The last week of May was quite the trip. After having the version, the contractions were finally noticeable, as though getting her to go the right direction was all that was missing in the effort to have her.
When I went to my doctors appointment on Wednesday, May 27th, I measured at a 2, which meant Baby could start coming at any moment. My anticipation was colossal.
Finished shopping, went home on Wednesday, come Thursday night at 6:30ish I started contractions. They were up to about 20 minutes apart all of the way through Friday until around 5pmish, and then they died off to roughly one an hour, but they were getting periodically stronger. This continued on through Saturday, and Sunday morning around 2 they were every 2-5 minutes apart, so we went to the hospital.
At the hospital they measured me at 3.5, my contractions were phenomenal on the read out, and we waited for two hours for dilation progression. Progression did not happen, and I was sent home— with the same strong contractions, though they were slowly spacing out again.
I had looked up start and stop labor on Friday evening, wondering why I was experiencing it. My answer boiled down to stress. Prodromal labor isn’t really pinned to one certain thing, so when I thought back on how my doctor had told me I was NOT a good candidate for induction based on how firm my cervix was, I figured stress had to be the key factor.
Sunday passed slowly along. My frustration and agony in the seeming-inability to produce the right conditions for labor hanging over me like a cloud of doom. Some women have had terrible experiences with prenatal triage, and I personally had a terrible experience my first go round. At my local hospital, the staff had been wonderful, my attending nurse had been supportive, she had known I was experiencing labor even though I wasn’t actively progressing yet. We lived twenty minutes away, there was no reason why I couldn’t progress at home…. but I still had no desire to go to the hospital and get sent home a second time.
That night in bed, I laid on my left side ((as I had been practicing for the last four nights)) waiting out the count of contractions. Again, somewhere around 2ish, something felt immensely different. The contractions didn’t necessarily hurt, but something about them said baby was on the way. They came up to the 3-5 minute mark, I woke the house, we rushed off to the hospital again.
Sure enough, when they assessed me in triage, I was at a 7. Two hours later, they broke my water and baby came along within the next ten minutes.
It was a trip. Lying in recovery after Baby was born, I found myself waiting for contractions. After spending four days in labor, it hadn’t quite clicked yet that it was finally over.
Here I am a week later, content to have my brand new daughter sweetly coddled in my arms.
My assessment of the situation boils down to a few tips to share with other mothers-to-be out there.
1) Circumstances Will Dictate Your Stress Levels
Life is full of ups and downs, and during pregnancy things amplify out of proportion.
My stress points are not at all “little things”.
We’re preparing to move; we need a job, a house, money to move on—
The move has my new daughter missplaced right now, sleeping in a bassinet in my room, using one drawer of her brothers dresser, and two shelves on my bookcase. All I wanted was to have a room for her. Set up, situated, decorated, ready to go. But we have to wait at least another month.
My husbands job has him gone a minimum of 100 hours a week. He has overnight trips, 12+ hour days, monthly military obligations– and all of this is expected of him on salary. No bonuses, no raises, no hope for advancement…. without his military check, we wouldn’t make ends meet.
Money is so tight, I can’t even figure out WHERE we’re going to find the extra bits to set aside for moving equipment, or a safety deposit. The cost of living in Texas has gone up, the jobs he’s looking at only start at $12 an hour….
The current outlook on this move is grim.
2) No Two Delivery Experiences Are The Same. Unless You Have A C-Section
With my first, labor was clockwork.
Contractions, plug, dilated, water broke, baby. 16 hours, it was over and done.
Previous experience was no help. Even the contractions were different.
3) Yoga Helps
I’ve said it before: DO YOGA. In hindsight, I would probably have been better primed for labor if I had continued in my prenatal yoga practice the entire pregnancy. Clearing mind, draining muscles, keeping blood and fluids circulating, and opening up the pelvic muscles might have positively influenced labor.
4) If You Had An Episiotomy The First Time, Expect A Second One
More on that in another blog.
I hope you and your pregnancy are blessed and that your birthing experience is smooth and successful.