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Mind Games

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love being pregnant and will miss it horribly when it’s over. At the same time, I know all good things must come to an end. Life must go on.

Things are coming up on the calendar that somewhat require me not being pregnant any more. I say somewhat because I suppose I could still be pregnant but some people might be disappointed. Specifically my parents as they are driving up to the PacNW in just a few short days, arriving one week from today.

When I initially conceded to their travel plans, I honestly thought this baby would arrive a little early. Kiddo1 was two weeks early and they say the second is supposed to come faster, right? Wrong. Fucking wrong!!

See, all I’ve wanted for the early postpartum period is to be left alone with Mr. Handsome, Kiddo1 and Baby2 for just a few days. A few days to bond, to sleep, to breastfeed and to generally recover. And with each passing day, I feel like my wish is slipping away from me.

This leaves me with the mind game of feeling incredibly frustrated and impatient yet trying to fight it because part of me does want to hold on to every last pregnant moment. I think I’ve been handling it fairly well (I’ve only snapped at Mr. Handsome a couple times!) but my anxiety is leading me to try more induction tactics than I wanted and just not having a very cheery disposition.

Some things I’ve tried have started to feel successful but then fizzled. Great, so now the calendar and my body have teamed up to play against my mind. Just when I think, “This could be it!” the feelings pass and my thoughts return to frustration.

I started with labor cookies last week just for fun, before I started going crazy. They brought on some Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing serious. I’d love to make some more cookies but it is super hot this week, we don’t have air conditioning and I don’t want to turn on my oven. So, there that.

On Sunday, I drank this soda that usually gives me some… bowel movements (partially because I love this soda, partially because I haven’t pooped in days and partially because intestinal movement can trigger contractions). I had some contractions around dinner, they got up to five minutes apart for an hour, but then they just stopped. I didn’t even poop, damn it.

Looks yummy huh? Yes, I strain the shit out of it before I chug it.

On Monday I started drinking a concoction of red raspberry leaf tea, basil and oregano three times thought the day (basil and oregano are helpful herbs). I did a bunch of yoga in the morning to loosen things up and had some spicy BBQ chicken for dinner. Again, around dinner time, the contractions heated up but cooled off around bedtime.

Speaking of bedtime, getting to sleep is suddenly a total nightmare! I’ve been trying to go to bed early, around 9, but it will be 12, 1, once even 2 AM before I could nod off. This never happens to me! I’m a great sleeper! But since Sunday things have been different.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I pulled out all the stops. Three more tea drinks throughout the day plus some acupuncture in the morning and a ton of walking. I’d never had acupuncture before, so I was excited. It felt like it was working, and the contractions came intermittently throughout the day at a stronger intensity than I had felt so far. I even took another shower and did my hair after dinner because I was convinced that was it. But here I am, not in labor and no baby.

Basil-oregano deliciousness

Today I’m still trying. Instead of making tea (that stuff is gross), I had some basil pasta from the farmers market with an extra teaspoon each of basil and oregano mixed in. I just finished that and we’re about to go out to the science museum for a bunch of walking.

I know I need to relax. I’m trying to, I swear. I’m such a control freak when it comes to these things. And I’ve struggled with this for a couple weeks now! I just want things to go my way, damnit! But there is no way to control these things. I need to remember that. Whatever happens, it will be awesome. It will work out just fine. Mind over matter!

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Labor Foods

Happy Independence Day! Since Bany2’s own independence (from being physically attached to me) is imminent, and someone in my moms group recently mentioned labor cookies, I figured I’d make some yummy cookies and post about them. The midwife is okay with “getting things moving,” if you will, since really anything we try will only “ripen the cervix” rather than induce actual labor. I think she’s soclose but not quite ready yet!

Anyway, cookies!

There’s this site, JustMommies.com, that has all sorts of recipes for labor-inducing foods. They list obvious ones, like hot wings, but also labor pizza and a pineapple smoothie! I’m itching to try all these, but first and foremost are the cookies. The link above will take you to the original recipe, but below you’ll find my version after making a couple half-batches with my own special tweaks.

I first made these on Sunday and they were tasty! I doubled the amount of cayenne pepper from the original recipe, so they were extra spicy too (but really not too spicy, I could eat them without needing water). I made a batch with the regular amount of cayenne for a work potluck yesterday and they went over well.

On Sunday I felt like the BHCs (Braxton Hicks contractions) got a little stronger about two hours after I ate a couple cookies. No big changes. On Monday afternoon I felt contractions that seemed a little more real (pressure near the bottom of my uterus, rising to the top, constricting, very tight-feeling belly, etc). They were about 12-13 minutes apart for five hours or so, then fizzled in the evening.

On Tuesday I stopped paying attention, mostly because I’m straining to feel every sensation that I possibly can and it’s starting to stress me out. I need to relax and just let things happen. Of course, I’ll try to pitch in with a little help from labor foods and, you know, other fun things that Mr. Handsome can help with. But I doubt any kind of stress is going to move anything along very quickly.

On to the cookie recipe!

Labor Inducing Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) butter*
3/4 cup granulated sugar (will also need extra sugar to roll cookie dough in)*
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg whites

* = things I changed from the original recipe

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in small mixing bowl. Set dry ingredients aside.

Then blend butter in large mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar slowly. Add the molasses, then the egg whites. Finally, add the dry ingredients to your mix.

Roll dough into ¾ inch balls. Roll cookie balls in sugar to lightly coat each cookie. Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Yum! I’m also going to try the Pineapple Smoothie today. Bring it, labor!