Famous Last Words
Homeward Bound in Sixty Seconds

False Start

So...around 8:30 last night I had a contraction. I was standing on our bed, describing this great new color scheme and fancy painting technique I'm imagining for the bedroom, when I involuntarily yelped and clutched my ballooning belly. Jason raised his eyebrow and I clapped my hands together and sarcastically exclaimed, "Honey, it's time!" like pregnant women do in the movies.

Then I rolled my eyes and got back to the serious business of spending nonexistent money on hypothetical furniture.

Then five minutes later, I had another contraction.

And then another.

And this went on for awhile. Every five minutes. I drank some water. I sat down and put my feet up. I paced up and down the hallway.

After about an hour, they were still coming every five minutes or so, but didn't seem to be getting any worse. I decided to pack up my hospital bag anyway, panicking because I hadn't washed the baby's coming-home outfit yet. And the cameras weren't charged, and neither was my phone, and holy shit, MY TOENAILS.

I'd just put the finishing coat on my nails when the contractions stopped. Jason (who had been chugging caffeine and eating a variety of high-protein snacks downstairs while I occasionally reported on the state of my clenching uterus) looked pretty disappointed at the news.

And then everything started up again 20 minutes later.

By this point I was 99% sure we were dealing with false labor -- even though the contractions were coming at fairly regular intervals, they weren't consistent in intensity and weren't getting any worse, even though they'd been happening for hours. I kept trying to remember exactly how I felt in the hours before I knew I was "officially" in labor with Noah and was drawing a blank. Which is probably why I say stupid shit to pregnant women now about how "great" my labor was and how "empowering" it felt and whatever, it barely hurt at all! Menstrual cramps are worse! 'Tis a flesh wound!

In short, I was driving myself crazy, which is how I found myself on a dusty, never-used elliptical machine in our basement at 11:45 pm, hoping that if this was indeed IT and TIME, the exercise would get things progressing in a convincing manner.

Aaaaaaaand guess what! I'm still so totally fucking pregnant.

My bag is packed, at least. And I have every intention of finally starting to THINK about washing some baby clothes today. And oh, thank heavens, my toenails are painted. I mean, whew. Dodged quite a bullet there, Amy. How did you even sleep at night before?


The book signing thing! Is this Saturday. And unfortunately, there was some kind of snafu with the location and it's been moved from Vinoteca to the more child-friendly Caribou Coffee at 1400 14th St. NW. Time is the same, 5 - 7 pm. I know, I KNOW. I can't even drink and yet I am mourning the loss of the wine bar. FOR YOU. Sympathy alcohol pangs. But! It should still be pretty fun and casual and not scary and now Noah will be free to run around and charm you with his dimples and pirate talk. Or maybe he'll be a cranky standoffish jerk. You just never know how these popular blog offspring are gonna be. God, they think they're so awesome or whatever.

(Please come! Oh God.)

Also, I try not to barrage y'all with constant links to my paid ventures and all, but there's a giveaway on Mamapop right now for an entire year's supply of free Dove Beauty Products. Which I am like, really mad that I'm not allowed to enter, being that it's like, my job to pick a winner and all sorts of crap about "cheating" and "fairness." And all you have to do is leave a comment! That's it! (We get no money from the Dove people for this, by the way, it's just a really cool prize and if anyone deserves a year's supply of deodorant, it's YOU.)



I'm happy you mentioned the changed venue. I just happened to catch it while looking at my calendar and planning my entire Saturday around YOU.

This is also why I am glad you weren't really in labor. Wait until after Saturday, please!

Deanna B

I wish that I lived in DC so I could come see the adorableness that is your son.

Hey You

The last month of my pregnancy with The Son, I walked miles upon miles, made The Husband have sex with me, ate so much spicy food that I bought stock in Tums, and bounced so much on my Yoga ball that it sprang a leak. I still wound up with an induction and c-section.


i have exercised to help move false labors into real labors more than i have exercised in my thirty years

false labor SUCKS.


