Thursday, at 41 1/2 weeks, my little Addison was born. It is pretty lengthy, so the rest is on my blog with pictures! http://melissataylorphotography.com/?p=484
I first heard of it about one month ago. I first experienced it four years ago. Loosely defined, itís ďa start and stop labor,Ē that doesnít go by the books. Itís not false
labor! The body is truly doing something, but is not always seen as textbook cervical progression or dilation. Essentially, I had four weeks of strong, timeable contractions. Iím a bit bored of talking about it, but itís a huge part of my story, and something that not many people have heard of. I donít feel right skimming over it.
With the first two babies, I thought there was something wrong with my body. With my first, I spent four weekends in a row at L&D, and as soon as Iíd arrive, my contractions would stop. Iíd sob on my forty-five minute drive home, feeling broken, looking back at that empty car seat, and spend the next few days depressed in bed, fearing I wouldnít know what real labor was like. My second baby was much too similar, and even stopped once I hit 3 cm, and stalled for over 24 hours before I hit active labor again and delivered.
The real issue lies more in the emotional factor. You begin to distrust your body. You are unable to plan. You labor for hours and still have no baby in your arms. Itís exhausting for you and your close ones. Youíre utterly out of control.
This time was a little easier. I planned on the start and stop labor happening, and knew the timing was not in my hands.
When the dreaded Prodromal Labor reared itís head at 37 weeks, a friend brought up the term ďProdromal.Ē I did a web search, and found pages and pages of normal women who labor just as I do, and was relieved just in that alone. I also read about certain factors that may be triggering it, such as fears and mis-positioning of the baby. I was pretty certain that she was not in the wrong position, but it felt like something I could actually have some form of control over. I spent lots of time trying out some Spinning Babies positions (www.spinningbabies.com
) to help her have the best position possible. This included going on all fours with my butt up, and face and chest on the ground for over twenty minutes at a time, then squatting up against a flat wall to let her head engage again. Anything
to have some form of say in the matter!
Then I went overdue. I really didnít mind her baking longer, since not every baby develops at the same rate. I knew sheíd come when she was ready.
Thursday, three days after my due date, was my sonís fourth birthday. I began having contractions the night before, fairly far apart, but consistent. That morning, we decided to do his birthday celebrations, just in case we wouldnít be there later that evening. My husband ended up leaving work early, and by 2 pm the contractions were five minutes apart. We decided to leave the kids in my sisterís care, and head home to pick up some things, and labor at home, because the contractions were quickly intensifying.
There are a few things that separate prodromal labor from active labor, and put my mind at ease. Wine, sleep, and baths. For a mother of two toddlers, itís safe to say that I couldnít always use these tests as often as the contractions came.
The day of my sonís birthday, I took a shower instead and did not try the wine. I was overdue, she had to be coming, right?? Wrooong. The contractions petered out in the car, and when I got to the birth center, the stress and worry that they were going to go away, and that I was missing my sonís birthday actually lead to me regressing in dilation. Every contraction was one step closer to meeting my sweet baby, I reminded myself. Though I felt like an old car, sputtering, trying to start up, I really felt like all this work would make my active labor more efficient, and faster.
But the third child is the wild card, right? That made me more nervous....
The rest is here:http://melissataylorphotography.com/?p=484