Because everyone I know online is pregnant I have been hearing a lot about their labors.  Some were hospital births, some were at home, and many were even VBACs.  Luckily, most of my friends are pretty informed about pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  This meant that most of them waited for the baby to come when the baby was ready.  Many of these babies decided they wanted to wait until after their “due date.”

This is what I noticed.  These “overdue” babies gave their mamas a short labor.  All labors, whether they are an hour or 20, hurt.  If I were given a choice, I would rather have a relatively quick and intense labor like the one I had with my second son, than the 20 hour slow starting, induced labor of my first.

Everett was born at home at 41 weeks and 3 days.  My labor was 4 hours and 45 minutes including 20 minutes of pushing.

Friend A was 41 weeks and 3 days with her third baby (her second HBAC), and her labor was 6 hours.

Jill from Baby Rabies recently gave birth to her second baby at 41 weeks.  She walked into the hospital at a 7 and delivered 2 hours after checking in after an intense and fast labor. Her birth story.

We were all “overdue,” very large, uncomfortable, and ready to have a baby.  We waited a long time

One of my theories is that my babies need to bake longer than the “40 week” mark.  Every woman is different, every pregnancy is different.  Why is there so much importance placed on this magic 40 week mark?  The reason I say this is because of the differences I saw in my first son after birth compared to my second.

My first son was induced when I was 39 weeks 3 days.  To most pregnant people they would assume this is plenty of time to bake a baby.  My OB decided to induce me because I had Gestational Diabetes and was told going 1 day over 40 wasn’t an option (pshaw… wish I had known) and because at my growth scans they noticed my baby’s abdomen was measuring small (but consistently small, why worry?).  The day we went in for a follow up scan they told me to pack my bags and come in the next day because, and I quote, “the baby has baked long enough.”

I had a pitocin induced labor which took over 20 hours from start to finish.  I couldn’t take the humpback contractions and opted for the epidural.  To this day I am amazed I ended up with a vaginal birth now that I know the statistics for inductions and long labors.

Fletcher was 7 lbs 2 0z and 19.5 inches long.  He was coated with thick vernix.  Why do I mention this?  Typically, full term babies have already sloughed off most or all of their vernix.

A very cheesey newborn

Fletcher was very drowsy and we had an insanely difficult time with nursing.  He didn’t latch properly and would fall asleep at the breast in minutes.  Instead of cuddling my new baby I was forced to torture him to stay awake in order to eat.  I undressed him, flicked his feet, blew on his face, all to get food in his belly by order of the nurses.

He was also fairly small and rag dollish.  He became jaundiced but not severe enough to need lights.  He looked like a stick figure baby when I look back at photos.

In comparison, my “overdue” baby, Everett, was born at 41 weeks 3 days (2 full weeks more than Fletcher).  He weighed 8 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long.

He also had vernix, but a much lighter coating.

He was alert and ready to nurse.

He had the head control of a 1 month old and could lift his head off my chest at a few minutes old.

His latch was perfect (but he was tongue tied which we had clipped, more on that here)

He also slept great from day 1 (at night that is)

I am not saying every problem I had with my first son was related to him being born too early, nor am I saying every thing right with my second has to do with him being born overdue.  My boys both also had very different birth experiences.  Fletcher was induced, put through a long labor and a very long pushing phase (3 hours) and was born while I was on an Epidural.  Everett came when he was ready, he had a calm labor lasting less than 5 hours with a 20 minute push phase.  Part of their difference in labor is probably because second labors are typically faster as well, so I can’t blame everything on being induced.

My wish for all women is that they not have to even deal with the pressure to be induced.  With the staggering rate of C-Sections, babies born too soon thanks to being induced before the baby was ready (you can read a recent article in Time magazine to that effect, which is ironic since I wrote this a week ago, good timing!), and the high rate of Maternal deaths in the US, women need to educate themselves and possibly prepare to butt heads with their care provider.

I wasn’t exactly thrilled about being 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant but I trusted my body and my baby. I had a very routine (and easy) pregnancy other than my gestational diabetes, which was well under control.  My baby made a grand entrance into the world and kept us all anxiously waiting.  I’m so thankful for our supportive midwives and the internet for informing me that I am in charge of my body, not my OB GYN.

