Revised 1/2/13 - I wanted to give a quick revision to this post since it's been a while since I wrote it. I just wanted to reiterate that my purpose for writing such a post is to give information and encouragement to moms on what is a normal variation to labor patterns. My purpose is not to diagnose or provide medical advice. I am speaking in much more general descriptives and know that every situation is different. Every mom and baby has different needs and desires and I also don't want to convey that intervention should never happen in these labors, simply that many times it isn't medically necessary just because the labor is prodromal in nature. I truly value each family's situation as unique and their emotional, psychological and medical needs are not one-size-fits all. I encourage readers to pursue open communication with their health care providers for their particular situation and to assess what is going on with you all personally. I am glad to provide some encouragement to women as they encounter navigating this prodromal pattern in a very charts-numbers-and-clocks oriented maternity system. Prodromal labor is difficult to navigate by its nature, and even more so when it is not a well understood variation, so I don't make light of the experience. I do hope you find encouragement and some useful information here.
Have you ever heard the someone say, "trust me, you will know when you're in labor." But what about when you don't actually "know" it's the real thing until you are going through transition or you baby's head is crowning? Feel like a bimbo? Please don't. This is not some episode of "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant." These women who "don't know for sure" whether or not they are in "real" labor are not bimbos, they are not needing to be better at "tuning into their bodies." They may very well be experiencing a pattern referred to as prodromal labor. It happens. And it is normal for many women.
So what is it? Well, like most every thing in labor and birth, prodromal labor is not black and white. In fact, I'd like to think it is one of those types of labor that really puts our patience, trust and faith in the birth process to the test. It may be defined and described in very different ways by different people. So, let's just highlight some general characteristics that may comprise a woman's prodromal labor experience.
Many womens' labors will not even remotely reflect textbook progression, and I am not just talking about numbers in terms of hours of labor, or rates of cervical dilation. The actual patten of prodromal labor is very different than what many women may experience in so-called textbook labors: "I started contractions early one morning and had my baby in arms X number of hours/a day later". This description is not always characteristic of prodromal labor. Prodromal labor can be a slow, often inconsistent climb toward the hour of birth. In these labors, women may have start and stop contractions for days or even weeks. Laboring for a full day and then contractions petering out...even for a full day or more. Sometimes the contractions are strong, consistently close together and can at times be difficult, even in the pre and early labor stages. Other times the contractions may be manageable, but may last for days and weeks, and perhaps subsequently pick up pace with a rapid sprint to the hour of birth. Some women may very well start off early labor with closely-spaced, strong contractions, bowel clearing, backache, cervical pressure, only to have these things peter out a few hours later and return again...and leave and return and so on. There are so many patterns within patterns in the variation of prodromal labor, so each woman will describe her experience a little differently. Prodromal labor may not be hours or days of continuous active-labor-intensity levels (though this also can occur at intermittent times during prodromal labors). Commonly, these labors can be physically wearing and mentally difficult. They may affect sleep and activities of daily living. On the other hand, these labors may also have some perks. More on that later. There is a lot that seems unknown during a prodromal labor.
What is certain is that *ALL* the work, all the contractions count toward the final moments in labor and birth of the baby. And don't let anyone convince a woman those hours and days "don't count." Should how much or how little a woman's cervix is dilated at any given time during labor really be what determines whether she is in "real" labor or not? I personally don't think so. I find that criteria a very narrow way of looking at labor and birth. Truly, in the big picture, even braxton hicks at 20 weeks still count toward the final moments of birth. A woman's body is still doing the physical conditioning that will strengthen her for the birth of her baby.
So, am I just describing a drawn out early pre- and early-labor phases? Well, not necessarily. One of the things about prodromal labor is that it can be very illusive in its pattern. It may follow the signs of early active labor for hours and then, suddenly stop or go dormant for a long period of time. For one example, let's say a woman begins by having contractions that are already several minutes apart and moderate in intensity and this lasts for 5 hours and then, for whatever reason, labor seems to stop. A few mild contractions may continue here and there, much like what is often experienced in the final weeks of pregnancy anyway. But what seemed like active labor 'getting going,' seems to just as suddenly dissipate. Labor may in fact be taking a break, even for hours and days with very few contractions during those dormant phases. And then these might pick up again, suddenly and try to keep a woman on her toes thinking she is about to transition very soon. Of course, this is only one description of one pattern -- prodromal labor (like other labor patterns) just basically does what it wants.
Now, when a woman tells you she was in labor for 5 days, you might wonder if she is being dramatic. Perhaps she is. What is likely more descriptive of the woman with prodromal labor is that she labored off and on for 5 days. If she were to count up the hours of labor spurts (those periods of notable, consistent contractions) that may wax and wane, and add them together, she is likely to give more context to this labor description than just '5 days of labor.' Perhaps its just me, but using a simple, non-contextualized statement of 'labored for 5 days' conjures up in my mind a woman heaving and bellowing and moaning for 5 days straight with strong, intense and painful contractions. Probably not. Likely there is much waxing and waning during those days. That being said, some women may have consistent, closely-spaced contractions for hours on hours into days, but often in these prodromal patterns, the pain intensity and strength of contractions is more manageable, and at some point closer to the final period of labor, moves into those strong, intense contractions. Just examples. Indeed despite the mental and physical challenges of prodromal labor, there may also be those potential prodromal labor benefits I mentioned earlier.
Imagine running a marathon. In this race, you are not being ranked according to how few hours you take to complete your race. Instead of having a hard, pounding race to the finish line to fit it into a determined record of time, you are able to sprint for several miles and then walk for a couple, sprint for several more, walk. Unfortunetely you don't know what the mile markers are in this marathon and you may or may not be able to actually sit down at least not for very long. You have to just keep moving forward and hoping that the banners and flags will start to appear before you lose your sanity, but you get breaks from intense running too. Although you may not be having to run as hard and fast as some of the other participants, you may also not able to get much rest. Just as you are getting ready to take a break for a while, suddenly, you are required to start sprinting again. No nap for you:). Good thing you were able to walk slowly that last mile. Let's say it takes you 4 days before you finally cross that glorious finish line. It is still an incredibly physically challenging event, moreover it is an especially mentally challenging event. Yes, you had to do that race drawn out over many days and without a sense of how far you had traveled and how far you had yet to go. But it was a slower climb too. You completed it, no matter how choppy it seemed, it was still well done. Remember, pre- and early-labor are just as important in the whole process of birth as are those hours of hard active labor, transition and pushing. The first 7 miles of a marathon ALWAYS count toward the 26.2 total distance. You may not be running till your heart bursts all those hours, but you are still moving forward toward your final reward.
