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How do you keep your spirits up during "pre-labor"?

1076 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  mother4good
I have been having pre-labor or prodromal labor for 5 days. I am 39+ weeks. When it happened the first time they got to be 5 minutes apart and pretty strong, so I called my mom to take the kids, alerted the imm. fam and midwife. What a mistake! This is my 3rd and I have never had this before, so we assumed it was all just getting started. (I labored for 2 easy days with ds2). Now we have people calling here 2 and 3 times a day!!!! My husband is afraid to go to work, because he commutes. Yesterday I started getting really depressed. Not because she isn't here or anything, but I am just so tired of all the calls and questions. Well-meaning neighbors and friends. My brother asked me "Do you think you will be done by the weekend? We are trying to make plans for father's day!" I know he meant it like "we won't plan anything till we are sure you are ok" because he is my babysitter for my sons, but it came out all wrong. I just feel so much pressure to perform and there is nothing I can/will do. I am certainly not ready to do much more than walk around some.

To top it all off everyone seems to be so afraid for me to leave the house. "what if your water breaks!" "You know when it hits you it will hit you hard after all this revving up!" I feel very caged. I just want to live a little before my little one arrives and I am nursing 24/7! Every 5 minutes, my dh asks "anything interesting going on?" or "any changes"? And I am VERY tired and grouchy from being up with contrax in the night.

Sorry this turned into a B*tch session. I just feel like I want to hide...and yet I would love nothing more than to fly the coop!
How are others handling this? (besides telling people to leave you alone, which I have attempted, but only politely).
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I'd get out, get away....stop listening to well-meaning people, listen to what YOU need. Forget about expending energy on being polite
Do what YOU need to do!!! Listen to your body. Try and rest if possible. Above all else, believe in yourself. You'll be holding your baby shortly.
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I'd say try to rest as much as possible! I also had a looong early labor. By the time active labor started, I was already exhausted from not really sleeping for days. My contractions were less effective because me and my uterus were pooped out, and my active labor lasted 25 hours (explanation according to my midwife).

So, if I were you, I'd put a message on the answering machine and a note on the door, and turn off the phone ringer.

I hope you get some peace. And congratulations!
I just wanna give you
because I am right there with you and totally sympathize. I am 39 weeks and I have been having contractions for several days now and they have been about 10 minutes apart since yesterday evening after my walk.......they even kept waking me up last night. Fortunately, I haven't told anyone, so there has only been 2 people besides my husband that have asked me how I am doing or if I am "in labor, yet?" But, I am hoping that these contractions are doing something.......I had really long labors with my first two, so I think I deserve a nice by the book one (yeah, right!)

Good Luck and that baby will be here before you know it, even though it is dragging out now.

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I was in pre-labor with dd for THREE weeks. I walked around at a four-five for nearly that long. I finally put an message on our answering machine that said something like, "No, the baby isn't here!"

I say do what you want to do. Get out and be active but also take time to nap and get as much rest as possible!

Um, I am NOT keeping my spirits up.

I have been contracting for 4.5 weeks now. I am 37w4d and going nuts. People aren't bugging me about "has it happened yet" it's more the " oh, you have such a little belly, you can't be ready". BULL I NEED TO SLEEP!

I am trying to relax and rest and nest and everything else that has to be done before my child arrives. I am also trying to enjoy time with Goo. It's hard because I am at the end of my rope, but yes, I am trying...
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Originally Posted by mother4good
I just feel like I want to hide...and yet I would love nothing more than to fly the coop!
This is *exactly* how I feel. I'm 41 weeks and everyone is freaking out. I have contractions every 3-4 minutes for hours on end but they are not productive contractions, just wee bh contrax, but enough that everyone seems to think that any minute now, I could go into full blown labour. We are trying to find someone who can help my husband with a project right now and every time he calls someone they think I've had the baby... the phone keeps ringing and I want to scream.

