I wrote this today hoping that it would be the beginning of Sprout’s birth story. Looks like that isn’t going to be the case. Decided the writing shouldn’t go to waste…
In the weeks leading up to Sprout’s birth I had been having a bit of a rough time. I know that probably sounds a bit melodramatic to all of you out there, but I was just really sick of being pregnant.
First, there were five false alarms during the 37 to 38 week period. And then nothing. No activity whatsoever from my uterus. To get your hopes up that two years in a row of being pregnant are going to come to an end and then to have them dashed is just depressing.
Then my due date comes and goes with no activity either.
I was getting sick of this. Not to mention the heartburn, the feeling that my hips were going to fall apart due to that lovely Relaxin hormone, sciatica and back pain in general, feeling like it took a crane to turn over in bed every night, and the insomnia. I spent the last three weeks of my pregnancy up every night from 2:30am to 6:30am. I was just tired. I broke down into overwhelmed tears at least twice a week, whinning that I just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. Stephen would reassure me that it wouldn’t be much longer and I’d suck it up and stop being a cry baby.
Even though I was too chicken to try it with Bean, I decided that castor oil might be worth a shot this time. I’d had several friends that it had worked for. I looked on a few websites, saw that it had a success rate of 57.7%. Plus, since I’d had infinitely less morning sickness this time around I didn’t have the lingering tummy issues as close at hand in my memory. I asked Morgan a few details about her experience and whether the juice actually helped with the taste and all that just before Christmas.
My original plan had been to do it on my actual due date of Monday, Dec. 28, but I wound up spending the day ridding my bedroom of the mounds of baby clothes that were slowly taking over and organizing the closet in the kids’ room. Tuesday I decided to run all my last minute leftover post-Christmas errands like returning things to the mall and spending gift cards. Wednesday I had no plans. So, I got up and spent the morning eating a good breakfast, making sure I was getting plenty of hydration in preparation and playing with Bean.
Now, I realize that two days past the first of my three due dates (Jan. 6 and 7 were the others) is really within the normal range and due dates are averages and I should have expected to go past my due date considering I was a week and a half late with Bean and probably only went into labor then thanks to my sneaky OB doing the membrane strip without asking me. I knew all that. The crunchy, no-interventions-unless-absolutely-necessary part of me was saying that I was crazy and that the baby would come when it was ready and that I needed to stick to doing the “right” thing. But I was just sick of being pregnant. Two consecutive years of my life had been spent as a baby factory. I was just done.
At 11am I put Bean down for her nap (though she didn’t actually go to sleep until noon) and then got the bottle of castor oil out from under the sink in our bathroom. I came downstairs feeling slightly anxious, but determined to try something to get this show on the road. I figured the worse that could happen were some tummy troubles. Morgan had told me that the juice really did help with the taste and that baking soda was suggested to her to make it fizzy. Instead of trying to figure out my own fizzy concoction I just decided to go with some “natural” orange soda from Trader Joe’s instead. So, in a glass I mixed 2 tbsp castor oil, 1 individual serving size bottle of Orangina and the juice of 1 tangerine for extra orange-y-ness. I stirred the whole thing together and was slightly grossed out by the globs of oil floating on the top.
But I was determined. I was going to do this thing. So I gulped it all down as fast as I could over the sink. It actually didn’t taste much different than Orangina normally does. It was the texture that got me. Drinking thick oil is just sick. But I did it and I didn’t gag it back up like I had expected to. Then I anxiously waited for something to happen.
About 3:30pm the castor oil kicked in and had the intended effect that it is supposed to have on one’s digestive system. I was in the bathroom for about 15 minutes. And then more nothing.
4pm – Was that a contraction? Nope, just Sprout slamming his head up against my cervix. Yeah, pretty sure this stuff didn’t do its job. I am going to be pregnant forever.
5pm – More tummy rumblings. Still no labor though. At least my worst fears about several hours of diarhea and vomitting did not occur. At this point I was just mad that I drank a glass of orange slime for nothing.
6pm – Pretty sure it didn’t work. No contractions whatsoever. I’m making sausages for dinner.