June 19th came and went. June 20th. June 21st. June 22nd. Nothing.
I had a midwife appointment on Wednesday, June 23rd. I was 3-4 cm dilated, 60% effaced and #2 was at a -2 station. She said I was a prime candidate for membrane stripping, which is a simple procedure the doctor or midwife can perform that sometimes gets things moving. I agreed to it, since the risks are more or less nonexistent. My midwife said it might hurt and that I should feel pretty crampy for a couple of hours afterwards. I didn't even know she did it. It felt just like a regular internal exam. And then for a couple hours after I had a couple of cramps, but nothing out of the ordinary for 39+ weeks pregnant.
Peanut and I stopped at the grocery store and then headed home for his nap. I laid down and while laying there contractions started. I didn't get too excited at first, knowing it could be false labor. But when they were still going when mrp came home about 4 hours later I did start to feel like maybe this was it. We put peanut to bed and I nursed him. I came downstairs and mrp and I left a message for our doula just as a heads up. We decided to time them before going for a walk. 5 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 2.5 minutes ... what?
I called my friend B who worked as a doula in California before having her son a year ago. She said the nursing stimulated the contractions and to have a small glass of wine and put my feet up and they should slow down or even stop. I did this and at first they went back to 5 minutes, but about an hour after I went to bed they stopped.
I woke up in the morning and was disappointed, but hopeful because I had contractions for half a day the day before I went into labor with peanut. Sure enough, 2 hours after I woke up on Thursday they started again. They were stronger than the day before--they were uncomfortable but I could still talk and walk through them. I met BH for a walk and lunch. She's studying to be an OB nurse so it was fun to chat about that stuff and it was nice to have some company to keep my mind from fixating on the contractions.
The contractions continued all day and after nursing peanut to bed intensified in the evening. I was needing to slow down and sometimes pause when I talked during them--still not active labor strength, but getting there. At 11 we decided to call my mom to come over just in case this was it. Of course she came over and of course after laying down and relaxing the contractions stopped again.
I woke up on Friday June 25 and texted my doula that I was "hellbent" on having a baby that day and that this time I wouldn't sleep until I did. She got in touch with one of the midwives who suggested I try a mild laxative which can sometimes get things moving if you're on the verge.
Desperate, I drove to the drug store and picked up magnesium citrate soda nast. I came home and drank it and waited. Nothing happened. Nothing happened all day. Nothing. I had maybe an hour and a half of consistent contractions all day. By noon I was sobbing. By 1:00 I was happy and had resolved to trust my body and #2. With peanut I wore myself out long before I delivered him. I did not want a repeat performance. I swore I would not go into labor exhausted. I wanted to give #2 the best start I could.
So, with that mrp, peanut and I had the best weekend. We were done prepping for baby so we spent lots of time hanging out with each other. We cuddled in bed. We went out for pancakes. We went to the park. We went to peanut's gym class. We spent time with peanut's grandparents. It was great. I had no labor contractions all weekend to speak of. And I didn't care.
I went to bed on Sunday night, the eve of #2's due date and I was ok that I would at least make it that far and even ok with going late. I was feeling relatively good and happy. Mrp planned to go back to work and my in-laws planned to come over in the afternoon to help me with peanut to make sure I was able to adequately rest.
I woke up at 2 a.m. I'm not sure if it was a normal pee wake up or if a contraction woke me up. I do know that I saw blood in my underwear and shortly after this discovery had a contraction. After all the false labor I've had I was hesitant to say this was it, but deep down I knew it was.
*Last photo of peanut as an only child!