It was exactly this time during my first pregnancy that I gave birth to Tru. 38 weeks on the dot. But that was a c-section so I could pick an auspicious date to give birth. Waiting for the contractions to kick in is totally different. I feel so powerless. I’ve got my baby bag and all the baby stuff all ready and packed and it’s like waiting for Santa Claus to appear on Christmas eve. The anticipation is killing me. It’s my control-freak nature kicking in and I just need to know exactly when it’s gonna happen.
Apparently for VBAC, a medical induction of labor increases the chance of womb rupture so it’s off limits. But I hear there are a few ways to induce birth and give the baby a little push as it were. It’s called ripening the cervix (it’s true!)
It’s a tried and tested method by the Chinese and it’s supposed to be highly effective. Back when women used to bind their feet and slice off their pinkies, they realized that somehow jabbing a bunch of needles into various parts of the body triggers the contractions. It’s ingenious, don’t you think?
But seeing that pain avoidance is one of my life’s goals, acupuncture is in my list of Top 10 things NOT to do before I die (along with bungee jumping and eating fire).
2. Castor Oil
It’s a quick and painless method. Just take a few spoonfuls of it neat and wait a few minutes for it to take effect. It’s primarily a laxative, so there’s that nasty side effect where you lose all control of your bowels and start crapping involuntarily. It’s probably good if you hate the gynae/nurse and want to use it as a way to give them nightmares for days.
There’s no guarantee that it will work though, so you may just end up with a severe case of diarrhea.
This sounds pretty harmless. How it works is that it puts pressure on the cervix, causing it to dilate. Anyway it’s the kind of thing you can try without worrying about nasty side effects.
4. Nipple Stimulation
Touted as one of the most effective methods of natural induction, it’s definitely one of the most wildly popular. Mostly because no dude will turn down an invitation to engage in some nipple stimulation – “Boom-chica-wow-wow”.
But seriously, this causes a release of oxytocin, which causes contractions and lead to labor. (See, I’m not a total airhead, I actually know words like oxytocin)
As they say, what gets it in also gets it out. (who says that kind of thing anyway?) This is the next most popular method of birth induction, following closely behind the nipple stimulation.
The difference is, while most women are willing to tolerate some mild discomfort to the boobs, certain invasive methods at 38 weeks of pregnancy are too much of a hassle. There’s also the whole foreplay thing to contend with, and by the time there’s any action, you’re way too exhausted for the time to be the least bit sexy. And the focus is to get something out of there, not put something in, if you get what I mean.
I suppose the best thing to do is to sit around and wait till the baby is good and ready to come out. There’s a Chinese saying that goes something like “When the fruit is ready, it will fall off the vine”. Meaning that there’s no point rushing nature, cos all you’re going to end up with is an unripe fruit. Don’t ask me what that means. It’s too deep for my 38-week-pregnant brain.
If it’s up to me, Kirsten will be born on the 4th of July. So who knows, there might be some serious action on the 3rd. Woohoo!