40 weeks pregnant! Due date distraction.

The waiting game. This is my first pregnancy and I am officially “due”.  This kicking, squirming little being inside is ready to come out, or so they say.

This due date thing has my emotions on a roller coaster.  Suddenly, I’m “post-term”, I’m “overdue”.  Not only does my aching body tell me I’m ready to meet this baby, but my doctor uses phrases that imply I should have already!

I receive weekly pregnancy updates from BabyCenter usually with subject lines like your pregnancy – 40 weeks and this week the subject line was Your baby this week – your newborn.  After three paragraphs of how squishy and adorable my new baby must be it said “Still Pregnant?  If you are like many moms-to-be, your due date may have come and gone without your baby making an appearance yet”.  Exactly!  On average, first time moms go about a week “overdue”. So why am I stressed out?  I’ll tell you…

Yesterday was my 40 weeks doctor’s appointment.  I have discussed thoroughly with my doctor my desire to have a natural birth.  She has been very receptive.  I use words like “accommodating and flexible”, as if I’m surprised that she isn’t trying to force her overly medically trained ideas on me!  Anyway, I really like her and feel comfortable with her.  The appointment wasn’t really surprising.  We had briefly discussed policies on going “overdue”.  At our prenatal classes run by a local doula company, we were told that Montreal had a general policy of inducing at 41 weeks plus 3 days.  They implied that there was little flexibility on this.  My doctor has agreed, compromised really, and given me until 41+5.  Induction booked!

Talk about pressure!  This baby and I now have a deadline.  I’m trying to get a grasp on my hormones and emotions.  This does not have to be bad news.  Obviously the baby may just decide that’s plenty of time to get engaged in the pelvis and kick start this labour.  Artificial labour induction doesn’t have to lead to the cascade of interventions I so often read about.  There are always options and decisions to make.  As long as I am involved in what is going, I can achieve the birth experience I want.  It’s all about perspective!

Meanwhile, I am going to walk, squat, eat spicy food, scrub the kitchen floor, bounce on an exercise ball, have sex, practice relaxation, visualize, eat pineapple and go for a bumpy car ride:)

Did you have an induction booked?  What kind of things did you do to get labour going?

28 thoughts on “40 weeks pregnant! Due date distraction.”

  1. I too was scheduled for 41+5 but my daughter decided 41+1 was her ‘day’ – thankfully!!!

    We used sex, evening primrose oil capsules inserted vaginally, and lots of red raspberry leaf tea as natural ‘priming’ methods. None of this will work unless your body is ready but if its close it might help push things over the edge.

    I read in a few places that 10 days past was average for first timers (if left alone without medical intervention) and that 2nd and subsequent pregnancies average 3 days past.

    The end felt like an eternity, until it was over, and then it seemed like it went by in a flash.

    Good luck!!!!

    1. Hi Kim,
      I certainly relate to the end feeling like eternity! That feeling definitely contributes to my emotions:) I am trying to appreciate these days though!
      I have also read that first time moms are generally ready around 41 weeks.
      Thanks for your great advice and encouragement.

  2. Also try using a breast pump, ask the doctor to strip your membranes, walking up and down stairs, and “Jump Start Your Labour Cookies!”


    I’ve now experienced both an induction and a natural birth – trust me, you want to avoid the induction if at all possible! For me a very brisk walk, and several of the cookies worked the second time around!

    Happy Birthing, your almost there!

    1. Hi Jen,
      I have an appointment next week for a membrane strip. I appreciate your advice. I’m on an emotional roller coaster just thinking about induction. I definitely want to avoid it, but I also want to be prepared just in case.
      I will look into those cookies!

  3. Hey!
    I was induced and it went very smoothly. Not what I wanted, but hey, everything went well, and I had a great delivery. So no matter the outcome, you and baby will do awesome!!! I hope everything goes the way you want it too and that baby arrives healthy and hungry!

  4. I was induced for my first but not because I was passed my due date, my membranes had ruptured and I had no contractions at all, so after 20 hours of them being ruptured they induced me. You don’t get to get “used” to the contractions because when they start, they START, at least that was the case for me.

    At this stage of your pregnancy, another 10 days or so is a long time, Baby has a lot of time to decide to come 🙂

    Good luck with this last stretch!

  5. One suggestion I haven’t seen here that worked for me is acupunctute. I had had my mebranes stripped twice and at almost 8 days overdue with an induction pending I had my Naturopathic friend do some labour induction acupuncture. My LO was born less than 12 hours later! GL!

    1. That’s great to hear Melissa. I have a friend that recommended her acupuncturist when this baby was lying transverse at 35 weeks. The baby turned before my appointment, so I have yet to experience acupuncture but I will definitely look into it.

  6. Hi there,

    We had a home birth but my daughter was also past her due date, I was almost at 42 weeks, minus two days, and my midwife said we would have to book an appointment with a doctor in order to have a talk about inducing me. That night, the day before going to have the “talk” I told my baby it needed to come out tomorrow and then I used a couple acupressure points that can trigger you to go into labor. The next morning at 10:30 am I went into labor and at 2:30 pm she was out. You can do it, there’s a lot of natural ways to try out. Most importantly I think it was my mind set to have a natural birth that did it. 🙂

    1. I love your comment Alexandra. I fully believe in the mind-body connection and I am going to do some soul-searching and make sure that it’s not me holding us back. I have been having talks with this little one too! We will get ready together:)
      Thanks for your encouragement.

