It's not hard to find countless posts on Pinterest and Facebook about natural ways to induce labor, things to try to help labor go faster or easier. Just Google it. Estimated Due Dates or EDDs is just that, estimated. Waiting. Anticipation. Will today be The Day? I know first hand about waiting for a post due baby as two of my four were a full two weeks "over due". I was born three weeks late. Now I watch and wait with my daughter as she shares our "late baby gene" (I made that up, by the way.) I preface Sara's birth story with this because the further you are past that date, even in a natural home birth setting like The Farm, the more concern there is for the baby and this might mean that a home birth is no longer an option.
Starting at 36 weeks, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that is out to do to naturally help get labor going, Sara did! This included a daily amounts of the following: fresh pineapple, dates, pregnancy and red raspberry leaf herbal teas, homeopathic treatments prescribed by her midwife, lots and lots of hiking/walking, squats, and sex. Also part of the regimen was relaxation and yoga, Spinning Babies activities, living on her birthing ball, regular chiropractic care starting around 18 weeks, and acupuncture treatments three times a week after her due date came and went.
The waiting game isn't a fun one! I know that physically, emotionally, and spiritually, she was as fully prepared as any first time mother could be. There were several days of false starts where contractions would last for several hours and yet never do what we want them to do; that is, get longer, stronger, and closer together. While those trial run days didn't bring a baby, they did get Casey and I busy mopping and cleaning, on a quest to have the house spic and span! We did the nesting for Sara. Feeling like a watched pot is no fun! Hearing over and over, "you haven't had that baby yet" gets old. Really old!
Birth is unpredictable. Period. Only 25% are actually born ON their due date. The average for first time moms is 41 weeks plus 1 day. We knew that but still wondered if the upcoming storm or full moon might mean this baby is coming soon.
Carol Nelson, Sara's midwife, remained positive but talked to her about scheduling a series of routine tests for post-date babies at the hospital in Lawrenceburg: a non-stress test, a biophysical profile, and amniotic fluid index on the baby. Creeping in our heads was this nagging fear of not being able to deliver at "home", in this beautiful cabin on The Farm. There was one more weapon in the arsenal of tools that she had not tried: Castor Oil.