After my 8 (yes, 8!) hours of not really labor pains on Tuesday, I decided to change my last day of work from September 22 to September 15. I am happy with that decision, because I had a lot of pain last night, too, and early signs are that tonight is not going to be much better. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and will be interested to find out what he makes of all this, and whether the pains are really "false" in that they are doing nothing, or if I am in fact starting to dilate. I started dilating several weeks before Pumpkin was born, so I suspect the latter.
Regardless, this raises two interesting questions:
1. Why are the pains coming only in the late afternoon/evening? Is this telling me something about when labor is likely to start? Or is it just due to me being tired? I don't think it can be that I am just more distracted during the day, because believe me, I notice these pains regardless of what I am trying to do at the time they come.
2. Can I actually get myself ready to go out on leave by next Tuesday? The obvious answer here is "no, of course not". By its nature, my current job does not lend itself to "finishing up". If I could really finish everything off before I leave, I'd be nervous about how long they'd keep me when I got back! The real question is whether I can get enough done not to leave anyone really in the lurch. This will be a test of my work methods. I really can't manage any extra hours right now- I'm barely making it through my usual work day. So can I get everything done with the hours I have? I started to suspect I might call it quits early about a week or so ago, and started to aggressively prioritize my tasks. I had already started a list of "things to do before going out on leave", so I revisited that list and picked out the truly critical things. I came up with four things. Two are now complete. One can be completed with a meeting, which is scheduled for next Tuesday (my last day- it was scheduled for today, but one of the other critical attendees had to leave town unexpectedly this week).
I'm working hard on the fourth thing now. It is a big one. I'm making progress, but I have to be honest- I'm nervous about completing it. I've broken it into smaller parts, and have prioritized the parts based on what will be easiest for my colleagues to pick up and finish without me. I will almost certainly finish the highest priority pieces of this task, unless I actually go into labor before next Tuesday. I am still hopeful I can finish it all.
In case you're curious, I've used a similar approach at home. We had a list of things to do to get ready for the baby. My fatigue-ridden pregnancy and the demands of a toddler conspired to prevent us from coming close to finishing everything on that list. So I prioritized it. We have all but one of the "must do" items done now.