Nipple Stimulation, Castor Oil and a Half Rack of Ribs

Caroline has officially entered the Wives’ Tale portion of her pregnancy.

Hi everyone. My name is John Cave Osborne and I’m married to the lovely and charming Caroline. And I’d like to welcome you to the Wives’ Tale portion of her much ballyhooed pregnancy. Though she would probably refer to it as the Something’s Gotta Give portion. Because, well, something’s gotta give with this kid.

I mean for days now we’ve been living under “any minute” status. Yet for days now? Nothing. Zip. Nada.  And it’s starting to feel as if we’re Waiting for Godot over here. Caroline? She’s had about enough of it. As such, she’s been consulting various wives’ tales in hopes of enticing the little fella out of her womb, dropping said wives’ tales (out of nowhere) in casual conversation as if they were as ordinary as items on our grocery list.

Stimulate Your What?

“My nipples, you dumbass,” she replied curtly while making her way to the laundry room.

“Are you saying it’s common knowledge that nipple stimulation will induce labor for women who are near the end of their pregnancy?”

“No. I’m not saying that at all.”

“Then why did you call me a dumbass?”

“Because I felt like it, honey. Oh. And because you’re kind of a dumbass.”


“So are you gonna try it?” I asked.

“Are you kidding me? No way,” she concluded as she closed the dryer door, then briskly walked by. “Dumbass.”

Castor Oil

Earlier today, Caroline informed me that castor oil has been known to induce labor if you’re at or near 40 weeks.

“Does that mean I can watch NASCAR tomorrow?”

“Why would it mean that you can watch NASCAR tomorrow?”

“I dunno. Because it makes me think of NASCAR, I suppose.”

“Why does it make you think of NASCAR?”

“The name, I guess. Not the castrol part, but the oil part.”

“Cas-tor oil, honey. Cas-tor oil. You don’t even know what it is, do you?” she asked.

“Yes I do,” I lied. Badly.

“Okay, then, what is it?”

“Some type of lubricant used to… stimulate your nipples?” I deadpanned, relieved, at least, to get in the last word. Just as I expected, silence follwed my triumphant conversation ender.

Until Caroline thought of one more thing to say, that is.

“And that reminds you of NASCAR?”

Note to self: she’s good. Real good.

Maybe Grand Finale Will Hop on the Bang-Bang Train

So sex with a woman who’s nearly 40 weeks pregnant will induce labor? Really?

While I can neither confirm nor deny anything as it pertains to this particular wives’ tale, I can tell you this. There has, in fact, been some discussion of the Bang-Bang train leaving the station (where he’s remained dormant for several listless weeks now) so he can chug on along towards the, um, tunnel. I can also tell you this. If we did, indeed, decide to let the little engine that could, big-ass locomotive blow a little smoke out his chimney, it was strictly a joyride. Because nothing happened.

Assuming we let him out of the station in the first place, that is.

Spicy Foods and Pineapple

“And she said it was just a normal night, but they got La Paz and—”

“Chez Guevara,” I interrupted.

“What?” Caroline asked.

“Chez Guevara. La Paz isn’t the name any longer. It’s Chez Guevara.”

“I know that. Everyone knows that. But everyone still calls it La Paz.”

“Yet the establishment now goes by Chez Guevara.”

“What’s your point?” she asked.

“I’m not sure,” I admitted. “Except, I suppose, that I wonder why everyone still insists on calling it La Paz.”

“Well you know what I’m wondering?” asked Caroline.


“When this baby’s gonna get here, so will you please let me continue?”


“Anyway, it was just a normal night and she ate a real spicy dish at La Paz and BOOM, she had her baby.”

“Right there?”

“NO, not right there.”

“Good, because that’d be like a health code violation or something. You know, like that Indian place where the food-inspector guy found mouse droppings in the kitchen.”

“Wow, honey. As super-interested as I am about this mouse-shit tangent you’re about to take, is it okay with you if we return to the topic of having this baby?”

“But of course.”

“Anyway,” continued Caroline, “I think we should eat something spicy tonight. And pineapple. Pineapple’s supposed to work, too. So let’s eat something spicy and be sure to have pineapple, too.”

It just so happens that in our freezer we still have a rack of ribs which I smoked two weeks ago. And they’re pretty spicy. I can only assume that we’ll be having pineapple for dessert.

Wish us luck. I’m not sure how much more of this we can take…

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • muskrat

    We tried a bunch of these when our last one was running late at 40+ weeks, and what finally worked was watching the latest installment of “Star Trek” movies on a Friday night in my basement mantuary. 

    Incidentally, there’s a restaurant with an entree just north of Atlanta that claims to do the trick:
    See?  I can’t make this stuff up.

    • John Cave Osborne

      Star Trek, huh? so, fess up…did you used to play Dungeons and Dragons? i smell “yes.”

      • muskrat


  • Karen

    Lot of walking worked for me with both of my guys that were late.  Walked for hours on end at the Olympics when they were in Atlanta.  Baby was born about 36 hours later.  Walked a couple of hours a day with baby #2 until he showed up 4 days later.  Good luck!!

    • John Cave Osborne

      Karen — guess what? Caroline’s been on a walking spree. in fact, she walked for an hour yesterday and when i showed her your comment, she was all “Karen’s right. i could tell that something was happening.”

      so guess what we did this morning? loaded up the stroller and went on a nice long 3.5 mile walk. (still nothing though, but we’re not giving up!)

      thanks for the comment.

