I'm back from vacation, and happy to report that I did NOT go into labor while out of town!
However, I now have reason to hope that the baby will arrive as soon as possible. Yesterday in the late morning, I began feeling a lot of strain in the ligaments and muscles near my pelvis. I know this happens from time to time in pregnancy, as the body loosens up to prepare for labor. But as the day wore on, it was becoming more and more painful. By afternoon, it was so bad, I could barely walk. This was especially difficult, because I had a billion things to do yesterday - washing the mountains of vacation laundry, stocking up on much-needed groceries, taking Sly to an important appointment, etc. Luckily, I had mostly finished the first two tasks before it got really bad. But by the time Tom made it home (with dinner in hand!), I was just lying incapacitated on the couch.
Very fortunately, I happened to have an appointment already scheduled last night with the midwives. I described the pain I was having, and she said it could be one of three things: I was starting to go into labor, my body was having normal ligament-related pregnancy pains, or I was having less common symphysis pubis pain. After examining me, and pressing various places to see what would make me yell, she concluded that it was a combination of the latter two. Ugh.
The symphysis pubis is a little stretch of cartilage between the pelvic bones. As the pelvis spreads in late pregnancy, it can sometimes be felt as a sharp pain in that area.
The midwife tells me that the only real "cure" is to give birth, and that even after that, it will still hurt for a while. Man. I can't imagine feeling this way for two (or more?!) weeks.
She wrote me a referral for physical therapy, which can sometimes help. I did make an appointment with them for the end of the week. But I'm so close to my due date now that I don't know how much it can help. Apparently, they can give women a special girdle to wear that basically squeezes the pelvis back together. The midwife also suggested a few exercises/stretches to try last night. I couldn't even manage to get my legs into the positions, and ended up crying in extreme pain on the floor, and needing Tom to heft me back up. I just feel so helpless right now.
I think I could deal with this better if I didn't have Sly to look after. It's one thing to let go of my desire to keep the house clean and get dinner on the table every night (which is especially strong now, with all the "nesting urges"). But I can't just stop taking care of my son. It's been difficult to do everything I need to take care of him.
I also worry about what this might mean for the labor itself. I mean, if it already hurts this much now...and if it's already difficult just doing simple motions like turning over in bed, or putting on shorts...how am I going to get this baby out of me without fainting from the pain? Yikes.
Everything else was good at the appointment, at least. My blood pressure is great, baby's heartbeat is great. She is head-down, though facing the wrong way. I'm supposed to do lots of hands-and-knees positions to encourage her to turn (please do turn, baby!).
I'm still two weeks from my due date, but my hope is that baby comes sooner!