Confession: Pregnancy after 40 weeks is not fun.
And I loved pregnancy. I seriously did. I loved almost every single moment of being pregnant. I was blessed with a very easy pregnancy and I didn’t take it for granted! I’ve heard other women say they don’t know if they can have more kids because they don’t want to go through pregnancy again, and I feel quite the opposite!
But after 40 weeks… it’s awful.
Family and friends start to get anxious overly excited.
Sleep is impossible because the bump is HUGE.
The end seems impossibly far away even when it’s not.
Induction dates are set, adding to the pressure of getting the baby out before 42 weeks.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and I began to Google everything related to natural induction.
Honestly, even if I hadn’t Googled it, I would have known about these ‘methods’ from our doula, midwives, family, friends, everyone else who sent me links to inform me of everything I ‘should’ be doing to push out Bumpy sooner…
I swear, we tried everything.
- Went to acupuncture.
- Got prenatal massages to relax.
- Took baths to relax.
- Went to a chiropractor.
- Ate spicy foods.
- Ate pineapple. (OK, not really, I ate pineapple-flavored yogurt and I’m sure that does not count.)
- Walked and walked and walked, even though it hurt my abs like crazy.
- Took evening primrose oil (both orally and vaginally) and drank raspberry leaf tea – neither of these are really for induction purposes, but rather help soften the cervix and strengthen the uterus, which ideally help labor to progress.
- Sat on the yoga ball and did pelvic tilts.
- Had sex.
The only thing that has been ‘proven’ to help labor start, based on my ‘research’, is walking and sex.
Walking wasn’t that much fun in 90+ degree heat, so Plan B it was!
Let me tell you, when my midwife and doula recommended sex over and over again as a way to start labor, I wanted to laugh at them. I mean, do you know what does not put me in the mood? Being 9+ months pregnant.
It’s not that I didn’t feel sexy, because I did actually feel quite attractive and loved my pregnant body. However, my belly was big and it just made everything a bit harder (no pun intended).
I mean, almost all positions were out, because the belly was either in the way or the pressure wasn’t comfortable or it involved me doing too much ‘work’.
Let’s be honest, at that point of pregnancy, all I felt like doing was being a passive participant, at best.
Plus, every once in a while Bumpy would move around and nothing killed the mood (for me) quite like the realization that there was a baby just hanging out between us. I mean, it was just a bit of a creepy thought for me!
I even read some articles about late third trimester sex, and the articles suggested that the couple get used to laughing their way through ‘it’. I actually thought that was excellent advice, but it didn’t work for Tim and I. I mean, laugh we did, but after cracking up, we would just go to sleep.
It doesn’t mean we stopped trying, though. Tim and I made a valiant effort for weeks on end. It was hard work, but we were committed, darnit.
But, even with all of hard work with various induction methods I still went 10 days over my due date.
And in the end, my water broke without contractions starting – so obviously the induction methods weren’t too at all effective.
I think it’s safe to say that babies come when babies are ready to come.
But there’s no harm in having lots of sex anyway, even if it’s only for comedic effect.