I started feeling contractions on Friday morning. They weren’t anything crazy, other than they started feeling a bit more intense than the Braxton Hicks I had been experiencing for the past month or so. We had just been at the midwife, confirming that baby girl was head-down, and I was GBS positive- which I wasn’t surprised about, as I was last time around, as well- but it meant I needed to get to the hospital right away, in the case my water broke. I had asked the midwife my chances of having my water break- she said it was about 50/50, and that even though it broke last time around, there wasn’t any way to predict whether or not it would, this time. I told her I had been feeling some contractions but they were still irregular and not incredibly intense. She told me she was on call that weekend, that Saturday would be a good day to have a baby! Though I didn’t want Wren to come too early (I was just over 37 weeks, at this point- Sage was born at 37 weeks 1 day), I held onto hope that if she was coming early, it would be when my midwife was on call. I texted my mom and told her I was feeling contractions but I wasn’t sure if they meant anything. We went about our regular day, picking Sage up from school, and we hung out for the afternoon- packed my diaper bag, which had just come in the mail, my husband made us dinner and we hung out as a family. Contractions subsided by mid-evening and I got a good night’s sleep.
On Saturday morning I woke up to go for a walk at my favorite nature reserve. I was feeling a bit tired, but good, and I wasn’t feeling any contractions to speak of. I went on my walk, wondering if it would be the last one I would take, pregnant (turns out I was right). I spent most of the day without any contractions, so my hopes of having her on the weekend started to dissipate. Sunday morning was our monthly Women’s Ministry meeting and on top of the back pain I had been having towards the end of my third trimester, I was feeling regular, but mild contractions again. I decided to skip out on church and lay on the couch listening to a sermon instead, to save up energy for the afternoon’s festivities. It was our local Halloween walkabout, and by 1pm I was feeling pretty good, so we decided to attend. I was still feeling contractions regularly, though they weren’t consistent- so I ignored them and went about my day, though I remember thinking “this really does feel like early labor…” the contractions were not consistent enough to make me think anything serious was happening. I went to bed and had a horrible night’s sleep, waking up often with back pain and contractions and (TMI alert) I started having some uncomfortable digestive problems as well, that indicated labor might be imminent.
Monday rolled around and I was supposed to be meeting a friend to chat about about one of our upcoming MOPS events. I considered cancelling because of the night before, but decided it would be a good distraction. I had Nick drop me off after we dropped Sage at school, because driving was not happening with the back pain I had been experiencing, and we ended up chatting for three hours. All the while, I was feeling consistent, mild contractions- but again, nothing too crazy. Until about an hour later. We picked Sage up from school, and Nick went in to get her while I relaxed in the car. I felt one contraction that was distinctly more intense than the ones prior, and continued to have more intense contractions on the way home. “I think this might be real,” I told Nick. He shrugged it off (I had been having contractions on and off the whole weekend, remember) and not wanting to get my hopes up, I tried to ignore it as well.
We pulled into our driveway and as soon as I stood up out of the car, I felt what I thought was a gush of fluid. Nervous it was my water, I asked Nick to not leave, and I rushed up the stairs to use the bathroom, hoping I wouldn’t have a larger gush- but nothing else came out. As soon as I pulled my leggings down in the bathroom I saw that it wasn’t my water, but in fact my mucous plug (gross, I know). This was part a relief- it wasn’t my water, but it did signal that something was indeed happening (though losing your mucous plug doesn’t mean you’re in labor- just that your body is preparing for it). I texted my friend on and off, and she was sure it was happening— even though I didn’t want to get my hopes up, her excitement was encouraging, and I started to feel like this might actually be it! I was tired from the night before, so I did my best to rest in the afternoon, while playing with Sage on and off. Contractions were coming consistently, but irregularly, and they were definitely more intense. I hadn’t experienced early labor last time (my water broke before I had any contractions) so all of this was new to me! Though still inconsistent and mild, the contractions were uncomfortable, and sitting wasn’t feeling great- so Sage and I went for a short walk around the neighborhood, and moving felt good. I prepped a quick dinner- my favorite puerto rican beef, texting Nick telling him I was too tired to mash sweet potatoes, so I’d make rice instead (of course he was totally fine with this, looking back I find it so funny that I even made dinner during early labor!). I was SO happy I made and enjoyed that filling, nutrient-dense dinner— I’d need the energy, later on! Nick put Sage to bed and I alternated resting on the couch and bouncing on my exercise ball, whichever felt good. Nick and I watched a couple shows, but I was starting to feel a bit anxious, knowing the contractions were consistently more intense, and starting to getting closer. He suggested we head to bed around 10, in case it was the real thing, I’d want to get some rest. We laid down and decided to time the contractions- since they weren’t lessening when I laid down, any more. They were about 6 minutes apart, and 40 seconds long, at this point- so I texted my mom and told her there was a good chance we’d be calling her, later that night to come get Sage! As soon as I laid down to try and rest, the contractions began to pick up more. I tossed and turned for a bit, too excited to sleep, knowing active labor was likely imminent. At 11:35 I felt a pop and a gush, and as soon as I stood up I knew my water had broken. I rushed to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, where a bit more water came out. Just like last time, there was no huge dramatic breaking of waters, but more like a few gushes, so I put a pad in my underwear and pulled on my leggings, calling for my husband to call the hospital and let them know we were leaving soon. He called the hospital and my mom, and she told us she would meet us there. To be continued...