Braxton Hicks contractions are what is often referred to in the world of maternity as "false labor". These are the ones that prompt expectant mommies to wake their peacefully slumbering husbands at 3 am and say "Honey! It's time!!" so they can race to the hospital only to come home a few hours later no closer to giving birth than they were a few days ago. The thing about Braxton Hicks is that it's often very difficult for 1st time mommies to know the difference between these and the real thing.
We are having the adoption version of Braxton Hicks.
At around 10pm last night Jeff and I were comfortably ensconsed in a booth at the Gordon Biersh Brewery in Burbank happily chatting away with my sorority sister Kim who was in CA on business when Jeff's cell phone rang. I presumed it was Jeff's best friend Kevin calling to tell us that some other tragedy had befallen the guard shack at the Ball Gate of Disneyland, but no- it was my Mom. Mom wanted to know if we had read the message boards for our adoption agency; but since we were still in Burbank it was clear we had not. Mom follows our message boards with a fervor that is usually only seen in women who have followed a particular soap opera since they were 12. Having determined that our social life has put us out of the loop, she drops the bomb: Group 101 got their first call. Jeff's jaw is hanging open, and Kim says my eyes were huge. Oh no. Our timeline has begun shrinking before our eyes. You look confused. I'll explain:
The avarage time from DTC to referral is 6-8 months. Referral to travel is 2 days to 6 weeks. Group 99 recieved their 1st call "late" at 7 months. Group 100 was "on time" at 6 months, and both groups are expecting their referrals next week for an expected travel date of Feb 25th. Now group 101 has their first call (at 5 months), and their referrals may arrive next week as well. It is proposed that they will either travel with 99 & 100 or within 1 week of them. That only leaves 1 group, #102, ahead of us!! This could shorten our wait time by as much as 2 months- we could be in China in April!
BUT these are Braxton Hicks: 101 was not expecting first call until Feb, but we presume that China pushed to get their referrals done early since the entire country is about to go on vacation for Chinese New Year. There may be a small backlog when they return, and we might only lose 1 month. They may issue nothing at all in Feb, and that would put us all back on schedule with Group 102 being notified in March. In order for us to be there in April, we would have to be combined with Group 102 and recieve notification in Feb or early March. But there is already a rumor on the boards that the CCAA will no longer be combining groups. So whether it's "false labor" or not remains to be seen. I think I'll start practicing my breathing exercises just in case.