I made my husband wait while I painted my toenails before we left for the hospital...but then I wouldn't let him go through the McDonald's drive-thru for an Egg McMuffin on the way.



With kiddo #1 I went into false labor 3 times before I returned home with a baby. When I finally did go into labor I knew it cause my water broke.


With kiddo #1 I went into false labor 3 times before I returned home with a baby. When I finally did go into labor I knew it cause my water broke.


Wait wait wait hold up...how the hell did you manage to paint your toenails?


I'm with Chrissy -- ?!? I resorted to making my husband paint them. Also at the very last minute, in between dry heaving because I was so nervous about my scheduled c-section. He really loves me. And I was REALLY bossy at the end!


First things first. Please explain how you manage to paint your toenails at 30-something weeks? I am 25 weeks and almost popped a hip out trying to trim mine this weekend. Seriously. Is there a special position you use? Or do you have extraordinarily long arms? Because I cannot imagine what they will look like 3 months from now if I can no longer reach them.
Also, I wish I lived closer and could come to your book signing. I love reading you every day and feel like I have gone through this whole pregnancy things together. Glad you did not have this baby before the big signing though but I'm sure by this point you will be happy whenever it happens. Sorry so long. I guess I need a hobby.


boo false labor! At least your packed and thinking about washing baby clothes now, see silver lining!

have fun at the book signing wish I could be there!

Definatly going to check out that dove contest, thanks for telling us!


OK...I totally cannot find a comment button for that giveaway!? Maybe it is pregnancy brain but Huh?



I feel so bad for you. I've been there for a month. Am overdue now. Fake contractions sux.


I'm trying to figure out what position you were in to paint your toenails. I'm not pregnant myself, but my pregnant friends (20-something and 30-something weeks) need their husbands to do it. Were you part of Cirque in a past life?


I'd also like to know how the heck you painted your toenails!

It sounds like you hooked those Dove people with the series on deodorants. Now you've got to come up with similar takes on food products!

Jill (CDJ)

Dude! I almost spit out my homemade carrot soup with that last little bit at the end there. Stop that!!

Here's to no more contraction craziness... until it's time for the real craziness of course.


my 2nd baby?? (so glad you asked...)
"false" labor for 2 weeks. (sorry!)
but remember it's not really false labor...it's doing something!
and i ended up with a 2 1/2 hour total "real" labor because of those 2 weeks.
good luck...glad you got the toenails done! it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!


I'm so excited about the idea of going into labor possibly normally. Last time I had pre-labor all night, thought I was about to have the shits from Mexican food, went in to see if I was leaking fluid, and ended up induced. Didn't get to have any "normal" contractions I was aware of at home.

(And never ended up pooping.)


No really, how DO you leave a comment on Mamapop...


I never comment, but I had to here. If you're like me, you won't make it another two days. Get to washin' honey, 'cause baby Tivo's on his way.


Am trying to imagine the contortions you performed to paint your own toenails.


I don't think I'm particularly bendy, but I can still manage to paint my toenails provided I find a low-to-the-ground spot that allows me to spread my legs, let my belly drop and/or wedge itself between my thighs and ta-da! I can reach them. (Sitting on the bottom stair works pretty well, or sitting on a stack of pillows in bed.) I sort of approach them from an angle, but it works. Plus: DETERMINATION.


As for commenting on Mamapop...um...I don't know how to really describe it, because I've never had a problem seeing where you leave your comment. It's not your typical Typepad comments (we use Intense Debate, but you can comment without creating an account and logging in). If you don't see a comment box anywhere it might be your browser? Are you blocking javascripts?


I'll probably come! Yay!


My friend swears by push mowers for starting labor. I wished I lived close enough to come for your book signing.


Any chance you might move the book signing yet again from Caribou to, oh I dunno, the SW Florida region? WOuld really like some signatures for my copy. Tis all.
(Flesh wound! Where's my Holy Grail copy?)


False labor, all the cramping, none of the satisfying baby goodness. You know, there's always that sex thing that's supposed to jump start the labor....just saying.

Jen L.

