View Full Version : Pitocin, anyone?

07-17-2002, 03:30 PM
Hi everyone,

I had a dr.s appt yesterday, and apparently I'm 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced! I would never have known! Being 38 wks+ pg with twins, and our long commute to the hospital (1.5-2 hrs), they're inducing me on Friday this week. So I'll be enjoying a lovely drip of pitocin. Any thoughts on the stuff? Is it as scary or painful as it sounds? Either way they're recommending an epidural at some point (it can be as light or strong as needed) incase they need to do an emergency cs for baby #2 (both are head down right now...) Then they can avoid a using a general anesthesia.

They may also decide to break my water. Any other suggestions for what to do, eat, not to do, etc. between now and Friday?


edd: this friday!

07-17-2002, 08:09 PM

What to do: Rest, rest, rest!!!!

I have only had Pitocin induced contractions and I thought they were awful. But I was on maximum dose. Since you are already progressing very nicely on your own :) you may not need that large of a dose and may do just fine.

If I were you, I would hold off on having them break the bag of waters as long as possible. Once your water is broken, you are pretty well committed to delivering within 24 hours. If things take a little longer, but your waters are still intact, you have more options. Just my 2 cents!

Hope all goes well!!!

07-17-2002, 10:22 PM
Congratulations!! I had Pitocin and what really got me (other than what are supposedly faster, stronger contractions but having given birth only once so far, I have nothing to compare it to) was having the IV in restricted my movement. I didn't want an epidural (I'm too scared) but my legs were shaking after a while and I couldn't get comfortable because I couldn't move around much (and going to the bathroom was a pain, having to bring the IV bag with you and brace for contractions while trying to go!). Eventually they gave me a light drip of Demerol (sp?) and that helped me get more comfortable. My doctor tried breaking my water first to see if that would start the contractions (it didn't) and then started the Pitocin about 1/2 hour later - 7 hours after that DD was born. I didn't get the Demerol until about 2 1/2 hours before she was born, so that was 5 hours of labor without it before I just couldn't stand being uncomfortable any longer. Also my hospital monitors your contractions if you get induced, so the belt for the monitor also restricted movement. My experience with Pitocin is that the birth ends up being anything but the rosy birthing experience they show you in your birthing classes - the one where the mom-to-be is wearing her own gown, taking showers/baths in the hospital, walking around freely dealing with the contractions. Yeah, right! However, if I had to do it that way again, I would. Plus 2 of my girlfriends went into labor on their own but after hours and hours their doctors eventually gave them Pitocin to speed things up. Guess I'd rather have it from the start and get the whole thing over with. JMO though. HTH and best wishes to you :)!!!


07-18-2002, 02:40 PM

Congrats!! The end is almost near, and that's just a beginning!!

I was induced at 1cm with no contractions and spent about 21 hours on pitocin before having my son. Just a couple of things:

- I agree with Beth on how much fun Pitocin is. It makes labor very hard from the get go, without your body having time to adjust to the strenthening contractions.

- Find out what your doctor's/hospital's policy is on movement after they've started you on pitocin. I wasn't allowed out of bed once it started (YUCK!) including to use the bathroom. 21 hours is a long time to be in bed.

- If they break your water, usually you have to deliver within 24 hours. I'd wait as long as possible if it doesn't break on its own. However, sometimes they need to break the water to get labor started.

- Don't be scared or embarassed about asking for pain relief. There is no prize for suffering through the most pain, and you'll still have to take care of the baby once it comes. Epidurals are quick, mostly painless (except when they numb the skin -- think bee stings), and have few side effects. I was up walking around within 1 hour of delivery. You will definitly want an epidural or other pain relief if they decide they need to do internal monitoring on one or both of your babies. Not fun when they are trying to get them set up.

- Finally, do not let your husband look at the machine that measures your contractions. Mine, an engineer, decided to give me a blow by blow of the contractions ("Wow!! This one is HUGE!!) before I had the epidural. That got ugly quick!! :-)

Sorry this is so long! Hope it helps!


