On Thursday night (early Friday morning) at 3:30 am, I woke up having really bad back pain. I didn’t really think much about it, but it kept me up for the rest of the night. After a while, I noticed that my stomach was tightening up along with the pain. I waited until Richie woke up at 7:00 and we called the on-call emergency nurse at our OB practice. She got me to lay down and time the contractions for 1 hour. In the meantime, Richie headed to work to wrap some things up “just in case.” The contractions were coming regularly every 5 minutes or so. I called my doctor and they said to go ahead and get checked at the hospital. I wasn’t really concerned because the contractions weren’t really painful. I had a feeling this would be a false alarm. I took my time taking a shower, getting ready, and finishing packing my bag just in case. We got to the hospital about 9:30 and they immediately took me back and hooked me up to a contraction monitor. After about an hour and a half, the nurse told me that the contractions were coming every 3 minutes and that the baby looked great. She finally checked my cervix and said that I was still really high (the cervix is supposed to be low and easily accessible when you’re in labor) but that it was softening and I was probably about a centimeter dilated. She told me to eat a light lunch, walk around, and then the doctor would come talk to me and recheck me. So, that’s what I did. I ordered some soup and a fruit cup while Richie went to Quizno’s and got a sub (no fair). The nurse came back at about 1:00, set me back up on the monitors, and checked me again. There was no change. We waited for a couple more hours, I tried to take a nap, and Richie checked work emails and surfed the web on his laptop. Luckily, we had a TV to watch, too. So, we watched Daytona practice on the Speed Channel. The doctor finally showed up about 3:15 and my contractions had spread out to about every 7 minutes. She checked me and there was still no change. She said that the contractions just weren’t strong enough to put me in labor. She also said that if I was 39 weeks or farther along, they might consider giving me some pitocin to strengthen the contractions and let me have the baby right then. But, they won’t intervene earlier than 39 weeks. She said I could either go home and try to get some rest, or they could heavily sedate me and see if the contractions get any stronger. I chose the first option! After the doctor left, the nurse told me to take some ben.adryl or even drink a glass of wine to help me relax and go to sleep.
We were discharged and went home. We decided to eat an early dinner at Outback with a giftcard from Christmas.. yum! Then, Richie left to hang out with some friends for the evening (they live about 5 miles away, so he could always make it back home in a hurry!). I relaxed on the couch and went to sleep. The rest of the weekend, the contractions basically went away. We went to Greensboro on Saturday night to celebrate my dad’s birthday a week early. It was great to hang out with my family… it had been a while! Sunday, Richie and I went to Ikea and bought a bookshelf for the nursery. Later, we went to our friend Jay’s house to watch the Super Bowl. I’ve been living like a hermit for the past 6 months or so, so it was nice to get out and hang out with some friends.
Monday I had a doctor appointment and I was hoping that she would check me and say that I had progressed. No such luck. I’m still 1 cm. But, she did say that the baby had dropped and that the contractions are a very good sign. I asked if there was anything I could do to move this along, and she said the only thing that has been proven to work is sex. Right…. just what I feel like doing right now. The rest of the appointment was fine… my blood pressure was good, I had lost 2 pounds since last week, and I was measuring right on track. My weight gain now totals about 35 pounds.. not too bad! However, last week I did start getting stretch marks… boo! I thought I was going to escape them! I think they happened because the baby dropped. They’re right around my belly button. Oh well… it’ll all be worth it 🙂
Today Richie has a huge work meeting, and I promised him that I would not try to get the baby out until after it was over. So, tonight I am going to take a long walk and try to coax her out. My contractions have been stronger yesterday and today.. some of them are even a little painful. So, I hope they are a sign of early labor! My dad’s birthday is on Saturday. How awesome would it be for them to share a birthday! However, I know that my due date is still a week and a half away. I could potentially have several more days of this so I’m trying not to get my hopes up.
Overall, I feel pretty good. My feet are still huge and my hands have started swelling. The joints in my fingers hurt so bad, I can hardly clench my fists. I’m still having heartburn and I get waves of nausaea. Sleep doesn’t come in more than 2 hour increments. I go to the bathroom constantly. Thankfully, Mackenzie stays very active. I was worried that the contractions would hurt her in some way, but she seems to be unaffected. Her movements are a lot smaller, but she still nudges and pokes at me all day. I have had a wonderful pregnancy overall, and I am very thankful for that.