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Question for women who have given birth (TMI, pregnancy & childbirth stuff)

I feel weird asking about this considering I have already been through this process once before, but my first son was five weeks early: I was feeling normal, my dog woke me up super early one morning (dogs know when shit is about to go down!), a few minutes later my water broke, and 9 hours after that the baby was born. So I didn't have a chance to really prepare myself for what would happen when I went into labor, and I didn't have the experience of having contractions at home and needing to decide when to go to the hospital or any of that stuff.

So now for round two, I will be at 37 weeks on Thursday. I saw my doctor today and apparently I am at 2cm, which isn't surprising because I've been having irregular contractions and abdominal pain pretty frequently now for the past week or so. So, like, when is this going to happen? I know there's no way to really know, but ladies who have been through this before, what were your experiences? Am I going to be feeling like total crap for another two weeks? Will this baby be here by the weekend? If you had contractions at home, when they got serious did you know? I'm worried that I will misjudge this and get stuck in NYC rush hour traffic with not enough time to spare (the hospital is 20 minutes away but over a bridge, which is a choke point for traffic).


If you're willing to share your anecdotes, I feel like they would soothe my nerves. I'm discovering that the silver lining of having my son come early was that I didn't have the chance to get freaked out. This time around I know it's getting closer and I also know what I'm in for...

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