70 Responses

  1. I loved that my doctor said my due date was just a suggestion. She was very much about letting the baby come when he was ready…her laid back attitude worked well with us.

  2. I loved that my doctor said my due date was just a suggestion. She was very much about letting the baby come when he was ready…her laid back attitude worked well with us.

    1. Totally! Now full term is 37 weeks…..there are certainly healthy babies born within that time but it used to be 39/40. 42 weeks wasn’t considered a death sentence and merit for induction.

  3. I do agree that inductions should be avoided. My physician did not support prebooked inductions and said that obviously baby wasn’t ready to come so my 1st attempts fail. However he went on vacation and the obsterician covering was shocked that we didn’t have a day prescheduled for induction and insisted on booking one. I went into labour naturally and delivered within 10 hours of my water breaking. I think the use of inductions is used to help schedule the physicians time. They like to plan things, and know what to expect. That being said I rarely hear of inductions happening around here prior to 10-14 days post due date with out medical reason.
    As for your decreased time in later I do think being second and later children also plays a huge role in reducing labour times.

    1. It is so hard to say, but since I had the chance to contract for 2 weeks off and on I think I was pre-prepped for labor which probably reduced my time greatly.

  4. Very similar story here. I had DD #2 on 9/28/10. I was 41 weeks and 5 days. The wait was excruciating, especially everyone asking when I was going to be induced. The night she was born, I had dinner at 6, put older daughter to bed at 8, checked into hospital at 10:30 (10 cm dilated as it turns out) and delivered just after 11. Had to “wait” for my midwife to get to the hospital because it all happened so fast. With my first I was induced at 41 weeks and had an epidural, and like you, realize now how lucky I am that I didn’t have a C section. I think it was close. I wish more women knew to trust their bodies, and how to find supportive doctors or midwives.

  5. Both of my labors were spontaneous, unmedicated and post-dates, but my older son took 22 hours while y younger came so fast and furious that he was an unplanned home birth. While I do believe that inductions can slow down the natural birth process, unfortunately some babies do just take longer.

  6. My son was overdue too and I fought to wait until 41 weeks. My doc was concerned about him ingesting meconium in the womb so I caved after 41 and was induced. Turns out he did ingest some and his breathing was a bit impaired after birth. So I’m conflicted about whether or not it was the right decision. I have to say, the thing that upset me most about my birth experience was the fact that the doc was hardly even there. I spend all this time with him throughout the course of my pregnancy and he just shows up at the very end of my 17 hour labor. It can be a disjointed, weird experience in these modern days…

    1. Meconium aspiration was my biggest fear and I am so thankful he did not end up with this. Did you have a doula with you? I loved the midwife experience because they were there the entire time, and would have stayed 20 hours+ if I needed them to.

      1. Midwives and doulas are extremely hard to find in my area. I did have some great nurses and they made all the difference. Since I labored through more than one shift, there were a couple who I could’ve lived without but the majority were caring and supportive and all-around awesome. I envy your midwife experience! Maybe I can hunt one down for my second baby…

  7. Thank you for this post. I’ll be 40 weeks on Saturday and am already feeling the pressure from my family and even my midwife that the baby is ready. I feel that she and my body will let me know when it is time. I want spontaneous labour and a natural childbirth and I just hope I am strong enough to stand up for it.

      1. She is definitely strong enough! Emily, you are going to do great! Did you read Ina Ma’s Guide to Childbirth? While it is geared towards homebirth it still has so many valuable insights on labor and the attitude you can approach it with the overcome the pain. And even if you don’t go natural, you will still have a baby! Going natural doesn’t prove your mommyness 😉

  8. Love this! Although I have no experience either way, I do get so super annoyed when people are whining because they haven’t had their babies at 37 weeks. The baby isn’t ready! UGH. I could go on and on. This was a great post!

