You would think one who has delivered three children- 2 in the last 3 years and 10 months apart- would know what it feels like to go into labor. Apparently, I don’t.
I swear I am in labor like 8x a day. I have a dozen Braxton Hicks contractions and I think it’s starting. I hold my pee too long, it’s labor. A little cramping and nausea, it’s time to go to the hospital. How many times have I Googled “signs of labor.” Yes, I know them by heart: menstrual-like cramping, back labor, nausea, diarrhea, consistent contractions gaining strength and time- I must check my panties 10x a day for the plug. I am convinced time and time again that the watermelon bearing down in between my legs is a tiny hand sticking out. Nonetheless, I have versions of all those symptoms and there IS NO BABY YET.
I actually called a friend today who recently had her second baby. “Hi, it’s me. How are you? How is the babe? Is your milk in? How is the big sister? Can you call me back? I want to know what I am expecting here… Is there like a huge earth shattering contraction that is different from these very painful Braxtons I have? Will I vomit at the onset? Is it gradual? Can you function and finish what you are doing then head home for a shower and get going? Were you dilated? Did you lose the plug before?”
I know, you’re wondering how I managed to get three other kids out and not know the scoop on labor pains. Truth be told, I know labor all too well- 14 hours the first round, 13 the second, 10 with the third. Induced, all three times. Went in, had a pill put up there, dilated, water broke, contraction, ouch, contraction, a little more Pitocin, a few pushes and out comes the babe.
We have no intentions of induction this time. At a time in my life where it may be MOST convenient to schedule my delivery- I have three kids, my husband, Dr. Caveman, is often stuck in a case at work he cannot escape (even for his wife in labor), I now live 40 minutes away from the hospital- we are going to let nature take it’s course. That is, until it’s epidural time- then nature can take a hike.
In the meantime, I am enjoying my toddlers who are both in full terrible two tantrum mode, dealing with my 9 year old tween who has more drama than Lifetime Network for Women, stimulating my nipples, walking, ripening cervix with sperm (yes, when a male ejaculates, the semen contains hormones called Prostoglandins which help to soften and ripen the cervix-my husband likes this method most), drinking red leaf raspberry tea, acupuncture, acupressure, speed bumps… And of course, some may think it’s like Chicken Little but I embrace the art of positive thinking: Convincing myself 8x a day that this is it, I am in labor.