Friday, February 3, 2012

My Sis, the Prodromal Laborer

My li'l sis, Deborah, just wrote a post on prodromal labor.  Last April, she gave birth to her third baby via this labor pattern.  I would love to link to or post the birth story when she makes it available (but I understand how it is--I still haven't published Ian's birth story from 19 months ago), but for now, this will have to suffice:

Deborah and I are of the same mind when it comes to discussing prodromal labor: that all-too-often, trying to fit what it is (or can be) into a chart or concise definition becomes too restrictive and not all that helpful.  This is the biggest reason that, for all my wanting to educate about the fact that such a labor pattern does exist, this blog has yet to truly "define" it in terms that many birthy sites have--I find those definitions leave one thinking too much in-the-box, which we tend to do anyway when it comes to what is "normal" in birth.  (Not to mention that my own experiences with this pattern often oppose what is detailed in the charts.)

Unfortunately, I have found that the people who are most close-minded in relation to the prodromal labor pattern are birth workers (be it doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, or birth educators) and women who have given birth before.  In fact, in some cases, women who have several (even many) children tend to be the most dismissive about the possibility of prodromal labor, sometimes considering a woman's own experience with it suspect (as in, what could be wrong with your perception to make you think this can happen?).  It is as if whatever was their own experience is all that can possibly be out there.

The most open-minded people I've encountered on this subject are (not surprisingly) women who have experienced the pattern themselves and women who have never before given birth.  I've even seen people go from open-minded about the possibility before birth to completely narrow-minded after experiencing a more textbook birth.  (It is on the close-minded people that I sometimes wish prodromal labor, I admit.)  When it does occur, it can be very vindicating. :)