labor limbo

Yesterday morning, I joked on Twitter that I was trying to kickstart labor by changing the sheets on Audrey’s bottom bunkbed. Less than an hour later, I was sitting on the couch and started feeling contractions. They were… close. Like 3-4 minutes apart! For over an hour! They weren’t painful at all, but they were definitely more than just Braxton Hicks. I felt crampy in between them, and they just felt different- they started lower and the pressure was focused lower, rather than all over or at the top like BH.

So I started timing them with my handy contraction timer on my phone. Two hours later, they were still going. Slightly further apart (4-5 minutes) but they were getting stronger. A few made me catch my breath and wiggle my toes through them. So I got up and did a few things around the house, sat back down, trying to see if anything had changed. Nope! Still there.

After three hours of this, I finally called the doctor. Because what’s the rule they tell you? Five minutes apart for an hour, CALL YOUR DOCTOR ZOMG! So I did. After a few questions, the dr on call told me to sit tight for a while longer and see if they kept up. Two hours later, they were still keeping up. So I called back, she said come on in, so we packed up our Hospital Things, got the girls some dinner, and took them to my parents’ house.

We were… having a baby now? I guess? EEEEEE!

Pop quiz: Where am I???? (Answer: in triage limbo! Monitoring cxns! NINE HOURS, 5 MINS APART. 2.5cm. Not enough to be admitted yet. I AM TIRED.)

The resident checked my progress soon after we got there and said I was at 2.5cm, 70% effaced. YAY! I was only 1cm on Friday at my appointment, so at least we knew that the contractions all day were doing their work! They got the monitors all hooked up to my belly and the plan was to wait an hour or so and check again for more progress. Dan and I settled in and watched the hockey game, I played Candy Crush, watched the contraction monitor (couple of a GOOD ones!) and listened to Baby Boy jumping around in there.

Then they checked me again, no progress, gave me my discharge papers and sent me home.

I cried. I was exhausted. And frustrated. And honestly, I felt a little bit silly. This is my third time doing this! I should know how it feels to be in labor! My rational brain KNOWS that every labor and pregnancy and birth is different and it can be hard to know where things are in the timeline, but that doesn’t make you feel any less ridiculous for disrupting everybody’s Sunday night for nothing. The doctor ASSURED me that I did the right thing by coming in and getting checked out! She said Yes, you ARE in labor! Just super early! These steady contractions could last days! Or you could be back here tomorrow morning! We just don’t know.

I think that made me cry HARDER.

(Poor Dan has NO IDEA what to do with me when I cry, because I rarely do. heh. Sorry honey!)

We got home around 11:30pm, relieved my mom of her babysitting duties, and went to bed. I only slept solidly for about 3 hours, then off and on for a couple more. The contractions are still hanging around, but I’m not really timing them. I’ve decided I’m going more by how they feel than how close or far apart they are, because timing contractions? MESSES WITH YOUR HEAD!

So I’m in labor limbo! I’m allowed to do my normal things- drive, make dinner, take care of the kids, whatever. But… I’m in labor? Kinda? IT’S SO NOT LIKE IN THE MOVIES, where the pregnant lady bends over, clutches her stomach and says ‘OW! I’m in labor!’ and then goes and has the baby. Nope, today I’ll be meeting with Maggie’s teacher for a parent-teacher conference while I’m having contractions! WHEEEEEE!

The very good news: Baby Boy looked fantastic on the monitors. Strong heartbeat. The nurses kept cracking up at how ridiculously busy he was in there. And there WAS progress from that very long day of contractions, so at least they are doing something. It all brings us that much closer to meeting our little guy- whether it’s today or next week.

(Please let it not be THAT long. !!)


  1. Becca

    March 25, 2013 9:02 am

    So excited for you and Dan (and of course the girls)! Baby dude needs to hurry up so we can stop calling him baby dude. ;)

  2. Mel

    March 25, 2013 9:07 am

    Yeah, I’m ready for a name as well. Lol….

    We learned at our class that labor can truly last FOREVER (or what seems like it). I’m actually glad it’s NOT like the movies. They seem a bit too dramatic in those!

