Week 37 of pregnancy was definitely one of the most adventurous for me physically and emotionally. I had my first experience with Braxton Hicks contractions and it was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. As a first time mom-to-be in her final weeks of pregnancy, I am paying a lot of attention to every move that my body makes. I am basically relying on the advice that I’ll know it’s labor when it’s labor so I’m holding onto that thought every time my mind gets ahead of itself.
Around 6:30 pm on Thursday I started feeling contraction-like tightening throughout my abdomen. I had just eaten dinner so it didn’t surprise me that my baby was going a little wild due to the glucose rush, but his movements still felt stronger and more frequent than normal. I went on a walk with Tebow thinking it would calm the baby down, but by the time we got back home he was still moving like crazy. This movement paired with my stomach’s tightening / contracting lasted for hours into the evening. I tried to stay busy by vacuuming and cleaning the pantry, but the feeling never really stopped. I went ahead and started packing my hospital bag as I removed clean laundry from the dryer just in case. However, I doubted it was true labor because a) it wasn’t all that painful and just more uncomfortable and b) the contractions had no rhyme or reason and couldn’t be timed. My stomach would contract and just stay that way for 15-20 minutes at a time.
I laid down about 10:00 pm to try and get some sleep, and then woke up at 3:00 am with even stronger tightening along with lower back pain and cramping. Tim and I went back and forth about whether to call our OB office for advice or to even go to the hospital, but decided to wait it out at least another hour to see if the pain got worse. The contractions slowly subsided after about thirty minutes so we knew it wasn’t real labor at that point. I laid back down again and slept until 5:30 when my alarm went off for work. I haven’t had another similar episode, but ever since then I have definitely been on pins and needles. It was the first real sign of what’s to come and it’s encouraging to know that my body is preparing for the real thing!
Friday night Tim and I went out to dinner and then took Tebow on a walk to get frozen yogurt. This past Saturday we went to Columbus for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday party. It was a blast to watch her carry around her dolls and daintily eat her ‘smash’ cake. She is such a sweet and smiley little girl! Needless to say though I was exhausted by the time we arrived back home and I slept a solid 12 hours Saturday night. Sunday was devoted to taking a long family walk to the park, eating breakfast outside on our patio (coffee and donuts from one of my very favorite bakeries – Der Dutchmen!) and doing a lot of cleaning while Tim finished up painting the baby’s closet.
Cravings of the week:
- Icees have made a comeback and we found a local gas station that sells any size for $0.79 and they have a huge variety of flavors – Heaven!!
- Potatoes are still my favorite – whether in the form of French fries, hashbrowns, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or potato chips – I just can’t seem to get enough!
- Sweets have been craved more during this week of pregnancy too just like last week, which has been surprising compared to the previous months!
At this point of pregnancy I am definitely experiencing that feeling of just being done, and false labor pains can be a bit of a downer when feeling ready for the next stage. I have caught myself the last few days wishing for real labor to start, but I have tried to remind myself that he’ll come when he’s ready and there’s no need to rush! Until then I am going to focus on just spending time with Tim and Tebow and enjoying our last weeks as a family of three. Plus, there are a few more home and cleaning projects we are right in the middle of doing, so I wouldn’t mind getting a few more things completed before he comes. I am so excited that this coming weekend we have zero plans, and I told Tim I want to keep it that way! It’s very possible this could be our last weekend before he arrives and I want to soak it in together just he and I, and of course our sweet pup.
To all the moms out there – did you experience false labor pains? How did you decide what’s ‘real’ and what’s simply your body preparing for the ‘real’ thing? Any advice on knowing what’s actually labor besides the more obvious signs always shared in pregnancy books?