Labour Diaries

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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, to be precise, and the induction conversation was looming. Delivering in the public system meant no luxury to choose my induction date nor the team assisting my birth.

Determined as hell to avoid induction, I used every trick in the “tips-to-go-into-labour-book”. I couldn’t shake the image of my uterus being popped like a balloon by a crochet hook. I tried EVERYTHING. Including the world famous $88 dollar “eggplant parmigiana recipe that boasts the induction of more than 300 pregnant women since 1980!” (Nope, I didn’t get to be part of that honour, but damn that was a tasty $88)

Long walks, climbing stairs, bouncing on a gym ball & intercourse multiple times a day. So not fun when it goes 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’s no enjoyment.

Yes. I also 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 moral to this: Don’t go there girlfriend. It’s shit. Literally.

Day 5 post-EDD and my body naturally developed labouring signs. Dull, lower aches radiating from back to belly along with tightening belly. 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 to 1) Trust my body and 2) Accept that labour and birth will throw curve-balls.

At the end of the day, a child born safely is all that really matters.


  • Story by Natalie de Byl

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