It started Wednesday morning. I called my friend "J" who was due the day before to see how things were progressing for her. She said after the doctor had stripped her membranes, she'd started having some mild, irregular contractions that had continued until that morning. We planned to meet up at the mall that afternoon to walk, hoping to get her contractions regular and send her into labor. We met and walked for close to 2 hours, stopping from time to time to look around a store or two. We waddled from Sears to Macy's and back again, trying to figure out if she was having contractions (this was her first pregnancy). Finally, Shepherd had enough of the walking while being confined to a stroller, so we wrapped up our walking, and said our goodbyes. As my friend walked away, I joked, "See you at the hospital tonight!!" (Really meaning that I hoped she'd go into labor... I had no intentions of going into labor that night).
On the drive home (around 4), I noticed some contractions, irregular, and strong. I sighed and chalked it up to false labor again. I'd already had several nights with episodes of regular strong contractions lasting several hours only to fizzle out, so I wasn't getting my hopes up. Shepherd and I got home, and started piddling around the house, playing with his toys, and getting supper ready. Around 5, I noticed that my contractions were pretty regular now, and if I guessed, I'd have to say they were about 5 minutes apart, not that I started timing them, because this? This was false labor, my friends. Forrest got home, and insisted we start timing the contractions. They were lasting a minute long, coming 3 1/2 to 4 minutes apart. Again, unconvinced that this was true labor, I waited for another hour. I checked again around 7, and they were still the same interval and length. I'd been timing the contractions for 2 hours, and with them not letting up, decided to call my friend "S" who has 4 children (all under the age of 6), and who also happens to be a nurse. She said for me to drink a ton of water, walk around the block for an hour, and then see if the contractions were still regular. My mom came over, and we walked. The walking only made the contractions come harder and last longer, so after 30 minutes, I was ready for a break. We sat in the living room, and timed them again, with them coming every 3 minutes and lasting a full minute. We timed them for 30 minutes, and then I realized I'd had regular contractions that I'd been timing for 3 hours now (non-timed, 4 hours). I called another friend who is a nurse at my OB, and told her what was happening. She suggested I go on in, as she knew that the Labor and Delivery at the hospital had been packed out lately, and beds were short in number. She said if I wanted an epidural (and boy, oh boy, was I going to want one), I needed to go on in. I hesitated. I still wasn't completely convinced that this was true labor, and even if it was, I probably would be more comfortable at home. But something in the back of my mind reminded me that I would most definitely want that epidural. I showered, packed my things, straightened up. Forrest packed the car, got ready, and we called my parents to comeback over to watch Shepherd.
Once we got in the car, I decided to call my friend "J" to let her know that I was on my way to the hospital, and to see how she was doing. Her husband answered the phone, and let me know that they had been at the hospital since 10 (it was 10:30) and that they'd see us in a little bit. I laughed, not believing the fact that I'd be laboring with my friend. Maybe, just maybe our children would be born on the same day after all!!