As I got ready for this week’s ultrasound and non-stress test (to keep an eye on my amniotic fluid levels since I had too much last week), I found myself wondering if maybe – just maybe – I wouldn’t pass the test and therefore maybe I’d be induced. (Between you and me, I’ve been against induction for my entire pregnancy, because I’ve heard that the contractions can be more intense due to the medication used to induce labor). At this point in the game, however, I’m more than ready to ‘get this party started’, no matter what the doctor suggests. Being pregnant actually was a much better experience than I could have imagined, but I’m now ready to meet my baby… and to be able to touch my toes again. 😉
It’s amazing how one takes touching their toes for granted until they can no longer do it!
Now the doctor has never mentioned induction to me; but – still – as I did my makeup, I wondered if maybe this was woman’s intuition telling me to bring my hospital bag with me to the hospital. Just in case! And even if I was wrong, there was no harm in being prepared! Better to have my hospital bags and to not need them, then to need them and have to go without.
I casually mentioned to Nate that we should probably bring the bags with us, just to be prepared, since we’d be driving the 20 minutes to the hospital. I didn’t want to make him nervous or too excited, so I didn’t mention why. Apparently, however, he had already come to the same conclusion, as the bags were already stashed in the Jeep.
On the drive to the hospital, he took my hand and said, “I’m so excited… and I’m proud of you, Babe! Are you nervous?”
Nervous for an ultrasound and a painless, non-invasive stress-test? No, not at all. So I shook my head ‘no’, although I now knew that he was thinking the same thing as me. Maybe today would be the day!
The ultrasound lasted an hour, and – as always – wasn’t painful. BUT it was really uncomfortable for me. Every so often, Brady would stretch out his little legs, pushing against my rib cage and straining my abdomen muscles against the wire in my bra, making it feel as though I was about to pull a muscle…or crack a rib. 😉 Whenever I felt my muscles tense up like that, I’d try to adjust my posture to find a bit of relief, figuring that the way I was lying on the table was probably tensing my muscles.
I was a little disappointed to learn that my amniotic fluid levels were up even more, since they had already been too high before. But I was relieved to learn that Brady is still doing well. That’s all that ultimately matters!
Upstairs in Labor and Delivery, I was hooked up for the non-stress test. Again, I could feel the sudden tensing in my upper abdomen, near my rib cage, and the tightness around my bra strap increased.
“This bra is going to be the death of me,” I muttered to Nate, pulling up my bra a bit so that it didn’t strain so tightly.
Just then, the nurse came back in and asked, “Did you realize that you’re having contractions?”
Wait, what?!? All this time, I had thought the tensing was just baby Brady stretching out against my ribs, when it was actually my body contracting! This type of contraction was different than the other Braxton Hicks contractions I had experienced, which were more like light cramping. Now that I knew it was a contraction, it made sense to me, as I really could feel the tightening muscles! When I told the nurse that I had thought that my bra was just too tight, her eyes widened and then she just started to laugh. At first, I felt kind of stupid. But then, images of me going into labor and popping off my bra thanks to a really strong contraction came into my mind, and I started to giggle too.
Now that would be a story to tell one day! 😉
The test lasted about an hour, and I had several light contractions during the course of it. One of the last contractions was particularly strong (although not painful), so I told Nate that they did seem to be getting a bit more powerful.
“Are you timing them?” Nate asked, sitting up straight, the TV forgotten. “Is anyone timing them?”
His concern was really sweet, but I quickly assured him that they were hardly five minutes apart or a minute long. These types of contractions can go on for days before labor!
Another nurse walked in then as if sensing my husband’s concern and said, “You are free to go home now!”
My blood pressure was elevated, but not so severely that they were overly concerned. But still, it was the first time in my pregnancy that it was actually high. 😦 But again, Brady wasn’t showing any signs of distress, so it was okay for us to go home.
Now that I knew what the light contractions felt like, however, I was more aware of them. And I realized that I was getting them quite frequently throughout the rest of the day. So even if it’s not quite ready yet (and even if Nate and I needlessly brought along hospital bags to my appointment), my body is definitely preparing for D-Day… which will be SOON!
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s doctor appointment to find out if I’m dilated at all!! 🙂