Stupid, uncooperative cervix.
I should've known that the phantom labor pains I've been having for the past week amounted to a big fat pile of squat in terms of progression toward real, actual labor. I am officially 39 weeks and five days pregnant. But my cervix hasn't gotten the memo.
The rest of my body, on the other hand, is screaming from the injustice of it all. The fact that obstetricians start telling you "any day now" two weeks before the due date is complete garbage. False hope, people. False hope. All that does is encourage pipe dreams of an early labor for a woman who is desperately close to coming unhinged from something as simple as running out of orange juice in the morning.
I had my 39 week appointment yesterday and I'm still almost exactly where I was last week: a little more than 1 centimeter dilated and 80 to 90 percent effaced.
The worst part is, I'm still desperately trying random ways to jump start this process. I even ingested two burning hot pepperoncinis on election night when the cavalry of pizzas arrived in the newsroom. And it may not sound like a big sacrifice on my part, but that's two more hot peppers than I've ever eaten in my entire life. And all I ended up with for my effort was burning lips, a few moments of intense gagging and hours of painful acid reflux. Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sure the baby LOVED it. She kicked and squirmed for hours as if I had just ingested an entire bucket of frosting made from real butter and pure sugarcane.
The doctor was appropriately sympathetic at my lack of progression and started talking a little more seriously about scheduling an induction. I made one final weekly appointment for next Wednesday, and if I don't go into labor on my own before then, I get to participate in a fantastic set of fetal tests where they hook me up like a lab rat to some monitors for about 30 minutes. I think it's to make sure that the baby hasn't started using bricks and mortar to build a three-story house or anything. Although I'm pretty sure I felt a power saw in there a few days ago. Maybe she prefers natural wood to brick.
In the meantime, I'm trying not to embrace a completely defeatist attitude. I know the mind is a powerful thing, so every morning I try to mentally will her to join in on the whole "oxygen" thing. It's cool, I tell her. You'll like it. Much more than slurping months-old amniotic fluid that contains your urine.
My next plan of attack? Bribing her by promising to make her a birthday cake. With a whole bucket of frosting made from real butter and pure sugarcane. Topped with a hot pepper.