This is one of those controversial blog posts. I’ve heard most mothers say, your baby will come when its ready and you should not push labour along yourself unless you are almost two weeks past your due date. And rightfully so because every mother feels for that one mom that’s lost her baby. It doesn’t just affect the mother, it affects the entire family that was waiting for this little miracle. So of course we want to be as careful as possible as we carry our babies.
That being said, I’d like to tell my story of naturally inducing myself at 37 weeks pregnant. I’m not advising this or saying this is wrong. I’m simply telling my story for those who are restlessly waiting on or past their due date and wondering what would happen if…
My pregnancy was a difficult one from the start. I found out I was pregnant after a visit to a therapists office. I was feeling very depressed and hopeless all of a sudden. After talking to this therapist she advised me to take a pregnancy test and that’s when I found out I was in fact pregnant with my beautiful Izabella.
Unfortunately this depression continued throughout my pregnancy. Depression is one of those things that can turn couples against each other. So my very patient husband was having a hard time dealing with me. We had to start couples therapy to deal with all of this. I actually think it made it harder for us working together because these sessions brought up past suppressed hurts as well.
With the tension of my husband and I not getting along while still feeling the weight of depression, I began to have anxiety attacks. And with these anxiety attacks would come painful and ongoing contractions. My midwives gave me every method of stopping these contractions. But sometimes they would go all night.
My midwife offered that if I can try my best to keep these contractions under control until 36 weeks she would be happy for me to go into labour. So I took magnesium pills, drank a lot of water and took a bath every night until that magic number.
At around 34 weeks my baby bump dropped, placing my sweet girl’s head deep into my pelvis. With each passing day it became more and more difficult to walk. At night I had to sleep on the couch because I was so uncomfortable in bed. At 36 weeks I could only crawl slowly to the toilet and back when left alone. My husband would literally set me up with everything I could possibly need on the couch with me. And I wore a very thick pad just incase I had an accident… which I would.
At 36 weeks my midwife applauded my efforts to stay pregnant and said that I’d do fine going into labour now. I was so exhausted by all the contractions and the pain of moving and walking that I didn’t just let contractions come on their own. I did everything to get them going.
I started with pumping milk using a manual breast pump. This is something I did during my previous pregnancy on the week of my due date with my first born Esperanza. This was because I was leaking so much already that I thought I might as well start storing it up. After pumping for one day I went into labour that night.
With this current pregnancy however all pumping did was make my contractions more painful… but it would remain irregular and the moment I stopped pumping the contractions would slow down to nothing. I wouldn’t say this was in vain though because I got a decent supply of that beautiful golden colostrum milk stored up.
Next I got my husband to buy me three fresh pineapples and went to town. I ate so many that my tongue felt like it got a rash on it. Again while I ate the pineapple my contractions became more painful but still irregular. Too irregular to say I was going into labour.
As I neared my 37th week I asked my husband to have sex with me two-three times a day. This was the first time I ever saw him exhausted by sex. When we were finished I would have contractions for a few hours. But still irregular and its intensity would simmer down.
My midwife checked to see if I was dilated on my 37 week check up. And at this point I was 3cms dilated. My midwife offered to give me a membrane sweep and it was after this that I went into actual labour. After the sweep I experienced irregular contractions. In order to speed things up I ate a pineapple the moment I got home and asked my husband to have sex. That night the contractions continued to get stronger. And then it slowed down to nothing. But these contractions felt different than the last times.
I was so disappointed when I woke up the next morning and had irregular contractions. But because the night before I had such strong contractions, the midwife offered to give me a home visit to see where I was at. She was surprised to find that I was at 6cm dilated. She offered that I stay home and see if my contractions picked up. But she assumed it wouldn’t till the next day.
When she left I told my husband that I want to send my self into labour within the next hour. So again we had sex and afterward I did something called nipple stimulation. It’s where you massage the areola to mimic the sucking of a new born baby. It releases a hormone that causes contractions. I would massage until I got a contraction and then stop as the contraction was going. Then massage again once it stopped. This made the contractions get into a rhythm that kept going on its own without my massaging.
These contractions suddenly became unbearable. I called the midwife who was shocked to hear me on the phone so soon. And four hours later I had my new baby girl in my arms. My labour was very relaxed. This labour had no surprises other than the fact that pushing was a lot easier than when I had my first daughter.
Please be sure to discuss naturally inducing yourself with your doctor or midwife before you try any of these methods. Every pregnancy is different so it’s best to do what’s safest for you and your baby.