When your baby bump gets as ridiculously protruding as mine is right now, people start making all kinds of stupid comments to you about when the baby is coming and/or how many babies are in there.
Scratch that… I’ve been getting comments like that for the last month+ since my belly has been hugemongous for a while now.
Generally I don’t mind the commiserating smiles from other women, but enough with the you-think-you’re-so-hilarious jokes, especially from men. A few weeks ago I was in an elevator at work and a guy said, in a stupid voice, “You’re not gonna do anything funny in there, are ya? I mean, I played baseball but I was never a good catcher. Looks like that thing is about to fall right out!”. Hardy har har. Thanks dude. And that was a few weeks ago.
I’m slowly but surely creeping closer to that moment that I [luckily!] never hit with Owen. That moment that most pregnant women hit near the end. You know which one I mean. The “get this baby out of me” “I am so DONE” “I will try anything to induce labor” moment. Most hit this point long before 39 weeks, especially in the midst of a heat wave like we’ve had around here recently, so I’m patting myself on the back a little for still feeling relatively good and positive at this point. But still, that feeling is niggling at me and I can feel myself succumbing to it a little more every day.
As such, I’m in that slightly crazed period of Googling (and thinking about trying) anything that I’ve heard might maybe kinda sorta get labor going. There are thousand upon thousands of old wives’ tales about seemingly unrelated things that will get labor going. To be honest I only believe very few of them. But hey. I’ve only done this once before… so what do I know?
Confession time. Here are the things I have tried:
- Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This doesn’t actually bring on labor, but it supposedly stimulates your uterus to get you prepped and ready. Tastes fine, is a nice water alternative, and my midwife said it can’t hurt (but cautioned me against drinking too much lest I have lots of unnecessary contractions).
- Evening Primrose Oil. Again, not a labor stimulant but apparently can soften the cervix. Taken orally and vaginally. Midwife said it can’t hurt, but likely won’t do a whole lot for me since I’m already almost 100% effaced.
- Eating dates. Some study (with a very small sample size) came out that indicated that women who ate 6 dates every day for a month prior to labor had a higher likelihood of their water breaking and labor moving quickly. I just started munching on dates 2 days ago, so I may have missed the boat on this one, but hey, they taste great and have lots of good fiber!
- Sitting on an exercise ball. I replaced my desk chair with my exercise ball about a month ago. Now I do it while watching tv or playing with Owen (it’s very cute to see him pushing it around the house for me so I can sit down). It’s far more comfortable than a chair and my hips seem to like being splayed out to make room for my belly. Not sure if it’s helping prepare me for labor, but it’s more comfy than sitting on anything else.
- Walking. When it hasn’t been too hot out, I’m still walking to pick Owen up from daycare, take him to the playground, etc. My midwife says there isn’t much merit to this, especially for a 2nd baby, though, so not to stress if it’s too hot and not to tire myself out by walking unnecessarily.
- Swimming. I’ve been in a pool a few times over the last month and swimming in a local pond twice in the last two weeks. Since “swimming” right now means wandering around in the water making sure Owen doesn’t drown, I’m not really going to say I’ve given this a good shot.
- Massage/acupressure. Got my first (and only) prenatal massage last Saturday and I asked her to hit ALL of those acupressure points that are usually avoided for pregnant women. The massage felt AMAZING, but it’s been 4 days, so I don’t think it had any effect on bringing on labor. We also have a foot/calf massager at home that I’ve been using while we watch tv at night. Again, it feels awesome, but I don’t think the massages are doing anything to get me closer to delivery.
- Sex. Tried it a few times. ‘Nuff said.
- Nipple stimulation. Again, not much to say here. Didn’t bring on extra contractions for me the way many women say it does. Didn’t feel all that great either. No thank you.
Things I have not tried, but have read about:
- Olive Garden’s eggplant parmigiano and/or salad dressing. Google it, it’s a real thing. But it’s not on my list of things to try.
- Castor oil. Ugh, I’ve heard awful horror stories about using this, and many of them do NOT end in labor. Not on my list.
- Eating spicy food. I had super spicy Chinese food the night before my water broke with Owen, so I’m definitely game to try this again! Just haven’t had the opportunity (as Chinese takeout is not something my gluten free family members can try, or something that’s very good for my gestational diabetes).
- Pineapple. Apparently lots of fresh pineapple contains some enzyme that puts women into labor. Unfortunately that would spike my blood sugar, and frankly I don’t have the time or energy to be prepping fresh pineapple (and canned/juice doesn’t have the enzyme).
- Acupuncture. I tried acupuncture when trying to get pregnant with Owen and had a positive experience. I’d be willing to try this in a few more days as we get closer to my due date and induction date, but I don’t have a local person I know at this point, so it would take some planning.
- Bumpy car ride. Worth a shot, but I have been busy working and taking care of Owen the last few days.
Anything else I should try? What worked for you? (Side note: I know most of these things are probably completely fabricated, and I fully realize that my body, like everyone else’s, will go into labor when it’s good and ready. Still, it’s fun to think about what could be done to get things going, and it’s funny to read about the silly things people will do when they are desperate. Help a sister out!).