Contraction Action

24 Feb

Contractions. They happen right? If you are pregnant and your uterus is growing, then you are having contractions. Do you always feel them? Probably not. But if there is one thing that Mrs. Pickle and I have learned in the last two weeks, it’s that contractions mean action. The downside to that is that if you are only 29 weeks pregnant contractions bring about the wrong kind of action, and a lot of attention. So much attention that it’s ended up with me spending a lot of nights (10, but who is counting?) on the pull-out couch bed at our hospital. Believe me, Mrs. Pickle is just as annoyed with her sleeping arrangement, which is about 6 feet away in a labor and delivery bed.

First things first, labor and delivery beds suck. Why in the world are hospitals so stinking uncomfortable? I feel like a broken record, but seriously it’s the 21st century. Hospital beds should be the best thing to sleep on in the world. Better than a Sleep Number bed. I mean, the best of then best. This is a call to hospitals everywhere, get your act together.

Now on to the crux of the situation. Contractions are a like a Loch Ness Monster, but real. They are like the illusive snipe, you know they are real because your grandpa sent you snipe hunting once and he would never lie to you but you’ve never seen one. I think I’ve already mentioned once that they are like a rattlesnake — many things can be confused for a contraction but only a contraction is a contraction. They are every weird, contradictory simile you can think of.  And now every mother is reading this and saying “Boyyyy you have no idea” (in their best Big Momma’s House voice). I know, I know, I don’t get it. That’s fine.

We’ve spent six hours a day hooked up to a machine that is monitoring contractions, or at least the timing of them. Thankfully the medication that the Mrs. has been on seems to be controlling the contractions very well, which is a relief. At this point there seems to be less and less chance of having imminent pre-term labor, another relief. Though with this better news, we are not in the clear yet.
My black-white engineering brain cannot handle this whole contraction thing. It is way too interpretational. See, the monitor picks up only the timing and frequency of the contractions, but are measured in a unit of pressure. The first thing I asked was something around the fact that the magnitude was larger on certain contractions. “No no no, there is no magnitude”, I was scolded by the nurse.
Um, yes. Yes there is a magnitude, and it is measured in the amount of pressure that is registered on the monitor. On top of that subjectiveness, each nurse marks something different as a contraction. It’s like they all are wanting to make me go insane. They will overlook a contraction and call it irritability but call the same signature that happens one hour later a contraction. I don’t get it. I know I am not the professional, so then this all just adds to my frustrating confusion about contractions.

Then I saw this video online and realized contraction confusion must be pretty widespread.

It made me laugh, mostly because it’s too real.


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