More like labour pains in the …. sorry, I’ll keep it pg folks. These past few days have been quite frustrating for me. Pains here, aches there, braxton hicks…they never tell you how long the ‘early labour’ process really is.
It all started last Tuesday. Ryan and I were putting together our new UPPAbaby Vista stroller when I started having (what I thought were) contractions. I started writing down when they were happening and they seemed to be pretty consistent for about two hours only to completely stop. I messaged my mom, my sister, my best friends, my sister in law, mother in law (you get the point) only to find out it was false labour. How was I supposed to know what a Braxton hicks contraction and a ‘real’ labour contraction were supposed to feel like?
Did you know that even when your labour pains start it can take 8-12 hours before you even head to the hospital? Did you know that your contractions can start and stall making for days before things really start to pick up? I didn’t. Well that’s what google has told me anyways. Trust me, I’ve been a search engine queen every night over the past week.
Here’s what I know now…
- Braxton hicks can be painful and uncomfortable. They can feel like your muscles are getting really tight all around your belly. If you have some water and lie down it can help them go away. If you move around you can usually move out of the sensation. This is NOT the case with real contractions. If you move around they will persist and if you walk around they won’t go away.
- Real labour pains feel like really bad menstrual cramps (so I’ve been told). These can start out like very mild menstrual cramps and can last for about 40 seconds. They can start out being anywhere from 30-60 mins apart.
- Only 10-15% of women actually experience their water breaking. Crazy right!?!? So if you’re waiting for this “moment” it’s important to note that you might not even experience it in the first place.
So, from what I believe I was having braxton hicks contractions last Tuesday night. Whoopsie. On Sunday we actually had a bit of a scare though. I called the hospital and they asked us to come in to be assessed. Thankfully, everyone is ok and the baby is just as healthy as always. I did have some mild cramping but the doctor assured me it was just braxton hicks contractions.
Today, I was woken up by strong menstrual cramping. First at 7:30 then 8:30… then 9 … 9:30 and so on. At 12:30pm all of it stopped. WHAT THE HECK!? Anyone else go through this? I wish things would just start and keep rolling. Instead, I feel like I’m going a bit crazy trying to decide if I should give my mom a heads up to drive home from Ottawa or give my sister the cue to drive back from Sudbury. Who would have thought your body and mind would play tricks on you like this when you’re ready to deliver. Regardless, I fell asleep this afternoon and magically all the cramping stopped. Another false alarm? Or is my labour just stalling for a bit before things really start to pick up? Will I be pregnant for another week? At this point it’s anyones guess.
Can you tell that this pregnant lady is ready to deliver yet? I am more swollen than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t even wear my bracelets because my wrists have gotten so large. My feet hurt, my back hurts… but it’s all for a great reason right? I’m honestly just trying my very best to sit on the couch (and stop nesting), watch some tv and get some work done. Although, napping has become a part of my daily routine and I’m not complaining about that. I’m hoping this baby comes ANY day now.
If you’ve experienced any of this during your last few weeks of pregnancy please let me know below. Maybe we can all feel a little more sane? I’ve actually read a lot of blogs and forums where women explain how they went through the same thing but they never follow up to tell us when they actually went into labour. Any ladies willing to share your experience below? I’d love to hear em.
***UPDATE: Exactly 18 hrs after writing this post, Jackie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Evelyn Anne. Stay tuned to find out all about her birth story.