35 Weeks: Prelabor.
June 10, 2009

Yesterday, Donald and I went to yet another doctor’s appointment, but this time we left with a brand new word for our vocabulary: prelabor.

Doesn’t that sound important?  PRELABOR.  Like I might bear down and scream bloody murder and bring forth a baby any day now?  Like LABOR without the PRE is in my very near future?  Like my husband will start pestering me to file down my talons fingernails every night?

Yeah.  About that.  NOT SO MUCH.

It turns out that “prelabor,” is just a fancy word for “your body is acting like you’re due in a few weeks AND I’LL BE, you actually ARE due in a few weeks!  WHAT A COINCIDENCE!”  I was slightly less than impressed with this diagnosis, as the myriad of sudden changes in my body – things like popping hip joints and discharging enough white crap to fill up the Atlantic – had already given me the heads up that I might actually get a baby at the end of this ordeal.

But prelabor is better than nothing, so I’ll take it.

The doctor also prepared my maternity leave papers.  Although I am hoping to work through week 38, he feels that my symptoms and complications – namely HAVING BEEN STUPID ENOUGH TO MARRY A GIANT – mean that I may need to stop working earlier.

Although Donald and I have naturally been discussing maternity leave for eons, the reality of preparing for it by signing paperwork actually caught me off guard.  You mean that I am going to spend four months on MATERNITY leave?  Like I’m someone’s MOM?  You mean there’s actually a baby INSIDE OF ME and not just some sort of parasitic tumor?

Well I’ll be.

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  1. By lceel on June 10, 2009

    I love the extra bump. I don’t know why - but I always found SWMBO’s* pooped out belly buttons to be humorous.  She never seemed to - but I did.  Of course, by the time her belly button would pop out, she was already well on her way to being tired of being pregnant - so my sense of humor was .... ill-timed.

    *SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed

  2. By alison @ cluck and tweet on June 10, 2009

    Prelabor?  Isn’t that what you’ve been in for the last 35 weeks?  I guess I’m 10 years postlabor.  That sounds scary, too.

  3. By kbreints on June 10, 2009

    It will be here and gone before you know it and you will be posting pictures and lovely notes about your lack of sleep….

    Prelabor is god’s way of getting you ready for that baby. His way of making you as uncomfortable as possible and thus not actually worrying about labor and just wanting it OUT OF ME NOW….


  4. By Jennifer W. on June 10, 2009

    I know you are uncomfortable now, so to make you feel better about it I am telling you that this feeling won’t last long; you will actually get MORE uncomfortable until the baby comes.  And I only say that to agree with previous poster that what you feel now is a great way to keep your mind off of the fact that in five weeks or less a human being will coming ripping out of your vagina and you will NEVER. SLEEP. AGAIN.  Ahem, I mean you will joyfully give birth to a precious angel and post pictures of you and said angel in a hazy white light lounging on the couch. 

    Really though, I am SO excited for you.  It’s awesome.

    Wait a minute, FOUR months maternity leave???  What heavenly universe do you live in??  I got zero first time around (damn university) and I think I might get a total of six weeks next time.  Boooooooooooooo United States.  Boooooo.

  5. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on June 10, 2009

    Jennifer - More specifically, it’s like 3.5 months of leave.  I start maternity leave about 3 weeks before the baby is due and then have 6 weeks of maternity leave after the birth.  After those 6 weeks, I take a week of unpaid leave and then another 6 weeks of family leave.  When I’m done with that, I’m cashing in another 1.5 weeks of vacation time so that I start back on a short week.

    If I ever go back, that is.  We’re leaving our options open =)  But if I do, it totals about 17.5 weeks of total leave, all of which I’m classifying as maternity.

  6. By Allison on June 10, 2009

    Haha—marrying a giant.

    Prelabor sounds so exciting when you first hear it, but then it’s not that exciting. I mean, you already KNEW you were nearing the end.

    Good luck with the end! And woo-hoo at being able to take a long time off of work!

  7. By kim on June 10, 2009

    wow pre-labour, that sounds a lot more active than it actually is… i thought pre-labour was when you were in the back of the taxi cab and he was trying to find a soft shoulder to stop on so he could deliver the baby?

  8. By Chocolate and Whine on June 10, 2009


    You’re pregnant???

  9. By erin on June 10, 2009

    Your belly is so cute.  It probably feels less than cute right now, but it is.