    • Jen

      March 25, 2013 9:11 am

      That’s true!! But then you hear the occasional crazy 45-minute labor story and THAT is what gets you panicked about contractions. LOL Oh it messes with your head, man.

  3. Dave (ScrumpyDaddy)

    March 25, 2013 9:14 am

    Wow! Congrats on the progress, I guess?! Good luck with (the rest of) labor and delivery! I hope it doesn’t progress in a sudden way and make it too difficult to get to your chosen birthing location.

    Baby Dude is on his way!!! Wow!

  4. Melissa

    March 25, 2013 9:29 am

    Ugh, I would have cried too. :( I’m so, so sorry Jen. But things are getting really close now… seems like this is the big week! YAAAAY!!! :) You’ll be making that same drive home very soon WITH YOUR BABY BOY! I’m so excited for you!!

    As I mentioned yesterday, my longest early labor was over 20 hrs with Andrew (maybe b/c it was my “earliest” at 39w5d and needed more work?)–BUT he was also the only one with whom my Cervix of Steel didn’t get stuck around 6cm and need a shot of the evil Pitocin! Silver lining to that long day of contractions (and zero sleep before labor), I guess? Anyway, I know that’s not helpful to you right now, GAH… just mentioning it as a potential positive, because I know last night’s experience must have been really frustrating.

    Maybe Baby Dude will make it up to you by being your best sleeper and easiest baby of all! Fingers crossed!!

    Sending big hugs… all of us at Casa de Balls are cheering you on. :)

  5. Tracy

    March 25, 2013 9:42 am

    I am glad you got some rest and hopefully you will be in full blown labor soon! xoxox

  6. Jane

    March 25, 2013 9:42 am

    you think that little boy is busy now! give him another 3 years. seriously…

    This just doesn’t sound fun, but you are going to have that little guy in your arms soon…

  7. Sunshine

    March 25, 2013 10:17 am


  8. red pen mama

    March 25, 2013 10:25 am

    Oh, hugs, honey. Try to take it easy on yourself. That saying “better safe than sorry” is around for a reason. You did the right thing.

    We almost left the hospital after a day of induced contractions with Michael. I was so discouraged and tired and HUNGRY (I hate how they don’t feed you). I was fantasizing about fetticini alfredo (with broccoli), when my body was like, “Oh, I guess now’s a fine time to go into labor.” Baby M was born around 3 a.m.

    And on the bright side, you do know you’re in labor (more or less). You are so close!

  9. Erica

    March 25, 2013 10:39 am

    I would probably have cried too being sent home. At the point you are at the hospital, you are ready to get the show on the road! Well, glad everything is going well although slow!

  10. Susie

    March 25, 2013 11:47 am

    How frustrating! I think honestly when I went into L&D with Eliza, they could have sent me home but instead gave me pitocin. I was on that cusp and SO FRUSTRATED. I’m hoping I can be more zen about it this go round, but I’m guess “more zen” will probably only mean “crying at being sent home” because AHHH!

  11. Shari

    March 25, 2013 12:57 pm

    Awww drats! When is the boys due date?

  12. Michelle

    March 25, 2013 2:17 pm

    Oh, Jen. I would cry too. Hang in there.

  13. Jesabes

    March 25, 2013 2:25 pm

    Ugh, long labor messes with your head so bad. I was in labor for 37 hours with Margaret and it was so annoying. Not even that painful for most of it, just unbelievably ANNOYING.

  14. Lea

    March 25, 2013 3:31 pm

    Isn’t that the most frustrating thing?! I thought for sure it wouldn’t be that way with my third, and it totally was. Early labor with guesswork is the worst. I will tell you that after a full day of early labor (with other false alarms on previous days), that night, all of a sudden things got painful and much more serious, and then I finally KNEW this was it. The good news is that you’ll probably progress faster when things actually ramp up because your body has done so much work already. It’s gonna be soon!!

  15. Elizabeth

    March 25, 2013 5:29 pm

    Ahh! Well, this is thrilling :) I hope it moves along quickly for you!

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