Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen
I had that sorta labor for a day and a half before 'real' labor kicked in. It did do something though- it effaced my cervix and dilated me 1cm.
I have told my DH that I am not going to call my contractions "by name" for this labor!
I admit I let it drive me crazy for my ds #3's labor and birth, and I choose not to this time.
It frustrates me to have to differentiate when a contraction, or set of them, goes from being "Braxton Hicks" to "prodromal" to "early labor" to "active labor". I just bristle at the thought that some contractions are "more productive" than others.
They are all different, but all working toward the same end, and all just as necessary. A pregnant woman's body is not a textbook; it's an organic, changing, sentient, capable marvel, just as is the baby she has grown and is carrying.
All those contractions are all doing just what the body and baby need to have done, they are preparing the body to go into active labor...lots of softening and effacing and dilation until the "real thing" kicks in.
When they are coming so close together and lasting and I start spacing out and getting focused or panicky, then I know it's "for real"! Before then, I move about, welcome the sensations, find something to change what I am feeling if that is what needs to happen (drinking more often, eating smaller amounts more often, getting more rest, trying a different position, walking, hugs and affection) or just letting it "be" and going with the flow.
I propose a change of perspective: instead of demanding to know how long this stage will last, what will come next, or worry if your body knows what it's doing, give in to the rhythm your body has chosen and ride the waves!
Consider this time a gift, in preparation for the moment when you will have to "give in" even more for those tougher contractions and the moment of pushing/crowning and birth.
We are only along for the ride and only have so much "control" over what our bodies are doing, anyway. A laboring woman's body knows what it's doing, even if the mind, or some doctor, or a book, cannot pinpoint it.