Braxton-Hicks Contractions: Friend or Foe?
At the end of each one of my pregnancies, something common to many expecting mothers begins to occur: “Braxton Hicks” contractions. I can never decide if they are a good thing or a bad thing. See the problem is that they are too easily mistaken for the real deal!!! I have had one bum trip to the ER with every single baby. Ridiculous, I know!
I REFUSE to fall for it this time, Hicks! I don’t care how regular you come, I will NOT waddle down to that hospital until I hurt so bad I cry, or it’s the day for my c-section. End of story.
There is something very humiliating about thinking you’re in labor, only to be told that you are not…and being sent back home. It always seems to occur exactly one week before I actually go into labor, so perhaps this means that today I am one week out from when real labor will begin. We shall see! My c-section is exactly a week away anyway.
So yes, I have had contractions all day long, and as the day has progressed, so have the contractions. This morning I only had occasional, non painful ones. Now I’m having them constantly, but only some of them actually hurt, so I KNOW this is not the real deal, and I will not be taken in.
The thing about having contractions this close to the end is that you start to have hope. Hope that you really are about to go into labor. Hope that this whole ordeal is really about to be over. Hope that you will soon get to hold your baby!
…..Then eventually the contractions stop completely, your uterus is quiet and calm and the pelvic pressure is gone, and all you’re left with is…..
Even as I have been writing this, my uterus has calmed down a good bit, and within the hour I’m sure I’ll be back to feeling like a semi-normal person again.
There are GOOD things about those contractions though. They really do prepare the body for labor. I have never had to start labor at ground zero. With Joshua, I was over 50% effaced before I started labor, with Caleb I was 2 cm dilated for a couple of weeks, and with Daniel I was 3 cm dilated for a couple of weeks.
I always spend the last few weeks having both non-contraction days and contraction days.
The last two days have been contraction days, but it is a good reminder that perhaps I should go ahead and pack my bag…