So this is the week, come hell or high water, this. is. the. week. Wednesday. If she doesn’t try to make her way out on her own before then, Wednesday, this happy lady will be stretched out UVM Medical Center with a drip of Pitocin in her arm to yank this small girl from her cozy abode.
This is all new territory for me, this whole “inducing” thing. Henry was yanked from his cozy abode by a pair of gloved surgical hands, no inducing required. But now it seems like Wren will be leaving by way of the chemically induced express or… the recipe.
What is the recipe, you might ask? The recipe is currently on a sheet of white paper stuck to our fridge with a magnet that says “S is for Stop”. It should be held up with a “G is for Go” magnet, but I think G might have been given to a goat or something.
The recipe was written out for me by a very nice lady in her early sixties at my OB/GYN. She informed me that it was gleaned from several reliable resources including an Australian midwife who bemoans the Western world’s use of recliners, claiming that they are the reason for the escalation of c-section births in the United States. Sorry Lazy Boy, I guess you’re living up to your name a little too much when it comes to fetal positioning.
The recipe was given to me during a NST (Non-stress test) on Wren. A test used at 41 weeks of pregnancy to make sure that the fetus is still thriving in its worn out uterine home. (Wren passed with flying colors!) So there I am, sitting, having the fetal monitors strapped to me and “recipe lady” asks,
“What have you tried to self induce?” Ummm…. everything? Even pledging to sacrifice my body to the pregnancy gods for one single contraction. I list off the usuals, walking, bouncing on an exercise ball… sex.
Then she takes out that white piece of paper that is now on my fridge.
“Here’s what I want you to do.” She clicks her pen. “I want you to walk for one hour at enough of a speed so that you feel like you’re working. Drinking water the entire time. Mall walking is the best. Bonton, Express, The Gap, what do these things have in common?” Overpriced clothes that I’ll probably never be able to fit into again? “Bathrooms.” Then she looks up from scribbling and says with a wide smile, “remember, a hydrated uterus is a happy uterus.” Remind me to make a bumper sticker of that one.
“Then rest, then I want you to get in the shower. I want you to take a half hour shower with the water beating down on your breasts, your nipples especially.” This woman looks a lot like my mother, I’m noticing as she’s talking about my nipples. “A lot of people will tell you that you need to sit and twist your nipples.” She brings her hands up to her Lands-End turtleneck and imitates turning the knobs on a radio. “I don’t want you twisting them. That can bring on really strong contractions that would be bad for the baby. The water hitting your nipples is enough stimulation.” She writes this down.
“Then, I want you to take your exercise ball and drape yourself over it. Have your partner? Husband? Boyfriend?”
“Husband, take out some lotion and massage your tailbone. Up and down. This will help open your pelvis by relaxing it.” She scribbles more.
“Then,” Good God, there’s more? “I want you to have sex.” My heart stops. This is the one thing on the “inducing suggestion list” that I have not looked forward to. I think I would rather “radio dial” my nipples for an hour than do it. Look, it’s nothing against my husband, AT ALL. But I’m huge. I haven’t seen that part of my body in months and the last thing I feel like doing is having anything remotely close to “business time”. But I want this kid out, right? “I want you to have sex and then don’t get out of bed. Stay there. Make sure that you’ve already gone to the bathroom.” Silly lady, don’t you know that it doesn’t matter if I go to the bathroom before I go to bed, I’ll need to go in twenty minutes any way? “That sperm needs to be right up against your cervix for as long as possible.”
I think of my husband out in the waiting room. What has he turned into? A Pez dispenser for sperm. Remember Andy, when we did this to feel close and loving? Well, now you are just like a human version of a turkey baster, sorry about that.
But that ends up being the last thing on the list. She hands it over to me, unhooks the monitors, tells me that Wren is doing great and I head out the door. New project in hand.
So that’s been my life for the past week. Trying my best to put the recipe into practice and ticking off the days until Wednesday. The walking is nice. Shelburne is really pretty at dusk and since I don’t have a smart phone, my best friend has let me borrow her old iPod until after the birth. She has told me that if I get baby goo on it, I keep it.
The half hour showers are… boring. They entail me standing in the stream of water holding my chest out like I’m in some kind of strange medical examination line up. A half hour gives me a lot of time to think about the challenge Andy and I are going to be heading into, but most nights I get through the time my singing “Jesus Christ Superstar” or doing whale impressions with the water. You should see how high up the wall I can spit!
The massage is… awesome! Ten minutes and it’s my favorite part of the entire recipe. I had no idea how much weight I carry around on my spine all day!
The sex is… well… utilitarian. That’s how I’m going to put it. It’s there so I can check off the last thing on the list, nothing more. Maybe some day we’ll go back to candles and Marvin Gaye, but right now, I’m sorry to say it’s a means to an end.
So there you have it everyone. The secret life of an overdue woman who is cleaving to a single piece of white paper as if it were the Bible.
It might not work. This whole recipe. The pitocin on Wednesday might be the only solution. But at least this is giving me a great story to tell my daughter when she’s old enough.
And by “old enough” I mean old enough to hear her mother talk about sex with her father and nipple stimulation without wanting to throw herself out a window… she might never be old enough.