C'mon, baby! Don't say maybe!
September 14, 2011 9:35 AM   Subscribe

This is not my first baby. I am close to one week past my due date. No signs of labor. First, tell me how to survive because my first baby was here by now and I just cannot do this much longer. Second, why haven't I gone into labor yet and what if I don't?

First baby was born by this time in my last pregnancy. I don't know what this baby is waiting for. Good position, low down, the weather is beautiful. I've had off an on contractions for going on a month that haven't turned into anything. And I'm increasingly disappointed each time, though I am trying, in the logical part of my brain, to maintain the sense that I'm not actually overdue for another week and a half or so.

I have pulled out all the old wives tricks I know, and unsurprisingly, the spicy food, prenatal massages, long walks, and anything else I can possibly think of haven't done a thing.

I understand babies come when they come, but I am beyond done with this pregnancy and it's weighing on me terribly emotionally and physically. This baby needs to GTFO and soon or I will lose my mind. I don't know what, if anything, to do at this point. I am just so done and feel vulnerable and irritable and upset and tired in ways I never did the last time.

Thankfully, I do have help with my older child, and it is affording me some much needed break time, and because I've been so tired, I've already stopped working this time as well, so those two matters are okay.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, my wife just had a baby (not the first) and she was 13 days overdue. You sound like her. You are probably dilating/effacing over time right now with these contractions, and when the end comes it will probably come quickly, as in just a few hours. If you are like her, your fluid level is fine, so there's no danger.

Don't worry, really. This extra time means more brain development.

As far as your irritation, you really must relax. Relaxation means smoother labor, less pain and an obviously happier you. You don't mention whether there's a man involved but if so it's his job right now to make you, as they say, as comfortable as you were when you conceived this baby with soothing words, help around the house, rubbing your lower back, etc..
posted by michaelh at 9:39 AM on September 14, 2011

How close are you to your due date? Have you told your OB how stressed you are?

With my last kid I was put on bed rest for preterm labor at 22 weeks. Of course when it was time for him to actually come out he wanted to stay in. I told my doctor how upset I was and how hard it was on me and my family and she agreed to induce me.

At the very least your doc will probably agree to induce you on or right after your due date.

If you haven't gone for a swim you might want to. It won't bring on labor, but the water will support the weight of the baby and give your muscles and joints a break. It feels wonderful.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:41 AM on September 14, 2011

TooFewShoes: she's almost a week overdue: "I am close to one week past my due date."
posted by brainmouse at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you talked to your doctor/nurse/midwife/caregiver? Depending on your condition, can't they do things like strip your membranes? At 41 weeks I think most medical professionals are willing to do stuff like that to hasten your labor, especially if you tell them how uncomfortable you are.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2011

I have heard that there is a pressure point somewhere (near the ankle?) that some massage therapists who specialize in pregnancy massage know about, that can help induce the labor.

Sorry I can't be more specific - the massage therapist I know who knew how to do this is now in the new mexico area, I believe.
posted by needlegrrl at 9:48 AM on September 14, 2011

you say you've tried old wives tricks - have you tried sex (making sure your partner ejaculates inside of you)? the doctors and scientists seem to be at odds as to whether it works or not, but in your position i'd probably try it.
posted by nadawi at 9:49 AM on September 14, 2011

IIRC the due date has very large error bars. You're not really "over" until you're two weeks past at least.
posted by pharm at 9:50 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

In my country, doctors induce labour after ten days overdue for medical reasons. Could you inquire after that?

Hang in there, it's coming out one way or the other!

Also, let me send you internet stranger hugs. My baby was early and I still felt that way!
posted by Omnomnom at 10:07 AM on September 14, 2011

Mod note: few comments removed - "suck it up" answers not considered helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 AM on September 14, 2011 [11 favorites]

We had to induce one of our little guys after my wife's water broke and he still didn't want to come out; IIRC, they used Pitocin to get the ball rolling.

