Well, we fell for it. I started having period-like cramping, lots of bloody discharge, lower back pain and Braxton-Hicks Friday night. I texted my mother, who told me I would go into labor any minute. After 30 years as a midwife, even she fell for it! It continued on and off for the next three days, and here I am, only a little cramping, not in labor at all. This could go on for weeks!

Friday J and I arrived at The Langham Huntington, a luxury hotel in Pasadena, for our mini Babymoon. I’m usually disappointed with hotels upon arrival, since the Internet makes them look so nice, but this was the opposite – we were impressed with the gorgeous lobby, service and grounds immediately. I’d left a note with our reservation that it was a last-minute Babymoon and I’d be 8.5 months along, and when we arrived we had a free upgrade and chocolate-covered strawberries in the room!

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The king bed had the softest sheets I’d ever felt, probably a very high threadcount. We had fun reading the room service menu, luxuriating in the sheets and looking around the marble bathroom like little kids. Eventually we went to the pool, which thanks to the holiday weekend was crammed with upper-middle class children cannonballing into the deep end. Oh well, we embraced it. Being in the pool felt awesome and my belly felt really heavy when I got out. I had a perfect virgin piña colada – very creamy and not too sweet – and J had a sparkling rose, which she let me sip on. We decided not to leave the hotel for dinner and to just relax and enjoy, despite the restaurant prices. Entrees at the fine dining steakhouse went up to $65, so we opted for the more moderate restaurant and sat on the terrace overlooking the pool. We shared a salad with fresh figs and feta, then J had a dish of pasta and I had Jidori chicken (fairly humanely raised and local). We marveled that there we were, at a five-star hotel, expecting a baby, and could afford to enjoy ourselves, but only for one night! Haha. We put our phones away, so the only pics I have are from the Internet:

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Somewhere in there I mentioned to J that I was losing my mucous plug and having period cramps and lower back pain. I didn’t know what the bloody show was supposed to look like, but we googled it and I was having it. The baby was also grinding her head on my cervix (I guess they call this “lightning crotch”) which was taking my breath away it was so painful. I’d been feeling this for weeks but not as intensely. That’s when my mom thought I’d be going into labor soon. It’s not that these symptoms always mean a woman is going into labor, just that based on my pregnancy and my mom’s own deliveries when we were babies, she just had a feeling it was happening. I was totally in denial and told her and J this could go on for weeks, but they both had “a feeling.” My first thought was if we had to go to the hospital, we’d have wasted money on this amazing hotel room!

In the morning we ate on that same terrace again – coffee, toast and a delicious omelet – and enjoyed the sunshine and the families camping out for their 4th of July by the pool. We had a late check-out, so we enjoyed our fancy room some more then had a long lunch by the pool. We had a truly amazing Babymoon, thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and each other, and now will always remember it as an exciting time.

By the time we left the hotel, I was feeling cramping, back pain and discharge again. We were starting to get nervous. I insisted on stopping at the grocery store to stock up for early labor. We went to a grocery store in Pasadena and started throwing random stuff in the cart. Two containers of hummus, bagels and cream cheese, Vitamin water for labor, a carton of Ben & Jerry’s (me), FOUR bags of potato chips, a pack of Pampers infant even though we plan to cloth diaper AND only use recycled disposables (J). It was hilarious. I the frozen food isle I started tearing up and J hugged me and told her I couldn’t have a baby today, I wasn’t ready.

When we got home I threw up everything I’d eating including breakfast, which meant it hadn’t digested well. I tried to do all the things I’d planned to do in the following week – despite cramping and fatigue, I cleaned the bathrooms, the kitchen, mopped the floors, did two loads of laundry, and made homemade cream of celery soup. I didn’t eat enough and totally exhausted myself, then threw up again (mostly water) and finally calmed down.

That night the baby moved so much, causing more symptoms, that we thought something would happen in the middle of the night, but I woke up with no more symptoms. The problem was, my mother had already jumped the gun and was halfway here from New Mexico, just in case I went into labor. We really want her here when that happens and afterwards to help with the baby, but by then we assumed it was a false alarm.

The guessing game has continued – the rest of the mucous plug fell out (sorry, that is so gross), I’ve had on-and-off cramping, lots of movement with irregular contractions, especially at night, and yesterday morning I woke up in the morning with cramps. Then last night, nothing at all. In fact, Glitter hasn’t been moving as much as usual. At 4am I freaked out, had some orange juice, she only moved a tiny bit, then almost woke my mom up but decided to just sleep. This morning my mom did some midwife tricks, moving my stomach around until Glitter moved a little, but she’s definitely not as active as usual.

My mother has been helping me with baby preparations but she’s considering going back to New Mexico until I actually go into labor. I love having her here because I need help! I didn’t have many newborn clothes and no complete outfits, so we bought some pants to go with the onesies I do have and two newborn pajamas with footies and hand holds. Then we got some essentials I hadn’t gotten around to yet like a nasal aspirator, baby thermometer and nail clippers. We also went to Whole Foods and made a great taco dinner for J, who’d had a rough day at work, complete with fresh margaritas (for them, not for me). We had fried Tilapia, pulled pork (which I don’t eat), spiced black beans, then the fixings – homemade cabbage slaw, homemade guacamole, crumbled cotija, fresh salsa, red onions in vinegar, and lime juice. And chips! Soooo good.

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I did a hypnobirthing exercise in the tub and we watched The Bachelorette. My mom mixed up Break Your Water Cookies, which are supposed to jump start labor. They have ginger, cinnamon and cayenne, which we doubled, and they’re so spicy it’s hard to eat them without almond milk! Of course these are silly and don’t work, but it was a fun induction project!

http://www.shoppingfortwo.com/Articles/Pregnancy/breakyourwatercookies.htm

I didn’t want to go into labor that early. In fact, when it was happening I felt like I was losing out on valuable time I’d been counting on to prepare and relax. When it stopped happening though, J and I were both disappointed. It was so exciting and overwhelming, then anticlimactic. These next few days/weeks are going to be a roller coaster! Now that things are fairly under control, with clean floors and a full fridge, I feel more relaxed. I have a midwife appointment this afternoon, a haircut tonight, and prenatal yoga with my doula tomorrow. We’ll see how things go but I have a feeling nothing is going to happen for awhile.

I can’t photograph the nursery now that my mom is staying there, but I’ll get around to it soon.

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