10 Thoughts I Had While Walking To Induce Labour
I am 41 weeks pregnant. That is too many weeks. Not naturally, of course.
In fact, for some women, even longer pregnancies are normal and healthy. So 41 weeks is nothing to panic about. I have plenty of time left for this baby to make an appearance.
And yet, 41 weeks still feels like too many.
My daughter was born at 40+3, so I stupidly assumed this baby would arrive around the same time. It didn’t. And now it will never know the joy of being the favourite child. I won’t forget this week in a hurry.
I have been forced to spend the last eight days listening to strangers, friends, and family members telling me how to ‘get that baby out’. It’s so simple, you see, you just need to eat a curry, while having sex on a birthing ball, and that baby will just pop straight out. Or so I’m told.
After being told no fewer than 8 million times that a long walk would do the trick, I decided to give it a go. I walked a long way. I had to stop for a lot of toilet breaks, but I did not give up.
Here are just some of the thoughts I had while trying to ‘walk the baby out’:
#1: This Had Better Work
I have reached new levels of desperation. I need to get this baby out. The curries haven’t worked; the birth ball hasn’t worked. This had better work.
I don’t want to waste an afternoon walking in the blistering heat just to discover that this ‘induction method’ is yet another old wives’ tale. I need this to work. I have reached a stage where I would do literally anything to get this baby out. Well, within reason. No, actually, forget about reason, I’ll do whatever it takes.
#2: Argh, I Still Have Signal
Oh great! No matter how far I walk, I still have full signal on my phone. That’s great because it means I can continue to receive texts every five minutes, asking if there’s any news. You know, in case I had the baby and then just totally forgot to mention it to anyone. Thank God I have 17 people texting me every hour so I won’t forget. People are so helpful. Should I throw my phone into the canal? Would I regret that?
#3: I Just Need To Stop For A Pee
Well, I managed to do a solid five minutes of walking before I needed to stop to use the bathroom. That’s pretty good. It turns out, with a 41 week fetus inside me, there’s not so much room for a bladder. Luckily, every cafe, swimming pool, and pub will happily let me use their bathroom, because nobody wants to say no to the insanely huge, angry looking pregnant woman.
#4: Oh Great, A Hilarious Stranger
Oh, the public! Don’t they just love to stop and chat to pregnant women? Even pregnant women who are clearly angry, sweaty, huge, and desperately trying to walk the baby out.
And, you know what’s great about strangers? They all say the same blasted thing. So I spend my entire day answering the same three questions about the pregnancy.
Obviously walking has added an edge to my condition, because now strangers are making jokes about me walking the baby out, and wishing me luck.
#5: OMG, Was That A Contraction?
What was that? Is it working? OMG, am I about to give birth right here on the canal path? How would I even do that? Maybe a passing barge would stop and take me home. No, barges are stupidly slow; that’s a terrible plan.
I’ll just have to give birth in the bushes, and hope I don’t get any canal water near me or the baby. That canal water doesn’t look very hygienic. Why is it so brown? Is it even safe to give birth next to it?
#6: Oh, Ok
Of course it wasn’t a contraction. How ridiculous of me to think, for even a second, that I might be going into labour! I think it’s pretty obvious by now that it will never happen. I will be the only woman who is pregnant forever.
My belly will keep growing bigger as the baby grows into a toddler, then a child, then an adult. And I’ll need to rest it on a trolley and push it around in front of me. I’ll end up in the news, and they will probably want to make one of those freak show documentaries about me.
I’ll let them, of course, because I’ll probably be really lonely and socially isolated by then. After all, it’s not like I’ll be able to lead a normal life when my belly is the size of an elephant.
#7: Oh Great, Chaffing
You know what’s awesome? Carrying about three extra stone and then being forced to go for a stupidly long walk on a hot day.
My feet are aching from carrying this extra weight for so many miles, and I’ve started to waddle. My poor thighs are suffering; they can’t take this any more. If I go into labour after this, I’ll have red raw thighs during the birth. That’ll be attractive. Ha, who am I kidding? I’m never going to go into labour.
#8: Can I Get Away With It?
Right, that’s it! The next stranger who stops to laugh at how pregnant I am is getting pushed in the canal. That’s ok, right? I mean, obviously I’d get caught pretty quickly because I wouldn’t be able to run away. But a jury wouldn’t convict me, would it? Not if it had enough women on it. And especially if some of them had ever been overdue.
I mean, any other 41 week mamas would probably help me push people in canals, right? Maybe that’s a good way of inducing labour. Maybe all overdue mamas should be out there taking their rage out on snarky strangers? I think maybe I’ve struck gold there.
I’m going to start a Facebook group as soon as I get home. We’ll be like a group of slow-moving vigilantes.
#9: Why Didn’t It Work?
I can’t walk another step. I am well and truly exhausted. Everything aches. I have walked too far, tried too hard, and been too hopeful. And nothing has happened. My feet ache but my uterine muscles are still refusing to contract.
#10: It’s Probably For The Best
I don’t think I have the energy to give birth after all that. I’m exhausted. I hope I don’t go into labour now. I think I need to get a good night’s sleep. Besides, my birthing area is now so swollen that there’s no chance a baby would fit through there tonight.
I mean, even if I did go into labour, I think the baby would hit the disfigured, swollen brick wall that was once my vagina and have to turn back. Is it meant to be this swollen after a walk? Maybe I should Google it.