Assuming you're having a hospital birth, I'd suggest talking to your OB and see what they say- I don't believe that at-home births have Pitocin available. My recollection from Lamaze class was that many OB's will induce at 14 days past the due date.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:23 AM on September 14, 2011

Can you call your OB/midwife? So much can be done. Where I'm from, any day past your due date and they'd be begging to induce. My advice is to call and schedule that they help move you along. Before you go have the baby, take a nice bath, listen to some soothing music, have a favorite meal, take a nap and go in. ((Hugs))
posted by hellochula at 10:41 AM on September 14, 2011

posted by jrichards at 10:43 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

First, you feel vulnerable because you are! You and the bun are the reasons humans are social creatures. "Sucking it up" is not the thing you need to do right now. You need peace, care, and warmth. Community. I can't tell you exactly where to go for that in your own life, but I can offer you some suggestions.

Try some meditation. Try visualization of how your ideal birth will be. Make some contingency plans. (Myself, I'm pretty anti induction, but I can see some scenarious where it would be necessary, and when I get pregnant I will probably spend a lot of time preparing for the possibility that my birth experience may not match up to my hopes.) Visualize meeting the new baby. Make sure your partner is on board with these plans and backups.


Distraction. You need distraction. Something that will make the time fly.

Have you taken care of all your nesting? Stored the summer clothes (if you are in a place with real winter? Do you have any desire to dip dye little onesies, knit booties, or choose paper for a scrap book? Do you have all the supplies you need or want? Do you have any Christmas or other holiday shopping that you could accomplish online or in shops? Are there any musicals, plays or comedy shows you don't want to miss? (The joke would be, buy tickets for them all, and the baby will come two hours before the most expensive one. Something like Cirque d' Soleil if there is one in your area?)

Does your only child hanker for a trip to a museum or special ice cream outing with you?

Are there any letters you can write to friends and family? Hand written, on fun or exquisite paper? Allow yourself to moan piteously in ink about how miserable this baby is making you. In twenty years, this baby will treasure knowing how wanted s/he was, that you wanted to get acquainted at the earliest possible moment.

Book yourself another pre and post birth massage. Find someone who will come to your home. Book yourself some acupuncture. Book yourself a manicure. Pedicure. A great deal on a fancy hotel with just you and partner in three months time. Pencil in a dinner date for one month down the road. Ask now for the help you will want when baby arrives. Meal deliveries from friends? Someone to come over and sit with you while you nurse? Schedule all the people who say "let me know if you need anything" NOW, because your brain will be busy or mushy when the baby gets here. "Yes, I'd love it if you'd bake up a batch of those oatmeal cookies you are famous for!" or "Honestly, if you would come by on ____ and throw in a load of wash, dry it and fold it, we could sit and chat, or maybe I'll fall asleep and drool all over myself."

Distract, distract, distract. Get caught up in things you long to do, but "never have time for."

Now, on to the old wives' tales. Walking, but walking with a purpose. Like I said before, museums, shopping, etc. Yes, it's probably uncomfortable, but even if it doesn't work, it will keep you limber. And it might help you sleep (better) at night.

Sex. Not so much because it will make the baby show up any sooner (though yay if it seems to) but because it might be fun and sex usually feels good. Stop if it's not fun though. Additionally, make it clear to your partner that this is a very important time for you to feel sexy and loved and honored and however you want to word whatever precedes the magic words, "Rub my feet!"

In the same line as the letters to friends and family, write your thoughts. What exactly is it about this pregnancy that you are done with? Use descriptive language, metahors, colors, textures. Detail every ache and pain. Detail every inconveniencing bathroom visit. Be here now with the things you want to escape. (That's right, I just slipped some Buddhism into this answer)

Do not edit yourself for exaggeration or hystrionics. Feel what you're feeling. Don't fight the crying.

Next, write out all of your eagerness to meet this baby. What are you most looking forward to? Again, make it vivid. Are you hoping for a particular kind of relationship between the siblings? If you outline this now, it can be fun to return to it in a decade, or two or three and compare your hopes to the reality. Maybe they will be closer. Maybe they will take care of each other. Maybe they will be competitive. But they will definitely see your love in these writings.