I got a pedicure just in the nick of time when my little guy was on the way. I"d been putting it off and I had pre-eclampsia, so reaching my feet was not even a remote possibility. I ended up going THE DAY BEFORE he was born (3 1/2 weeks early) and was SO glad to have my toes painted in case they were the first thing my child saw. (they weren't)

If I win the Dove products, I'll send them to you. The fates played a terrible trick on me and made me ALLERGIC to Dove products. WHY? WHYYYYYY?

Jen L.

I got a pedicure just in the nick of time when my little guy was on the way. I"d been putting it off and I had pre-eclampsia, so reaching my feet was not even a remote possibility. I ended up going THE DAY BEFORE he was born (3 1/2 weeks early) and was SO glad to have my toes painted in case they were the first thing my child saw. (they weren't)

If I win the Dove products, I'll send them to you. The fates played a terrible trick on me and made me ALLERGIC to Dove products. WHY? WHYYYYYY?


I wanted to enter the drawing for the Dove products, but I can't get the comments to come up on that entry! *SOB*

And did you know that September 19th was "International Talk Like a Pirate Day"? (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/) Neither did I...so maybe Noah knows something we don't...? Hmmmm.... :)


Am I especially slow today or am I the only one that cannot figure out how to comment at the other site? It just says comments and is blank - then read the comments policy... Help!


Add me to the club who can't figure out how to comment.


Sounds like some technical difficulties going on over there -- probably due to the massive number of comments. Will try to fix! Am sorry! I don't mean to tease!


I absolutely need a year supply of deodorant. And than you for pointing it you to teh internets!

Also, I am now so totally jealous of anyone who goes to your book signing because, are you serious?? Noah will be there?!?! I mean you're great and whatever, but Noah? I might just go cry now.


I will blame the typos on drunkenness.

Natalie J. Damschroder

Long-time reader, first-time commenter, because I searched "shower" and it didn't come up, so...

Taking a shower always stopped my false labor dead in its tracks and also sped it up tremendously when it officially started.

Just, you know, 'cause you don't get enough advice. :)

Stephanie Melton

Congrats and good luck with the big book signing! I have had you and your folks in my mind and on my heart. Sending daily prayers and positive thoughts.


Thankfully it was a false labor and you won't have a preemie on your hands. Before 37 weeks they are a little on the rare side for my tastes. Of course, I've never made it to 37 weeks, so I'm pretty jealous of everyone that does.


Well now that you've got some extra time, go treat yourself to a real pedicure!


I was soooo glad I got my legs waxed towards the end of my pregnancy! Should have gone for the pedicure, too!

Instead, I also got a prenatal massage that probably induced my water to break that very night, but it was nice to know I had smooth and lovely legs while I trudged around the maternity ward in a johnny the entire two weeks my kids were in the NICU.


Dude, I was obsessed with making sure my toenails were painted before I went into labor. It was easier with my second cause it was induced so I was prepared. I was having a girl so in my crazy pregnant mind I had to have bright pink toenails. I've never had any trouble giving myself pedicures when pregnant, but again, it was a priority so I made it work. It was totally worth it too cause while I was in pushing more, feet up on the stirrups, the nurse was like "Hey, cute toes!" So it's not only nice for you to look at, but the nurses appreciate it too. You know they have to look at some jacked up feet most of the day so it's nice to look good.


I'm planning to be there on Saturday with Laurie White! Although we may have to stop for a glass of wine beforehand since the location got moved to the "child friendly" locale... :)

The Usual Suspect

Okay I think I know what it is like to be you. I carried 2.5 gallons of spring water in my backpack and the bottle broke so the water leaked all over my drawers. That really sucked but I think that would be like your water breaking or something. Honestly it really pissed me off because I had to ride my bike back to the store to get a tougher bottle in the one gallon size. So today I rode on my bike with two gallons of tough bottles on my back which is about 20 pounds I think or 15 so I figure that is like what it is to be hauling a big belly except without things kicking me. So next time I am going to put the backpack on my stomach and ride the bike so that I will look ridiculous and know how much pressure it is on my back. Yeah so that was my experiment.


