Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy ’ Category

How to Induce Labor Naturally

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Today is my due date. I am ready.

Here are a few things I’ve tried to get her moving:

1) Eggplant Parmesan. Even had leftovers for two days afterward. Nothing.

2) Spicy foods. Sambal and eggs for breakfast. Pad Thai for lunch. Buffalo shrimp for dinner. And so on.

3) Massage. Had a lovely one on Saturday. Plus, Clint continues to give me foot massages nightly. (Thank you, sweet hubby.)

4) Acupressure. My massage therapist is studying to be an acupuncturist. She gave me some ankle points to work a few times daily. (Just under the ankle bone on both sides of the foot, FYI.)

5) Visualization/Relaxation. Been doing our HypnoBirthing scripts a few nights a week for about a month now.

6) Exercise. I laid off my vigorous morning walks when I had too many deadlines and felt too close to labor. I’ve picked ‘em back up.

Here are a few things I plan to try:

7) Sitting on the exercise ball. Another one that I was doing until I had major contractions too early on. I’ll sit on it while working at my desk all day again starting tomorrow.

8) Evening primrose oil. Some people take it orally, and apparently one up the wahoo may help speed things along? Also, it softens. To prevent, um, tearing. (I cringed just typing that.)

9) Glass of red wine. It’s my understanding that this is a relaxation thing. Like massage.

10) Sweeping my membranes. This is something the doc would do during my weekly exam. Sounds horrid, doesn’t it? And, come to think of it, not exactly natural. Still: A way to move things along. Some people say this hurts, but I don’t remember it being painful when he did it last pregnancy. He’s offered to do this the last two visits and I’ve declined. I may take him up on it this time, as the threat of chemical induction looms.

And here are a few things I’m not up for trying—yet—but that you might want to know about if you’re here because you Googled “how to induce labor naturally”:

11) Nipple stimulation. Apparently you need to go at it for hour-long increments at a time? Pass.

12) Castor oil. This sounds harsh and it scares me.

13) Sex. I’m nine months pregnant. I can’t find a comfortable sitting position. You people who perform this feat while this massive and uncomfortable? I salute you.

Considering I’ve tried half of these methods with zero results, I’m thinking she’ll come when she’s good and ready. In the meantime, I’ve got nothing to lose by trying.

(I should probably mention: Do your research & consult your doctor before you try these things, too…)

Edited to add: Find out what worked!

Image: Aubergines with Parmesan Cheese via Shutterstock

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Hello #2; Bye-Bye to Solo Time with #1?

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I usually work four-day weeks; Monday through Thursday. Friday’s Mom & Roy day. Since he naps in the afternoon, we pack the fun stuff into the mornings. We’ll hang around in our PJs reading books and coloring, or go on play dates at a park, zoo, museum or friend’s house. Sometimes, we’ll go grocery shopping. Not too long ago, I said, “Roy, we get to hang out together all day tomorrow. What do you want to do?” “Oh!” he said immediately, as if the perfect idea just sprang to mind. “Run errands!” Whatever we do, it’s a good time, together.

We’ve had fewer of these Fridays the last couple of months since I’ve been trying to hit all my work deadlines before disappearing into babyland, which could happen at any moment. Since these work Fridays took place over the holidays, it didn’t seem like a big deal. There was always some extra-fun weekend event or non-Friday holiday that equaled special time together.

I obviously didn’t have the baby this week, and though I’ve gotten many of the things wrapped up that I want to get wrapped up, there’s always more to do. On Thursday, I stared at that blank Friday on my calendar contemplating: Day with Roy? Or day care and more wrapping up?

I decided to give him the choice. He chose daycare. I was happy that he likes daycare so much, and for another day to TCB, but also a little sad.

I asked Clint if I should override him or just accept the guilt-free work day. “Well, this could be the very last time you can spend a day only with Roy,” he said.

Me: “Don’t say that! That’s not true!”

Clint: “I think you’re misinterpreting me. I just mean it may be your last real full day alone together.”

Me: “What? No way. I’ll still spend time alone with Roy.”

Clint: “No, I mean on Fridays. You’d have to get someone to take care of the baby and, well. We will have two.”

Me: “Just… stop.”

I asked Roy again, and he’d changed his mind. “Day with Mommy,” he said.

Then again, before bedtime, just to be sure. His reply: “Mommy.”


We started with a leisurely breakfast, including shared kiwi. Play-doh. Lots of books read while tucked under a puffy blanket on the couch. And a laid-back walk on the relatively balmy January day. It was all just so perfect and sweet that I had to pause for a second to remind myself that this moving from one to two kids business isn’t just an end. It’s a beginning. And an exciting one at that.

