It was a Tuesday and I began to experience contractions at about 8:15 pm. I didn't know that they were legitimate contractions until after the fact. It felt more like a dull pain and didn't hurt too much. All I can say to describe them is that I knew they were different than regular cramping like you might have during your period. I started to use an app to track them, but then fell asleep because they weren't getting closer than 7-10 minutes apart. I thought maybe it was Braxton Hicks that everyone talks about, but had no clue. Regardless, I wasn't in pain and figured I would just know when it did happen. So off I went to sleep.
Around 2 am, I woke up in pain. I went to the bathroom and got back into the bed. I grabbed my phone and tracked the contractions again. They were still hovering around 10 minutes apart, sometimes less, but never consistently. Each contraction still didn't hurt in the traditional sense, but they were more intense than before. Each kind of took my breath away, but not enough to worry me. In the back of my head, I knew these were the real deal. I texted my husband who was downstairs playing videogames that we had a "code c" which was a joke that we thought of. It meant contractions. Instantly, I heard the footsteps coming up. He wanted to go to the hospital and was so panicky and excited at the same time. I didn't want to get stuck at the hospital any longer than we needed to be so I told him to go to bed and that I would let him know when we needed to go. My contractions were not getting closer together so I fell back asleep.
I woke for the day around 6, went downstairs, and tried to eat. I didn't have much of an appetite. By now, the contractions were really starting to hurt. When I sat on the couch, each time one would start, I had to lean back and brace myself. My doctor's office opened at 8 am so I held on until then. At this point, my contractions were 7 minutes apart. It was very uncomfortable. The nurse on call told me to head in and we would do a stress test.
At the office, I went down to where the techs perform ultrasounds and they hooked my belly up to this huge machine that beeped at me. All I had to do was lay there and raise my arm when I felt a contraction coming on. The woman performing the test was beyond nice, gave me some ice chips, and told me to try to zone out because the test was about ten minutes in length. At this point, my anxiety was through the roof, my stomach was churning because here I was, thinking that maybe something was wrong. The test went fast, most likely because my brain was working on overdrive, and then I went to visit the on-call doctor.
I undressed from the waist down and a doctor came in. It wasn't my doctor and I remember being sad because I really loved my doctor and wanted her to deliver my first baby. But this doctor was kind and gentle with me. She performed a vaginal check and jumped after checking to see if I was dilated. Turns out, I was already 6 cm dilated and in active labor.
Off to the hospital I went. Luckily, the hospital was literally across the street from my doctor's office.