  7. I went to 40+6. I was also really anxious about being induced, and was really feeling stressed out by it. I did everything mentioned above and walked about 4 hours a day. One night, I had a long, relaxing bath and talked to my daughter about what was going to happen, that she could come whenever she was ready, that we were in it together, etc. The next morning I went in to labour! Maybe a coincidence, but I do believe that I had to finally relax and let go of the stress in order for things to get moving.

    Best of luck!

    1. Amazing Jenn! I doubt it was a coincidence. The mind is a powerful thing. It is great that you really let go. I’m definitely going to work on that!
      And wow, four hours of walking a day! You are my hero. I thought I was active with two half hour walks a day!

  8. It is awful to be given a date like that, but remember, it is your body and if at 41+5 days your baby is still in place you can request an ultra sound or a stress test to make sure the baby is still fine and keep waiting. Your body, your choices. You just have to push for your preferences. I also used evening primrose oil capsules up the vag at night, (use a very long pad though because you will leak out the oil) they have way more prostoglandis (sp?) than semen so it will help ripen your cervix. Both of my babies were home births, so to help bring contractions closer together we used breast pumps – and they WORKED like crazy!! You have to go about 10 mins each side, but again, this was to speed up the contractions I was already having, not to get them started. I know it is stressful, but do some cleaning and lots of resting and dream of your baby who will be here very very soon.

    1. Thanks Jess. That is excellent advice.
      I gave myself today to be stressed about it, but now I am feeling much more calm. This baby will come when he/she is ready and in the meantime I am going to take deep breaths and continue my barrage of natural methods:)

      1. I would agree with Jess; at 41+5 days you can request a non stress test or ultrasound to check in with baby’s wellness, and negotiate a few more days after that. Induction before 42 weeks is not evidence based and does not improve outcomes. Increased fetal surveillance does though. It’s not uncommon for women to go overdue with a first baby; so much so that EDD’s should almost be adjusted for first babies!

        HIGHLY likely though that you will not be pregnant still at 41+5, so try not to stress!! Evening Primrose Oil orally and internally can be a good encouragement to your body to get started.

        One of our writers posted about due dates recently on mothers of change; check it out if you like! It’s reassuring as to the normalcy of giving birth in the weeks surrounding EDD. http://www.mothersofchange.com/2012/01/happy-new-year.html

        Lots of luck!! Baby will be here before you know it! (try not to think of it as an expiry date, but more of a guess date. You are down to days rather than weeks/months; you can do this!)

        1. Thanks Melissa. I really appreciate your advice. It is really challenging to keep perspective at this stage in the game! I am so excited to meet this baby, yet I know the research and believe that it will come when it’s ready. I am trying not to stress, but having to negotiate with doctors is very strange to me. I wish we were all on the same page.
          Thanks again!

  9. I went one week past EDD. My water broke without contractions, and there was meconium, so I had to have the dreaded induction. Even with the kick start, I still managed to have him vaginally without forceps or vacuum or episiotomy or any of the other things I wanted to avoid. Best of luck for a smooth and happy delivery.

    1. It’s great to hear of positive induction experiences. I let myself get stressed over things sometimes and lose perspective. If it comes to an induction, I will be meeting my baby and that is the most important thing!
      Thanks for sharing Lisa.

    1. So true Victoria, I have been on the metro a lot this week too! Up and down the stairs and bumping from station to station definitely can’t hurt:)

  10. Acupuncture worked very well twice for me. Within 24h I had my babies in my arms. I pasted my due date 2 out of 3 times. Totally agree with what has been said, having gone thru an induction, you want to avoid it. If it is really necessary, try to ask to go smooth on it. I tell you that because of the pain which is harder to endure I find then the real contractions. I wish you will smooth and fun birthing like I’va had the pleasure to have.

  11. Hey Sara – Maybe it’s been mentioned already… If you can find some, raspberry leaf tea is powerful stuff for getting things moving! My midwife and doula recommended it. La Loba might have it?

    Best of luck!

    1. Thanks Genevieve. I found some raspberry leaf tea at Rachelle Berry last week and have been having a few cups a day. It apparently takes a few weeks to build in your system (so I read somewhere), but better late than never!

  12. Hey Sara,
    I had an induction and epidural. The plus is that you feel no pain (Yay!). But the minus is that it was a really really long labor. Also, post-delivery, I have sporadic back pains (Ouch!).
    I have also heard horror stories of people with needles stuck in their spines. Not to scare you, but just so that you know.

    Personally, I would avoid vaccum/forceps delivery cos they are associated with the risk of breastfeeding issues/autism.
    Check out my pregnancy and breastfeeding blog, you might find it helpful.

    Good luck!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      Thanks for commenting. I am three weeks post-birth now and trying to catch up (and get a blog post together to update!). I went into labour at 41 weeks and had the natural, non-medicated birth I had hoped for.
      I appreciate your advice and for sharing your experience.

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