Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birth Story Part 2: I'm Not in Labor

(If I don't break this story up into parts, you'll be reading for an hour and a half, so bear with me.)

After another day of no contractions, I started to get frustrated. Come on! Four centimeters? People get epidurals by four centimeters! I called Doula Shmoula to complain. She told me to pick out a recipe for dinner and cook something scrumptious for my mom and husband. I snapped out of my funk, watched Food Network, made fun of Rachel Ray (what is she talking about half the time?) and finally decided on a chicken and pasta dish, followed with homemade crepes. The dinner was delicious, and I was still pregnant.
I slept well and woke up disappointed on a Saturday morning. By this point, I was beginning to resemble a fat Eeyore. “Woe is me. I guess I’ll just be pregnant forever. Nobody seems to care anyway.”
My friend sent me a link to Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Meditation challenge. I didn’t have anything else to do and decided I would try to meditate on labor. I can be hippy dippy. I sat, holed up in my room, lotus position on my bed, listening to some guy tell me to watch my thoughts float or something. It was super hard to concentrate:
“Right here, there is only right now. Mmm, do I smell pancakes? Is my mom making pancakes? No wait, clear my mind. Was that a contraction? Clear my mind, CONTRACTION! Wait, did I make that up? Did I just feel one? Right, clear my mind. Float back to the now. Here and now. There is only now. I wonder if that was a contraction. I should probably open my eyes and look at the clock to see if I can time them. But then I’ll break my concentration on the now. I’ll just peek with one eye. Then, it’s right back to the now. 7:44am. Ok, remember that. Back to the now. I wonder how long this meditation is. I should have looked at the time before I started. Then I’d know how long I had to sit here in the now. Is that a contraction? Or a cramp… CONTRACTION! Right?”
This went on for 30 minutes until I finally got up and took a shower. I decided in the shower to invite all of our friends over for lunch and walk up to the store to pick up a few things. I’ve been fooled before, clearing my entire schedule in anticipation of Abe’s arrival. Not anymore.
I was pretty sure I felt another one. But I just kept drying my hair and getting ready for my day. I’m not falling for this.
These don’t even hurt. I casually mentioned to David that I was feeling contractions on my way out the door and he stopped me. “We have to call Doula Shmoula!” he exclaimed.
“No, no, don’t be so gullible. This is what always happens. It’s not labor. I’m going to the store.”
“Well, I’m coming with you! Your water might break.”
David immediately pulled up the contraction timer application on his phone that he’d downloaded weeks before and started timing. As soon as each one was over, he announced how far apart they were, as well as duration.
“6 minutes, lasted 45 seconds! Good one!”
When the woman in the store asked me when I was due, I smiled and said, “Now. I’m in labor now.” I mainly did this for the shock factor, not because I thought I was actually in labor. It worked. Her jaw dropped and that made me happy. I'd been waiting to say that for 9 months.
When we got back home, David asked me if I wanted him to cancel lunch. I explained that if he cancelled lunch, we would sit around waiting for contractions and they’d stop. So all of our friends piled in with subs and smoothies. We watched The Hangover and tossed jokes back and forth. I was still contracting regularly, but I was easily breathing through them and getting back to the movie.
Finally, David couldn’t take it anymore. He called Doula Shmoula, who agreed it was time for her to stop by the house and hang out for a bit. Fine, waste her time, I thought. But I’m not in labor. 

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