We made it to 36 weeks!!! We reached our ultimate goal - I am so thankful to the Lord that He kept our little one safely inside this whole time. It gives me such peace of mind knowing that our son is big enough and strong enough now to come when he decides. Apparently though, he is being a little indecisive on when that time should be....
I stopped all of my medication on Monday and am off bedrest now. Tuesday was my regularly scheduled 36 week appointment, and I woke up that morning having stronger, more regular contractions. They gradually increased throughout the day, and by the time my 2:30 appointment rolled around, they were coming 3-4 minutes apart. My doctor checked me, and I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. She said it looks like this is it - go grab a bite to eat, walk around some more, and I'll see you at the hospital this evening! I was soooo excited. Finally it was happening! Little guy had other plans though. By 8:30 that evening, I was still only 2cm, so the nurses sent me home.
The next day (yesterday), the SAME THING happened! Strong, increasingly intense contractions 3-4 minutes apart for two hours, so we headed back up to the hospital. I made it to 3cm, so these are accomplishing something, and I've had some other lovely signs of labor that I'll spare you all the details, but after two hours at the hospital and no further progression, they sent me home again.
It seems that what I'm experiencing is called prodromal labor, which basically is a fancy term for early labor that starts and stops and could go on for days or weeks. It does count for something in preparing your body for active labor, but it doesn't follow the typical pattern that most people think of when they think of labor. One of the L&D nurses (the most wonderful nurse who I am really praying ends up in the room with me when I deliver) explained this term to me. It makes me feel better to know that this is a legitimate process and not just something in my head (as a few of the other nurses have made me feel like I'm dumb and don't know what is really happening with my body...), but it is also a little frustrating knowing that this could drag on for days! I've been contracting even while typing this. My body is tired already and the really hard part hasn't even happened yet!
So, just another thing to add to a pregnancy journey that has been anything but normal. The plus side to all this is that I've had more time to get the nursery together (it's looking just like I always dreamed my nursery to be), and it only needs a few finishing touches of artwork, and I'm waiting on a rug to be delivered. Oh, and we bought a carseat! I know you are all pleased to hear that. I will be so happy when I finally get to hold my baby in my arms. I know it will all be worth it - let's just get this show on the road already! :)