I've been noting the tension in my jaw over the past few days - willing myself to release it when I notice it. I made note of 17 times in the first 12 hours, and then I stopped counting. Obviously, I notice tension that needs to be released pretty much every time I even think about my jaw. That's a lot of tension.
I have weird, hazy memories from being in labor -- but one thing that really stands out to me was how much I focused on keeping my jaw relaxed during contractions. Whenever I held my jaw, it hurt more. So that became this major thing the whole time - keeping my jaw soft. I'm surprised that I am not better at it after all that practice...but then, I think that I probably feel on some level that I have to hold or "keep it together" right now because I'm functioning on so little sleep. My emotions are all over the place. Keeping my jaw snapped tight is probably like a little bit of armor.