I know it's silly to be embarrassed since I have no control over these things, but I just can't help feeling bad that my dear friends had to drop everything to help us take care of our son and my husband missed half a day of work for what was just "practice" labor. The good news is I now know that our D-Day strategy works just fine, and we are very blessed with really wonderful friends! After two false alarms, Anthony is also getting used to spending long hours without Mama at his godparents' house, so I definitely won't be so worried about him when the time really does come. They have a big dog that actually lets Anthony ride her like a horse and lots of kids to play with and he just loves it there.
This whole false alarm thing is new to me. With Anthony, I had no Braxton-Hicks whatsoever, and when labor started it kicked into high gear within the first hour. The whole process from first contraction to birth was about nine hours. I suppose I ought to refer to it as "trial labor" or "practice labor," because that's more positive-sounding and that really is what my body is doing. I've been re-reading my Bradley books and practice labor is actally beneficial for the baby, because it helps the baby get into the best position and is gentler overall than an all-at-once fast-and-furious descent. For me, I'm less likely to tear and likely to have a shorter, less painful labor because some of the work has already been done.
I think it was also a blessing because it made this new baby seem more real to me. That might sound odd, since I've been feeling kicks and so forth for a long time now. Or maybe the way I'm feeling is perfectly normal for second-time and after mothers. Throughout this pregnancy I've been primarily focused on my child who is requiring my constant attention as he coasts on his little bike down our neighbor's driveway right into the street. This baby's comparatively easy. All I have to do is eat and drink and she's taken care of. I'm sure once the baby arrives the balance of attention will shift, but up until now it's certainly been skewed in Anthony's favor!
I'm realizing now that everything really IS about to change in our family. I'm at once savoring the way things are now and getting excited about the little one who will be here so very soon. We had a special spontaneous day at the zoo last week, just Anthony and me. It will probably be a long time before we ever have just the two of us again, and by that time he will probably be very different than he is now! I just won't be able to give him this kind of attention for much longer. Actually, that's already been true on those days where I'm just so tired from being pregnant. It sounds bittersweet, but it really isn't. He's definitely benefitting in the long term by receiving the gift of a new brother or sister! He just has no idea what he's in for! And neither do Ryan and I, really. But I do know that it's going to be wonderful.