So we had a little adventure last night at 36w6d. I started having strong cramps at 11pm on Saturday. Sunday at 11am the contractions started. Over the course of the day they increased in strength, but not a lot, and they generally got closer together. They slowed down, but didn't stop, when I got up to move around. Around 7pm I started to feel damp with every contraction and wondered if I had a slow leak. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point, but I could still talk through some of them. We decided that since we don't know my GBS status (I will get the results today) I should just go ahead and get checked out to be sure. Upon arrival I was 1cm dilated, -2 station, 70% effaced and my water had not broken. The nurse put me on the monitor and I started having contractions every 2 minutes, but I could still talk through some of them. She checked me after 1 hour and I was still 1cm, so she had me walk for 30 or 40 minutes to see if I would dilate more. No such luck. My contractions completely stopped while we walked the halls. She offered to check me again before I went home, but I declined realizing that no contractions probably meant very little was happening. Even if something was happening I was obviously in the very beginning stages of labor and could manage fine at home. Once in the car my contractions went immediately back to 5 minutes apart. Overnight I had very few major contractions, but I was crampy every time I woke to use the bathroom. At 4:30am I had bloody show, which was rather exciting and made it hard to fall back to sleep! lol Now here it is 9:35am and I've only had a few contractions. My body seems to be trying to clean itself out, though. Sooooo, something is happening.......we just have no idea how long it will take for the real deal to start. Chaika is my due date buddy, so if things pick up and I don't feel like posting I will call or e-mail her to keep you all updated.
Also, can we discuss contraction coping strategies? I made it through Nate's birth drug-free by reminding myself (and having Marc remind me when the contractions got harder and closer together) to "relax your jaw, relax your shoulders, wiggle your fingers and toes". If I did all of those things I didn't tense up and the contraction would just sort of flow over me. If I forgot to relax the contractions were unbearable. Does anyone have any other strategies to share?
Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
How exciting that your body is doing something, and how frustrating at the same time!!
If I can get my head in the game fast enough this time, my only "coping strategy" is going to be not to fight the ctx. I've also been meditating on making the labor about the baby and not about me, which I'm not sure how that's going to work but it's just an idea I had. I'm so quick (and this is just me personally) to say, "Ow, these ctx HURT!" or "Ow, these stupid ctx!" when things start up. What I'm going to try to do is give in. Feel them and acknowledge them, and just be in awe of their power. It's very hippie dippy, but I think when the real deal happens, if I feel less sorry for myself and more excited, it might help get me through.
The only other "weapon" I have is dealing with one ctx at a time. Never, ever think about what's coming, only what's going on.
Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!
For coping strategies -- Kissing worked really well for me to keep my jaw loose. It was really the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do, but it works so well. Tensing your body up and kissing don't go hand in hand -- and kissing is something that is so hardwired. You can't clench up your jaw very well when you're having an open mouth kiss! And it should help release oxytocin, which will keep labor moving and help manage the pain.
Another thing that worked was to massage DH. Like, really get in there! It helped me to channel some of that crazy energy out out out my hands and fingers. I think I might have bruised his shoulders a little bit... But while we were both in the tub we just faced each other and then I could squeeeeze and rub his shoulders and arms while he reminded me to just keep breathing. That seemed to work well too.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that the ball starts rolling. All this prodromal labor nonsense sounds absolutely maddening
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."