All the Different Contractions So Far!

Today I am 38 weeks and counting! The baby may not care about my plans, but I am hoping that I go into labor a week from now! I’ll be 39 weeks, it will be after New Years, I won’t have to use up any maternity leave on short weeks, it will be a week before this baby’s cousin’s birthday so they don’t have to share parties (unless it just works out that way, I guess), and my mom could get a flight out on Friday night or Saturday! Wish me luck getting the baby to come at the perfect time haha…

I have experienced four different types of contractions so far.

  1. Braxton Hicks: I’ve had these for a long time, and didn’t know what they were at first… They happen at random intervals of time and my tummy would just get all hard and I wouldn’t even notice half the time unless I happened to be touching my belly.
  2. Painful post-nookie/early labor contractions: Intense pelvic pressure and lower back pain… belly contractions rock hard and just a few minutes apart lasting for a few hours.
  3. Early labor/rhythmic BH: These feel pretty much like Braxton Hicks contractions, but are at short, rhythmic intervals – when I’ve timed them, they’ve been anywhere between 4 and 7 minutes apart for hours on end.
  4. Stronger early labor: I feel like I’ve been punched in the chest- my heart rate picks up and I start breathing harder, then about ten seconds later my tummy gets all hard. These are actually very distracting- last night I got them right as I was trying to go to sleep and they weren’t letting up, so I actually had to get up, have a glass of wine and read a magazine for a bit before they lessened enough for me to get some sleep.

I can see why so many women would rush to the hospital thinking they are in labor since there are so many different sensations… I have heard from a lot of women that labor contractions feel different and you’ll just know when you’re in labor for real, but I’m not so sure about that. I am slightly concerned that I will be just waiting for it to go away like I usually do, and before I know it, I’ll be so far along that it’s a rush to get my midwife and doula there!

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