On January 5th I had what was to be my final weekly midwife appointment. On my way to the appointment I had an uncomfortable pressure feeling under my belly that kind of felt like my baby was stretching. I reclined my seat a little bit to see if it helped and it did not help. I also thought that maybe my maternity pants were too tight because that was kind of what it felt like too. The feeling happened a second time about 20 minutes later but by then I was almost to the clinic.
Once at the clinic I did the usual urine screen, weight check, blood pressure etc. I was hoping that my midwife would find that I was dilated more than the 1cm I had been the previous week. On this day I was 1.5cm dilated and my baby had moved down enough for her to strip the membranes. She had tried the previous week but didn’t feel like she had done much because of how high the baby was.
Stripping the membranes is separating the connections between the uterus and the bag of water. When the membranes are disconnected they release a hormone that can start labor if the baby is ready to come. This procedure did not hurt me at all though it does hurt for some women. Typical side effects include spotting immediately after, loss of the mucus plug, and/or can cause contractions that fade after awhile or turn into labor. The procedure took less than a few minutes.
After my appointment I drove to my moms restaurant to have lunch and at 11:45am I had that uncomfortable feeling again. Then just five minutes later I felt it again and had a sudden realization... I was having contractions and regularly too! Then it dawned on me that I had been feeling contractions on the way to the midwife appointment!
I decided not to call my husband yet because in truth, it could just be false labor caused by the stripping of the membranes. After eating and socializing with my family I headed home and called my husband on the way. I let him know the situation and that he might want to wrap anything up that he is in the middle of just in case this turns into labor.
Find out what happened after this ...
Part II: Labor Begins!