  9. I agree that too many women and doctors are too caught up by the due date. I was a high risk labor and my MFM was conservative but really wanted me to go into labor on my own. He wasn’t going to let me go over 40 weeks but didn’t want to push for earlier. At the end I had virtually no amniotic fluid. We had an induction set for the next couple of days and I was a nervous wreck waiting for it to come. I could clearly see my baby through my ‘deflated’ tummy. If we didn’t have an induction set in the next couple of days he probably would have walked me to a l/d room and hooked me up to some pitocin that day. Luckily I went into labor and gave birth naturally the day before my induction. I couldn’t have told you when my water broke because it never seemed to which makes me wonder if I PROM-ed. But my labor was awesome. I didn’t even know I was in active labor. I slept some that night. When my husband woke up the next next morning I told him I wanted to take a shower and eat breakfast before going to the hospital. But then all of a sudden things got painful, really painful. I thought I was finally in labor, but it was actually transition. I arrived at the hospital complete and pushing. I don’t know how long my labor really was, but I was really only aware of my labor for about 3 hours before my baby was born, and he was my first. My Dr. specialized in natural labor and had been a birth center doc previously and I was only the second 1st time mom that she had seen do that so quickly and easily, so even compared to well informed birth center moms I was rare. So I had a quick, easy labor but there is a lot more than timing that plays into it. The attitude of the mom towards the birth process and positioning of the baby are also really important. I know women that have had pitocin inductions and episotimies and LOVED them, I think they are crazy, but maybe they don’t really have to be that bad.

    1. wow! two of my closest friends from college had a set of twin boys in 2006. i had just moved cross country about a month before, so i was anxious of new and made all our friends promise to keep me updated with how things were going. on the day the boys were born, i got a phone call: “rob and ambur are in an ambulance on the way to the hospital”. 24 mins later i got another call: “they spit’em out!” i’m thinking, it was false labor and the ob/gyn sent them home. nope! the boys were already born!

      when i spoke to the new mum on the phone a couple hours later, she gave me the whole story: they’d gone out to dinner with some of our friends the night before and afterwards, she felt kind of squeamish and uncomfortable. she thought something she’d eaten didn’t agree with her. they went to bed. around 6am, she woke up and “really had to pee”. she rushed to the bathroom and went (turns out that was her water breaking), and then went back to bed. the whole morning the next day, she still felt out of sorts. not in pain, but like she couldn’t get comfortable no matter what she did. finally around 1pm, she felt a sharp pain in her lower back and felt a baby (or both) moving “down through her or something” and thought “oh, maybe i’m in labor” the friends they were staying with (they’d just moved back to the states from jamaica halfway through the pregnancy) weren’t home, so they called an ambulance. by the time they got to the hospital 15 – 20 mins later, she was in serious labor pain mode. they took her in on the gurney and she shouted out to the nearest doctor, “i’m ready for my epidural!!”. the doctor said there was no time. the first baby’s head was already crowning. they told her to push. she pushed twice and he came right out – still on the gurney and in the curtained area. they got her up to a delivery room and baby #2 came out about 5.5mins later. when they had their third son two years later, she said she “recongnised the signs”, so they went to the hospital about 3 hours before he was born, but it was pretty much the same experience.

      i CLING to this birth story as a life raft in the short, uncomplicated, nearly pain-free birth i’m envisioning for myself one day…lol.

  10. EXCELLENT, couldn’t have said it any better myself. Teagan was 1 week “overdue” and was born 9 lb 3 oz, no induction. Same as Everett, she latched immediately and had amazing head control. To this day I feel her unmedicated birth gave her an extra boost.

  11. With my first I refused induction and had him 5 days after his due date. My body was clearly not ready at 40 weeks and I was adamant I wanted labor to start on its own. But with my second I had all sorts of complications late in my pregnancy – kidney stones, infections, liver problems, and finally pre-eclampsia. I agreed to an induction at 39 weeks, simply because it was the safest option. Based on all the horrible induction stories I had read online I was terrified, but it ended up being almost identical to my first labor (I had an epidural both times). It actually would have been even faster but I was on magnesium sulfate to prevent a possible seizure – within 2 hours of stopping the magnesium I went from a 4 to a 10 and pushed my baby girl out in 3 pushes.

    Funny enough, baby #2 was larger, chubbier, a better nurser, better head control and less vernix too. So either we were off on her conception date (very possible) or she just finished baking earlier.

    I think my point is that sometimes induction, when it’s for medical reasons, shouldn’t be scary.

