So I started having noticeable, frequent contractions yesterday afternoon. After doing some household activities and making a trip to Sam's Club as a family, we came home and I started timing them using a great site, contractionmaster.com. While they weren't all THAT painful, more an uncomfortable, annoying feeling than anything else, they were getting quite regular, anywhere from 3-8 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 35 seconds to over a minute.
I had some dialogue with friends on Facebook, and the general consensus seemed to be that it would be better to go to the hospital too early rather than too late--my friend Claire said her contractions never got that painful, either, nor did they last very long, but she didn't realize she needed to leave for the hospital until she was in transition!! That was with her #7, which she had quite recently. I kept thinking--could I really be that lucky?! I was expecting the contractions to get more painful, but they remained about the same level but continued coming consistently, so after the kids were in bed I called L&D to see what they wanted me to do. Since this IS #5, and since we live half an hour away from the base, the nurse told me she would feel better if I came in and at least got checked.
So our friend Laura came over, prepared to spend the night, and I finished packing my stuff, feeling somewhat foolish for even going. Still, that's what the nurse had said to do, so we headed to base.
Needless to say, I have not yet had the baby! I was only dilated 2 cm, with little to no effacing, and the baby's head was still pretty high. The good news, though, is that the anaesthesiologist whom I had an appointment with for 8:10 on Wednesday morning was there, so we were able to do the necessary paperwork last night instead of me having to haul all our kids to base early in the morning in the middle of the week. (It's a required meeting, regardless of whether you plan to use pain intervention or not, because of the possibility of an emergency--signatures are needed ahead of time, not in the middle of a crisis!) So I was very happy to get that done with, at least.
We were even happier to go home and be able to go to sleep! We were both exhausted after waking at 4:30 and 5 a.m., having gone to bed early Friday night. I slept very well until 4:30, then off and on until I got up at 6 this morning. I was still having contractions during that time as well as during my quiet time right after waking, but I haven't really noticed any since I got up to shower and get ready for church.
So! That's the story. I wish my body would make up its mind!!! Just do it, or else just be still, ha! We're proceeding with our normal Sunday morning plans, but I will throw the hospital bag back in the car just in case. :-)