With this third baby, I was over pregnancy by half way through. DUNZO. I wanted my body cleared of squatters the second I hit the official "full term" milestone of 37 weeks and not a minute later. I wanted to know how to go into labor, like, yesterday. Wouldn't you know, the day before I hit that magic date, the scientific community had to change their minds like some girls in a Gap dressing room and declare 39 weeks is now full term?
The annoying way this affected my life is that I went into natural labor at 38 weeks and instead of my hospital admitting me and helping me along (sorry, I'm one of those people who begs for an epidural and welcomes pitocin like the rain) they just observed me and told me to walk the halls. After spending ten hours in labor & delivery Sunday, I checked myself out and went home. I can walk my own damn halls where there's better TV. I was kind of pissed. They kept citing all the potential problems with 38-week babies but I'm like, "what about ME? And these face-melting contractions with no end?!" (Seven hours and a prescribed glass of wine later I was back and thankfully my water broke all over the hospital floor, but more on that later.)
As I was sitting in my living room cursing the wind during that seven hours, it occurred to me that perhaps going into "early" labor had been my fault. After all, I had wished it upon myself in a fit of pregnancy misery and brought it on in the following ways. NOTE: Unless your body is ready for labor anyway, none of these activities will actually cause labor. If you are ready and just need a nudge, here's your list!
How to go into labor:
1. Watch birth videos on You Tube. I thought of this when the same principle of watching waterfall videos helped me potty train my toddler. She'd see the wooshing water and boom, she'd pee. Monkey see, monkey do, right? None of this 20-minutes of watching someone breathe, though. You can look in the mirror and do that. You have to watch the gory ones that get to the point. Dear first-time-moms: it's really not as bad as it looks, but if you'd rather be inspired by this snake barfing up a whole dog, here you go. (DON'T CLICK!)
2. Eggplant parmesean. People say this is a myth, but they are wrong. It has started all my labors, including the one that began just 24 hours after inhaling the low-rent version of this dish at Ikea last Saturday. Maybe it's the same principle at work when you eat marinara sauce too close to bed and have weird dreams. Gypsy power!
3. Labor cookies. These started my labor with my second child, but I didn't get past lining up the ingredients this time around. The idea here might be the cayenne pepper but it also might be the fat in the butter that tells your body you're being nourished enough to go ahead and have that baby already. Who knows. If it fails, you at least get cookies.
4. Plan something important and concrete. Me, I really needed a hair appointment so I booked it a week before my due date. Of course I went into labor and now there's no way I'm dragging a 5-day-old baby to get highlights. The principle at work here it is the "light a cigarette to make your food come at a restaurant" philosophy. You can't go wrong and if you do, you get your highlights. Win-win.
5. Membrane sweeping. Don't go all poking up in your business yourself, but ask your midwife or OB to sweep your membranes to get things going. Some say it's painful, I say it's just another day in baby town. I mean really, what part of this is pleasant?
6. Sit on the toilet. After the midwife threatened to send me home a second time due to lack of progress, a nurse suggested this to me and *poof* my water broke five minutes later. In your face, naysayer!
7. Scrub your floors. Get down on all fours and make 'em shine, sister lady. It widens the hips, encourages the baby to engage in your pelvis and keeps crumbs off peoples' feet.
8. Walk. I can barely type that without getting all RAGE BEAST because yes, walking does augment labor, but sometimes you're just tired and don't feel like it. Feel free to skip this one out of spite on my behalf.
DO NOT mess around with cohosh teas and potions and drinking oil. You may be done with feeling huge, but it's not worth risking yours or your baby's life. Lecture over. Now for my pics!
After a 31-hour labor and a scant 20 minutes of pushing, Boss arrived - all 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 21-inches of her. She nurses like a 3-month old, doesn't have a hint of jaundice and never even needed to go under the chicken lamp. Hey Science, sometimes 38-weekers are ready to be born.
Enjoy your contractions!
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