    1. I’d love for doctors to only recommend inductions for medically necessary reasons. Unfortunately the definition of “medically necessary” gets warped and loosened to mean “overdue”, “uncomfortable”, and my favorite “due over Thanksgiving.”

      Sometimes when women are not far from ready inductions aren’t bad and are pretty easy. I wish I had been in that category! In your case you had a very justified induction. I’m so glad it went well for you and your baby.

  12. Unfortunately some inductions can’t be avoided. My DD was born 2 months premature because I had severe sudden preeclampsia. I’m hoping to go full term this time around because induction was one of the worst WEEKS of my life, but, I do have a 40% chance of repeat preeclampsia, so we’ll see.

  13. I completely agree with you that it is important for women to take their pregnancies into their own (educated) hands. I recently wrote a similar post on the “new” bed rest recommendations that apparently most OB GYNs aren’t aware of. I was on bed rest from 26 weeks to 37 weeks with my daughter for an incompetent cervix. This time around, I was beginning to dilate and efface again at 27 weeks but my new provider is thankfully up to date on recent studies and didn’t want to put me on bed rest. Had I done the research myself with my pregnancy in 2009, I would have found out that my nearly 3 months on bed rest (that caused depression, kidney stones, muscle atrophy, and many other symptoms), was in vain. The “recent” research is from the early 2000s.

    My son was born 1.5 weeks after his “original” due date but ON the due date that they determined during my 2nd trimester. I dealt with painful BH contractions for the entire last month of my pregnancy with him and then had a 3 hour, 6 minute labor. Yes, that’s start to finish: first contraction to his birth, with a 16 minute pushing phase. My daughter was born after having contractions every night for 2 weeks. I was 6cm and 75% effaced when I went into labor with her and she was born after a 75 minute (start to finish) labor. I’m pregnant AGAIN and I will refuse an induction if it’s suggested this time. Although I LOVE my OB GYN for being totally cool with my “crunchy” ways.

    Thanks for writing this, Kim. I hope that it benefits many women, babies, and birth experiences.

  14. There are problems that can come with being overdue. Believe me I know. My first was 42 weeks when I deliver and was fine. Slept all the time and didn’t nurse well. #2 was born 1 week 2 days late. He had SEVERE meconium aspiration. The respirator collapsed his lung and he had chemical pneumonia. He had to go on a machine called EMCO which is like lung bipass, and was in a comma. He was in the hospital for a month. He almost didn’t make it and if I had not been in one of the best hospitals in the world he wouldn’t have. When I had my 3rd I was induced 5 days early and it was great. He was a bit jaundice, but I’ll take that any day over what I went through! There are many complications that can happen from going over the 40 weeks. I didn’t want to be induced either, but now I wish I had been!

    1. Oh and the two of mine who nursed right away (the one in the coma couldn’t!) wanted to sleep and not nurse no matter if they were over due or early. Being born is hard work and it is completely normal for that to happen.

  15. thank you for sharing! Being pregnant those last few weeks can be so trying.

    Regarding due dates – If I had given the date of my last menstrual period, then my dates would have been a week earlier. I track my cycles, and I know that I pretty consistently have longer cycles, ovulating on about day 20 – almost a full week later than the “average” day 14 that the pregnancy wheel assumes. I’m thankful that my midwives took my word for ovulation date, otherwise baby #1 would have been “overdue” and born at 41 wk 6 d and baby #2 would have been born on 41 wk 1 d.

    The point being that most women don’t ovulate on day 14, so using the pregnancy wheel for due date (based on LMP) is just guess. Dating scans have improved in accuracy, but they still have a margin of error by several days on either side. When dealing with people pushing induction, a few days can be the difference between spontaneous labor and dealing with a potential cascade of issue stemming from and attempt at induction. Getting stuck on a specific date, by parents or medical staff, just sets mothers up for potential problems for mom, baby and birthing.

