I started having contractions around 9:00 in the morning on December 10, 2012. The contractions were stronger than the usual Braxton-hicks I’d been having, and they were more frequent. They were as consistent as my contractions usually get, and over the course of the morning they were getting closer together at times. However, with my two previous birth experiences my contractions didn’t get consistent and/or regular until the very end of the labors; so with this being my third, I didn’t know what to expect or how quickly it would go.
I decided to call Teresa, our doula, after we ate lunch at about 12:30 pm. At this point I was exactly 37 weeks pregnant, so it was early which made me question whether or not this was the real thing. I talked to Teresa about all this, and she suggested I call Intown Midwifery and see about going in for a labor check. We called Intown on our drive down, and I went in to get checked while my husband continued to drive around with our two sleeping kids in the car. I got checked about 2:30 pm, and I was 4 cm dilated, about 40% effaced, and -1 station. Emile suggested hanging around the area to see if my contractions would get closer together, because at this point it would be hard to say if I was actually in labor or not. She told me that it is possible to sustain a pregnancy on 4 cms dilation, so it was still too early to make that determination. I went back downstairs and outside to call my husband to come back and pick me up, and then I made a couple more phone calls to make arrangements for my kids. I called Teresa to discuss what was going on, and I let her know that while I had been standing outside for the past 30 minutes walking and talking on the phone, the contractions seemed to be coming more quickly, at about every 2 minutes. I asked her to come on down and that we were going to go over to the hospital.