Saturday, August 15, 2009

Attn Pregnant Readers

For those of you that will be giving birth soon, I want to share with you a very useful thing: Contraction Master.

This app was so useful. I highly recommend using it to record and time your contractions. I remember when labor started with Large S and how difficult it was for Theric to time the contractions. He would have to time the contraction while also providing support for me, then have to go and write down the info after it had ended. We never really felt like he got accurate-enough readings for the contractions, thus making us a little unsure about their length and spacing-- which is info you need to feel accurate about when you call the hospital or your doctor/midwife to find out if you should be heading to the hospital. Overall, the recording of the contractions back in 2007 added an extra element of stress to a situation that we were trying to keep as unstressful as possible.

When contractions started in earnest this time around Theric and I had two kids we were trying to put to bed--a stressful activity on a good day. At some point I left the bedtime activities and went to our room because the contractions were getting strong and I need to start focusing on relaxing, not on how to convince the boys to calm down and stay in bed (we'd made the mistake of telling them Grandma might come and get them later that night). Theric was left with this job, which meant, I knew, that I needed to start timing my contractions. I took the only portable clock with a second hand from the bathroom and put it in our bedroom. I tried to time those contractions, but it was hard--hard to remember what time one had started once it was over--because while it was happening, I was trying to relax my whole body and trying to remove my conscious self from the moment. Trying to remember something, let alone something as rigid as a point on a clock, was in opposition to what I was trying to do.

When Theric finally got the kids in bed and came to see how I was doing, I was not able to give him any sort of concrete report regarding the length and spacing of my contractions.

I sent Theric to look for an online timer and a few minutes later, he came back to the room, took my laptop and brought up the Contraction Master. He explained it to me and said we should try it out. He then left to go take care of some timely job-related stuff while I continued on with the birth process. Because of this website I was able to really focus on my Hypnobirthing techniques. The Contraction Master only required that I hit the 's' key as a surge began and when it ended--much much easier than having to look at the clock and note the time. The Contraction Master works so well that Theric was able to nap lightly and man the 's' key at the same time! (Eventually, even being in charge of the 's' key was too much for me; laboring required all my attention and remembering to hit it was taking me out of my zone.) When he was done napping (when I needed his regular assistance), it allowed him to provide me with the support I needed and keep a super-accurate record of my contractions.

(Aside to Contraction Master, if you happen by: 's' not the best key--space bar would be easier to find in a rush or when half-sleep.)

Because of the Contraction Master he could look at the results and see that my contractions had reached the point where we should call the hospital. And he was then able to give the nurse a completely accurate reporting on the contractions. Plus, it was really cool to be able to look at the data--I may have been the one experiencing the contractions, but I really wasn't aware of how long each was, how long between, so to be able to see all the information on the screen and see how labor was progressing was really neat--encouraging even.

So, if you are going to be going into labor soon, I highly recommend that you bookmark Contraction Master or download the app to your iPhone. It will remove one element of stress from your labor. Although be warned: if you have a geeky husband, do you really want to give him another reason to keep looking at his iPhone every three minutes?


Blogger FoxyJ said...

I wish I needed this. But since it will be of no use to me, I will keep it in mind to recommend to anyone else who does.

Sunday, August 16, 2009 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for the advice. I will have to try it out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

That is cool. And while we don't have iPhones, I'm sure The Franchise would love to keep track of it on my iPod Touch. He loves to scroll on it.

No, I'm not pregnant, but someday I will be.

Monday, August 17, 2009 7:54:00 AM  
Blogger Melyngoch said...

Next time I'm in labor, I'm totally going to use this.

(OK, it might not be worth going into labor over, but I do so like data printouts, when I understand them, and they're about me.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:01:00 PM  

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