41 Weeks

Here’s something you might not know: your pregnancy app resets when it decides you’ve given birth. Yep, you go from learning about your grape-sized fetus one month to how your cantaloupe-sized baby is developing in utero a few months later and then at week 40, it just congratulates you. Even if you’re still pregnant.

Since I’m not into medical induction (though obviously, if it gets to that point, I’ll do whatever the baby needs), I turned to the internet to see how I could gently encourage this kiddo to join me on the outside and then confirmed with my doctor to make sure each was okay for me to do. Here are a bunch of things that I began trying around 38 weeks. You’re welcome to try them if you’re in the same boat but, fair warning: you be the judge as to how effective they are because I’m still one passenger up.

  • Massage. A no-brainer because I like it anyway. My masseuse is also a reflexologist so she focused on some pressure points in my feet, hands, and sacrum. My friend Kelly had her little guy hours after a massage chair so I do plan on visiting Centre Mall this evening with loonies in hand.
  • Spicy Food. All I can confirm is that Kabob King is delicious.
  • Water. I'm a water-drinker to begin with but I'm really committing to the bit as of late.
  • Pineapple. I ate a whole one for its cervix-softening enzyme. It was yummy if a little much.  
  • Walking. I'm a total mall rat lately and bonus, we've got a lot of Christmas shopping done!
  • Exercise With Impact. I've never done more jumping jacks (my friend Lisa’s idea), not to mention I'm taking every opportunity to run up and down stairs, throw dance parties with my daughter Petra, and run in place (Marla suggested a yoga ball but since I didn't have one, this is my sub). I feel great.
  • Stretching. My doctor suggested doing a lot of downward dog to help push the cervix down so every 15 minutes or so, down I go. 
  • Warm Baths. Outta my way, bath toys—make room for mama!
  • Raspberry Tea. I don’t like tea but I’m a-drinkin’ it because apparently, it strengthens the ol' birthing muscles.
  • Acupuncture. My sister-in-law Nikki asked if I was getting the kind with electronic pulses. I told her being electrocuted sounded terrifying and I just wanted the one where they stab me. It actually ended up being the electrified kind but it wasn’t so bad.
  • Bland Food. Oh, isn't this the opposite of spicy? YES. Advice is weird and conflicting sometimes. My acupuncturist said spicy food can create a stressful environment for the kiddo and that the opposite is often better so <shrug> I tried this for a couple days, too. 
  • Getting Your Membranes Stripped. Oof! This was my doctor’s suggestion as apparently, stats show that the need for medical induction is reduced when membranes begin to be stripped at 39 weeks. I’ve now had it done twice and both times was excited about the intense cramping afterward. Who wishes for pain? Me, as it turns out! Unfortunately, the pain hasn’t been active labor yet.

My mom reads this so I won’t write about anything else, but let’s just say I’m following every non-castor-oil-or-blue-cohosh internet idea I can find and although I was up every 20-30 minutes last night with contractions, that little guy is snuggled up tight in there! If you’ve got other natural and gentle inducer-ideas that aren’t on my list, send them my way because, at this point, it’s kind of a sport for me and of course, it's all in good fun. I know this baby will come when he's ready.