Sunday, October 09, 2011

Labor goes pffft

Not sure what to make of this. Last night, woken up at midnight by familiar cramping, I figured, no big deal, a contraction. I've had them in ones and twos for the last month or so. Then they went on, getting closer together, for two hours--first twelve minutes, then ten, then eight, seven, five. Not increasing much in intensity but clearly regular. Not affected by changing position.

Jeff rushed about to get things ready while I laid there and analyzed each contraction: a bit painful but just enough to be noticeable, tightening sensations both high and low, racing heartbeat starting a few seconds before each contraction and slowing right afterward. Familiar. Exactly what I remembered from the very earliest labor with Olivia and Josh. And then...nothing. They stopped completely. At 3 a.m., I fell asleep. This morning, a continuation of absolutely nothing.

So: What the hell? Braxton Hicks? Do they occur with regularity and increasing frequency, as these did? And aren't they supposed to be painless? And if not Braxton Hicks, is there any meaning to these contractions?

Honestly, I am so physically uncomfortable that I would half-welcome real labor at this point. But we are unprepared; so much still to do, still working, and our in-laws--who will take care of the kids while we're in the hospital--are not expected until much closer to the due date. And I know that three weeks early is pretty much full term, but still, not ideal.

Gah. Not sure what to make of this. Not sure whether to continue with my normal activities or take it easy; not sure if I should continue to work next week in the office across the bridge or whether I should work from home, just in case. Not sure if we should put the in-laws on alert or just assume I've still got plenty of time. I'm not so good with uncertainty.

I know a lot of you have been in a similar position: What did you do?


Anonymous Carla Hinkle said...

I'm excited for you but have no advice...I never went more than a few days early. My #3 labor did start up, then fizzle, only to get going for real the next day, so ... maybe soon?

11:41 AM  
Blogger teridr said...

Um. Well, when that happened to me, I gave birth, so I'm not much help, either. I had made a point of telling the kid-to-be-born that he'd better stay in there until Thursday, because then he would be 37 weeks and we could go to Small Nearby Hospital instead of Large Distant NICU Hospital. And at 12:30 am Thursday morning my water broke, and then I had those contractions you're talking about, and then voila! a baby! in a blizzard!

So, like I said, not helpful. Sorry. But I would imagine that what you're experiencing is pretty normal. Behave as if it never happened.

1:10 PM  
Blogger jill said...

My Braxton Hicks often were painful. Not overly so, but certainly noticeable. That doesn't mean this isn't real, though. Maybe work from home, and get temp help for the kids just in case?

5:41 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

My Braxton-Hicks were definitely painful and regular. They never got quite that close together but they would go on for hours with me having to really breathe and focus during them they were that intense. I wish I had more advice but staying hydrated is always a good thing!! :-)

7:09 AM  
Blogger zarqa said...

With my mottled history and deep-seated fears, I went on self-imposed modified bed rest as soon as the breathlessness during contractions. They never called them Braxton Hicks so what I went through I think was more a preterm labor. The contractions were never painful though. And my water broke hours before the contractions started so we were already at the hospital hooked up ready to go. My one and only painful contraction was the five seconds before the epidural went in. Advice? Hydration to ease the contractions, and NSTs whenever you want to ease your mind.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Claire Swift said...

This happened daily for 2 weeks prior to the birth of my second, and a few times leading up to the birth of my third. Not sure why, and very annoying! Hoping the wee fella stays put for a little while yet so you can get organised!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Jona said...

Maybe it's prodromal labor, though I tend to think of those contractions as more irregular. But still a possibility.

Or, I could be writing this comment now while you're actually in labor after all.

I'm thinking of you, either way.

12:44 AM  

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