40+ Weeks Pregnant!
Hi guys! So here we are, talking about 40+ weeks pregnant which is so surreal now that I’m no longer pregnant. As you read this, I already have Baby Sandee in my arms. I actually went into labor right before publishing this post, and wasn’t able to get to it till today because well…. I have baby sandee in my arms. I had her in me a whole week past my due date and was SO ready to have her. Don’t get me wrong, being pregnant has been wonderful, all 10 months of it, but at some point you just want to meet your baby!
To all mommas out there, I’m sure you can relate! I actually felt fine on my due date which was December 22nd, but 1-2 days after, it started getting super difficult. Literally feels like the baby runs out of room and gets quite strong, which is a fact. Pretty amazing stuff but gets quite uncomfortable despite the fact I didn’t look as big as others think I should have looked. The truth is we all carry differently and I’m 6’1, and we all carry differently.
I felt like I tried every single “wive’s tail” physical way to induce labor by now….Nothing seemed to work, so obviously babies have a mind of their own, so I decided to relax and roll with it (but still didn’t give up on trying everything) even though the truth is babies only come when they’re ready!
It also felt like my belly slightly dropped over the last few days, although other people didn’t think so. The midwife assured me otherwise baby was where she was supposed to, and because I was so tall, perhaps it just wouldn’t physically look that way. so maybe baby will be here sooner rather than later. After 40 weeks, babies are supposedly the size of a watermelon, a real watermelon! Full size baby ready to come out…. I just can’t believe how awesome are bodies are to house a baby that big!
So Christmas came and went and I was still pregnant. I tried to keep my cool but I after seeing my other friends drop like flies (there were 4 of us due around the same time), having their babies I was getting a big uneasy. My sister in law who lives avoug 3.5 hours away was “on call” ready to come by at any time of night or day to be in the room with us! She did come on Christmas but baby was a no-show, so she ended up going to Holland for New Years and missed the birth.
Thankfully my sister who thought the baby would be here way before her arrival ended up being here for the birth and to help me with the baby after, a blessing, especially with breastfeeding….but that’s a story for another blog post. For fun we decided to make a belly cast because well, we were just sitting around waiting for baby.
You guys also know my mom has been with me for over a month now. She helped finishing up the nursery, the hospital bag, and basically making our room ready for a baby (placing the bassinest is next to the bed and setting up changing stations)…I mean…we were finally ready for you Baby Sandee!
On Christmas Eve baby started kicking me pretty hard, and I also felt some crotch “punches” which I now know means my cervix was thinning out but as the week progressed I was getting a little discourage as nothing was happening and I just felt great!
Currently Wearing: the same dress I wear every year! I could not believe it fit! My merry Christmas ugly sweater ha!
Exercise: No walking, it was just too cold but I did do prenatal yoga the everyday the last 3 days of pregnancy and felt amazing doing it. I did a whole 30 minutes instead of 15 which when you get around 41 weeks it can be a lot on your body! These were my favorite positions. I felt very lucky as I was having no body aches!
Mood: I was in a good place despite being somewhat anxious about the whole thing. I knew baby was coming, I was getting close. I felt like my face started changing some, almost a bit fuller. I just felt different.
Ultrasound and more: on week 41, the midwife wanted to see means check my cervix. We did a non-stress test which is basically me being hooked up to a feral monitor that checks my uterine contractions, baby’s heart rate and my heart rate. Everything was normal and uterus was quiet.We did an ultrasound to make sure baby looked good and my fluid levels were OK. Usually the amniotic fluid levels should be between 5-20 liters. Mine were measuring 6 liters so it was on the lower end of normal. Nothing to worry about according to the midwife, but she suggested driving even more water and soaking in a bathtub 2-3 times a day to maintain my levels. If the amniotic fluid levels drop below 5 liters they will induce the mother, and she said she wouldn’t even let me go home if my levels were that low. Thankfully I was still within normal limits.
Finally, the dreaded cervix check. I had never gotten one until week 41 because it doesn’t make a difference at all (per research). Many women walk around dilated to 3 cm for weeks before going into labor, because surprise: everyone is different. All this happened 2 days before I actually went into labor. But that’s a story for the next blog post…
The midwife said my cervix was 50% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated and assured me I should naturally go into labor by weekend (New Years Eve/New Years day which fell on Saturday and Sunday). I just wanted to have the baby on 2016, for whatever reason, perhaps because I was tired of being pregnant and was ready to meet my baby. After that check up, I was determined to make myself go into labor by the weekend! This was Tuesday afternoon.
