Jun
09
2011

  Staying Hydrated

Since these practice contractions are brought on by fatigue and dehydration, I've been doing my best to avoid both. I only went to two stores this morning, which was just enough to get all the high-priority things but not enough to try on any sundresses. But they are not a high priority. Once the baby is born, I don't plan on leaving the house much for a week or two at least. Although the midwives say that recovery from subsequent childbirths usually are much faster than from the first birth, I don't want unrealistically high expectations. I am not a spring chicken, and even dumb stuff like cuts and bruises seem to take forever to heal on me versus when I was younger. And it took me quite some time to recover from W's birth, although that was significantly complicated by the NICU situation.

Still, I am amazed at how much water I need to consume to stay hydrated lately. When I was nursing it wasn't surprising, since my breasts were inflated, it was obvious where it was all going. But this time around my breasts haven't really enlarged much during pregnancy; I presume it will happen when my milk comes in a few days after birth. Yet I have three canteens which each hold about 22 oz of water that I keep filled and in the fridge, constantly rotating them out. And I'm knocking back one canteen every hour or hour and a half, and not feeling bloated in the least. Where is all this water going? Do I really need that much amniotic fluid? Or blood volume? Am I sweating and not realizing it?

Whatever the case, as long as I keep up the pace with the water, the nuisance contractions are much milder than when I skimp on the water. From what I've read about "prodromal" labor contractions, they really don't help if they are strong enough to keep a woman from resting comfortably. Their presence doesn't seem to make labor come any faster than it would otherwise. So if they can be avoided (or kept to a comfortable level) than that is generally to be desired.

For the second day, I've had very little feeling that anything is different. So I don't have a sense that maybe I'll give birth tonight. At least no excitement or anything-- I suppose intellectually I know that it could come without any sort of physical warning at any time. But viscerally, I don't feel like this baby's coming soon. Now I'm thinking maybe Saturday. If the weather cools down we might even trek out to Fridays After Five again tomorrow night. If it's over 90F, though, forget it.