C’mon, little one! We’re ready for you…

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Tummywatch Tuesday: 39 Weeks

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Hi, there. I’m still pregnant!

At my appointment this morning, my doctor said he didn’t expect things would’ve changed much, I think because I’ve not had any more Braxton-Hicks contractisodes. But after a quick exam, it appears my cervix has been pretty busy over the last week. Go, cervix! It’s dilated another entire centimeter, so I’m at an “almost 2.” It’s also thinned—about 40 percent effaced. Dr. C says that together, these things mean I’ve got a head start. Translation: Shorter labor. A nice phrase to hear about now.

If I make it to my appointment in one week, he said, we’ll talk about how long he’ll let me go before inducing. I told him I didn’t think I’d make it to the next appointment. He agreed. Clint’s convinced I’ll deliver on Roy’s second birthday, which is Thursday, so Doc and I penciled in a date at the hospital at around noon that day. I actually feel she might be a little later. More like this weekend. We shall see.

I’m feeling pretty good. Moving slow, but feeling good. Drinking lots of liquids. Taking it easy. Chipping away at deadlines and other tasks I hope to complete pre-baby.

People keep asking me if Roy’s excited. I think he is? Every once in a while, he’ll demand, “See Junie,” and so I’ll face him while he takes a long look at my stomach, as if imagining her in there. Last night, as I was making dinner, he ran up and shouted at my belly button, “Junie, come eat pasta tonight!” I told him we should give her a few more days before demanding she join us for dinner. “Maybe next week. OK, Boo?” “Oh, OK,” he said, satisfied, before running off to play with his beloved trucks.

Now, finally, she’s watermelon sized, according to’s week-by-week babytracker. A mini watermelon, but a watermelon nonetheless. When I look down at her, she doesn’t seem that big, but when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I’m like: Whoa. Yes. Definitely watermelon. Dr. C says he’d guess her at about 6 lbs 10 oz.

You guys, I just cannot wait to meet her. Cannot wait to see who she resembles and if she has hair; to marvel over those teensy fingers and toes; to hold her on my chest and tell her how excited we are that she’s part of our family. I can’t wait to soak in her personality, to get a sense who she is and therefore how the next few month—then years—might unfold. It blows me away that I will likely be doing those very things within the span of a week.

Maybe see you at 40 weeks. Then again, maybe not.

Mini watermelon image: iStockphoto

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Tags: | Categories: Love And Diapers, Pregnancy

What to Pack for the Hospital When You’re Having a Baby

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Those two rounds of contractions (contractual episodes? contractisodes?) last week made it ever so clear that this baby will come whether or not I’ve packed my bag for the hospital. Already she has a mind of her own. Babies.

So I’ve given in to reality, on this point at least. I will fill that suitcase that’s open and waiting on my bedroom floor. Because I’m a compulsive list-maker, I consulted many “What to Pack” lists, then pared them down to a “What I Really Need to Pack” list. That’s one of the benefits of this being Babyhaving: The Sequel. I know that wearing the hospital’s disposable undies is better than ruining my own, and that between visitors and sleep and babygazing, I will not have time to tackle a little light magazine reading.

Here is what I think I need…

To pack ahead of time:

  • Copies of birth plan (in case they don’t have the copy my doc sent over ready and waiting)
  • List of phone #s to call (even if Clint can remember the list of five people now, he may not have his wits about him when the time comes, due to sleeplessness and baby excitement)
  • Notebook (Birthing thoughts? Final baby-name narrowing down? Returning home to-do list? You never know.)
  • Birthing skirt/2 tanks/zipper sweatshirt (aka stuff to labor in that allows me to regulate my temperature and allows the hospital staff to access my lady region. An extra tank in case I want to wear one into the birthing tub.)
  • Two pair nonslip comfy throwaway socks (For labor. There will likely be dripping. Gross, I know.)
  • Nursing bras
  • Bella bands (Nice to pair with nursing bras, for the discreet & ladylike, such as myself.)
  • Breast pads (In case my milk comes in. Oh, the leakage.)
  • Lanolin (At first, your nipples hurt. A whole lot. Lanolin helps.)
  • Lotion
  • Arnica (My awesome friend Laura, a homeopath/pharmacist, recommends 200C post-delivery, and again 12 hours later, to promote overall healing.)
  • Ponytail holders
  • iPod/speakers (I prefer silence to birthing tunes, but we have HypnoBirthing scripts and affirmations on there.)
  • Breastfeeding-friendly PJs/hangout wear (Better than a hospital gown. You’ll probably want options that allow easy access to Down There and/or your post c-section tummy. Make it something you won’t mind being photographed in.)
  • Pantry snacks that may be tolerable during labor, such as electrolyte jelly beans, granola bars (sprung for fancy raw Pashen bars for the occasion), nuts, emergenC (Keep that energy up!)
  • Have cooler ready
  • Present for Roy (From the baby. So when they meet, she has it ready for him.)
  • Cash

