Patience Isn’t My Strong Suit, 38w5d

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!


  1. Hi! Oh, I so remember waiting and waiting for Ever last winter. 41 Weeks 3 days! And I was SURE she was going to be early, so I had a full 1.5 months at home waiting for her. So frustrating. If you get to 42 weeks, do you have to have a medical induction or can you wait to go into labor naturally (just not homebirth)?

    Did the pump make you secrete any colostrum? Just curious.

    I hope he comes soon! I am so excited to get an update from you when things start moving, or when he is here!

    1. Hm… not sure about the 42 week question. I’m guessing they’ll require an induction if I get that far because I’ll have switched care to the OB’s office if that happens. So far I’m just planning to ignore that possibility as much as possible. 🙂

      Had 2 drops of colostrum and that was it! I was curious too!

  2. I was curious about the colostrum too, but I see you’ve already answered that, when I was pregnant and in Las Vegas, we walked quite a bit the day before I went into labor (very early though). I read that you have to walk like 3 miles to be effective, however, I don’t think that I’d like to find myself 3 miles from home and tired at 38+ weeks pregnant. Also, do some squats! I loved squatting when I was pregnant and had hoped to push in that position. Not regular squats though, hold a doornob and lean back on your heels with your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart and your toes pointed slightly out when you squat. I must have done hundreds a day. I squated each morning, at lunch and in the evening and I picked up dog poop each day with the squat.

    1. Ya, we only walked about 1.5 miles, but I was hurting by the time we got home. I can’t imagine being far from home and that pregnant! I have not been good about doing my squats– I’ll definitely start doing those again too!

  3. Good luck! Mine all wanted to stay in there, first one was 10 days late. Forget trying, none of that works – esp. Not stripping membranes ick!

  4. Elizabeth · · Reply

    Hopefully the little guy decides to come soon. I’ll be thinking of you.

  5. I bet you go before 42 weeks! I’m hoping right along with you!!!

  6. I was thinking about you earlier today! Come on baby!

  7. I always remember my OB saying to be you would need a bucket load of semen for the sex thing to work (crying with laughter when he said that) so if you don’t feel like it don’t bother. LMAO

    1. LMAO, so noted.

  8. I really feel like this baby will be here before 42 weeks.. okay, I said I felt he’d be here today and he would have to come quickly for that to happen but I still think he will make it in the next week or two. Sounds like you have some good plans to help him along.

    Ugg, castor oil. I did do it and I will say, it did seem to work, but I can’t know for sure, BUT the taste was SO SO SO bad and even when I smell any kind of oil now (olive, veg, anything), I gag and almost throw up. Yah, not fun and ruined me against oils forever. Your plans sound much better! 😉

    Fingers crossed little guy arrives soon!!!!

  9. I had my membranes stripped twice and I took Caster Oil 4 different times to try to get Callen to come and NOTHING happened. One of the 4 times with Castor Oil I actually had some contractions, but they were only false labor. I mixed the oil with orange juice, but it was still slimy feeling going down. Honestly, waiting it out is the best option, but I totally understand that you are ready to snuggle your little guy! Playing the waiting game sucks. BUT, it’s always worth it in the end! Come on little man, come tonight or tomorrow!!!!!!

    1. Oh and I forgot to add that burping up Castor Oil…totally gross. I just read Fiona’s comment and she is right, nasty. 🙁

  10. A bloody good hot Thai curry, sex and a really long walk …not necessarily in that order ( as well as getting all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted like tax returns, a big ass grocery shop, everything clean) did the trick for me at 37 weeks 5 days! Best of luck.

    1. We’re headed to the grocery store this morning. I’m hoping having loose ends tied up will get things moving. 🙂

  11. kaseypowers · · Reply

    The waiting is so hard. Simon was 40wk 5d and I remember doing almost all of the things on this list. I had my membranes stripped the day before he was born because we were facing induction (that doc induced at 41w) and it sent me in to labor within hours.
    My midwife – because yay I got my wish of a midwife for all prenatal care – said they didn’t recommend it because there was no research, but that since it worked before we’d try it if I get to my due date before scheduling a c-section.
    Good luck! Hope the little man is here soon.