This description may be in contrast to a precipitous birth -- you know the kind that might start with whammo, intense, transition-style contractions and an hour or two or three later a baby is born. Incredibly challenging, perhaps very scary, disorienting and overwhelming, but start to finish, comparatively quick. These are simply different patterns. Precipitous has its pros and cons, just as does the more "average" type consistently progressive labors, as also does prodromal labor. I can think of reasons why a woman would prefer each respective pattern and reasons why they may not prefer each one.
Perhaps the most difficult part of prodromal labor can be mental and emotional...the idea of not knowing just how to "trust your body" because your body is sending mixed signals. Many women may feel the first hours of contractions (which still may be close together and last consistently for hours) and start calling their family and their provider and excitedly head off the to hospital only to be told "you're not in labor" or "you are not far enough progressed to admit to the facility." (By the way, consider it a blessing if the staff sends you home to labor--though it may be frustrating, it may spare you many unnecessary interventions and it may give you the chance to be patient and most especially to try to get sleep and rest when you can, which can be more feasible at home versus a hospital. Thanks to protocol, in the hospital you are on the clock). "Not in labor?!" Well, that's not really true, but if you define everything narrowly by textbook, than I see how that conclusion can be reached. Problem is 'textbook labor' is supposed to simply be a description, not a diagnosis. She may very well BE in labor...this may be a labor with intermittent patterns and start-stop progress that just isn't fitting into the numbers protocol. This is defeating and frustrating for expectant families to hear.
Even as defeating as this may be, there is a more concerning possibility. If a woman is not encouraged to go home to labor (or for home births, if the midwife does not encourage the woman to give the process time), providers, or facility protocol, or frustrated parents may start pushing for interventions to "get things going." In their excitement, and in their mindset, labor is supposed to be progressing this certain way and it is not obeying the preconceived laws! Inductions, augmentation, vigorous walking, herbs, more pain meds, IV fluids, and other labor stimulating tricks may all be applied in a succession of battle-like efforts. It may be more the provider pushing for these things, it may be more facility protocol putting pressure on the labor progress, or it may be the family who pushes for the mortar attacks. Problem is, in addition to exposing a woman and her baby to the side effects of (quite possibly) unnecessary interventions, this mindset betrays a lack of trust in the birth process and a lack of awareness in the vast variations of normal labor patterns. And what may very well happen after all these tricks are said and done, (some perhaps having been effective, often, many have not) a laboring woman approaches the transition and pushing phase....completed exhausted. And exhaustion in those last minutes and hours of labor is not a favorable situation. It can also potentially lead to the need for more serious interventions and at best, it is not a kind think to do to a birthing woman (or for a woman to do to herself).
The temptation to intervene is strong in these labors. But the most vital needs are tincture of time, support, sleep, rest, food & fluids, loads of patience and faith. The management of a prodromal labor is often not permitted to be directed by normal physiology, but instead subjected to outside influences. Perhaps more commonly in a hospital birth versus birth center or home settings, prodromal labors are more likely to be mislabeled as "failure to progress." Although this circus of events may be more common in a hospital setting, there is no less potential for it in a birth center or home setting. The interventions themselves may be different in type, but they are still interventions. Nonetheless, even if the interventions themselves are different at a birth center or hospital, the mindset may still be the problem. There may not be epidurals placed or IV fluids or pitocin administered at the birth center or home. But there may indeed be prescriptions for vigorous walks, calisthenics, herbs, supplements, teas, tinctures, sex, etc, etc. The root of biased expectations still may remain the problem -- the birth process is not being trusted. [Of course as a reminder, we are not talking about labors wherein there is fetal distress or threats to health and safety. We are talking about labors that simply stand in contrast to the expectations for what a "normal" labor pattern is "supposed" to look like. But perhaps it is our expectations and not the labor that need refreshing, intervening and education.] There is a dance of provider personality, experience, protocol and expectations along with the dance of the laboring family's personality, experience and expectations. It may not be a pushy provider that leads to a high intervention prodromal labor, it may very well be impatient, anxious or under-informed parents. Or the parents may indeed be both well-informed and patient, but are being cared for by an impatient, anxious or aggressive provider. Or still, it may be the pressures put on both the family and the provider and staff due to rigid undiscerning protocols or the facility.
Before we get too far off track, this is not a discussion on which kind of intervention is more safe or effective versus another. It is a discussion of not needing the intervention in the first place. But more importantly, it is a discussion of having wise expectations and seeking congruity in our perspective - Do we truly trust the birth process or not? Many women wonder if the interventions they had pushed on them (or they themselves requested) were possibly unnecessary. Perhaps they didn't cause notable harm, which is not an insignificant relief, but again, our discussion here isn't about when interventions are more helpful than harmful -- it is about expanding our expectations for what are normal variations in labor patterns.
*Although I respect many of the physicians, midwives and birth professionals who attempt to define prodromal labor, I personally feel that most descriptions (even from typically low-intervention oriented providers, many home birth midwives included) are at best too textbook, some narrow-minded, and some even inaccurate. In fact, some providers and birth professionals deny that prodromal labor even exists and may lump it into the very condescending phrase "false labor." I think that unawareness or limited knowledge among women and providers' descriptions is because the majority of descriptions are being written from the perspective of an outsider, usually a birth attendant. And even a wonderful birth attendant is not with the laboring woman for the entire start to finish process of labor.* So, when you read definitions of prodromal labor, consider they may likely be too black and white....Why is it so important to me how prodromal labor is described? Self-disclosure, I've enjoyed one such labor personally. And that story I will save for another day.
"Interesting perhaps, but all of this didn't really tell me what prodromal labor was all about." Well, prodromal labor may not necessarily fit into a dictionary definition, sorry to irritate you after reading my droning. So, instead of worrying about how prodromal labor is defined, learn what prodromal labor is like as an experience. Hear from the perspective of mothers who have experienced it or perceptive (and non black and white-thinking) providers and support persons who have been with these women. Below are a few links to prodromal labor descriptions as told by mothers, and some birth professionals.
If you have prodromal labor stories you'd be willing to share or links to other stories, please let me know. I'd love to continue adding to the growing stories. A few women in the birth community have made it their special interest to educate the rest of the community on this normal labor variation.
A special thanks to Sarah for her example and resources.
