I love you… Pitocin?

A Post by Kate:

Throughout this whole birth-prep process I have looked forward to at least TRYING to give birth naturally. I have reserved the right to change my mind mid-stream & know if that happens I won’t feel like a failure or anything. So, now we are still hoping for a natural birth but also have an induction scheduled. There’s not much natural about a schedule, thus I find myself with a new inner struggle—I realize that I have to reshape my thinking.

Maybe I'll just pretend the Pitocin is coffee or wine instead!

I think of Pitocin as pretty on par with rat poison. Intellectually, I realize this is a bit drastic but emotionally I can’t help it. My gut reaction to the stuff is complete revulsion. Now, there is a possibility that in 5 days there will be a steady drip of this poison going into my arm. The thought makes me shudder and, honestly, kinda scares the shit out of me. (If only it would scare the baby out of me!)

I have read quite a bit about the fear/tension/pain cycle and I wholeheartedly believe in it. In a nutshell, that which we fear causes us to tense, the hormones that get released when we tense heighten our sensitivity to & perception of pain—and thus increase it.

Until now I have been pretty free of fear about this whole process. I have accepted that my body & this natural process will take over and that my brain won’t be in control. Now, I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my body & nature may not even be in control. For me, the idea of birth is empowering, beautiful, and primal. The thought of all that nature being taken away from me & replaced with arm restraints, chemicals, & florescent lights is just… powerless & terrible. I know that this is what my body was designed to do… and now, I may not get to do it on my terms. I guess I didn’t realize I was so territorial about my own power—shut up Ryan, I know what you are thinking!

Of course there is/has always been a chance I would not get to completely have a birth on my terms… In fact, listening to how that sounds makes me laugh! We have been saying for a long time that the only thing we know we can count on with birth is that it will be unpredictable & out of our control. However, the reality of the scheduled induction brings it all home in a new way. I realize I can’t be in denial about the prospect of things not going the way I would like. Wait, not just come to terms with these prospects, but accept and embrace them. As a believer in the fear/tension/pain cycle I understand that I must rethink things like Pitocin & C-Section—if these are now real possibilities for the way my baby will be brought into the world then I need to approach them with the same calm excitement I currently feel about a natural (painful) labor.

I’ve decided the best way to wrap my head around this is to revert a little bit to the “as long as the baby is ok then the details of how don’t matter” idea. I don’t totally agree with this philosophy but, focusing on the end result seems to be the best way to move forward. As a good friend said to me, “if you have to be induced, take drugs, have a c-section, what have you, I can tell you without a doubt, it will be a lot harder on you than it will be on your son.” Thinking of it that way helps put things in perspective. And of course, it’s true. All kinds of babies are born in all kinds of ways & though there may be ideals… more often than not, all the end results are just fine.

Apparently, this is my first lesson of motherhood—accepting a lack of control. Seems very appropriate. So… yay Pitocin? Ugh,  I’m not quite there yet, but working on it! Knowing that in less than a week this pregnancy chapter will be over & the new little baby chapter just beginning is an excellent incentive!


10 thoughts on “I love you… Pitocin?

  1. I think being fully prepared IS to have this inner struggle on the “what if” side of things. You are avoiding becoming rigidly opposed to adapting your approach, or becoming unreasonably paralized with fear by having this conversation with yourself and with Ryan. So,good for you both!
    Not ideal, and not what I wish for your two, but discussing it and preparing for the possibility emotionally, is the best thing you can be doing.

  2. Don’t worry about being induced until you are induced. May never happen. You know he’s waiting till the 22nd so he can share his b-day with Craig!!

  3. Kate, how ever this comes down, it is your story. you own it. you will tell it. you will tell it to friends. You will tell it to relatives. You will tell it over and over to your son. And you will tell it to a future daughter ( if there is one) when she is ready to have a baby. It is YOUR story. You are so smart to embrace it. it will become part of your lexicon……part of your legacy….part of your love. Rooting for you in all scenarios. Toni

  4. Kate,
    I loved your post, and what really rang true is the unpredictability part. There is nothing fun about not knowing how everything is going to go down, but it will go down, just the same. You have a beautiful plan, and know it is not going to be easy, but maybe the hardest part will be changing your ideas of how it will all go. I had to be induced with Owen (not that my birth plan was similar to yours:)), but if you have to go that way know that it isn’t all bad and you can take it slow, and if you need a jump start it doesn’t mean they are going to take over the whole engine…just get you started. What about just getting that gel that softens the cervix first and see where that takes you instead of the drip? My cousin got that and she was well on her way. I wish you luck, but just knowing that you are “past” due is a very anxious feeling, it adds a heightened sense of stress, that I do know from last time. Is there anyway for them to tell for real if your placenta is breaking down and if induction is really needed? Just thinking aloud here! Best of Luck friends!

  5. For what it’s worth all three of my kids were induced. I fear if we had waited for mother nature they’d of come out all double digits in weight :-0

    Of course the first one was because of a fear of preeclampsia so it wasn’t a choice per our OBGYN. Everybody is different I guess but my wife didn’t have an issue (and she didn’t get an epidural either).

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