Inducing Labor Naturally

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36 Weeks
Yep, that is my stomach making my feet look so small! Now imagine trying to bend over to put shoes on, phew!! it’s a workout. And I’m typing this late into week 37. My doctor said by 38 weeks (come Tuesday) I can begin trying to induce labor. Yay!

How to Induce labor naturally?

As a first time mother, I have yet to know what methods of labor induction actually work for me. Course, what may work this time could fail me the next pregnancy. It really is a hard thing to pinpoint or to control. Labor ultimately will happen when it happens at God’s chosen moment. Still, it is good to try and bring about what must come since laying around could keep the kid cooking in the womb beyond your due date for sure! Gravity is your friend here and during labor! 👍

I asked many mothers how they induced labor naturally and here are some of their trusted methods, hopefully, this helps! 

  1. Walking (and if cramping/contractions start-keep walking!) 
  2. Yoga ball (stuck at home? Bounce away on a yoga ball) 
  3. Sex (This really is #1 and doctors say it’s the “sure” tested method that works) 
  4. Trampoline (Small or large, a few bounces may just cut it) 
  5. Spicy foods (Some people swear by it, if anything, It couldn’t hurt I guess)
  6. Pelvic Stretches (Even if you don’t go into labor by them, they help you prepare)
  7. Chiropractor (Apparently some Chiropractors can actually induce labor by aligning your pelvic floor…fascinating)
  8. Castor Oil (I don’t recommend this one unless you really are desperate and don’t care about the possible side-effects of this natural laxative) 
  9. Chores (Let the nesting instinct take hold of you, clean, mop, sweep and maybe all that work will also bring about labor too)

I have yet to try any of these but just wanted to share what has worked for the mothers in my life in the hopes that it will help other expectant moms out there. If you can’t go into labor, don’t worry! It’s common for your first child to carry up until or after your due date. Your doctor will then make the call on what is best for you and most likely that will involve inducing you in the hospital with Pitocin/Oxytocin (a hormone that a woman produces anyway to induce labor). 

Also, don’t expect the first sign of labor to be “water breaking.” The movies make it like this is the first step when really it isn’t all that common for your water to break. This they will painlessly do at the hospital once you are in active labor. 

Lastly, be patient. 

Even if you start getting symptoms, or are dilated, it could still mean days or weeks before you meet your baby. If you are like me and don’t want the unnecessary torture of getting your cervix checked at your weekly appointments, then simply ask not to. It’s your right and honestly, checking the cervix for dilation really doesn’t tell you anything between 35-37 weeks because as I said, you could be dilated for weeks or not at all and an hour after your appointment go into labor lol (that is verbatim what my doctor said). 

Just relax, try the steps above when you are feeling energized, and pray that you will meet your baby sooner rather than later. God’s got this! ❤

 

 

 

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The Final Stretch

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35 Weeks!!

It was the first ultrasound that I went alone. Thanks to this crazy virus and it’s consuming fear, my husband wasn’t allowed into the office to see our son one last time in the womb. Still, James cooperated great, and here is one of those special pictures I will probably be staring at for the next few weeks as I await his arrival. 😊❤

God has been so good to me and I can’t be more blessed, even during this pandemic I get the constant reminder that God is with me and for me. And His Will? Is that this life should go on…that there IS a future and a hope, otherwise, why else would there be a baby boom happening amidst such times? This baby boom started well before any talk of a virus, and I personally know of over 10 people who are either pregnant now or just had their baby! It really is amazing.

Even as I type this, James is hiccuping steadily (he does this quite often) and is gratefully oblivious to the world he is about to enter. When I look back on these moments I don’t want to remember the looming shadow of covid-19, but the joy of carrying a new life within me. Each new day, he grows older, and I’ll never get a re-do, a chance to go back to this minute, hour, or day. To this moment.

God has been trying to tell me or remind me, that this is a time of joy in my life, and the devil has no power apart from what I give him. He has reassured me that everything will work out and this pandemic will pass quickly, that I have no reason to postpone “celebrating” all the good things He has blessed me with. Our son is a gift from God and I will give God honor and praise, even in the rain!!

The journey has been difficult, and I’ve had many moments where I’ve felt very alone, powerless, or afraid. It’s a confusing time and unfortunately, the complete truth has been unattainable. If I had to name this season I’d call it, “the unknown.” There is nothing that stirs up more fear in the human heart than the unknown. That is why as children (and even adults) we fear the dark and all that is unseen. We fear unexplored territories such as the deepest depths of our ocean, or the far reaches of space. All of these invite both danger, wonder, and fear because we have yet to turn over every rock.

It isn’t that we hope to find something sinister. As a child, running from a dark basement doorway, we never wanted real monsters or ghosts to chase us, we simply believed that they would. And how often were we wrong? Hopefully every time, right? Fear is a liar. And this lack of “knowing” has led to a worldwide panic that I must navigate with my sanity intact.

At my baby shower next week, there will be masks worn over smiling faces, some won’t come, out of this great fear, and others still will sit far away from one another. There is no judgment here or pressure on my end to make people forget. If anyone understands fear, it is me. I’ve had my own monsters to tackle over the years…I simply long to see everyone set free again.

Does the virus pose legitimate concerns? Yes, and for that reason, I want those who are afraid or at risk to do what they feel called to do. I just know that, deep down, this is a spiritual attack, just as much if not more than it is physical…however, God told me to keep straight on the path He has laid out before me, and that is what I intend to do.

