[Update almost 18 months later: a lot of you are coming here after searching for ways to progress prodromal labor. The secret is to WALK. A lot. Even if the neighbors have to hear you bellowing in your loud, low, open voice. And sleep when you can. I couldn’t. Read on…]
Here’s the thing about having contractions every three minutes for 24 hours…if they go from lasting 30 seconds to lasting 45 seconds and then don’t progress any further, some person of questionable character will call it false labor. Not stalled or taking its time labor. False. (Technically, nobody I have talked to called it this, but the books and these here insipid interwebs aren’t afraid to…)
Let me tell you, oh reader, there is nothing fake about it. I still can’t talk or walk through these so-called false contractions. And I’ve still been awake for 24 hours dealing with what we in the natural labor game like to call strong rushes every 3 minutes. But the extra special good part? No progress. Doesn’t count. Still have all of active labor and transition and second-stage and third-stage yet to go. Maybe in a few days, they say. A few more days of strong contractions every 3 minutes.
Remember how we all joked that this baby couldn’t POSSIBLY as much work as Peanut?
Hmmm. The Office of Mandatory Looking on the Bright Side would like to remind me that this extended, healthy labor might, in some lights, be better than lolling around feeling way too pregnant because it is at least something different than being convinced the baby will never come out. Fortunately that Office is closed today.
[update, months later…intense contractions 3 minutes apart for 24 hours were a gift. They only lasted 30-45 seconds so they taught me to cope with the longer contractions. I labored 24 hours at home before I hit minute-long contractions. Those took 4 hours to come every five minutes (the typical “go to the hospital” frequency), which is when we found I was 7 cm. Tub, walking, tub, walking…7 hours to 8cm. 5 hours in transition to 10 cm. Posterior at the last minute, pulled a muscle in my back. 5 hours second stage. 1 hour stitching. Just shy of 48 hours total. That is totally not false labor. And, after the 41 hours of first stage, I can tell you the prodromal felt the same as the transition contractions…just shorter.]