This week has brought a wave of changes. Many people have started to comment that I look ready or look like I will go into labor any day now. Surprisingly, I feel ready. To start this 37th week, we had our normal weekly non-stress test (NST) and fluid check. And for the first time since we started the weekly testing, contractions were detected during the NST. Jelly Bean was handling the contractions really well which was great to hear. As the day progressed, so did the sporadic contractions I was feeling.

By the afternoon, a wave of excitement spread through me. What if this was it? What if this was the start of labor and welcoming Jelly Bean?

Emma's 37-week bump

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

By the evening, the sporadic tightening of my stomach intensified. I wouldn’t call the contractions painful, but they were certainly uncomfortable and I was taking notice. When they shifted lower to the base of my uterus, which is where I felt all of my labor pains with Austin, I began to toss around the idea of notifying my doulas and midwife that this may be the start of the real thing. But first, I wanted to time the contractions. As I pulled up the PALS app, they stopped all of a sudden.

My husband and I retired for the evening and the contractions never started up again.

I texted our doulas as an FYI just in case they picked back up again overnight, but they never did. I suppose my body was done practicing for the time being. Reflecting back, I’m glad I had so many practice contractions that day because now I know that I will have a positive emotional reaction to the real thing – excited! The day we welcome Jelly Bean into the world is almost here and I have a sense of peace and calmness as we wait for the big day.

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