I woke up with what felt like period pains radiating through me over and over again. I didn’t tell anyone because I’d been getting these all week.
They’d start in the night, sometimes so intense I’d kneel on the floor, lean against the bed and breathe deeply. By morning they were gone again but not without disturbing most of the night’s sleep.
I wasn’t making up for it in the day either, wrongly feeling that I needed to entertain my parents who had me on what seemed like some form of suicide watch. Upon reflection, it was probably just the hugeness, general discomfort and grumpiness at being almost two weeks overdue which made me feel negatively.
It was a Thursday and as the day progressed, the pains got more intense and frequent. I paused while hanging up the laundry. I texted Laurence to let him know but told him not to come home just yet. We’d already had a day earlier in the week when we’d called a midwife. She’d said the baby was very low and it would be soon but wasn’t happening yet. As soon as she’d arrived my pains had gone.
That night we became certain that this was no longer a start and stop labour. The contractions – I was now certain that’s what they were kept building and seemed regular to us. We took Ina May Gaskin at her word and decided to help things along by releasing natural oxytocin the fun way. I’ll let you guess how.
Needless to say, I didn’t really sleep that night. I only caught snatches between the pains.
The next day was induction day. To my relief the pains had not subsided. We really were going to meet our baby girl soon. We decided to ring up the hospital and tell them we’d come in for a check but we wouldn’t stay as something was happening and we were going to have the creature at home.
When we got there the midwife confirmed that I was not yet in established labour. I was disappointed but accepted the stretch and sweep she offered. I think this was my fourth one. It was my easiest. As soon as she began sweeping though, my contractions bumped up to a whole new level of pain.
Yet we had to wait. They didn’t want me to leave without speaking with a consultant because they felt we were potentially taking a risk by having a home birth at 12 days past the due date.