Well I didn't want to get you all too excited by reporting about this stuff earlier, but as there are other first time mom's-to-be out there, I suppose this could give you an idea of what to expect. I had been having Braxton-Hicks (or Toni Braxtons as Andy likes refer to them as) for a couple of weeks, if not longer. They basically feel like your tummy all of a sudden becomes a hard ball. I didn't feel any pain with them and mostly ignored them. Well on Thursday night things changed. As patient as I have been trying to be, it is hard not to get a little excited when a "signal" appears. On Monday, my estimated due date, I got my first signal....a pretty whimpy one really, but I lost a bit of my mucus plug. For those of you squeemish about bodily fluids, let me tell you this was really gross. My friend Lynn refers to them as crotch loogies and that is basically what it looks like. So that was really my first sign. But back to Thursday when the real adventure began. At around 10p actual contractions showed up and scared the shit out of me. They were more intense, like severe period cramping. After a few of them, I turned to Andy and said 'I'm scared'. He talked me through it though and reminded me that this was just what needed to happen to get Nugget here. I remembered what my midwife said. If my contractions started late at night I should try my best to ignore them and try to get some sleep. That took some serious effort, let me tell you. I went through just about every relaxation technique I could think of. I think I was able to get a little bit of sleep in between waking up to breathe through them, and then at around 3:40a I caught a break and they stopped enough for me to sleep until 6am when my alarm went off. Things were still happening, but they seemed to have slowed down so I decided to go to work.
After a couple hours there my co-workers kicked me out. Apparently when you tell people you've been having contractions they get really nervous. I was still having them, but by then I had figured out how to manage through them and relax. When everyone told me to go home, I decided not to argue, you all know how bored I have been at work. I could think of a million things I would rather be doing. I decided to stop at the bank on the way home and then grab a blizzard at DQ (figured it might not be long that I could use Nugget as an excuse to eat them). Then I went to get an oil change. If there is one tip I can give you ladies now that I have figured out what a long process this can be, do whatever you can to keep yourself distracted from sitting around thinking about your contractions. Don't overdo things, but there is no need to sit at home and wait. After my oil change I came home and took a short nap, figuring I had only had at most 4 hours of sleep on Thursday night and if this fella was going to come soon I would need my rest.
I had called my midwife to see if she would still want me to come in at 1:30p as planned and she said as long as I could drive comfortably. Well driving wasn't exactly comfortable, but again just breathing through the contractions seemed to manage them. I was hoping to get to my appointment and hear the words '5 cms dilated', but instead I heard the words 'your cervix is pointed back towards your spine'. Damn. She tried to move it forward so she could measure the opening (fun detail for you there) but apparently I have a stubborn cervix. Basically what all this means is, it is hard to say what, if any, progress there might be. But she could feel the head, meaning he has moved down significantly. So that is a good sign at least. Glass half full right? She pep talked me saying it could still be a few days. Things would probably speed up at night, but I should again keep trying to get some sleep and relax.
Andy's mom flew in at 5pm so when Andy got home from school we went to pick her up. I was so glad he got home just before it was time to leave so he could drive. Andy and I had already decided part of our Nugget Eviction 2011 plans would be to have a major amount of sex. Luckily Andy's mom was planning to stay with his sister, but let's just say Andy was surprisingly unmotivated to get some last night. What? A man not interested in sex when given the opportunity? What a werido. After his sister got off work, she came over and we ordered pizza. Then Andy proceeded to show them a couple of documentaries he likes. I decided not to make too big a deal of it, even though the hormonal pregnant girl wanted to be like 'okay get out, sexy time'. He hasn't seen his mom in a long time and despite what a big talker he is, I figured he was a little excited to spend time with her. I went down and got ready for bed giving Nugget a good talk that it would be great if we could get some sleep tonight. And Success! I did wake up at 12:30 and 3:40, but I considered that pretty good sleep considering it could have been much worse. At 3:40 I was feeling pretty awake. I contemplated whether Andy would respond to a booty call.....boy was he grumpy! But here's the deal. My midwife said that according to her experience the best way to really get labor going is to have sex 3 times within 24 hours. Well if you get number 1 taken care of at 4am it felt like a good jump on the day :). After a little more coercion (basically reminding him that no man on earth would feel bad for him right then) Andy acquiesced.
Then we both passed back out. To my surprise, when we woke up at 9, Andy was much more agreeable. So there ya go. Two times down, one to go. But we are entering day two of contractions and it could still be a while. Damn. I am doing a little bit of timing right now (FYI www.contractionmaster.com). And while last night they were 30 seconds long and 6 minutes apart, this morning they are 30 seconds and 9 minutes apart. But I have decided not to let this get me down. I did get a semi-decent night's rest. At least if this is going to be a multi-day process I won't be really super worn out by the time the pushing has to begin. Slow and steady I can handle.
According to my midwife, this type of labor is really typical for first time moms. Generally speaking the contractions get gradually more intense so you are able to adjust to each new level and while the breaks in progress can be frustrating, they do allow you to rest up. So that is where things are at people. While I was excited to potentially have had a baby by today, I have figured out that it could be a couple more days. Hopefully not, hopefully our Eviction "efforts" will make things really happen. Bret flies in tonight. She has a degree in neuromuscular massage so she promises to do everything she can, with pressure points and what not, to get Nugget out. I wish there was more to report, but I am glad there is at least something to report. At least it looks like Nugget has some sort of plan to come out. I won't actually be pregnant forever, which, I have to admit, I was starting to wonder if that was a possibility.
Okay now I am off to eat some food and walk my big pregnant ass around the neighborhood, maybe play some Dance Dance Revolution. You know basically do whatever I can to get things to pick up.