The day has come and gone…so where is Trey?

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:

  1. Walking. Many women have told me to take long walks to allow the swaying of the hips to bring the baby’s head down.
  2. Sex. Prostaglandins in semen help to “ripen” or soften the cervix and may induce contractions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Nipple stimulation. The oxytocin that is released causes contractions of the uterus.
  6. Accupuncture/ accupressure. There are two points, one on the ankle and the other in the webbing between the thumb and index finger.
  7. 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.

7 thoughts on “The day has come and gone…so where is Trey?

  1. Laurie Pulido

    48 hours before I had Alex I went out for Chinese food. The Chinese woman who seated us said…."You eat Chinese food, you have baby tonight…." and she laughed…..Alex was born two weeks early!

    It probably helped things a bit that I walked extensively through a shopping mall the afternoon before he was born. So I agree with the walking thing too.

  2. Bridgette Puertas

    Just an FYI…

    I have been reading “What’s Going on in There: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life” by Lise Eliot, Ph.D. a professor of neuroscience at Chicago Medical School. After I read your post about possibly having to do the “nonstress” test next week I remembered that it was mentioned it in the chapter on How Hearing Evolves. According to her book, “recent findings about fetuses exposed to high levels of noise in the womb have raised questions about the safety of the auditory stimulus used in the test. The sound level (91 to 129 decibels) though brief, is within a range known to be potentially damaging to the cochlear hair cells” (Eliot, 1999, p. 240).

  3. Erica Wegner

    Hey Heidi and William. Haven’t talked to you in a few years but Jerry gave us this site. First of all… CONGRATULATIONS! Heidi you look beauitul… of course William you do too! Hehe. I wish you the best birthing and look forward to seeing Trey on your site. I bet you guys are anxious to meet him. Wish you 3 all the best!

  4. Heidi Post author

    As I have been out of school for over a month now, I was glad to have an excuse to exercise my brain and do a little research in response to Bridgette’s comment about the potential hazard of auditory stimulation used during a nonstress test (NST). First of all, the "vibroacoustic stimulation" (VAS) is only employed during the NST when a fetus remains quiet without spontaneous movement or "reactivity" within the first ~5 minutes of the NST. The VAS generates a sound from an electronic device that is applied to the mother’s abdomen. It emits the 85-111dB level sounds in spurts of 3 secs or less at 1-min intervals up to 3 times. It has been shown to effectively stimulate a healthy fetus to move. It seems that most of the studies designed to determine the safety and efficacy of VAS were done in the early 1990’s. According to the results that are referred to in the Gabbe: Obstetrics textbook, the amniotic fluid acts to insulate the fetus from the sound intensity: "A 90-dB sound pressure produced by VAS in air results in exposure of the fetal ear to the equivalent of 40 dB, the level of normal conversation at about 3 feet." "Two studies have confirmed the safety of VAS use during pregnancy with no long-term evidence of hearing loss in children followed in the neonatal period and up to 4 years of age." (From MDConsult – Gabbe: Obstetrics; 4th Ed. 2002. pp. 327-328)
    I do appreciate the information, but at this point I feel that the NST is a safe test. If Trey is active during the test, the VAS won’t have to be used anyway.

  5. robin sarigumba

    As you know, Heidi, I went 12 days past my due date with the first induction not working. We too tried alot of those things on the list. We soon learned how to make God laugh by telling Him our plans! Just sit back and enjoy the ride! I do understand what you are going through right now! He will be here before you know it!

    If it means anything to you, I dreamed last night that your water broke and went into labor!

  6. Bridgette Puertas

    I’m glad that you were able to find the additional research. I had no doubt that you would make a safe, informed decision for your baby! You guys are going to make terrific parents!

    Being in my first pregnancy, as well, I really love checking your website and your progress. Thanks and good luck!!!

  7. Lauren Threadgill

    Hey Heidi! I know that you are so ready by now so I thought I would share some other things that my friends and I feel helped to naturally induce labor. The nipple stimulation definitely worked for me – if you have a pump, go on and pump 5-10 minutes per breast several times a day. Not only will it help to induce productive contractions, it helps to prepare you physically and mentally for Trey nursing. I started pumping on a Thursday and my water broke in the middle of the night on Friday. Also, a girlfriend of mine got a bikini wax the day that she went into labor (2 weeks early). She swears that it’s the reason she went into labor – maybe something to do with pain?

    I wish you the best of luck in your labor and delivery. As William may have told you, I went to 7 cm before I got an epidural and I hope to go all the way with our next child. Laboring naturally is hard, but for us it was one of the sweetest times that Matthew and I ever have had as a couple. It’s just a wonderful closeness that only you two are sharing.

    We can’t wait to hear news (and see pictures too of course)! Good luck!

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