For baby:

  • A few sleepers (Those long gowns with the elastic at the bottom, to make frequent changes easier. Might as well have her wear her own clothes, washed in our detergent, from the get-go.)
  • Socks & hats
  • Blanket
  • Super cute going-home outfit
  • Car seat with BundleMe (Essential for a winter baby in Minnesota—no bulky, hard-to-regulate snowsuit necessary.)
  • Baby book (Get those footprints!)
  • Boppy, or other breastfeeding pillow (Might as well start in the manner you intend to continue.)

To pack the last minute:

(Again, a list containing even the obvious is nice. It’s hard to make decisions while in labor.)

  • Laptop
  • Camera (batteries, charger)
  • Phones & chargers
  • Makeup bag
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Deodorant
  • Vitamins & allergy medication
  • Hair products
  • Brush
  • Hair dryer
  • Slippers
  • Pillows
  • Stock cooler (ice, drinkable yogurt, hard cheese, fruit)
  • 12-pack fizzy water (It’s my jam.)
  • HypnoBirthing scripts (On paper. For Clint to potentially read to me.)
  • Towel to sit on in car (if my water hasn’t broken)
  • Wallets/insurance card/ids
  • Calendar (I’ve not yet gone electronic on this. Rockin’ it old skool style.)
  • Glasses

 For Clint:

(Just a loose reminder list for him…)

  • Food (If he’s gonna support me, he needs to maintain energy as well.)
  • PJs (The hospital is not the place for underwear-only sleeping.)
  • Toiletries
  • Camp mat (To make a crappy hospital sofa more bearable.)
  • Blanket (See above.)

Questions? Additions?

POST-DELIVERY UPDATE: What I ended up using, not using and forgetting.

Image: Pregnant Woman Is Getting Ready for the Maternity Hospital via Shutterstock


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Tummywatch Tuesday: 38 Weeks

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Today at the dentist’s office, the hygienist asked when I was due. “The 29th,” I told her. “Of this month?” she asked.

Look at me, you guys. How sweet is she? I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear she regularly slips me extra floss.

Very happy to have made it this far. That crazy hour or two of contractions last Wednesday got me thinking that I’d go into labor much earlier than I’d like. They made me feel delicate, a state to which I am unaccustomed, pregnant or no. It was suddenly apparent that I need to rest and relax and maybe not carry my toddler, plus his diaper bag, plus a couple of shopping bags, across whole parking lots like a pack mule. A really pregnant pack mule.

So I let the pendulum swing in the opposite direction on Thursday and became Officially Serious About Taking It Easy. I cut out my morning walk. I picked Roy up as little as possible. Rested on the couch. Drank more water. Thursday proved uneventful, so I continued in this manner.

Then Friday, as I was getting ready for dinner with a bunch of girlfriends, the contractions came back. They were up high on my belly, just as they were on Wednesday, not low in the period-cramp region, where I remember my true contractions happening two years back. So I did not panic. I did, admittedly, feel a little sorry for myself for having to miss my big night out. I drowned my sorrows in a can or two of sparkling water, which I sipped on the couch while watching bad Friday night TV. Why is Friday prime time programming so godawful? Do not homebodies, antisocials and those who’ve fallen ill or pregnant deserve viable viewing options?

Anyway. The contractions stopped later that evening. I haven’t had once since. Knock wood.

What else was I going to report? Had a whirlwind organizing/nesting weekend, which only made me realize how much further behind I am this time than I was last. Two weeks out from baby #1, the nursery was ready, my bags were packed, the house was spotless, the back-up route to the hospital was mapped out. This time, the nursery is not even close to ready, the house is full of half-finished baby-related projects, and I’ve pulled my suitcase out, but not yet gotten around to packing it. Oh, what a difference one child makes.

Little girl is the size of a bunch of celery, according to’s week-by-week babytracker. She seems to have cut out some of her daily tai chi sessions, for which I’m appreciative. Her activity level last week was so high it was a little unsettling (as well as distracting). Maybe she was thirsty? At my appointment today, everything checked out well. The doctor said that her head felt lower, and I am dilated a little bit more, to an “almost one.” But there’s been no thinning of the cervix. Which means I’ve probably still got some time. Though Doc did make a point of saying, “No guarantees.” Noted.

My money says I’ll be around at week 39 to improve upon that tired-looking pregnant photo up top there.

We’ll see what Baby Girl has in mind.

Celery bunch image credit: iStockphoto

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