My prayer is that those who attend the baby shower will find peace and rest, and be given a chance to escape if only for a while, this unknown world. My husband and I? we are going to celebrate, even if we are the only ones in the room. Because virus or not, James is coming soon and we aren’t novices in fighting an unseen enemy, as Christians, that is what we do, sometimes on a daily basis.

In life there will always be a certain amount of unknowns, I have yet to know what labor will be like, for example. But I have hope to counter the fear and uncertainty I face, that hope is in Jesus. He is with me tomorrow and today, He is making a way for me, and His promises are good. I trust in Him and want my son to grow up knowing that and experiencing that trust for himself. James is going to look to me and Aaron to know how far he can grow in his Faith, I want him to see that he can continually grow because his parents are doing just that.

My heart goes out for all of you, especially those who have had to postpone weddings, parties, graduations, and baby showers of your own. My heart breaks for those who have had to give birth alone, who couldn’t attend a loved one’s funeral, or who couldn’t be there at the hospital for a dying or suffering relative. Just know that if this feels wrong in your heart, that is because it is. We aren’t creatures of loneliness, and were never made to do any of this life apart. But take heart! Tomorrow is a new day, and no storm lasts forever, the sun is within sight now and we will taste the victory together!

May God bless you and guide you, may He wash away your fear and give you discernment instead. May you find an abundance of joy that can’t be explained, except by the power of Christ, and the unshakable hope we have in Him, in life and death. Amen and Amen. ❤

 

 

Pregnancy: 3rd Trimester

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It’s the final stretch! At 29 weeks pregnant, I have only 11 weeks left to go! Looking back on the 2nd Trimester, though it started off rather shaky with Braxton Hicks contractions and the continuing hint of nausea, it was the easiest part of pregnancy so far!

The nausea left completely, as did my ravenous hunger, lack of energy, and overall emotional state of mind. Braxton Hicks contractions even lessoned up as I learned what triggered them. There were moments in which my heart palpitations were a nuisance, but even that symptom could be managed by drinking plenty of water and avoiding eating sugar/carbs before lying down or just avoiding large meals (a challenge in and of themselves).

At its end, I was finally enjoying pregnancy somewhat. Baby James is quite active, and my belly is finally pronounced enough to be a bump (or more so, a basketball). I feel myself bonding with James more and more as I familiarize myself with his movements, his likes, and dislikes, and his reactions to my touch and voice. It’s all becoming real!! I will be a mother in two months (give or take) and now I’m getting excited more so than anxious about the labor experience.

After months of dreading labor, to finally look forward to holding your baby in your arms is proof to me that God knew what He was doing when He decided the length of pregnancy. Anything less than 9 months is doable but stressful, anything more than 9 months is beyond our patience I think. At the time of our labor/delivery, we are just to the point of wanting the kid outa us and ready for the next step, motherhood.

I am ready for my body to be my own again, though I still savor my son’s movements and know I will never forget what it felt like to carry him inside. It is both a wonder and a mystery to see how much my body can change and what it is able to endure. Even what James is able to endure is astounding (having survived a car crash at around 25 wks!).

My doctor appointments are now every 2 weeks and at my last one, I drank the dreaded glucose serum (which wasn’t too bad) and had my blood drawn. The difficulty of the test wasn’t so much the flavor of the drink, which tasted like an overly sweet/cheap fruit punch, but in the amount and time frame in which I had to drink it. Being pregnant makes it difficult to guzzle liquid or food in any extraneous amount. Our stomachs are small and pushed up, and our digestion is slow. I found myself burping up the liquid for a while afterward but wasn’t sick from it. I believe eating crackers beforehand really helped ease my stomach and “wake it up” so that it was ready for the liquid challenge.

The blood test showed only that I needed more iron so now I take an iron supplement at an opposite time as my prenatal vitamins, which at this point is no biggie. My doctor also told me that at my next appointment we would have our final ultrasound, the long-awaited 4D images of our son!!!

I really can’t wait to see what he will look like! At 21 weeks I had a 4D shot of him and he was still underdeveloped and lacking the baby fat that he most likely has now and will carry with him into the world. To those who don’t know, these images are still rather tricky and flawed since they are attempting to capture an accurate image through flesh and amniotic fluid. I’ve seen some pictures that can be perceived as grotesque more so than “cute.” If it’s your first child and you want to capture cute images, avoid early pictures when the baby is still underdeveloped and too small to really get an image, and attempt to get your baby lively, maybe drink something sugary and arrive with a full bladder also, so that the photos have a better chance of turning out good.

With the start of my 3rd Trimester, Braxton Hicks have increased in strength and generally occur every evening after I eat dinner and am trying to get ready for bed. Sometimes they feel like they are squashing the life out of me lol. My doctor said that as the day of labor draws near, these practice contractions could become more frequent and bothersome, so long as they go away with a good night’s sleep and aren’t accompanied by other symptoms, they are nothing to worry about and can’t trigger pre-term labor.

I hope that sharing a bit of my journey helps other expectant mother’s out there. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment below!

March 31 is our 4D pictures!

April 4 is our baby shower!

June 2 is my due date!

I’d love to hear from other moms-to-be out there! How has the 2nd Trimester treated you? Is your baby a stretcher or a puncher? When is your due date?

God bless you all ❤