37.5 weeks: The False Alarm edition

April 20, 2009 Jordana

The short version: The Ctenophore is still definitely on the inside.

The long version: Up until last Thursday, I was all, “La la la, this pregnancy is no trouble at all … I can easily survive the next few weeks!” On Thursday, I was all, “I can’t move! I can’t walk! I have to go to the bathroom all the time! This is terrible.” At my 37-week appointment on Friday, I found out why. The doctor went to check my cervix, and the first thing she said was (this is a direct quote), “Wow.”

I said, “Wow?”

She said, “There’s a head in your v*agina. So, if you feel like there’s a head in your v*agina, that’s why.”

The baby had dropped, giving me the odd sensation of walking around with a bowling ball between my thighs. Unfortunately, this means absolutely nothing as far as labor prediction goes, and I was only a centimeter dilated and not at all effaced.

On Sunday morning, I experienced a few odd but strong-ish contractions, which settled down into a regular 2-5 minute pattern of one-minute surges right around the time my pastor began his sermon (11:30-ish). When I got up to leave church, the contractions stopped, but they started up again in the car on the way home and as I got lunch together, and by 3:15, they were strong enough and consistent enough (4-5 minutes, mostly) that I went ahead and cancelled our dinner plans with friends, and alerted my parents, who picked up the kidlets. The Husbandlet and I headed to the hospital, full of happy excitement.

The triage nurse found that I was 3 centimeters dilated and not really effaced at all, so they kept me in triage for an hour to see if I progressed. The Husbandlet helped me out with some nipple stimulation, and soon I was having very, very strong surges every 2-3 minutes. However, after an hour, I was slightly more effaced but still only 3 cm dilated … still, the nurses were impressed enough with the intensity of the contractions that they admitted me.

There followed 5 hours of intense contractions and no dilation whatsoever. At 9:30 p.m., the nurse contacted my doctor, who said it was up to me whether I went home then or stayed the night … I was tired and frustrated and finding the surges convincingly uncomfortable, and I just couldn’t believe that all that contracting was for nothing, so I elected to stay. I took a shower and went to bed. The contractions stopped completely. At 1:30 a.m., I woke up to happy baby wiggles but no contractions, burst into tears, and asked to go home. This meant that the Husbandlet and I got to do the walk of shame past the nurses’ station with all our luggage and no baby at 2 a.m.

Ngaire and Liam woke up at their usual 6:15-ish, so today has been a tired day (also rainy and thus with an excuse for being cooped up) with a boring, sore Mommy. I’ve had the odd contraction and seem to be losing my mucus plug, but the hopes, they are not up. I’m trying to psychologically settle in for another three and a half weeks of intermittent false labor, just in case that’s what happens. I am also praying that, when the baby comes, s/he will come quickly, because yesterday was really disappointing and stressful; quite a difference from the happy rush that accompanied Liam’s birth. I’ve gone from feeling like a woman who can totally do this birthing thing, to a woman who can’t even tell if she’s actually in labor, and I would really, really like the Ctenophore’s delivery to wind up being a positive experience. I have a feeling that I’ll be so reluctant to make another fruitless hospital trip that I’ll probably wait too long and wind up delivering by the nurses’ station!

Things I learned yesterday: Pitocin is not available to women less than 39 weeks pregnant, even upon request. Also, according to the night nurse, third babies’ deliveries are “weird.” She said they are far more likely to wind up inducing third babies than second, and that thirds also cause a lot more false alarms. ALSO, if you tell the triage nurse that you’re definitely not going to want an epidural, she will stop, look at you funny, and say, “That was unexpected.”

So I guess yesterday wasn’t a total loss.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Papaya Mommy&hellip  | 

    Third child deliveries are weird? Hmmmm… I’m afraid my experience would support that claim only too well!

    Anyway, I’m so sorry about the false labor. I hope the real thing happens soon, and safely and beautifully.

    We’ve finally completed our move and are attempting to conquer a mountain of boxes in each room. We love being here!

    I’ll be praying for you & your family and the little one. Hope to hear happy news soon!

    Love, Heather

  • 2. Mary&hellip  | 

    Lots of hugs! So sorry for your frustration and discomfort. Prayers coming your way!

  • 3. kim&hellip  | 

    Hey, Jordana. No worries. . .I had a very similair experience with numero 3–can you spell HUMILIATION? And just when I thought I had the whole thing under my belt. I was hoping for a superfast Beatrix. . .but it was not to be. And, added to the fact that my contractions seemed to taper off as soon as I got to the hospital (ask Martin how embarrassed I was. . .I could barely ask for the Japanese food he was dying to go out and get me)–I put the hospital gown on backwards to the pert question of the just-graduated, cute little nurse who said, “Did you do that on purpose?” I couldn’t believe how novice I appeared but the midwife put my fears to rest by assuring me of the capricious, sneaky third baby. So. You’re in good company. I hope she/he comes fast anyway, too, in the end!

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