Ever since I started thinking about having kids and being pregnant, in that concrete, sometime in the future way (rather than the "I'm 13 and love babies" way), I had a vision for what I'd be like as a pregnant woman. And, especially once I became a runner in college, that vision always included me being very active.
Ideally, I'd still be putting in lots of miles and getting to be one of those women who stayed super strong throughout pregnancy.
Then, reality hit. First trimester was sort of a wash with feeling sick all the time. But, at 12 weeks, I was really to recapture that vision. I set a goal of 5 days a week of activity and was hitting it most of the time. I was even running again! Plus, I started doing more hiking than I had ever done in our time in Arizona. Life was wonderful and it felt like I could be that person I'd imagined.
Then I hit 24 weeks, and things started changing. Running became really uncomfortable, so I had to switch to just walking (and was totally fine with that). But then the contractions started.
And suddenly this whole idea that I could just push myself to keep doing fun, active things got a very heavy dose of reality. The past 5 weeks have been a struggle, trying to figure out what I can still do - what is safe for me and the baby - and Tuesday and yesterday I hit a wall.
Apparently, going on a challenging hike Sunday was way too much for this pregnant body, and Tuesday afternoon, the contractions that I'd been getting since 24 weeks suddenly became more frequent. As in every 5 minutes frequent. For a frame of reference, it's considered concerning if you get them every 10 minutes, so double that is pretty bad.
Having already called and gone in for frequent contractions before (but never this frequent), I knew the strategies to try, and spent the rest of the night trying to get things under control, with some success. But, when I woke up, they were back and in that 5 minute range again. Again, I did my strategies and got them mildly under control, so I headed to work. But it became clear an hour in that they weren't going to do what I needed them to do. After a talk with the school nurse (who is wonderful), a call to the midwives, and a tearful conversation with the school secretary, I was sent home to rest and visit the midwives as soon as possible.
The wonderful news is that it doesn't seem like there's a correlation right now between all these contractions and labor. They checked me and did a test that can predict with 99% accuracy whether your body will go into labor in the next two weeks, and it was negative, so that is very good news. I still had lots of contractions all day, but after a good night of rest, they do seem a bit better.
This was definitely scary enough, though, that I really do need to rethink how the rest of these 10 weeks of pregnancy will look. My midwife has asked me to get my FMLA paperwork in order so that I can take days off of work here and there when I get a bunch of contractions like I had yesterday, which hit home for me that being as active as I was hoping to still be is out at this point. If I can't even always go to work, I certainly can't go out for big hikes on the weekend, or maybe even go to the gym. Thankfully, yoga should continue to be a good choice :).
Obviously, I will do anything in the world to keep this little boy of ours safe, but it is mentally very hard to have to know that no matter how "strong" I want to be, I cannot control my body or how it handles this pregnancy. I'm sure there's a good lesson for being a parent wrapped up in there, but for now, I'm just adjusting to this new normal. Hopefully, if I can actually listen to my body and take it much easier, this will be the last big scare of this pregnancy. After all, as my midwife said, it won't be too, too much longer until contractions become a good thing and we'll be ready to welcome our little boy into the world.