Well the little man has finally arrived so what pregnancy-parenting blog would be complete without a little labour story!? I’m going to do it in two parts as it’s all quite long, so this will be the build up, the tips I followed to bringing him along etc and then I’ll do part 2 of the main event!
I loved every minute of being pregnant. Of course there were times, especially close to my due date, when I got impatient, achy and a general pain to be around, but I really did love being pregnant. It was the bump, the movements, even the dark line I got down my belly. However as my due date got closer my impatience got the better of me and I started doing things to bring Rabbit along a little quicker. Of course I waited until I was full term, and I never tried anything too extreme, just the usual old wives tales that all the women in your family (and Google) suggest.
I spent from week 37 bouncing on the exercise ball, eating jalepaenos straight from the jar and ordering a side of vindaloo sauce to go with our bi-weekly Indian takeaways!
On top of that I used lavender oil and clary sage in my bath every night. I took raspberry leaf tablets and I squatted and danced around the house whenever I was on my own! (No one wants to see a pregnant lady doing that).
Despite my clearly enthusiastic efforts, trying all of the major tips I was given except for the S word and going for walks, my due date came and still no bambino.
I turned 40 weeks on Saturday 12th April. I didn’t think he’d come that day as only 5% of babies do, but from then on the waiting game became a little/lot more intense. We spent the day at a family bbq where I spent a bit of time jumping on the trampoline to edge him along. I took the stairs a little quicker than usual and continued with all of my usual attempts to kickstart labour… nada.
Sunday 13th I had real flu like symptoms. I was tired, had a cold and a cough – all signs that I’d read online could be the start of labour. This would have made me really excited however due to sitting outside in the sun, not in the shade as I should have been, I also had a migraine to go with it. I spent the day in bed (very unsociable considering we had friends over) and felt far from ready to give birth!
Pete got quite worried, and so did my parents, especially as migraines can be linked to preeclampsia, so Pete called the labour unit. They said to take paracetamol and when they called back an hour later I felt so much better – a sign that little Rabbit wasn’t coming that day either. They ruled out preeclampsia as I didn’t have any other symptoms like swelling, so that was a relief.
Pete took the next week off work. I think because Rhys was born at 39 weeks via elective c-section, and Rabbit was due on the 12th he didn’t really consider that he would be late – he was coming on time or very close to it in his eyes!
On Monday 14th we went for a long walk, again to jig him along and then I had my 40 week midwife appointment where she did a sweep. You can read about it al in my 40 week Bumpdate so I won’t bore you by repeating it, but pretty much all it brought on were some strong Braxton Hicks and backache.
Tuesday 15th my sister in law invited me over to go for a long walk with my niece and nephew. She’d walked a lot before both her kiddies were born and said it really helped so I was more than up for trying. I felt like I had loads of energy but part of me also didn’t want to get my hopes up! Once back at home, I then spent the afternoon on the exercise ball, sipping raspberry leaf tea and again, munching on jalapaenos.
Well that evening Rabbit decided it was time he made his way to meet us! Now I’m not saying that any of those things necessarily made my labour start, in fact it quite annoys me when people say ‘I had a curry and 10 minutes later my waters broke’ yea well your waters could have been due to break at that time anyway right?
What I’ve realised is that trying all of these things gave me a really positive mental attitude. Knowing that I was taking steps towards labour helped me to prepare not only emotionally but by getting the house ready, the bags packed and by keeping me sane in the knowledge that I would in fact be meeting my son very soon!
Some things I’d say were neither here nor there in terms of having any other kinds of benefits. The clary sage I could have lived without, as well as the vindaloo’s and jalepaenos. The lavender oil however made me feel so relaxed I’m still using it in every bath now. The walks gave me a chance to get some fresh air and endorphins while the dancing and squatting was preparing me for my squat challenge I’ll be starting soon! (bikini bod at the ready).
Theres no harm in trying the old wives tales, only the safe ones of course! If nothing more, it can make you feel more proactive, prepared and positive about the impending labour and arrival of your little one!
What tips and tricks did you guys try to kick start labour?
Do you think it’s right to, or should you just let nature take it’s course?
Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for the main event post!