Waiting for baby number 2

ESTRAGON:Nothing to be done.

VLADIMIR: I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. So there you are again.

The gestation period for a human is somewhere between 8 and 357 months give or take a day here and there.

Once your partner goes over the magical due date, calculated with the midwife’s official NHS predictor wheel, she might as well have been pregnant for a hundred years. “But, but, the wheel, how could the wheel be wrong?” you mutter disbelievingly to one another.

It turns out only around 4% of babies are born on their due date. Some of them like to surprise you by coming out in the bath or just at home, 9 months after sleeping with Martin Fowler. Some of them just hang around inside for a bit – the fetal equivalent of pressing snooze – yeah, yeah 15 more minutes.

If that’s you, and at the moment it’s us, luckily there is a potent cocktail of invasive procedures and poorly evidenced home remedies out there to get things moving.

Pineapples!

Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which is thought to soften the cervix [not really sure what a cervix is but I’m definitely picking up that it’s important]. The bad news is that you need to eat at least 8 pineapples to get anywhere near the amount of bromelain to have any effect. The worse news is that bromelain breaks down protein which is why pineapple makes your tongue sting. So when you eat a pineapple, effectively it’s eating you back. Maybe you’ll give birth a bit earlier but after 8 whole pineapples, you’ll be doing it tongueless.

A nice hot curry!

Hark the sound of 41 week pregnant women with indigestion and temperature regulation issues everywhere – “Please oh please bring me a chicken madras, popadums, onion bhaji, bombay potatoes and a small polythene bag of warm salad.”

Sweep

Cast from your mind the image of a cheery Dick van Dyke because there’s nothing super‐cali‐fragil‐istic‐expi‐ali‐docious about this procedure. Do however bring to mind an individual with the digital dexterity required to operate Sooty’s friend and you’re in the right ball park. Being the supportive partner I am, I was happily, but unnecessarily present for this. There really is nothing to be done other than carefully study the ‘how to wash your hands correctly’ poster until it’s all over. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t google it, don’t ask anyone about it. You’re better off not knowing.

Reflexology

Paying £50 for someone with a certificate they ran off at home to fondle your toes might get those oxytocin levels up. Probably won’t though.

The Unspeakable Act

According to Babycentre “semen is rich in prostaglandins, which are the chemicals that are used in hospital inductions to kick-start labour.”

Oh down boy, all this talk is making me hot under the collar….wait, what’s that Mumsnet?

“At 40 weeks pregnant, sex is probably just slightly more enjoyable than having a sweep, if you can be bothered.”

Ah okay don’t worry about it.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

No one drinks this in real life. Overdue women are the only market for this product. Do raspberries even have leaves?!

We continue to wait.

Last word to the NHS: “There are no proven ways of starting your labour yourself at home.” The baby will come when it’s ready but I guess that’s easy for me to say as it’s not my bladder it’s using as a punch bag.

VLADIMIR:

Well? Shall we go?

ESTRAGON:

Yes, let’s go.

They do not move.

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