Sunday, December 26, 2010

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

At 6:30 AM the day after Christmas, the whole family sleeps. I would sleep, too, but I can only lay down for about half an hour to an hour at a time. Of course, I can only lay on my side, and it causes a horrible burning feeling down the sides of my legs. Naturally, I can't sleep through the burn, and I found myself squatting on the floor next to the bed, composing the first lines of this post in my head while I waited for the burn to stop. "Why not?" I thought. I haven't actively avoided the blog; I've only been lazy.

By the way: I think making teenage girls watch labor is not the best form of birth control. They should have to watch a heavily pregnant woman get out of bed. First, I use my husband's formerly sleeping form as a kind of wedge to keep from falling onto my back. If I end up on my back, I lay there like an oversized, upended bug, all my limbs waving at the air in futility. So I start with a funny backwards shimmy that lets me roll onto Mark. Then, I use my hands to fling the covers off myself with as much force as possible. This must be done with force. If I fling them away but they don't completely clear my [useless and constantly pained] legs, I will be trapped. Mark will have to get out of bed to rescue me, I'll fall on my back in the process, and we'll be back to the Palmetto Bug Pose. Once free of the covers, I use my legs to kind of bicycle the large pillow I have to use for my lower body out of the way.

All the foregoing only clears the obstacles; still I must somehow get my body out of the bed. Please understand, I am not a giant fatty. I've only gained 14 pounds since the day I found out I was pregnant. My face, arms, butt, thighs, everything is smaller than it was the day I got pregnant. Unfortunately, I'm carrying Hercules the Mighty in my uterus, and nothing works right.

From here, I have to wriggle and squirm for several minutes until I'm close enough to the edge of the bed to fall out of it. Sometimes, like this morning, I can slither off face up so I land in a kind of stable squat. Other times, earlier in the night, I just have to roll off and pray. Sometimes, when my bladder is really full, I give up and say, "Mark, I really need to pee." And he gets out of bed and helps me stand and makes sure that I'm over the tile before falling back in bed. Can't have urine in the carpet.

I lurched into the kitchen and turned the heat on under the tea kettle. Tea is so boring. It's bland; it doesn't bring any kick. I insist on using a real teacup and saucer if I'm to punish myself with tea. And today, I will punish myself with tea. Red raspberry leaf tea. I don't hate it, but I wouldn't notice if it never appeared in my life again either.

I gathered my cup and saucer, my spoon, a little brown sugar, and the tea. The tea almost has finished steeping, and I'll drink it. Bitterly.

Honestly, I wonder why I bother with the tea. It's good for the uterus. It's good for the pregnancy. Blah blah blah. Thing is, I'm going to be pregnant forever. The baby will keep growing past his anticipated 8.5-9 pounds (as of the 23rd), and my cervix will hold firm. I will walk 5,000 miles (and I will walk 500 more), and he will stay put. He's comfortable in there, curled up like a gargantuan elf, kicking me when he's hungry (or when I've just eaten), punching my bladder for fun, sucking his thumb and enduring the hiccups like a proper boy. Red raspberry leaf tea will not coax him out. And it's boring. Why bother?

I think I'm a bit of a spoiled child. Laundry bores me too, and no matter how many loads of laundry I process, still more will be required. Talk about why bother. I just started the washer on the third hot cycle to prepare the cloth diapers that Dad and Gail, his wonderful wife, sent me. I'm excited about diapers (for now), and still my Little Voice is whining and throwing a temper fit. "Isn't there something more exciting to do? I wanna surf the web! I wanna knit! I wanna go into labor! I wanna do something FUN!" GAH. Blah blah blah! Shut! UP!

