As I hit that glorious milestone of the long-awaited ninth month, I feel like a marathon runner with the finish line finally in sight. Only instead of being able to sprint toward that finish line, I'm first saddled with a backpack full of bricks, ankle weights and a wheelbarrow piled high with concrete blocks.
It is the home stretch, and stretching is certainly what this time period is doing. Just like the first cut is the deepest, the last month of pregnancy is the longest. And much like many pregnant women before me, I've succumbed to the curiosity, flipped to that chapter in the child-bearing bible of "What to Expect" and read up on my options for inducing labor at home. Trust me, if Mary had this book and access to some castor oil and spicy food, Christmas would be in November.
I have decided to hold off for a few more weeks, but it's still good to be informed as to what tricks are out there. School House Rockin' baby, knowledge is power.
It's not surprising that just like everything else in pregnancy, trying to induce your own labor is not glamorous. There is, as mentioned, the castor oil and spicy food. Apparently wreaking havoc on your intestines can jump start labor by tricking your body into having contractions. Of course the massive diarrhea that must come first won't be so fun, but if you're willing to put your colon through its own personal Hiroshima, then go for it.
Sex is another option for inducing labor, and what a cute way to bookend your pregnancy. The deed is what got you in this mess in the first place, so why not get busy to start the big show? Of course, you are nine months pregnant and probably feel like you are the size of a small hippo. So good luck finding a comfortable position to have wobbly, weird sex in just so you can be absolutely exhausted afterward.
Walking is probably the simplest method for inducing labor and one any mama can try with ease. In fact, any exercise can help, especially if it lets gravity do the work and helps baby slide on down. If you see a pregnant woman on the verge of popping doing laps around your neighborhood, chances are she is trying to get things moving along.
Herbal remedies- they're not just for hippies! Some people may swear by the power of plants, but I'm pretty skeptical that some root mashed into tea will start my labor. And doctors generally disapprove of venturing outside of Western medicine when it comes to something as important as your baby's health. So before heading over to your local hemp-clad medicine woman, I'd call the OB and avoid the smell of patchouli unless desperate.
Frustrations are surely to get worse before anything gets better this month, but I'm realistic in knowing that these are simply possible tricks and not foolproof methods for causing labor. The baby will come when she is good and ready, no matter how long I've been good and ready and waiting. Of course, that is my opinion now. By next week who knows, I might be ready to give Mother Nature a good kick in the butt. Castor oil cocktails all around!