Last Sunday afternoon I went into labor. And it’s a week later and obviously Liam is still not here. False labor? I think not. Midwives and doctors are now calling this extended early labor as prodromal labor. Here are a few websites I’ve found helpful to explain the situation:
Prodromal labor isn’t all in vain. These annoying contractions condition the uterus, and prepare the cervix for dilation and effacement. In fact, sometimes the cervix may even dilate and efface as a result. It’s all about your body preparing for the big day.
In a classic labor the woman notices the progressive nature of the frequency and intensity of her contractions. But there are some early labors that drag. Often referred to as prodromal labor, this is actually a day-long (or more) prelude to active labor. It is almost like another phase of labor for some women, especially first-timers. Prodromal labor may be considered as a very drawn-out early or “latent” phase (although there is nothing latent about the mother’s experience) that slowly effaces the cervix over two or three days. Prodromal labor is not only difficult to interpret, but also difficult to endure – physically and emotionally. The contractions characteristically drag on with little or no acceleration in their frequency or intensity and very little or no cervical dilation. An example of prodromal labor would be a woman having contractions every 8-10 minutes for three full days during which her cervix effaces to 75% but dilates only 1 or 2 centimeters. The contractions are usually not overwhelmingly painful, but they are strong enough to keep the woman awake and in need of some comfort measures. The greatest difficulty with this kind of labor is the exhaustion and discouragement that a woman may feel. This can snowball into making mild contractions seem strong and the prospect of dealing with the “real” labor yet to come seem overwhelming.
While I realize my official due date is more than 2 weeks away, the thought of having to do this for another 2 weeks (plus more because he could go over) is very depressing and disheartening. I had to stop working on Monday because of how exhausted I am. Essentially I have these randomly throughout the day and consistently at night- usually in the evenings and always between 1-5am. I’ve been taking a lot of middle of the night baths, enjoying a glass of wine and sleeping during the day. I’m trying to not get discouraged but it is honestly difficult to keep my positivity in the face of such physical discomfort.
I am thankful for my momma friends on Twitter and their support. Many have been through this very thing so I know I’m not alone and their encouragement helps make feel I’m not crazy. Because there are moments where I feel as if I’m going insane. I’ve stopped timing, for the most part. I did an hour or so last night because they were so strong and long but after 8 hours (yes, EIGHT HOURS) they went away around 4am. See why I might be feeling a little out of sorts??
My other fear (except for the irrational one that I will NEVER have this baby) is not knowing when I’m actually in labor. With all these false starts and real contractions, how will I truly know when “it’s time”? So far I’m ~2cm dilated, 100% effaced and Liam’s head has descended and is engaged into my pelvis. I have an appointment tomorrow morning and am curious to see if anything has changed since Thursday when I was checked last.
At this point there’s obviously nothing to do but wait. I’m trying to do little things around the house without wearing myself out. I got a hair cut last week and went thrifting in an attempt to keep myself busy so other than distraction measures, it’s a lot of nocturnal wakings and sleeping during the day. Ryan’s been absolutely wonderful- taking the dogs out 3-4 times a day, cooking most every meal, waiting on me hand and foot essentially. I am quite lucky to have such a sweet husband and know it’s because of him I’m able to relax at all. So, thanks sweetie. I promise our son will be here soon(ish). ❤
In the meantime, here’s what I’m carrying around these days…