  • Cindy

    OMG, I love your writing.  I have no idea how I found your blog, I am a 53 year old women with 5 kids and 5 grandkids (with one due next Wed).  I love your and Caroline’s view on life and marriage and the way you can express it with the world. 

    I walked around 6cm for a week before my second one was born.  I had my hubby and family nervous all the time as I went along my business as normal!  My doctor even told me to drink some castor oil, no NASCAR for us though. 

    Have a safe and wonderful birth. My best wishes to all of you and yours.

    • John Cave Osborne

      thank you, cindy! what a nice thing to say. and we’re now officially on a walking spree. all the spicy food did was give her heartburn!

  • Anonymous

    I love you two. Your conversations keep me laughing. Sometimes I feel like I’m there watching you two converse and my head is going back and forth like I’m watching a fast moving tennis match. Both of my children were late, so I have no advice, but I really wish I would have known about these wives tales back then. I would have tried anything. And a couple of them don’t sound too bad. I hope to be reading about the birth soon. Take care, all of you.

    • John Cave Osborne

      suprisedMom — what a nice thing to say. i think most people would love Caroline + any old fool, as that’s how charming she is. i count my lucky stars to have such a fantastic wife. she’s hysterical.

  • Sue Ann Peng

    Your mouse shit tangents and verbal sparring with your lovely wife are highly amusing.
    FYI (actually, FCaroline’sI) castor oil works by causing diarrhea, which then often seems to trigger a global “eject all contents” reaction in the body.  I hope the next time I visit here Grand Finale will have made his much anticipated arrival.

    • John Cave Osborne

      @Sue Ann Peng yeah, she actually read about the whole diarrhea element and decided it wasn’t the wives’ tale for her! thanks for stopping by. and yes, by all means, i hope he’s here by the next time you stop by, too!

  • Juli

    I’m thinking today is the day =)

    • John Cave Osborne

      okay, folks, this is how to comment. right there. the power of positivity. i LOVE it! (though, if it’s all the same to you, i hope he at least holds off til after the US Women’s world cup final match…)

  • SarahB

    Good luck!

    My husband and I were laughing pretty hard at this.  We’re full term today, yay!  

    • John Cave Osborne

      @SarahB — hurray! GL with everything. (and glad we could entertain!)

  • Dawn

    SO funny!  I have two cents to contribute about castor oil though: Don’t do it.  I tried it.  It didn’t cause labor but it DID cause IMMEDIATE vomiting. As in, I didn’t make it to the bathroom, puked my guts out on the living room floor type vomiting. Oh fun times.  Take walks, scrub the floor, unpack the hospital bag (that one should kick her into gear, soon as things are put away). Babies come when they’re good and ready. Sorry. :)

    • John Cave Osborne

      dawn, you’re my new BFF b/c we both have 5 kids and a dog. well, soon i’ll have 5 kids and a dog. now all i have are 4 kids and a dog. so, yeah, the whole vomiting deal is why C shied away from that one. nasty, nasty, nasty. plus, like you said in your last line…babies come when they’re good and ready.

      • Dawn

        Ha! One cool thing about kids is that they grow up and move on. We’re actually down to 4 kids now and have upped it to 2 dogs.  And 2 grandbabies with 1 on the way. And she’ll come when she’s good and ready too. 😉

  • Beth

    Love your stories!  I teach child development so I’m able to share some of your comments!  The day before my due date, I went boat riding.  All the climbing in and out of the boat to use the bathroom on the shore and  bouncing around as we traveled over the water must have gotten my labor started.  Do you own a boat?  Maybe the excitement of the Women’s World Cup will get her labor started!  Go USA!  Good luck, Osborne family!

    • John Cave Osborne

      Beth! well, the world cup didn’t do anything to her, but it did almost send me into labor. i NEVER felt good about that game and had the most ominous feeling about that corner. so frustrating. i was a little more emotionally invested in the US women than i realized. man, was it exciting, though!

  • Melisa Wells

    I LOVE La Paz/Chez Guevara!!!!

    So did you go? :)

    • John Cave Osborne

      no. we ate that rack of ribs. and, yeah. la paz is the bomb. i always go w/ the chicken kiva.

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  • Danielle Sullivan

    When I hit my due date,  my midwife said to start drinking raspberry tea. I did and the first two days, nothing, but that third day worked like a charm. I never really liked the taste but was willing to gulp it down if it did anything at all. Now whenever I smell it, I get a nice little memory of those days (which I now miss!). Fingers crossed for you guys today! Enjoy every minute of this special, final delivery.

    • john cave osborne

      @Danielle — hate to break this to you… but Caroline, at age 42 in the dead of summer, 40 weeks pregnant w/ triplet toddlers climbing all over her like a knocked up jungle gym will, has enjoyed very little about this pregnancy and i dare say the same thing might hold true of the delivery! that said, she’s fought through gamely, but one challenging thing about this pregnancy is that it’s been under extreme circumstances. now, if you’ll excuse me, i gotta go mix up some raspberry tea. (and thanks for stopping by!)

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  • Katie Allison Granju

    I still call it La Paz.

    • John Cave Osborne

      that mouse droppings bit was just for you. (i still call it la paz, too.)