For the past two weeks, I've been on high alert for labor symptoms. Honestly, these last 14 days have been far from fun.
I've heard the end of pregnancy is uncomfortable, but I didn't expect it to be painful. My back pain is so intense that it keeps me up at night and forces me take many hot showers during the day (the only thing that temporarily eases the pain). I'm constantly on all fours or bending over to attempt to relieve my back discomfort, but that just makes my cervical pressure worse.
Can my belly get any bigger? Wait, don't answer that
My midwife and doctors say I'm experiencing prodromal labor. Prodromal labor is basically false labor that feels real and makes real changes to your body. Instead of the process taking hours like it's supposed to, it can be weeks before active labor starts. Many women don't feel this early type of labor, but some do.
It sucks, but I'm well aware of what a luxury this problem is. I'm having a baby in a few weeks, he won't be preterm anymore (I'm 37w1d now ), and he's presumably healthy. There are many worse things than dealing with some temporary pain.
Since I haven't felt a single contraction, I see my midwife or doctor two times each week (except this week because they're not seeing patients all week due to Thanksgiving… odd) to check for progress, make sure I'm not leaking amniotic fluid, and to make sure the baby is still moving enough. Everything has been fine so far, but I'm reminded at each visit that labor can be any day now.
When you think any day can be your baby's birthday, you start doing weird things:
You keep yourself well-groomed. I used to be a every-other-day hair washer, but now I do it everyday because I don't want to be admitted to the hospital with day old hair. I also attempt to shave each day, which is rare for me. When you're lazy and blonde, you can get away with shaving rather infrequently.
You'll finally start reading those baby books everyone has been telling you about for 9 months. Then you'll immediately regret you wasted so much time job hunting instead of baby learning. There's so much info!
You freeze leftovers every night. I'm trying to cook each night since I don't know when I'll be in the kitchen again after baby comes. Instead of saving leftovers for the next day's meal, they're immediately frozen. This has lead to a lot of defrosting.
You don't buy many non-perishable items. Fresh produce and yogurt is hard to come by in our house. I don't like going without either, so this means grocery store trips are becoming quite frequent.
But other necessities are well-stocked. I guess we think we'll never go to the store again once baby is here. My house has never been so full of grains, vegetable stock, coffee, paper towels, toilet paper, and toiletries.
You do laundry each day. This is partly because I only fit into a handful of clothes. But the real reason is I don't want to come home from the hospital to baskets of dirty laundry.
You make sure all your t's are crossed and i's are dotted. All of our non-automatic debit bills are paid through 2012, my inbox is semi-empty, and the house is lightly cleaned every night.
You can't commit to anything. Besides impending labor, the pain I'm having has turned me into a hermit. I hate making plans just to cancel them so I haven't been making many. This means we have nothing to do on Turkey Day, which I actually don't mind.
You'll need to shut your phone off. This one is hard. I know my family and friends are just checking on me out of concern. I feel awful and rude for ignoring them, but the constant texts and calls are driving me a bit crazy. I'm in pain so I don't want to talk. You don't need to ask me how I'm doing every day (or 5x a day); I promise I'll tell you when I'm in labor. Also please don't ask me when I think the baby is coming. I'm not God and neither are my doctors, so no one knows.
You'll cherish every moment as a family of three. Nati is getting extra cuddle time, play time, and long walks. Jeff is even joining us for some of those long walks and skipping the gym a few nights a week so we can be lazy on the couch together. We're well aware that our days of doing whatever we feel like are very numbered, so we're doing our best to live in the moment.