Monday, July 13, 2009

Induction Junction, What's Your Function?

Tomorrow's the big day! We call the scheduler at 6:30 in the morning and are then assigned a time to come to the hospital for an induction. Think of it like the timed passes at Disney, only this will be a very different kind of roller coaster. Many people have expressed curiosity as to why we're being induced. It's common for women to be induced once they go past their due date, especially if they are approaching 42 weeks, but in our case we're being induced 5 days prior to baby's estimated due date during the 39th week. Also, there's been some confusion that we're scheduled for a c-section. Inducing involves an iv drip (I think - I'll be more of an expert on this topic tomorrow) of pitocin, an artificial form of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the naturally occurring hormone that sets off contractions during labor and is also released during breastfeeding to continue to contract the uterus to expel the placenta and start to shrink the uterus back down to size. Pitocin causes many women to skip over early labor and head right into some heavy hitting contractions. So again, why now? Due to the high level of fluid, there is concern that if I start to labor naturally at home and my water breaks, there is a higher likelihood of a complication called "cord prolapse." If the cord prolapses, this means that when the water breaks, the cord comes out with it since it's such a gush with a larger amount of fluid and the velocity of that fluid. The danger is that the cord comes out before the baby and the gets pinched (think of a hose with a kink in it) thus preventing baby from getting what she needs. By inducing labor in the hospital, when the water breaks, it can all be monitored very closely and if the cord did prolapse, action could be taken immediately to prevent any damage to the baby. So, long story short - that's why we're headed in tomorrow. And, to clarify, unless there are further complications, she should be coming out the good ole' fashioned way. I'll keep ya'all posted as to our progress.

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