This morning, I woke up an hour earlier than usual with contractions. "I know I said I'd drive you to work today," I told Matt, "but I'm not sure that I can drive." He took the car, making me promise to actually time the contractions and keep him updated.
A hot shower didn't change anything; standing, walking, sitting, laying down... nothing made any difference in the contractions: they held pretty steady, about a minute long, two to five minutes apart. After two and a half hours, I gave in to the hope that maybe this wasn't prodromal labor, and called my midwife.
"It wouldn't hurt to come in and be checked," she said. Matt finished up his current project at work while I read five more picture books and herded Little Bear into his breakup boots. Little Bear was thrilled with the unexpected trip to Grandma's house, and Matt and I talked about how nice it would be if the baby really did come today all the way to the birth center.
We were there for not quite two hours. The contractions kept coming at the same close intervals, showing up on the monitoring strip to prove that I wasn't crazy to think I was feeling them, but... they weren't really doing anything. We were welcome to stay for another hour or two to see if things picked up, my midwife offered, but we opted to go get Little Bear from my mom's house and head back home. And by the time we were home, the contractions had completely disappeared. Again.
Six hours of prodromal labor this morning. How am I going to make myself believe that I'm in real actual having-the-baby-now labor before the baby is actively being born, y'all? This is definitely not doing anything for my confidence that we'll make it there in time, because if the contractions can come in a regular labor pattern for six hours and then stop? I don't want to go back in until it's inescapably obvious that labor won't be stopping until after the baby arrives. And now that I have confirmation that this time around, noticeable contractions do not mean that the baby's arrival is immanent, I'm feeling a lot more comfortable waiting until we reach the "inescapably obvious" point. Which miiiight be too late.
We'll see what happens, I guess! Hopefully soon. It seems like there are a number of saints associated with pregnancy or childbirth, but I don't know that any are directly tapped as intercessors for women who just want to have their babies already...
St Gerard Majella, patron of expectant mothers and unborn children, pray for us!
St Margaret of Antioch, patroness of expectant mothers and childbirth, pray for us!
St Anne, patroness of women in labor, pray for us!
St Erasmus, patron of women in labor, pray for us!
St Brigid of Kildare, patroness of babies and midwives, pray for us!
Any other suggestions for me?