    1. I had a long cycle too, but we had an early U/S to determine the EDD. It is still possible the dates were off though.

  16. Thanks for sharing Kim! From reading these comments, I can see there is no absolute right or wrongs here when it comes to birthing a healthy baby!
    I’m 20 weeks and strongly considering a home birth thanks to you sharing your experiences and also a few friend’s experiences. My first was a long hospital birth and I ended up getting an epidural and also pitocin. I’m also thankful it didn’t end up a c-section. I look forward to being comfortable at home for sure! Hoping that speeds the labor because I can be comfy at home, not have anyone check in on me constantly, etc. We’ll See!

  17. we have pretty opposite (and yet at the same time – amazing- stories)
    With my first son I was 2 weeks overdue before my OB would okay me to be induced – even though I was begging before that! Scans showed my fluid levels were ok, the NST was normal, and the tech had estimated his weight to be between 7-8 pounds just 3 days before they induced me. My induction went really smooth with no issues. It took me 12 hours to be ready to push though and over 2 hours to get him out because he was presenting forehead first rather then the crown of his head- so the tilt of his haead was making it harder to get out (in the 2+ hours of pushing with my nurse feeling him and coaching me – never did she mention the odd position or that maybe he just wasnt going to push out). When he was born- he was 10.1oz with a head that was well over 15 inches- MUCH larger then anyone had thought- even the techs. HE ended up with some hip problems (that went away) and so much swelling, bruising and blistering that the doctors made everyone in the room leave and told my DH and I that they wanted to do testing on him because he honestly looked downs or somthing along those lines. Thankfully he was fine – it was just a very hard delivery on him (and me). He took some time to get nursing properly but eventually did. Oh and I had to be on pitocin the entire time- they tried to stop it when it was time to push and my body would not produce contractions on its own!

    With my second child- we knew we didnt want what we had had with my son. I had a new ob and he agreed to let me induce 10 days early as long as scans and things showed she was ‘ready’. That day I went in, got set up by 8am, and by 12 was ready to push. My ob was in doing a csection so I had to wait, but once he was there it took 2 pushes, then a friend in my room (I had all the girls close to me in there just like I did with my son – a total of 11 people- it was awesome) say something that made me laugh and that is when my daughter was born – while I was laughing! She was 7.2, had perfect scores and nursed great from the start- and nursed for over 2 years.

    So while you and I have very different stories, they are each our stories and Im sure we are both thankful for having the choices we do when it comes to the care of our babies. Your home birth pictures look very beautiful

    1. Very amazing! I loved that you laughed the baby out and had so many friends and family around to support you.

  18. my induction wasnt THAT bad. the slowest part was the cervadil getting me ready. Up to 3cm I barely felt anything then they popped my water and i delivered like 2- 2 1/2 hrs later… i didnt even really have painful labor it was all more like feeling like i had to pee while not being able to pee and being tickled while listening to a waterfall (if you can imagine). that’s the best way i can describe it. They didnt really check me until after my epi and i ended up getting the epi at 10cm my son just had to drop down just a tiny bit more before i pushed.

  19. My labor/delivery with my first son is very similar to your first. Induced, 20 hours, couldn’t handle the pain and went for an epidural. I hope that my second (due in May!) goes as smoothly as yours did! I am definitely in no rush this time…

  20. Thank you for writing this post. Women definitely need to be educated regarding pregnancy and labour. Most women don`t realize that they have some level of autonomy. I had a friend who was induced at 38 weeks because her doctor was going on vacation for a month! I think that babies tend to come out when they are ready, and that there is a reason why a estimated due date is called an ESTIMATED due date.

  21. Thanks for the shout out! You’re right, it WAS pretty uncomfortable there toward the end and I was pretty tired of being pregnant, but a 2 hour labor and delivery? Heck YES. It was intense, but I’ll take it. I’m glad I let my babies cook as long as they needed.

    1. Yeah, your birth story was nuts. I loved reading it, I definitely had a good chuckle regarding the bathroom incident!

  22. “Fletcher was very drowsy and we had an insanely difficult time with nursing. He didn’t latch properly and would fall asleep at the breast in minutes. Instead of cuddling my new baby I was forced to torture him to stay awake in order to eat. I undressed him, flicked his feet, blew on his face, all to get food in his belly by order of the nurses.

    He was also fairly small and rag dollish. He became jaundiced but not severe enough to need lights. He looked like a stick figure baby when I look back at photos.”

