Random Musings

I’m sick of Braxton Hicks

On Monday, I was driving up from Spanish Fork after dropping off an application for the perfecter place. I’d been having mild contractions fairly regularly for some time, so I decided to time them. The first four I timed were 3–4 minutes apart. (You’re supposed to go to the hospital when you have contractions 4–5 minutes apart for an hour straight.) Freaking out, I called Jon Boy. I had Lego in the car, I didn’t have a bag packed, and I was an hour from home. The only person I know well in Utah County is my sister, and she has an erratic and busy schedule. I had no idea if she could come rescue me if it came to that. I had NOT planned to go into labor this early! I was still almost a month away from my due date.

I continued to have contractions all the way home, but they did space out to every 5–6 minutes or so. Once home, I called my OB/GYN’s office to see what to do. They said I should go to Labor and Delivery if I kept having them that close together in the next half hour or so. I decided to try to relax instead. Really, they weren’t that strong—I’d been able to drive unimpaired with them, after all. After relaxing for half an hour, they’d slowed way down, and by evening, they were 20 minutes apart or more.

Tuesday evening, I had another episode like that—an hour and a half of contractions every 5–6 minutes. Again, they weren’t that strong, and I was able to continue making and eating dinner. But they weren’t slowing down, either, and I’d done all the standard things they tell you to do to try to slow down labor. I called Labor and Delivery to see what I should do, and also to see whether they’d try to stop my labor. Apparently you’re considered “term” at 37 weeks, which means the baby’s lungs are usually developed enough that he’ll be just fine, if small. (I will be 37 weeks tomorrow.) The nurse said that they wouldn’t try to stop labor if I came in, but that it would be better for the baby to delay it as long as possible if I could. She advised me to take a warm bath and lie down, so I did. The contractions slowed noticeably, and I went to bed.

At 2:00 a.m., I woke to go to the bathroom. After that, I couldn’t sleep because of frequent contractions once again. Finally I gave up on sleeping and read some stuff online about how to know when you’re really in labor. It seemed I wasn’t—or if I was, it was really early labor. Two hours later, the contractions were still regular and close together and still not strong. I was exhausted, so I lay down and tried to at least rest. Sometime over an hour later, I finally fell asleep. Half an hour after that, Lego woke up for the day. I thought I would die.

I told Jon Boy when he woke up that he probably shouldn’t go to work. He drove me to my prenatal appointment at 9:20, where I found out that I’m dilated almost three centimeters. I wasn’t having many contractions by that point, so he went to work. The rest of yesterday was pretty boring. I continued to have intermittent contractions, but they were weak and not frequent.

I think I’m having more again today. I’ve had a few that come close together and hard, but never for very long periods of time.

Now that I’m accustomed to the idea of having this baby sooner than planned (and now that I have my hospital bag packed), all these false alarms are driving me nuts. I just want the contractions to either produce a baby or leave me alone. Also, it’s hard to focus on anything mundane when “Will I have the baby today?” is looming over my head.


  1. Yeah, I hope the baby just decides to come out already, especially if you’re dilated that far. By the way, Little Dude showed up at exactly 37 weeks and he weighed 7 pounds and was fully developed. Babies can really vary in birth weight during the last few weeks; our friends’ baby was barely 5 pounds at 38 weeks (her lungs were fine at least). Good luck!

  2. I feel for you Ruth. Let’s just hope you don’t have to endure much more of the false labor and can get on with the real stuff soon. We are praying for you and the dear little guy you are carrying.

  3. I had Wes at 36 weeks 5 days and he wasn’t in bad shape, but he had to stay longer in the hospital(which was expensive!). It’s funny how some babies rush into the world and others take their time. Was your first labor/delivery experience much different from this one?

  4. That sounds terrible! Here’s hoping he’s ready to be born soon! And that you get some good sleep.

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