Read about prodromal birth stories:
- Sarah's collection of stories and descriptions of prodromal labor: http://www.nmfrogblog.blogspot.com/
- "Red Light, Green Light: A Tale of Prodromal Labor":
Good descriptions, Deb. Thanks for linking. I'm linking back to you!ReplyDelete
And thanks for linking to the linking ;)Delete
I had two weeks of prodromal with my last. I ended up barely making it to the hospital on the actual day because i plain ignored the ctx, even though i knew these were more intense than the previous. It is more emotionally wearing than physically. You hit it on the head with this description.ReplyDelete
Thanks Chantel! I can very much relate to feeling like you need to ignore those contractions. You almost have to 'disbelieve' what your body is doing in order to get through the day. I wonder if part of that is because as a culture we are conditioned to think birth is supposed to be textbook. And I believe you that your contractions were still intense. Just because it is prodromal, doesn't mean they don't hurt :). They are also very confusing because they don't progress in any sort of a predictable way. So exactly as you say, very emotionally and mentally wearing.Delete
You bring up a great point about that finish line. With prodromal labor, it almost seems like your ability to read your body and where you are in the labor process is really muddied. I have known a few women like yourself who experienced prodromal labor and just barely made it to the hospital, even though they labored off and on for days or more. I also know at least three moms recently who were having planned home births and their midwives did not make it for the birth, but walked in a few minutes later. These were all "veteran" birthing moms on their 4th or 5th babies, so it wasn't like they didn't know the signs of labor -- the signs were just extremely confusing. And you don't really know you're within a few minutes of birth until it's actually happening!
It worked out well for me that my prodromal labor happened to be my third baby and my first home birth (my first was at a hospital, second at a birth center). With baby #3, my midwife arrived about 30 min before baby was born, so just enough time to get set up, and help me catch that little one:). I agree, emotionally, my third was my probably more difficult birth. With my other two, we were able to have ideal timing in our arrival to the respective facilities. Enough time to get settled without rushing, but only there a couple hours before baby arrived. But those labors were more logistically predictable.
Chantel, if you're willing to share your birth story, I know that other women would hugely benefit from it. I think with prodromal labor, the best way to learn about the concept is to hear other womens' stories. No pressure at all, though, and it can remain anonymous or you could just post a link here if you are willing and you end up writing your story in the future. In fact, I still haven't finished writing my prodromal birth story from almost two years ago. :/
I have been going through this for 3 days and it's driving me crazy. I never had this with any of my other 3 births and it's had me questioning my body and it's effectiveness. I am scared to death that when I really do go into labor I'll wait around at home so long to make sure that it's not going to stop that I'll have the baby at home delivered by my husband or in the car with my kids in the back seat on the way to the hospital. My contractions have been regular (3-4 minutes apart 45 sec. each) and will go on for hours. They are slightly painful, sometimes more then others but seemingly appear as though I'm actually in labor. I'm not sure I'll know when I'm actually in labor at this rate. I don't know what to do.ReplyDelete
Anon, I want to apologize that I wasn't able to reply to your comment when you were experiencing this. It can be so frustrating and it really messes with your head. I do hope things turned out well for you, even if perhaps not how you planned. You will be a great resource and encouragement for your fellow mamas if they ever experience these same kinds of labors in the future.Delete
Thank you so much for posting this! I feel much better (and more normal) about the pattern of labor I have been experiencing. This is my fourth pregnancy and I have been to the hospital already, only to be sent home after contractions that were 5 minutes apart for 1.5 hours, then stopped. I have been going through up and down emotions for days because I can't figure out what's going on! This post has really eased my mind.ReplyDelete
Anon 10:31, I am very sorry for my delayed response. Between the holidays, travel and my computer being in the shop, time has gotten away from me. I am so glad you found this post helpful. That is so confusing and frustrating to feel like you "don't know" your own body's signs and the emotional cycle of excitement and disappointment. Take heart that there are many many many women who are experiencing and have experienced this pattern. And your story will be of help to fellow expectant moms in the future. I hope this birth was a good experience looking back. It is so difficult psychologically in the middle of it, and can be even for a while after, but your patience and trust was not in vain.Delete
I am going throught this right now. I have been having BH CXT for about 10 weeks but in the last 2 weeks I have several hours of consistent 8-10 minute apart contractions almost daily. Then, I go to bed, and they stop. I am due on the 21st and am trying to attempt a natural VBAC at the hospital. I have until the 28th, then they will deliver my son via VBAC. I did not have this type of labor with my daughter and am getting VERY frustrated. I am starting to feel like my body just doesn't know what to do and that's why nothing is happening. Thank you for hitting the nail on the head with this article, it is nice to hear I am not alone!ReplyDelete
**via C Section, not VBAC**Delete
Kendall, as with the other commenters, I apologize for my tardy response.Delete
I hope this second birth was able to be a fulfilling experience, even if it didn't go as hoped for. Yes! Your descriptions are so good. It can be crazy-making to go through this experience of start and stop and willy nilly, I-do-what-I-want contractions. And moms who've had many kids and have a prodromal labor after several previous births often still feel the same way -- confused, disheartened, exhausted and having a hard time believing that they can trust their body. You are most certainly not alone and as I commented above, your story will be of help and encouragement to fellow moms/friends in the future.:)
I am so glad I ran across your article. I am expecting Baby #4 any time now and am experiencing prodromal labor. I was induced for #1 and #2. I had three days of constant prodromal labor with #3 which ended when the physician broke my water. The resulting labor/birth was only 45 minutes long. He was born 8 days before his due date. We live 45 minutes away from the hospital, and I have a terrible fear that my prodromal labor will result in another precipitous birth, accidentally at home or in the car. I have a scheduled induction five days from today. The doctor would have preferred to induce tomorrow, but has another committment out of town. I have to say, I am frustrated and nervous due to my variables of distance and quick deliveries. Thank you for helping me better understand that while prodromal labor is perhaps atypical, it is not abnormal or "fake".ReplyDelete
Hi anonymous, thanks so much for commenting and being willing to share your experiences. I so get the nervousness you have experienced about not getting to the hospital before your baby is born. That is a legitimate concern and I want to validate that. Yes, prodromal is a very normal labor variation and in no way fake or false. It makes me cringe when I hear providers use that terminology. When and if you are ready, I encourage you to talk to your provider (if you have not already done so) and educate him or her on how prodromal labor is experienced from a first-hand perspective. This is something that will be invaluable to a humble practitioner and he/she will use the knowledge down the road. Don't doubt yourself, you have experienced a normal and not pathologic pattern and you are doing so well to have stayed patient. Since it has been a few days since you commented, and perhaps already have had your baby, I hope things turned out well for you, even if not how you would have planned.Delete
THANK YOU for this article!!ReplyDelete
I'm going through prodromal labor right now as well - going on day four - and it's my first baby. So I really have no idea what childbirth is like from personal experience! I was sent home from L&D on day one (thank goodness - not a fan of interventions).
