At 35 and 36 weeks pregnant I ended up in the hospital’s labor and delivery unit with chronic pelvic pain, back pain, exhaustion, and a pain that felt like severe menstrual cramps. Both times, I was hooked up to a monitor, saw (and felt) a few legitimate contractions, and was sent home after being told this was going to be my new normal until I had the baby. Fun, huh? So, when I got home, I did what any logical person would do.


As I scoured the internet, I kept coming up with a brand new (to me) term: prodromal labor. It described exactly what I was experiencing. Basically, I was destined to spend the final few weeks of my pregnancy in a sort of “false labor,” and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. My back would hurt, I’d experience real contractions that would never intensify or get closer together, and in general, the exhaustion would be both physical and emotional, and I’d be pretty miserable. And that’s exactly what happened. But I survived! If you have to go through this, you can survive, too — here’s how:

Ask for help

This is not one of my strongest skills, but I had to be unafraid to ask for help. Despite big plans for fun weekends with my children, I basically pawned them off on whomever I could so that I could rest and take care of myself. I missed them and it stunk, but I just couldn’t. So I didn’t.


One of the best things about being a work-at-home mom is having a fair amount of freedom over my schedule. Since I was up early anyway (did I mention the awake period from 2-4:30 a.m. daily followed by a wakeup at 6 a.m.?) I used my mornings to get work done. Since my kids were both in school five days a week, I used my time wisely and napped on days when I needed it. It made the nighttime lack of sleep a little bit better. I also instituted an even earlier bedtime than before for myself, to make up for being woken with contractions nightly.

Scale back

I was told to take it easy, to stop CrossFit, and to stick to walking and stretching. And you know what? I cried. Then I got over it, realized how much working out was taking out of my already exhausted body, and dealt with it. I also let things go — the floors weren’t as clean as I would have liked, meals weren’t as complex and delicious as I was used to making, and I said no to a lot of invitations (or found myself canceling last minute). The kids also had a little more screen time than I care to admit, but at least we were snuggling together on the couch. The world didn’t end.

Talk about it

No one knew what I was going through because I didn’t talk — I sugar coated it all. It wasn’t until right before my due date (after having my membranes stripped four times) that I finally broke down to my husband. I had one of those good cries that leaves you feeling all wrung out, and I felt stupid for not talking sooner. I had sheltered myself from the world in a semi-depression and tried to make it all seem OK. My husband never knew how crummy I was feeling physically, and he didn’t know how emotionally draining my pregnancy had been. He was amazing through the whole pregnancy but didn’t understand the severity of my situation. Had I talked about it I could have gotten the emotional help I needed, instead of relying on people to simply help me out with obligations.

Fortunately, my OB was very supportive of me having a VBAC and wouldn’t induce me no matter how much I begged. My birth experience was wonderful, and one of the very first things I said when my son was placed on my chest was, “It’s over, it’s finally over.” Thankfully, it didn’t take long to start feeling like myself after giving birth. Those few weeks, though — gosh, they were rough! And I cried… a lot. And I was mean, and irritable, and tired. But the prize at the end was totally worth it.IMG_0339

Morgan Sheena
Morgan came to Boston via New Jersey for college and law school and never left. She married her college sweetheart, Solomon, in October 2007. After years of trying to find themselves, they added three beautiful and energetic children, Aaron (October 2010), Olivia (June 2013), and Jesse (May 2016) to the family. They also have brother and sister miniature schnauzers, Rufio and Gracie. They live in Brookline and love city living.  Morgan is also a travel planner at Whitney World Travel and loves helping her clients find the perfect vacation for them. Loves: Exploring Boston, traveling, trying new restaurants, all things Disney, dive bars, blanco tequila, cooking elaborate meals, black coffee, dry red wine, working out, watching mindless movies (and quoting them) and getting lost in a good book. Can't Stand: when people snap their gum, cigarettes, loud chewing noises, cleaning floors and snakes.