So here I am, one day short of full term. It’s my fourth pregnancy, and still being pregnant this close to my due date is new to me—and kind of miserable, to be honest. Is that why I feel like I’m already one to two weeks overdue? Is that why, despite being fully aware that nothing is going to jumpstart labor until this baby girl decides she’s finally ready to meet the world, I’ve tried every half-baked idea under the sun to get things moving?
Yes. Yes, I think it is.
So here, in no particular order, are all the things I’ve tried. On the plus side, they’ve given me something to do. On the downside, well, I’m still pregnant.
- Vigorous activity
Scrubbing floors, vacuuming, heaving mattresses around when I change the sheets, walks around the park, walks around the museum, walks around the neighborhood, walks around the library, piggyback rides, and anything else that has me up, on my feet and moving around. Then we saw the doctor last week, who laughed and said it was an old wives’ tale that lots of walking will get labor going. Awesome.
- Spicy foods
I guess the idea here is that it will bug your intestines and make your uterus contract? I don’t know, but I did try spicy pizza—tasty, but no dice.
- This bizarre exercise
My friend came by with her two-month old and talked me into trying this move—start on hands and knees, like a modified push-up position, then sink back onto your heels (or as far back as you can get), keeping your hands planted. Return to the start position. Repeat until, I don’t know, labor starts? Apparently I didn’t do this one long enough.
4.Holding a new baby
My same friend insisted I hold her little guy, since another pregnant friend of ours once held a newborn and went into labor that night. True story.
- Positive thinking
I keep having rounds of contractions, and now I get all determined and try to will them into being stronger, longer and more frequent. So far, it’s not going well. I’m also daydreaming about my water breaking and can actually picture myself sobbing with relief because it means the end is really in sight.
This is the one folks seem to swear by—hair of the dog that bit you, I guess (plus something to do with prostaglandins, apparently)—and my husband was all for it. Clearly, I’m willing to try anything at this point.
- Bonus round—a sudden thunderstorm and a full moon
A change in barometric pressure relating to a summer thunderstorm? Check. Full moon? Check. Labor of any kind? Um, no.
The rational part of me understands that, obviously, I will not be pregnant for the rest of my life. The hysterical side (which is growing by the day) is a little dubious about that, and thinks I must try anything to this party started. So let’s hear it. Everyone has a story about what they did to get labor going, and I need to hear them all.