Friday, 3 January 2014

Braxton Hicks

Up until earlier this evening, I was led (by my body) to believe that "Braxton Hicks" was another delightful pregnancy symptom destined to pass me by. 

I've been spared a lot of the negative symptoms thus far, such as morning sickness, nausea, stretch marks... my belly button has even popped out yet, so stupidly assumed that because they hadn't hit yet... they wouldn't.

 Not only was I wrong, but I learned that my pain tolerance is even lower than I thought. It's funny, there have been so many things that I've read about online, and in my library of books that I've not experienced that at times I've felt a little detached from other pregnant women.

The books told me that Braxton Hicks could kick off any time from the 20 week mark, as I am now into my 33rd week... I assumed my time had passed. This evening it happened. It's funny how much more you worry about things when your pregnant. 

If I wasn't pregnant, the pain would I am sure have been dismissed as relatively bad period pains. That's what they feel like. The only difference is, that this pain let's up a little. It sort of comes in waves (as I imagine contractions do) the pain lasted around 30 seconds and sort of felt like my entire uterus was ceasing up. After 30 seconds (I may be exaggerating here... it felt like 30 seconds but knowing me was actually 15) the pain subsided for a few minutes before starting again. This went on for 15 minutes or so, by which time I'd tweeted (thank you to those who responded, very comforting & informative) read a bunch of articles, facetimed my mum in Miami, whatsapp'd my mother in law and texted two friends, both of whom are new-ish mums. 

What did I learn from this panicked research? 

I was of course fine, and this was of course normal. 

In fact, it's better than normal. My body is preparing for labour and the more this happens, the more "ready" for my labour my uterus will apparently be.

This week I have experienced two new things. 1. Braxton Hicks (which my body is still recovering a little from) 2. hiccups.

Baby J has had hiccups 4 times in 2 days. For me... Baby J's hiccups are a wonderful thing for me to experience. They are a reminder that this pregnancy really isn't about me... it is about him and they are a reminder that he is a real little person living inside of me. 

As silly as it sounds, I believe that a lot of people get caught up in the pregnancy/labour experience when really it is about one thing... the baby. Whilst my pain threshold is low and I am sure that labour will be unpleasant (to say the least) I will not (and I hope you won't either) be forced by books or opinions to lose sight of what's important.

Recently a lot of people have handed me advice (opinions) about labour, breast feeding, motherhood and so on...

" you must have an epidural"
"under no circumstances have an epidural"
"breast feeding is vital for a new born baby"
"you have to get them into a routine from day 1"

The way I currently feel is this... I have no birth plan (don't get me wrong, I have done my research and know what sort of thing I want but nothing is written or concrete)

My plan is to see how I feel on the day and not put too much pressure on myself. Yes I'd love to go through labour with no pain relief (having said that, if tonight's pain is anything to go by, I imagine I'll be crying out for drugs!!) and breast feed Baby J immediately but life isn't perfect and I just can't stand the pressure. 

As my due date looms I will not allow myself to be fearful about labour, I am solely focused on what comes after. I will not watch 'one born every minute' & I will not be told what to do or not do. I will listen to advice and stories, I love advice and stories, that's why we are all here and why we all talk to each other but I don't think scaring or bullying each other is right... it just makes the whole thing too scary and too easy to fail at... 

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