I am lucky enough to be giving birth at a low-intervention hospital with midwives on staff. I had my 39 week appointment today, and expressed my frustration at the kind of labor I was experiencing...I couldn't understand the whole stop-and-go thing and couldn't find a definition for it anywhere! The midwife told me I was experiencing Prodromal Labor, and that it was a very normal thing. She was wonderful and so reassuring and explained it all beautifully.
I was trying to find some sort of definition or explanation online, so that I could better understand what my body is doing...and was kind of offended that most sources equate Prodromal to "false" labor. Umm, I am pretty sure this is not false, and my midwife definitely didn't think so either! So I was incredibly happy to come across this post :) you explain it all beautifully! I'll definitely be linking back to you (I'll let you know when I do!) and try to help in spreading the word!
Thank you, thank you, thank you :) here's hoping this baby comes within a couple days, rather than weeks!
And here's the link! basically just my story/an explanation...but I linked to you because I thought your article was great :) thanks again!Delete
Rach, I love this! thank you so much for commenting and visiting this post. I am glad it has given you some encouragement and hopefully some peace of mind. I loved reading your story. I love that especially considering it is your first baby, you are so confident and motivated to educate yourself rather than just letting the "experts" tell you what has to happen. This is awesome. I am with you on the slim-pickins' resources on prodromal labor. It is really too bad because I think so many families are not cared for appropriately because the knowledge among providers and facility policy makers is not there, generally speaking. Tell everyone you know about prodromal labor! Definitely spread the word among friends, family and, if you are willing, among your OB practice. A woman who has been on the inside is the best educator to others on what it is actually like as an experience. I hope things have turned out well for you and that you have your sweet baby in your arms, or at least soon. Your patience is admirable. And thank you greatly for linking back to this post. Let's get the word out! If you plan to write up your birth story, I'd love to link it on my blog, if you are comfortable, but I understand if you'd like to keep privacy. Or you could do an anonymous birth story too, if that would give more privacy. Think about it :)Delete
I had 3 evenings of prodromal labour last weekend, which softened and dialated my cervix to 3 cms. It was fairly painless, but by the third evening, my uterus and abdominal muscles felt tired and bit sore. I was also emotionally spent, because I spent every evening expecting that I'd meet my little girl, only to be let down as the contractions ebbed away. (This is my first, so I had no idea what to expect... I just thought once things got started, they would keep going.)ReplyDelete
I've had very mild contractions off and on for the last 4 days, and am trying to be patient for the arrival of the next phase. I've realized that I feel grateful for this rest - I see it as a time for my muscles to repair for the next burst... and for me to get the rest of my "nest" in order.
Over the last few days, I've spent hours online trying to understand prodromal labour, and was surprised to find that the conventional resources don't say much about this pattern. Even worse, I've come across websites pathologizing prodromal labour. These sites say things like: 'this kind of labour pattern can be attributed to some kind of blockage, usually psychological or emotional... if the mother would just open up to the process of birth, get past the blockage, she would progress "normally."' I'm so disturbed by this line of thinking because 1) it assumes there is only one way to give birth and 2) it blames/shames the mother for failing to conform the "normal" way of giving birth.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful, informative post - I'm starting to see prodromal labour as just another way for labour to happen... This birth is just following its own path. I'm hopeful that those three evenings of prodromal labour mean a little less work on the day my girl does arrive.
Stay encouraged! I'm glad you found this post while you are experiencing it. I think having this information will help you feel less confused or mistrust your body. That sweet little girl will be in your arms in no time!Delete
Anonymous, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are so welcome to the post. I agree with Rachel and I hope more and more women, families and providers are able to be educated about this pattern. I feel for you, this being your first baby. I have to say that is really really tough. My prodromal was my third, and it was still terribly confusing for me, but I had a good idea of what labor was going to be like, or so I thought ;). But you are really in a situation that does ask a lot of trust in a totally unknown (personally) process. Yes, this is very physically and emotionally and mentally exhausting. You're muscles do get tired and achy and sleep is difficult. If you have the ability, I think any time you are not contracting (or when they are mild enough), sleep is a good idea. Some light walks can take your mind off things, but sleep/rest will be so important. Sometimes, labor peters out during the day and picks back up just as you're getting ready for bed!Delete
I am right there with you on the resources. It is quite strange to me that this is such a poorly known variation. Although for many decades we have practiced within more or less of a rigid mindset in maternity care, so in that context it is fitting that prodromal labor would be poorly known. I love your statement that some websites pathologize prodromal labor - that's exactly right. And what happens when something is pathological? It needs to be "fixed" of course! Arg! But, as I have encouraged so many times before, your story will be a encouragement to women who follow. Share with your friends, blog about it, talk about it, share your experience with your providers, whatever you feel comfortable doing. Some (providers and individuals) have never heard the term prodromal labor, and many who have don't really understand it, or believe it is real. And yes, the idea that a mother's emotional or mental state is the problem is terribly condescending. First of all, it assumes there is a problem in the first place. I think we women need to feel safe in order to give birth and if we have people breathing down our necks to get that baby out, that is not safe. Letting things unfold in their own time is not an easy thing in obstetrics, and in fact is downright scary to many providers. But the more they see it and the more they and other women are educated on the process, the less scary it will become.
I hope you meet your little one soon, if you haven't already. Sometimes it's hard to have trust and confidence as a mama, and you doubt yourself because it is your first. But despite your confusion and concern, you are following your instinct. Your hard work, patience and trust is not in vain.
Thank you for this. I was in prodromal labor with my first and I was just so confused what was going on with my body. I remember my first contraction and thinking, these are definitely not Braxton Hicks contractions! But then sometimes they would last 2 minutes, but be every 8 minutes, or every 20 minutes, or they'd be 40 seconds...or they would stop when I'd leave the house, or they would get intense when I would try to lay down and go to sleep (that was probably the hardest part...) I barely slept for 5 days. That was tough. I went through this until I reached 6 centimeters. I went to the birth center and they were going to send me home...again... and I said to myself, screw it and went to the hospital; I was exhausted and at this point they were definitely more intense. When I was at the hospital I was 8 centimeters. I still had an epidural and was in labor for 12 more hours. If I explain this to anyone it sure sounds like false labor...but false labor until the finish line doesn't make sense!ReplyDelete
I wish I would have read something like this while I was in labor with her or would have understood before I went into labor. Reading this will definitely help me with my next labor if it is also prodromal (due in June!). I'm going to have my husband read this to calm his nerves for this labor as well! It's hardest when you have no idea what's going on...