After our visit, the midwife went on to make me an appointment for Saturday, January 31st in case I didn’t naturally go into labor by then to repeat the tests and possibly have my membranes stripped. Now I had heard from my friend who had that done that it was one of the least pleasant thins she had ever experienced, so I knew I definitely wanted to avoid that. She described it as very very painful, basically a cervical check but all around and I had just experienced the cervix check so was pretty turned off about it and decided I was going to do anything I could to prevent that.
Movement and Positioning: Head down and ready to drop is how the midwife described it. Let’s get this show on the road I thought!
Weight gain: I gained about 33-35lbs which was my goal. Pretty proud of myself for that! Goal achieved.
Nursery and registry: I’m so in love with our nursery! It is 20’s decade inspired in green and white. Just because she’s a baby girl it doesn’t mean everything needs to be pink, after all we love colors! The crib, armoire and changer are Bratt Decor. My mom put together the crib “curtains” haha. She’s a gem, and an artist. Made everything by hand.
Names: Alexandra Maria! She’s beautiful and named after my great-grandmother.
Midwife or OB: Elizabeth and Maria. You are both amazing! I want to thank you both for the excellent follow up care and taking over for the lovely Ms. Nepper, my midwife in Oklahoma and Elizabeth for the amazing birthing experience you facilitated. Midwive’s are the most amazing providers when it comes to uncomplicated natural births.
Be sure to read my post Natural Labor – The Right to Choose to get inspired about your right to choose through my less than adequate experience with a very inflexible OBGYN. To clarify, I have nothing against OBGYNs, my best friend is well on her way to become one and she herself has told me that this story inspired her to be exactly the opposite of what this woman was like!
Aches and pains: No aches and pains. Yoga has really helped the last few days of pregnancy, but I just felt heavy!
How I in fact ‘induced labor Naturally‘(what worked for me!)
Walking: probably the least of what I did because the days before Alexandra was born were freezing. I dislike treadmill walks but did some. I also went shopping with my mother but my walking tolerance wasn’t much more than an hour. Then I would just sit in the middle of the store (yes I’ve done it at Walmart) because my legs hurt and I felt so heavy!)
Exercise: prenatal yoga, squatting, Taylor sitting.
Sex: yes, everyone told me to do this one. What makes you think I wasn’t people, that’s how I ended up here in the first place! Anyway, semen contains prostaglandins which can make for easier dilation and effacement once labor starts, it won’t have a huge impact until your body is ready to begin the labor process, just like all induction methods.
Nipple stimulation: I didn’t do a ton of this but it is said to help as well. I started
Thumb sucking: I read about a trigger point in the roof of our mouths that are also good for labor induction. I didn’t try it but figured I’d share!
Red raspberry leaf tea: I had this 2-3 times a day starting around 37 weeks pregnant. One can start with 1 cup a day during second trimester, increasing it as you get further along. By the end of the third trimester you can have 3 cups a day and you can definitely make stronger batches as you approach your due date because it does not have toxicity levels per my midwife. Of course I ask everything.This tea is believed to help strengthen uterine muscles and tone the pelvic floor in preparation for childbirth, as well as assist with breastmilk supply, so of course I was in.
Primrose Oil: Also a 3rd Trimester thing to do. Can be taken orally from 35 weeks and vaginally from 37 weeks. If taken vaginally, the capsule will dissolve naturally so you should do this when you are planning to lay down (such as night time) and wear a panty liner to catch any residue that leaks out. Just be sure to poke a small hole in the capsule for ease.
The general recommended daily dosage is 1500mg-3000mg orally and/or vaginally, starting with smaller dosages early on and increasing after 37 weeks. Vaginally, you can insert 1-2 capsules, depending on your preference. However oral and vaginal dosages vary by both brand and medical professional so you should read the directions on the packet, and always talk to your care provider and do your own research before deciding on a dosage.
Much like semen, it contains prostaglandins which can help ripen the cervix, and I believe it did help. You can also use evening primrose oil to massage the perineum regularly during the third trimester, to reduce the risk of tearing during labor.
Clary Sage: During that last visit with the midwife, she suggested this might be beneficial for the possibility to naturally induce.
Clary sage cannot be used to induce labor unless your body is ready to go into labor. Nothing can induce labor until your body is ready, and I do believe this, unless of course you have a medical induction which I was avidly avoiding! It helps to have more effective contractions once you do start having them as it relaxes the mind, body and muscles, and it sure did the trick for me. It is believed to eliminate catecholamines (adrenaline) and stimulating endorphins and oxytocin. By using the clary sage for relaxing and calming the mind, body and muscles you are more inclined to go into labor spontaneously and it can also be used to reduce pain and aid in circulation.