    Yes! That! ALL of that. I had what amounted to an elective induction. It took roughly the same amount of time, was terribly miserable, and had the same outcome – what I quoted above. I am FLOORED that I didn’t have a c/s. I truly believe my saving grace was that it was a holiday and there was no OB there to cut.

    If I ever get pregnant again, I hope my birth is a lot like your second one. Knowing what I know now, an extra week or two isn’t that long to wait.

    1. And if you go for number 2 you will be begging to go longer! LOL. I was so scared to go from 1 to 2 I wanted Everett to wait another few months!

  23. I still wonder if my birth experience would have been different if I had just waited. I went in for an induction at 41 weeks 4 days because my back hurt so bad that I would cry everytime I moved. After 4 days of induction drugs and no progress I ended up with a c-section. That was certainly not the birth I had wanted. While I don’t spend tons of time dwelling on it, I do frequently wonder what would have happened if I had just waited.

    1. Reliving it is hard but you did great lasting as long as you did! Will you be trying for a VBAC if you have another?

  24. This was great Kim! My first and only was born at 41 weeks 2 days. I was dying for him to come out, but he wasn’t quite ready. But when he did finally make his grand appearance – after 20+ hours of labor, but only 45 min of pushing, he was amazing! He lifted his head and nursed like a champ from the get go. Reading other women’s accounts of having a hard time breastfeeding – I can’t really imagine it since Rowan was so good from the get go. I feel very blessed. We are actually approaching his first birthday – the 18th of this month – and still breast feeding, cosleeping and going strong! He is such a sweet blessing in our lives. Thanks for this comparison, it further makes me glad I went with the choice of a midwife for my first, and will do the same with any other children I have!

    1. Happy 1 year breastfeeding anniversary! That is such a milestone! And yes, you are very lucky! Having had a rough start nursing with both kids I know how hard it can be, but how rewarding it is too!

      Waiting 41 weeks and 2 days for your first must have been torture! With my second I was so busy with the first I hardly noticed I was pregnant. I was in NO RUSH and enjoyed those extra weeks with my toddler!

  25. This is really interesting, and I’m with you on letting babies cook till they’re ready. I will mention, though, that I had an uninduced first birth (natural) at just over 40 weeks that lasted 42 hours; I think it’s expected that first-time births take somewhat longer. I’m hoping this second baby is a wee bit faster — ha ha!

    I don’t like the current obsession with due dates, as if it’s an expiration date and babies are overdue once they’re past it. Forty weeks was supposed to be an averaged, and babies aren’t supposed to be overdue until past 42 weeks, if I understand it correctly, but no one (read: OBs) seems to care anymore. I refuse to tell anyone in my family/friends my due date for that reason, because I know from the first time around that they get antsy once that “magic” date has passed.

    1. That is a long labor for sure! I love the idea of not telling people your EDD but I’m not sure I could! Once my baby “expired” I stopped calling people. When they answered I got “are you in labor?!” every time!

    2. That is a long labor for sure! I love the idea of not telling people your EDD but I’m not sure I could! Once my baby “expired” I stopped calling people. When they answered I got “are you in labor?!” every time!

    3. i like the idea of not telling people your exact “due date”. maybe when it’s my time, i’ll just say “in the spring”, or “sometime in the month of x”. so they can feel like they have some info and i can feel a little less pressure to perform :).

  26. A very interesting post! My labor was just under 5 hours, start to finish. I pushed for 3 contractions. Mind you, this was my first baby. I am my mother’s daughter, which poses an interesting problem for future labors. With two of my siblings, labor was under 30 minutes start to finish and she barely made it to the hospital on time. With my brother, the nurse delivered him before anyone else could show up. I have a long time to consider this before I get pregnant again, but I will have the same sort of labor with my subsequent children. There is a very real concern that one baby could be born before I get anywhere and before we have any sort of medical supervision. I don’t want to risk giving birth without some sort of medical supervision in case of any complications (umbilical cord around the neck, breathing problems, who knows??). I may need to be induced at 39 weeks but I also know the C-section rates that go with induction. Luckily I have a long time to think about it.

