Yesterday (9.26.16) I had plans to meet up with a friend of mine to do some walking, so I got up as soon as my alarm went off (despite my desire to sleep longer). I typed up a blog post about the women’s conference I got to attend over the weekend, grabbed a banana and a water bottle and headed out the door.
On the way to the park, my belly started to feel a little crampy, but since I’m 33 weeks pregnant and Rylie has been sleeping a lot lately (which she usually does when she’s growing), I figured it was just “growing pains” on my part – basically my belly getting bigger to give her more room.
As my friend pushed her 1 year old daughter in the stroller, shortly into our walk I started sharing my discomfort with her and how it seemed to be getting more and more intense. She asked if it was Braxton Hicks and I told her, “I have no idea what those are even supposed to feel like…” she kindly explained it to me and told me my belly muscles would tighten and I’d be able to feel it with my fingers. Next time the crampy feeling came, I told her and asked her to feel my stomach to see if it had hardened (like she said it would if it was indeed Braxton Hicks). She lightly pressed on my stomach and said, “Yup! That’s Braxton Hicks.”
Instantly, my eyes widened and she giggled at my shocked face. We finished the loop and even though on a normal day I would be up for walking 2 or 3 more times around, I told my friend I should be getting home (due to this new realization and the discomfort which was slowly turning into pain) and she totally agreed. As we finished up, she asked if I’ve ever seen the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S – um, absolutely! She reminded me of that scene where Rachel is having Braxton Hicks and says to all the guys –
It made me giggle and was a brief, sweet distraction.
We said goodbye and I got into the car. At this point, I was in a lot of discomfort (basically pain) and it was all I could do to try to keep myself calm and not get worked up (something I can do very easily). I blasted the AC and drove the 10/15 minutes home.
I realize that to some, Braxton Hicks are not a big deal. I know it’s the body getting ready for labor and it is 100% normal. But to this first time mama, nothing is normal. Everything is new and wonderful but also overwhelming and, at times, scary. To be completely transparent, I drove home in tears venting to God about how I felt in that moment – in pain, scared, and not sure what to do to make myself feel better. If this was a glimpse of labor, I didn’t want it! Labor has always intimidated me and now that I’m getting closer and closer to facing that reality, it’s been overwhelming.
But God is so sweet and met me exactly where I was. He reminded me of the unimaginable, incomparable JOY I will feel when Rylie arrives. How she will be gorgeous – inside & out – and how she is exactly what this world needs [+ what I need, what Aaron needs, and we are what she needs.]
I found this Bible verse in the early afternoon, and even though I have never thought of this verse in the context of Braxton Hicks & childbirth, I felt like it was perfect for this situation and such a sweet reminder –
Anyway, yesterday’s pain slowly faded into discomfort and then completely disappeared. I was told by multiple mom friends to drink water and rest. I also heard that it might be a sign of exhaustion, hunger and/or thirst, so once I was feeling a little better, I made a sandwich and constantly drank water throughout the day.
So that was my first ever Braxton Hicks experience. Needless to say it won’t be the last, and I probably won’t ever come to enjoy them, but at least now I know what they feel like and can try my best to cope with it. 😛