Rachel, thanks for reading and for commenting! Your choice of word sums it up very well - "confused!" Yes, it is very confusing! Even for those who've had many babies, prodromal labor just throws one for a loop. And I loved your description of how prodromal contractions don't follow early labor patterns - they can be close together or far apart and can switch back and forth. If we went off the "contractions 5-7 min apart" guideline as to when to do to the hospital, we might be there days before our baby actually arrived, or we might be having them 20 min apart and then an hour later, be pushing out a baby!Delete
I think for me, and I'd be curious to hear what other women's experiences are - I really have to go off my emotional signs more than anything physical (although it is secondarily combined with what's going on physically). When I am anxious about being alone (that is, not having my midwife there yet for home birth) or anxious about not being in the hospital or birth center, I know I am getting closer to the final hours. I like to labor quietly by myself for most of the first part of labor and I get to a point where that is suddenly not okay anymore. When I feel like I can't do it anymore and I want to stop and go to sleep, I know I am getting closer. When I am more or less freaking out ;), I know I am getting closer. When I get verbal, I know I am getting closer. These are just personal signs for me, and every woman will have her unique idiosyncrasies, but if you've had a baby before, it's interesting to look back on how you were feeling/acting during the last part of labor. Ask your husband or whomever might have been with you during the labor if they remember.
Thanks for sharing your experience. You have already been an encouragement to women around you. I think just knowing this is a possibility will be a preparation for your upcoming birth and you might be pleasantly surprised if it is not prodromal. I agree, being confused and not knowing what is going on really shakes you. Teach, educate, share! I hope all goes well with this little one on the way in June. ;)
Thank you so much for this. I've only been in prodromal labour for 43 hours, but for the first day I felt silly, stressed and a but embarrassed because, like others, I assumed that once i was getting regular contains (for me about 60 seconds long, 10m apart) I could only progress. This is my first, but luckily I have an amazing midwife for my homebirth who had been so calm about it, reminding me to rest, that baby is doing what works for her that everything is good and that I should stay off the internet ;-)ReplyDelete
Now that I know more I feel at peace - my baby will come in her own time, as my body is ready. I get to experience contractions but also get periods of rest where I can sleep, eat or walk. Maybe she'll come without warning, but my husband would have no trouble with that (everything that I learn I tell him, and we plan for him to receive her and place her on my chest anyway). We do still get excited each time the contractions pick up regularly or get stronger, but we can now also relax and know that they may abate.
I think hearing more birth stories about prodromal labour would be great - I'll try to share mine here when it's done - so women can see the many variations and not feel silly or abnormal if they have the same. If the baby is well (mine moves between and during contractions, my plug is coming away slowly, small amounts of what i think to be amniotic fluid are clear) then there's no need to worry, and certainly no need for care providers to make a woman think her labour is "false" or that it's her fault there's no "progress". Because of my own choices and supported by my midwife i haven't had and won't have any cervical checking as it's unnecessary, do i have no idea how effaced or dilated I am, but as you say, every contraction is doing work, regardless of those things, and everything is as it should be :-)
(sorry for the typos, I'm writing this on my phone from bed)Delete
I really was beginning to think I was losing my mind. I have been in prodromal labor for 10 days. I have called my doula in the middle of the night 3 times. One time we went to the hospital (45 mins away) with 'non-productive contractions' 5 mins apart and 1 min long. Talk about frustrated. Combine this with a difficult history: first birth was a still birth at 6 months, 2nd birth an emergency C due to PROM and breech and this pregnancy although much easier then the first 2, has now delved into the very difficult. I trust my body to do what is necessary and yet, when it seems like the messages are unclear, I can not tell what is happening or when. I fear also my history of hemorrhaging post-natal and not making it to the hospital in time. I also have rheumatoid arthritis so I am frequently labeled as 'pain sensitive' when I know my pain tolerance is very high as I can not take any pain medications while pregnant (allergic to tylenol) and frequently resort to non-medical pain relief for my RA. I thought I was losing my mind until I found this post. Thank you for sharing your experience. Am I any more comfortable with this labor? No. I am physically and emotionally tired. But at least I know I'm not losing my mind.ReplyDelete
This was such an informative article, I really appreciate the information here. I was recently told by my dr. and doula that I'm having prodromal labor, I will be 39 weeks tomorrow. I was going through contractions every three minutes for several hours and nothing would calm them down, I tried eating, laying down, etc. Standing up even made them worse, we were convinced that may be it, it was time. After going to the dr's office, and determining that even though I've effaced, there's not any dialation, and the contractions then were irregular, determined that it wasn't time. Last night through the night the contractions worsened and I'd wake up in such pain! Only to wake up finally this morning, and nothing... just random irregular measley contractions again. I know it will take patience, and will probably be a few days at least before I see any further progression, so at this point I'm forcing myself to "Ignore" them until I feel like it's getting real again. Until then, I am glad I'm not the only one who's experienced this frustration, because all I want to do is meet my little one! So close....but it seems so far away! :)ReplyDelete
SOOOO grateful for this post. I've been going through this for 2 weeks now. I'm 40 weeks tomorrow. I thought I was going mad. When it first started, I kept on calling the hospital. My husband kept coming home from work. Eventually even my husband didn't believe me that I'm having "strong" regular contractions. "Oh you're just having more Braxton Hicks". I would get all emotional because I know these are not just Braxton Hicks. This is my second baby. My first baby was a "textbook" labor so I've been really thrown off. Again, thank you so much for the post. I know my body can do this and I can be patient!ReplyDelete
I was very grateful to find this page, as I am currently 39+ weeks and experiencing my second prodromal labor.ReplyDelete
My first labor it took 2 days of irregular strong contractions to get to 4cm, during which I didn't know any better than to get excited and kept myself going (not trying to sleep or rest enough), telling all my family, etc. Then I had moved into more "active" labor stuck at 5 cm for 7hrs (at which point it was "failure to progress" and I took and epidural because I was so exhausted). I still didn't progress, and everyone told me when the OB came he'd probably recommend a C-section (the last thing I wanted). He told the nurses to put me on pitocin, and in a few hours I was ready to push (but not ready because I hadn't rested in two 1/2 days!) 1 1/2hrs of pushing with help and I had my baby boy. It took me three days in the hospital to recover enough energy to head home.
