Every twinge is obsessed about. Every "symptom" is googled: is this a sign of impending labor?
The answer is YES! Everything is a sign of impending labor!
AF-type Cramps? Yes!
Loose BMs? Yes!
Braxton Hicks contractions? Yes! (Times 1000 in my case. Every day. For weeks. And weeks)
Baby dropping? Yes!
Peeing more? Yes!
Sharp, stabbing pains in your cervix? Yes!
Increased energy? Yes!
Feeling serene? Yes!
Feeling anxious and crazy? Yes!
In fact, if you feel it, obsess about it, google it, post on pregnancy boards, and talk to your mommy friends, SOMEONE will tell you that "yes, I had that too! and I went into labor SOON!"
Well, if all of these symptoms are signs of early labor then I have been in early labor for about 4 weeks.
Everyone tells you when you are 37, 38, 39, 40 (and beyond?) weeks pregnant that you are ALMOST there! The baby will be here SOON!
Yes. In theory, this is true.
Except for the only "SOON" that means anything to the extremely pregnant woman is "today." Anything that is not "today" is NOT SOON!
Because pregnant women are crazy. Having the baby is all we can think about.
So because we are thinking about it so manically, we start to think, "How can I just get this baby out???"
Then the googling starts: How to Induce labor at home/naturally/myself
The internet will bring you SO many ideas! Ideas upon ideas! And testimonials from women who went into labor SOON (see above for definition of "SOON")!
However, if you spend enough hours with these self-inducement testimonials, you will see those Negative Nancy nay-sayers who say (insert snotty, high pitched voice here): "I tried that and it DIDN'T WORK FOR ME!"
"Pshaw, Negative Nancy!" You, the heavily pregnant woman, think. "Whatever! This will work for ME!"
So you try things. Things that I have tried with great hope!
And things that didn't work.
Let's start, shall we?
Fresh Pineapple: Along with pregnancy board mamas who SWEAR by this, I have personal friends who have eaten fresh pineapple and gone into labor SOON! In fact, one friend put a piece of pineapple in her mouth and her water broke (That was SO not a coincidence!)!
I thought, "Holy crap! I am trying this! Plus, I like pineapple a lot!
I didn't realize how much "a lot" a whole pineapple is. A whole pineapple is like 7 cups of fruit. In my wisdom, I divided it up into morning and evening doses. I ate and ate and ate those 7 cups of pineapple. It was yummy!
It was really acidic.
In fact, my gums itched.
My tongue starting hurting.
My mouth felt kind of numb.
By the end of my evening dose, I had a gigantic acid burn on my tongue.
But by golly, I was going to go into labor SOON! In fact, my water was going to break that night (since it didn't break the moment I put the pineapple in my mouth).
In fact, I think this is the night that I brought a bunch of towels into the bed with me because I was convinced that my water had broken.
Except when I woke up in the morning, there were no towels.
Stupid pregnancy dreams!
Well, along with the acid burn, the only thing the pineapple did was clear out my bowels the next day. Twice.
Ok. So much for that. I decided to move on. As in literally "move on."
Walking: Preggies swear by this. "WALK THAT BABY OUT! I walked and went into labor SOON!"
The only thing is, walking miles right before you go into labor contradicts with the other thing people tell you to do right before you have a baby: Rest.
So are you supposed to rest or walk?
I decided to walk. And walk.
And then I was exhausted. And then I thought, "If I am wearing myself out, how am I going to have energy to labor for hours and push that baby out?"
So I stopped walking. In fact, walking made my braxton hicks stop. Whatever. Stupid uterus doesn't know a good self-induction when it sees one.
Sex: You will see this idea all over the internet (that sounds dirty....not what I meant).
Well-meaning friends and relatives will give you a wink-wink-nudge-nudge and talk about doing "the big 'S'"
While there is actually scientific studies that show that DTD (doing the deed) will help kick-start your labor, I think people forget how unsexy 40 weeks pregnant is.
If you would like to be reminded, duct tape a 35 pound medicine ball to your stomach and then get your sexy on! Yep! Sizzlin' hot, right? Easy to do, right?
I could go on:
Evening Primrose oil? Been taking that for 3 weeks. Nada
Eggplant? not a fan.
Eating spicy food? I regularly eat spicy food so...that would be nothing new.
Spreading my legs wide, pushing on my belly, and screaming "GET OUT!"? Yeah, my sister-in-law tried that. She said it didn't work.
Basically what those pregnancy boards, friends, family, and my doula actually revealed is this: If the baby isn't ready to come, he won't come.
If the at home labor inducement techniques "worked," it probably meant that you were going to go into labor SOON anyways. Early labor is all hormonal, not instigated by anything a woman tortures herself with.
So, here I wait. At that lovely number: 40.