Tag Archives: Contractions

Prodromal Labor aka. Continuous Pre-Labor

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For the fans of the Bradley Method, they tell you not to go into the hospital until your contractions are so strong that you can’t smile for the camera. Well, that works most of the time but what if you’ve been having contractions for 2 weeks and 2 days!?! I’m not crying because the contractions hurt, I’m crying cause I’m so emotionally strained from Prodromal Labor.

My first baby was a textbook baby. Everything that happened during pregnancy and labor was described exactly in all pregnancy textbooks. Labor started in the morning at 38 weeks of the pregnancy, I had contractions ~8 minutes apart for most of the day. Throughout the day, the contractions progressed to be stronger lasting about 50 to 60 seconds and coming every 5 minutes. I had a “show” in the afternoon and was emotionally nesting throughout the day. Well, being my first baby… I had no idea I was in labor at all! It was so easy… there was no way I could be in labor. So I took a shower and tried to go to sleep. My water broke (well… trickled) at around 10 pm and my contractions took off. We were only 5 minutes from the hospital but by the time I got there I was 6 cm dilated and I was having contractions 1 min long every 2 minutes. Transition occurred shortly after being on a birthing ball and the baby came out nicely with mother-directed pushing (pushing was indeed my favorite part!) Yes, easy… well as easy as labor can be!

I would used to always tell people, oh labor is easy. It’s only one day… it comes and then it goes and *pow* you have a baby! Surely, this saying was going to come back to bite me.

At 38 weeks for this second pregnancy, contractions started 3 minutes apart lasting about 60 seconds. It went on for 3 hours so I called up my midwife and asked “when do I come in?” She said “you’re not in labor yet.” Oh… of course, I’m not in labor… I can still smile for the camera. She told me to call back if they get stronger. These contractions went on and did get stronger throughout the day. So I called up my husband to come home from work by 4 pm. By the time he got home and everything slowed down. It was bed time so I needed to sleep anyways. How disappointing!! I thought for sure I was going to have a baby because it was going exactly like how the first baby happened.

Well, to my surprised this went on for 1 week! The contractions would go on day/night coming every 5 to 10 minutes for hours on end. The contractions ranged from mild to strong but not “intense”. Finally, after 1 week the contractions got stronger. I thought for sure these were it. I called someone to come get my toddler but by the time my first child left everything slowed down and the midwife told me to go to bed. How disappointing!!

I thought I was making it up in my head. I couldn’t believe that my contractions were starting and stopping. I went into the hospital anyways only to find out that I’m 2 cm dilated. What is going on with my body?! I went home and the contractions went on and off for the next week. I had a “show” 1.5 weeks ago but still nothing has happened.

Finally, I found something useful online as I desperately search for something that would make sense of what is going on with my body. Prodromal labor!!!

Prodromal labor is pre-labor that goes on and off for hours, days, or weeks! That’s it. It made so much sense… well kinda. At least it gave me hope and I now know that there’s nothing wrong with my body. It’s just having a long warm-up.

The hardest part of prodromal labor is my emotional state. I get a rush of hormones throughout the day that makes me really emotional. I’m always on the edge and anything could make me cry! Good news, I’ve learned to deal with it better the last few days. I stopped timing my contractions and can even ignore my contractions. 🙂 Even though my baby is now “over-due”, I feel peace and love as I search the scriptures, receive priesthood blessings, be grateful, watch the missionary broadcast, do my Hypnobabies scripts, spend time with my toddler, serve others and pass time by reading other women’s prodromal labor stories. Everything will turn out just fine! My body knows exactly what to do and I’m going to let it do it’s thing.

Great reads about prodromal labor:

http://wafflesandcereal.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/prodromal-labor/

http://belladolcebirths.blogspot.ie/2012/01/prodromal-labor-what-is-it.html

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/990201/what-you-need-to-know-about-prodromal-labor

Read my happy ending to Prodromal Labor:

https://hubbardscupboard2010.com/2013/07/11/having-a-baby-is-not-scary/

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Why I got a Doula

Intro

I’ve been really wanting to write about my recent pregnancy and birth of our baby but really haven’t had time with school. So I thought today… better late than never right? 🙂

Definition

A doula is a labor coach “who is professionally trained to assist a women during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born” [Google Web Definition].