07-18-2002, 05:12 PM
No info on pitocin, but just wanted to say congrats and good luck to you!!! And Sarah, LOL at your husband. They really just don't get it sometimes :) I guess it makes for good story telling. Mine went out and had dinner with a couple of friends when I reached 5cm. He claims he wouldn't have made it through the delivery without it...Funny, I did. Just make sure to rest rest rest! And definitely eat! I went to the hospital (too soon, of course) and wasn't allowed to eat anything until the doctor evaluated me, which was five hours after I checked in and by that point I was in labor so no food for nearly 24 hours. I was not too nice to the nursing staff. Or to my husband, who as I mentioned earlier went to dinner. Again, good luck to you! Keep us posted!

07-18-2002, 10:07 PM
I did Pitocin too. You are starting from better place than I was, though - I was only 1cm and you are already 4cm AND fully effaced, and may find yourself even farther along before they actually give it to you. So your time on it may be quite a bit shorter than other peoples' (I was 6 hours on it.)

Pitocin contractions are intense, it's true. I'd love to tell you that they didn't hurt like heck, except they did. Your biggest challenge is to do everything you can to relax and stay calm while your body does the work. The more intense it gets, the closer you probably are to the end. Focus points, breathing, massages from hubby, staring into each other's eyes, chanting to yourself - do whatever works for you.

Don't spend too much time dwelling on the horror stories. There will be good people there to take care of you, lots of wonderful technology to help (drugs are gooooood!!!) and there's a helluva reward waiting at the end. I'd do it all over again in a minute for my daughter, and I'm sure you'll feel the same.

I'll be thinking of you on Friday!



07-19-2002, 12:31 PM
LOL! My husband was the same way, "Okay, it's getting worse, it's getting worse." Hello! The nurse said to tell me when I'm coming down from a contraction, not as it's getting worse! Men! Having said that, I would not have gone through it without DH there.

I was induced at 1cm and nothing because my water had broken and I wasn't going anywhere after about 5 hours. But from what I can remember, my dose wasn't as strong as some other women's, and Evan was born 6 hours after the Pitocin was started. They start it out at a certain rate and increase it every so often if you're not progressing, if I remember correctly. I do know of another woman who was at the max dose for about a day, and ended up having a c-section anyway.

Any advice I might have is too late now, since it's Friday! Yay! I can't wait to hear all about the new babies! :-)

07-19-2002, 03:27 PM
This was basically my story. Water broke at 36 1/2 weeks. I was 1 cm dilated and 10% effaced (So Susan is already WAAAYYYY ahead of me! :) ). No contractions after 6 hours. Started Pitocin. They gradually up the dosage (I think every 15 minutes). After 4 hours on Pitocin, still only 1 cm dilated and 30% effaced. That's when I asked for the epidural and they cranked the Pitocin up to the maxiumum dosage. After several more hours on Pitocin, I was STILL only 1 cm and 30% effaced. Doctor said "I can do a C now if you want or we can wait. But my experience tells me that we'll be doing a C in a few hours." I was so sick of it by then (also not allowed out of bed since they had started Pitocin) that I said to go ahead and do the C.

I was perfectly happy with my C. No regrets. :) But Pitocin obviously didn't do much for me. Actually, the doctor said after the C that baby was in an awkward position and couldn't get engaged, so I would have been getting a C later anyway. But I had my perfect little baby girl, and I didn't really care how she got here. :)

07-19-2002, 03:43 PM
Well Susan it's Friday, and if your experience is anything like mine was you won't be back to look at this posting for a LOOONG time! Hope it went well and was one of those 5-hours on pitocin labors others have talked about! Who knows, maybe you did the whole thing on your own yesterday! I was not so lucky, got pitocin when I was really not at all dilated or effaced and spent 28 hours on it (at high doses) and 4 nights in the uncomfortable hospital bed. My advice for others who may read this:

1. DRINK DRINK DRINK while you can. I have never been so thirsty in my life. Right before my son was born I told my mom to be ready with water. I am not kidding--I drank almost 3 litres of water immediately after he was born. Yes, I threw a little of it up...but not much!

