I learned from classes and other women that when one is in labor, there is a moment of conviction. A moment when you declare, "I'm in labor. I NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!"
However, this is not always the case.
I have found that you don't always feel this conviction and intense attitude. In fact, sometimes you need your husband to convince you that you are in labor, and force you to go to the hospital. So I'm linking up with Kelly to discuss how you can go about ignoring and being fairly oblivious to labor.
That way, when you go into labor at 38 weeks, 6 days, you are completely unprepared and think that it can’t possibly be real labor.
2. Deny that persistent contractions are “real” contractions.
When you wake up at 3 or 3:30 in the morning with tons of cramping, come to the immediate conclusion that, “Wow, this must be what Braxton-Hicks contractions feel like!”
You had never experienced BH before in pregnancy, so you figure that your body is just beginning to prepare for labor and childbirth—which will probably happen in a week or so. You spend the next three hours half-awake, half-asleep as you continue to feel constant cramping. Drive to 7 a.m. Mass as this cramping continues, which stops while at Mass (to be replaced with isolated contractions). At this point, besides thinking that they could be Braxton-Hicks contractions, also blame these on the copious amounts of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea that you consumed in the past two days. These aren’t “real” contractions, they are just the effects of the tea starting to hit your system, right?
3. Insist on going about the day as normal, even though contractions are steadily coming at regular intervals.
So if you need the car for the day, (which involves dropping your husband off at work half an hour away) insist that, “No, no, we don’t need to turn around the car and go home; I’m fine, and these contractions are no big deal.”
In fact, as you drive down the highway in the crazy Oklahoma City traffic, you start to make a game of guessing at what exact time the next contraction will come—after all, when they’ve been coming 5-6 minutes apart (but only lasting 15-30 seconds each, in your estimation)—it’s really exciting to try and predict when exactly the next one will hit! You arrive at Wal-Mart and speedwalk through the store to buy a few items, and then head home at around 9:30 a.m. to put scalloped potatoes in the oven for a funeral luncheon. Granted, this entire time you’re texting your husband every time you experience a contraction, but they still seem to be rather short—so no big deal, right?
You continue to check blogs, respond to e-mails, and act as if this is a completely normal day. And when your husband calls at around 10:40 as you’re loading up potatoes to head to the car, continue to deny that you’re really in labor (and mention that these potatoes need to go to the funeral!). When you have an extremely long and intense contraction while on the phone with your husband—which causes him to insist that you “stay right there, I’m getting a ride home right now”—remind him that you’re literally just about to leave the house, and that it’s really nothing to worry about. When you hear that he means business, you concede and call the church office to notify them that you can’t bring potatoes, and you go to bed to get some rest. But this entire time, you feel very, very frustrated—because you’re not in “real” labor, so all this fuss is for nothing!
|You take a selfie by which to|
remember the ridiculousness of
going to the hospital when you
are barely in labor-if you're
in labor at all.
4. When you finally agree to go to the hospital, you still don’t take anything seriously, because you’re not “far enough in labor” to warrant going to the hospital (and going to the hospital would just slow or stop contractions!).
Your husband came home and started timing contractions himself while frantically unpacking the car seat (which had been purchased a few days beforehand and was sitting in its box in the living room) and putting together a hospital bag…and you discover that your contractions are (and probably have been) about 50 seconds to over a minute long, 3 ½ minutes to 4 ½ minutes apart. When you discover some bloody show, you concede that maybe this is really labor, but you still don’t think that you should necessarily go to the hospital yet, since you don’t have the determination, focus, or conviction that “I need to go to the hospital.” And going to the hospital will just slow labor. In fact, when your contractions stop coming as close together in while in the car, you think, I knew that hospitals just stall or stop labor! Even driving to the hospital is decreasing the frequency of contractions!
5. When the nurse checks you in the admitting room and says, “You’re an eight,” protest, and claim that the exam is inaccurate.
|You also insist on taking a picture once you get into the admitting room,|
(minutes before finding out that you are nearly fully dilated)
to commemorate this exciting event.
She’ll concede that you’re a seven, but that you’re definitely a seven (and not any less). Upon hearing this, you proceed to laugh at just how ironic and ridiculous the whole situation is.
6. When the nurse returns with a wheelchair to take you to the delivery room, continue to not take anything seriously (and weird all of the nurses and the midwife out with your chipper attitude).
So you almost fell asleep on the table in the admitting room because you were so relaxed and comfortable? Explain that to the nurse, just so that she knows how strange you are. Continue to burst out into laugher as she wheels you down the hallway, because this whole situation is just so funny! When the midwife comes up in the hallway, babble on about how adorable she looks and how you own an outfit very similar to hers (the midwife will later mention to you that you were not acting like a woman in labor, and the nurses will declare you to be the “happiest laboring woman” they’ve seen). Smile broadly at all of the nurses, and declare how fun it is that you’re getting rapidly moved down the hallway in a wheelchair.
7. You get to the delivery room and act very nonchalant and relaxed, with no urgency or intense mentality of a laboring woman.
This situation is still very novel and somewhat hilarious, because you didn’t really think you were in labor, but you just have a few more centimeters to go! Your midwife tells you to take two contractions in the bathroom, and then after she checks you, you can get on the ball.
And when the midwife checks and says, “Oh my. The next contraction, give a little push,” look at her like she’s crazy. However, there’s no arguing with 10 centimeters and a station of +1.
|Ta da! A baby came out!|
These, my friends, are 7 stages of being in denial about labor. And wouldn’t you know, I went through all 7 of these on June 7, 2016!
Pushing is where things got very real and there was no question about it—this baby was ready to be born! I experienced about 45 minutes of intense, epic pushing, (during which I acted, according to the nurse, like a woman with an epidural), towards the end of which, my water broke naturally! (Yes, it had been fully intact up until this point) And a few pushes after my water broke, Peter came shooting/squirming out at 3:33 p.m.!
|He is so precious :)|