The best indication I had of my oncoming labor with River was the appearance of cervical mucus beforehand. It started to appear three days before I went into labor and continued for the subsequent days. On the morning before I went into labor, the mucus was streaked with blood (bloody show).
I’m looking for a similar pattern this time around and it’s starting to appear. I’ve seen mucus for the past three days now, though since it was only in the morning, or only after exercising, I dismissed it. Today it has appeared throughout the day, making me think this could be the start of a real sign. I’m also starting to feel some light waves of pain, only slightly painful, which isn’t what I remember from last time. So perhaps they are Braxton-Hicks, or false labor. But they do come and go in a wave, which makes me think it’s not baby movement, and they are occurring with some regularity. This, along with backaches severe enough to cause me to take Tylenol for the past two days.
When we visited the doctor on Friday, he said I was 2-2.5 centimeters dilated, but he didn’t see any signs of imminent labor. He expects to see me at our next appointment this Thursday. But besides the mucus, I didn’t have any other clear signs beforehand last time either. The baby remained high, my waters didn’t break until I pushed. But when labor started, it came on strong.
So now I’m starting to freak out that it could be on the way, that I could realistically be in labor within the next 1-3 days. And this is making me stress out about priorities, all of which seem equally important. Do I:
Try to maximize rest in order to get through labor and build any possible reserve before the oncoming sleepless nights?
Try to finish my statistics final, which is due on Monday? I’m sure I could get an extension, but it would make things easier to not have that hanging over my head.
Or finally get around to the basics of preparation, like packing a hospital bag?
Mark told me to stop stressing and just do one of them. So I started with some rest, and am now working on my exam. I don’t think I can finish it tonight though. I just don’t have the concentration or motivation. Breaking it into pieces, I should be able to complete it by Monday, when it is due.
So I’ll try to make some progress on the exam tonight, perhaps try to pack the most critical things, and get back to the exam tomorrow morning, if I’m not in labor then.
I know in the big picture all of these things will be taken care of. Even if I don’t pack a hospital bag, we live only six blocks from the hospital and Mark can always grab whatever I need later. Though forgetting something critical like a camera, videocamera or my birth plan would be more disappointing. Nevertheless, I’m finding this stressful. What I’d really like to be doing is curl up on the couch with a movie and a hot chocolate. Why can’t babies provide some advance notice of their arrival?