Labor, Prodromal Labor, Hospital Trips, And Finally– Baby.

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.

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Stress Undressed

There are few words in life that accurately describe the emotional train wreck women experience during motherhood.
Currently,  stressed and anxious, I count down the days to my daughter’s birth.
Today, we learned that she’s breeched. I have one week to help manipulate her into turning, and if she doesn’t, I’m scheduled into an appointment for an inversion. The determination to get her to flip first is pretty high– as I’m avoiding a c-section at all costs unless it’s absolutely necessary. 36 weeks and 2-4 to go, I’m so ready to be done.

The absolute delight of being published is not lost on me, nor the anticipation for more opportunities to put together other anthologies with my dear friends and peers in Den of Quills.

However, current circumstances in my home have brought about the worst in me, creating despair.  Causing utter betrayal of my Game Face, ripping doors open to reveal the chaotic winds of “what if” that blow at hurricane strength in my heart.

Any semblance of Sanity I might produce gets formed to the written page in stories of free and frivolous characters.  My latest being Keegan Brand and Farah.  Ever since these two paired up in my imagination for the DoQ anthology,  more stories and adventures desire to be told.  They’re fun, new and interesting,  which has been refreshing in the midst of Life.
We all need a bit of therapeutic indulgence from time to time-though I wish very much that Trillian and Yulissa would spark my Muse again as they are currently waiting for an episode to finish!

The Cast of Eldegras sit quietly in their green room, waiting for me to pick their series back up as well.  High Fantasy, fully plotted out, with well defined world building finished, and character plots, sub-character plots, supporting cast…..  All of it hanging in the shadow, waiting on me to have the courage to produce it.

Priorities align when you set the emotional roller-coaster aside and allow yourself to decide what is most important.
In writing, the self-doubt and lack of confidence that creeps in can hamper your desire to produce what you love.
Will the fear of rejection put your stories on a shelf in your brain,  where no one else will ever experience them?
Will the efforts you put into your books be lost when you watch enthusiasm for your stories die out?

Right now, life in the Villa-Smith home is filled with uncertainty, worry, doubt, anxious anticipation– so many things are happening or waiting to happen.
I’m allowing the circumstances to dictate how I feel in a given moment,  which in turn separates me from doing the things I love most.  Writing of course, being one of them.

Don’t let your stress do that to you.  It’s not worth it.  If you have a hobby you absolutely enjoy,  the core of your being thrives on it, don’t ever back burner to Life.  Use it in the quiet moments to unwind and unlock what you’ve been holding onto.  Pursue Yourself in the stillness when you can hide away in time to yourself. Make a point to not think about the things going on outside of your control,  and just hold on to focusing on You.
It’s difficult,  but after a while, realizing that you and your sanity are more important than your circumstances will help to make the most of every quiet moment you have.

~ * ~ * ~
36 weeks pregnant with my second child, a newly published author, and a frazzled housewife raising a toddler, I do hope that my goings-on inspire you to push through and accomplish your dreams.  There are no excuses, if housewives with young children can do it, so can you.