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Long Pre-labor, Feeling Drained

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello all you wonderful ladies!  Just have a question regarding pre-labor.


Since last Friday night (we are at the 5 day mark since this pre-labor thing started), I've been having all these signs of pre-labor: continuous bloody show, lots of cervical mucus, cramps and backache all day, back-to-back B-H contractions (which are not always painless anymore...), nausea, diarrhea 2-3X a day.  Plus, I am so breathless and tired.  There have been a couple of days and nights where the contractions have become intense and painful, but then they subside, and, ... I am still pregnant.  We're at 39w5d today.


Honestly, I feel so drained.  Sleep is difficult, particularly when there are strong contractions that wake me up.  I am trying to occupy myself.  Knitting, reading, writing letters, all things that I don't have much time to do when I'm working.  Loving on DS, who won't be the only child for much longer.  But still... what I really want to do is hold my baby and enjoy the rest of my maternity leave *with my baby*.  Plus, I feel really drained having to deal with other people's expectations ('What?  You're *still* pregnant?').  


I am wondering if anyone has had experience with long pre-labors?  I almost wish that I had an induction scheduled at 39 weeks like others that I know, just to have some certainty in when and how the birth will happen.  I feel lost.  My first birth was nothing like this (water broke suddenly at 37w4d, birth happened about 15 hours later).


Thanks in advance for any advice or encouragement that you might have.  

post #2 of 19

Long warm-ups can be so tough. Big hugs to you! Have you tried an epsom salt bath and a small glass of wine? It might give you enough of a break to get some decent rest, so that you feel more energized when things really pick up. Also, how's your hydration and nutrition? If your body is feeling depleted it may not be willing to kick into active labor until it's gotten what it needs. I hope you get some rest and are soon snuggling your sweet baby!

post #3 of 19

Poor Mama! I completely sympathize! I did NOT handle my handle my long labor well, but having learned from the experience, REST! It's so vitally important once things really get going. I know it's insanely hard to do, but the best thing you can do for yourself and your coming labor is try to get sleep and just lounge around. If that means sitting in the bath all day, lol, DO it! 


Also, as odd as it might sound, getting friends over to just chat with and take the labor sensations off your mind can be a wonderful help. Get someone else to cook for you if at all possible so that you're getting lots of good food without the effort, and try to just relax your body into it. 


I hope you have that baby in arms soon!!!

post #4 of 19

A few of us are experiencing some of that...someone blamed it on the fullmoon.  Who knows?  This is my fifth and I have never had prelabor...hugs, you are not alone.

Lavender oil sprinkled on my pillow helps me get to sleep initially (but then I'm up alot and restless later on...).

post #5 of 19
I have been having tOns of prelabor and false alarms as well! It's a little frustrating not knowing if this is the day, or is there are weeks left... I just keep telling myself that any pain I have now means that things are progressing, and that hopefully my actual labor will be much easier. Epsom salt baths and lots of rest has helped, although this can be hard with a 2 year old as well!
post #6 of 19

Sorry it's been so tough! I've had pre-labour starting since the full moon, but only at night and I am tired already. I never had pre-labour like this with DS so I'm feeling like this is all new and so confusing to know what to do. 

Well - we're all not alone, and hopefully all of us have an easier labour because of it :)

I keep going back and forth between needing to rest and frantically doing any last minute things in case this is it - but I think resting is the wiser thing to do.

post #7 of 19

I've also been going through it since Saturday.  I seemed to have a nice break from it this morning/afternoon but then late this afternoon it came back stronger than ever.  I've actually been having some contractions this evening (before this it's just been constant nausea,and back ache along with quite a lot of pressure and pain around my cervix).  I've been alternating between constipation and diahrea and I've had next to no appetite since this started.  The break this morning was nice, but I was starving for the first time in days and it really took me off guard.  Now that I'm crampy and contracting food's not sounding so good again.


Even with the contractions now though, things just don't quite feel like they are coming together yet.  I took a nap this afternoon and was hopeful that maybe they would by the time I woke up, but not yet.  I'm finding that I do well being active either in the morning or the afternoon these days, but that trying to do both is a bit much for me.  Spending social time with friends helps to pass the time.  I was hanging out with other moms from DS's school today and that was great.  It really took my mind off of what I've been feeling physically.  Bathes are nice at night especially.  I've been doing the epsom salts and sprinkling a few drops of lavender oil into the bath water.  It really helps me to relax before bed. Of course then I'm still often up in the middle of the night for what ever reason.