Move ahead 5 1/2 years...
At 39 weeks 1 day, I started contracting every 10 mins, lasting 1 min, for about 4 hours...called my midwife & she recommended trying to sleep (it was 10 o'clock at night). Within an hour the contractions has moved into an irregular pattern, and I was able to sleep through most of the night. Contractions every 10 for 60 secs started again yesterday, then tapered off, then started up again, then tapered off. These are NOT Braxton Hicks contractions (I've had those since 18 weeks all day every day), they are painful "early labor" contractions, they just won't get into a "normal" labor pattern. I decided to do some research and came across this, which has helped me understand what is going on, and stay calm and just try to relax until things happen. Hopefully within a day or so I can hold my baby :)
I am very thankful to have a great medical team- doctor and midwives. I wanted to have a home birth but after 12+ DAYS of labor, my firstborn started to have his heart rate drop and we ended up with an emergency c-section. (I'm very happy with everything the doctors did to try to keep from having to do that, as well).ReplyDelete
After that, they allowed me to try for a VBAC with my secondborn, and when things weren't going well (7 days of labor, then stopped for a few days, then another 4 and the water broke, still 1cm dialated) they allowed me to continue trying for a VBAC and put me on antibiotics as it had been over 24 hrs since water broke. They worked with me to avoid another c-section, and I successfully delivered.
With the third child, I again experienced what they called "prolonged latent labor" - and I was VERY encouraged when the midwife told me that it was NOT false labor, just real labor that took a long time. :) This pregnancy ended (after 14 days of early stage labor, 1 day of active labor) with me getting a fever (104º) - they suspected an infection and as I was already at nearly 40 weeks, they ended up inducing to avoid getting the baby sick. Again, we were able to do a VBAC.
Each step of the way, they explained what my options were, if I wanted to do this or that, and encouraged me to take the more "natural" option when possible.
Unfortunately, since I seem to have a history of EXTREME prolonged labor with complications arising from that, I will probably need some intervention the next time, and have already discussed just staying in the hospital when the labor has gone on over a week, to avoid having problems with the delivery.
This blog really resonated with me. The question I still have no answer for is, "Do we truly trust the birth process or not?". I have never had a textbook labor. With my first, the doctor had to tell me I was in labor since I didn't realize that the tightening and butterfly sensations in my stomach for several days were actually contractions every 3 minutes. Granted, when my water broke in a huge gush the contractions felt more intense, but they were never truly painful and at that point I was 7-8 cm dilated.ReplyDelete
With my second labor I noticed the contractions and other pre-labor symptoms started about four weeks before my due date and happened off and on. I was busy working 50-60 hours a week in a high stress job, so I didn't have much time to dwell on them and it was never painful, just annoying. For six days before I delivered, I had contractions 24 hours a day every 2.5 to 3 minutes. I had an elective induction, but not because of the prodromal labor. Even with Pitocin the contractions never intensified or got painful except when I was fully dilated and had the urge to push.
I am now on my third pregnancy and I have had several episodes of early labor symptoms. The first episode lasted several hours at 21 weeks but ultrasound confirmed that there were no cervical changes. The next episode was at 25 weeks and lasted about 2 days. Then another episode was at 30 weeks and lasted 2-3 days, and most recently I had a new episode from 31 to 32 weeks lasting 6 days. I am pretty certain my doctor thinks I am crazy. I fully expect to have another 8-10 weeks filled with these episodes until I finally deliver. I am certainly okay with that, but I have no confidence in myself when it comes to recognizing that I am really in labor. I do "trust in the birth process" in the sense that I know my body will labor in a way that's best for me without unnecessary interventions. What is truly terrifying to me is that by the time I have an obvious sign that I am in "true labor", it will be too late for me to make the 45 minute drive to the hospital.
This type of labor is definitely not false. From my own experiences (see stories at http://jedoisetrefou.blogspot.com/), I know that my labors are relatively pain free and extremely fast once I start to feel anything remotely "serious". I have never read other birth stories from women who had consistent contractions that felt like regular Braxton hicks for days at a time and who had no change in the intensity until the transition stage of labor. I am planning to order an inexpensive home birth kit just in case the inevitable happens. At this point, it's the only thing that will reassure me as I don't have a supportive doctor who is humble enough to understand my very legitimate fears with this type of labor pattern.
I'm so relieved I came across this blog. I'm 38 wks 6 days and I've been dealing with on/off labor episodes for the past week! Its very exhausting and emotionally draining. I call my midwifes everytime and i get the same old "you'll know when your in labor" well that's pretty hard to imagine when my "I'm in labor" mindset came many times during the week to only end after 5/6 hours! Thank you for your blog, knowing that im not alone and my issue has a name, it gave me hope and Encouragement.ReplyDelete
I had what they called prodromal labor with my 1st 2, however there was no on & off portion. I simply back labored for 3 days each time with little & often no progress in dilation. With my 1st I stayed at the hospital, with #2 I traveled back & forth getting cervical checks. I stayed at 4 for 12 hrs, went home for 10 rs & felt NO different in all that time until I suddenly could not stand & made it back in time to push for 11 mins. Yikes. With both my ctx were consistently 2 mins apart...and I did not sleep, could not keep any food down. It was truly harrowing. I am now on baby #3 & have been in labor in more of a on & off pattern for 3 days & am (last I knew) dilated to 3. :/ At least I have no back labor. I have no clue what to think. I have had ctx consistently at 2-3 mins apart for all of that time until the last few hours & now they seem to have ceased. I have had periods where they were less painful though, so thankfully I have slept this time. With my 1st I did all med free & have zero recollection of his birth because being awake for 73 hrs straight tends to do that to you. :( I do wish more was spoken about this issue, especially among natural birth advocates who are so quick to tell me that my slow labor & pain are cause by MY fear of birth...it's insulting. I wasn't afraid of birth at all until I went through what I did. In fact I spent the first 30 hrs or so of labor awake, in agony & waiting for my Dr's office to open to ask for help for a slipped disc, believing that my agony couldn't be labor since I wasn't able to feel contractions...just a constant agonizing pain my back. I had NO clue back labor could be so intense nor that it could overshadow my ability to feel the comings & goings of contractions. I thought it was like "regular labor" but the pains just were in back. I do recall that even at the time of pushing, I still couldn't tell when I was & wasn't contracting, despite it having been 3 days & I recall looking at the monitors in amazement that they could show contractions & all I felt was back pain. I wasn't convinced until labor was over that there wasn't some undiagnosed horrible back issue they were overlooking...hahaha. I was sure when labor was "done", I'd still be in that agony & THEN they'd see there was a "real" problem going on & that labor couldn't possibly feel this way. So no, I don't think I talked myself into feeling that pain, in fact I kept trying to explain to everyone how something was terribly wrong with my back ASIDE from the labor. ;)ReplyDelete
All that said, I am really hoping that since I have gone from a 1 to a 3 in the past 3 days without any back labor that I may finally at least get to experience front labor, even if I have to do it the "slow boat to China' way every time. With my 2nd I totally believed it would be different because as it turned out #1 was face up. Well #2 was face down & almost identical in experience. #3 wouldn't even be on her way BUT sometimes things happen you don't plan. I wanted more kids & am thankful she will be here soon, but based on my 1st 2 labors I wasn't planning to sign up again for 3 days of back torture. I hope she shocks me with a much easier delivery. Even if she doesn't I know we will get through it...we did before & I do realize I am on this ride for the duration at this point, so no sense fretting now.
