“When is my baby sister coming out?”
You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard that question over the last six months. I’m certain I’ve heard some variation hundreds of times. It’s the first thing my daughter asks in the morning and her last question before bed. And she throws it out a handful of times during the day for good measure. Then every time I leave for a doctor’s appointment my son asks me if they’re going to take the baby out.
I think I’ve come to realize that no matter how many times you experience pregnancy, the ending always feels the same. You’re full of anticipation, uncomfortable nights, and it drags on forever. The first 8 months flew by. I hardly kept up with my weekly pregnancy documenting on Instagram. We’ve been so busy with life that the growing baby sorta took a back seat to everything else going on. But now that we’re in the homestretch and she’s sticking out so far, the baby topic is unavoidable. Everyone wants to know when she’s coming. And boy do I wish I knew.
With my first daughter I knew babies weren’t likely to come on their due date. But I still had high hopes she’d come a little early. I started my maternity leave from the news station on my due date. I was so done. But then she didn’t come for TEN. MORE. DAYS.
I’d wasted a whole week and a half of my maternity leave trying everything under the sun to start labor naturally. I finally guiltily gave in to being induced (guilty because the online mom mob told me I should just let it happen).
The second time around I knew better. I decided I wouldn’t start my maternity leave until I went into labor. My due date came and went and every day I walked into the station with my huge cankles my coworkers would either gasp or laugh at the fact that I was still present. Five days after my due date I didn’t even know what to do when I started to have contractions.
I tracked them as best as I could and when it seemed like they’d been going on for about an hour I woke my husband up so we could go to the hospital.
I showed up there like “Hey ya’ll I’m ready!”
And everyone there was like “ummm, did you call anyone?” Nope.
I didn’t know what I was doing. My contractions slowed down to almost a halt but they didn’t send me home since I was already past my due date.
This time around I’m thinking third time’s a charm. I’m more aware of what contractions feel like and I’m a more diligent about tracking them. I recently found out about a tool called Bloomlife which is a wearable contraction tracker you can use at home. I stick it on my belly in the evenings when I’m watching a show and monitor what my body is up to. Sometimes I’m certain I am feeling contractions and the app confirms. Other times it’s just in my head. There have been a few nights when I thought maybe, just maybe my body was about to launch into labor, but nope. Or minor contractions without any pattern or consistency. It’s still been neat to watch my body work itself up to birthing this little girl.
So here’s how Bloomlife works
It’s a contraption timer you rent, not buy cause–Ya know, we aren’t doing this again (knock on wood). I connect the bluetooth tracker to a sticky patch and stick the set to my belly, a few fingers below my belly button. It’s hands-free and cords free and works with both iOS and Android devices.
Open up the app on my phone where the device connects and calibrates to Bloomlife.
Press start then let the app track my contractions for an hour.
It tracks my contractions big and small in real time, then after the hour tells me the average duration and interval.
It’s also great at distinguishing between baby movements and contractions.
The main challenge for me is making sure I pick a time when I’ll be chilling for a while otherwise it keeps telling me to sit still. Lately I’ve been tracking in the evenings while binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns or my new favorite: What Would You Do? and enjoying an ice cream sandwich.
It is nice seeing that my body is doing what it’s supposed to do, and it’ll be there to help me know when it’s actually go-time. Sadly right now it doesn’t work as a Magic 8 ball and it can’t predict exactly when this baby is coming out (sorry kids!). (Though interestingly enough that is a feature they are working on!) But I know she’ll be here before we know it (and for everyone wondering, my guess is just a couple of days past her due date!).
Checkout Bloomlife.com for more information on how it works. Use my code JB10 to get 10% off your rental.