I was just reading posts from mamas getting close to 42 weeks, and though I haven't posted much here before, I thought I'd add my two cents. My due date was today (12/27), so I'm not feeling so anxious just yet, but I totally remember what that's about. My first baby was born in 2006 at about 42 weeks. Two things helped me go into labor before they could talk me into induction: (1) I sent a polite but honest email to my hospital midwives about some discussions that had left me feeling a bit unsettled and vulnerable (I felt so relieved after sending that email, I'm convinced it loosened me up emotionally and probably physically), and (2) later the same day, I spent an hour or so doing a sort of "dance" my prenatal yoga teacher had told me might help.
So in case anyone's interested, I'll paste below the "instructions" that yoga teacher sent me for those handy labor-inducing movements (and by the way, against her advice, I did start doing it in the afternoon, but luckily I wasn't too tired and went into full-fledged labor just a few hours later, resulting in a six-hour, middle-of-the-night, intervention-free, awesome and intense first-time labor). Anyway, here's what she sent me:
"First, do this rub-the-belly-squat thingy in the morning when you are really ready should labor start. If you do it at 4 pm and labor begins at 9 pm, you'll be tired! For as long as you can, try the following. Rub your belly with a flat palm quite vigorously in a clockwise circle, around around around (don't be shy to be firm with your touch), for 1 minute (the average length of a contraction). This will stimulate a Braxton Hicks contraction. Next, for 3 minutes (the average you-know-you're-in-labor-when length of break between contractions) do your own combination of a wide-legged lungy type of walking (big, wide-open pelvis---you'll look ridiculous, so do it where you can be free of onlookers!) and squats. Walk walk squat, walk walk lunge---whatever---for 3 minutes. Think wide pelvis, deep squats. You can also put one leg up on stairs and lunge upwards into it (easier than lunging down towards the ground!). Do this rub-the-belly for 1 minute and lunge-squat-walk for 3 minutes for as long as you can. Rest. Repeat! It has been known to bring labor on, if the body is ready. If it's not quite ready, rest and try again the next day. Don't get discouraged! Trust in your body. It's working just fine without too much messing with it!"
So that's it. It's pretty tiring, but I highly recommend it! It does look pretty goofy, too, like she says. But the goofiness might get you laughing, like it did me, which can only help loosen things up even more, right?
Anyway, best wishes to all you moms patiently waiting for a baby! Who knows, I could be doing this dance again myself a couple of weeks from now . . .
Mindy, mom to Harriet (b. 10/12/06) and Baby No. 2 (due 12/27/09)