Finally, good old fashioned sitting around. Yes. You are stir crazy in the confines of your home. You are sick of looking at the wall paper or that manky carpet, certainly sick of hauling your frame past the nursery where that baby ought to be sleeping. So! Indulge in a funny pregnant lady tee shirt and find a coffee shop with a comfy couch, or some other place in your town that frees your from chasing your kid. Have a hot cup of herbal tea, or whatever you want. Put your feet on someone else's ottoman and maybe read a book or a magazine. Make up stories for people who ask nosy questions about your pregnancy. Tell them your only three months along with quintuplets. Tell them it's a litter of kittens, you're making history. Tell them whatever you like. Be really mean and tell them the baby is sleeping at home. Or be even meaner and ask, "what baby?!?!?!"
posted by bilabial at 10:47 AM on September 14, 2011 [8 favorites]

Waiting is so hard. Especially if you're having contractions and every time you get all ramped up like NOW, FINALLY? NOW? YES? They say relax, but hmph, there is no such thing, not in my world there wasn't, anyway. (Anyone telling you to "suck it up" can fuck right off.)

Can you ask about induction? Here the standard is ten days past due date for an induction. With my last two pregnancies I didn't go into true labor at all, so I said PLEASE CAN WE GET THIS BABY OUT OR I WILL LOSE MY MIND I AM NOT KIDDING OMG to my midwives, and they understood. So both were induced - the one, 10 days past due, and the other, 11 days past due. (Both were quite big babies as well. My daughter was 10 lbs.) I found induction to be, on the whole, easier than actually going through labor - less stressful b/c it's more predictable (at least for my body); also, epidural before it got really too bad; and then a fairly fast delivery once I had the epidural.

I've been where you're at. Big hugs, and hang in there.
posted by flex at 10:51 AM on September 14, 2011

I'm going to 2nd the acupuncture recommendation. I had never had it before, but after both my midwife and my doula (who was also an experienced midwife) both encouraged me to get acupuncture for labor induction, I did three sessions with an acupuncturist who specialized in fertility stuff and it (probably) worked. I say probably because I had three sessions at 41w1d, 41w2d, and 41w3d and he told me I'd go into labor at 41w5d (2 days after the last treatment) and, wonder of wonders I DID. Now, it could also be argued that I would have gone into labor that day anway, but at least I felt like I was doing something, and it was so relaxing and I felt pampered too, which is a great thing to feel when you're that pregnant.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:54 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also! If you're in the Portland OR area, I can recommend my fabulous acupunturist, memail me.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:55 AM on September 14, 2011

Make really important plans that would be inconvenient to change.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:00 AM on September 14, 2011 [10 favorites]

I did Hypnobirthing for my second birth, and whenever I would get grumpy about labor not onsetting -- because, just like you, I had prodromal labor for AGES that kept not turning into anything real -- I would crank out the Hypnobirthing tracks and just meditate to those. It was good practice for labor, and it really helped me keep myself calm.
posted by KathrynT at 11:03 AM on September 14, 2011

Yeah, you should really call your OB so they can at least know what is happening and schedule an induction. Hopefully things will happen soon of their own accord!
posted by veebs at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2011

(Mrs. Furnace.Heart here) Hi there, and let me very quickly say I'M SORRY! I just gave birth to our first kiddo only three days ago, and he was ten days overdue. I feel your pain. Honestly and sincerely. I was an emotional wreck on his one week-overdue date. I had a midwife appointment and burst into tears when they mentioned waiting another week for induction. At that point, my midwife looked at me and said, "Or we can induce you now."

I had really struggled with the idea of inducing this kiddo before he was two weeks late, because I wanted things to progress naturally and wanted to let him come out when he was ready. But the midwife looked at me and said that my emotional health was 100% as important as anything else, and if I was that done with the pregnancy, then he needed to come out.