    Take as much time off before the baby as possible!!  I worked until 38 weeks also but had to drag myself there by then, I was so exhausted.  And what if baby Christensen comes early?  Good heavens girl, you get paid for that time.  Take it!!

  10. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on June 10, 2009

    Erin - Thank you for your kind words =)

    As for maternity leave, I may start earlier if we need to, but honestly I just don’t want to sit around and twiddle my thumbs in an empty house for weeks on end waiting for the baby to come lol.  The hardest part of my job is waking up on time, so I don’t mind pushing papers around if it means that I won’t be alone.  I hate being home alone.  Hate it.

    That said, watch me go on maternity leave in a week lol.

  11. By Celina on June 10, 2009

    Prelabor is just the beginning of the new vocabulary you’ll learn in the next few weeks that sound fancy but just mean that the end is in sight.  It’s a little patronizing if you really stop to think about it! Just wait till lovely little phrases like “stripping of membranes” and “loose cervix” start getting bandied about casually! Lol!

  12. By Stephanie on June 10, 2009

    AAHHH I’m so excited!!!

    And I think, honestly, it might be best to work as long as you can, unless you’re uncomfortable. It turned out to be a good thing I didn’t get a job in Portland since Jaspy came early, but I was so endlessly bored after a few days at home, sitting around, being pregnant.

    Of course, I did update my blog an awful lot, but that was about it.

    AAHH BABY BABY I can’t wait to see him or her.

  13. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on June 10, 2009

    Wow, you’re going to be a mom!  That is so cool.  BTW, do you really get four months?  I’m jealous!

  14. By Elly on June 10, 2009

    Ha! Prelabor aye? Loved your definition, that’s awesome :) In terms of the leave, I’d say do what ever feels best for you. If you want to take the time off, by all means! If it sounds less relaxing and more like the most boring thing ever, don’t.  :)

  15. By Marla on June 10, 2009

    Wait- you’re having a baby? I hadn’t realized that… :D

  16. By Tanya on June 10, 2009

    Hey, great blog!!! I was feeling pretty much like you were before the birth, but when you go into labour it all happens by iself, your body works with it and you just go with the flow. I went into prelabour at a 21st party, was taken to hospital and then my water broke and I started contractions! It really is beautiful even though messy and painful!!! Once you see your baby you will feel like it was all worthwhile! I fell instantly in love with my baby and even when she gurgles at me at 3am in the morning I can still manage a smile :-)

  17. By Heather on June 10, 2009

    You look fantastic.

    It’s all worth it.

  18. By Elizabeth on June 10, 2009

    Flip.  So exciting.

  19. By Bea on June 10, 2009

    The anticipation is so exciting! And I don’t even know you!

  20. By erin on June 11, 2009

    Yeah, there was the boredom thing… but then again, I bet you find things to do.  I did.  There is that whole nesting thing, and it is much easier to nest when you don’t have to work. :)

    My job is the same, the hardest thing I have to do is get there on time in the morning.  Otherwise I sit at a desk all day and push paper and chat on the phone.  For me at 9 months that was exhausting still.  Kudos to you if you can manage it!  I do not understand those women who work up until the day before they have their kid or whatever.  I am so not that kind of hero.

  21. By home exchange on June 11, 2009

    Wow, your blog is HILARIOUS. I especially like the crossed out “talons”.... This is excellent writing and I’m hooked!

  22. By Carlyn on June 11, 2009

    Oddly enough, yesterday I brought my sister the ER, because she was having some very serious very painful..well.. pains. turns out they were contractions… she is due august 5th. so needless to say we didnt want no stinkin contractions, so they gave her 3 shots and sent her on her way….

    prelabor sounds exciting.

  23. By Alias Mother on June 11, 2009

    I worked until a week after my due date, up until my boss looked over the wall of my cube and said, “Oh my god, GO HOME.  PLEASE.“

    I had the baby that weekend.

    I also married a giant.  I sympathize.  Also: don’t read my birth story.


  24. By A Free Man on June 11, 2009

    Oh my god, I just clicked over here at random from Joe’s site - we have the same dog!

    Here are some recent photos: http://www.afreeman.org/2009/05/16/dont-you-know-what-they-put-in-it-well-i-do-i-read-it-on-the-internet/

    Congrats on the impending baby. Enjoy. Sleep now before it is too late.

  25. By Jes on June 15, 2009

    I love that photo of you and Hank. It is so sweet.





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