We made it to 39 weeks! And it seems just like yesterday that I got that positive on the digital pregnancy test...
Now the hard part is trusting that my body and my baby know exactly what they are doing. I've had a constant, deep back pain for over 2 weeks now, and prodromal labor about every other day since the 30th. I wondered if I would be grateful that my period cramps were always so bad, and I really am! What good training.
Most of the prodromal contractions are manageable, and when I have them, about 5-10 a day are such that I have to breathe through them or that they wake me up. They can drive you a little crazy, leading you to wonder "Is this real? This is more than the Braxton-Hicks contractions, but they aren't consistent! Am I dreaming this?". Once so far I have cried about it, since I get excited that labor could be starting, and then it goes away after awhile.
Whatever they are, it involves my back and abdomen and wrap all the way around. I am grateful that I am able to either get a fair amount of sleep at night or take epic naps during the day. The full surrender to this process that this requires and trusting the knowledge that my baby and body have is certainly a test of patience (not entirely dissimilar to the conception process).
One thing that I keep trying to tell myself is that these contractions aren't "for nothing". Shrimpy is gradually getting even more into starting position and I am surely effacing more and more. I've had bloody show and seen parts of my mucous plug, and I somehow managed to glimpse the first few drops of colostrum while changing. When I think about it, it is great that things are getting along gradually without me being too uncomfortable. A part of me isn't even that surprised, considering everything that it took for us to get here and the enjoyment that I've had growing this child. Emotionally and physically it is for sure the best route for us if labor isn't over too quickly.
So, I am embracing this gradual separation process and am giving myself over to the process of Shrimpy and I becoming separate entities. The inner knowledge and strength that my body has already exhibited confirms many things for me, and that is an amazingly wonderful and womanly experience for me!