We thought we were going to be having a baby there for a minute!
Last night was definitely exciting, to say the least!
I'd been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions all day, so I took it pretty easy- let the daycare baby play at my feet while I sat in the easy chair to knit.
We don't have our birthing pool yet, so I really wasn't keen to go into labor- not to mention the bedroom and kitchen (which our bedroom opens off of) were a total mess still. Remodeling does take it's toll! And, since we're planning a home birth, I really wanted my environment put together and cleaned up!
So, Pete got home from work yesterday afternoon, the daycare kids headed off home for the weekend, and we headed to town to pick up a few last minute things for the bedroom.
First, we went to supper. It was good food, but it got pretty hard to concentrate on eating when what had been mild contractions started getting more frequent, and less mild.
*CONTENT WARNING: To those who may be squeamish about correct bodily terms being used, or about any further description of what started happening body-wise for me, stop reading now! :D
I had been feeling a lot of movement (at the time I thought maybe it was the baby kindly head-butting or kicking me) against my cervix throughout the day, but by the time we were at the restaurant that "movement" became serious! I could tell things were starting to feel "softer"- quite often the contractions would cause some sharp pain in that area- nothing that lasted more than a second or two, but definitely getting my attention!
We proceeded to Lowe's to pick up our blinds, curtain rod, door knobs, and various other items, and were planning on making a quick stop at the grocery store after that to pick up a few things for the week to come.
By the time we were ready to check out though, we thought better of stopping anywhere else. Pete wanted to get as much done that evening as he could, and I needed to be on my way to an all day conference the next day at 7:00 a.m., then head to our last baby shower that evening. So, we headed for home- he was going to work, and I was going to head to bed.
The contractions kept up on the way home- not too frequent, just enough to keep me aware of them in the back of my mind. We got home, and I sat down for a few minutes to check some things on the computer before I headed to bed.
It was then that I noticed the contractions seemed to be getting rather regular- about every 15-20 min. or so.
Hmmmm, I thought. Okay, maybe I'll wait up a while and see what's going on here. I started browsing through our information to figure out how to tell the difference between false/pre-labor and the start of early/actual labor. I read that getting up and walking helps to figure this out- if it's false/pre-labor the contractions should lessen or go away. If it's early/actual labor, they would most likely increase in strength, length, and frequency. So, I started to walk.
They increased in frequency.
By this time I'll admit, I was (just slightly!) freaking out!
I'm not ready to have this baby tonight!- I don't have my birthing pool yet!- the house is still a mess!- were a few of the things going through my mind at this point.
Pete was GREAT throughout this! :D
He stayed so calm and cool for me- and convinced me to call our moms for advice as to what to do next. (I was hesistant to call the midwife yet for some reason- I think I was in denial or something!)
So, we called- the grandmas-to-be were excited, but both strongly suggested we call the midwife (duh!). :)
So, I went ahead and called the midwife. She's such a sweet lady, and so calm (I probably would be too, after delivering nearly 700 babies in my career!!!), and she let me tell her all about the day's progression and what was happening now.
She really gave me a shot of confidence when she told me that I was describing what I was going through very well (especially since I felt so flustered at this point, I was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to be clear about the day and what was happening). She said that from everything I was describing that yes, these were real contractions. She said (again, from what I described of the day) that the baby had dropped into the birthing position, which can cause regular contractions like that. I mentioned that I didn't have the birthing pool yet, and wouldn't be able to pick it up for a couple of days. She suggested taking some herbs that, if it truly wasn't time to go into full labor yet, should help slow and possibly stop the contractions. She said to try that, try to get some sleep, and call her back right away if I couldn't sleep through the contractions or if they began to get really close together. She also explained how to time the contractions, which I had been trying to do, but didn't feel like I knew what I was doing!
So, that's what we did. I took the herbs and continued to putter about the house to see what would happen, while Pete kept track of the timing. We kept track for over an hour, and found out right away that they were already only about 4 min. apart, on average, and were getting longer and stronger!
We called our friends and family that wanted to know when labor started (so they could plan to be here soon after the baby was born), letting them know that yes, we were having real contractions, and that they were really close together, but not to come just yet- we were still waiting to see if they would continue.
By about 1:00 a.m. the herbs had taken effect, and the contractions were slowing and fading. I crawled into bed to see if they would stay at bay and if I could get some sleep, while Pete stayed up to finish the bedroom (this was quite the wake up call for both of us, to say the least, that we needed to get things ready ASAP!).
I slept well, and didn't get up again until 5:00 a.m. when I had another couple contractions. Pete came to bed shortly after that, and we both decided it would be wisest to skip my conference today and take it easy.
So, we slept in, called the midwife back and updated her, called the family & friends and updated them, and have been spending the day at home- Pete's finishing the trim in the bedroom as I type, and I've been puttering here and there, gathering things together for the birth in one place.
I'm headed to the baby shower this evening (as long as things stay calm!), and when I get back we'll be moving into our new bedroom!
So, we're nearly there- in more ways than one!
The midwife said this morning that, after a session of contractions/early labor like that, it could still be a few weeks before she's ready to come for real, but often it's a sign that things are moving right along and it won't be a lot longer.
So, here's to the next hours/days/weeks! We're excited to see what happens (and to get that birthing pool here!)!