I was so excited reading that your contractions started that I kept skipping ahead, wondering if the title was just meant to be a tease and you really WERE in labor! And then I realized that no, you are not, and that yes, I am a dork.
Those false labor contractions can be a bitch! My friend had them for four weeks before her boy showed up. But! She didn't hardly labor at all and it took all of one or two pushes. So...yeah. No point, long comment. Can't wait to meet baby Tivo!

Peanut Butter

Well at least now you can use your toenails for self defense if you need to. You are going to look super pissed off in the next couple of days. Make sure and take some pics because I want to see that for real.


Ok, now I'm going to have to check your blog several times a day until baby brother arrives. This is going to steal say 30 minutes of effective working time a day away from me just like that. Please send a check. And also, my boss gets cranky. And that's not good for anybodys bloodpressure. So could you HAVE this baby already??:oD


I would definitely come to the book signing if it wasn't such a commute from London.

I must say I am very impressed at your dedication to toenail painting! The image of you balanced on the bottom step hurriedly varnishing your toes while Jason wolfs down protein snacks in the kitchen is excellent.


Hang in there until at least the book signing. I am looking forward to coming. Kid/baby friendly is great- I can bring my (will not take a bottle) 4 month old.

I am really excited for you-as I recently had my second boy I can truly say that 2 boys are great!


(Mamapop comments all done fixed up nice now. Comment away on the Dove giveaway post. If you already commented, don't worry, we HAVE your comment -- we just can't DISPLAY your comment. Which: yeah, I know.)


Forgot to ask... will there be books there to buy or should we get it beforehand?

Little Dutch Girl

I am 39 weeks tomorrow, and I have wanted to reply to the nesting posts, I am beyond nesting because we moved into our new house last week, so there is sooo much crap to do. But I also managed to paint my toenails Sunday night and have not been feeling quite right all week, with cramping and backaches, so I check your site often to see who will deliver first!


Hillarie - yes! You can buy the book right at the signing. I think Rita would actually prefer that, since she'll be lugging boxes of them there and would rather NOT lug them back when the party is over.


Wish I could make it to the book signing to meet you guys, even if you have no wine! But favorite band (Donna the Buffalo) and a crowd of freinds are in town on Saturday, so we'll be dancing and drinking for ya Am. Have fun!!!


***whining voice**** I wanna go to the book signing but since I live all the way in Texas, it ain't gonna happen. Do you think you could manage to squeeze in a trip to Texas before you deliver to see all of your fans here? We'll even splurge for the pre-delivery pedicure!


I hate false labor/Braxton Hicks or whatever the fuck anyone calls it. My sister is currently 38+ weeks and keeps having nights like that. I had them with mine, too. I hope yours go away and don't come back until it's For Real.

New reader, love your blog!

Hot Bride

Can't you get him to hurry up? We want to see the adorableness now!


Wow... this baby is going to be here soon!

I know this is unbearably pathetic, but about 2 weeks ago I woke up one morning and the FIRST THING that popped into my head was...

..."Wow! Amalah's having a baby!!! That's just... that's ... Wooooheeee!!!"

Like that kind of moment when the penny suddenly drops that yes, this watermelon-alien-thing under your shirt? Yes it's actually a child who is going to emerge and come live in your life!!

So exciting. :-) I wish you only good things. That whenever it happens it should be at a good time, the rght time.

And how exciting that we are all waiting to welcome this little man to the world. I cannot wait to meet him. :-)


So I guess even the second time around you don't know exactly when it's going to pop out?


False labor...so close to the 30th? Can you stand it? Could you have two little boys on the exact same day????

rachel beto

This blog ALMOST messed with my emotions, until I realized after the first sentence that if you had had baby #2 you definitely wouldn't be blogging today. Right?

Wacky Mommy

Dude. You're cute. Happy baby to you!!!! I can't believe it's almost time, it's gone so fast. Uh, it's gone fast for me, but probably not you guys, eh?


Love your website, makes me want to start doing more on more. Makes me want, not actually doing I mean - This is great!

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