For all of you out there keeping track (I know, probably just me and maybe my mother, too!), week 37 has begun! I was a little alarmed last weekend, when John was away, to find that the "Braxton Hicks" contractions I was having were coming regularly about every 10-12 minutes for a period of several hours Friday afternoon and evening. I called my friend Rachel and said, "What should be my plan?" At the time I was feeling really uncomfortable and was helping the girls eat supper, though I wasn't hungry at all. She very calmly said, "Ok, get your girls in bed, lie down, drink lots of water, time your contractions, and call me in an hour." I followed her advice and though the contractions continued, they did not intensify and I was able to go to sleep (a sure sign of pre-labor, not real labor) about 11pm.
Thankfully John was coming home the next day and so we discussed things. These prelabor contractions are so typical for the way my previous two labors have gone that I really shouldn't have been surprised. With Clara Anne, they started right on my due date and I thought I was really going into labor! To my surprise, she wasn't born until 5 days later! With Chloe, they started about 2 weeks before she was born (particularly noticeable on our daily walks to Starbucks from our apartment there in Thailand), and at first we were all excited, thinking she would come early. Nope, two weeks later, after many many prelabor contractions, found me complaining to John one afternoon, "I am so sick and tired of these prelabor contractions! They are starting to really hurt, and I just know this is going to go on for another week!" The pain factor should have been my first clue. Sure enough, she was born about 10 hours later.
However, these contractions have been more regular and frequent, and begun much earlier, than either of my previous experiences. Suddenly our plan to arrive in the birth city a scant two weeks before my due date was looking a bit risky. So, we've changed our plans and will now be leaving for that beautiful seaside city next Monday, a week earlier than originally planned.
John put me on mock bedrest this week in order to help me deal with the contractions and life as well. We've eaten a little simpler meals, I've been forbidden to take the girls out by myself, and John won the "Sensitive Husband Award" by suggesting that I get several massages this week. I think we're going to make it until next Monday! The contractions are still present but I haven't bothered to time them; in fact I'm trying my best to ignore them. Now I know from experience--real contractions will not allow you to ignore them! So as long as I can put it out of my mind, it helps a lot.
We were glad to have this one final week to wrap things up at home here--in fact, several big issues have made significant progress. The most exciting is that we have signed an agreement on a new apartment and will hopefully take possesion on May 1st! It needs some renovations so we do not plan to move in immediately (and with a new baby I will probably not be ready to pack immediately), but maybe by June 1st or so we'll be ready to move. Ahhh. . . ready to move to a bit bigger space . . . with an elevator . . . and hot water . . . and a bathtub . . . yippee! The new apartment is in a nice complex with lovely landscaping and places for the girls to play outside, which we don't have right now. We are excited about it!
As well, major progress is being made with Chloe and her potty training this week! She is now getting very skilled at releasing almost as soon as she sits down on the potty, without trying to stand up or cry about it--two of her previously most distressing problems. She has even shown some great initiative in taking herself to the potty several times in the past few days. I am so thankful for this, since we are about to be in a lot of transition and I wanted her to make as much progress as possible while we were still home. PTL for small miracles!
So we'll see what next week brings. Exciting times are just around the corner!