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Discussion Starter #1
I'm 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I've had BAD contractions for about 3 weeks---and have dilated to about 2 cms from them. I was told that at 36 weeks, the baby is full term, so there wouldn't be problems if the labor started now. I can't sleep (and by can't sleep meaning I get an hour or two per night, then have to take care of an almost 3 year old by myself all day), and I can barely function.<br>
Because I'm "full term" and dilated a little, would castor oil and black and blue cohosh work for me?
 

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even waiting two additional weeks can make a huge difference in baby's suck for nursing, breathing, etc.<br><br>
I would advise against induction.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I've had BAD contractions for about 3 weeks---and have dilated to about 2 cms from them. I was told that at 36 weeks, the baby is full term, so there wouldn't be problems if the labor started now. I can't sleep (and by can't sleep meaning I get an hour or two per night, then have to take care of an almost 3 year old by myself all day), and I can barely function.<br>
Because I'm "full term" and dilated a little, would castor oil and black and blue cohosh work for me?</div>
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It's best to let baby cook as long as possible. You should really strive to hit 38 weeks at minimum. (I don't consider 36 or even 37 weeks full term.) Inducing means your body wasn't ready to go into labor yet and can cause more problems than you would have had otherwise. (Longer labor, etc.) You mentioned you can barely function.... sounds like you really need to get some sleep and relaxation. That's not how you want to be when you do start labor, kwim. It's much harder to cope with labor/birth when you are stressed out and tired. I personally felt using the cohoshes was not for me. I wasn't comfortable with their cons. Plus, like I said, inducing can just set you up for a long uncomfortable labor because baby isn't ready to come out. (S/He will be ready when labor does begin.) Hang in there, you won't be pregnant forever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know how much longer I can handle the contractions, though. I want to go natural with this baby, but I fear that if I keep having them as bad as they are, with no sleep, for 4 more weeks, I'm going to be so tired of the pain I'll cave in for an epidural.<br>
I'm tired. And so ready.
 

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I am SO sorry you're going through this. I ended up caving in on the epidural because I was exhausted. Still, knowing what I know after having babies at 37 and 38 weeks, I would let this baby bake longer. Somehow you have to get some help. Something that can help you sleep or someone to watch your child. Is there something that can be done?
 

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"Caving" and ending up with an epidural vs. your baby not having enough time to "cook"? Not a hard choice in my mind.<br><br>
Is there a way that you could get someone to help out with your 3-year-old for the next couple of weeks? Hire a mother's helper or look into pre-school or part-time daycare? Even someone to take him to the park or something for a couple hours a day so that you'll have more time to try and get some rest?
 

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How regular are the expansions? Do you only get them when you sit down and relax? Are you drinking enough water and eating nutrious food?<br><br>
Sometimes a glass of wine or benadryl can help. <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">(Do your research on everything before self prescribing!!!)</span></b> Here is a lot of good info on prodomanal labor: <a href="http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/prodromal.html" target="_blank">http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/prodromal.html</a><br><br><br>
Here are a lot of suggestions about inducing labor when you are <span style="text-decoration:underline;">really</span> ready. (I'd still wait till at least 38 weeks.) <a href="http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/natinduc.html#Philosophy" target="_blank">http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/...tml#Philosophy</a><br><br>
Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The only reason I'd consider inducing now is because the midwives said 36 weeks is full term. If they hadn't told me that, I wouldn't have even thought about doing this for another 2 weeks.<br><br>
The contractions I get come every night, every day, and for long periods of time. My midwives prescribed some safe sleep aids but the contractions are so painful I wake up with them and then feel hung over until noon.<br><br>
And no, there really isn't anyone I can look to for help with my son. I am a stayathome and am not afforded the luxury of hiring help or sending him to preschool when I'm not working. My husband works 13 hour days so he is gone most of the day.<br><br>
I'm willing to wait until the 38 week mark, but I don't know how much longer after that I can go.... I understand I'll be up with a newborn during the night, but honestly, the sleep I'll be getting even then will be more than I'm getting now.<br>
Thanks for everyone's input.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Poor mama, I understand. I had contractions from 32 weeks on and they were painful. This baby will probably come a little early on its own. I second the wine or Benedryl option. You could also research cramp bark and black haw, two herbs that can help settle down the uterus if the time is not right for true labor. I held off until I couldn't handle not sleeping anymore, took a long bath and Benedryl and went into labor the next day at 37 +4 wks. You can do it!
 

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Cal mag! I had trouble sleeping and lots of off and on cramps/contractions and I swear by cal mag. When I took it, I was fine. If I forgot, I suffered. It's worth a try before you do anything drastic.<br><br>
FWIW castor oil and the cohoshes don't always work and can be no fun--trust me on that one, too. At 37 weeks castor oil gave me the worst experience I have ever had in a bathroom, and contractions for 4 hours...then nothing but a sore bum for the next week to show for it. I'd ride it out, if I were you.
 

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36 weeks is still considered preterm. My daughter at 36 weeks weighed just over 5 pounds, had jaundice (not requiring a hospital stay fortunately), and was very sleepy with a weak latch and took a long time to learn mto breastfeed. I have to agree with those suggesting you try to let baby stay inside a little longer. One intervention you might consider is theraputic rest. I'm not sure if they do it for prodromal labor, but you might ask your mw about it.
 

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36 weekers can have a hard time regulating their body temp and are often so sleepy they have a hard time nursing. In other words they take loads more work than a full term baby.<br><br>
Yes my mw would deliver at home a 36 weeker but she would much prefer a 38 weeker.
 

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I am sooooo sorry, mama that you're going through this prodromal labor. I know that it is so very difficult to sustain a semblance of normalcy. I went through it with my first for six weeks. Then, when my first was sixteen months old, I started my six weeks of prodromal labor with my second baby. It was horrendous. My husband worked 12-14 hour days, and his work had just changed locations to a town an hour and twenty minutes away, not in rush hour. I was exhausted. I was cranky. I desperately wanted to kick over into active labor. I walked and walked and walked. I had sex with my husband a minimum of once a day...but that's where it ended. I knew, deep down inside of me, that my baby would be born when he was ready. And at 37 weeks exactly he was.<br><br>
I was exhausted. I was cranky. But, the night I flipped into active labor? I actually slept for four hours, a record in the previous six weeks!<br><br>
I vote with the masses. I've been there. I DO understand how hard and maddening and lonely and frustrating it is, especially when everybody keeps saying, "well, you've been having contractions, where's the baby?" "you haven't had that baby YET?" and stuff like that.<br><br>
And, until that prodromal labor with my second child? My first had not watched one minute of television. By the end of the pregnancy, though, she was intimately familliar with elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street 25th anniversary DVD crew (I'd kept it in plastic since I was in college!). It was the only way I could get a nap during the day, because SHE didn't ever nap during the day!<br><br>
You CAN get through the next weeks, because it's what is best for the baby. You will spend the rest of your life doing what's best for the baby, not what's easiest for you, soooooooo, get started now!<br><br>
Cramp bark, a deep warm bath tub...<br><br>
Break a leg! Oh, and make sure you have a good support system for POST partum, because you'll be really tired!
 

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My first thought when clients complain of prodromal labor is always what position the baby is in. Visit Spinning Babies, do some belly mapping, and work on Optimal Fetal Positioning. Hope that helps. <a href="http://www.spinningbabies.com" target="_blank">http://www.spinningbabies.com</a>
 
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