If I went into labor right now and was not able to finish this entry, I’d be delighted. Trey continues to stretch and contort my belly as I type, but he seems to be rather content where he is for the time being. While I am anxious for Trey to arrive, I am not surprised that he isn’t here yet. My mom went past her due date with all my siblings. The only reason I came on time was a stressful event that happened the day she went into labor (with a flood of water in the buffet line at my uncle’s birthday dinner).
I went to my prenatal appointment this afternoon. Much to my disappointment, my cervix has not changed at all over the past two weeks. I know (and hope) that I could still go into labor tonight, but it is just more encouraging to hear that there has been progress. Now that I have passed my due date, we had to discuss medical induction with the midwife. She is very understanding of my desire to deliver without medication and to labor in the water (birthing tub). As a medical student, I do understand the complications of allowing a pregnancy to go too far past the due date. So, next week, I will have another ultrasound done to check the amount of amniotic fluid (the “amniotic fluid index” (AFI) in Trey’s little watery home. I will then have another monitoring test done called a “nonstress test” (NST). In this test, the fetal heartrate is monitored for a least 20-30 minutes. During this time, I will note when I feel Trey move. During fetal movements the baby’s heartrate is supposed to accelerate a bit. If his heartrate has good variability (beat-to-beat changes in heartrate) and good reactivity (acceleration in heartrate at least 15 beats/sec above the baseline, several times during the 20 min period) then he will be considered to be in good shape, with an adequate supply of oxygen. If all goes well with these tests, but nothing happens by August 17th, William and I have agreed to reserve a spot for medical induction. I would go in the evening of the 17th for “cervical ripening” (sounds lovely, I know) and then they would start the induction in the morning. I figured this way, Kenny would get his wish of sharing his birthday with his nephew.
I don’t really mind going past the due date, but I would rather not have to resort to medical induction. Both William and I have been reading up on natural ways to induce labor. Some seem a bit ludicrous, yet some people swear by certain methods. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Walking. Many women have told me to take long walks to allow the swaying of the hips to bring the baby’s head down.
- Sex. Prostaglandins in semen help to “ripen” or soften the cervix and may induce contractions.
- Castor Oil. Drinking castor oil is one of the “old wives'” favorite. The irritated bowels are supposed to stimulate the uterus enough to begin contractions.
- Spicy food. Same principle as the castor oil. (Our favorite story is about a restaurant in Cobb County, GA whose claim to fame is an eggplant parmesan that has caused 300 women to go into labor within 48 hours of consuming. A free gift certificate is given to any pregnant woman at term who tries the dish and doesn’t go into labor. It is debated, however, that the basil and oregano within the recipe are the culprits, not the eggplant.)
- Nipple stimulation. The oxytocin that is released causes contractions of the uterus.
- Accupuncture/ accupressure. There are two points, one on the ankle and the other in the webbing between the thumb and index finger.
- Herbal stimulants of the uterus. Black and blue cohosh, evening primrose, red raspberry to name a few.
We have tried several of these methods, including the eggplant parmesan, but no luck yet. Maybe that full moon tonight will create some tides of change….hmmmm.