Abra - I'm glad you brought this up, as I've been thinking a lot about it as well. For me, it's so hard to balance my inclination to let my body and my baby decide when to go into labor with my anxiety over hospital birth and the issues about the health of my placenta past a certain time, etc. Today one of my midwives was talking about the spike in c-sections and stillbirths after 41 weeks and it got me pretty anxious. I don't mean to open a whole new can of worms by mentioning that - I do take that information with a massive grain of salt. But how can a girl not be anxious after hearing that?
I didn't try anything till 39 weeks (stretch/sweep), and now that I'm 40+3, I'm even more open to trying to bring on labor myself. Also (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this already) I'm certain my dates are off and I'm actually closer to 41 weeks today. I am at a birth center which is significantly tied to a hospital, and I'm in a situation where medical induction will be pushed on me hard after about 41+2 or 3 days. That sucks, but that's my reality. I am not personally comfortable with doing an unassisted birth or a home birth (if we weren't living with grandma, of course, it would be a completely different story), and my insurance will not pay for a different birth center in this area, and DH and I cannot pay out-of-pocket to switch now, so this is simply the way things are. I also do not want the anxiety of switching birth centers or dealing with doctors who want to induce, so I am happy to take things into my own hands.
Like I said, the situation isn't ideal. If I were with a birth center with NO hospital ties, with midwives who had no issue with my going to 43 weeks, I honestly feel relatively comfortable and relaxed enough these days that I'd probably not even worry about natural induction methods. But there are a lot of undesirable outside factors with which I have to work right now, and so I will do what I am least reluctant to do.
Which is a big ol' castor oil milkshake. First thing in the morning.