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Saturday, 20 October 2012 11:28

Acupuncture and Other So-Called Ways to Induce Labour

I've done it.  I've become so annoyingly impatient for this baby to arrive that I've started trying all of the silly Old Wives' tales that are said to help in inducing labour. 

I blame the contractions.

Up until last Thursday, I was looking at the calendar in panic, thinking about all of the things I still had to do to get ready for baby - I wasn't at all ready.  Also, my pregnancy was still easy and painless so I had no reason to want to be done in a hurry.

Then at my appointment last Thursday I was told that I was already 1cm dilated, and 50% effaced.  That alone shouldn't have meant anything to me, since I was about 2cm dilated about 4 weeks early with Clara, and increased by about 1/2 cm each week until I was finally induced at about 4cm - about a week after my due date. 

However, on the afternoon of last Thursday's appointment I decided to go for a walk with Clara - we needed to get out of the house together.  In order to get the super-wide bike trailer stroller out of the garage, I had to take it out through the car door and the quickest way to do that is to push the 'door close' button and make a run for it - which I did.  About 30 seconds after my little sprint, I experienced the strongest out-of-hospital contraction I had ever felt - even through my entire pregnancy with Clara. 

It was then that I got a little excited.  Not only had I read that often second (and subsequent) pregnancies progressed much faster than first pregnancies indicating that maybe 1cm meant much more this time than it had with Clara, I was suddenly thinking about 'what if this baby came today?'! And I got excited.  All of my feelings of not being ready were suddenly unimportant, because if the baby came I would simply have to deal with everything that was unfinished afterward anyway - once the baby came, none of it really mattered any more. 

So I kept walking.  And contractions came and went for a couple hours before stopping.

That night I was online looking up 'natural ways to induce labour'. I know, I know, none of them are proven and some are even warned as being dangerous.  I had already decided not to let my doctor strip my membranes this time based on my experience with Clara's pregnancy.  Maybe the two had nothing to do with each other, but I really don't want to go there again...

Since that day, I've experienced a lot of uncomfortable period-like cramping, as well as intermittent contractions that leave me on edge and wondering what is going on. 

So, here are some of the ridiculous things I've attempted to encourage things along... I'm entering that state of pregnancy where my mind is getting ready to lose all dignity in the hospital, so beware of too much information.

  1. Walking - I've gone for walks at least every other day, usually not very long but I'm walking nonetheless.
  2. Sex - Could have never done that at this stage of my first pregnancy, but I've been pretty ok with this one...
  3. Nipple Stimulation - I know, it's weird, but I usually spend a good hour or more in the tub every evening anyway, so why not?
  4. Pineapple - I came across my pregnancy journal from my first pregnancy, and I had evidently tried pineapple in the form of a chocolate fondu.  Enter chocolate fondu with pineapple craving...  We started this after Clara was in bed, but after hearing her sing to herself for half an hour, Brian went and got her to let her try the awesome 'Chocolate Dip' also - it was Friday night, after all ;)
  5. Curry - We had curry the other day for supper (with pineapple, of course), as spicy as I could handle it, which these days isn't much.
  6. Acupuncture - One of my close friends just happens to be a certified Acupuncturist, and she agreed to come over and do a few treatments on me to see if we could move things along a bit.  From what I've read, acupuncture seems to be highly effective at inducing labour after baby's due date but even if it doesn't induce labour quickly seems to be able to reduce the likelyhood of induction.  Ultimately, this is really all I want out of this pregnancy - not to be induced.  So, Thursday evening I had one treatment and definitely felt my uterus respond to the treatment, but no labour that night.  Then yesterday she did two treatments throughout the day - both again seemed to create mild contractions in my uterus but as of this morning I'm still not in labour. 

All I have determined from all of these things is that many of them seem highly effective at starting mild contractions, but not actual labour.  So really, they just end up teasing me more.

Frustratingly, my due date is October 28th which is only a week away, but the ultrasound that is deemed to be 'most accurate' at determining fetal age guessed my due date to be November 5th.  My doctor informed me that since the dates were relatively close, there was no reason to change my original due date so I've been counting down to October 28th. BUT - what if November 5th actually is more accurate, and I still have over a week longer to go than I think I do?

I wish those contractions had never begun...

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