Sunday, February 12, 2012

Labor Frustration: Prodromal Labor

I know I haven't posted much recently. No excuse other than exhaustion and my hubby stealing my laptop at night.

Last Monday, at my 35 week appointment, I had my Group B Strep test (negative!!! CAN I GET A WOOP WOOP!!!) and went ahead and let my midwife check me for dilation. I was iffy on whether or not I'd do cervical checks until 39+ weeks this time, but considering I went to 6 cms not in active labor last time, I decided that it might be a good idea to know if anything was happening. So she checked me and said I was at 2-3cms, 50% effaced and a -1 station.

The Friday before that I'd began having contractions, fairly regularly from 5-10pm. Obviously they did something.

Last night I performed my first "walk of shame" at the hospital. I'd been having contractions since 1pm, felt horrible, had had several loose bowel movements, and was nervous about the weather. At 6pm, as we were heading to stay with my sister, I began having semi-strong contractions that were happening every 4 minutes. We went to dinner, and they kept up. Finally it had been almost 3 hours, we were already in Lexington, so I went into the hospital "just in case."

My dilation hadn't changed, and the nurse who hooked me up to the monitors was, well, annoying. There's one nurse at my hospital who refuses to work with my midwives patients, so I don't know if that is who it was, if she was having a bad day, or what. When she was asking me all the normal questions, she said something about my last delivery. I said I had an abnormal labor, and she asked what was abnormal about it. I told her, and she said that my labor hadn't been abnormal, that I didn't have prodromal labor, and that I had an irritable uterus.

The way she acted made me kind of cry-y. I was already frustrated we had made a pointless trip, that with this labor it's difficult to know when "this is it" and she was just NOT helpful. Plus, when she checked my cervix, it freaking HURT.

We went back to my sisters house and I googled both irritable uterus and prodromal labor, and dear Miss Nurse, I beg to differ. An irritable uterus is contractions caused by activity and other factors that do NOT change the cervix. Prodromal Labor are contractions that can go on for hours or days (to weeks) at varying intervals, but usually DO change the cervix.

With Keevia, I began having contractions at 35 weeks. At my 35 week appointment I was 3 cms, 50% effaced at a +2 station (sound familiar minus the station??). 36 weeks was the same. 37 weeks I was 4cms and about 60% effaced. Same at 38 weeks. 39 weeks I was 5cms and 75% effaced. I had my membranes stripped. Next day I went to the hospital (before a 2 hour trip home) and was at 6cms. They kept me, even though I wasn't having "actual labor". They broke my water the next morning, and I eventually had Keevia at 11:10pm. With Keevia, I never went into labor on my own (or at least "active" labor). Keevia was posterior until I started pushing, and I just KNEW that that was my whole problem.

I have been very proactive of making sure this little lady is anterior, and yet at 35 weeks (almost on the nose!) my contractions started up again.

The thing with prodromal labor is that you DO have contractions. Most of them aren't so strong that you can't talk or walk through them, but they are there!  And unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, they don't go away if you lay down, or drink water, or rest. Sometimes activity brings them on, sometimes it doesn't. Usually you have a period of time every day that they get worse (mine is from 6-10pm), but you can have them at other times as well.

Contractions can come as often as every two-three minutes, or come every ten to twenty. Sometimes you'll have a contraction at 6:05, 6:08, 6:15, 6:17, 6:25.... sometimes (like mine were last night) they're like clockwork.

What I'm dealing with most is exhaustion (because lets face it, contractions are tiring. Especially when you have them just about all day every day), and frustration. I'm frustrated that my body does this. I'm frustrated that I'm 2 hours from the hospital. I'm frustrated that I may make it to a 5-6cms again and not be in active labor. What would we do then? My husband can't just take off work and sit at my sisters with me, waiting for something to happen. I don't necessarily want to break my water like I did last time. I'm frustrated that I might miss the beginnings of "active" labor because I'm so used to constant contractions that my husband might not make it to the hospital. Last time we had a wonderful full hospital room when I delivered (me, Carl, my Mom, my sister, my Mother In law, my sister in law and my chiropractor). This time, I honestly don't care who makes it, as long as my hubby does. I'm even scared that WE won't make it to the hospital.

So please forgive me if I don't post often. I'm really living day to day. I'm trying to just live my life and continue preparing for this little girl to make her appearance, without letting the contractions rule my life. On the bright side, I have little to no pain with the contractions, and therefore have little to no pain getting to 5-6 centimeters. If I lived, you know, 10 minutes from the hospital, it would be fantastic! But living close to 2 hours....well... not so much.

Prayers would be MUCH welcomed. Pray for peace of mind for me and my family, and pray that labor makes itself known when it's really time. Pray that I make it to the hospital, and Carl does as well. And pray for my frustration levels, as they seem to be out of control right now. I really, really appreciate those prayers!

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Mama! I'm in the same boat at 37 weeks with #2. Thank you for posting about your frustration - I just about lost it last night while laboring alone, wondering if I should call hubby home or not, call the midwives or not, is this real labor or not. My ctx are painful and get more intense and closer together (3 mins!) during each episode, daily, and then taper off and by about 10pm I can sleep with them being 1/2 hour apart. I hope you've had your babe by now, a week later, but if you're still prodromal, you're not alone! Your body is amazing and knows more than any doc or midwife out there! Trust it.


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