthing my babies. just because they are big does not mean you cant do it.

post #17 of 30

I was 4 cm and "very thin" with my pitocin induction. After a few hours on pitocin, they broke my water. I pushed for hours before getting a c/s. After reading up inductions I would try as many natural thing first, before going into the hospital to be induced, by AROM or pitocin. EPO, nipple stimulation, sex...As for stripping the membranes, I've heard of some women going in and getting it done every other day. I don't know if it makes it more effective or not, but it's worth a try. I have read that breaking your water too soon could make the baby get into a bad position and get stuck.

 

Good luck with your decision.

post #18 of 30

I was induced with gel and then waters broken with my 3rd. The labor was manageable and I was determined to birth her as naturally as possible. (she was 5 days past due and I have a small frame 4'10") It was a fantastic birth experience and I even told my husband that day that I could do that again! LOL

 

My 4th was induced by breaking my waters when I went in to the hospital with non-painful contractions and dialating at 4cm. Within 30 min. I was pushing and had her safely delivered without pain medication. It again, was a fabulous experience and good recovery even though I did tear a little because of the speed of the birth.

 

I am not saying you should, it's up to you, but I hope you don't feel like all hope of a medication free birth is lost. My insurance wouldn't cover a birthing center, and my dh is scared to death to deliver at home. My only option is a hospital, but you can still make the experience you hope for with lots of communication with the dr and nurses and an open mind.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Christi

post #19 of 30

My sister's first baby was 9 lbs.  Her OB did a U/S on her second (due to other complications) and thought she was about 8 lbs at 37 weeks.  They induced (again, due to other complications), and her baby was 6 lbs 4 oz.  Obviously whether or not to induce is your decision and you have to go with what you're most comfortable with, but there are definitely risks involved.  As others pointed out, once your water is broken, the clock is ticking and there's no turning back.  Labor starts or more interventions follow, and if those are unsuccessful then you get a C-section.  Is your baby's head fully engaged?  If not, artificially rupturing the membranes can increase the risk of prolapsed cord, which means you get a C-section.  It also increases the risk of infection, which is aggravated by the fact that AROM will probably be followed by frequent cervical exams to see if you're progressing enough to avoid additional intervention. 

post #20 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post

I had my water broken at 40+3 because I had been having prodromal labor on/off for 3 weeks, thought my water had broken that morning (it hadn't), I was 5cm, 80-90% effaced and done.  Worst decision ever. I ended up with a baby who was persistently posterior, pushed for 4 hours then had a c/s where my son was cut across the face with a scalpel.  I wish I'd given it whatever time it needed to take. 

 


Your poor baby! I am so sorry that happened! I know you must have been heart-broken.  Us mamas can handle things that happen to us but my heart hurts when things happen to our little ones!

 

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