Saturday, June 02, 2007

Contractions 101

If you type "birth stories" in Google, you can read how so many little babies come into the world. Some in the hospital, some at home, some in water and some on a stool. Any way, shape or form, babies come into the world.

A typical beginning in each story starts like this... "I was going about my day and suddenly I heard a pop. My water gushed all over the floor and the contractions started, coming every 5 minutes. I knew it was time for the baby to come."

Duh. Yeah, I'd know it was time too.

I don't know if I'm missing That Pop or not but I do know I go about my day everyday and listen for That Pop. I've heard a lot of "pops" but the water never gushes. The contractions do start, go for at least an hour and come every 5 minutes. But, the baby never comes.

And I know it's time too. My baby wants to be here, I just know that.

Every night when I go to bed, I lay there not counting sheep but rather contractions. They wake me up at night and I toss and turn and try to ignore the clock as contractions continue their consistent torment. I wake up in the morning not to sunlight and vim and vigor for a new day but rather, a steady flow of contractions 5 minutes apart. I get up and get ready for my day, hear a pop somewhere and... have a normal day.

I know they say contractions mean you're in labor but whoever the They People are, must've had an unreliable source of information. The only sign I can look for now is one that comes down from heaven and says, "Now is the part of the show where you go to the hospital."

The other day I was about ready to chalk these contractions up to one big practical joke, telling myself that unless they get longer and harder and closer together, I would just ignore them. Then I relaxed in my chair, ready to enjoy my normal day at last. Suddenly, the contractions picked up 4 minutes apart and just under 2 minutes long.

"Oh my..." I excitedly mused.

It continued in that pattern for quite awhile and I was thinking about calling my midwife before I hit transition.

And then they stopped when I got out of the chair to get the phone.

"So much for transition," I inwardly moaned and went about my day in a normal way.

After you read about birth stories, you can also type "labor signs" in your Google. Then get a big piece of paper and a pen with lots of ink and start writing.

At the end of your list, be sure to note that all those signs point to the fact that your baby will be born some time within the next 4-6 weeks. Remember though, you ARE in labor.

You can feel special going to the grocery store, sitting in church and greeting your neighbor at the mail box all while being in labor. And no body knows it but you and your Google search engine.

Not very many people have the opportunity to mingle with society while being in labor but I bet you didn't know that the little back ache you have means you're in labor. Also, the frequent trips to the bathroom mean that as well. And if you have any tightening feeling in your abdominal area, or large amounts of pressure in your lower pelvis, you are definitely qualified to excel to the "active slow labor" category of your pregnant peers.

If you don't think you're pregnant and still having these labor signs listed on Google, contact your health care provider. You may have a serious problem.

As you check out a gallon of milk at the grocery store, you can pat yourself on the back and think lowly of those people that get epidurals because obviously they're weak and sensitive and not strong enough to handle labor naturally like you are.

And then you can go home and make cereal for supper and be proud that even when you're in labor, you can still cook.

If you're like me, you can time contractions the whole meal through and then throughout the evening as you tuck your children in bed and put an end to another pregnant day.

No matter the frequency and intensity of the contractions, don't get too excited though: it won't be a tiny baby you'll bring to bed in your arms that night. Rather, it'll be the promise of another night hosting contractions and cuddling the clock as you pointlessly time "labor" pains.

No comments: