Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:38 pm
Well I am in the same situation as your wife as I was due the 9th and I am being induced tomorrow. I cannot speak from experience yet, I can only tell you what i learned from my researches and talks with my Doc.
Usually Docs do not like to let a pregnancy goes long after 40 weeks and induce between 41 and 42 weeks. Reasons being baby might be getting too big and complicates a vaginal delivery, the placenta kinda expires and doesn't do such a good job after 40 weeks in giving food and oxygen to baby, and also you have increased risks of meconium in the fluid (baby's first poop that he can inhale while in the belly or while coming out and can affect his lungs). Hence the induction.
First things first, the induction is a long process. Depending how dilated your wife is when they start but my Doc has an average of 32 hours, very rarely under 24 hours, so prepare yourself for a long wait. It all depends on how your wife reacts to the drugs. There are different ones, personally since I am only 1 cm they will first insert some kind of device that releases drugs directly next to my cervix to dilate it to 4cm (hopefully). They will do that overnight. I can only eat clear liquids (apple juices, broth for example, no food).
Then they will remove it and start Pitocin through the IV. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxycotin which the body creates naturally and make your contract (and hence, dilate), they give it pretty often even for normal labor when it stalls. By then, I can only have water or ice chips. Once fully dilated (10cm) you push, baby's out, everybody's happy.
For a normal labor from 4cm to 10cm you can gain about 1cm per hour. With an induction it can take longer.
As for the risks. It all depends on how your wife reacts to the drugs and if it all progresses well. The main risk is that labor takes too long or your wife doesn't dilate enough then she will need a C-section. Usually Docs give you a time limit, just because if it doesn't happen by X hours, no point in continuing, plus if your wife is too tired to push because of a long labor then it is not safe for the baby.
As for the side effects of the different drugs I do not know them yet, but people tends to say that contractions with Pitocin are stronger than normal labor, hence an epidural or any other help is welcome.
Prepare yourself for a long long wait, and I will think of you guys.
Fingers crossed all goes well.
Mom to an Angel (12/17/12 - 07/16/13)