For the last month or so I've been getting regular Braxton Hicks contractions, or "practice contractions", they haven't hurt I could just tell when I was getting them. I let my OB know about them (pretty much every time I went in for an appointment) and she told me that if I get more than 6 in an hour then I need to head to the hospital. I've had several times where I was right on the cusp of 6 in an hour but they always went away when I laid down.
But yesterday after a perfectly normal morning and afternoon while we were out running errands I started getting painful contractions and pressure in my pelvis. I scared the crap out of my husband because I always told him every time I was having a Braxton Hicks contractions and he knows those are normal, but in the middle of target I about bit his head off with big ol' tears in my eyes that we needed to leave NOW. Sitting down the contractions didn't go away, and we had already well passed the 6 in an hour mark. Of course this was at about 5 o'clock on a Friday, so we hit major traffic on the way to the hospital.
We went to labor and delivery triage, they were all very calm and nice. The nurse hooked me up to the contraction and fetal heart rate monitor, Evy's heartbeat was perfectly fine the whole time but after being monitored for an hour or so they let me know that I was having real contractions about every 7 minutes or so. One not so fun pelvic exam later we found out that I was also 1 cm dilated. While 1 cm out of 10 cm isn't horrible I'm only 31 weeks along and baby girl is so not ready yet. I was given some medication to stop the contractions and left to be monitored for another couple hours while they waited for the lab test to get back from my pelvic exam. At this point Jon and I both knew that we were all going to be fine, the contractions had stopped and I had started feeling a lot better. I was sent home with orders to stay hydrated and rest until I could see my regular OB next week.
During this whole ordeal all I could think was "we're not ready yet, I'm not ready yet." over and over again. I wouldn't say I was terrified because at this point I'm not scared of labor, but I was worried I couldn't help thinking about how small our girl is right now and how even if everything went alright we'd still have to leave her in the NICU if she was born at 31 weeks. So scary.
Hopefully that'll be our last scare until 36 weeks or later, but now we know we need to be prepared for anything. I'm so thankful that everything turned out alright.