Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Week of False Labor

Many decades ago, someone gave me a cool astrology book called the Secret Language of Relationships. It basically divides the entire year up into weeks of personality types, and then shows the best relationships for each week. Relationships like love, marriage (not the same thing apparently, people), family, work/business...Each week of the year has a title. My birthday week is called the Week of Determination. And I share my week with Richard Nixon, David Bowie, Simone De Beauvoir, Elvis and Sir Isaac Newton. I wish I were clever enough to figure out one title for the last week. Perhaps the Week of Genital Achings. Not exactly screaming "Read Me."

It isn't that I don't appreciate the general pain of laboring after nine months of pregnancy. It is simply that I would rather it happen when I am actually in labor and not for three weeks building up to labor. Tuesday night, I had regular steady hard contractions every seven minutes for four hours. Ironically, my brother-in-law and family were visiting the next morning and I really should have been utilizing that time cleaning. Rather, I spent it huffing and puffing and drinking gallons of water and laying on my left side, then the right side, and going to the bathroom to check that I still have a mucus plug. Packing labor bags for middle of the night runs to the hospital. Watching Beatrice cavort at unmentionable hours because Sam thought that we shouldn't put her to bed until we knew it was labor.

"Honey, she is running around in circles declaring that the Little Mermaid is a Mermaid! And a Princess! And a Mermaid! I think she has hit the stage we call, 'the Ten O'Clock Crazies.' You just need to put her to bed now." 

I called the OBs, gave them a heads up with the seven or more contractions in an hour thing, and the doctor on-call advised me to take a benadryl and try to sleep. Funnily, that is exactly the advice my mother would have given me if I were stupid enough to call her. At this point, they don't stop labor, and so I have to treat it like real labor. Every four minutes and in pain. Somehow, I fell asleep, and it was morning, and the contractions lessened in intensity. The shame of having dust bunny herds stampeding the upstairs hallway defeated the fear of labor. While dusting, I figured out that I wasn't having this baby. Well, not yet. But it did remind me that the baby needed to come out. Eventually. And that it is going to fucking hurt. Eventually.

Family came and the kids were obsessed with feeling Thor move, which, not for nothing, was nice (I am a sucker for older kids who love babies) and terrifying. See, I have spent most of the daytime the last month and a half chasing an almost three year old, and cleaning up after the husband, and generally being so friggin' busy that I don't much do random, hysteric kick counts during the day. He kicks, and I declare, "OOOT!" and am happily contented with the occasional surprise kick while loading the dishwasher. I don't have a ten year old and eight year old asking me if the baby is moving every five minutes, and when he is not, trying to swallow my insane, internal freak out. My kick counting is done at the same time every night, and naptime, and I know I can get him to move. See, I minimize internal freakouts that way. He expects prodding. I expect kicking. It works for us.

Still, the visit was nice. Seeing my husband around his family brings me some peace. He misses them so terribly. Ironically, he who complains about living in New Jersey and in the suburbs actually talks about this place like he likes it. I overhear him bragging about Bea and I. It is sweet and lovely.

I was awoken Thursday night to another round of painful consistent contractions coming every four to five minutes in the middle of the night. Oh, I'm not smart enough to recognize a pattern like this. I was convinced that this. was. it. But having an appointment at 8am made me try to stick it out until appointment time. I woke late, ran to the train, got into the NST seat, and they, you know, stopped. Ah, well. Apparently this happens a lot with your third child. It is still 35+ weeks, but dealing with weeks of contractions will probably get old. Eventually. For now, though, I am contented with imagining myself going into labor on my own accord. On the day before being induced.

Thor's last growth scan was yesterday and he is measuring seven pounds, five ounces. Larger than Beatrice was at 37 weeks and her birth. He is on the same trajectory as he was at 31 weeks, which made me want to kiss my MFM with tongue. He is consistently practice breathing and there is no indication that he is doing anything but growing beautifully in there. All of his measurements are a good three weeks ahead. Whew. Somehow this brings me comfort, though, I am not above freaking out every day for the next week and five days, but there is talking down comfort there. Baby Thor's tentative induction date is April 1st, depending on my cervical cooperation. It is getting to be less than two weeks now, and I can't completely comprehend that. I still have a three year old birthday party to throw, a man to get out of a cast boot, a lot more dusting and random closets to organize and a bunch on contractions to calm. But still, I am feeling a bit optimistic. The weather is helping. I might have a baby. Eventually.


  1. Oh my... not enough labour hurts like hell... why does it have to start weeks in advance? Though glad to hear Thor is doing so well. You keep on prodding, he'll keep on kicking... and hopefully the sun shines along the way. Spring is amazing.. I am totally gaga by it.

    Big loves!

  2. hey Angie, I'm so happy to read... these are good news posts, I know hard to hear, but all you're writing is good news. I love you and I love Thor. I'm so happy for you, so happy.


  3. How about the week of "Oh, come ON already"?

    ALmost there, sweetie.

  4. oh dear. this happened to my sister. two weeks of pro-derma labor. it sucks - i'm sorry. but i'm sooo glad to hear that thor is measuring so big and strong. he sounds ready, angie. may the next few weeks fly by! xo

  5. Hey Angie- I have been reading along quietly these days and have missed reading your words. Now I know why, you were busy in labor rehearsals. Wishing you peace, relaxation, and comfort during these last weeks. Take care my friend. Hugs to you and Thor.

  6. Thor is growing wonderfully. Three weeks ahead is great in my book.

    Love Bea's ten'o'clock crazies. I do that myself sometimes! She is a mermaid AND a princess. That is pretty freaking special!

    I hope the contractions ease up xo

  7. Hoping that all these ctrx will mean for a speedy labor when he does choose to make his entrance?

    Sending you much love Angie......So very close. So close to that beautiful babe in your arms.

  8. The 2WW is the worst..and so much different then the regular 2WW. Thinking of you and Thor. Hoping Bea keeps you so busy that the next2 weeks fly with minimal freak outs. Holding my breath for you.

  9. Wow, I have been out of the loop.. I still thought you were like 4 months pregnant! hehe SO SOON!!!


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