July 8, 2016 was my last scheduled day of work before I was to begin my long-awaited maternity leave. I had been looking forward to spending the next week or two relaxing at home and prepping the last few things before my son, Rory’s arrival. At lunch that day, I went to my 39-week appointment where my midwife stripped my membranes at my request.
“You’re 3 cm dilated right now,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t push you to 4 cm. Just watch for signs of labor over the next few days.” I went back to work feeling excited. With my first pregnancy, I had never dilated until I was 41 weeks and only then with the help of Cervidil. This time my body was seemingly doing what it was supposed to!
Back at work, however, I still had a full day of clients and meetings ahead of me. I was in one of these meetings a few hours later when my contractions started. I shrugged them off as Braxton Hicks and continued on with my day, but the contractions kept getting stronger and stronger. By the end of the day, I could not ignore them anymore and began deep breathing exercises as the pain became worse.
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