First off, lets be clear.
Your baby's due date is NOT an expiration date, its merely an estimation, and your date is based on an AVERAGE. There are always going to be people on each end of the average. Some people naturally carry to 38 weeks, and some carry to 42 or even beyond!
DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.
There are plenty of evidence based articles about 'post dates' to give you the confidence in saying 'no' to any induction date you are uncomfortable with. (Try one of our favourite resources Evidence Based Birth)
There are many things that have to line up in order to go into labour.
1: Babys position - Baby's head being well applied to your cervix, and chin flexed are just as important as baby being in an optimal torso position. Sometimes your body will give you a few nights of 'false labour' contractions and these can help nudge baby into a better spot. This is your body working PERFECTLY. Its not broken. It knows exactly what's up. If you're concerned about baby positioning always check out Spinning Babies, and hire a doula with Spinning Babies training.
2. Mom's hormones: Picture this, you're a tiger in the jungle. You're pregnant (and just a heads up you have no idea even what a 'due date is if you're a tiger).
You stalk back and forth, back and forth, pacing, finding a rhythm.
You work yourself into a den, or a quiet corner of the jungle... BUT THEN an Elephant walks by just as you get comfortable and the Elephant says to you ' you should have gone into labour by now, lets make sure your body isn't broken', cue ultrasounds, non stress tests *ironic name*... This has me wondering, maybe the frequency of hospital visits post dates can cause you to not go into labour because of the stress of it!? (note: thats completely a ramble and not at all medically researched! )
How do you feel in this moment Tiger? Relaxed? Full of love? Or anxious that you're unconsciously doing something wrong? This kind of stress releases cortisol and adrenaline and that is NOT what brings on labour. Another thing that causes that feeling is being constantly checked on by family and friends, so give your partner your phone and he can handle the messages. You do you girlfriend. Watch netflix, go for walks, eat your cravings.
We need OXYTOCIN - ok, how do we get oxytocin? I feel like i'm the size of the aforementioned Elephant and my feet look like submarines.
The safer, happier, more loved you feel the better. Show your partner this blog post.
Rub her feet, make her tea, bring home flowers, make her favourite meal. Now is the best time to lay it on thick. Create a tiger den, and eliminate the distractions and enemies lurking.
Go out to your favourite restaurant and go to a movie. This is something you won't be doing for a little while.
Make plans: Go get a pedicure. Wander around the mall and window shop, have a lunch date with a friend who makes you laugh. Have something to look forward to AT LEAST every other day past your estimated due date. You have the BEST reason to cancel plans right now. Everyone will understand! Book an appointment with your RMT, your acupuncturist, your physiotherapist. Whatever your body care regime looks like, don't stop it to wait around for this baby, keep scheduling the things!!
Journal: write to your baby. Tell them all the things you are so excited for, the things you are scared about, and how much you love them already. Tell them you are ready for them to come on their own terms, and that you are going to be patient.
I tried EVERYTHING, except castor oil, but that's another blog post, there's a funny story you only get to hear if you're a doula client and you're stressing about dates.