Okay, so it's looking like Poe might be arriving a little earlier than his due date. My mom commented last night that he could be a couple weeks early and a friend I work with says I'm probably going to be early too. I'm waiting to see if they are right. I keep getting over the last few weeks symptoms across the board that could indicate anything from preterm labor to braxton hicks or maybe even the real deal. But not enough to add up to anything yet to date. Anyways, this doesn't seem to be 'textbook' on signs of any of the categories I could put my symptoms into.
False Labor/Braxton Hicks:
Contractions are irregular do not increase in frequency or severity
Contractions subside if I walk around or change postions (although a nap sometimes provides temporary relief I am finding out)
The baby punches me in the stomach when I get contractions
Prelabor or Preterm labor symptoms:
Dropping (this occurred aproximately 2-3 weeks ago)
Sensations of increasing pressure in the pelvis and rectum (also could be considered a normal third trimester symptom due to baby sitting on one's bladder again)
A change in energy levels (I've had days that I feel up to getting things done and others I just drag my feet)
Intensification of Braxton Hicks contractions (as was the case last night, they got stronger for about an hour, then just quit like someone hitting a switch)
Diarrhea (so appealing to hear about I'm sure, but nonetheless, a symptom. I go through spurts where I'm in the bathroom more frequently than usual, but that's about it on this one.)
Real Labor symptoms:
The contractions intensify, and do not ease up with a change in position or walking
Contractions increase in frequency and become steadily more painful
Although the local hospital also lists period-like cramps that come and go, low, dull backache, pressure in the vagina or lower abdomen that may feel like the baby is pushing down, change in the type or amount of vaginal discharge, abdominal cramps that may be accompanied by diarrhea, 4-5 uterine contractions in one hour as preterm labor. I've experienced all of the above but mostly in spurts and not always at the same time.
A lot of this stuff comes and goes at random and has yet to last long enough to add up to anything. My instructions say I should call the doc right away for a number of these symptoms, but I don't see the point in going down the hospital constantly just so they can send me home. I am waiting to see if my mucous plug falls out (although some never actually see this occur), some form of bloody show, or the obvious breaking of my water before I worry about calling the doc and telling them I think it's time and making my poor DBF drive me down to the hospital and have another late night due to a false alarm. If we went to the hospital every time I experienced something that could be described as preterm labor or the real deal, I think the poor guy would almost be guaranteed many a late night or no sleep at all. Besides, I hate the idea of crying wolf over every little thing. Maybe I'm just stubborn about spending more time in a hospital than I feel I should have to. But my body doesn't seem to know that it's only supposed to do certain things to get ready for D day, so it's going to be interesting to see how this all pans out.
Also, a last side note, I had a checkup with the doc on Friday and she confirmed Poe has already turned head down as well.