I too have heard that extreme stress can inhibit the onset of labor. I remember reading, I think here on MDC, of someone not going into labor until her MIL was out of the house!
I went to 41W 4D. Even though that's well within the realm of 'average' for a FTM, I felt
sooo late because I was convinced I wouldn't even make it to 40W (I know, I know, stupid of me!)
I remember how tough that time was - dreading the thought of induction, not even having any BH Ctrx & fearing my uterus didn't even work!
It was awful.
Well, when I emailed my doula about that stress, she made a comment about, "try to relax, stress can inhibit labor."
I sorta took that to sorta mean, "Meg, it's kinda your fault you're not in labor, so you need to chill to make it happen."
Um, yeah, not a good message to have given me at that point in time!
While I do not disagree with the theory that exreme stress can inhibit the onset of labor, I vehemently disagree with the assertion that those of us who are stressed/frustrated because we are not YET in labor are further delaying labor because of that stress.
So there! Stop feeling guilty!
Seriously though, the wait is hard enough, you don't need to beat yourself up over the fact that you're frustrated.
As I wrote on a thread, I think "fearing labor won't start" I actually went to a shrink because I was so upset over this. She said, "Is there any way you can be more gentle with yourself?" That really resonated with me. Yeah - the wait is hard enough, don't beat yourself up over the fact that the wait is stressing you - i.e. don't feel stressed over the fact that you are stressed! I really don't think the mechanisms that start labor are that