Charlie said I should write a book about “natural” labor induction advice that I’ve taken and what doesn’t work. Namely: everything.
While most everyone I know had an experience prior to her labor that may or may not have been a coincidence, I have still resorted to trying almost all of it in an attempt to get things started. I don’t think I’ve done enough to actually write a book, so we’ll just have to accept a blog entry.
Here is a list of what I’ve tried and has clearly not worked for me: walking (I walk blocks several times a day, to the point that it feels as if my legs are going to give out from under me); spicy Mexican food, including but not limited to a Mexican pizza from Bazbeaux at my friend Annie’s request; spicy Indian food on several occasions; frequent masturbation to orgasm, which is supposed to stimulate oxytocin and, hence, contractions; unprotected sex, which is supposed to stimulate cervical softening through prostaglandins (I’m already effaced, so maybe that part worked?); nipple stimulation (also to produce oxytocin); riding in a car on bumpy roads (this just makes me really uncomfortable and sort of nauseated). Considering I was full effaced over a week ago, and the baby has been at the zero station for at least two or three, I’m not sure why the pressure from her head hasn’t encouraged the cervix to open.
What I have not tried: eggplant parmesan (I hate eggplant); jumping up and down; castor oil; frequent enemas. I think it should be pretty obvious why I haven’t tried the last three. I’m guessing the last two only work in the case where you get dehydrated, either from diarrhea or just in general, and go into labor as a result. That doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. They don’t let you eat or drink at the hospital, so why guarantee yourself an IV with fluids? I’ve also had a some people recommend I get “upset.” One woman told me she saw a cat get hit by a car and was so upset by it she went into labor. Another few people have told me they knew someone who was really stressed out about something right before they had their babies. I’m not sure how willing I am to put myself in an upsetting situation.
Today marks 40 weeks, plus 4 days pregnant. For what it’s worth, that means I have been pregnant for 284 days. I was so worried about preterm labor because of the infection I got from having kidney stones, and here I am, half a week overdue and feeling as if my insides are bruised to hell. I just noticed stretch marks last week for the first time, and they’re right where I feel the most bruised, where the heaviest, largest part of the baby seems to be sitting all the time. It’s funny to go 8 months and 3 weeks without any stretch marks, then have them magically appear at the last minute, looking red and angry.
Yesterday I had my first non-stress test and, within the first two minutes, the RN was laughing, saying she was sorry, but I was going to have to stay there for at least 20 minutes to get a baseline. Everything happened exactly as it should have; the baby moved frequently and strongly, and every time she moved, her heart rate went up. I felt sorry for the other woman that was in the room at the same time. She seemed to be having some problems and I felt bad that she had to listen to us not having problems.
My next appointment is Thursday. At 10am I have a second NST and at 10:50 I see my OB. At our last visit, I was told that, if I’m not opposed to being induced, I can come with my bags packed. I am opposed to an induction. Despite the incredible discomfort, the constant trips to the bathroom, the weight on my stomach, the pressure in my back, the creaking of my knees . . . I just don’t know if I want to take that step less than a week past my due date. IVs, catheters, epidurals, a potential C-section; those aren’t things I want to sign up for. Those are things I want to happen because they HAVE to, not because I’m sick of being knocked up.
I really would like to meet this little girl, get her an official name, learn to change a diaper, and complain about getting no sleep instead of complaining about being bored. I’m ready to experience childbirth (rather, be done with experiencing it) and, especially, heal from that. I’m ready to wear regular clothes again, have a beer and maybe a smoke. Of course, if I can breastfeed, maybe those last two things won’t be happening. I’m definitely ready to have SOMETHING ELSE to talk about.
But I’m not ready to give myself eight enemas today.