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Marisa's Pregnancy Journal

Week 38
~ "No dilation, no dilation at all."

Well, the real quote is "No cooperation, no cooperation at all," which is what The Dodo says in Disney's Alice in Wonderland as he starts trying to burn the White Rabbit's house down to get the "monster" (Alice) out, and no one is helping. Half-naked in the stirrups, as my cervix was being checked for . . . anything, I pictured this cartoon dodo saying different words, but with equal seriousness. Nothing, the doctor said. No effacement, no dilation. "No dilation, no dilation at all," says the busybody dodo in my head, echoing the doctor.

So, probably like a lot of women who are told this at 38 weeks, I went home and Googled ideas for starting labor. I know a bunch of it is unsubstantiated hooey, but some of it makes some sense, and I've got to get this cervix ripe! Prostaglandins can soften the cervix, semen contains prostaglandins, therefore sex can help get things going . . . acupressure point Ciliao BL-32 can be used in combination with Hegu L.I.-4 and Sanyinjiao SP-6 with the support person applying firm downward stokes from Ciliao BL-32 through to the buttocks for 5 minutes once or twice a day . . . tropical fruits such as kiwi, mango and pineapple contain an enzyme that may cause mild contractions . . . SO I have been a pineapple-eating, acupressure-point-rubbing, ready-for-sex machine. (My husband has finally asked me to stop begging when we've gone for more than a day without fooling around.) The things I can't quite bring myself to do include weird teas, castor oil . . . anything along those lines, which is probably for the best.

In the meantime, when I have a brain left, I have plenty of work to get done. I was asked to teach our seminar section of AP English Lit next year, which is very exciting for me, but which will take a lot of extra work and planning. I had been thinking of taking some time off at the beginning of the year, and this may change that. I can't decide, but in the meantime I'm trying to do enough work over the summer so that my options will be open without too much stress come August.

Did I mention that I have given up on the stretchmark preventatives for now? It was too much work, washing my huge belly and applying lotion three times a day. If I have that energy, there are other things that I can do. I'll start again at some point after the baby comes. For now, I have to focus my energy on visualizing the baby's lungs developing . . . another thing to try to speed things along!

~ Marisa

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