Thursday, August 2, 2007


From about week 20 in this pregnancy I have had contractions. They're the Braxton-Hicks "practice" contractions that you always hear about. My uterus is strong and likes to react to everything.

For those of you who have never experienced one of these contractions, it is a strange, distracting and slightly annoying sensation. Imagine going about your day and having your arm suddenly tighten all of its muscles for 30 seconds. It doesn't hurt like a cramp, but you just have to wait for it to release for you to be able to use your arm. And this happens all throughout your day. Well, the uterus doesn't quite debilitate me in the way my arm would, but it does distract me completely and make it harder to move and use my stomach muscles. And now they are starting to be more uncomfortable and more often. Basically, if I roll over in bed, I have a contraction. If I stand up, I have a contraction. Hell, if I'm just lying there, I have a contraction.

Well, these damn things have got me thinking. I was talking to one of my close friends last night who is about to take her Medical Boards next week. She's also been struggling to get pregnant and working at a new job. She was talking about all these ways in which her life has been out of her control. She can't force the pregnancy. She can't just give herself a permanent job after her fellowship. She can't do anything about most of her life, but she CAN study. So, study she does.
I completely relate. Well, I've never finished my surgical residency and taken my boards, but I have been completely out of control of much of my life. In fact this entire pregnancy and last year has been about being out of control. So many things have happened in our lives that we never expected, that we never would have chosen. And now that I'm set to delivery this kid in the next few weeks, I'm really feeling out of control. As my mom said, it's like you're on a conveyor belt and you can't get off. She's coming out of there one way or another. And even though I can tell myself in my head that everything is going to be fine. I can say that we don't need a bunch of baby stuff, that we're fine with what we've got. I can try to remain calm that all the home projects are not done yet and most likely won't be done before she arrives. But the truth is, there's not much I can do about it. There's not much I can do period. So, I do what I can. I rest. I read. And I try to just be present in this moment.

I think my contractions are my body's way of doing something when nothing else can be done. She's not done baking yet, so my body can't push her out. So, my uterus is just contracting over and over because that's the one thing it can do to prepare. Plus, Maya is getting little hugs from her mom without me even trying (really hard hugs). So, rather than lie here and be bitter about these damn contractions and about the pain I'm in and about my inability to control any of this, I maybe should thank my uterus for doing what it can to get ready for D Day. Thanks, Buddy. Thanks for being a team player and contracting so much. I really hope it helps!

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