Sunday, July 01, 2007

labor tricks

Today is July 1st.

I have until July 5th - at 11:00 AM - to deliver the baby or else I will have to have a repeat c-section. My doctor said that he will under no circumstances induce me, because the chance of a uterine rupture - particularly after a triplet pregnancy - is way too great.

I'll take his word for it.

Moreover, he doesn't want me going past my due date because the baby's head and chest get disproportionately large ... which could further complicate issues ... particularly when all the ultrasounds show that our little guy may be a big one.

Because I'm really hoping to avoid a second c-section and because Thursday is just a few days away and I'm getting a little desperate ... these are some of the tips I've heard for starting labor.

From what I've read, most of these are old wives' tales.

But just maybe there is some truth...
  • Consumption of spicy foods: We had Indian food for dinner. Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetarian Korba with a side of Garlic and Cilantro Nan. In the four hours since dinner, I've consumed a half bottle of Tums and two Pepsid AC's. Considering a 1/2 calorie peppermint Tic-Tac gives me heartburn, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

  • Take a long, strenous walk...: I've hiked at least two miles today, one of which involved pushing a triplet stroller full of toddlers, uphill. I befuddled several passerby when they would happily inquire "When are you due?" and I'd give them a puzzled look and respond "Due for ... what?"

  • ... preferably under a full moon: Once we tucked the children in to bed, Charlie and I went for yet another walk, under the beautiful full moon. During which time I consumed the other half bottle of Tums. And a cup of yogurt.

  • Sit on the washing machine, during the spin cycle, with a glass of wine: There are a number of problems with this recommendation. First, I'm not sure how exactly I would get on top of the washing machine and second, do I really want to risk breaking yet another appliance? How about I just drink a glass of wine?
(These two bottles were sent to me courtesy of my friend, Felicia. Her note read: "To be enjoyed once the baby arrives. Or, to be consumed by Charlie if Jen really gets on his nerves.")

  • Nipple stimulation and sex: In my current state, I'd rather risk breaking our washing machine in addition to our refrigerator and dishwasher ... and our oven, dryer, water heater, air conditioner, microwave, stove, and barbeque than have my beloved husband get within two feet of me.

Truly - this last recommendation is completely unfathomable. Even if I was in the mood, at my current proportions, I'd probably break him.

And since that's how this whole thing started ... I don't think I ought to take any chances.


  1. Thank you so much for the laugh! You always crack me up. I cannot believe that you are almost finished with your pregnancy. It just seems like yesterday you said you were pregnant (I know you probably want to hit me for that comment!). Good luck, I hope you don't make it until the 5th!

  2. I am turning in to a Google reader addict, waiting to see if there is any news......
    I don't know any of the old wives tales BUT what worked three times for me was determination. I kid you not, I picked the day that I was going to deliver on and refused to let the babies decide. It worked, even when the Dr said "you are not having this baby today".
    I just kept telling myself and the babies that this was the day and that is it!!!!!
    I wanted matching dates with special meaning (I got 5th, 15th and 25th ALL IN OCTOBER)
    Open that wine, have a tiny glass and give Nemo and your uterus a good talking too.

    BTW GJ is getting excited that all this baby anticipation is making me rethink ruling out #4, DH would have 6 if I would!

  3. I can't read the first paragraph of this post- so the answer to how to go into labour must lie there!

    I tried all the other things, and nothing worked! I firmly believe that when the baby is ready to be born, it is born (and no sooner). At 40 weeks I was very determined, at 41 weeks just felt defeated and avoided everyone because I didn't want anymore "sure fire labour starting tips!" At 41+2 induction lead to emergency caesarean :(
    I hope it all happens soon Jenna, no tips from me!
    Rebecca D (also from Brisbane like Jenny above)

  4. See, God is trying to teach you patience too! Hang in there girl! You can do anything....we don't call you Miss American Pie for nothing!

    I've got it.......start singing "your song" to him........including all the motions and that should help......along with all the old wives tales. (hehehehe)

  5. What worked for me, my sister and my sister-in-law was castor oil.

    Totally disgusting, yah, but mix some into a glass of juice, plug your nose and down it. There is something in the castor oil that stimulates the cervix - I kid you not. In fact, the pharmacists here won't sell it to a pregnant woman because it'll stimulate labour. I had to get my sister to go get it for me.

    Swear, though, that it works.

