I know it’s not the good doctor’s fault for recognizing and describing the practice contractions that many women experience in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Still, I have a feeling if we met on the street (back in the 1890s,) I would feel obliged to punch him in the throat just because his name is attached.
What I’m saying is, my Braxton Hicks contractions have not been “essentially painless.” Most often they hit me just as I’m about to drift off to sleep. I’ll think, “Wow- I guess I have to go to the bathroom.” And then the contraction will start in earnest, and I’ll think, “Oh wait, that’s not a GI issue. This is another damn contraction.”
So I start breathing. Just the deep breaths. In 1-2-3. Out 1-2-3. Practicing for the real thing. My husband gets worried because he’s already on high alert. Poor guy is never going to sleep again. And I tell him, it’s fine just a practice contraction. But he stares at me until it’s over just in case I’m wrong.
I don’t think I’ve ever had more than two in a row. Yet.
The worst one was in the grocery store. I’m not sure if it was pushing the shopping cart or because I was just due for a round, but first I felt hungry. Then I felt sick. I thought, “I feel sick because I let myself get too hungry.” But by the time I got to the checkout line, I was using the little check writing station for support. And I was in real pain by the time I got to the car. I called my husband when I got in the car to inform him that he was to take all the groceries out of the car and into the house when I arrived because I was surely dying. *sigh*
My guess is that they started at about 30 or so weeks. Now I’m starting to recognize them for what they are instead of thinking they might be something else. Like the result of too much ice cream. Though I will say, often after a bout with BH, I do end up in the bathroom. Not sure if that’s normal or not. At this point, I don’t even care about normal anymore.
I love feeling my baby move and kick. He does that a lot these days. But these Braxton Hicks can move on. Seriously.