This morning Kevin and I did our duty as good Americans and headed to the voting polls prior to coming into work. Our wait wasn't as bad as other precincts - we probably stood in line for about 30-45 minutes. During this time it occurred to me that (1) standing for a long time is now painful and uncomfortable and (2) something had changed with my body over night - at least that is what it seems. I found that beginning just this morning I have the need to put my hands underneath my belly - almost to provide it extra support. Until this morning, I was happy to rest my hands, arms, coffee mug, remote control and anything else on top of my belly. Not anymore. This thing needs support, people! But I really did - I felt as though I had to help hold it up a little more. This makes me wonder - has Riley dropped a little more?
Another change this morning - the pains. Now, this is why I realize I really don't like the "first experience" of being pregnant. Not knowing what to expect is very frustrating to me. And knowing that there is no text book pain, ache, or 'symptom' for women is just as frustrating. If I ask 5 different people what they experienced in the weeks leading up to the due date, I get 5 completely different answers. Even my sister-in-law, Rhonda, who has had five children told me that every experience was completely different and she felt she was learning all over again with each one. Yippee.
So back to the pains. They felt like sharp, stabbing pains ... "down there" and on the lower side of my belly. They would last maybe only 5-10 seconds or so, but they were very uncomfortable and ended with a nice menstrual-like cramp for a few minutes. I've noticed that they happen a lot more when I am standing up (standing still or moving around, doesn't matter) than they do when I am seated. Could it be that if Riley did drop more, she is moving in her new piece of real estate in my stomach and I am feeling different pains from her movements? Could these be stronger Braxton Hicks contractions? Could these actually be the real thing, just not as frequent as they need to be to send me to the hospital? I have no idea!!
Up until now I've heard plenty of friends, coworkers and absolute strangers tell of their false alarms and false runs to the hospital - and they've described it as being so embarrassed. My thought was always "Why would you be embarrassed? It's your first time having a baby - you don't know, and you're just playing it safe!". Well, now I am afraid I've crossed to the dark side with them. When these pains started coming on I thought that if they continue through the day and into the evening, maybe we'd make our first run at it. Dr. B has told me that six is the magic number to go - 6 contractions within an hour. But I don't know that I'd go now - out of fear and embarrassment that I would be wrong. Especially since I was just in his office yesterday being told that I was not dilated at all. Can these changes occur within 24 hours? I have no idea.
So my plan for today is to just wait out these newfound pains. At least they make me feel like something is changing ... and something, anything is good.