I don’t know if anyone else read birth stories as much as I did in the days leading up to their little ones arrival, but I figured after having read so many I would add ours to the mix. Actually I was kind of hesitant to write about our experience in the first place, let alone post it on the world wide web for everyone and anyone to see, but I figured I would on the off chance that this helps someone who’s preparing to give birth soon and spends 4+ hours a day reading birth stories like I did. I’m just going to warn you though, if you’re looking for a birth story where everything goes according to plan and its smooth sailing all the way around then you should definitely look somewhere else. Because in our birth story nothing goes according to plan. Nothing.
Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction and Prodromal Labor. Two terms I had never heard of prior to my pregnancy but left quite the impression on me as my pregnancy and labor progressed.
For those of you who don’t know, Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction otherwise known as SPD is a condition in which the hormone Relaxin released by your body during pregnancy causes the ligaments which hold your pubic joint stable to relax beyond what is normal. This is truly as uncomfortable as it sounds. From the 5th month of my pregnancy onward this condition made every day a challenge. Some days were better than others depending on my activity level but for the majority of my pregnancy I was in a fair amount of pain. Little did I know, this pain would be worsened beyond anything I could imagine at the end of my pregnancy, but more on that later.
Prodromal Labor is another haunting phrase I have a new appreciation for. Some refer to it simply as early labor or false labor, but for those who have experienced it for days on end, it is so much more than that. Prodromal Labor is labor that has all the signs of true labor; frequent contractions that may be regular or irregular and even the loss of the mucus plug in some women. Prodromal labor usually happens at night, with contractions coming anywhere from 20 to 5 minutes apart, then stops cold during the day only to resume the next evening. This torture can go on for days. Needless to say, no pregnant woman who has gone through this would simply call it false labor, it is real labor, your body really works hard for however long your contractions last but unfortunately at the end of it you don’t have a baby to show for it, just some rather unattractive bags under your eyes from being up all night. Which I guess in a way is practice for when the baby really comes.
So anyway, after the 3rd false alarm, my husband and I didn’t even bother getting ready to go to the hospital because we knew that as soon as we got there “labor” would most likely stop. I went into prodromal labor on 4 separate occasions, finally progressing into true labor in the 42nd week of my pregnancy, after experiencing prodromal labor for four nights in a row, which is where our labor/birth story truly starts.