Part 2 of 3 – Leading Up To The Birth

13 Jun

The last two weeks were agonising. I was already on maternity leave, the nursery was ready and my baby was in no hurry to exit his warm and cosy cocoon. The toilet trip four or five times a night was a given and I distinctly remember thinking that soon I’ll be getting up for a baby in the cot and not a toilet run, I just couldn’t wait.

The month leading up to my due date, I had started drinking red raspberry leaf tea (the kind that looks like dried shredded leaves that needed a strainer), taking caulophyllum (a homeopathic preparation that tones your uterus) and popping omega 3 & 6 tablets like they were going out of fashion. These preparations were to soften my cervix and help get labor going. Let me not get into all the old wives tales that was “suggested”, that’s a whole blog all on its own for another day!!! I went to the gym religiously every morning at 10am in the week leading up to my due date and even the day before; my poor trainer nearly had heart failure because he said that he was not qualified to deliver a baby on the gym floor.

The day before my due date, Lester was going to help get the show on the road any way he could (within reason) so he decided to make a day of it. Thinking back, it was hilarious the lengths we went to get Samuel. He had heard that walking was one way to start labour and another was to eat a spicy meal so it was off to Zoo Lake for a brisk 30 minute walk with a bunch of very scary, flesh-eating geese. Can you imagine a poor, highly pregnant woman waddling around Zoo Lake out of breath and if that wasn’t enough, it was off to Sandton City shopping centre as well. For those of you who know the centre, it’s no joke on a normal day for a normal person so think about it!!! We got home and noting happened. He then made dinner reservations at one of our favourite Portuguese restaurants because their food always packs a punch and I ordered an extra helping of chilli. After dinner and still no labour in sight, on an aunt’s order, Lester ran a nice steamy bath for me with candles and bubble bath. I have to add here that any sane pregnant woman knows not to have a hot bath because it causes your blood vessels to dilate, thus lowering your blood pressure and possibly causing dizziness and potential for miscarriage. The only thing that happened was a lot of sweating and I ended up looking like an over-cooked pregnant prawn!!! In a last-ditch effort, we did the dirty and boy oh boy was logistics an issue! I eventually fell asleep exhausted from the day I had while my husband on the other hand, slept with one eye open just in case we’d have to do the hospital dash in the wee hours of the night. Needless to say, I woke up like it was any other normal day, still pregnant and waiting.

Then came what I refer to as the intervention!!! Dan dan dan dah…… My mother in law and gran had come up the week of my due date to be present for baby’s arrival. The night before my mother in law is due to leave, my family decided to have dinner at my place. Six o’clock comes and my guests walk in with a suspicious looking brown plastic wrapper and a box of peach juice. Without guessing, I knew immediately what it was because my mother had gone on like a stuck record about how I was born a week after my due date and she had drunk castor oil to get her labor going. We all sit down to a very hot lamb curry, no prizes for guessing why, and then I sarcastically asked who the bottle of castor oil was for. To my absolute horror, they all look at me with sad puppy dog eyes and gently plead with me to down the horrific stuff! My husband looks at me and lays the guilt on nice and thick. “Babe, my mother leaves tomorrow, please, please just drink it and we can have  Samuel and she wouldn’t have to miss out. Looking for a way out, I sms Ruwaida and fill her in only to have her side with them. At this point, Ruwaida’s hands were tied because Genesis policy stipulates that midwives are only allowed to induce a week after the due date, strangely enough that suited me quite fine at that point. After a firm but gentle no, on my part, my dinner guests left all sad and sorry for themselves.

I hadn’t even closed the door behind them when I turned around to find hubby holding in his hands the ghastly concoction and the broadest smile on his face. This time he pleas that he has gone to bed every night thinking that tonight is the night and woken up the next morning extremely disappointed; so if I was going to do it for anyone, it would be with him in mind because all he wants to do now is hold his son in his arms and I was the only one that could make that happen. Now on earth how was I going to say no to that?! My only condition was that we spill some castor oil out and then down it went. Disgusting!!!! For those of you who have taken the vile stuff, its known for its effects on cleansing the gut but apparently also starting labour, guess everything has to come out. While I lay in bed with a rumbling tummy, I wasn’t sure if it was the effects of the curry or the castor oil. At one point I had to make a dash for the loo… and that happened at least four or five times that night until FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! I was livid! Not only had I lost out on precious sleep (and not much of that was happening by that stage) but their plan failed just like I knew it would! Yet again, another disappointing morning for my husband but at least I knew I wouldn’t need an enema when it came time to push.

My mother in law left the next day and after all our efforts I was hell-bent on spending whatever time I had left before my baby was born NOT engaging in any foolish old wives tales and just letting nature takes it course! Part 3 coming up….

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