Last night, I started taking evening primrose oil capsules orally and the um, other way (vaginally. There. I said it.). I took two capsules in both holes and went to bed. Evening primrose oil, or EPO, is supposed to ripen your cervix which will help when you are in labor. At my last appointment, I was high, closed, tight as a drum, however you want to put it. No progress. Sure, at that point I was only 38 weeks and 4 days but since I have never dilated on my own I don’t know if my body will cooperate in a timely manner and quite frankly, I’m a little worried. I have been super proud of how this pregnancy has turned out compared to the last one but the whole not-dilating thing is pretty much the same with both Avery and Filbert. Lame, guys. My kids are lazy and would rather float in a sac of Dr. Pepper and homemade banana bread than enter the world.
I wish I could tell my little floater than hey, being a baby is super easy, I promise. You have food on tap , you get to wear cute-as-hell clothes, everyone thinks you’re precious, and you get snuggled nonstop.
Being a baby is fucking amazing. Is being a fetus all that great? You can’t do anything but float and get the filtered nutrients from what mom eats. Ew. Isn’t breastmilk sweet or something? That’s got to be better than filtered turkey sandwiches and those wretched prenatal horse pills. Also, you’re pretty much folded in half while in the womb and there isn’t much wiggle-room at this point. BORING. When you are born, you can stretch out as much as you want. Did I mention the cute clothes? You won’t care but trust me, you’re going to look awesome.
So, back to the EPO. I inserted two capsules and went to bed. I thought that I felt something going on down there but who knows. Since I have a history of UTIs and yeast infections I decided not to do anymore but I will keep taking them orally. Tonight, I took four capsules (a total of 4000 mg which is totally safe, I promise) and while I haven’t noticed any additional contractions of any kind, I have noticed another side effect… GAS. Lots and lots of gas. Holy smokes, y’all, the gas is horrendous.
I’m not saying that EPO does or doesn’t work. I have read countless message boards, blogs, and websites of both reputable and not sources who say that it does work. One can assume that it works but what if your body was doing all of that dilating and effacing already and you’re just giving credit to the pills when it was all you the entire time? There’s no way to know. You can’t compare pregnancies from the same woman either because every pregnancy is different.
While it may or may not work, I figured that it’s worth a try to help things move along. According to the more credible sources, taking EPO isn’t harmful in any way (unless you have placenta previa, which I do not) so I’m not doing damage by taking it. It can only help. Or do nothing.
I am also bouncing on my birthing ball for about twenty minutes at a time periodically throughout the day. I usually do it while we are watching TV since I’m already sitting down – I may as well be actively sitting, right? I don’t know if this helps either but it does feel good on my legs.
There are some other methods that people use to get the ball rolling on labor that are more widely accepted – sex, nipple stimulation, and walking. Obviously, I’m trying them all. Walking feels really good (okay, the other stuff does too) so I try to get in at least a twenty-minute walk a few times per day. Even if it’s a short walk to and from the park, at least it’s something. I would love to be able to take a brisk walk alone but now that I’m tethered to my child all day I don’t have that option. Besides, she needs the fresh air and activity too.
I have my next prenatal appointment on Tuesday (I will be 39 weeks, 1 day) but I doubt that my midwife will check my progress. They are a very hands-off practice which I appreciate even though at times it can be kind of annoying. I’m sure she’d check me if I asked her but I should probably just go with the flow and let things happen.
Let them happen with assistance, of course. Otherwise, why the hell am I taking stinky-fart-creating EPO and tweaking my nipples all damn day?