Labor cocktail and the light at the end

Being pregnant is a bit like holding your breath while driving through a tunnel.

The tunnel has been long, lined with lights. Some flickered, some burned bright, and some were burned out. Either way, you hold your breath and wish with all your might for your wildest dream as you travel through it. You hope that at the end of the tunnel, where the light burns brightest, you’ll receive sweet relief and the object of your wishing.

I am almost at the end of the tunnel. 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant. This fact assuredly yields a variety of reactions from people. I hear exclamations of surprise that I am A. feeling so good/looking so happy, B. allowing myself to go to absolute full term even with a medical practitioner’s blessing, and C. truly that far along and ‘could go into labor at any moment.’

I highly doubt I will spontaneously combust into labor pains as I type this but there have been odder things known to man.

I have also noticed that I’ve received more comments/well wishes from men than women. Why is this? You’d think that men would feel bad about commenting on a woman’s belly! Or maybe during pregnancy is the only time they can SAFELY comment on the size of a woman’s torso. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised every time I received a comment from a stranger about my pregnancy.

I have another 41.5 hours to go into labor by myself before my appointment on Monday morning for the labor cocktail and membrane sweep.

You: “Labor Cocktail? What in the world is THAT?!”

My midwife is giving me until Monday morning to go into labor and then I will drink (right before membrane sweep) a special labor cocktail recipe she gave me.

Labor Cocktail Recipe:

2 oz castor oil

4 tbsp almond butter

3/4 cup apricot nectar

3/4 cup champagne.

Blend until smooth. Drink at your own pace–no rush, but keep it all down.

She claims it to have a VERY high success rate at putting women into labor within 6-12 hours after. I am hoping in addition to the membrane sweep, this will prove successful for me.

To get things moving today, I made a fruit juice smoothie composed of 2/3 cup apricot nectar, 2/3 cup canned fruit cocktail juice, 1 tbsp almond butter, and a little ice. I’m hoping this might have the same effect as the labor cocktail minus the castor oil. We’ll see. I drank it about 30 minutes ago.

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Here’s my routine at the end of pregnancy:

2 capsules of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. (900mg total daily)

3 capsules of Evening Primrose Oil orally (3000mg total daily)

3 capsules of Evening Primrose Oil vaginally (at night, 3000mg total daily)

1 dropper of Black Cohosh diluted in a swig of water every 4 hours (4-5 times daily)

At least a gallon of water.

I attempt to walk a mile or two daily.

Sex 3-5 times weekly.

I sit on a stability ball and rock/bounce throughout the day.

I attempt to do squats daily.

I read through my birth affirmations daily, sometimes just glancing at them to remind myself to think positively.

I sleep on my right side with a pillow between my legs and two smaller couch pillows–one wedging up against my lower back and one wedged under my belly on the front.

I get up to pee once nightly and usually chew a tums after just for kicks.

I eat something every hour, whether it’s string cheese, a bowl of cheerios, an apple and yogurt, or a small sandwich.

I do not swell anymore, but still wear flip flops as I hate spending 7.5 minutes on getting my socks on, shoes on, and tied.

Been having period-like cramping for the past week. Before that it was noticeable hardening and softening of the belly (braxton hicks) but no pain. Now, my cramping is still going on but my belly seems hard all the time without break.

Have also been feeling very mild morning sickness symptoms the past few weeks–slightly nauseated, grumpy/grumbly tummy.

No constipation for a month (YAY!)

Bouts of energy and lethargy.

Overall, I feel that I have had a great pregnancy. Sure, there are tiny details that suck (hemorrhoids, stretch marks, throwing up, baby pushing up into stomach/lungs) but looking back, it wasn’t horrid. I am so thankful for feeling so good here towards the end. I am also thankful for my husband being so willing to help me with whatever I need.

He checks up on me a lot more nowadays, especially if he notices I’m breathing differently, walking oddly, or just blankly looking into oblivion. It means the world to me that he pays attention and genuinely wants to make me feel better. I know this will come in handy in labor/birth. It’s been a test for me to keep communication open and actually talk to him gently when I am not feeling good.

In the past when I wasn’t feeling good or had an issue, I would generally just clam up and deal with it myself. I have learned to open up to Sam about what’s wrong and I have found that it really does help me feel better to talk about it and know that he is there to help.

I cannot presume to know how I will handle labor pain but I can hope that with good communication, I can get through it calmly with Sam by my side helping me through it. He will be an awesome labor buddy and an amazing father.

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