Even when I'm doing things I like, I'm whining on the inside. Like knitting. I made Burgundy a really awesome pair of knee socks with a matching beaded cowl. It's gorgeous and presented a real and legitimate challenge to my knitting prowess. I know it's bragging, but I'm a pretty good knitter. Most projects get boring fast. This one took almost an entire sock to bore me! I think I had six pattern repeats done before I memorized it enough to go mobile without a copy of the pattern. And boy once I hit that? Whining non-stop. "This is boring. This is stupid. I want to be finished with this project. They're not gonna fit anyway. I wanna go play! I wanna bake! I wanna do laundry! I wanna go into labor!"

I swear to God, I'm never going to have this baby because I am FOUR YEARS OLD. No four-year-old should parent a child. So God in his infinite wisdom has decreed that I will never go into labor. I'm doomed to sleep in 2-hour fits tapering to 30-minute dozes, to waddle and lurch from bed to bathroom to kitchen to laundry room, to whine and moan and sulk for the rest of my born days.

And that is why I got up and opened the blog. Turned the heat on the kettle and set out the damn teacup. Turned the washer on for the third cycle of clean diapers and started to type. I found my big girl panties, and I'm wearing them [yes, Little Man, I know you're in there; thank you for that lovely punch. I'll go put on a clean pair of big girl panties now]. I know this post is the longest, whiniest rant in all of history, but I'm banishing the whiner, too. She has to shut up or have a different conversation.

I'm 41 weeks. Women all over the world are wrinkling their brows and saying, "What? Only one week overdue? I went two weeks over! My Aunt Sally's cousin, Billy Bob, got some poor girl pregnant, and she went four weeks over!" Well, more power to Billy Bob's girlfriend and to you. I have had enough. This little man is coming out; I plan to serve the eviction notice in just a little while in a form that only a gestating baby will understand. Castor Oil.

The midwife said not to take it in the afternoon and not to take it before noon Christmas Day (she had family in town), and as an act of love only (simple obedience could not have induced me to wait), I waited. As soon as my family arises from their gilded sleep (grumble grumble), I am off to Walgreens.

I know it will be nasty. I don't care.
I know I will miss visiting with my friend from North Caroline, who's here for one day. I don't care.
I know I will miss the Doctor Who Christmas Special over at my friend Christi's place tonight. I don't care. Uh, yes I do. I care about the Doctor and one last hoorah with my knitting friends. If it was earlier in the day, I might care enough to wait on the castor oil, but it isn't, and I don't.

I made cinnamon rolls and bread yesterday. Neighbors brought veggie and meat/cheese snack trays and a plate of cookies and fudge (I'm borderline gestational diabetic, so I really can't eat that stuff). I made gift bags and mailed them for all our close family (I made marshmallows. You should have heard the four-year-old whining on that project), and I have a few undelivered under the tree; those people will want to come see the baby anyway. My kitchen floor is clean (thanks to the awesome teenager), the living room and library are passable; in short, it's time. So I'm going to shower and wake my husband, and we're going to buy some castor oil. Wish me luck.


  1. Oh my. I am so glad we finally got an update, but I am so sorry you're so miserable! I only went 5 days overdue with my last one and it was horrible. I shudder to think of my mental state if I had to go even one day more.

    I giggled out loud at Hercules the Mighty. And I am completely with you in the raspberry leaf tea - that stuff tastes like dirt.

    I hope the castor oil works for you. The only natural labor induction method that I have ever had luck with is sex, but who wants to do that when you're one week overdue, right?!

    I'll be praying for you and Hercules today! Good luck. I can't wait to hear about the birth!

  2. Yes, so glad for the update! So sorry things are running behind schedule! (Of course, you realize he's just not done baking. And if it makes you feel any better, when I was all ancy before my Smiley was born, since he did not have the decency to be EARLY like his sisters, a nurse told me that boys don't handle being born early as well as girls do.)

    That being said, though, I would go with the sex before I would do castor oil. It worked for us two times! And with Smiley I had the midwife strip the membranes, which she did at 11 am and he was born at 2pm, so there you go. Whatever happens, I am praying for you all!