Trying for Labor on Labor Day (or Natural Induction is Still Induction)

Wouldn’t it be cool to go into labor on labor day?  Well, I tried.  And the next day, I’m left 39 weeks pregnant, with unpatterned contractions, and a sense of clarity over the fact that “natural” induction is still induction.

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These two humans are riding a 4-wheeler ATV across a bumpy field to try and jiggle their baby out. Commence judgment and criticism now.

After a sweet 3-day weekend of cuddling with my family and doing 3 placenta encapsulations, yesterday we loaded up & headed out for some yummy lunch.  On the way, Husbo informed me that we would be eating spicy, spicy, spicy Chinese food.  But I don’t eat spicy food, so why…oh, labor!  We want to meet our baby, so ok, sure.  So at about 1pm I chowed down some spicy sesame chicken, and the lady across the aisle from us laughed when I couldn’t get the momentum to get my body out of the booth after our meal.

We headed home for our final weekend project of preserving 16 dozen ears of corn with 4 generations of my family.  When I went to pee at about 3pm, I found brown-tinged mucus where none had previously been.  I was audibly psyched.  After explaining why I was so excited about my toilet paper to the 4 year old who accompanies many of my bathroom visits, wee Ramona ran right out and shared with everyone that she just “saw brown mucus come out of Mommy’s jayjay.”  So much for pretending labor doesn’t exist until transition.

The excitement over the mucus led me to finally consent to the ATV ride my partner had been half joking about all day.  People do that, right?  Go for a ride on a bumpy road, do some cartwheels, horse back ride until the baby jiggles loose?

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This is a pregnant lady and her partner on an ATV, trying to knock the baby loose. In case you’re tempted, I don’t recommend it. I’m still pregnant.

He drove the ATV across the corrugated rows of the pasture at my family’s homestead, over and over again, at about 5:30pm.  I tried unsuccessfully to find a balance between not sitting so close to him that my belly would smash against his back, and not sitting so far back that my ass hit the back end.  It was a few minutes of sweet, ridiculous fun, as I held onto him tight and my hips moved in directions they never have before.

After the ATV ride, I became immediately paralyzed with fear that at best, the baby had hated it, and at worst, he’d become tangled up or injured and wasn’t going to be ok.  After two straight glasses of water and zero fetal movements, I looked to my doula (I finally hired a doula at 38 weeks!) for support.  As a straight-up, full-fledged cowgirl, she reassured me that she had done exactly the same thing and taken an ATV ride to bring the baby on.  Phew.

Time to head to the park for a playdate with other rad mamas & kiddos.  By 7:30pm, within an hour at the park, I’d had 7 contractions and 3 fetal movements.  Woohoo!  Of course, that meant it was time to walk laps of the park behind my daughter who’s riding her bike with training wheels for the very first time.  The walking intensified things, bringing on contractions that required funny faces and deep breaths to cope.

These rad mamas totally just yelled “MUCUS PLUG” through the airwaves of the crowded park, to encourage my day-o-possible-early-labor to keep on comin’.

We walked, we went home, and we hoped.  It seemed entirely reasonable that this sequence of events was the beginning of new baby Emmett’s birth in this world.  The contractions were obvious, with my uterus rising up high and being hard as a rock.   Even when I wasn’t contracting, there was cramping low-down in my uterus, and jerky little painful twinges in my hooha.  Husbo curled up beside me to sleep while I watched TV, because he needed his sleep in case it was time to support me through labor and birth soon.  Now and then he’d reach over and do some not-so-subtle nipple stimulation, which was so adorable of him.  And who doesn’t want a hot guy rubbing their nipples in the middle of the night?

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Ramona’s first serious biking experience, while I followed behind doing the Early Labor Walk. Yes, she’s all blurry because she’s going *that fast.*

But as I eventually let myself sink down into rest, the wheels of my brain finally kicked back in.  What were we doing?  And why?  This was exactly the opposite of our plan, to allow my body and our baby to be in charge of the process.  Sure I was contracting, but it certainly wasn’t spontaneous.  It was induced by an intentional series of events–which inherently meant that it wasn’t likely to take.  Why exhaust myself?  Why drain my patience?  Why get my hopes up when I absolutely know better?

I will go into labor.  My baby will be born.  And the entire experience will be much more positive if I treasure the end of my pregnancy right now, rather than beg my body to do something it’s not ready for.

It’s coming, and I can wait for it.

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2 responses to “Trying for Labor on Labor Day (or Natural Induction is Still Induction)

  1. THANK YOU!! Love this. As a birth doula I spend a lot of time telling my clients to be patient, surrender and trust at the end of their pregnancies. I know it is much easier said than done, but in the end (as you say) even a ‘natural induction’ is an INDUCTION.

  2. I can totally empathize with the conflicting feeling of wanting your baby to come on their own schedule and the excitement to welcome the new beautiful baby into this world. Though I was only 37 weeks the thought crossed my mind, what it would be like to have this baby on labor day. I am so thankful I let my baby lead the way because 3 weeks later we had a beautiful VBAC and got to watch the sun rise with our new bundle of joy over the beautiful Colorado mountains.

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