I have so much to say and so little time these days! But, I’ve been slowly working on a few posts — yes baby related — that I think my mama-to-be followers will love.
Anyway, in the meantime I wanted to write a short post about inducing labor. Now I’m not talking about inducing because it is medically necessary, but it is important to know what is necessary and what is simply “the norm” in a hospital setting these days.
When I was 26 weeks pregnant I did the traditional glucose test (I did the hour long test and am one of the few people who thought the orange drink actually tasted kind of nice), and found out I had gestational diabetes. I’ll admit, I was HORRIFIED when I found out mainly because I had a fairly clean diet throughout my pregnancy, I hadn’t gained much weight, I stayed active and walked daily, I never had high blood pressure or anything out of the norm, but most importantly I was so worried for my baby.
After much meditation, breath-work, and research, I talked myself down and realized I was spending way too much time feeling guilty when in reality, gestational diabetes is simply a glucose intolerance. Our bodies use glucose differently when we are pregnant than when we aren’t and for some people that works well, and for others it doesn’t. For me, I was able to control my gestational diabetes through diet and exercise (and taking chlorella supplements) but it took a lot of finger pricking and trial and error. Nonetheless, I share all this as a background to the first time I was told we would likely need to induce my labor.
For those who read about my home birth, you know I ended up deciding to finally switch to a home birth due to how my OB/GYN handled the gestational diabetes conversation/situation. Thank-you to her for making that last appointment more terrible than the diagnosis itself because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back!
I was told that because I had gestational diabetes my baby would 1) be too big to deliver naturally, 2) I would almost certainly have to have a C-section (potentially scheduled), 3) I would probably need to get on insulin, and 4) we would likely have to induce labor potentially around 37 weeks because it was very possible I would end up with preeclampsia.
… WHAT?! An otherwise ENTIRELY healthy pregnancy meant all of that? All of that before we even found out if my gestational diabetes was controlled with diet and exercise? All without seeing if my health changed for the worse? All said with a lack of any care for what I’d already shared with my OB/GYN about my goal to deliver naturally…
Remember, my baby was born at 41 weeks, entirely healthy in every way, and NATURALLY. Yes, there are reasons that induction becomes a necessity, but don’t let anyone push you into a scenario you aren’t comfortable with especially on one of the most important days of your life. Listen to your own heart, gut, and head… if it sounds off, it probably is. And damnit, women are super heroes and our bodies work with our babies for a safe delivery.
Bottom line: gestational diabetes does not mean you will develop preeclampsia, a big baby (mine was 9 lbs 3 oz) does not mean you have to have a C-section, and unless keeping the bun in the oven has become dangerous for you or baby, you do not need to induce labor.
P.S. I actually bought castor oil and had a tincture on hand to begin a natural induction process if my midwife and I decided we should — and truth be told my body was over being pregnant at about 36 weeks — but I am ultimately so glad I didn’t rush labor… my body and baby were doing their thing and medically speaking (but also just in general), everything went exactly perfectly and we were both entirely healthy and safe.