We knew as we neared the end of pregnancy that we wouldn’t be allowed to go past 40 weeks due to my gestational diabetes, so it really felt like a countdown to November 13th. During the last few weeks of pregnancy we were going to weekly appointments for either an ultrasound or non-stress test (15 minute heart rate monitor of baby), as gestational diabetes can result in variations of amniotic fluid levels that can impact the baby.
On Monday, November 7th, we went in for one of those routine appointments. After the ultrasound we met with my OB, who for the first time, mentioned induction as a likely possibility. We always knew it was possible but had not seriously discussed it prior to this appointment. In our labor and delivery course through the hospital we learned a little about induction but otherwise, we didn’t know much.
My doctor said that my amniotic fluid was a little bit high, which could be a risk to the baby although he didn’t anticipate anything happening. He remained calm and didn’t seem very alarmed, but he did recommend inducing labor that week, before my due date on Sunday, the 13th. We talked through what that would look like and agreed not to take any chances, as we were in the 39th week and full term at this point.
The way it works at our practice is that the doctors have specific shifts for labor and delivery, so the doctor you get during labor and delivery relies primarily on availability and their schedules – rather than who your primary doctor is. They also aren’t allowed to schedule more than, I think it was 3, inductions on any given day.
So, he reached out to the scheduler requesting an induction on our behalf and said we would get a call to find out when it was scheduled. All in all, we left the office feeling good and knowing that we’d likely be inducted in the next few days – toward the end of the week. It started to feel very real.
Ilan and I had taken separate cars to the appointment so I decided to go to the grocery store afterward while he went home. I had only been at the grocery store for 5 minutes before I got a call from an unknown local number while standing in the soup aisle. I had a feeling this was the call. I anxiously answered and sure enough, it was the scheduler from our practice. She calmly and straightforwardly said that my doctor had requested an induction as soon as possible (maybe my doctor was more concerned than he let on?) and that we were scheduled for an induction at 8pm that night. Ummm what?! Tonight? I was not prepared and immediately felt shaky and a little in shock. She gave me all the information I needed and then we hung up. I stood there, alone in the soup aisle, staring at my phone trying to digest what I just learned.
In retrospect, I knew I could go into labor at any point with how close I was to my due date so I shouldn’t have been so surprised about the induction and it all happening so soon. However, as a first time mom, I had been nervous about labor and delivery from the beginning and tried to keep it out of my mind. Major medical events are scary for me since cancer too, so it was a big deal to me in a variety of ways.
While I felt excited about meeting our sweet baby, I was mostly overcome with nervousness about the days to come. I immediately called Ilan who was just pulling into our driveway and he was so shocked that he ran over a paver ledge adjacent to our driveway – oops haha! We both truly thought it would be scheduled for later in the week and we’d have a few days to prepare. He didn’t go inside the house but rather immediately came to meet me at the grocery store to be together.
We continued our shopping trip, with me feeling shaky and a bit in shock the entire time, and just tried to process this news together. In just a few hours, we’d be heading to the hospital to be induced and finally meet our little baby – wow!