False Labor

On Monday night, Toby and I spent from midnight until 5 AM in the labor and delivery ward. It was a long night. I spent all day yesterday exhausted and trying hard not to cry. (I become an absolute mess on little to no sleep. Think doom and gloom and end-of-the-world scenarios and you have my yesterday.) Anyway…

So here is what happened… at 7 PM on Monday evening, I began having contractions. They came every 10 minutes and lasted for 60 to 90 seconds. That went on for two hours. I wasn’t convinced anything was really happening because they didn’t particularly hurt and I still have 10 days to go. You see, since I haven’t ever gone into labor on my own, it’s hard to know. I mean, I have experience labor. But only after being induced and given an epidural. (However, I should mention, the epidurals I have had enabled me to still feel some pain. This, I am told, is so that a woman knows when to push and also experiences enough pain to want to. Not sure it’s true, but it worked for me.) So, I guess I have felt some degree of labor, but not entirely. I definitely don’t trust myself to know when it’s real or not.

So, I didn’t believe it. But then things started to become a bit more intense. Nothing I couldn’t handle. Nothing I couldn’t talk through. We watched The Walking Dead the entire time. But my contractions had migrated from my upper abdomen, to my lower pelvis. Basically, they started to feel like period cramps and, forgive me for the TMI, but they felt like I had to poop.

I still didn’t fully believe it. Having suffered from severely painful periods throughout my teens and twenties, I still felt like they weren’t painful enough to call or do anything. My periods used to be so bad, I’d pass out. Ambulances were called by confused bosses and terrified teachers. I was once accused of being on drugs at school. My periods were very intense. So, when comparing those contractions with my previous periods, I just didn’t think anything of it.

Well, after several hours of regular contractions and the fact that they were getting closer together, I called my doctor. Since this is my third pregnancy, and I live in New Jersey, a bit of a toss from New York City, she told me to come in. We called my mother, who lives about an hour and 15 minutes away, she hopping in the car. Once she arrived, we took off. We left just after 11 PM.

It didn’t take us long to get into the city. No one is on the road at 11:30 PM on a Monday night. Once I got there, Labor and Delivery was a ghost as well. I was admitted immediately. I was hooked up to monitors and given an exam. I was told I was 3 CM dilated, one more centimeter than I had been last week during my weekly checkup. Contractions were coming every 5 minutes and growing increasingly more intense (still nothing like what I was used to). The doctor suggested we wait it out and see if the contractions would amount to any cervical movement.

At around 3 AM, my contractions were strong enough that I was unable speak. They forced me to focus on my breath. They were a lot more painful, much like the ones I’d had in the past. I also began to shake, which is something that happened during active labor with both my boys. I was SURE I was making headway. I was absolutely positive. I would have bet money I was going to have a baby yesterday.

At 4 AM, she checked me again: 3 CM. NO movement whatsoever. The painful contractions stopped shortly thereafter.

At 5 AM, I was sent home.

The good news is, we missed rush-hour traffic.

So, I am still pregnant. And I should be. I am not quite done with my 39th week. After Saturday, I enter the safety zone for induction, so I am seriously considering that for next week. He’s done. He’s cooked.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow as well as a stress test. (The baby’s heartbeat did two wonky things on Monday night, so I was told to count fetal movements and make sure they don’t drop off. He is fine, however. They wouldn’t have let me go otherwise.)

So, that’s where I am! Tired. Spent. Ready to meet him. Ready to run again. Ready to get my body back. Just ready.

I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ve a bunch of work to catch up on—lollipops and some graphic design.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I hope you’ve caught up on some much needed rest after your experience Monday night/Tues.

    Best wishes on a good, safe, healthy labor and delivery – whenever that may happen.


  2. I’m so excited for you and your family. I’ve been reading for years — cant remember how the heck I got here but I love it. It seems we have children in the same years; our third is due in August. Wishing you a quick and healthy labor and can’t wait to observe what it is like with three.


  3. Good luck! As someone who was in labor and didn’t know it (I was 30 weeks so come on…), good for you for going to the hospital. :) I hope he comes smoothly and all goes well.


  4. Take care! I’m thinking about you!


  5. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing. That is really frustrating. With my second I was determined not to be induced. but 24 hours of labor similar to what you described that didn’t go anywhere made me change my mind. Good Luck! And please let us know when your new little boy makes his appearance.


  6. Oh, man. How crazy frustrating. Wishing you lots of luck (and patience)!


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