Well, my friends…turns out labor is just that. Labor. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the last 6-7 weeks. Nothing regular or painful…just gentle reminders that the baby will, in fact, eventually come out to meet us. But on Monday evening after work, the tightening sensation in my abdomen grew painful and regular. Sure enough, every 20 minutes I would feel my belly pinch up and cramp as my back began to tighten. I drank some water and sat on the couch keeping track. They eventually faded in the middle of the night.
I awoke on Tuesday not feeling like myself. I was kind of lightheaded and flushed, but I figured it was from lack of sleep. I headed into work, but when I started my first case of the day…sure enough every 13 minutes the contractions were back. So I left work and began my ritual of timing them. Mr. Greeneyes came home from work early, and every hour or so I would shout out “Every 10 minutes!!!…..Every 8 minutes…” until they were every 5 minutes and we started to gather up our “go bag” and call the doctor. The pains weren’t excruciating yet, but the baby was moving around in a panic before every contraction. So we went to the hospital just to make sure she was ok being that she is only 37 weeks along…full term, but early for the party! Everything looked great, and I was indeed having labor contractions with very minimal progression. We opted to come home and get some sleep, but the contractions also eventually began to fade and become irregular over night…only to come back with a vengeance in the morning.
So after many walks around the block, I’m happy to say that this marathon labor is starting to progress…4 cm and baby is dropping more. The contractions take my breath away and cause my heart to beat through my ears at times. My feet sweat, my cheeks flush, and my breaths have to be told to slow. It feels like a sheet is being wrapped around my abdomen with increasing pressure before being slowly released and everything is alright in the world again for 7 minutes.
I guess I just never realized how it could go on and on and on. I envisioned my water breaking in a dramatic fashion on the floor of a crowded Target, or I would just contract in so much pain that we barely make it to the hospital while screaming, “I’m crowning!!!” Instead, here we are. Days and days of early labor progressing into active labor as I write. We are holding a bottle full of emotions. On one end we can’t wait to hold her…love on her. On the other end, we’re both scared out of our minds about the entire process of getting her safely into our arms…and keeping her safe for ohhhhhh the rest of our lives.
Our doctor said it would keep going slowly like this for a little while, or I could have the baby at any moment. I’m just waiting for these contractions to get strong enough to warrant another visit to the hospital. Fingers and baby toes crossed!