Please don’t get me wrong – I’m I firm believer that babies are born when they’re ready… but I’m also human, and I’m tired, and I want to meet this little guy already! For the little part of me that is sad that this will be my last pregnancy and last time to enjoy this Buddha belly I have going on, I also really don’t want to get to 42 weeks because then we’d be legally required to transfer to a hospital setting for an induction. I’m so excited for this home birth that I will do everything in my power to help my body get ready for my birthing time sooner rather than later. I know we have about 3 weeks before we really need to get concerned, and obviously a lot can change in that amount of time, but it’s kind of nice to know I’m doing what I can to help nudge things in the right direction.
Without further ado, the things we’ve tried (or will soon try) in order to entice little man to come join us on the outside:
- Evening Primrose Oil to help ripen & soften the cervix (to help you efface, not dilate). I bought 1,300 mg capsules and try to remember to take them 2-3x/day. My midwife recommended against taking them orally because he said it can give your body a false sense of the levels in your system and inhibit the body’s natural processes. He did recommended inserting them vaginally after 37w, so that’s what I’ve been doing since about 38w when I remembered to buy them.
- Sex – semen has prostaglandins which help ripen & soften the cervix & orgasms help to stimulate contractions. It’s just not so fun when you have a huge belly. Worth a shot though, especially knowing we’ll have another 6 wk hiatus post-delivery.
- Drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea to help tone the uterus. This isn’t really to get labor moving, but more to help my birthing time go more smoothly.
- Nipple Stimulation (I used my breast pump) which triggers the production of natural oxytocin. This is supposed to trigger contractions — I had a few twinges, but nothing major or lasting. I’ll probably try again in a couple of days.
- Chiropractic Care & Acupressure - With Stella, I went to the chiro on a Tuesday morning to get help with my back pain and carpal tunnel. That night I went into labor and had Stella! If nothing else, I felt aligned and ready when I went into labor. Unfortunately, my chiro had to cancel the appt I had scheduled for Saturday because of a death in the family and she’s now out of town for the funeral. She’s actually a friend of mine, so though I’m bummed to not get an adjustment, I’m obviously more sad for her. I’d also love to have a couple acupuncture appointments, but at $70/pop, I just can’t justify the cost right now. If we get closer to 42 weeks and are facing another $8k for a hospital birth, I will definitely make the appointments though!
- Walking to help the baby drop – I think this might have actually helped. We went on short walks Saturday and Sunday (maybe 20-30 minutes each) and he definitely feels lower in my pelvis now. We’ll see what my midwife says tomorrow.
- Visualization / Relaxation – I need to do more of my HypnoBabies tracks anyway (I’ve been majorly failing at that lately – maybe 2-3x/week instead of the 5+/week I was doing during my pregnancy with Stella!). This is getting kicked way up the priority list!
- Eating Pineapples (with core) for the bromlain to help soften the cervix. I’m buying a pineapple tomorrow! Even if it doesn’t help, that smoothie sounds delicious.
Things we will not be doing unless absolutely necessary b/c I’m at 42 weeks:
- Stripping the membranes – there’s no research done that proves this actually starts labor, it’s painful, and it can introduce infection into the birth canal. No thanks!
- Drinking castor oil – it tastes horrible, will likely make you sick, and probably won’t work.
- Artificial induction (pitocin, breaking of waters, etc) – we’ll avoid any of this unless absolutely necessary because of a 42 week deadline at the hospital.
Here’s to hoping that baby decides he’s ready sooner rather than later and that having a softened cervix and some contractions will help get things moving! I’m still having Braxton Hicks probably 4-6x an hour, so hopefully that’s a good sign that things are moving in the right direction. We shall see!