Monday, February 22, 2016

Labor Intensive

First and foremost, Paula go to bed. There's no baby yet.

Yesterday things definitely changed. Baby definitely dropped, which explains the searing pain from yesterday morning. Apparently when he or she dropped down they landed on a nerve. Then they screwed their noggin into my pelvis and have left me with the most delightful ache right in the baby maker.

I also decided to do a Girl Scout cookie booth marathon yesterday, which I'm guessing is what led to the intense contractions I had last night. Honestly I didn't do much at the booths because my rockin' mama friend went into beast mode and loaded and unloaded dozens of cases of cookies and crap from my car like 17 times. That woman was on a mission to sell us out of cookies, and we only came home with 17 boxes. We started with about 350 to 400.

So last night after I got done with cookies I really felt the ache and decided to lay down and time contractions. They progressed like normal labor contractions down to 2 minutes apart and increased in intensity, which is what led my doula and my mom to truly believe this could be it.

I was in denial, but I also tried not to be in denial because I have other people to consider with this birth. With Sweet Pea denial labor worked. It distracted me enough so that I wasn't focusing on contractions. I kept convincing myself that it wasn't real labor, so the pain wasn't real. And that method totally led to a magical birth.

But this time I was teetering on the edge of denial and the fact that I needed to let the parents of this child know if they needed to get in the car.

Apparently while Baby Daddy and I hemmed and hawed about it, Baby Mama was walking around gathering her things. She was heading out.

Unlike her child.

Once I knew they were on their way I decided to sit down and try and slow things down. My doula even rubbed magical hippie oil on my feet and it was insanely amazing. I relaxed immediately....and so did Peanut.

The contractions were still there, and they were still uncomfortable. But they were definitely less painful. Then they were just consistent, but uncomfortable.

I sent my doula home right before Baby Mama and Baby Daddy rolled in from their 3 hour (only took them like 2 because they flew like the wind) drive.

I felt a wave of guilt as they walked in the door. I'd told them I thought it was baby day, and although I was still contracting I knew things were slowing to a crawl.

They were perfectly mellow and amazing, and we all decided to just get some rest and see where things were in the morning.

I tried one last ditch effort to ramp things up by busting out my new breast pump. Almost immediately I remembered why I didn't really enjoy breastfeeding a newborn. That crap hurts.

But I did get a nice little lunch packed for Peanut!

The pump had the contractions back in action, but I decided to get some sleep. It was 1:30 a.m., and it looked like things were just creeping along.

I went to bed and managed to sleep pretty hard. I did wake up a few times from some good contractions. But by 5 a.m. all was quiet. My uterus went to sleep.

I decided to call my midwife and see if we could change our appointment to today. We had one scheduled tomorrow anyway, but I hated for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy to have completely wasted a trip. Luckily they said they could get me in that morning.

Apparently what I've got going is called prodromal labor. It's often called false labor, but in actuality it's real labor. The contractions aren't like Braxton Hicks. They're like real labor pains, but they start and stop. One of the reasons for prodromal labor is often that the baby isn't quite in the right position. This would also explain all the lower back pain I was having.

So I called my mom, who works for a chiropractor to see if they could squeeze me in on my way to the midwife. They got me right back and the chiro got my right side in line right away. That left side though he REALLY had to work for. But whoooo buddy! After he was done my lower back pain was gone and I felt a lot better. Still a lot of pressure in the pelvis, but I'm thinking he might have opened things up for little Peanut to settle in.

I headed to the midwife and they asked if I wanted them to check for dilation. I was on the fence simply because dilation doesn't really tell you anything except "Yes you're in labor at this moment" or "Nope. Not yet." But you can walk out of the appointment and your cervix can open like the Grand Canyon.

Still I was a little curious if I'd dilated at all. With Sunshine I wasn't even dilated to a 1 at my appointment, and I had her three days later. With Sweet Pea I was dilated to a 1 and I had her the next day.

The midwife was an angel with tiny dainty digits, and the check didn't even hurt. Not like Knuckles McGruff who checked me when I was pregnant with Sunshine.

The verdict was that I'm dilated to about a 2 and 50 percent effaced. She could feel the baby's head, which wasn't all that impressive because uhhh so can I when I so much as stand up. I'm fairly certain if I get a mirror I'll see it peeking out.

So basically she said something is starting and my contraction patterns sounded like legit labor, so I wasn't crazy for thinking it was. But it could start and stop like that every day until I deliver. It could still be weeks before Peanut jumps ship. It could also be tonight. No one knows.

What I do know is that I have the best IPs known to man. They were the ones insisting that "Babies come when they're ready" and that "we are on Baby's schedule" and that they know I'm not some sort of baby labor psychic who can just know when exactly the kid will arrive. They totally eased all my guilt, so now I can stop being a freak and go back to my regularly scheduled program.

I just kept feeling like I needed to apologize for having them drive all the way up for nothing. But they were insistent that it wasn't for nothing and that they'd rather come up early than miss the birth entirely. I freaking love these people.

So my plan now is to just continue business as usual. I'm not going to try and get anything going. I won't pump again until maybe this weekend, and only because it was so freaking cool to see milk come out of me again that I'm dying to try and see what I can get. I'm still taking lactation courses, so yeah I'm obsessed with breast milk at the moment anyway.

So Peanut can just settle back in. I'm going to relax and calm down, and just let things happen. This dry run was good in that I realized what kick ass IPs I have. They weren't mad. They weren't annoyed. They were just freaking fabulous about the whole thing, and totally willing to let Peanut decide on his or her birthday.

They did decide on some names on the way down, and I want to cry. They're absolutely perfect.

So sorry for the false alarm! But if Baby Mama is handling it this well, then you can just calm your jugs and settle in too as we continue Baby Watch 2016.