I'm tired of being in the house but don't feel like I can leave by myself, just in case. I don't want to deal with being around other people. I don't feel like I can make any plans because I could "go any minute." Plus, everyone else from my bradley class has already given birth even though I had the earliest edd.

Thanks for letting me get that out.

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Originally Posted by malibusunny
the phone keeps ringing and I want to scream.

I'm tired of being in the house but don't feel like I can leave by myself, just in case. I don't want to deal with being around other people. I don't feel like I can make any plans because I could "go any minute."
Wow, thanks! We ARE feeling the same way!!! It helps just knowing I am not the only one!

I went out yesterday for a bit to finish up some gift buying before it is too late. I got so tired I had to take a nap, then after dinner, another nap before I coould help get the kids to bed! I hope this baby comes soon because she is taking it all out of me. Overall though, I am glad I went out. I think today I will take the kids swimming so I can float a little.

(((((Good Labor Vibes))))) to all of us. Thanks for the posts!
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For whatever reason both my babes came this way. With my son (1st) I thought every time that it might be labor. With my daughter (2nd) I told people and myself, "I'm not in labor until I'm pushing." Ironically, even when I was pushing, I wasn't really sure that it was labor. :LOL I liked that though!

I think with some pregnancies and some bodies regular ctx before actual labor is just a version of normal. I would always get ctx getting short and short in between, growing with intensity, as short as 2 minutes apart lasting a minute lasting for hours on end. For about 7 weeks this went on. The more it happens, the more frustrating it can get.
s to all of you experiencing it. Not fun! Especially when you just want to meet your baby so badly!

One thing to help is this -- if you lie down and they stop, then lie down. When it's real labor it will just keep coming. If you walk and they stop, then walk. Again, when it's real labor it will just keep coming. That said, that doesn't always work, but it's worth a try.

Also, you can focus on your ctx rippening your cervix. With my second when labor ACTUALLY happened, I was fully dialated in 2 hours (and it was "easy"). I would wish that for you.

Best wishes! May your babies be in your arms soon!

ETA: If you want to read a birth story while you're waiting, here's my daughter's Birth Story
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Originally Posted by Spark
One thing to help is this -- if you lie down and they stop, then lie down. When it's real labor it will just keep coming. If you walk and they stop, then walk. Again, when it's real labor it will just keep coming. That said, that doesn't always work, but it's worth a try.

Ah- but that's the problem with prodromal labor, they ARE real contractions. They just keep coming, but they are working very very slowly....

Sigh... Now I am starting to get sad again....
I am a medical social worker and often when counseling families who are overwhelmed with well wishers and curious people we suggest that they screen calls.

Put an outgoing message on your answering machine that says, "Thanks for calling to check in, but so far no baby. Right now we are resting up for labor and for all those sleepless nights we will be having with a newborn in the house. Leave us a message and we will call you when we have news!" Then turn off or at least lower the volume on the ringer.

You can work out a deal with people who really need to know (babysitters for other kids, people who are planning to attend the birth, etc.). Let them know that you will call them twice a day and give them updates and of course when things are imminent!
I am now 40 3/7. I had another episode Friday. Tons of energy Sat and most of Sunday, then this morning I was sure this was FINALLY the real thing. Well, I am still waiting! I feel like my pelvis is so heavy I can barely drag it around with me. I am crampy and CRABBY!

Today I have started feeling very depressed. Not because I am so late--becasue I am not THAT late--but all this on again, off again is killing me. Everytime, I get the big spurt of energy and clean my house and get everything laid out and then...nothing. I can't help it, I always think "this is it" no matter how I try to fight that feeling. Then exhaustion and depression. I feel like I am on a roller coaster.

With #1 my water broke and I was induced after the maximum amount of wait time with NO ctx.
With #2 I was on herbal teas and tinctures galore from my then-MW

Now I am not really on much at all. I take prenatals and alfalfa to avoid hemmorage. I am starting to doubt my own body. What will happen if I keep dilating until my water breaks and nothing happens? I cannot emotionally deal with another induction, so despite my convictions about leaving well-enough alone, I am very tempted to get some herbs or have my membranes stripped. When I am up to talking later, I plan to call my MW and discuss her methods if I do stall during labor. I have a chiro attending, but so far he has not really been effective at getting me to regulate the ctx, so I am not sure if it will work during labor either.

