My labor keeps starting and stopping: Will the real thing ever happen?

My labor keeps starting and stopping: Will the real thing ever happen?

Last night, I had contractions that were about seven to 15 minutes apart. I went to bed, and woke up, still pregnant.

My labor has started and stopped for weeks now. I breathe deeply and Google "signs of labor" as I obsess over every little sensation. This was the first time I considered contacting my doctor. "If this keeps going for another hour, we'll call," I told my husband, who was watching me as if I were a time bomb about to explode.

You would think this was my first pregnancy I am so unsure of what is going on with my body and this baby! But I'm learning that every time is different. Consider that with my first daughter, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was in labor, because I started bleeding and experiencing unrelenting, strong contractions the day after my due date. The second time, I was induced at 39 weeks.

When I was pregnant with my third child, I had a similar experience to this one, where my contractions started and stopped for weeks. Finally one night around 37 weeks, the sensations got extremely painful, so I called my doctor. She told me to come into the hospital. Of course, once my hubby and I got in the car, my contractions stopped. "Let's just go home," I insisted, but he was of the opinion that since we were already on the way to the hospital, we should just keep on going.

Good thing, because I was four centimeters dilated. "We're having a baby tonight," my doctor informed me. And so, I did.

My husband thinks my labor will happen that way again. But I'm not so sure. I don't want to go to the hospital, only to be sent home, because I know I'll feel so defeated. I need it to be the real thing when we make that decision to head to labor and delivery.

This pregnancy has been soooo long, and stressful and difficult since it followed a seriously horrible, heartbreaking, life-altering, crushing (and all the other negative adjectives) loss. And also because I did IVF, which was a truly humbling, and beyond-physically, mentally and emotionally challenging experience.

I have been dreaming about a healthy labor and delivery for the past nine months. Now, with everything starting and stopping, I'm starting to feel like I will never get to that magical day. And until it happens, the hours and days and nights feel like they are lasting forever.

Photos: iStock

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