  6. Mrs. Carrot7/1/07, 9:01 AM

    I went 46 weeks with my first. Lol, thank God your doc isn't letting you get past the fifth. I did all that walking stuff and it never did help. With my second my water broke when I was moving very heavy furniture in the middle of the night. With my last pregnancy, triplet pregnancy, I went into labor early. Probably due to the fact I was pushing large & frequent doses of water. What brought on labor contractions with all three pregnancies, lots of Red Zinger tea. Of course when I stopped drinking the tea the pains stopped too. So let's see, my advice would be to move very heavy furniture in the middle of the night (by yourself), drink lots and lots of water, and flood yourself with Red Zinger tea, lol.
    I wish you the best of luck and I hope your little one is a happy July 4th.

    Mrs. Carrot

  7. Castor oil may start contractions, but it does not always lead to labor. Also, because it causes diahrrhea, it can cause YOU to be dehydrated. Not good when you want to give birth. Don't be tempted by it!

    In the meantime, I'll keep checking, over and over...

  8. well, I have heard that the last two work great...but you have to draw the lone somewhere, I understand.

    I think there is some tea that is supposed to help but I don't know what it's called. Sorry :)

  9. I've heard cumin seed tea can work. The weekend I went into labor with my first I drank it twice. It is awfully disgusting and not sure if it actually worked or my body was ready anyway. Also, you can try fresh pineapple, if anything else it's yummy lol. My mom told me to do jumping jacks lol. Have you seen a pg woman do jumping jacks? I'm sure I looked quite funny, until I banged my arm on the entertainment center and got a huge bruise. Nipple stimulation can bring on contractions, I tried it with my second. And of course castor oil, which I would only do as a last resort.

  10. Here's another thing that might help... squatting repeatedly. Maybe just getting your body in traditional delivery position like squatting will help the baby descend a little, thereby making your water break.

    While your doctor doesn't want to induce you (I assume using pitocin), what about just breaking your water, or stripping the membranes, or doing some other very low key ways to help convince your body to start labor? I think there are gels that can be applied to the cervix to gently help it ripen. I'd ask your doc about these to find out if they pose any risk or if it might help. why not try some gentle labor starters rather than going under the knife un-necessarily?
    (as long as your health and the baby's health are good.)
    I don't think "the baby's large" is a good excuse for doing surgery!
    Good luck!!!
    Plus, I wanted to tell you that I've named you "Rockin' Girl Blogger" on my blog!

  11. You don't have to let Charlie touch you. I don't want to get too graphic but you can just borrow some of his "contribution" and apply it to your cervix. Same effect. Also, evening primrose oil is supposed to soften your cervix, as well. One of the cohoshs (I forget if it's black or blue), when taken orally, should stimulate contractions. And, of course, do NOT take castor oil. It does nothing to your cervix but causes diarrhea which can cause contractions but also dehydrate you and make you feel sick as a dog!

    If this baby is under 9 pounds, smack your OB/GYN for freaking you out about having a 'big' baby. Can't tell you how many of my friends have been bullied into c-sections because they were so "small" and their babies were getting so "big" and the babies were barely average size. My tiny grandmother had an 11 pound baby the first time around, naturally. My tiny mom had a 10+ pound baby, no drugs, for her third delivery. And I believe I mentioned before, my friend had an 11 lb. 10 oz. baby in her 3rd VBAC. The other two VBACs weren't tiny, either.

    As long as your baby's heart is faring well, you can go as long as Nemo needs. Trust me, one pound of baby weight makes no difference during delivery - it feels exactly the same!

  12. I just jumped up and down a couple of times and 24 hours later, Shayna was born! BTW, labor pains SUCK! I remember telling Mark, "I WISH THIS WAS YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!"

  13. Thank you for the laughs this morning...I needed them.

    Tess, our second got here because of castor oil...two tablespoons in a glas of grape juice. Blech! I had tried EVERYTHING to go into labor and it was the only thing that worked! It stimulated my bowels which made my contractions stay strong instead of putter out.

    I can't wait to hear what you are going to name this one. I am thinking that since you have very British names with your first three then you should go with something like "Frank" ;)

    Oh, and the name of the drug you mentioned is Zofran. I have been on it since I was seven weeks. The problem now is that it has turned my bowels to cement. But that is another post, another time.