Why a doula?

I was really terrified of childbirth but after talking to a few good friends who had really good birth natural experiences, I prayed about what I should do. After praying about it I felt the desire that I wanted to have a natural childbirth. (Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against epidurals! If you want one then by all means get one! For me, I was really scared to get an epidural because I didn’t want a big needle poked up my spine or to be paralyzed from the waist down. Who knows… may be one day I’ll overcome my fears and get an epidural.) For those who know me, I am a big wimp when it comes to pain. I have zero pain tolerance. Dallin can poke me and I would say “ouch!” So I knew I had a lot of work to do to prepare for a natural labor. I wanted someone to coach Dallin to help me get through labor without an epidural. I wanted someone who knew hospital procedures and protocols. I wanted someone who could massage me and help me relax during labor. I wanted someone who could teach me different positions I could use during labor. I wanted someone to stay there with me during my labor. I wanted a pain-free labor. And guess what?! I got exactly what I wanted with my doula! Here’s a picture of my doula, me, and Micah right after birth.

What about a doctor?

I had a OBGYN (a doctor) and hired a doula on the side. A doctor is the person you go to during your pregnancy to get your check ups. He can write you prescriptions, perform lab work, and make sure you’re in good health. A doctor comes to check up on you when you’re in labor at the hospital and usually comes back at the very end when you about to deliver the baby unless there’s a complication. A doctor performs C-sections and other medical labor procedures. A doctor makes all the medical decisions and facilitates the delivery of the baby. A doula does not cross over the medical side of your pregnancy or labor. A doula is there for support emotionally, physically, and helping you achieve your ideal birth usually with a specific birthing method.

What part did my doula play in my childbirth experience?

After I hired my doula, I was in constant contact with her. I would let her know how my pregnancy is going and ask her for her advice on things I was concerned about. She would help me decide when it was appropriate to call the doctor or help me work out my concerns. My doula came for a pre-labor visit to discuss my birth plan and what I wanted during labor. She answered all my “how will I know I’m in labor?” questions and my questions about “what it is like to deliver a baby in a hospital?”. She also helped me draft my birth plan to give to my doctor.

When I was having contractions (aka. birth waves), I stayed in touch with my doula throughout the day. My baby came faster than we thought! The doula helped me decide when to go to the hospital. My water broke at around 10:30 pm at home. The doula met us at the hospital. When she came, it made the world of difference. She helped me get in comfortable positions. The doula and Dallin gave me pressed on various parts of my body like my lower back and hips to help equalize the pressure of the birthing waves. It felt so good and such a relief. She helped me bounce on a birthing ball to dilate faster and she also helped me with different positions to help me push the baby out. The doula helped me do mother-directed pushing which also felt really good to be in control of the delivery of the baby. She also gave me emotional support and lots of encouragement. She helped me mentally feel like I can do it! It was like running a race and she was there to keep me running! After she helped us get our bags out of the car and took lots of pictures for us which was really nice because Dallin and I were busy looking at our new baby! My doula helped me achieve my natural childbirth and it was sure worth it! Right after the baby came out my body stopped working and it felt normal again. In fact, it felt better than normal because I was on an adrenaline rush at 4:00 am in the morning! I was able to walk, eat, and go to the bathroom by myself. I have to thank my doula for helping me overcome my fears and also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

How do you get a doula?

I just searched online and asked for references. You go through an interview process with as many doulas as you want. Interviews are usually free and it allows you to find a doula who fits your needs/personality. It’s definitely worth the time and research to find the one you want.

Doula Referals

Andrea Donaldson Lythgoe – This is the doula who attended my birth. She was very good to work with and is a certified doula. She likes lamaze birth method and teaches natural childbirth classes at St. Marks hospital. She also came to visit me for a postpartum visit.

Kristy Avery Huber – My original doula who helped me during my pregnancy but was not able to attend my birth so she sent Andrea. Kristy was the doula I interviewed with and visited me for my pre-labor visit.

Both are very highly skilled at what they do!

Let me know if you want to talk about childbirth because I could talk about this for hours!