Third baby. Third labor. Turns out, false labor can still fool me.
I woke up at midnight to a strong pulling sensation. My back was in a lot of pain and the pain seemed to come in waves. I have a few friends and family members who experienced back labor, as well as read a number of books that discuss the beginning of labor. One of the signs is back ache, or cramping. I continued to experience cramping in my back, as well as rolling back pain for six hours before really believing that it was baby time.
JD went in for his 4:30 am shift at the Courthouse Athletic Club with instructions to come home as soon as a replacement came in. He was back around 6 am. We got up, woke up my mom, texted my mother in law and started making arrangements for the day, including notifying Erin, the birth photographer who lives a couple hours away. I had a pedicure scheduled at 7:15, and since the pain was minimal, I kept the appointment. JD drove me for a very relaxing pedicure (compliments of our awesome pastor’s wife, Pam). After the pedicure we made plans to walk in order to get things going. When I was in labor with Claire, walking was the best way to speed up labor. I still felt cramping sensations and constant back pain (a very new sensation for this pregnancy) though they were hard to identify as contractions. Having never had back labor, I assumed it was still just early labor. Erin arrived in town but hung out at a coffee shop while JD, the girls, and I took a long walk around the neighborhood.
I had one very decent contraction and continual back pain throughout our walk.
At 10, my mom and mother in law took the girls to swim lessons and lunch. I walked to Starbucks (at least a mile) and met with a couple friends while my back pain continued. Still entirely convinced that July 25 was baby day. After Starbucks, Erin and I grabbed lunch to go and headed home. We chatted over turkey clubs and reuben sandwiches until I became very tired. JD had been snoozing off and on to gear up for the hard stuff. Erin grabbed a book and I went to take a nap. A couple hours later, I woke up. Panicked that I wasn’t in labor. My back still hurt but nothing was moving beyond the back pain and occasional rolling sensations around my middle. I finally decided to call the midwives because everything was so odd.
“Can you time the contractions?”
“….. actually not really.” Duh. How many times have I done this? I mean, granted back labor is different and I chalked everything up this time just being back labor, but I should have at least had measurable contractions.
“Come on in and we’ll check you out.”
My mom, JD and I drove to the midwives where I was checked. The midwife said my abdomen didn’t look like I was carrying a posterior baby (Cause of back labor is when the baby’s head is against the sacrum) and that her little bum was in great position. She was very excited about this because, in her words, “I like you. I don’t want you to have to experience back labor.” After an internal exam, we came to the sobering conclusion that I was not, in fact, in labor. Still dilated to almost 3, with 60% effacement. My back pain was just back pain, and combined with the usual contractions I experience, looked a lot like back labor.
17 hours later, my labor was not labor at all. As if this were my first time doing this.
I’m choosing not to think of the day as wasted. There were many beautiful parts of today – lovely people, photography lessons, a pedicure, lots of walking, a nap (!), good food… all reasons to rejoice over the day the Lord has made. Baby girl is sitting happy and healthy, most likely NOT posterior in my belly, and we wait another day. The girls are doing well – very excited and anxious for baby sister to come, but they’re absolutely loving the grandma attention from both grandmas. El wants to sleep with nonnie because she “really likes her.”
I hate being a ticking time bomb and am praying that the third sister comes soon. I am so so glad my mom is here to help spend the time as we wait. It’s such a joy to have her company and help, and I’m also incredibly thankful for my mother in law who watched the girls in the afternoon.
We had a smooth practice run today!!
Come on baby girl, we’re ready.
ps – exhausted as I write this. You’ll have to excuse the quick ending