  27. do you have any good resources for not needing to be induced for having Gestational diabetes? I had it with my first pregnancy and luckily didn’t have to be induced had my son at 39 weeks 1 day. now i’m 18 weeks pregnant with my second and i’m going to try to switch to a midwife. i’m having a hard time finding research on the need for delivering at or before 40 weeks in well controled GD

  28. I gave birth at 37 weeks and was pitocin induced because my water broke. I learned a few months later that induction wasn’t necessarily needed, but somehow I completely missed anything about induction when I was studying labor techniques and whatnot. Pitocin was the only drug I was given, no epidural – but I had to basically fight with the nurses and doctors not to get one. (which I couldn’t believe!) I really don’t know how long my labor lasted because I didn’t feel most of my contractions…but once I could feel them, man could I feel them! (I learned afterward that pitocin makes contractions much more painful, which made me feel very accomplished! 🙂 I was very clear with my doctors that I didn’t want an episiotomy, or any other intervention…but they disregarded my request and snipped me without even letting me know until they were ready to stitch me back up! I could go on and on about how displeased with the way I was treated at the hospital, but that would take far too long. I definitely plan to have a home birth next time! My daughter was five pounds, five ounces and about 17 inches long…she was jaundice enough to use the lights for about 2 weeks…but otherwise was healthy. The nurses guilted me into giving her formula because the jaundice was the fault of my breastfeeding even though she started nursing like a champ from the beginning. After switching to formula, it took us about 3 months to get the hang of nursing. But now she is almost 8 months and nurses like a champ! Hooray! I believe that God has a plan and he designed us to give birth, and “sentenced” us to the pain. I went into it expecting it to hurt and knowing that it was only a temporary pain and that it was soooo worth the outcome! I hope next time I’ll be able to go 100% natural instead of just 95% natural. Thanks for sharing!

  29. thanks so much for sharing this. i’ll be ttc this summer, and i’m hoping all goes well enough for a natural home birth. your story gives me so much hope and inspiration! also on a side note: i grew up outside boston in the city of everett! i never really liked growing up there and (even though my dad’s still there and family in surrounding areas) i could never conceive of moving back BUT i’ve always, ALWAYS thought it would make such a nice name for son. kudos!

  30. Every birth is SO different. With my first child I went into labour naturally 9 days past my due. However, after ‘not progressing’ fast enough I was given pitocin which lead to many more interventions. It was exactly 36 hours from the time my water broke until my son was born and it was a miserable experience.

    My second child was induced at 39 weeks due to IUGR. I went from 1cm to him being born in 6 hours. I recovered from the delivery quickly and was pretty happy with the labour/delivery. However, it did seem that he was born too soon.

    With my 3rd child I went into labour 9 days after my due date after much coaching (ie sweeping membranes etc) from my midwives. Once the labour really started it was 8 hours until my son was born. I didn’t have as smooth recovery as with my second child but I would still avoid an induction at all costs.

    I think my ‘dates’ are totally off for me and that’s why my children ‘come late’. Next time I will just plan my children’s due date to be a week later than what the chart says. I think it’s important for women to understand the full implications of inductions- both the good and the bad.

  31. My doctor literally forced me to undergo through induction when I was overdue by 11 days based on his calculation, even though I had 35 days cycle. Ended up having all the procedures hospital has to offer including C-section. Now, I am having hard time in coming enclosure with whatever happened to me.

  32. This story is AMAZING!!! My OB is pushing for an induction before 41 weeks and I told her NO! My First son was supposedly 17 days early, desipite me knowing they used a wrong LMP and gave me hell for him measuring 3 weeks ahead. My intution tells me he was 2 weeks late. He came in less than 3 hours start to finish, was alert and so robust! I will trust my body, my baby and let him come on his own, just like his brother did!

  33. Thank you for the reassurance, I’m currently 10 days over due and growing tired of the inquiries as to when i will be induced… Fortunately we are having a home birth with some very understanding and supportive midwives.  They have assured me that things will progress naturally and all necessary precautions and tests are being done to ensure our baby and I am healthy.  Great article..

  34. The look on your face in the bottom photo is pure bliss.  I had a natural childbirth with my baby (she’s my first) in a birthing center- somehow I never felt that blissful feeling.  I was exhausted and just relieved to be done.  I am a little jealous of your 5 hour labor – mine was 14 hours.  I am so happy for you!

