This past weekend Bret and I spent some serious time doing some serious cleaning around the apartment. In the afternoon I took a nap and upon waking I suddenly was bent over with a serious stomach cramp. Not sure as to what was going on but out of breath from the pain I tried to explain to Bret what I was feeling hoping for an explanation.
Bret replied "it's probably a Braxton Hicks, you are just tired and dehydrated...drink some water". He never even looked up from the game he was playing on the computer.
I went on to explain to Bret that this pain did not feel like any Braxton Hicks that I had before. In the past my pain has been a tightening or throbbing in my lower back but instead this was across the top of my stomach and much much stronger. Bret's reply "I understand that". He went on to say something about my uterus being different each time and then I hear "besides how long has it been since you felt a contraction...you might not remember it that clearly". About that time the pain started to subside and I realized that Bret was correct..it was Braxton Hicks (aka false labor pain).
This little experience reminded me of a couple of things. First that I'm only about 5 weeks away from having this baby. I say about because technically this baby could come at anytime (early or late). In fact Emily came just after 36 weeks and that is less than two weeks away. Holy baby batman.
The second thing that this experience reminded me of was how Bret and I interact when it comes to labor and having a baby. Bret has delivered close to a 1000 babies by now. I, on the other hand, have only had two babies before. While this does give me a little bit of knowledge in what to expect it is nothing compared to what Bret knows or has seen.
So when most dads would be on the phone with the doctor because their wife is having contractions ever 8-10 minutes mine tells me to drink some water take a little benedryl and lie down. Which is what he did with Palmer several times even though I was past due and it worked. I was never in actual labor.
Bret and I have also talked about the difference between sympathy and empathy. Although Bret thoroughly understands that labor is uncomfortable and becomes extremely painful he still sees it as a process. If I ask for an epidural "too soon" he will be the first to remind me that it can stall my labor and that if I could just hang on a little while longer it will be over sooner. In the end Bret is supportive and very loving. He is a great partner and I feel very safe with him watching over me. It can however, become very frustrating when he "manages my labor" or makes me feel like he is downplaying my concerns or things that I am "feeling".
This isn't that uncommon for OB/GYN's and their pregnant wives. One of the past residents ended up delivering his wife's baby in their car on the way to the hospital because "they (he)" waited too long before going to the hospital and didn't make it in time. At least I know that we will make it to the hospital on time because we only live 10 minutes away (and that's without speeding).