Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Labor Limbo

on August 1, 2011

Since this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to labor and delivery, I thought for sure I would know when “it’s time!”.

Haha. Ha. Ha.

So silly of me to think that I would have a normal end to a very not normal pregnancy.

Let’s go back in time a bit. Not this past weekend, but the weekend before (July 23rd and 24th) I had contractions for hours during the day both days. On Saturday the 23rd, they were mild and I could go about my  normal routine and they were just there. They were very irregular and I figured it was “false labor”. Eventually they fizzled out by night time. Sunday the 24th, the contractions were back again. Still irregular, but these had a bit more oomph to them. Some would make me stop in my tracks. They even regulated a for a bit here and there. I was confused. That evening I decided to call the Doctor and get her thoughts. She thought maybe they were brought on by dehydration and to drink another 20 ounces of water and lay down. If there was no change in 2 hours, I was to go to labor and delivery to get checked.

It was nearing evening at that point and I drank the water and laid down. The contractions fizzled out once again.

I worked all week long with nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Until Friday.

I was out with my two bosses getting snacks for the office at BJ’s and as we were walking around my back began to hurt. Contractions started up again, but this time they were all in my back and painful. The ones from the weekend prior were all centered low in my abdomen. This was different. After we made it back to the office I couldn’t take the pain anymore and couldn’t sit in my office chair. I decided to drive home thinking that this was going to be the start of THE BIG EVENT.

I texted my husband to be on standby and called my Dad who would be watching Ian for us to also be at the ready. This might be IT!

When I got home I busied myself with some vacuuming and other stuff to keep my mind off the back pain and see if a pattern developed. Eventually, it got to the point where the pain in my back was all I could think about so I started trying to relieve the pain by getting into different positions. The pain made it so that I could not determine if I was having contractions. There were times when the pain would wrap to the front of my abdomen. The interwebs describes these as “real” contractions. I thought I was just having bad back labor and I have for a while thought that the little dude is in some sort of posterior position (I can feel arms/hands down low by my pubic bone).

My husband got home around 5pm and by this point I had been laboring for about 5 hours. I was confused once again as to what was going on. I walked around, ate some dinner, tried to lay down, tried drinking lots and lots of water and all that jazz. Tried the things that *should* make so called “false labor” stop. Nothing was doing it. At 7pm I called the on call Doctor. She said she didn’t think I was in labor. I explained that there was no way I could sleep through the pain I was in. She told me to go to labor and delivery to get checked.

The bag packing scramble began. I had some stuff together, but not everything. We also had Ian in tow and trying to figure out what to do with him in this limbo stage was confusing. I didn’t have a clue if I was going to be staying at the hospital or would get sent home. The Doctor said that if I was still in early labor they would send me home with Ambien to rest.

Finally off to the hospital we went with a DVD player for Ian to keep him entertained until we figured out what was going on.

The car ride to the hospital, which is about 10 minutes away, sucked. Sitting up while feeling like someone is jabbing a knife in your lower back is not fun.

We get registered, into a room and on the monitors. Baby looks good and my contractions are about 6-7 minutes apart. I couldn’t feel them due to the pain in my back. Nurse checks my cervix and I am 1.5cm dilated and about 75% effaced. Progress from the fingertip dilation and 0 effacement at my 35 week appointment at the OB.

I sit on the monitor for a while to see what happens. The longer I sit there the further apart and weaker the contractions start getting on the monitor. Until they fizzle out. Again.

The nurse calls the on call OB for my practice and the decision is made to send me home with a pain pill and some Ambien. I am still in early labor. No sense in keeping me there when I can go home and be comfortable. This was at about 9pm and roughly the same time period that the contractions had disappeared the previous weekend. When I got home I was able to find a comfortable position and avoided taking the Ambien or the pain meds. When I woke on Saturday the back pain was not nearly as bad and I was doing some things I learned on the internet to get baby into a different position. It helped tremendously.

When I was at the hospital the nurse asked when my next OB appointment was and I told her this coming Wednesday. She said you might make it to that appointment. I laughed and thought for sure that would not happen.

I now think she is probably right. Prodromal labor is a cruel and usual punishment for a pregnant lady.

Saturday, no contractions. We cleaned the house and even went to a pool party that evening.

Sunday, I was woken up at 5:30am with contractions again. This time they would start my hips and wrap to my abdomen. They were 5 minutes apart. I was not going to be fooled again. After a few hours the intensity never changed, but they hurt. Not take my breath away, can’t talk or think during them hurt, but just hurt. I told my husband I wasn’t calling the Doctor again until I had contractions that made me want to punch someone in the face. So, after a while I decided to lay down. When I did the contractions spaced out and eventually stopped. Again.

I had never heard of anyone experiencing this. Search the internet though and there are A LOT of stories of prodromal labor that lasts for weeks (oh yes, I said weeks). Lucky me!

I want the little dude to stay in and fatten up a bit more, no doubt. However, this labor limbo is exhausting and confusing. Will I know when it really is TIME! or not. Many many stories of this type of early labor that lasts and lasts say that when active labor starts, it goes FAST. That scares the poop out of me. I really don’t want to have to take our 4 year old to the hospital with us when I am in active labor and in pain. That would scare the poop out of him. I guess we will see if my instinct kicks in that something is different. I certainly hope so.

At last growth check (37 weeks) the little dude was still in the 5th percentile and was estimated at 5lbs 4ozs. We broke the 5lb mark! Yay! I don’t have to go back for another growth scan unless my induction is scheduled past the 2 week point from my last ultrasound. I will talk to the Doctor about that on Wednesday when I go for my 38 week appointment. I fully believe now that I will be going to that appointment.

A long time ago, I picked August 5th as the day that baby will make his arrival. 11 days early, just like Ian. Place your bets.

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5 responses to “Labor Limbo

  1. Tiffany says:

    Oh yes, I had lots of prodromal labor with baby 2! It drove me INSANE because I didn’t have any of that the first time around. Then when early labor started at around 7 the night before she was born I wasn’t even sure it was the real thing. It was just way different and very laid-back. I slept through most of it and thought the contractions were ending. Then BOOM. I transitioned in like 3 seconds. Wanted to explode during the drive to the hospital.

    My bet is August 15. I don’t know why.

    • Ann says:

      You are confirming everything I have read that the active phase goes quickly. Good thing the hospital is close to my house.

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh man. How difficult. I never went into labor with either of my boys. So not sure what it would be like. Praying for you all though. I say August 4th.

  3. Janet says:

    August 8th? Hang in there. I’m ready to come and hold a little one again. JPM

  4. Jenna says:

    Babies love to come on weekends!! Dawson is my only one that didn’t come on a weekend but that’s cause I was 7 days past my due date and he was in no hurry so the doc’s made the decision for him! Just because you think the 5th I don’t think it will be! I’m going to go with the 6th/7th. I have a feeling it’s either late on the 6th or early on the 7th. Whenever he comes good luck and we are all thinking of you!

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