As I write this, my wife is experiencing what’s called Pre-labor. This is the point where cramps, which sound benign and kind of cute, become contractions, which are anything but.
Even the word “contraction” is loaded with gravitas. A “contract” is a binding document; once signed, there’s no turning back. And we all know what happens when a “contract” is taken out on someone. Suffice to say that it doesn’t end well.
Right now, these contractions are just warming up. The uterus is doing some easy cardio, light circuit training, and maybe enjoying a smoothie before the main event where it will attempt to squeeze a baby out of an impossible opening like toothpaste out of a tube.
Believe it or not, some women find this to be uncomfortable, my wife included.
Thankfully, we’ve discovered the miracle cure for Pre-labor contractions. This thing:
It’s one of those flexible Styrofoam pool noodles cut to roughly 20 inches.
I first saw it when the instructor from our birthing class brought out a crate of various massage tools. Naturally, I was skeptical because “skeptical” is pretty much my default setting. But after using it on and off for 12 hours, both my wife and I agree that it’s the best $1 we’ve ever spent.
You use it like this:
It’s flexible for that coveted wrap-around effect, and it evenly displaces the pressure so the partner can really lean into it. I’m under no illusions that it will put so much as a dent in the active phase contractions, but for now, it’s making for a smooth start.