I'm trying really hard to not complain and think positively about all of this.  I agree with what others have said about it just means that our bodies are doing some good work before we actually go into labor.  Also, I know this afternoon as the contractions were starting up and I was trying to just get a little rest while DS was napping, I just couldn't wipe the smile off my face....we're all getting close now even if it seems like this pre-labor stuff's been going on forever!

post #8 of 19

I need to get out, apparently.  But I get so sick of comments that I have been pretty much hybernating, er, incubating for a few weeks now.  Not even going to church as I seem to get it the worst there, ironically.  I did call and talk to my sis.  Does that count?  My hs group is going apple picking on the mtn in the am...my mom is taking the kids.  I sort of want to go, but being up the mountain and hiking around isn't the best thing for fast labors, lol.  I've already had one in our truck; I don't need to have one on the mountain, hehe...hmm...it'd make a great story, though!

post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by dannic View Post

I need to get out, apparently.  But I get so sick of comments that I have been pretty much hybernating, er, incubating for a few weeks now.  Not even going to church as I seem to get it the worst there, ironically.  I did call and talk to my sis.  Does that count?  My hs group is going apple picking on the mtn in the am...my mom is taking the kids.  I sort of want to go, but being up the mountain and hiking around isn't the best thing for fast labors, lol.  I've already had one in our truck; I don't need to have one on the mountain, hehe...hmm...it'd make a great story, though!

I can totally get how you feel here.  I tend to carry pretty compactly so most people are surprised that I'm as far along as I am.  Things look even more compact since the baby dropped somehow.  Last time though things really popped out huge the last few weeks of my pregnancy and I got lots of those comments and got really sick of them.  


I am lucky that at DS's school we're preparing for a big yearly event  so the focus is more on that right now than my belly and how soon the baby's coming.....not to say we don't talk about it, we do and they are awesome and supportive, but we have other things we're really focused on right now and that feels really good for my own mental health right now too.  


I totally don't think I'd be into apple picking and hiking on a mountain either right now.  I feel bad that DS probably won't get to go this year.  We really enjoy going every year BUT so not where I want to go into labor either!

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wow.  I am so glad to hear that I'm not alone in all of this.  Not that I would wish this misery on anyone.  But still.


Yes, being with friends (real friends, not random acquaintances who feel that they can say whatever they please) is helpful.


I will try the epsom salt bath idea.  


I have heard a lot of people have labor that kicks up at night, and hides during the day, but for the past couple of days, mine has been doing the opposite: lots of strong contractions during the day, along with cramps, bloody show, etc., and then silence at night.  Of course, I'm still not sleeping well, with my dime-sized bladder, sore pelvis, and every little movement kicking up another B-H contraction.  


And, to be honest, I'm irritated that this is an election year.  It definitely makes falling asleep after waking up more difficult when you're worrying about national politics.  


PittNurse - I think the depletion is more psychological than physical.  All expectations (from midwives, OBs, nurses, other people) was that we would deliver at 37w, so it's hard not to feel 3w overdue at this point.  Of course, the physical part isn't helping.  :<  Even when I'm having my period (period, what's that?), I usually have cramps for about half a day.  But this has been almost a week of strong period-like cramping (with small amounts of dark red/brown cervical bleeding).  I wish I could just take an ibuprofen and nap.  It feels as though this road to having a baby has been endless.  Having had a loss before this pregnancy just makes the stress and worry even worse.  


UTOOK and dannic - I feel you guys about wanting to hide, especially from certain kinds of people.  I've found that it's actually a little easier being around people you don't know than people you know marginally well who forget their manners and decide they can freely say all sorts of things.  I've been told that my baby will be small, will be big, will sleep through the night, will be late (are you seriously saying this to me?), etc.  All by people who don't have a clue about anything.  These are the kinds of folks I try to avoid.  I've been putting on my game face every morning when I drop DS at school, just to protect myself from the inevitable hurtful comments.  

post #11 of 19
Minus the continual bloody show, I could have written your post. It is very draining both physically and emotionally, because your mind starts to play tricks on you... "Maybe this is it!? No, false alarm." I will second the Epsom salt idea for physical relief, and just keep giving yourself time for mental breathers. For me, that's meditating although I'm not always good at sitting down and just doing it.
And on a related note, what is the DEAL with people asking if you're still pregnant when you're not even at due date?! That's happening to me too. On my nice days I smile and say, I don't know why she hasn't come yet. On my not-so-nice ones, I have mastered the withering look smile.gif
post #12 of 19

HUGS!  It is so hard!  My last 3 births (all but my first, which was a hospital induction), I have had lots of prodromal labor.  I agree with you that it is soooo emotionally exhausting.  If you are up for it, accupuncture might be able to help- either to help you relax or to kick your labor into gear. 


I am just over 36 weeks, so mine is just starting.  I am trying to wrap my head around dealing with this, with increasing intensity, for the next 5 weeks or so and it is making me panicky just thinking about it. 


Thinking of you!

post #13 of 19

I need some positive affirmations today - anyone have some words of encouragement they don't mind sharing?