After a minute of internal debate while sitting on the exam table, I realized that I could not handle being pregnant anymore, and I said I wanted to be induced. It was honestly the best decision I made for myself and my family. I was slightly worried about judgement by the nurses or midwives, but they were extremely supportive. Even with induction, kiddo didn't come along for another 36 hours. So, in my mind, he really did need the extra kick in the pants to get out. If I had waited until his two week overdue-date, he may have been a total of 16 days overdue.

My advice is to do what you feel you need to do. If that means inducing him because you are just effin' sick and tired of being pregnant, then induce. If you have tried lots of other ways to cope with being overdue, and they aren't working, in my mind it's a sign that he (or she) needs some help getting it out. I would say very strongly that my fears of being "selfish" or a bad mother by inducing prior to two weeks completely and 100% went out the window when he finally got here. I was so happy to finally see my baby boy. Honestly, I had waited long enough. Hope you get through the next week one way or another. Good luck with your labor and delivery!
posted by furnace.heart at 12:27 PM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

The long answer that got deleted was harsh, but you really aren't overdue at all yet (many studies say average length of normal gestation is actually 41 weeks). Some babies take a little bit longer than others, but it's also very hard to know for sure when you conceived. Medical induction is not without its own risks, especially if your waters are broken but the meds don't get things going, which can easily happen if you're just not ready. I don't think it's a question of being a bad mother, and it's your decision to make, but it can happen that choosing to induce winds up causing more health risks and complications for you - avoiding induction isn't just some theoretical hippy "do it the natural way" thing.

I like Bilabial's answer, do whatever you got to do. I am pregnant too, and approaching the stage you're at (I can feel the feelings you describe creeping up on me!) and I think allowing yourself to be grumpy and frustrated, and just doing what you need to do to get through each day is the way to go. I hope it isn't as hot where you are as it is here. Oh, and just to open another can of worms, my midwife would probably tell you it's just fine to have a small glass of wine in the evening if you feel like it. Good luck!
posted by crabintheocean at 12:39 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

My youngest was born two weeks after his due date and I spent a lot of that last two weeks reading and even napping in the tub (full of water) as it was the only place I could get comfortable. It was so long ago I honestly cannot remember how my older two children (then aged 2.75 and 5.75) coped during that period, but they survived.

. Good luck.
posted by mareli at 1:07 PM on September 14, 2011

I just wanted to say that it is indeed frustrating and your feelings are normal. All three of our children were born after the due dates. At times my wife and I didn't want to go outside or answer the phone and have to hear again how that baby had not yet arrived -- as if we didn't know this already.

Hang in there. Don't hesitate to talk with your Doctor about it, but just know that it is normal to feel frustrated during the wait. Congratulations and enjoy the special days ahead.
posted by dgran at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2011

I guess this isn't helpful either, but I was supposed to be born on Thanksgiving and was born on the 8th of December--that's 2 weeks! What inadvertently worked for my mom was going to a Chinese buffet, haha. Who knows, maybe all that getting up and sitting down did it. (My mom takes buffets VERY seriously.)

I hope you talk to your doctor and feel better and have a smooth, trouble-free (boring, even!) birth as soon as, uh, appropriate!
posted by wintersweet at 4:17 PM on September 14, 2011

Castor oil induction worked for us.
posted by gnutron at 6:29 PM on September 14, 2011

It won't last forever, even if it feels like it. You can certainly get induced, but it does raise your risk of c/section, which comes with its own risks. But, that is your call.

Are you all alone a lot of the time? The mental stress of thinking about this and nothing else is pretty rough at this stage. Can you get people to come over and be with you, or do you feel good enough to get out (besides with your other child, I mean?) Go see stupid movies in the afternoon, get a pedicure, a massage by someone licensed to do pregnant clients, hang out in a swimming pool, walk in the park...fun things, distracting things. Sitting in your home thinking anxious thoughts is the worst thing for you.

The experience of pain and discomfort are heavily influenced by fear and anxiety.
posted by emjaybee at 7:53 PM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

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