Lessons learned from a post-due baby

by DaniGirl on February 3, 2008 · 12 comments

in Postcards from my uterus

I wish the last three weeks of this pregnancy could have been as blissfully content as the last four days or so have been. Starting with a quiet day to myself on Thursday, each of the last couple of days – even including the snowstorm – have been such a nice contrast to the constant low-level tension I’d been feeling in the back-and-forth, hurry-up-and-wait anxiety of the days since I finished work. I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so calm, so centred and so content. Calm before the storm? Probably, but I’ll take it!!

Yesterday, the midwife did the “stretch and sweep” and I went from 2 cm to just over 3 cm dilated, which is great. With Simon, it took about 12 hours of medical intervention at the hospital to get that far, so I’m quite pleased. Still no regular or significant contractions, but tonnes of pressure. Today, tomorrow, Tuesday — it’s all good!

The midwives would really prefer that I go into labour on my own, rather than waiting for the induction on Tuesday. I think they’re more anxious than I am at this point! They suggested I try one last level of ‘natural’ induction before Tuesday, so after my appointment yesterday I headed out to the homeopathic chemist to get some Blue Cohosh or Caulophyllum. I waited until this morning to try it (I take a couple of tiny tablets every hour for three or four hours, and if nothing happens by then, it won’t work) and so far I’ve had some more mild contractions but nothing notable.

By now, I’m a walking encyclopedia of induction techniques! Here’s what I’ve tried:

  • sex (fun, but awkward while gestating an elephant calf)
  • spicy food (not much of a stretch for me – they make up a regular part of my diet. I also tried Chinese food for lunch one day last week. Nothing!)
  • driving down a bumpy road (this one was not intentional, but Riverside Drive – the road I take to get to my midwife appointments – is a mess of frost-heaved pavement and potholes, thus quite the bumpy ride!)
  • exercise (I spent more time in the gym last week than I did in the past six weeks. Funny how I could do 25 minutes on th elliptical trainer, but not walk for 10 minutes.)
  • red raspberry leaf tea (I gave up on this mid-week last week.)
  • evening primrose oil (swallow one capsule at bedtime and take the other as a pessary)
  • nipple stimulation (very effective for bringing on immediate contractions, but ultimately ineffective unless your body is really ready to give birth. That’s what happened to me last Thursday with the all-night contractions.)
  • accupressure on a point in the webbing between thumb and index finger, and just above the ankle (same as nipple stimulation – effective to bring on immediate mild contractions that stop pretty much as soon as the pressure stops.)
  • having the midwife strip my membranes (uncomfortable, and marginally useful in increasing dilation. Left me with an achy kind of cramp for most of the day, and only sporadic contractions.)

The midwife also asked me how I felt about castor oil (no thanks) and accupuncture (too cheap to spend the $50+ on something that I’m not sure would work, and am relatively sure would be unpleasant!), so those are the only suggestions that I haven’t tried so far.

By this point I’ve had 12 continuous hours of false labour (10 days ago), lost my mucous plug (five days ago), and had a huge burst of nesting energy (three days ago).

The final analysis? You can neither predict nor induce labour on your own. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will encourage a baby out of a comfy uterus before he is ready to move. And given the fact that I’m now three for three on overdue babies, I must have one hell of a comfy uterus!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kerry February 3, 2008 at 9:36 am

Here’s my theory – you’re just a cool mom and he wants to spend as much time with just you as possible. It’s like super special bonding. Right?

2 daysgoby February 3, 2008 at 10:20 am

Yeah, Kerry’s probably right.

Or his head could just be made of cork.

He’ll come out soon. Did you try the candy again?

3 Sue February 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Did you try chocolate. Chocolate is good for everything else, so why not labour-inducement? And if it doesn’t work, at least you’ve had some good chocolate.

I’m glad you’re feeling so calm and ready.

4 kgirl February 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I did accupuncture, and while it didn’t actually bring on labour (nothing did), it increased the contractions, got me dialated another cm and was sooooo relaxing (seriously). I’m told that if I had had the chance to have it another time or two, it probably would have done the trick, and that it was actually the most reliable of the methods.

Then again, my girlfriend is a naturopath and did it for me on my couch, for free.

Sex and chocolate it is!

5 Lindsay February 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm

If you’re looking for something else to do that probably won’t work, eat a bunch of celery. Supposed to stimulate the uterus, but probably works as well as the raspberry leaf tea ๐Ÿ™‚

6 mamaloo February 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Pineapple is also associated with contractions.

But, some babies just need more time. 40 weeks is only an average gestation time, which means that some babies go far longer than 40 weeks – and that is normal.

Good luck!

7 DaniGirl February 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Chocolate, celery and pineapple — but not at the same time, right? Hmmm, and I remember eating endless amounts of pineapple to get pregnant with our IVF!

Mamaloo, I know 40 wks is only average, but the midwives are really concerned about baby’s size. I think that’s the main issue right now.

8 zoom February 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Did you try sex on a bumpy road?

(Good luck Dani. I predict February 4th at 8:35 PM.)

9 juls February 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I’d go for the acupuncture, and it should be covered by your benefits (no need for a doctor prescription). It has worked for me, for everything from a bad back to getting pregnant, and kgirl is right, it is really relaxing. Email me if you would like a recommendation.

10 Anonymous February 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Acupuncture is actually quite pleasant – from the right therapist. Wei at TCM (near the Civic) is awesome. http://www.tcmworks.com/English/index.html
I went to him for pre-ivf treatments, post tx stress-relief treatments, and finally while pg to get rid of my 3 month cold/pneumonia. I should be seeing him now for the stress. I bet he could help you.

11 valerie February 3, 2008 at 9:08 pm

sorry, didn’t mean to be anonymous – I just forgot to add my name.

12 Chantal February 3, 2008 at 9:24 pm

When I was overdue with both my boys I had heard that the salsa at Lone Star would help. I doubt it did but I certainly enjoyed that large bowl of salsa and chips, Love that stuff. I think it is just a great excuse to indulge. BTW my captcha is “reopen interest” This must mean your uterus is ready to go. Plus I had two dreams about labour last night. I think I am way too invested waiting for you to give birth ๐Ÿ˜‰

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