Yesterday evening around nine, things started happening exactly how they happened the night I went into labor with Eli: I was bleeding; my legs felt shaky and my lower back was suddenly killing me; my hips were getting that suspicious, coming-apart feeling; the contractions were feeling a lot more intense; more pulling and pressure.... I was sure I was starting to have this baby, and instead of being excited, I freaked a little. Mentally I hadn't expected it to be that soon; I've been trying so hard not to get impatient this time, to just take every day at a time and to ignore all labor symptoms until they get un-ignorable. So instead of flying around the house trying to speed up the contractions, I was puttering around slowly, doing housework in a daze and trying to distract myself. Maybe if I just pick up toys and wipe counters like usual, the pain will go away!
It didn't, but after an hour or so (and after coming out of my denial and realizing I needed to choose some kind of mental framework for the evening) I decided that whether or not it was the real thing, the best decision would be to lay down and try to sleep. If it was false labor, I would relax eventually and it would go away. If it was real, I was going to need my rest, and laying down wasn't going to stop anything for very long anyways. This had been my biggest fear the night I started to have Eli: that if I laid down to rest at all, labor would halt permanently and I would have just wasted the whole night of work and excitement. Look at me, older and wiser now.
Anyways, I laid down and quickly felt very sleepy, but my hips and back were hurting so badly I couldn't get comfortable or relax. I was actually moaning every time I had a contraction, which is pretty weird for me that early in labor. Jim brought me a hot pack, and that plus some counter pressure behind me on the couch finally let me drift off to sleep. Whereupon the "labor" disappeared, more or less. When morning came, I mostly just felt relieved. It just hadn't seemed like it was time yet, even though if you had asked me around dinner time the day before I would have said, "Bring it on!"
Thinking I was maybe in labor totally sent that nesting instinct into overdrive, though. I was up at seven this morning assembling the swing, and then went crazy with housework and projects all day long: finally preregistering at the hospital, which I'd been putting off, since I wasn't sure until Saturday which one I'd be delivering at; making annoying medical bill phone calls; cleaning out the front closet for the coat drive at Addy's school and then delivering said coats; going through all the kids' clothes from this summer, sorting some to donate, some to save, and some to throw away (holy stains, Batman); washing and putting away all the fall clothes; doing general laundry; vacuuming the entire house; making a trip to Goodwill with all the "to donate" stuff; doing three different errands with Eli during preschool hours; washing the stroller cover and reassembling it (which requires SCREWS and SNAPS and oh my gosh why must be it so HARD to remove a stroller cover!?) and basically doing any and everything I could to take advantage of another day before the baby comes to get stuff done.
Now I am about dead with fatigue, but I feel very accomplished and a little more ready. The camera and video camera are both ready now (Jim took care of those while thinking I was maybe in labor!) and I do indeed even have a bag packed. I think the only baby thing left to do is get out the breast pump, which I don't even want to LOOK at, but I suppose I'd better have it ready since I'm sure to need it at some point.
Okay, time to sleep now... Let's hope Eli doesn't wake Jim and me up six times tonight like he did last night. Yep, no exaggeration. Peed the bed twice, peed on his shorts and the bathroom rug once, and yelled for his blankets/stuffed animals/the very molecules of AIR around his bed to be rearranged three other times in between. I'm not sure if a night of labor could really have been worse, actually.