Twas the Night Before Labor

It’s the night before we induce labor. Two mornings ago I woke up with a sore left rib cage. I did some gentle stretches and a little prenatal yoga I learned earlier in my pregnancy and within minutes of performing those exercises my entire ribcage was in spasm. The spasms were excruciating and lasted 36 hours. I was immobile. I was beside myself. I tried acupuncture, an epsom salt bath, sitting perfectly still, no bending, no chores, and long uncomfortable naps. Nothing helped.

Then Friday afternoon, I got into see my chiropractor. She very carefully assessed what was going on and found that several of my left upper ribs had shifted and were jammed out of place. All the hormones, extra weight, and stress, she suggested. She very gently manipulated, adjusted, and stretched me while Eli watched nervously on the sideline. I’ve seen this chiropractor for over 3 years now and with all my aches and pains, she’d never seen me in such a state of acute trauma.

She asked me to come back to see her later that afternoon, promising me that with a few hours of rest and an opportunity for the spasms to calm down, my muscles and ribs would likely respond to another adjustment. I was back in her office at 5pm and true to her word, my neck, ribs, pelvis and hips all moved back into alignment. The spasms weren’t completely over, but my hopes were higher.

For the entire preceding day I was gripped by fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle labor — not because of the contractions but because of these inexplicable back spasms. I got a good night’s rest last night, albeit with residual tightness in my upper body and I woke up this morning feeling sore but no longer in spasm. I managed to attend my 8-hour coaches’ training session today and I’ll be back in training tomorrow for another all-day session before we head to the hospital at 9pm for a cervical exam and the beginning of the induction.

I am so grateful for my chiropractor. She rescued me physically and emotionally. I believe with another good night’s rest, I’ll be ready to take on the challenge of labor tomorrow. As fiercely independent as I can be, I’m also a believer in getting the help we need to be our best selves. My chiropractor is just one of the angels watching over me. Now I’m off for my last bowl of ice cream while still pregnant and hopefully a good night’s sleep.

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I write about love, grief, forgiveness, and healing to honor my daughters Poppy and Moxie. I work as a life coach and I’m writing a memoir. dukelifecoaching.com

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