Pregnancy is a waiting game. 40 long weeks of excitement, anticipation, changes and preparations for a baby that, by the end of it, you are ready to hold in your arms! So as 40 weeks have come and gone, and my due date is now past, I am even more anxious to get labor started. We keep getting asked if we will be medically induced soon, and the answer is no. First off, there is currently no medical reason for our baby to have to come early. First babies are often late and it should be safe to wait until 42 weeks (I came two weeks late). Secondly, Trent and I have decided to wait until our baby and my body is ready to deliver this precious baby we’ve been waiting so long for. We know that babies and mommy’s bodies know what to do- they’ve been doing this delivery thing since Adam and Eve. When everything is ready, it will happen. Until then, we will choose to trust our baby and my body to know when the time is right. Thirdly, since our due date was changed, we really aren’t sure when he should come. We don’t know if the original due date was correct, or the new one, or something in-between those two. That gives us more patience as we wait (after all, it is possible that we are only 38 weeks along right now instead of over 40).
That being said… he’s been in position for weeks and I’ve been dilating and effacing, so we are trying as many natural ways to get this baby outta here as possible!
Here’s what we’ve tried so far…
Evening Primrose Oil.
This natural oil is supposed to help soften up the cervix and the other tissues that need to stretch for labor and delivery. I’ve been taking this for about two and a half weeks now. I can tell that it is working, just not quite as fast as I want it to.
Raspberry leaf tea.
Drinking this is supposed to help support a healthy pregnancy by promoting uterine health, stimulating milk production, and easing labor pains and nausea. I just bought this the other day because they don’t carry it at our local grocery store (Come on HEB, seriously???). I had to go to a specialty store called Good Stuff to find it.
Trent and I have taken a walk each night this week. And when I’m not out with him, I try to walk during the day or at HEB or somewhere! I’ve still been going to zumba classes each Tuesday and Thursday morning, and I’ve even been trying to do enough housework like sweeping and mopping to get things going.
Several wise people have told us… “The way to get the baby out is the same way you got the baby in…”. There is honest truth to that as semen is one of the things that helps ripen the cervix. (Gross fact, one thing that doctors use to induce labor is a prostaglandin that is actually made from pig semen… No, thank you. I’d rather have my husband’s). Sex also releases oxytocin, which can initiate labor.
Who knows if this is true or not, but pineapple is known to help ripen the cervix. It is also said to stimulate the stomach, and possibly the uterus in large amounts. I like pineapple, so I thought, “why not?”
Well, the more general idea is “spicy food” but I’m a big wuss when it comes to spices. We went for Thai food the other night though, and got some mildly spicy dishes. Whether they induce labor or not, they were mighty delicious! Especially since that may have been our last meal out, just the two of us.
I’ve taken more baths in the past month than I’ve probably taken since I was a little girl. But the water is calming and it helps put me in a relaxed state. I’ve been putting Epson Salts in the bath water, which also helps to relax my muscles and my sore lower back.
Things I haven’t tried (and probably will)
There are pressure points in your hands and just above your ankle that are supposed to induce labor. This seems like an easy-enough thing to try, we just haven’t done it yet.
Things I haven’t tried (and probably won’t)
I’ve heard horror stories about using this… it causes very bad diarrhea, which in turn stimulates the uterine muscles… but at what cost???