I don’t think I was as anxious as I am now when my own kids were born. On Thursday evening, while out with friends, I got “the call.” My sister said labor was starting. Since she lives five hours away in Central Virginia, there was no way I was getting there in time. I was sad it had to be a night I was out of town and had plans, but what could I do?
I got up after only four hours of sleep Friday, loaded up the car and kids and headed down. I figured I could still be one of the first to see my new nephew. As it turned out, she hadn’t had him just yet. I could still maybe catch the actual birth!
Anxiety grew as my usual five-hour drive turned into more than seven. Still, no baby had arrived, so we were in luck. We got to the house late Friday and she was still home.
It is now Monday night… we are still in the same boat. She’s been having on-again off-again contractions since Thursday, but no baby. The anxiety grows by the minute, and it is getting tense.
We’ve decided, my kids and I, to camp out here for the holiday week. I’ve been trying to turn my anxiety into doing dishes, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning … anything to make her life easier (and, oh yeah, keep me from losing my mind).
We’ve also spent a lot of our time looking up and trying nearly every old wives’ tale in the book. She’s jumped. She’s walked up and down stairs. She’s eaten spicy foods. She’s walked for miles and miles, over tracks, on an elliptical, at school.
She’s continued to work, teaching the fifth grade, so she’d be on her feet more. And yes, she’s even tried the tricks of the bedroom. As one friend, a nurse, advised, “I suggest you try doing what got you into that situation.”
She had her doctor “strip her membranes,” some medical procedure that is supposed to help encourage labor. In Charlottesville, Va., only an hour’s drive from her home, there is a bakery that swears its Lemon Drop cupcakes spur labor. She’s gone twice now, but no such luck for her.
We have decided NOT to try castor oil, as it both sounds disgusting and warns that it may cause nausea and vomiting, not to mention a few other undesired symptoms. Even after all that and some repulsive taste, it is not a guarantee, so didn’t seem worth it.
But, my Patch readers, here is where I turn to you. I know you’ve got them, so what are your suggestions? How can we get this kid out to meet the bright new world? We’re all ears.
Both my son and daughter were delivered at 36 weeks, 0 days in the pregnancy. They were considered premature, though only by four weeks. We endured a week each in NICU, which seemed endless at the time, but all turned out for the best. Neither have long-term effects from early arrival.
My nephew has chosen a more dramatic entrance. We are on day four of “Babywatch” and still nothing.
Here I sit frantically keeping myself busy, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my baby nephew! I’d love to hear any ideas folks have out there. Please suggest ways to encourage labor in the comments below!