A good friend of mine was a little ahead of me in her pregnancy (she gave birth a couple of days ago, I have a few weeks left to go). It was fun having a girlfriend going through roughly the same stuff as me at the same time — particularly since few other people were willing to really listen to me complain on a regular basis.
Starting sometime a few months back, she talked frequently about her Braxton Hicks contractions — she was getting lots of them. I could never contribute much to the conversation because I wasn’t having any, although I was reveling in feeling my little one wiggle around inside nevertheless
However, after going to the doctor yesterday I’ve since learned that what I thought have been mostly movements have been not been my baby, but my uterus – contractions, in fact. Whoops.
My belly was hooked up to some kind of belt for a non-stress test and when the nurse came in to look at the results, she said to me, “Huh. You’re having a bunch of contractions.”
“I am?” I asked. “That wasn’t just the baby moving around?”
She looked at me sympathetically, kind of like how I look at dumb cats. “No, those are definitely contractions.”
If that’s the case, I’ve been having contractions, like, regularly, for quite some time.
Here’s the thing — even though this is my second baby, I have never really known what a contraction felt like. After my water broke the first time around, I had dysfunctional labor (don’t ask), which means I dilated to 10 centimeters without ever having contractions. I definitely felt pain in the second hour of pushing after the epidural was turned off, but since I’ve experienced nothing even remotely close to that kind of blinding pain since (and who knows if that pain was from pushing or from the contractions), I figured the occasional tightening I’ve been feeling for the past few months has been normal baby movement.
(There was one night I kind of thought I was having contractions, but then I realized it was just gas — really, really bad gas).
All is normal and well, and I continue to feel fine, if not a little stupid that I can’t tell the difference between a baby and an organ.
Have you ever mistaken a contraction for something else, or am I the only dumb one?