Saturday, November 11, 2017


   Today is my due date by measurements. But as we can all see, here I am alive and kicking from home. I went from feeling super anxious and annoyed at the prodromal labor, to just making a big effort to relax and take my mind off of it.  I didn't even know what prodromal labor was or that it existed at the beginning of this journey.
   I've been at 3cm dilated, 90% effaced, with contractions at 3 to 8 minutes for the last sixteen days. At first, I didn't register them contractions as contractions; it felt like any discomfort I learned to live with in my life. I really only found out the were contractions after my doctor measured them since the baby had already dropped. But time has gone on and they have become progressively more frustrating, though not closer together.
   My doctor checked me last  Thursday and, to my dismay, sees absolutely no dilation progression.    My feet are very swollen. We're talking extreme cankles and feet that don't even fit “comfort sandals” meant to be for edema. My contractions, themselves, don't register as pain as much as they paralyze me. I feel my uterus hardening to the point that I cannot move without feeling like it will tear. I feel forced to crouch or squat. And I feel major discomfort in my back.
   But perhaps the most annoying part of this all is not what I feel physically, but what I feel mentally. My doctor describes prodromal labor as "real labor in shifts" and these shifts are wearing me out.
   I have been soaking my feet in hot water and epsom salt, and trying to walk and stretch. All of it helps, at least mentally. I feel so ready to get this going and am trying so hard to feel less frustrated at my lack of control over when he arrives. But isn’t that just the best parenting lesson he is already teaching me without even exiting the womb: my time is not my own anymore.
   And, truthfully, I could have always used a lesson in patience. This is probably it. My due date by LMP (Last Menstrual Period) is still around the corner, so I may just have to learn to  do the thing I am worst atwait. 
   So now we wait.

. . .



1. It is not false labor

Unlike false labor or braxton hicks, prodromal labor is real labor because it results in dilation and effacement. However, unlike early labor or active labor, it is "real labor in shifts"; So, in a nutshell, it is real labor in terms of pain, contractions, and regularity, but it comes and goes.

2. It does not happen to everyone

There is disagreement in the medical and midwife community about why it happens to some, but it is clear that it does not happen to everyone. Many women experience early labor and transition immediately to active labor.

3. The "maybe" upside

Many women who experienced a long prodromal labor report to have experienced a very short active labory'know, like less of the real deal, top-of-my-lungs-screaming pain and the pushing and so forth. So maybe being terribly annoyed for weeks before will be worth it? Or maybe it is just one more unpredictable thing I am going to have to grin and bear. At least everyone agrees, no matter the labor, my baby is worth it. And that I feel is true.


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