It is recommended that Clary Sage only be used from 37 weeks onwards just in case your body is in danger of going into premature labour. I honestly wouldn’t try it unless you’ve reached your due date at the very least, because I do believe it’s very powerful. People often use it during labor to help contractions to intensify and become more effective in pulling up the horizontal uterine muscles to open the cervix and move baby down into the pelvis and into the birth canal.
I strongly believe it helped get things going but really only use it if you’re planning on going into labor very soon! See how I used it below:
Going into Pre-Labor
The last thing we tried that started things off was we diluted a couple of drops of Clary Sage in coconut oil 2 nights in a row. I should also add that I had never received a cervix check before, so the poking around down there that morning could also have had something to do with it. My night went as follows:
On the first night (Tuesday December 27th, after the last midwife visit) I got it rubbed on my belly along with my nightly belly rubs by Winecoach and on the inside of my ankles as well as a couple of drops in my warm bath. Massaging the inner ankle which is a labor focus point and helps to stimulate the contractions and to ensure that the labor is progressing well. I really think that stimulated me.
I went to bed around 11pm as per usual and woke up around 2:30 am cramping (period cramp style) and welt to pee as per usual. I did notice what had been described to me previously as the mucus plug, or at least a piece of it. I tried to stay calm and hold off on the excitement because I knew you could lose the mucus plug and not necessarily go into labor. To be safe, I took notes:
I truly believe I was in pre-labor for about 3-4 hours in the middle of that night from Tuesday night into Wednesday, from 2am until about 6am (at the time I was nearly convinced I was in labor) as I was having small scale contractions. As a first timer, it’s hard to tell!
All I know is baby was active like never before, and she was always very active in the womb! I knew I had to get up and try to eat something to determine if these were real or not.
At 3am I was eating oatmeal at kitchen table thinking about what my next move would be.
By 4:20 am – Realized all this baby movement wouldn’t let me sleep so moved to recliner.
4:35am – Started with some mild/strong contractions/baby wouldn’t stop moving. Contractions were about 15 minute apart and felt like a stabbing sensation to cervix with some back pain and hard belly. I thought they were a mix of Braxton-hicks and the real deal.
These went between 15-20 minutes apart, sometimes erratically until they finally subsided at 6am. My mom, sister and Winecoach were sleeping. I didn’t feel the need to wake them up as I really wanted to listen to my body.
At 5am I called my grandma in Brazil at because she’s amazing and always gives the best advice. She told me she didn’t think baby would come on her due date and would likely wait till the new moon, which happened exactly that night. I had to call her in Brazil and tel her the time was near. She said to trust and thet she was praying it would all be just fine.
I managed to go back to sleep at 6am and sleep until about 10am. Slept like a rock and woke up to more cramps, but a lot lighter than the previous night. I figured I Should do some yoga to get my mind off the cramps and go shopping with my sister for about an hour or 2 to get some more baby essentials and return some things we had double of.
The annoying cramps in my lower abdomen stayed with me all day. Think period cramps that just won’t go away. It didn’t stop me from doing anything but it was a constant uncomfortable reminder. I got home and felt fine so to get my mind off the annoying continuous cramps, I decided to have a dance off with Winecoach.
Dance the baby into labor: that’s basically what we were going for here. I did a good 3-4 rounds of booty poping songs (did you catch it on Instagram?) and felt pretty good about it, although it did make me tired. Click here to see the booty popping dance party that helped me go into labor!
The second night (Wednesday, December 28th), hello new moon! This is the night I went into labor, which will be described on the next blog post but it started off with a bath (no clary sage) after the booty popping dance off, and then get my ankles rubbed with some foot cream and 2 drops of clary sage. Again, this was around 11pm. By 11:20pm I had my first contraction and at 5:56pm of the following day, December 29th, 2016, Alexandra Maria was here. The fact of the matter is that she was ready to come, I like to think I just facilitated her birth! Details on our birth story which will be published tomorrow!
Last resort….and final thoughts.
Castor Oil: To think I almost went this route to induce labor but had a gut feeling against it!! I told myself it would be last resort, like closely approaching 42 weeks. I’m glad I didn’t do it but did consider it as it is supported ‘naturally’ induce labor due to increased cramps caused by severe diarrhea, inducing actual contractions. Wasn’t the ways I wanted to go but it works for some.
I want to reiterate that all information found on this blog post reflect my own experiences and opinions and should not be attempted without medical consultation as we are all different. Please visit with your doctor or midwife regarding some of the interventions described heee to ensure your safety and the safety of your baby! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you benefit from this blog post. Please leave your comments and questions below as I’d love to know about your own experiences and what worked for you! Don’t forget to follow @ColorfulPregnancy on Instagram for my nutrition tips during pregnancy!
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