  35. The look on your face in the bottom photo is pure bliss.  I had a natural childbirth with my baby (she’s my first) in a birthing center- somehow I never felt that blissful feeling.  I was exhausted and just relieved to be done.  I am a little jealous of your 5 hour labor – mine was 14 hours.  I am so happy for you!

  36. Kim, I am IMPATIENTLY waiting for my little man to come out. He is due on the 23rd – in 2 days! I’ve seen my doctor and my midwife and they both said the same thing, “He’s sitting pretty in my tummy.” My worst fear is Induction. So far, his heartbeat is great and we are both fine. This is my first baby (after two miscarriages). After reading this blog of yours, it gave me a sense of relief and comfort. After what my husband and I went through to have a full term baby and after waiting for so long for a healthy pregnancy to happen — this little man will be worth the wait!
    Thanks for sharing!

  37. I am curious, how do you feel about the use of pitocin to progress labor when the woman’s water has broken but hours later is still not feeling contractions but once every hour?  That’s what happened with me, I had mild preeclampsia and my OB had started talking about inducing early. I didn’t want to be induced, but at the same time I did because I was feeling miserable all the time and my BP kept rising so we were due to go in to see my OB at 37 weeks 1 day and determine if I needed to be induced at that point, but my water broke at 3am (before my 9am appt). We went into the hospital and by 7 am I still had only felt a handful of contractions so they administered one dose of pitocin, contractions became regular at 8 am, strong at 10am and my DD was born at 1211 with only 7.5 minutes of pushing and zero pain meds. I don’t know if the pitocin was the sole reason for such a short labor (first baby), but I had an amazingly easy labor and clearly my baby and body were ready (being that my water broke on its own). I am just trying to research incase I have the same issues the next time around. Is it unsafe to wait too long for labor to progress once the water has broken?

  38. The thick vernix may be related to oligohydramnios. And its a sign of maturity… not immaturity. A healthy amount of amniotic fluid contributes to the appearance of this white coating. I’m a sonographer and see this all the time…
    On another note, I feel going over due is fine as long as the appropriate antenatal testing is being done. I’ve seen too many fetal demises post dates. Their interval growth stops and the placenta gives out. Heartbreaking.

  39. Wow that’s one cheezy newborn!

    Pretty cool that you had the same glasses when baby #2 came along.

    But seriously, this is a good post, thank you.

  40. I just saw this today. I was induced 8 days after my “due” date. I NEVER want to be induced again. The pain was EXCRUCIATING after the Pitocin was started. I honestly believe my body was ready when I was induced. I did not have a single contraction my whole pregnancy until the car ride to the hospital-where they were every 15-20 minutes, then every 10-15 minutes waiting before I was taken back for my IV, and every 5 minutes before the Pitocin was even started. I often wish I had refused the induction then, but I did not and I can’t change it. Hopefully, I’ll learn from it though and make the best decision for me and my baby in the future.

  41. I cringe when women tell me their doctors told them things like “you’re so ready” and “we need to get that baby out of you”!! If they were so ready they’d be in labour and they can get that baby out themselves, thank you very much!

    I was induced first time round and went to the hospital fully dialated second time round cause the contractions felt so “different” I had no idea how far I’d progressed. No time for meds, did it all myself and felt so empowered. Since then it’s been midwives and natural births all the way.

  42. I am a true believer. No meds produces better outcomes with baby & recovery for mom. Had baby #4 this past weekend. Meds admistered too late to go through system and out came a baby, ready to latch, sleeps perfectly through night, etc. I had 2 babies on meds & without all the outcomes listed above. I was 40 weeks 4 days.

  43. I’m torn right now! I’m 41 weeks and 4 days and they have scheduled me to induce tomorrow. I’ve pushed them off several times and they won’t let me put it off anymore. I guess I could just not show up. This is my first baby and they checked today…I’m not dialated at all. They couldn’t even get inside to sweep the membranes if they wanted to. I’m closed up tight. I want to wait as long as possible but the doctors (I’ve seen three at the same practice) still won’t let me go past 42 weeks. What should I do?!?

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