Audrey: The Story of an Elective Induction

Because my birth experience with Olivia was so traumatic for me (though I am very aware it was minor compared to many and for that I am grateful), I was hesitant to go through it again.

But, we definitely wanted more children if it was possible, so when Olivia turned one, we held our breath and jumped in with both feet. (OK, that’s not how it happened, but you get the point.)

After finding out we were expecting another little miracle, I had a pow wow with my OB. It went down not exactly, but pretty much like this:

Her: Congratulations! So excited you’re expecting another little one!

Me: Yeah, so. How do we fix the BIRTH SITUATION?

Honestly, we have no idea what specifically triggered Olivia’s meconium aspiration syndrome. It’s usually caused by fetal distress, but not always. It’s usually associated with overdue babies, but not always. Some other risk factors include: a mother who smokes cigarettes or who has diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

She wasn’t overdue. In fact, she arrived two days before her (yes, it was exact and correct) due date. I never smoked, didn’t/don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or any other issues.

Basically, it was probably just a fluke. It wasn’t likely to happen again. But, I wanted – no, I NEEDED – to feel like I was doing everything possible to ensure (as much as I could) that it wouldn’t happen again.

The only thing we could do was schedule an elective induction after I hit 39 weeks. Ohhh, CONTROVERSIAL! I thought that plan was ACES.

She was due on May 18, 2011. We scheduled her arrival for the 12th. I educated myself on all the possible outcomes, but my birth plan remained the same as with my first child: please just let us both survive.

We left Olivia with my sister in the wee hours of that Thursday morning. I’m talking WEE:


Yeah, the hours were wee. I was... not.
Yeah, the hours were wee. I was… not.


When we arrived, my same awesome friend was there to help us through this delivery. I got changed, checked (3 cm!) and hooked up. Pitocin started and we began to wait. By around 11am, I was uncomfortable enough to summon the anesthesiologist for my epidural. Holy cow, that man was a genius. It was the absolute perfect epidural.

When the breaking of the water time arrived, I was terrified. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until they confirmed it was clear and I let out the biggest sigh of relief. Hurdle = HOPPED.

By 1:30pm, I was still only 4cm and we were starting to get a little concerned that this wasn’t going the way we’d hoped. My super-nurse/bestie suggested that I roll onto my side and BOOM.

Within 20 minutes, I started to feel like I had to push (but with no pain – I KNOW. DREAM EPIDURAL.) As I was being checked at 1:58, the doctor mentioned that it would probably be go time within the next half hour. I was so excited! Then he said, “Oh. OK. I’m thinking we’re ready now!”

I started pushing at 2:00pm and Audrey Elizabeth came screaming into this world at 2:17pm. Beautifully pink and healthy. Immediately put on my chest. It was the most joyous occasion. Just the doctor, my nurses, my husband, Audrey and me. Just pure celebration over our second daughter who was nearly an Ava or an Ella, but at the last minute was definitely an Audrey. It was the polar opposite of Olivia’s delivery. It healed a piece of me I didn’t really know had been hurt so badly.

Look ma, no tubes/wires/needles!
Look ma, no tubes/wires/needles!

Yes, my beautiful, amazing, perfect and, by some standards (but not mine) elective induction healed me. Let’s not talk about how that healthy, alert scream was likely intended as a warning for the next several months of her sweet life…

My wolfpack of four.
My wolfpack of four.

11 thoughts on “Audrey: The Story of an Elective Induction

  1. My first/only delivery was almost identical. My daughter was a (pleasant) surprise. I was so stressed about the delivery that, at 38.5 weeks, my OB agreed that everything was perfect so we scheduled. I was in labor for about an hour before the epidural (scheduling conflict with the anesthesiologist). But I pushed for a grand total of 13 minutes. Then my beautiful baby girl was screaming and all was right with the world. She did have a black eye from her super-fast trip through the birth canal, but that went away in days. Scheduled induction was the way to go for me.

  2. I also had a very scary first delivery experience and elected for a c-section the second time around (gasp!). But I completely agree that it ended up being such a HEALING experience for me because it was controlled and we all came out of it very healthy.

  3. Beautiful family photo. Thanks for sharing Audrey’s birth story. I didn’t have a risky labor the first time, but it was not awesome, and so I was really excited to have a great second labor too. Almost makes you want a third right? 🙂 Well, maybe not.

  4. Your writing, spirit, sense of humor and lovely family are delightful! This was an important story for you to tell. I think you helped a lot of people today, Stephanie.

    1. Thank you so much for this, Randi. I’m certainly not pushing people to have unnecessary inductions. I’m sure many will think mine was. But, it was a personal choice and the right one for us. Inductions aren’t always awful. 🙂

  5. I love your story and your sweet little sassy baby girl!!! Audrey lights up my life on a daily basis, even with her “qwerks” hahaha thanks for bringing her into this world and sharing your beautiful story!

  6. Oh my. This is touched me so very deeply. If I were to have another child I would have to put something in place to help ensure a better birth experience and for me that likely would mean an elective c-section. The me of 2 years ago would NEVER have believed that I would feel that way because the last thing I wanted last time around was a c-section. But like you, I would need to put some measures into place as best I could to try for a better experience. Thanks for sharing this.

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