I've had maybe 4 hours of broken sleep from last night. I couldn't sleep through the BH's or contractions and not even a middle of the night shower helped. I can't even lie down to rest/nap because my hips are too sore from trying to sleep all night (plus my 4 year old needs a little more attention...) Feeling nauseous and very emotional today...I'm waving the white flag, a week ago I was still feeling good and now I'm joining the "I'm done" group!


I'm really looking forward to having a newborn - b/c I remember the hip pain goes away and I can at least sleep in between nursing! 



One day at a time....

post #14 of 19

Hey springmum - so sorry this is so difficult. I haven't been through labor before since this is my first, but I've been through extraordinary physical suffering in other ways. Here are some of the things I've said to myself to buoy my mind and spirit. Hopefully at least some kindness from your fellow mamas will help, but if any of this resonates, I send it on to you with much warmth:


I am powerful, courageous, inspired and inspiring.

I am transforming and transformative.

I am glorious in my strength. Though I experience physical pain, my spirit soars.

And when my spirit flags, I bow with respect and deep kindness, enfolding myself with gentle compassion, knowing that this, too, will pass.


Strength and grace to all of you going through this exhausting early labor. Wishing you rest and comfort and, most of all, joy at bringing your babes into the world.

post #15 of 19
That was so beautiful Boston... Thanks for sharing!
post #16 of 19

Boston - that was really thoughtful and exactly what I needed - thank you so much :)

post #17 of 19

My due date is today and I started getting menstrual feelings the last few nights in the middle of the night and then it goes away. Today I had it for a few hours and then it goes away.

No painful contractions, mucus or water yet - just very emotional and tired.  I feel for all of you who are getting the long-extended play up.

Juju Sundain's book Birth Skills is brilliant and talks about moving your feet - stomping your feet in the shower, or just taking one foot and rubbing it against the other to help with discomfort and pain. Singing, or ahhhhhhing can also help - the vibration really helps to deflect pain.  Also just naming things outloud - counting, saying the name of objects in the room. When I was young, when I was in discomfort or ready to get a needle, my mother told me to repeat the words, "Puff Puff Pickles" over and over again and before too long you were done!

Some beautiful Stevie Wonder songs (including his wonderful lesser known hits):

Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

I Love Every Little Thing About You
Love's In Need of Love Today
Knocks Me Off My Feet
Summer Soft
Golden Lady
If It's Magic
You and I
I Believe When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever
I Wish ****** (this song will really get you moving!!!!)
Sir Duke
You Are the Sunshine of My Life.....




blessings to each one of you - it's exciting times and we are all part of an amazing miracle that's ready to happen, soon we will all have our little pure souls in our arms to gaze at!



post #18 of 19

Oops, I forgot to mention why I listed the Stevie Wonder songs!


I was making a birthing mixed CD of beautiful harp music, folk and classical and it relaxes me but what I really found works the best when I'm in pain or discomfort is putting on some vintage Stevie Wonder and dancing around the room - his music is full of such positivity and joy and funk that it's impossible to be miserable!  If you move your feet it helps to distract from pain.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Had a mixed couple of days.  


DH and I got into a fight last night re: his comment "Oh, don't worry about it.  This baby will come when she comes."  Right.  Anyone not living in a broken-down 40-week baby-occupied body is just NOT allowed to say junk like this.  Men.  He apologized.  But still.


Had a haircut today morning (feeling less frumpy is always a good thing) and managed to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while, which was nice.  People that don't see you every day don't look at you like you're crazy when they see you still-pregnant, which is a relief.


Then, had a breakdown of sorts at DS's school after having to deal with lines of people all looking at me with what feels (to me) like weird looks of disbelief and pitying laughter.  Went into the bathroom and cried.  Thankfully, one of the moms (a mom of one of DS's friends) saw me looking like I was losing it, and suggested that she take the boys up to the park to play.  She told me to go home and rest, but I ended up going with her for a couple of hours, and it was really great talking to her.  Reminded me that everyone has different roads that they travel.  She had two losses before she conceived her LO via IVF, which, speaking of L-O-N-G roads...  


Thanks to all on this board who reminded me about hanging out with friends to pass this challenging time.  It does make a difference, especially when it's someone who can empathize with the absurdity of a late-term pregnancy and the long road it took to get there.  


springmum - Waving the white flag along with you.  Sending hugs and good wishes your way.  We will get through this!


micromama - I agree about people giving you the disbelieving 'Are you still pregnant' thing when you're not even at your due date.  Quite rude.  I usually put on my game face, but today I was feeling so emotionally exhausted.  Hence the tears.  


bostonmummy - Thanks for the affirmations!  Just having this thread and the support of all you ladies has been awesome!  Thanks so much.


Babinogi - Music!  Yes, yes, yes.  Haven't listened to my Stevie in a while.  Will have to fire up some of these songs when I'm low.

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