I am so glad I came across this post. I am 40 weeks (tomorrow) with my first and started having contractions early saturday morning (so about 2 days ago) and had what I think may have been my bloody show, so I got excited and alerted family that this baby was certainly coming soon... then the contractions stooped, and came back and stopped again. My doula told be about prodromal labor, and I agree that although the contractions suck, the mental aspect of this is much harder. I find myself very emotional right now and frustrated that the baby will never come out, that I will never go into labor. It's hard when my husband keeps asking "any changes?! How are your contractions now?" It's just a huge disappointment and something I didn't expect to happen or really know about. I hope on the bright side that since this part is so long that my actual laboring part will be short and sweet. It's good to know this is a normal aspect for many women... I just hope we aren't looking at weeks here! :)ReplyDelete
I'm going thru this now. My due date is in 6 days I'm just wondering how long you labored like this before it was the real thing?? I'm seriously getting so frustrated thru all thisDelete
Reading these stories are really helping me feel less frustrated. I have been having "regular" labor contractions off and on for days! One stretch was for nearly 8 hours, 5 minutes apart 1-2 minutes long. At one point, they were so painful, I actually got sick. I was sure it was it and I was going to see my baby that day. My doula came over, helped ease my back pain and it just stopped! My due date is in 3 days and this all started 4 days ago.ReplyDelete
I am 42 weeks tomorrow... Been in off on labor for now 4 days. It does really play on you emotionally!ReplyDelete
Still puttering... Yep feel like it will never end.Delete
I'm so thankful for this article. Since about 35 weeks I've been having irregular inconsistent contractions. Sometimes painful sometimes manageable. Just plain out inconsistent. I'm now 39 weeks and still going thru this roller coaster of contractions or as my doctor calls it "false labor" it's so frustrating cause it doesn't feel like false labor at times and I'm so worried I won't take my body seriously till a head pops out. Simply speaking this article spoke to me like it was reading my mind. This is my fifth child and I've never even experienced Braxton Hicks contractions let alone this craziness I'm going thru the last 4 weeks. I'm so glad to know I'm not a freak of nature and this is something that actually happens.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this article. I'm on my 6th child and have had "normal" quick births with them all, but this is completely different and has really been plating with my emotions. I've been having painful contractions every night for hours at a time for the last 4 nights about 10 mins apart only for them to just fade away. Not getting sleep, thinking "is this finally it?" is physically and mentally exhausting. I've been crying for no reason. Reading this article and everyone's stories really helps to understand what I'm going through and that it's an actual thing and not just my body doing something weird. I'm 36 weeks but tend to only make it to 38 weeks, I'm hoping this will be the case again and That I can just bear with it especially now I know what's going on.ReplyDelete
Here’s my prodromal labor story:ReplyDelete
I woke up at 1am about 6 days after my calculated due date with horrible cramping as if I was starting my period. I go to the bathroom and realize my underwear is wet. I notice this very thick, slimy goo, with a brownish tinge, everywhere in my underwear. I start thinking “this is it” and get my phone to time my contractions. For several hours I sat on the computer googling labor and timing contractions. I time them, and they start as 30 second contractions every 5 minutes and start to get closer and closer together over several hours. I call L&D at the hospital as I start to notice a small amount of blood, wake my husband and get ready to head to the hospital.
By now it is 7am and I am still contracting, but as soon as I end up on the hospital bed, my contractions suddenly stop. The nurse looks at the tape with the information and says “do you notice any contractions?” and I reply “no.” She stares at the long paper being printed and says “you’re having them every minute…” Then, the dr on call sends me home and says that nothing has happened, and the blood was from the cervix moving forward for labor and hopefully labor will start in a few days.
I go home and rest, and for the next 6 days, I go through what I’d consider to be as bad as torture. I slept a total of 4 hours during that period. Even though I visited the hospital for monitoring almost daily, no one would listen to me about this labor that would start and stop. By the end of the 6 days, I could barely walk 10 feet, was crying uncontrollably, and could not tolerate the cramping pain (again, the pain was timeable and would then suddenly stop after a few hours) in my lower back that occurred when my prodromal labor started. At this point, my prodromal labor came on every few hours after a short break (usually triggered by a short 20 min nap). I was so desperate that I went to a chiropractor who specialized in prenatal care who made a few adjustments and said everything should be a “go.” However, all the nurses at the hospital cared about was whether I had preeclampsia and whether the litmus strips were showing signs of it or not (this was constantly debated between the nurses and results were different depending on the nurse in charge). I was constantly scolded during those 6 days by the Drs that I was imagining labor and that labor doesn’t start and stop.
By the end of the 6 days, I went to the hospital at 3am, not being able to tolerate any of the pain and inability to walk. When I was checked in, I was screaming for some pain relief, but was ignored by Drs and nurses as they were concerned for my blood pressure that was something around 220 for the top number (can’t remember exactly). They were constantly asking me to urinate, then would bring a handful of litmus tests to test the protein in my urine and make to repeat the test. They repeatedly asked me if I had a headache or saw flashing lights, but I was so angry at this point, and asked if they are going to do anything for my pain because it had become so unbearable. They made me lie on my back in bed because of the high blood pressure, intensifying the pain. My husband did his best to comfort me and helped me bring my blood pressure down to something like 180 and confused everyone. The nurses couldn’t figure out why my blood pressure went down and decided not to give me the blood pressure medication. I ended up standing up and ripping out the IVs and leaving the hospital. They made me sign a waiver saying I left the hospital against recommendation. I felt helpless, and scared. I had no where to go or no one to turn to at this point.
