Sunday, December 14, 2008

We're almost ready!

It's crazy to think that BB could be here any day. I was having Braxton Hicks like crazy last night. They are definitely becoming more uncomfortable. We need to put the car seat bases in and that's about it! Today I set up the Angel Care monitor in the bassinet. I also cleaned out my car to see how the Stokke would doesn't! Well, at least not in the trunk. The chassis will have to go behind my seat while the seat has to go in the trunk. I have 2 days of school this week which gives me the time I need to get last minute things done there (and train my sub.)

We keep talking about the different things we could do to bring on labor, but I know tht BB will come when he or she is ready. I'm not even convinced that stripping my membranes will work.

Here's what I found:
By running an examining finger around the inside of your cervix, he can separate the amniotic sac from where it's stuck there. Theoretically, this will allow the bridging molecules that stick the membranes to the inside rim of the cervix to break--all at a molecular level, mind you--and so be released and then converted into prostaglandins, which are powerful stimulants of labor. It is however not a form of induction but more a form of stimulation of labor.

I couldn't find any good stats about how often it brings on labor. To be honest, at that point it won't really matter. I'll be done with work, which means no more suffering 10 hours a day! I'll still be up and walking around, but at least I can do so at my own comfort level (and I don't have to hide the pain!)

As uncomfortable as these last weeks will be/have been, I really love being pregnant. This is the best thing I've ever done. Chris is so excited! I'm so grateful for him. We're getting closer and closer to meeting this little angel we've created. I can't wait!


Devon said...

Yes, the end was the best part. It is uncomfortable but definitely do-able. Good luck! Let me know when he/she arrives!

Eris1995 said...

I've been researching stripping membranes also. I'm debating asking at my next appointment. At least we can see the light!!

Brandy said...

I am certain you have already looked all these up but hey why not post again.

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

by Lisa Rodriguez, R.N. and Marjorie Greenfield, M.D.
reviewed and revised by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may be ready for the entire process of carrying your baby to be over. You'll be eager to start a whole new phase of life and actually meet this little miracle. But you might wonder: When is it safe to try to naturally induce labor, and how do I go about accomplishing that?

You shouldn't even consider trying to begin your labor until you are around 40 weeks pregnant or overdue. That's because your due date could be inaccurate by a few weeks, and if you start your labor before 40 weeks, you might give birth to the baby before he is ready to thrive outside the womb.

Several things can be done that might make you have contractions and start your labor, but they'll only work if your body is ready. If your body isn't prepared to go into labor, you can try as much as your heart desires, but you will only frustrate yourself.

Use caution when trying any of these natural methods to begin your labor, particularly herbs and nipple stimulation. The uterus can become hyperstimulated, meaning that it'll get too little rest between contractions. This can cause the baby to receive less oxygen, resulting in fetal heart rate slowing. Before trying any of these techniques, you should discuss them with your practitioner.

If you are having contractions but are not yet in labor, walking can help get things going. Walking allows your hips to sway side to side, which will help bring the baby into position to be born. Also, by standing upright, you're using gravity to move the baby down into the pelvis. Another plus: It usually feels good to walk when you are contracting. And of course, even if you don't go into full-blown labor, at least you're getting some exercise.

Making love can be one of the last things on a woman's mind toward the end of her pregnancy. She feels clumsy and big and may be experiencing a lot of vaginal pressure. But believe it or not, sex is one of the things you can do to get your labor under way. When you and your partner make love, his semen (which contains prostaglandins) can stimulate contractions.

Castor oil
For decades, women have been using castor oil to help induce labor. In fact, many old school physicians and midwives swear by it. It can provide good results if you are already in early labor. It is believed to work by causing spasms in the intestines, which surround the uterus toward the end of pregnancy. These spasms, in turn, cause the uterus to cramp, which might result in labor.

You can take 1 to 4 ounces of castor oil mixed with 6 ounces of orange juice to cut its oiliness. You'll want to drink it quickly because of the unpleasant taste. Some practitioners suggest taking a single dose; others suggest repeated doses depending on your response. Keep in mind that castor oil usually will cause your bowels to empty within about three hours. With luck, soon after that, you will be in true labor.

Spicy food
Some people swear that it was that extra-hot enchilada from their favorite Mexican restaurant that brought them face to face with their new baby. Unfortunately, the statistics are out on this one. You could try it, but if you have a full stomach when you are in labor, you might vomit and see that enchilada again--in less-than-appetizing circumstances.

Blue and black cohosh
These herbs are used often to induce labor. They may be particularly effective if you are having weak or irregular contractions. Blue cohosh is believed to make uterine contractions stronger, while black cohosh may regulate the contractions. Together, they work to make contractions more effective. Unfortunately, no studies have determined that these natural treatments are safe, or whether all versions of the herb available for purchase are of equal potency. Be sure to discuss any herbal treatment with your practitioner before attempting it, to see if it is a good idea in your situation.

Nipple stimulation
Some women massage their nipples as a way to induce labor. This stimulation brings about the release of oxytocin, which is the natural form of pitocin. Oxytocin causes contractions, which sometimes evolve into labor.

Most practitioners are not enthusiastic about this method of inducing labor, because it has been known to lead to excessively long, strong uterine contractions sometimes resulting in fetal heart rate slowing. Unless your practitioner advises it and is monitoring your progress closely, nipple stimulation is not recommended as a means for beginning labor.

Stripping the membranes
Your practitioner may offer to "strip your membranes" to help start your labor. This procedure usually feels like a vaginal examination, although it sometimes can be painful or cause cramping. The practitioner places her gloved finger through the cervix and sweeps the amniotic membranes free of their attachment to the lower part of the uterine cavity. This process is believed to release hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which help to ready your body for labor.

While some experts believe that stripping the membranes causes you to go into labor that day, the only research on this procedure was done by a group of midwives who stripped the membranes of a group of their patients at every visit to the office after 38 weeks gestation. Their findings showed that patients who had this procedure were less likely to go past their due dates. According to the study, the procedure didn't seem to pose any complications and didn't cause the patients' waters to break.

Even though your practitioner would be the one to do the procedure (vs. the other methods that can be done by you at home), we include it here because it is a non-medical intervention.

Factors of success
Many of these natural labor-inducing approaches can be effective if your body is ready to deliver your baby. To be successful, most of these techniques require you to be having contractions or perhaps in early labor.

Don't worry, though--whether one of these measures works or your body still needs more time, your little one will be joining your family soon. Try to be patient; you'll have a lifetime together when he finally does arrive.

Shannon said...

I am glad you are almost done. I am so anxious to hear what the baby is. Good luck.

The Gardners said...

We did the membrane stripping at 39 weeks. It brought on contractions within about 15 minutes. It caused me to have the bloody show and lose my MP the next day. But then the contractions just stopped.

Had it done again the next week and was in labor that night. Our daughter arrived the next day!! I seriously credit having my membranes stripped for making me go into labor.

Good luck and God bless you!