I am not sure that anyone specifically told me that the second time would be easier because you are equipped with knowledge and experience, but this is certainly something I believed to my core. But this second time is leaving me in a tizzy.
With Henry, everything leading up to labor and the onset of labor felt like, what I imagined in my head, textbook steps. I lost the plug, 4 days later I had the show, less than 24 hours later contractions began. I didn’t have any braxton hicks contractions. I knew immediately what I was experiencing was the real deal. Low heat in my back, lots of pressure that wrapped around to my belly. As time went on, pain increased. I timed them. I knew not to call until things had progressed to a certain point. I called. I went in. I had a baby. Easy peasy.
This time. Oh. This. Time. I am driving myself absolutely crazy because my body is driving me absolutely crazy. About a week ago I started having braxton hicks contractions. For two hour periods in the evening, usually after I finally sat down for the day. Just as I knew the real contractions were real, I know these ones were not. No back heat or pain. No pain at all, really. Just a clamping down across my belly. I would call it more a nuisance than anything. They are happening daily. Sometimes while I’m sleeping and they wake me up and I have to lay there until they pass knowing that nothing is happening.
Meanwhile, baby 2 has dropped. He is so low. I know he is. And people feel free to comment on this, too. A co-worker stopped me yesterday and exclaimed, “That kid is so low he’s going to reach out and give you a high-five!” or “Are you able to even sit any more?” People. I technically have 24 days until my due date. I also do not require your commentary. I am aware of the physical placement of the human being in my body.
Then yesterday I had my 36 week and some odd days (I would know that precisely with Henry) OB appointment. I didn’t let my Kansas OB check me for dilation because I felt it was either going to get my hopes up or make me feel discouraged. And dilation and effacement doesn’t mean anything in the end about the onset of labor. You can be dilated for weeks without going into labor. Or you can go from being 0cm to fully dilated in a 24 hour period. So this is information that I feel is unnecessary and would stress me out. My plan this time around was not to be checked.
I had to get the Group B step test done and before I had a chance to comment she had already checked my cervix. Well, at that point I wasn’t going to let her know something that I wasn’t going to know. So, here we are 3cm dilated with an official medical diagnosis of “Woah, your baby is low!” Then yesterday there were more indications that my body was moving toward labor – thanks gross things happening! And last night I spent 90 minutes timing real contractions (or I thought they were real…), followed by 30 minutes of braxton hicks, and then they eventually stopped. But that was between 1:30-4:00am. At least I got to finish that episode of The Voice. Needless to say, I’m exhausted today. And confused. SO CONFUSED.
I feel like my uterus is saying, “Hey, Body! I’ve done this before. I know what I’m doing. Wanna see what I can do? LOOK LOOK! OVER HERE!” and my body is saying, “Uterus, shut up. No one cares what you have to say. Can you just keep quiet? You’re annoying.” And so I am having these stutter/stops. It is making me doubt everything. I am no longer sure I’ll know what a real contraction feels like because my body is in a constant cramp with pressure on my pelvis. I am a lady that likes to be in the know. And my body isn’t being cooperative in providing the information I would like. I am frustrated. And tired. And am going to rage like mad if this baby, my uterus, and my body continue to have this argument for three more weeks.
A shining moment from yesterday: I had a prenatal massage. I have never had one before. The super cushy belly hole was pure magic. I laid on my belly for the first time in many months. Glorious! Trevor, my massage therapist, looked like someone that should hang out a biker bar. He cracked me up. I was a little hesitant about him at first. And then I thought… wait… a big burly guy? Yes. This is EXACTLY who should give massages! I was uncomfortable for the first 30 seconds of the massage worrying about someone touching my squishy body, but then I realized two things. 1) Trevor is a professional 2) I have a human being growing inside my body… squishiness is acceptable. Then I actually managed to relax and enjoy the rest of the hour. For 59 and a half magical minutes I didn’t feel like I was pregnant. And that is about the best review one can give a prenatal masseuse.
I will conclude this with the following: I’m cranky. And tired. Sorry to those who are required to interact with me.