A few weeks ago, I remember reading in my countless baby books that I might begin to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. The books and websites all said something to the effect of, “They won’t hurt, it’s just your body practicing for labor. If you have more than 4 an hour and/or they hurt, call your doctor.” And so I waited. Sort of like when I read that I might begin to feel the baby move and I debated whether each twinge and tickle was the baby or just gas, I began to wonder what a Braxton Hicks contraction feels like and if I would ever feel one. At my checkup every two weeks my doctor would ask, “Have you felt any Braxton Hicks contractions yet?”. My answer was generally, “Ummm, I’m not sure, I don’t really know what they feel like… so… no?”.
A week or two ago I got my answer. My doc told me it feels like your whole stomach has gone hard as a rock. Perhaps that has been happening for awhile, but I only started really noticing it recently. Not only does my stomach go rock solid (which is a very strange sensation, both from the outside and the inside), but I also feel this achey, crampy kind of feeling in my lower abdomen where my uterus (and normal menstrual cramps) used to be. It’s not painful, persay, but I find it to be a strange and unusual feeling. And at the end of the day when my body is tired from a long day of commuting/being at work, I can feel them even more acutely. Last night I actually said to Benjamin, “My uterus is TIRED.” Really? How could I possible know if my uterus is tired? But that’s what it feels like.
I’ve also read that in a few short weeks the baby will descend to get into a better position in the birth canal. Believe me, by the time I get to the T in the morning (after walking about a mile from my house), I feel like the baby has already descended so far that he’s pressing against my pubic bone! Gravity, I tell you. I can’t imagine what he’ll feel like when he actually does descend.
For all the ladies who have been pregnant, did you have Braxton Hicks? What did they feel like? Did you feel your baby descend?