So my due date came and went with absolutely zero excitement. I mean nothing. Not a twinge, not a cramp, not a spasm. Fetusaurus was camped out happily and was not interested in moving. In the past 4 weeks, I had dialated to 1 centimeter. We went in for an ultrasound to make sure that everything was okay, and the conclusion was that she was just super comfortable and didn’t feel like getting out. My OB told us that if she didn’t start moving on her own, she’d need to be evicted. She booked us for the night of the 30th. I panicked.
I never wanted an induction. I wanted Fetusaurus to come on her own, because I believe in letting the process happen on its own. Don’t get me wrong, I still wholeheartedly wanted an epidural once shit hit the fan, but I didn’t want to rush Fetusaurus out. I wanted to let my body do what it was supposed to. My mom had driven in weeks earlier because everyone we knew had been saying for months that I would go early, phrased like this: “You’re so huge, there’s no WAY you’ll last to your due date” and “Are you SURE your due date is right?” and “You’re going to have that baby any day now!” People at my new job had been telling me how humongous I was for weeks. My mom had been frantically cleaning the house and getting things organized, and now we were ready to go and…nothing. So we resorted to old wives’ tales.
1. Root beer float. This one came courtesy of my grandmother, who claims she had one of these right before she went into labor with my mom. My mom despises root beer, and says that she was chased out by the awful taste. I love root beer, so I took full advantage of this one. I took advantage of it multiple times, in fact. Nothing.
2. Long walks. My mom began phrasing this like I was a pet. “I’m taking Sarah for a walk,” she’d tell people. We went for a couple of short walk, and one long, hip-splitting, pelvis-cracking walk along the bayou. I’m sure it was great exercise, and I’m sure Gumbo, who got to go along with us on these walks, loved it, but nothing happened as a result of this except that I spent the next day and a half feeling like my lower body was going to split in half.
3. Spicy foods. Husband, who dumps hot sauce on everything I make for him, was thrilled to hop on board with this one. I made spicy buffalo chicken sandwiches, tacos with hot salsa, cajun-spiced chicken. Result: raging heartburn and nostril-hair-burning gas coming out of both ends that pretty much decimated all remaining attraction Husband had ever felt toward me.
4. Sex. Fuck. Off. People kept telling me to try this, but as I could not find any instructional videos on how manatees mate, I could not figure out how this would work. Also, after old wives’ tale #3, I was possibly the least sexually appealing person in the world. I don’t blame Husband for wanting to stay away from that entire region.
5. Pineapple. I love pineapple, so I was happy to try this. I ate slices of pineapple. I gnawed on the core like a squirrel on a corn cob. Nothing.
6. Birthing ball. I had heard that sitting on a birthing ball (which is what maternity stores call exercise balls so they can justify charging you double what it’s worth) helps to open up your pelvis and allow the baby to start to descend. I spent three or four days just sitting around on an exercise ball, swaying my hips and trying not to roll off. While it did great things for my balance, and was definitely more comfortable than sitting on my couch, it did nothing for advancing labor.
7. Exercise. I’m not even going to talk about this. I’m just going to show you.
Did not work. Was fun, though.
8. Scaring the baby out. Obviously, being due at the end of October, there was always the last resort option of scaring Fetusaurus out. We’ve got some great haunted houses around the Houston area, so I figured if nothing else worked, I could go and hope that I could jumpstart labor that way. But in looking through the websites, I discovered that none of them would allow me in if I was obviously pregnant. Discrimination! I considered telling them that the pregnancy was part of my costume, but I was worried they’d call my bluff. Plus, I realized that if I did happen to go into labor and had to deliver in the haunted house, it would be my life’s worst case scenario to have someone in a killer clown costume deliver my baby.
9. Curb jumping. This was a suggestion from my mother-in-law that apparently worked with two of her four kids. Husband took me for a walk (Well, sort of. He walked about 10 feet in front of me while I struggled to keep up.), and I attempted to hop off a curb. He took an action photo of me where I looked like a large, flightless bird.
After all of this effort, we made it to October 3oth, five days after my due date, with no action. Next step: forced eviction.