  12. How is the evening primrose going? Do you feel like it is helping? I went 42 wks with my first, 40 wks 5 days with my second (both induced) and went into labor on my own with my third at 40 wks 2 days. He was by far my tallest and biggest baby so the OB’s “theory” is he was pressing on my cervix more causing me to dilate to 4cm before I went into labor (had a 3.5 hr labor and delivery.)

    This time (37 wks 1 day) baby is measuring smaller like my other 2 and I am only 1 cm 50 percent effaced at 37 wks and my cervix is still thick so I was thinking of trying the primrose oil, my doula has lots of clients that used it. Since I dilated on my own quickly with my last one I am trying to wait til 38 wks and see if I progress a little more 🙂

    So excited for you and keep checking for updates!

    1. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s the EPO or time, but things do seem to be softening and opening (I’ve been checking myself in the shower in the mornings).

  13. Even though I academically understand that about half of babies are born before their due date and half after, I’m always surprised when any come early at all. So I wasn’t too rushed yet when Gracie was born 3 days early. I DID make some sort of spicy ginger “labor cookies” someone told me about about three days before she was born. Didn’t work, but it was fun and they tasted pretty good. With Lyla, I was terrified about life with Gracie and a newborn, so I wasn’t pushing it… until a close friend due a week after me went into labor on my due date and then I was pissed hahahha. She ended up having an awful, 4-day labor, and Lyla was born the morning after her due date. Anyway, enough blabbing from me. I just like that all this waiting is making you post a lot more 😉 I hope he comes today!

  14. Well, this doesn’t help at all but I read blogs before going to bed two nights ago and dreamed this little guy was on his way and you were laboring in a swimming pool (skip the birthing tub lol). Obviously I’m wishing him here as well! Hoping it’s not much longer, so excited!

  15. I was just a few weeks behind you exactly at this time last year, and can remember feeling so anxious and impatient. So excited for you to meet your son- come on baby boy!

  16. Hey man, you can feel all BOP *and* impatient at the same time! Remember when you were a kid (or…okay… now too) and you KNEW Xmas morning was X days away but you still COULDN’T WAIT? It’s like that, yes? I had more actual thoughts, but now all I can think about is Chon’s bucket of semen so… COME ON BABY!

  17. Let’s go baby boy! Bookmarking this list for later use!

  18. At just 36w1day I am beginning to feel like I’m ready for this to be over! I want her to cook a bit longer, but I’ll be very pleased if she makes her grand entrance at 38 weeks. It’s so weird to think she could be here in 2 weeks or 6 weeks! I still have a lot to do to prep for her, including packing a hospital bag, filling my freezer, installing her car seat… yikes.

    Three questions for you: 1) How do you “check yourself” in the shower? I feel like I should try that! 2) Have you been doing any perineum massage? I did try that and HATED it. But I’m worried about tearing if I don’t do it… 3) What kind of raspberry leaf tea are you drinking and where do you get it? My doc said not to drink any herbal teas that aren’t “commercial” but I would love to get my ute ready with some good raspberry leaf tea…


    1. Yeah, the mental waiting game of “2 weeks or 6 weeks?” is the hardest for sure! Now I’m down to “today or 3 weeks from today?” and I’m still having a hard time with it! 🙂

      1) Checking your is something I learned during our TTC years. Read through this forum here – or this post here – I’m not totally sure what I’m doing of course, but I’ve been checking randomly for the past cpl of weeks and I definitely think I’m softer and a little more open than I was.

      2) Nope. I did some last time, but not much. Some ppl say it helps, some don’t, some day it all has to do with baby positioning and delivery speed…ugh, who knows. Probably a good idea to do it, but since I tore last time, my chances are higher for tearing again, and I haven’t really bothered.

      3) I just bought the stuff at my local Natural Foods store!

  19. […] December – This was a busy month for us because it included Stella’s 2nd birthday and I reached full term in this pregnancy. We’ve had a lot of financial ups and downs this past month that I haven’t gotten into, but I am still trying to focus on helping to finance college for Stella and having faith that money issues will work out. That brings us to the present day where I’m having issues being patient while waiting for this little man to arrive! […]

  20. I had my membranes stripped 3 times (3rd times a charm:) . It hurt but you had a natural child birth , def not that bad and it was quick. Hopefully you won’t have to do much and he comes soon!

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