I think I can fairly say I am in labor now. (Eeee!!!) The contractions started getting closer together last night around midnight, and now they're anywhere from seven to 12 minutes apart, which is not close enough to go to the hospital but close enough to qualify as early labor, especially since they're kind of intense, especially in my back. Steve massages my lower back when they come, and it makes a huge difference. We didn't sleep much last night, and I've been napping a lot today, and it's all a bit surreal, the waiting and watching and feeling things change in my body. Of course, this could stall out and I'll still be here (ouch ... contraction here ... oooooooooooo) Monday, but I think the Lemmondrop is on the move.
We did go to the hospital this morning, though. Not because of the contractions but because I seemed to be bleeding a lot. Like, a lot more than the books say is normal for the bloody show. Fresh, red blood that fell in clots into the toilet, like I was having my period. I called the Birth Center and the nurse triage line at my OB's office, and they both sounded a little freaked out by it and said I should come in to get checked. So we did, and I lay there for 45 minutes strapped to a monitor, which revealed that I was indeed having contractions and that the baby's heart rate is just fine, and the nurse checked me out and said she thinks I might just be a heavy bleeder, but nothing to worry about. Our OB was in the hospital, so he stopped in to say hi, too. And then they sent us home.
For some reason last night, as I was lying awake between contractions thinking about all that was happening, something popped into my head that our Irish tour guide, Kate, used to say on our pilgrimage around Ireland last summer. Whenever it was time to get moving, she'd say, "OK, family, we go!" ... Not "Let's go," or "Time to go," or "Here we go." Just, "We go," in her charming, Irish lilt. And how could you not love that she called us "family" and not "folks" or "people" or "everyone"? For the 10 days we were on that trip, she made us feel like family. So now, Kate's voice is in my head — Kate, who a few days ago sent an e-mail letting us know that she has a candle lit for us on the other side of the world, waiting for word. It's her words I think about now. OK, family. We go.