I think the hardest thing about the last weeks of pregnancy, is the unknown. And the most infuriating thing is when you deal with "Prodromal Labor" (some call it false labor, I like to call it practice).
This is my second pregnancy to deal with this lovely process- though I've never dealt with it this intensely. The thing is, with Friendly my contractions were only in the evening. Almost like clock work I knew when they would start and could guess around when they'd end.
This time? Constant. Several good contractions an hour and a constant period-like ache and cramping. I have lots of stuff coming out of me -like early labor- and I can feel my cervix changing (though haven't checked it//been checked- I don't want to know...I'm afraid I'll feel no change: which just puts me in a bad place emotionally. That and trying to reduce amount of contact of things going in there). The late afternoon and evening are definitely the most intense, sending waves of pressure through me that have me vocalizing and making me feel like the air is being squeezed out of me. It's exhausting. And yet, even with the strongest ones, I know they aren't the kind that will get baby out- they are powerful but not the powerful that means I'm on the roller coaster and I'm not getting off with out it ending in a baby.
Which is frustrating.
I've been dealing with this for 9 days now, some days have been easier and less intense, other days I was sure I was nearing the top of the roller coaster ready to slip over the edge and then. *ding* I come out of that zone and realize, my car is still just leaving the gate. It's really hard to keep a good perspective when you're dealing with some thing you have so little control over. Your body jerks you back and forth and in the end: you don't really know how close you're to meeting your baby. Hours? Days? Weeks? It's really unfair.
And yet, with every intense bout of contractions- I find my heart growing...I realize new facets of things I need to work through...From past births, between my husband and I, attitudes and disappointments... letting go...accepting...Preparing for the new season ahead.
And with each day that goes by I (yes, find new levels of discomfort- the joys of the end!) I also truly do get one day closer to holding my baby. I give her (or him) the gift of another day to benefit from being inside...Another day for her little nervous system to develop, her gut to prepare, her lungs to prime and practice for her first breath of life.
For whatever reason, this is the process and the labor my body and heart need. Would I choose it? No. I'm honestly just wishing there was a magic button that takes me to the end. To that moment of snuggling that sweet and wet little body... A magic button that means I can get off the ride completely. But I can't say how thankful I am...For the new perspectives. And for the practice of being intentional to be in the moment.
I tend to live my life with the future- the next step in life tends to be more real to me than the present. I'm always living for what's next. This prodromal labor? I have to be present, I have to focus on the joys of the moment- of watching my belly wiggle with baby, of knowing s/he's in there and healthy and preparing to meet me. I can't live for even a few hours from now or I tailspin into despair.
I will meet my baby... I will finish this ride...It will happen...it will happen...it will happen.
This is a gift...really.