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:
Read my happy ending to Prodromal Labor: