Compared to my first pregnancy, this pregnancy has been pretty on par in terms of symptoms and progression. Similar first trimester of all day nausea and exhaustion. Similar second trimester with a nice boost of energy. Similar third trimester with hip/low back pain but otherwise in good spirits.
However, labor symptoms have been completely different this time. My labor with my first son began with irregular low back contractions and eventually my water leaking. That put me straight into the hospital system of getting pitocin and essentially induced labor. From beginning to end, it was a 24 hour ordeal.
For a week and a half now, I’ve been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions that are felt in my low back. These only come at night/early morning and feel like real labor pains. But by morning, they’re gone. No increase in intensity or frequency. It’s put my family and friends on many false alarms. And perhaps it’s my fault for notifying people that this may be it, but when we need help with caring for our 2-year-old to go have another baby, we need to put people on notice.
Reading Sheila’s recent blog post about her kids doing meditation, I was reminded about practicing patience and non-reactivity through meditation. While her daughters were practicing not to scratch an itch, I’m practicing not to put so many expectations on every potential labor symptom. Sometimes, I feel like I’m reacting to every little thing because I know there are so many people who are even more anxiously awaiting the arrival of Bear Shark (our little Homestar Runner reference).
At the same time, I’m only a couple days past my due date. Due dates are merely an estimate anyway. There’s this understood +/- 2 weeks that babies are born and considered full term. With a month-long window, I think I need to keep chilling out, practice some meditation and figure out how to not scratch every itch.
As for all of the methods to induce labor like eggplant parmesan, spicy foods, long walks, bouncing on a yoga ball, etc., who knows what will actually get labor going? Probably whatever last thing anyone tries gets all the credit. Or it could be that the baby was finally ready to join the outside world.
Bear Shark, whenever you’re ready, please come out to play. I fear your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are losing patience! As for myself, my agenda for today, tomorrow and however long you need is meditation. I don’t want these last few days to slip by in a frenzy of desperate labor-inducing measures.