Monday, October 31, 2011

Maybe he'll just fall out in my sleep

So it's been three weeks of, "Any day now!" Friday's appointment included the offer of a membrane sweep (gratefully accepted) and the news that I was three centimeters dilated, almost fully effaced and still at zero station. OB predicted labor within 48 hours. Later that afternoon, massive downward pressure, significant contractions, bloody show and my premature assumption that he was really and truly on his way. Needless to say, that assumption was false.

The contractions continue on and off around the clock, but are most noticeable in the middle of the night. They are mildly painful--a breathe-through-it kind of pain, not a grit-your-teeth-and-groan pain--and so very regular during certain stretches. (Last night, every seven minutes on the dot for two hours. I subsequently had a dream in which I was giving birth while asleep and couldn't rouse myself to get Jeff up to cut the cord.)

Today, I threw caution and rest to the wind, gathered up an under-the-weather Josh and ran errands for three hours. I hoisted heavy items--flats of water, a jumbo-sized Costco bag full of groceries, and Joshua himself--much to Jeff's concern. Felt good not to act like an invalid.

Monday, October 24, 2011

More of nothing in particular

Still twiddling thumbs, making vain attempts to sleep and wishing each and every moment that this little boy would come on out. I've been 70% effaced, zero station for a week and a half. 1 cm dilated as of last check. Contractions coming very infrequently, for the most part, with a couple of nice regular sets that served only to get my hopes up.

So, that's the unexciting story for now. Hoping my next update will include some actual progress.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Set a clock by me

Last night, every fifteen mintes--twelves and seventeens--for three hours. Tonight, every ten on the sixes, not getting any stronger.

At yesterday's check, 70% effaced, zero station, but not dilated in the slightest.

Uncomfortable and tired and irrationally eager to be done.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No news is...no news

Looks like Saturday night's contractions were just the unproductive, irritating start of absolutely nothing. Occasional contractions all this week, a few strong, most mild, with no pattern. Ended up seeking (and heeding) OB's advice to stay home, the in-laws came up early and we've got just about everything ready--except, apparently, my body.

I'm feeling generally OK, but a searing pain beneath my right ribs is causing some mobility issues and disrupting sleep even more than usual. I'm told that it's probably cartilage separating from bone as the the baby puts more and more weight and pressure on my none-too-sturdy ribcage. If it weren't for this, I would be more than content to wait for my due date and enjoy some time off around the house; as it is, though, I am eager to deliver.

The little fellow is doing just fine, and I am grateful every day to feel his near-constant internal pummelings. He is active in a way that is almost comical: sitting in meetings or conversing with friends, I will catch people looking intently at my tent-clothed belly, watching the obvious kicks and undulations with a sort of fascinated horror. (Especially the young, single men. They are clearly creeped out.) Now if he would just pummel his way out...

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?