Monday, October 10, 2011
Strange, Outlandish and Frankly Bizarre Methods for Inducing Labor
My friend Savannah is extremely pregnant. 38 weeks to be exact. She’s at that stage where her belly enters the room a full 10 seconds before the rest of her. Savannah looks sort of like she swallowed the overly caffeinated planet Neptune with eight limbs and a penchant for martial arts. (I mean this in the most loving way possible. If they gave out awards for cute prego chicks, she’d win first place).
I was thoroughly entertained sitting across from Savannah and her husband Drew today, watching her mid section shift right then left, upward then southward on its own accord. On several occasions, I fully expected to see Baby Ava’s foot break through her mom’s stomach Jackie Chan style. I’m convinced that someone has secretly switched Savannah’s amniotic fluids with Folger’s crystals. That kid is off the chain.
As a person who’s carried two babies to term, I know what Savannah’s going through. She wants to have this baby. NOW. I remember distinctly that feeling of desperation. The 30 pounds I’d gained felt like 17 tons. I was tired, achy, short of breath, had acid reflux, cried at the least of offenses, could no longer fit into small spaces and needed to urinate every 90 seconds. The high point was having to be physically extracted from the restroom of a United Airlines 737.
Savannah is trying everything she can to induce labor naturally. She’s been walking, jogging, jumping up and down, stomping, eating spicy foods, praying, threatening and shaking her fist stomachward.
So, what can a girl who’s ready to pop to do to remove the 800 pound gorilla from her loins? Well, according to websites that collect data on the most effective ways to induce labor, there’s a vast agglomeration of exercises, spells, meditations and self torture that Savannah can try. Here are a few of the more outlandish methods.
1) Pineapple: According to smart, inventive and desperate researchers, pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain, which works like a prostaglandin, which softens a woman’s cervix (which happens to be constructed of steel, concrete and rebar). Okay, who writes the phrase “works like a prostaglandin?” Like we’re supposed to know how prostaglandins work, like I happen to have a prostaglandin lying around in my toolbox and upon reading this go “aha, it works like my trusty old prostaglandin.” I hope Bromelain doesn’t work too quickly or else you’ll be shopping at Walmart and suddenly drop a baby into the bottom of your cart.
2) Galloping: Playing horsey! According to two obviously Midwestern late third term pregnant chicks, galloping, as opposed to trotting, prancing or Tennessee walking, can cause your baby to spontaneously exit your womb and run away as fast as she can from the total embarrassment her mother is causing her. Don’t wait until they’re teenagers, go ahead and ruin your kids’ lives in utero.
3) Black and Blue Cohosh: Found only in the pantries of witches named Brunhilda and Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Cohosh, (not to be confused with Quahog, home of Peter Griffin) when combined with other unheard of, ridiculously named herbs such as Dong Quai, Squawvine and Butcher’s Broom (I’m not making this up), is very effective at inducing labor. The article points out that in addition to “bringing home baby,” Cohosh is notorious for causing infant heart attacks. I suppose if you’ve absolutely GOT to get that kid out of there and don’t consider congestive heart failure an inconvenience, then go for it. You’ll probably also let him play with loaded guns and drive his tricycle on the interstate.
4) Castor Oil: Widely known as a laxative used by people who’s only other option is to call RotoRooter, castor oil can make a person evacuate their bowels to the point of ridding themselves of everything inside their body cavities. ( think Flat Stanley). This method is used by women who’ve long given up on their cervixes opening and are now hoping to remove their baby out the backdoor via doing Number Two. The article I read emphasizes that castor oil tastes like a combination of Valvoline 10W30 and feces. So you may want to mix it up in a chocolate shake or chase it with antifreeze.
5) Visualization: Every website I’ve visited has suggested visualizing your cervix opening like a flower and if you think long and hard enough about this, your cervix will finally say “hey, I see what you’re doing, I guess I’ll go along with this charade and dilate.” I personally have never seen or spoken to my cervix and have no idea what kind of flower it’d resemble. But I’m betting against dandelions and spider lilies. If you’ve ever tried visualization, then you’ll know that it works about as well as the wand in your old Fisher Price magic kit.
I would list more methods, but the rest of them are just plain silly. Best of luck, Savannah. Maybe Ava’s just not done cooking yet.