Saturday we were in Greenville for Caleb's shower. It was great seeing all of our friends from Greenville and spending some time with my family. Saturday night we drove back to Roanoke with the plan to spend Sunday relaxing, working in Caleb's nursery, and preparing to go back to school the next day.
We slept in on Sunday and then I woke up to make breakfast. At that point, I was feeling some tightness in my stomach, which I figured were just Braxton-Hicks contractions. At about 12:30, I started having a sharp painful feeling low in my stomach that would come on suddenly, last for about 30 seconds, and then go away. This started happening every 10 minutes or so. I thought it may be because I was sitting around and I needed to get up and move some. So Zeb and I worked on sorting through the things we had gotten at the shower. We hung all of Caleb's clothes in his closet, arranged them by size, and organized his dresser drawers. I was definitely in nesting mode.
I continued to have sharp pains that would come on suddenly, last for a few seconds, then go away. I kept watching the clock to see how frequently they were occurring. I decided it'd be best to call the doctor, so I explained to the nurse what was happening and she suggested changing what I had been doing (if I was sitting, walk around for awhile, or vice-versa), taking a shower or bath, drinking lots of fluids, and tracking how often I was feeling the pains. So I downed a bunch of Gatorade, took a shower, made stroganoff (yum!) for dinner, ate dinner, and watched some TV. The pains in my stomach kept happening, and at this point I had had more than 6 in an hour.
Now because I'm a first-time mom, I've never experienced contractions or labor, and I tend to overreact about changes in my body, I really didn't want to be one of those people who was overreacting about having contractions. But, because I had had so many sharp pains in a short time, I told Zeb I felt like we should go to Labor and Delivery (like the nurse had suggested if I had more than 6 sharp pains an hour).
Driving to the hospital, I had 3 sharp pains in 15 minutes. When we got there, I explained what had been happening and they took me back to the LDR triage. They did a urinalysis test, that showed some blood, hooked me up to the fetal heartbeat monitor and contraction monitor, and checked to see if I was dilating. Sure enough, I was having contractions but I wasn't dilating or effacing (signs of real labor). Because I was just at 35 weeks, the nurse gave me a shot to stop the contractions which she warned would make me feel jittery and make my heart race (she was right). She then made me drink a bunch of water and I stayed hooked up to the monitors for a few hours. She also said because the urinalysis showed blood there was a possibility I could have kidney stones or a bladder infection but we wouldn't know the results for a few days. After awhile, my contractions stopped hurting and weren't spiking on the monitor. The nurse checked me again and I still wasn't dilating, so I was cleared to go home.
The nurse assured us that we were right to come in and I hadn't overreacted at all because I was having true contractions, though I was not technically in labor. I am thankful for the experience because now I know what true contractions will feel like and I know the process of coming to the hospital, being checked, and getting hooked up to the monitors. For someone who has never been a hospital patient, never had any type of surgery, and never given birth, this was all very calming to me. Zeb and I loved sitting there watching and listening to Caleb's heartbeat change between 120-155bpm. The nurse told us this was a good sign that he was active and healthy. I like to say that it was somewhat of a practice run and now I definitely feel even more prepared and relaxed about my impending labor, which, according to my doctor, could definitely be more impending than we had originally thought. He said if my contractions start up again after this week, they won't really worry about stopping them because Caleb is already a healthy size and weight (he's fairly big already) and it wouldn't be risky. The lab results came back yesterday and I don't have kidney stones or a bladder infection, which is obviously a big praise.
We are so thankful to God that Caleb continues to grow and be healthy. Although him coming early would throw my work/maternity leave plans off significantly, I know that God is in control and He will provide for us. So, this could possibly be the last post I make before we become a family of 3, or my pregnancy could go on for another 4 weeks. Either way, I am so excited about being a mom and having a beautiful, healthy boy to hold.