I spent the morning raiding Whole Foods for shelf-stable yet labor-friendly foods -- juice boxes, yogurt tubes, Luna bars -- but dawdled in putting together the hospital bag. I got as far as taking everything out and strewing it all over the bed, and then opted for an early afternoon nap instead, since we had our Awesome Babysitter for a few more hours.
Long about 3:30 I noticed the usual mucous goo was streaked with pink. "Hmm," I thought. And left it at that.
Thirteen minutes later (when I had to pee again), more of the same. And nine minutes later. And so forth.
"Hmm," I thought. And left it at that.
And noticed a familiar crampy sensation too. Exactly like very mild period cramps. Every few minutes.
But then Sean got home, I fixed supper, time for Sophia's bath-story-bed train. I mentioned my interesting findings to Sean, who got a gleam in his eye, but said something along the lines of..."Hmm." We checked in with our doula Ellen before bed, just to let her know something was up -- she was out to dinner, but encouraged us to call when things were regular but not bad, because it would take her about an hour to get out here. "Sure, of course," I replied, thinking that things would die down after I went to sleep, but maybe in the morning we'd have some news to report.
And then around midnight I woke up, and the cramps were stronger -- like bad but not intolerable period cramps -- and after some futzing around with an internet contraction timer, it became obvious that they were reaching that magical interval: every three to five minutes, about a minute long. Of course it wasn't time to call anyone yet -- not at that time of night! -- they were still so easy to deal with.
Around one we decided to call Ellen again. You know, just to let her know. Because, eh, these crampy things, they were pretty easy to deal with -- stop a second, breathe through the peak, all done, doze in between. "I'll have some coffee and come on over," she told me, after I had to put down the phone to get through what I was somewhat dubiously referring to as a contraction. "Let's time them for an hour," suggested Sean. Which seemed like overkill to me, but okay, whatever. Our midwives' policy is that you call when things get to 4-1-1: Four minutes apart, one minute long, for an hour.
And sure enough: Every four minutes. One minute long. From 1:30 to 2:30 a.m.