I had no idea that labor induction could fail, until it happened to me.
I went in on the evening of May 25th and they started me on Oral Cytotec to try to soften up my cervix and start contractions. Well, contractions started, but over the course of 36 hours there was no change in my cervix. I was given the option of going home and seeing if nature would take it's course over the next few days (and coming back on the 31st if not) or changing up to Pitocin and using a balloon to widen the cervix.
At first I was leaning toward more intervention. I was already there at the hospital and I was tired of being pregnant. I'd also overheard three other women give birth in the room next door, and wanted to move on with labor so I wouldn't have more time to dwell on what it sounded like they were going through. But after talking with the mid-wife, nurse, and OB-on-duty, I chose to go home. I Do Not Want A C-Section, and putting me on Pitocin when I'm not even 2cm dilated means hours and hours of the baby's head slamming against my cervix until it dilates and we 1) have a vaginal birth, 2) have a baby in distress and they to do a C-section, or 3) wear me out and I need to do a C-Section. After thinking about it, the battering ram approach just didn't sound like a good way to start the labor and delivery process -- so I'm back home as of yesterday noon.
Today there is a little discomfort -- a big improvement over yesterday, as I was very sore in my lower abdominal area from all the induced contractions. I continued to have some contractions throughout the day and hoped they would continue into today, but I haven't noticed any, which is a big bummer. It looks like our hopes that the Cytotec would jump-start the laboring process even once the drug left my system isn't panning out. Ah well.
In the meantime, I'm being as active as I can. I may even get out there and do some gardening. The nurse midwife said to go home and have sex, and try some nipple stimulation. I've been having very painful nipple vasospasms lately so the thought of stimulation makes me cringe, and I'm tender enough in my nether parts after the contractions that the thought of sex also makes me cringe. We'll see what the next few days bring.
Naturally, I'm feeling disappointed, but I'm also pleased with my decision to go home and not force the labor. The OB on duty told me he thought it was the right decision. I don't want to increase the risk of a long, hard labor that ends in a C-section -- it's not the best thing for me or the baby. He'll be here soon enough. We just need to balance the benefits of letting him choose his time against the risks of placental and amniotic deterioration that are more common in women my age.
In the meantime, my step-mom will be around until the birth, and I'll get some more just-us snuggle time with M. Not a bad trade-off.