Bringing On Labour
My estimated due date came and went, which in hindsight comes as no surprise as few as 1% of women will go into labour on their actual EDD. I was three days over my due date and the ‘inducing labour’ conversation was less than a five days away. Delivering in the public system meant no luxury to choose my induction date nor the team assisting my birth. I really wanted to avoid an induction of labour. I just couldn’t shake the image of my uterus being popped like a balloon by a crochet hook. So, instead I decided to try absolutely everything that has ever been suggested to bring on labour.
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The Eggplant Parmigiana
Yes, you read that correctly. There is an infamous eggplant parmigiana recipe straight out of Scalinis Italian Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia that boasts over 300 women going into labour shortly after eating their world famous Eggplant Parmigiana. They go as far as to provide the recipe online and so off I went to Woolworths.
48 hours later and $88 poorer, bringing on labour by an eggplant parmigiana was a fail.
Bringing on Labour With Exercise
Long walks, climbing stairs and bouncing on a gym ball did nothing but exhaust me from the summer heat and the additional ten kilograms that I was carrying.
Getting agitated, I ramped up intercourse to multiple times a day. Sex went from pleasure to business. And no, please don’t high-five my hubby; once you start banging three times a day for the sake of science, there is no enjoyment in that.
The Castor Oil Theory
Yes. I drank castor oil. Have you ever layered your lips with Vasoline, forgotten then licked them? Yeah, its gross. Try drinking a glass of orange juice with a thick layer of 250mL castor oil sitting on top. I shut my eyes, opened my mouth and drank in one go. This old tale can go one of two ways. It can either be super unpleasant at home, or an absolute mess at hospital. The short story: Don’t go there girlfriend. It’s shit. Literally.
Day 5 post-EDD and my body naturally developed labouring signs. The dull, lower aches, radiating from back to belly like a period on steroids. The aches came in waves and I could feel my stomach tightening. Contractions, Finally! Game on.
11 arduous hours later, my daughter arrived safely earthside. I reflected, momentarily about the week past, and made an eternal promise to myself.
1) Trust my body knows what it is doing, and
2) Accept that labour and birth will throw curve-balls and we truly don’t know how it is going to play out until it happens. Plan as you will, but even during labour a birth plan can change in the blink of an eye if something suddenly goes awry.
At the end of the day, a baby born safely into the is all that really matters.