I think I’ve started getting Braxton Hicks this week. Just like last time on Little Man, the Braxton Hicks I feel aren’t exactly as described in the pregnancy books. According to what I’ve read about Braxton Hicks, you should experience them as painless contractions of your belly, lasting a minute or two at a time. That’s not what I experience. Painless yes, but lasting just a minute or two – no. They seem to last for ages for me – I’m never sure exactly how long, because if I’m up and moving around I don’t really notice them. But as soon as I sit down, I’m so uncomfortable because my entire belly is as hard as a rock. It seems to take anything from fifteen minutes to an hour to subside, and then I might not experience it again for a day or two.
That’s exactly how I experienced Braxton Hicks while pregnant with Little Man though, so I guess it’s just how my body warms up for labour. I won’t complain because last time around, on the day, all those lengthy warm up contractions seemed to have paid off, and my labour was quick and smooth. So hopefully it will be the same this time around. That’s what I try to remind myself anyway when I am squirming around trying to find a comfortable position while I wait for my stomach to soften up again.
I’ve read that dehydration can lead to Braxton Hicks becoming more pronounced, so I am trying to make more of an effort to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. I haven’t noticed any difference in terms of the Braxton Hicks though – the only real effect seems to be that I now require extra trips to the bathroom!
The strengthening movements continue this week. The kicks and rolls are now strong enough that I can see my belly move, and it’s easy to feel the kicks with my hand, especially when they’re at the top of the bump. On Wednesday night, Little Man was sitting beside me while we read a story, when I got a few really strong kicks. I asked him if he wanted to feel the baby kicking. He was so excited to feel his little sister moving. Then he realised that she was kicking me – and the rules in our house clearly state that no one is allowed to kick Mammy! So he gave out to her for kicking Mammy. I explained to him that she’s not really kicking me, she’s just stretching her legs and saying hello to him. Since she can’t talk yet, the only thing she can do is give a little tap with her foot to say hello to him. He was delighted then to think that his little sister was saying hello to him. He started chatting away to her telling her all about the things he will teach her when she is big enough to come out! I must admit, I teared up a little listening to him!
Find my complete pregnancy journal here.