Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Version of the Stages of Labor

Teresha: It is generally believed that a pregnant woman goes through three stages of labor: early labor, active labor, and birth (some believe delivery of the placenta to be a fourth stage). Anyways, I have found these "stages" to be lacking in emotional context. So, here is my version (based on the 7 stages of grief):
  1. Eager anticipation: you are 38 weeks and your baby is fully developed. You get excited every time you feel a Braxton Hicks contraction or show signs of pre-labor (i.e. loss of mucus plug). Even though you are two weeks away from your due date, you secretly wish (s)he will come early. You won't entertain any notion that your baby will be overdue. Example: When people ask, "when are you due?," I start to answer "any day now" instead of saying "two more weeks."
  2. Nesting: you will start cleaning and organizing like a woman possessed. You check and re-check the birthing bags. Everything has to be ready because it could be any day now, right? Example: I woke up at 3:00 am one night with a deep desire to sweep entire first level of our house.
  3. Taking matters into your own hands: you literally try to make a deal with your baby. You promise him or her a pony if they will come out. If that doesn't work, you try physical encouragement: exercise and constant movement, sex, drinking herbal teas, eating black licorice(?!). Example: I drove over the speed bumps on my block at full-speed.
  4. Misery: The days, hours, minutes, seconds tick by. You and baby are still sharing one body. Your belly is stretched beyond its capacity, your pelvic region is sore, you have contractions that don't seem to go anywhere. You just feel discombobulated. Your distress is compounded by the fact that you have been tricked into believing that you were in labor a few times. Example: After a walk on Sunday night, I started having contractions that were stronger, closer together and lasted longer. I thought this was it and jumped in the shower to get ready only to have them stop suddenly.
  5. Disillusionment: you are confused by all the false alarms and starting to distrust your instincts when it comes to your own body. You might even start thinking that you'll be pregnant forever. You get annoyed when people inquire if the baby is here yet. Example: I stopped checking email and answering my cell phone on Sunday because I was tired of having to tell people, "not yet."
  6. Consulting: You start seeking advice. You get reassurance from some wise women. They tell you to relax and get plenty of rest because that will be a luxury you can no longer afford soon. You decide to take their advice. Example: I sleep for four hours on Monday afternoon. It was bliss! When I wake up, I stop fretting over my bump and resume my life (which consists of emailing, texting, blogging, chatting on the phone). After all, a watched pot never boils.
  7. Acceptance: the gradual realization that your baby is going to come out when (s)he is good and ready and not a minute sooner. You stop stressing over the when and start focusing on the now. Example: By Monday evening, I was over trying to rush the process and resolved to live in these last moments when I have her all to myself before I had to share her with the world.
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Execumama said...

I like your version much better!

Marrdy said...

I agree. Your version is better. I hope most pregnant women would come to these conclusions. It's a wait and see game!

Ginger said...

Absolutely. I can totally relate. At one point during this time of my pregnancy I told my husband that he needed to be ready to carry the baby for nine to ten months straight. That after he was delivered, I wasn't going to hold him for at least nine months. That's only fair, right?

Obviously, as soon as the baby arrived, I couldn't get enough of him. I was jealous of anyone else who got to hold him.

Are all women this insane?

Painter Mommy said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting! I am pretty shocked at how clear the ultrasound picture is too.

I love your breakdown of the stages of labor! I have actually studied the stages of grief years ago after the break up of an engagement that I was completely devastated over.

It is so interesting how you incorporated that into the stages of labor. I see that you only have 9 days left until your deliver date. Are you ready? So exciting!


Eva Gallant said...

a great post. my youngest baby is 36 (years old!) and I can still relate. You described those stages really well!

just stopping by to say hi from SITS. Hope you have time to do the same. good luck with the new munchkin!

Night Owl Mama said...

Very good. I guess its just a mater of LImbo right now. yEs yoru right when babyis good and ready. Atleast u know that the doc should let you go past 41 weeks Hang in there mama

♥ Teresa ♥ said...

Well, according to MY calculations, you are to deliver tomorrow - at least that's what I put down on the little pool you have going! :o) So, get ready sister! LOL!

I certainly went through all those stages - all 3 times. I was also bad about taking matters into my own hands. My favorite aunt always swore by the 'old wives tale' of taking Castor Oil. With my 2nd and 3rd babies, I used it and it worked BOTH times. I can't guarantee it will make YOU go into labor but I can guarantee you won't poop during delivery because you will have already pooped it all out at home! LOL! :)

I can also guarantee that I will continue to keep you all in my prayers. If you have any specific prayer requests, feel free to email me. I will hit my knees and bring them before our Father in Heaven on your behalf. I would love to be a prayer warrior for you!

I can not wait to see pictures of our new little princess! Be sure to post just as soon as you all are feeling up to it. Take care and get some rest!

Blessings my sweet friends,

Teresa <><


Tooj said...

Indeed acceptance comes last. LOL But it is literally around the corner and before you know it, you won't recall what you were doing the two weeks before baby arrived. I know I don't have a clue what I did before my first one came. I only seem to remember life AFTER him. :) Now the second one is a bit different....MY TEAM won the college basketball championship four days before, so my beached whale behind was cheering and hollering and carrying on. I remember March Madness! :)

Shari@aPsychMommy said...

Love your version--I think I went through all those steps in that very order :)

Louise said...

Oh how true !

Maureen said...

Oh my goodness, this is soooooooo true! It is funny, but brings back memories. I went into labor 6 weeks early with my first. I actually got to 3 cm! So they stopped it and put me on bedrest. I spent the next month going through your list exactly! I had a bonus though, since I was already 3 cm and was 1 hour from the hospital, I was sure I wouldn't make it, so I was so stressed. Plus bedrest stinks! Would you believe I was actually induced at 38 weeks, 4 weeks later? I had pre-eclampsia...