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I'm Overdue!

Your due date has come and gone--get tips for how to deal.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-Your due date has come and gone. And now, you're left waiting and waiting and waiting for your baby to arrive. -I had a breakdown every night before I fell asleep. I can't take it anymore. Please. It's horrible-- you know what? As much as I love her, and I love being pregnant, enough. I've had enough. -Lisa Leclezio gave birth to daughter Ava exactly one week past her due date. -It was trying. It was really, really trying. You get so uncomfortable. You just feel like you keep expanding. And you can't sleep. Your sleeping gets worse, and your irritability goes up and your pains-- whatever they might be throughout the pregnancy-- get worse every single day. -OB-GYN Dr. Suzanne LaJoie says making sure mom and baby are okay near the end of the pregnancy starts at the beginning. -It's important that women are dated correctly. And most providers will see a woman, you know, six to seven or eight weeks after their last period to kind of date the pregnancy. And that's important so that when you get to the end of the pregnancy, you have really good dating. And so, we know how far to let you go afterwards. -Once a woman hits 41 weeks, risk factors increase. -At 41 weeks, we do see higher risks of perinatal morbidity and mortality, meaning stillborns and meconium and things that we don't wanna see. And certainly, at 42 weeks, that goes up even higher. -Once you passed your due date, your doctor may run tests to make sure everything's okay. -Talk to your midwife or obstetrician. Sometimes, we can do tests of fetal well-being after your due date. We could do non-stress test or we could do sonograms to look at the baby and see how the baby's doing in utero. We can check amniotic fluid. And if everything looks good, oftentimes, they'll let you wait a few days, or even a week. -At a certain point, your health care provider may suggest inducing labor. -There are a lot of factors that go in to that decision. You know, one is the woman's age, or if she has any risk factors, and what's the condition of her cervix. To induce someone who's cervix is not ripe-- meaning it's not soft or thinned or effaced, and it's not dilated-- induction may not work. And they may end up with a cesarean section. -But a lot of the time, all you can do is wait. -Be very patient, comforting, you know. Massage is very good. Try to take your mind off it, which in either way, you know, everyone has their own sort of way that they do that. For-- to us, it was sort of, you know, [unk] of watching movies and a lot of massage, and making meals together. That type of things. -Lisa and her husband, Richard, tried a slew of different tactics to help get her labor going. -Drinking red raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, sex, orgasm, bouncing on the birthing ball-- walking was really hard for me. That really helps-- eating spicy foods, visualization, going to the chiropractor, going to the acupuncturist. I mean, we had done-- you name it, we've tried it. -After speaking with several doulas and her doctor, Lisa got the green light to try drinking castor oil. It's usually used as a laxative, but is also said to bring on labor. -Richard put two ounces of castor oil, two ounces of orange juice, and some ice in a blender, and made it really frothy, like a piña colada. And then, we poured it into a martini glass, just to make it fun, just preposterity, you know. And I guzzled it down, and it was horrible. -Lisa choked down another castor oil cocktail a few hours later. -For me, it wasn't so good. I was a bit of a weenie, actually. One simple taste, and I was almost wrenchy for 20 minutes. But I make a good cocktail. -Lisa and Richard laid in bed and watched movies for hours afterwards, and had almost given up hope when Lisa began feeling contractions. The next morning, baby Ava arrived. -The bottom line is, after everything, after all the aches and pains of the pregnancy, after all the misery of going overdue, after the C-section and the hospitalization, and the recovery, and the pain, and everything else, it's so worth it. You know, I see her, and I look at her, and I hold her, and you know. It's worth it. It's totally worth it. I have the most beautiful baby in the world that I'm head over heels in love with. So, I would do it again.