Birth Story of my Second DaughterI was induced, even though I didn't want to be, after a botched up amniocentesis (which I still can't get out of my mind was botched on purpose), and "punished" for wanting no epidural. I'd done my research and didn't want one, nor did I want the amnio, but that's another story. I felt I needed the induction, only because the doctor botched the amnio and I was worried about my baby. Without that, I would have gone home and waited it out. I don't fault people who choose or need either for various reasons, but I didn't want them. The on-call doctor insisted I would need an epidural. I held my ground. And I'm pretty sure her form of punishment was the steady increase in my pitocin. If I'd known better, I would have insisted on learning my Bishop's score and requesting a new non-stress test (although I'm certain baby was a bit stressed by this time!) to evaluate whether it was really necessary to induce right then.
Trying to Understand and Process My ExperienceThen, various experiences happened that made we wonder if she was in the autism spectrum. She's not, don't worry, but I wondered because I started to realize she and I both had relationship problems. Then, I wondered if other moms who had been induced had similar feelings. And how on earth could I get them to share that information with me?! Who wants to admit that they can't bond with their child when everything around you tells you that you're supposed to be completely in AWE of your baby? So, this thought stuck with me. I found a few friends who began to accept my thinking, especially some who had also been induced against their better judgment. Often these moms had children in the autism spectrum (which from my understanding makes building relationships difficult) or were considered high needs or were diagnosed ADD/ADHD or had some form of learning disability. I often wondered if there was some correlation. I'm still waiting for research to catch up with me. I don't have a Ph.D. so I can't do the research myself, and I realize that all this so far is just anecdotal. But when people would ask my opinion of induction by pitocin, I would add that opinion to my set of reasons I don't like it. I don't recommend it for any reason, least of them being "baby in distress." Wisdom tells us if a baby is already distressed, you don't want to put him in MORE distress unless, of course, you needed an excuse to have/give a c-section.
And before anyone starts thinking I don't use doctors for ANYTHING, let me tell you. I am so incredibly grateful for modern medicine. Western medicine is THE BEST at dealing with acute, medical crises, and accidents. If a surgery is necessary, I'm grateful I live in a country that has some of the best surgeons in the world. If I'm in a major car accident, please take me to the hospital. But birth in general isn't a medical emergency. Some women need a c-section. It's rare to be an actual need, but when it is, I'm so grateful we have surgeons who can help. In those cases, they often save the lives of mother and child, making the 6 extra weeks of recovery worth it, I suppose.
My Break-through ArrivesBack on topic. I had trouble bonding with my second daughter until she was about 2 years old. And, miracle of miracles, do you know what also happened when she was 2 years old? I had my third daughter. At home. In my bed. With my husband, midwife, and mother-in-law in attendance. My daughters were watching a movie with their Pappy. I was able to do anything I needed. No one thought I needed an IV, or a fetal heart monitor, or continuous blood pressure cuff. No one stopped me if I wanted to move. Everyone helped me when I asked for it. I felt completely and totally supported and safe. I didn't feel self-conscious or weird asking my father-in-law and husband to give me a priesthood blessing (a priesthood ordinance of prayer, blessing, healing, and comfort) just before I went into transition. No one insisted I have a cervical exam to check my progress. And I'm convinced it would have slowed me down to be forced on my back so someone could make a clinical decision about my progress when I was so obviously working things out on my own.
ACOG's New Position
Researchers found that induction and augmentation of labor with oxytocin was an independent risk factor for unexpected admission to the NICU lasting more than 24 hours for full-term infants. Augmentation also correlated with Apgar scores of fewer than seven at five minutes.
To clarify, use of Pitocin in labor greatly increased the rate of admission to the NICU, when it wasn't previously expected due to other risk factors. AND, using Pitocin to speed up labor (augment) correlated to more babies having a tougher time transitioning to life on dry land. Despite the seriousness of the report, researchers made this confusing conclusion:
The analysis suggests that oxytocin use may not be as safe as once thought and that proper indications for its use should be documented for further study. “However, we don’t want to discourage the use of Pitocin, but simply want a more systematic and conscientious approach to the indications for its use,” Dr. Tsimis said.
So they say that artificial "oxytocin use may not be as safe as once thought," but "we don't want to discourage the use of Pitocin." I'm confused. I thought ACOG's work focused mainly on