Anyone who has ever experienced false labor knows one thing: It really sucks. When I was about a week away from my due date with the Boo, I thought I was in labor. My contractions were 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour, the magic 5-1-1 number they tell you. We called the doctor, we went to the hospital, the works. Then, they stopped. They had me walk around the maternity ward to restart contractions and it never happened. We opted to go home but the nurse told us we’d have this baby within 24 hours. Good thing we went home because he was born approximately 90 hours later. Yeah, nearly 4 days.
My mom tells of a similar experience with my sister, her first. Contractions, hospital, no contractions, walking, sent home. It is such a sad thing to be admitted to labor and delivery and then be sent home with the baby still inside. Picture the college walk of shame, only less dirty. It’s embarrassing. It shouldn’t be, but it feels that way. Feels like you don’t know what you’re doing, what you’re feeling. It just plain sucks.
On Friday, when contractions started around 4:30, I was cautious. You see, when the Boo was actually born, my water broke so I KNEW I was having him. Contractions began later. So, of course I was going to be cautious. I honestly didn’t know what it felt like to go into real labor with contractions. So we tracked them, we got the Boo to bed, we ordered dinner, and we waited. As the evening progressed they got longer and stronger and somewhat closer together. This is what they tell you to look for. They started to get really painful. I started to not be able to tell when they really began or ended, my belly was in a constant state of tightness. I was moaning. They were intense. This HAD to be it. Now, they were still 10-15 minutes apart start to start, but these suckers were lasting SEVEN MINUTES. I had not really heard of such long contractions. This ratio has to overrule the 5-1-1 scenario, right? So, we called in my sister for the BooBoositting and, once she arrived, we made the call to the doctor. I was convinced they’d say “Oh wow, seven minutes long? Pain level 4-5? Bring her in!” Yeah, no. The on-call doctor was insistent – wait until they are 5 minutes apart. Can this woman do math? If they’re 7 minutes long but 5 minutes apart START to START… whaaaa? I was crestfallen. Not only that, but had been having contractions for nearly 6 hours. Painful, long contractions. It was nearing bedtime. I was exhausted. I just wanted to get to the hospital, get checked, get the epidural, and get that little medicated rest before having to push.
Alas, it was not to be. 7 hours before contractions began, they stopped. They just stopped. I spent most of the night in and out of sleep hoping they would restart. Any small tightening was tracked. Any twinge was recorded. But, nothing. By morning, I was exhausted and distraught. All that pain, all that work, and no baby. I texted my mom and told her that this false labor was so much worse than the first time around. I didn’t go to the hospital, but knowing that I would have to start all over again after such a painful and exhausting experience was just awful.
Since my sister spent the night and had anticipated spending the weekend with the Boo, she ended up taking him on Saturday anyways and she, my Mom, and my niece took care of him until Sunday morning, which allowed the Hubs and I ample and much needed rest and relaxation to recover from Friday night and gear up for what is to come. Whenever that is.
It is now Monday morning, 1 day past my due date, and we are still waiting. Evidently my babies like to fire a warning shot first. So, I’m hoping that once again my water breaks and we will know for sure when to head to the hospital. I am also hoping this comes before an induction, which would be scheduled for a week from now. Come on, little Baby Bean, everyone is ready for you. We can’t wait to meet you. Let’s get this show on the road. No more false alarms, OK?