    Good luck Jen!!!! I think YOU are the AMAZING ONE!!!

  14. The last was what worked for me. I was READY, so somehow it happened. About 24 hours later my water broke and I delievered my 8 lb. 10oz healthy baby girl!

    I've also heard castro oil works... although it sounds aweful!

    Good luck and I hope you don't make it to the 5th.

  15. That last one is what worked for us too. Within 12 hours of sex, my water broke!

    I guess only time will tell.

    Sending you good vibes. Can't wait to hear details and see pictures.


  16. I know you really have your heart set on no c-section, so I hope it works out for you, but I want to offer a few words of encouragement just in case...

    My oldest was delivered full term the "normal" way. He weighed 9.2 and I had a terrible time. He was too big, the labor took too long, and it took me 2 years to heal in every way.

    When my twins came, we had a c-section. They weighed 6.9 and 4.10 and by the time they were a week old, I felt like walking around the county fair with hubby and my oldest while the grandparents watched the babies. By the time 3 weeks had passed, I felt better than I had in a long time. Except for the lack of sleep...totally unrelated to how the babies were delivered!

    Long story short...I've had 'em both ways and I'd choose a c-section every time!

    Good luck and God bless!

  17. With my last pregnancy I was so desperate to go into labor. I heard that if you eat an entire pineapple within 12 hours, it will kick start labor. I went into labor the day after eating my pineapple. I ended up having a c-section anyway though because he was breech. Bah. At least the pineapple was good. Hope your little one is ready soon.

  18. I wish there was some magic way to start labor... But if your body isn't ready there's not much you can do! I tried castor oil with my second child and never went into labor. With my twins I tried the less interventive stuff like walking, sex, pineapple, spicy food, etc. Nothing worked then either! I thought Id be pregnant forever but finally had them 6 days before my due date. I walked miles on the beach and climbed stairs, squatted on a birth ball and took EPO and lots of herbs. Nothing. LOL So, try to "enjoy" your last few days (hours?) of pregnancy and if your water breaks when you're walking the dog, that's great! I wish you the best and I can't wait to hear about Nemo's arrival!

  19. From what I've seen (I'm a homebirth midwife), natural remedies don't work unless you're body is within a few days of labor anyways. If your body is getting there, some of those ideas may work, but nothing works perfectly for everyone. Semen (softens cervix) and orgasm (causes contractions) do help, and you can be creative and not actually have sex. Castor oil creates contractions in the digestive tract, which can stimulate uterine contractions. Evening Primrose Oil can help soften the cervix. Black and Blue cohosh can give you contractions and help soften the cervix. I've seen all of these things work for different women. You can ask your doctor to strip your membranes, which is when the doctor will insert a finger into your cervix and loosen the tight seal of the amniotic sack to the inner os of the cervix. It doesn't feel great, but it works, and it does not break your water. Good luck, and hang in there!

  20. Jen- those big old bottles of wine are awaiting! That should be incentive enough to push out ONE little old baby! Hee hee!

  21. Well, my last meal ended up being a HUGE romaine salad (romain lettuce contains natural pitocin) and pineapple. my water broke the next morning after contractions all night long. I dont blame you for trying to avoid the knife

  22. Ask your doctor to check you and strip your membranes at your appt, then go home and have sex. It might be uncomfortable, but it's worked for me 4/4 times! (And it's what I plan to do for #5 in about 4 weeks myself)
    A Fourth of July baby would be lots of fun, good luck!

  23. Stripping the membranes didn't work for either of my two pregnancies. With my last one I put 2 tablespoons of castor oil in apple juice and 13 hours later she was born. My sister just had a baby 2 weeks ago and her doctor suggested castor oil as a labor inducer.


  24. I'm a strong believer that baby's come when they are ready. Many of those suggestions will work if your body and baby are ready. I'm new to your blog so I don't know how far along you will be on the 5th.
    The baby's head & chest get disproportionately large after your due date???? Where is the research to back that one up? Did you know that the conventional 40 week pregnancy length is completely arbitrary, that due dates established by sonograms in the first trimester are off plus or minus 5 days? That they are even less accurate when done later in the pregnancy? Also, ultrasound weight estimates are extremely inaccurate. They can be off by as much as 2 pounds.,,jb56,00.html

  25. That last one cracked me up!

    Here's to hoping Baby #4 will arrive BEFORE Thursday!

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