Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Husband: March Madness

It’s March, which means its basketball tournament time and for those of us working in college athletics, it means a whole lot more work.

On the homefront, however, we’re having our own version of March Madness. My wife, she of the 38-week and one-day-old infant in her womb, is looking for signs of labor. Any sign of labor…anything that could even be construed as labor because she wants that baby out of her right now. She can’t sleep. She can’t get comfortable. She can’t bend over to tie her shoes. What she can do is balance things on her belly, which she now refers to as “the shelf,” but I know she’d gladly trade that party trick for a baby. Madness is an appropriate word because I’m watching her slowly descend into said Madness trying to figure out if she’s in labor or just having another false alarm.

So the past few weeks for us have been mostly Labor Watch 2012. There are seven main signs of labor, and Mary has experienced six of those. She’s had a major uptick in Braxton Hicks contractions, some of which are pretty intense. She’s 1 cm dilated and 50+ percent effaced. The baby has “dropped,” meaning Susan has settled down into Mary’s pelvis and is forcing her to adopt the pregnancy waddle. We already talked about Mary’s nesting, and we WON’T talk about the thing called a mucus plug which looks exactly like what you think it looks like. If her water breaks, she wins pregnancy BINGO and an all-expenses-paid trip to the maternity ward.

Baby Kicks
I want pickles
Wake up at
2 a.m.
…every night
New maternity wardrobe
Swollen feet
Mucus Plug
So tired I can’t move
Mood swings
Baby Kicks
Water Breaks!
I feel fat.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Can’t tie my shoes anymore
Baby stabbing vagina with a knife
Baby Punches
Crying at nothing
Severe morning sickness

For a first-time mom, it’s gotta be very nerve-wracking trying to figure out what is labor and what is not. Every new twinge in her stomach could be a sign. Oh, three contractions in a row? Is it labor? You feel like you’re going to puke? That’s new. Is it Labor?? You’re leaking something? Describe it to me! GROSS! That's gotta be labor!!??

In related news, I saw two groundhogs hanging out on the side of the road on Monday (true story). One (who I’ve named Punxsutawney Bill, the Patron Groundhog of Labor) ran across the road in front of my car. Assured it was a sign that he made it across safely, I expect labor any day now.

In Punxsutawney Bill we trust.

Every time we go see the doctor, we’re both secretly wishing that the doc will pop out from between my wife’s legs and say, “Well, look at that! You’re like 8 centimeters dilated! I can’t believe you haven’t felt that yet! You must have had the most painless labor ever! Eight centimeters, wow! You’re like a pregnancy miracle! Let’s get you right over to the hospital so we can have that baby right NOW! And before you go, here’s a trophy, your $5,000 baby delivery award and a NEW CAR!!!” 

You'll get a baby...and a NEEEEEEEEEW CAR!!!!

According to doctors, nobody knows what causes labor. In all the years that humans have been pushing out babies, NOBODY has been able to figure out what sparks the process. According to the highly trained research team at, an average of 133 million babies are born each year. That’s 247 births EVERY minute, at least half of those fathered by Travis Henry alone. All the OBGYNs in the world can’t find one factor that those women had in common and say, “Yes, that, that right there is what caused her to go into labor.”

So since we both want Mary Jane to go into labor like right now, and since we can’t find any definitive answers as to how to get that train a-runnin’, we’re trying every possible method we come across. Every wives’ tale out there, we’re giving it a shot (except castor oil, gross): raspberry leaf tea, long walks, sex, evening primrose oil, spicy food, sex, massage, pineapple, oregano, bouncing on the exercise ball, sex, sweeping the membranes, visualization and sex. Of course, we have two weeks to go until the actual due date, so the doctors won’t induce Mary yet because of “medical risks” or something.

Tonight, at the suggestion of one of my friends at work, we ate a massive vat of eggplant parmesan. No labor yet, but based on these testimonials, we’re hopeful.

Not in the pregnancy books, but you can't argue with the results.
All this aside, we both realize that we’ve been so blessed to have a complication-free pregnancy. But COME ON SUSAN. It’s been 38+ weeks! What else can there possibly be to do in there?

Surely, one of these methods HAS to work. My only hope is that when she comes out, she doesn’t see her shadow and jump back in.

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