For weeks now, I’ve been reading in my pregnancy books and websites and emails that I am probably starting to feel fake, painless contractions. And I should not be alarmed, provided these are indeed the fake ones. Much time and verbiage is spent on explaining how I can be sure that these are the fake contractions--just my body practicing for labor--and not the real deal. But I wasn’t feeling them. And everything else about this pregnancy has happened all early and precociously (see: alarmingly boisterous kicks and astonishingly prominent belly), so where were my fake contractions?
I had pretty much arrived at the conclusion that I have a smug uterus. Because really? I totally would. My uterus would be all over-confident about labor, no need to practice or anything. My stupid, proud uterus. (Those are the meanest thoughts I’ve ever hyperbolically claimed to have about my uterus. Which reminds me... before we tried to get pregnant, when I didn’t know whether getting pregnant would be hard, I decided that I should believe in my uterus, and send it positive, nurturing thoughts. Yes, I really did this. It seemed like it had so much work to do, such a burden on its shoulders! Then my uterus was so good at making a baby! No need for all that coddling. Or maybe it was *because* of the positive thoughts and supportive energy that my uterus did so well... Makes you think doesn’t it? And if you are still thinking about where my uterus’s shoulders would be, now would be a good time to catch up.)
So, my missing fake contractions. Right.
I read something somewhere about how some women confuse contractions for movement. I mean, kicks and jabs are clearly not contractions, but some of the squirmier movements maybe? I proceeded to tell my doctor that I thought I had started feeling the elusive fake contractions, and I described them. She was highly skeptical and said that they sounded like the baby squirming. Then she patted me on the top of my head and told me it was okay to be a total and complete failure at fake contractions. No, not really. She didn’t pat me on the head. But she did tell me it was TOTALLY FINE not to have fake contractions.
I thought I might pout, because this appointment had not yielded me much praise, and now I was also wrong about something, and well? I don’t care for either of those circumstances much, if I’m being honest.
But then! Then my doctor told me that I do not have the diabetes OR anemia and my blood pressure is so very very low, and given how very very pregnant I am, all this must mean that I have the healthiest diet in all the land! I so don’t, but I took her compliment, polished my little ego with it, and bought myself a decaf latte to celebrate my achievements.
Photo: Dr. John Braxton Hicks, who first described the fake contractions. But can we talk about how it would make you feel if you had to talk to this man about your uterus? I would deny everything and pretend not to be pregnant.