I'm one of the lucky ones. I've had a really smooth pregnancy. Sure, there have been tiny bouts of anemia, some brutal morning sickness and definite swelling, but all in all I'd consider myself fortunate. I had energy (at least until week 34) and felt good. So, when the doctor told me that my baby was head down in week 36 or so, I thought I'd officially have the world's easiest pregnancy.
Then, the doctor lowered the boom on me. When I went in for my 39 week check-up, I was hoping for some good news. "There's nothing going on," said the doctor. "I mean nothing." For the record, I may be paraphrasing, but that's the gist of what she said. I immediately posted to Facebook, pleading for help -- old wives' tales, "legitimate" things that worked. The kind folks at HuffPost Parents reposted my plea on their page and, between my friends and the HPP community, I had some 300+ tips to work off of. I decided I'd read through all the comments and try the most popular suggestions, keeping a journal along the way. It seemed at the time -- and still does -- to be a fairly sane way to cope with the never-ending saga that is pregnancy.
Fast-forward one week. Still pregnant. On my due date. Hopefully by the time this gets published I'll be blissfully unaware of my previous pain, hopped up on an epidural in the hospital. Until then, here's that diary from my last week in pregnancy.
Full disclosure: Many of the commenters suggested sex as a means to an end. While I wholeheartedly understand the reasons behind it--semen is said to contain prostaglandin--it just wasn't one of the methods I tried. Call it silly, but that was one boundary I wasn't willing to cross with my poor, kind-hearted husband. Plus, let's be honest: I'd crush the poor guy--at this point he's only got 10 pounds on me.
Friday, March 15
9:45 a.m.: I'm sitting here eating pineapple. Fresh pineapple supposedly has bromelain in it, which supposedly has an anti-inflammatory effects. I keep reading that it's meant to act like a prostaglandin, which helps ripen and soften the cervix. Who knows, but pineapple IS yummy, so at least there's that.
1:45 p.m.: I'm trying my first cup of red raspberry leaf tea. I went to two health food stores last night to find it--both were sold out because "oh yea, it really works." It supposedly helps get contractions going ... even the box says that it helps with uterine muscle health. We'll see.
7 p.m. Friday evening: Walked all of 5 blocks to Cascabel, a taco place with locations on the Upper West and Upper East Sides. I loaded the chips with their "diablo" sauce, which was, annoyingly, not all that spicy. Then ordered stewed green onions that had the hottest peppers ever just sitting with it; quite spicy. Had a beer, sorry I had to.
Saturday, March 16
12:30 p.m.: I walked for 35 minutes on a treadmill at the gym as the snow came down outside. Stopped three times to pee. Good times.
2:30 p.m.: God bless the woman at the salon who gave me a 1 hour massage focusing on feet and legs. I was so tired that I fell asleep on the table and she didn't wake me.
Dinner: We ordered in spicy Thai; I followed it up by red raspberry leaf tea and pineapple.
Sunday, March 17
I didn't do much out of the ordinary stuff today. I did eat more pineapple, had two cups of red raspberry leaf tea, and took two Evening Primrose oil pills (which are said to have simliar effects to prostaglandin). I started having cramps around 12:30am and they have been consistently driving me crazy since.
Monday, March 18
Breakfast: A hearty dose of pineapple and 1 cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Plus two Evening Primrose oil pills.
Dinner: Left over chicken and salad -- not spicy, so I think to myself, Did I miss my chance?
Tuesday, March 19
Breakfast: I ate pineapple essentially all day. Drank loads of red raspberry leaf tea and took 2 evening primrose oil pills.
Dinner: I had heard about this "labor-inducing" eggplant parmigiana from a restaurant in Smyrna, Georgia. My husband kindly made it with more cheese than I've ever seen -- and he hates cheese. More tea. I was half expecting to go into labor on the spot. No dice.
Wednesday, March 20
I went back to the doctor this morning. My regular OBGYN is off this week (good timing, I know, but everyone says you won't care who delivers the baby, just that someone is there to do it) so I met with another doc. "There's something brewing," she said, "but I wouldn't cancel the non-stress test and estimated fetal weight test you have scheduled for Friday just yet." UGH. I proceeded to walk nearly 20 blocks from the bus stop, eat spicy broccoli for lunch and said quite a few prayers.
Thursday, March 21
My due date is officially here. I woke up in a fit of rage. How am I still pregnant?! I've graduated from extremely uncomfortable to sheer misery. I ate roughly 3 gallons (not really) of pineapple and walked the 9 blocks down to an acupressure place. I told her to do whatever she had to do to get this kid out. She said, "you mean today or tomorrow?" I must have looked at her like she had three heads. "I don't care," I replied. "Just want it to be soon." I walked back home, picking up spicy General Tso's chicken on the way.
I'm not a particularly religious person but I think I might head out to the nearest church soon.