This morning started like any other. After a warm, refreshing shower, I was drying off and about to get dressed when I felt it.
Sharp, excruciating pain in my groin.
Regular readers know that I had been having pain in my groin area — sorta like I was kicked repeatedly in the crotch — for months now. However, this was a lot worse than usual. I gasped for air and grabbed the bedpost for support. Every time I moved the pain would intensify, leaving me standing yet crouched over in agony, praying for relief.
After about five minutes the pain lessened somewhat and I was able to move again. It was then that I noticed the aching in my lower back and abdomen.
I sat down and took deep breaths. After about a minute the aching subsided…only to return again in a few minutes. I tried my best to time the pains in fear that they might be contractions. Luckily, they did not seem regular and the level of pain remained manageable.
Still, I was worried. I had been experiencing braxton-hicks contractions for months now, some of them painful, but never had I experienced this level of pain. I decided to call my doctor’s office.
After listening to my story, the doctor on call advised me to stay put for now. He told me to drink lots of water and pay close attention to the pain to see if they intensify or become more regular. He also advised me to keep watch for any bleeding and/or leaking fluids. If any of these were to happen, I was to head on over to labor & delivery.
It has been about three hours since I spoke to the doctor. The pain continues to come and go, but not at regular intervals. It also continues to stay manageable — I am still able to talk through the pain and walk around, albeit at a slower, more deliberate pace.
However, I have been noticing other symptoms of impending labor:
- Loose bowels
- The need to pee every half hour (even just yesterday I was able to hold off on peeing for hours at a time)
- Increased pressure “down there.” It almost feels like something’s about to pop, if that makes any sense.
- Increased fetal movement. Although some women report decreased fetal movement as a sign that labor is imminent, this is still out of the ordinary for me.
- Walking around or changing positions seems to intensify the pain. Braxton-hicks contractions would have the opposite effect.
Despite these symptoms, I’m pretty sure that I am NOT in labor, at least not just yet.
I have been keeping myself busy by re-reading all the sections in my pregnancy books and websites on preparing for labor and what to expect. I have also started to wash all the baby’s clothes and blankets (four loads!) just in case she is planning to make her appearance soon.
I’m just a teeny bit nervous because J is at a conference for work today. Luckily, the conference is being held in Manhattan so he can hurry home if needed, but I’m scared that I may not be able to reach him quickly if the real contractions do start.
I remain surprisingly calm. Even if these contractions progress into full-blown labor, I plan to labor at home for as long as possible in order to avoid unnecessary interventions at the hospital. I know that we are ready for this baby — it’s just a matter of when she will get here. It may be as early as today, or she may want to stay put for another four weeks. All I can do is pray that she will be healthy when she arrives.