Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Third Babies’ Labors are Unpredictable June 29, 2014

Initially upon seeing one of the midwives after I’d told her briefly the birth stories of the other two boys, she said, “First labors are difficult, second labors are easy, and third labors are unpredictable.” I thought that I’d gotten through the unpredictable part of the third pregnancy when I had the placenta previa drama. It was nothing I had ever experienced before.

But, lo, there can always be more to discover. Turns out, I’ve never had contractions without real labor before. But I have now! On Thursday, I read to the boys and was having some Braxon-Hicks contractions, but then they started to radiate and not feel like a BH. I went to bed and after a little while, I started to feel the contraction squeeze about every 7 minutes. They were lasting 45 seconds to a minute, and I thought, well, if it continues for an hour and a half, I’ll call to give a heads up and get an opinion. It continued. I called. The midwife on call suggested a bath and for me to try to go to sleep. Since I’d already had a shower, I tried to go back to sleep. A few more contractions, and then I fell asleep.

The next morning, I was exhausted and cranky. I was embarrassed that I had called over what ended up being nothing. I was a little surprised that I hadn’t brought a baby home that morning. I can’t even remember what we did on Friday.

Oh, yeah. I took the boys to the park and then I dragged them to school where they were my “big helpers”; they graded papers (G loves this! I give him scrap paper and a highlighter, and he proceeds to grade it and then he asks for the stapler to attach it. This process mimics the way I do a rubric, in which I highlight it and staple it to the student’s essay), visited the water cooler, and laid books on some posters to flatten them out. They were moderately helpful.

On Friday night, I went to bed at 8:02 pm after getting the boys settled in their bed. I slept 3.5 hours before a giant squeeze woke me at 11:40. These hurt, and they were coming every five minutes lasting 60-75 seconds. So I got up and downloaded a contraction timer app for my iPad. It went on for two hours, but then they started to get crazy. I couldn’t tell where one stopped and another started. I couldn’t tell if I was getting a break. Then calm. I laid down on the couch and tried to doze. I got two more at 8 minutes and then 9 minutes. Then nothing. So I went back to bed at 2:15.

Saturday, I also woke up still pregnant. We went to two parties. I looked in the mirror, and there is a lot more space at the top of my belly. Saturday night, though, nothing. I went to bed at 8:30, and woke up at 6:30. I finally feel rested.

Who knows when the baby will come. He could wait until July 30th, or he could come sooner. I’m just trying to relax, rest, and wait. However, I do see how people end up having their third babies on a doorstep. They don’t want to call baby too many times with no baby to show for it!

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One Response to “Third Babies’ Labors are Unpredictable”

  1. Maureen Q. Bell Says:

    We wish you a smooth birth for #3, and a quick recovery, Leigh. Strollers await him at the lake and the shore…come on, #3!!! Love, Nana


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