I went home and slept the longest I had every slept that week: 3 hours straight. I got a nasty call at 8am from my Dr saying I was irresponsible and which I promptly told her the staff were not listening to anything I said. I was checked into the hospital, told to lie in a bed, had low dose pitocin and an epidural 6 hours later. Labor never progressed beyond 3cm dilated and 80% effaced, my water was broken, I ended up in searing pain and shaking uncontrollably and violently until I got the epidural. I ended up having my daughter at 1am the next day via emergency c-section. The merconium was in my amniotic fluid as a pea green soup. My dr said it was due to me leaving the hospital 12 hours earlier, but a NICU nurse told my husband, the merconium was in my daughter’s lungs for at least 4 days. They cleaned her out, and sent her to the NICU (she turned out fine). I hemorrhaged a few hours later and went undetected by a lazy postpartum nurse. A sharp cardiac nurse, who was floating on the floor noticed something was wrong with me at 8am and promptly took action. I continued to bleed profusely for the next 24 hours, and was put on a low dose pitocin to help my exhausted uterus. The bleeding finally completely stopped after about 2 weeks. Again, the drs were completely baffled as a woman who had a c-section and never went into labor shouldn’t have hemorrhaged. I never got any answers and never got any resolution. I was angry for a long time, and still am. For the first year, I had a lot of labor relapse where I’d wake up in the middle of the night immobilized with pain in the same lower back area where my contractions were. I joke now, almost 3 years later, that if I was a spy, I could be tortured and never spill any secrets because prodromal labor was just as bad as being tortured.
If anything, the best thing that came out of it was a friend of mine who went into prodromal labor tried to wait it out to 48 hours to see if labor would start on its own. I relayed my entire story and told her to get induced immediately. Fortunately for her everything ended well with a vaginal birth that occurred 12 hours after her water breaking. Her doctor said prodromal labor happened for her because her baby’s head couldn’t properly hit the cervix to naturally start effacement and truly start labor.
This article has relieved a lot of stress for me. I am 41 weeks today and I have been having prodromal labor on and off for the last 16 days. Between being "overdue" and almost 2 1/2 weeks of "is this it," I am emotionally a wreck. I am planning a home birth, and I believe that baby will come when they are ready. But believing that hasn't made labor starting and stopping multiple times any easier. Baby is very active and healthy, and so am I, besides my mental state!!! This is my 4th child and I have never had this happen before! My other babies came at 39w3d, 39w2d, and 37w5d, so I never thought I would even go past 40 weeks. 16 days ago I woke up in horrendous pain. I was absolutely sure I slept through early and active labor and woke up in transition. I was freaking out. After about 15 or 20 minutes the extreme pain began to taper off. I had painful regular contractions for the rest of the day into the late evening. And then it just STOPPED. My prodromal labor experience isn't being in labor every single day, rather that my labor has started and stopped quite a few times. Virtually nothing happens at night. I've actually been sleeping very well. As soon as I wake up in the morning, contractions begin again. There are days where I just have uncomfortable irregular contractions all day long. One day I woke up with contractions that were like menstrual cramps. Despite the bath I took in the early afternoon, they continued to get more uncomfortable for hours and hours. Then around 6 in the evening, they just stopped. Despite the fact that I had stayed on my feet and decided to make some cookies to stay active and see if that helped, they petered out completely. I've woken up various mornings with diarrhea and nausea, even vomited a couple times. So I think to myself, this is my body cleaning itself out in preparation for labor...maybe today is the day...but nothing happened. One morning I started to have contractions in my back and hips. I thought, hey, this is progress, maybe today is the day...an hour later, nothing. I know I'm not to the 42 week "mark" yet, and heck, real labor could start 5 minutes from now, but I am so frustrated about thinking it's already started about five different times, I don't think I'll actually believe I'm in labor until I feel baby's head slip into the birth canal! I've also heard that "pre-labor" can be caused by baby not being in the proper position, or the head not being close enough to the cervix, but that's not the case for me. I can feel baby's head grinding on my cervix regularly. I can feel baby's back towards the front of my stomach. My baby has been in this position for over a month now. (S)he is very, very low. I have dropped. I have lost part of my mucus plug. I have nested...twice. I have had diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, contractions in my back and hips, contractions that feel like menstrual cramps, among many other things. These are all "indicators of true impending labor." Not for this chic! Thank you for this article. I really needed to hear about other women's experiences with prodromal labor. I know I won't be pregnant forever and every day that goes by brings me closer and closer, but every day that goes by is one more day of frustration that I experience. There are times that I feel peace about labor beginning on it's own in it's own time, but experiencing prodromal labor has been mentally taxing on me. We must remember to be gentle on ourselves, try to relax, and "let go and let God." Unfortunately relaxing is much harder at this stage of pregnancy. Thanks again for your article; you have added some more peace to my peace bank(I am nearly spent;).ReplyDelete
After reading this article and your story I finally don't feel so alone in this. What you described is exactly how it has been for me- I'm 40.1 weeks today, but have been having prodromal labor for the past 11 days. It's totally more emotionally draining than anything- it's hard to get your hopes up, then be let down, then try to ignore the contractions. My OB and doula both have offered little moral support- it seems many people don't know about this. I'm curious how your birth story ended, I'm still eagerly awaiting mine to play out.Delete
I wish I had of found this article when I went through my last prodromal labour with No. 3! I planned a VBA2C,suffered through a month of prodromal hell and eventually succumbed to AROM at 42 weeks. He was born with forceps assistance, in the operating theatre after signing the consent form to another csection :( luckily my ob checked me and Some how I had dilated from 7 to 10cm on the way there. I was not giving up on my vaginal birth! Now going through it again with No. 4 for the past two weeks! I am 37+5 and in a much better mental space this time around. Prodromal labour can be torturous on the body and mind, leaving you doubting your ability to birth. Perhaps I was expecting it again or my body just knows what to expect but it is definitely more tolerable with this pregnancy. I have been resting as much as possible, not easy with a 17 month old and two older boys in school, walking a little every afternoon, eating nourishing food and drinking alot of water. I'm coping so far but fear I'm in for the long haul again. The best advice I can offer to other mummas going through this is have faith in your body - it's doing this for a reason don't fight it, go with it. Take care of yourself - it is a marathon! Best wishes to all expecting, baby will come xoReplyDelete