When you become pregnant and start to show, suddenly your body becomes fodder for public commentary. And when you're overdue, that public commentary goes into overdrive. Every labor-inducing old wives tale comes out, which leads me to believe that impatience with this process is not unique to our life and times. Yes, we're eager for this baby to born; there are some passing anxieties yet there is a deep sense that this will all come to pass in its own time.
Besides, my anxiety level is tempered by the knowledge of what's coming, born of experience with two previous newborns - sleep deprivation, sore nipples, traumatized toddlers, baby spit up, a dozen diapers a day, a steep decline in personal hygiene and space and a serious toll on my sanity (for about the next nine months which is how long it usually takes my kids to figure out the sleeping through the night thing).
There are some things that I'm looking forward to ... an abrupt end to the heartburn, the frequent purchase of toilet paper and antacid, the even more frequent potty breaks, morning sickness (yes, still) and the aches and pains. And, oh yeah, we'll soon get to meet our new baby and to see the kids' reaction to their new sibling ... priceless. (I threw that last one in just so you wouldn't think that I was totally jaded.)
All I really want to do right now is get some rest because, really, when your a mom, sleep is the new sex. And considering that Fiona was six months old when this blessed "oops" occurred, I was probably asleep or at least pretending to be when this one was conceived.
So, you see, I'm not in much of a hurry here. But here are some of my favorite suggestions from people who apparently are in some sort of hurry on my behalf:
Spicy food: Blech .... my esophagus is already scorched from nine months of heartburn. In fact, that was my first clue that I was pregnant this time around. That and the fact that I was making myself loaded turkey wraps at 10 o'clock at night. I guess the point here is to spur some sort of intestinal distress to coax the baby out? Which leads to my personal least favorite ...
Castor oil: Okay, if you're a guy or not a mom, stop reading now. As eager as I am to not be as backed up as the LA Freeway on a bad day, there is no way I would want the kind of, um, free flowing traffic that this produces. I spend enough time in the bathroom as it is.
Bumpy roads: I already feel like I've been riding a horse all day. I have probably 8 pounds worth of baby crotch grinding me. Speed bumps and pot holes sounds like torture right about now. (I can't take credit for the term "crotch grinding." That was my husband's genius. Seriously, he hit the nail on the head.)
Jumping jacks: Men and childless women, you aren't still here, are you? I'm lazy about Kegel exercises, really, I am. My midwife and my first birth instructor swear by and heartily encourage them. At this point, if I did jumping jacks, I'd need to wear a Depends.
Sex: Um, no. Sleep is the new sex. Period.
Yes, those things may have "worked" for you or someone you know, but in all likelihood those things may just have coincided with the baby's timetable for arrival.
So we're back to waiting. And I really don't mind. Though I have to say that my firstborn spoiled me. I went into labor on my due date with him. Of course, it took us two years to conceive him. I guess he didn't want us to have to wait any longer for him.
A good friend once told me, when my impatience with trying to conceive Danny was at its height, to do something else while I waited. So tonight was a flurry of kitchen activity. Yogurt made. Meatballs made, cooked off and stuffed in the freezer. A couple of chicken breasts cooked off to make a few casseroles. Refrigerator cleaned out. Sam's Club purchases divvied up and frozen. Kitchen floor swept and mopped (despite my extreme aversion to mopping).
Now I'm sitting down with a loaded turkey wrap and some pretzels at 10 o'clock at night ... again. Maybe I've come full circle. Maybe this kid will show up at 2:34 p.m. tomorrow as a friend suggested to me today. Here's hoping, Carole!