So we had a little adventure last night at 36w6d. I started having strong cramps at 11pm on Saturday. Sunday at 11am the contractions started. Over the course of the day they increased in strength, but not a lot, and they generally got closer together. They slowed down, but didn't stop, when I got up to move around. Around 7pm I started to feel damp with every contraction and wondered if I had a slow leak. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point, but I could still talk through some of them. We decided that since we don't know my GBS status (I will get the results today) I should just go ahead and get checked out to be sure. Upon arrival I was 1cm dilated, -2 station, 70% effaced and my water had not broken. The nurse put me on the monitor and I started having contractions every 2 minutes, but I could still talk through some of them. She checked me after 1 hour and I was still 1cm, so she had me walk for 30 or 40 minutes to see if I would dilate more. No such luck. My contractions completely stopped while we walked the halls. She offered to check me again before I went home, but I declined realizing that no contractions probably meant very little was happening. Even if something was happening I was obviously in the very beginning stages of labor and could manage fine at home. Once in the car my contractions went immediately back to 5 minutes apart. Overnight I had very few major contractions, but I was crampy every time I woke to use the bathroom. At 4:30am I had bloody show, which was rather exciting and made it hard to fall back to sleep! lol Now here it is 9:35am and I've only had a few contractions. My body seems to be trying to clean itself out, though. Sooooo, something is happening.......we just have no idea how long it will take for the real deal to start. Chaika is my due date buddy, so if things pick up and I don't feel like posting I will call or e-mail her to keep you all updated.
Also, can we discuss contraction coping strategies? I made it through Nate's birth drug-free by reminding myself (and having Marc remind me when the contractions got harder and closer together) to "relax your jaw, relax your shoulders, wiggle your fingers and toes". If I did all of those things I didn't tense up and the contraction would just sort of flow over me. If I forgot to relax the contractions were unbearable. Does anyone have any other strategies to share?