Yes, things were different over the course of the past nine months than they were when Josephine was cooking, but for some reason, apparently I still thought that the labor and delivery would be the same. I'm just that clever.
I don't even recall being aware of this, but on a subconscious level, I guess I was assuming that things would go the way they did last time.
Last time, I started having contractions, and they were totally reasonable, pain-wise, and about seven minutes apart. Within the hour, they were still not bad and five minutes apart. Less than an hour after that, they were three minutes apart and still not all that painful. So, I skipped off to the hospital (seriously, I was chipper) and told the lady at the front desk I was ready to have my baby.
While waiting for the big moment, I almost enjoyed contractions. I know, totally sick, but with each contraction, I was thinking, BABY BABY BABY! THESE CONTRACTIONS ARE BRINGING ME A BABY!
I smiled a lot during labor. I waited until the last minute for the epidural, even after a few hours of pitocin contractions. I was giddy and happy and raring to go.
This time. This time, I have been having contractions for ... it's too long to remember. I don't want to go back and check. More than a month now. And yes, I have experienced both Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions, and these are the real deal.
Here's what makes them terrible: I start having contractions; they ramp up; they get very intense, are more than a minute long, and get to the point where they are three minutes apart; I tell myself, Okay, two more contractions and then I will call and ask if I should go to the hospital. Then -- they stop. All gone. Completely. This happens, if not every day, every other day. There have been days when it happens a few times. It is INFURIATING.
I guess it's better than me getting Josephine out of bed (this usually happens at night, OF COURSE, because I didn't already have enough trouble sleeping), packing our stuff, starting the drive from Lansing to Port Huron and then having the contractions stop. Then I would be REALLY pissed. To say the least.
This time, I also random contractions that are more painful than the worst pitocin contraction I remember, then ... nothing. To be honest, I think the contractions hurt worse and make me more angry precisely because I know there is no way to know if it is go-time or sit-at-home-for-another-three-weeks-while-this-baby-punches-my-cervix time.
It's killing me. What little was left of my spirit after all the bed rest and pain and packing and temporary moves to be near the hospital now that August has arrived (we are staying with my parents for the time being) has been squelched by the Contractions That Mean Nothing.
At my last doctor's appointment, I was more dilated than last time, but SO WHAT? The doctor said it looks like I could be walking around with contractions slowly dilating me for weeks instead of going in with steady contractions and waiting for those to dilate me. Oh, JOY. And, of course, that raises the fear that once I/we decide my contractions are strong/consistent enough to the hospital, I might have twenty minutes before the baby arrives. That's not enough time for Jeremy to get to the hospital from work, and it's not even enough time for me to get to the hospital, since my parents are much closer, but still a half an hour away. BLARG.
Then there's one last thing making all this unbearable: THE GUILT.
I feel terrible that last time around I was joyous and couldn't pull the smile off my face, and this time I am this pissy, miserable, big sad sack of crying and moaning and uncomfortable largeness. Poor Baby X. I should be dancing around sewing things for my new little bundle with a grin from ear-to-ear! What kind of mother am I?!??!?!!
Seriously, this is what I was doing when my contractions were five minutes apart last time:
Sewing crib sheets with my mother!
So, there you have it. My scientific treatise (Is that a thing? Am I using words correctly? Probably NOT, since my brain is as good as a lump of chewed bubble gum right now.) on how every pregnancy is different, which, I'm sure you did NOT previously know. If you've gotten this far, bless your heart. If you quit reading by the time I mentioned my cervix getting punched, I totally understand. I still consider us friends.
Thanks for letting me whine, dear Internet.