2. EAT while you can. I actually at least got the nurse to give me toast for breakfast before they started the pitocin. Better than nothing, and I still went another 30 or so hours without food.

3. WALK/SHOWER etc. while you can. If you're like me, you may never get to, and believe me, any amount of time tied to the hospital bed/IV/blood pressure cuff/fetal monitor is too long. Stay at home while you can, and check with the hospital--most places won't let you get up once you've gotten even narcotics, and certainly not after an epidural. So bear the pain as long as you think your mobility is worth it. And then...

4. After you are done walking around, go for the epidural if you feel like it. I did and it was great while it lasted. Narcotics didn't touch the pain. And don't worry that you are missing out if you do the epidural. My experience was pretty bad, but epidural + last minute extra dose + local anesthetic still felt like natural childbirth to me!

5. Stay in the hospital as long as you feel like it. Granted it isn't a swank hotel, but they do help you out a lot. Don't feel like you have to go home right away. I stayed 2 nights after my son was born, and I wasn't near ready to leave after the first night.

Good luck to everyone!

07-20-2002, 08:37 AM

It's Saturday morning, Susan, so I hope that you have already delivered! Best of luck to you -- I agree with the last writer -- enjoy the hospital! Hopefully, the nurses there will be as kind and patient as my nurses at Beth Israel (Boston). They will teach you all kinds of new skills as well as care for your aching body.

I just wanted to add my two cents -- my water broke at 35 1/2 weeks, two days before my husband and I were supposed to take the birthing class (he was, of course, relieved). I didn't realize that that meant once I went into the hospital, I wasn't coming out without having delivered.

Anyway, I went on the pitocin drip and found it both frustrating and a little scary -- one, because it didn't get things going as quickly as my doctor hoped so there was a lot of waiting around time and two, because once labor began it just overtook my body in an overwhelmingly painful and unexpected way. I suppose one bonus is that my labor was relatively short and the pushing phase of it was only about 15 minutes.

I made the mistake of going for the narcotics before the epidural because I thought they would enable me to endure the pain without getting an epidural at all. They didn't help so much with the pain but they made me groggy and disoriented which kind of added to my panic (plus, my husband didn't bother to read the monitor, I had to poke him when my contractions came -- I don't know which kind of labor room 'help' I would have preferred!).

The epidural, on the other hand, was great -- it was awkward getting it mostly because having to sit up was a big trauma at that point. Once it kicked in, I was wide awake and clear-headed and was really able to push when the time came but felt no pain. I don't recommend it for everyone because I know some people are really against it. I sure did appreciate it, though!

The first few weeks are so hard but you will amaze yourself at what you can do and what your body can endure -- I wish you lots of happiness with your family!

07-23-2002, 10:07 PM
Oh my g......!!and you're still married to the man? YOu're a saint. Mine has ADD and I have my doubts about him being able to stick out the whole thing without a break (tho like you said, I'LL have to, so why should he get a break?)--but he knows better than to think he'll get away with suggesting anything of the sort. I'll probably have to kick him out at some point.
I CANNOT BELIEVE YOUR HUSBAND LEFT AT THAT POINT--DIDN'T HE REALIZE THAT'S WHEN THINGS GET SERIOUS AND YOU NEED HIM THE MOST??? I have 5 brothers, a father, father-in-law, and a husband--sometinmes I think guys are just all clueless.

07-26-2002, 05:52 PM
I also delivered my first daughter at Beth Israel in Boston and had a good experience with the epidural. My water broke at midnight 4 days PAST my due date (ugh!!!), we go to the hospital at 1:30 am and was 3 cm. I got the epidural at about 3 am, they started pitocin at about 5 am, and I delivered my baby at 6:23 am with a minimum amount of discomfort. It's amazing how calm and focused you can be once you are in labor - I thought I'd be freaking out! Just a warning about the epidural, though - as well as it worked with my first daughter, it didn't work at all with my second daughter. Luckily, I was blessed with a small baby and only 10 minutes of pushing, but it hurt like hell. I definitely ended up wishing I had practiced my breathing a bit more because I think I would have been able to handle it better if I had. Best of luck to you - friends of ours just had twin girls yesterday!