Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Preparing for Birth

Yesterday morning I woke up around 7:45 with what felt like gas pains. The pain was constant, and contractions were coming about every 15 minutes. They weren't painful though, any more than the cramping/gas pains already were, so I got ready for work. I didn't want to get my hopes up. But at the same time, I was pretty uncomfortable, and I had some things to do if today was going to be Malachi's birthday. So I decided that I needed to stay home and prepare. I spoke with Alicia (my midwife). I cleaned. I tried to ignore the pain, but its really hard. So I asked my friend Rebecca to come over for some help and company. We ran a few errands and then came back home and cleaned and prepared food for the birth that could be frozen if things slowed down.

I know how common it is for these things to start several times over several days before it becomes the kind of labor that brings a baby. It takes a lot of self-control not to freak out and get overly excited. But I knew I could be in for disappointment if I let myself get too excited. As Alicia says, sometimes you don't know the labor is birth labor until you see a head.

Around 2 p.m., things came to a pretty abrupt halt. No more contractions. No more cramping. I called Alicia (my midwife) and she said don't worry, you could still have a baby tonight or tomorrow. Or it could be another week or two. You never know with these things. I took a nap. I figured if this was the calm before the storm that would help. Then Joshua and I took a long walk downtown and back to see if we could get things moving again. I literally had one constant Braxton Hicks the entire time we walked. But no labor contractions.

For the rest of the evening and through the night, I was attentive to my body, hoping to feel some sensation of real contraction again. I went up and down the stairs a few times. Maintained my activity level. When I woke up this morning, I hoped that it would start as soon as I woke up, just like yesterday. No dice. And so we keep waiting.

And thus begins the birth process...

Even though all this hasn't resulted in a baby yet, that's why it's happening. My body is preparing Malachi and I for birth. It wasn't yesterday, and it may not be today, but it will definitely be soon. There's no way around that. I've never before experienced pain that I wanted to continue and get worse. Strangest thing ever. Sometimes it would build in intensity and I thought it would be nice if it would stop for a minute. But I didn't want it to stop really. Because that pain is what's going to bring my baby to me.

Joshua suggested that I write all this down. My mother, like most, didn't write down the details of my birth. Thirty-two years later, its hard for her to recall how long her labor lasted, what it felt like, etc. And some of that information would be helpful to me now. So for my sake and my childrens' I want to record these precious times so that we never forget.

I've got to go to work. Will it be my last day? Or will I be there for another week? Only God knows Malachi's birthday. But maybe it will be today...


  1. Yes! Keep working. Keep active. In my experience at least, whenever I'd nap or rest everything would come to a screeching halt. So go out to dinner. Shoot, if your comfortable and the contractions are still sporatic, go see a movie or do some shopping (close to home, of course). Staying active and upright really helped me progress.

    But what you're experiencing is what started for me about 28 hours before Bennett arrived . . .

  2. Hi Sandra! I had lots of starting and stopping with Lakota. It can be frustrating, but also kind of cool that you get to be 'in labor' for so long??!! Good for you for writing it all down.

  3. Baby is coming!!!

    One of my favorite things we did when labor was commencing was go to a beautiful art museum. I would pause and lean on Philip in between paintings as the contractions hit. It was a cool and pleasant beautiful place. This was for Maggie. And wouldn't you know it, she LOVES art!