I hate this feeling of being scared of what the medical world will do to me. And I HATE HATE HATE doubting myself! I am the one usually giving other moms the "you can do it" pep talk. I really just want to crawl in hole today.

Thanks for letting me vent (again) mammas. I know that she can't stay in there forever. I am hanging on to that right now, but HOW she gets out is starting to worry me.
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Whenever I admit how fast my labors are, I have to hear all about womens long horrible labor stories. The thing is, I have contractions on and off for about 3 - 4 weeks before final labor - the one that doesn't stop. Real cervix opening contractions; not braxton hicks. With my first I know I was 4 cm days before we was born. With my second the midwife was at our house for 8 hours a week before I had my son - we both thought that was it, then it just ended.

It is frustrating because you never know when it's real. We lived in CT for my last birth and my husband worked in NJ. He missed 3 days of work when I'd had contractions during the night. My midwife kept telling me that if it was that important to me for him to be there that I'd go into labor at night. She was right. Tell yourself you'll have the baby while your husband is home.

As for dealing with others I don't really have any helpful advice. We never told anyone until after the baby was born. Although both times my mother flew in weeks ahead of time becaue even the midwives thought I'd be early.

Relax. Go to the movies. Read a book. Get some reflexology (didn't put me into labor, but it felt really good). Don't answer the phone. Have your husband practice his labor massage techniques. Go to lunch with a friend. Personally time ticks by way too slow if I'm sitting around waiting for the baby to be born - get out, do something. Good luck.
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i know how you all feel... i have been 1 cm dilated and 25% effaced for weeks now... i keep having these contractions that aren't very strong... i had a week or so of loads of pressure in my pelvis and my hips felt like mush. then i had a while day of stronger contractions 5 minutes apart. now i have no contractions, no pressure down there... i mean the pressure hurt and i could barely walk, but at least i knew something was going on. i've been taking dr. christopher's prenatal formula and evening primrose oil since 36 weeks... i just started taking black cohosh yesterday (since i am past my "due date"). i've been a major bit*h to my friends and family, since i don't want to talk about how frustrating this is for me... though i am trying to be nice about it. i have no patience with my other two kids right now, which i feel horrible about... and i am so depressed and bored that i can't seem to get out of the house to do some walking... not to mention how i'm supposed to do that, feeling the way i do and dealing with two kids at the same time. this is my third kid and my first VBAC (i hope) and it's also the first time i've gone past my due date... i'm all worried about the baby's position and everything. i can't stop sobbing. i just don't know what to do with myself at this point. i really don't want to see or talk to anyone, and i don't have any urge to go anywhere or do anything. i know it's self-defeating, but??? sorry for the rant, everyone.
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I assume you've been in touch with your midwife? I'm sure she can help you allay your fears about the baby's position. And, you know, babies can and do drop hours after active labor sets in, sometimes.

Can you lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour, for a nice warm bath, maybe with a glass of wine?

With my dd who was late, I had prodromal labor from 36 weeks on, and she came 10 days after EDD, after all labor signs had disappeared for a few days. I went through the depression and frustration and the whole emotional gamut. I think I had some fears and worries to work through before labor could truly kick in; I had to make peace with myself over my previous birth. When I did that, I had two very nice, peaceful, restful days before labor began, and the labor and birth were both more wonderful than I could have dreamed of!

Take this time to be kind to yourself.
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LovemyLittles, I am sending you (((HUGS)))

It is SO hard! My baby FINALLY came in a very HARD and very FAST labor, but let me tell you, she was SO worth all of it!!! She is my 3rd and it seems each one is even more special than the last. Hang in there mama! Your day will come and when it does I hope you feel the same way I do--it was hell getting there, but I would do it again in a heartbeat for such a beautiful angel.

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