My due date was fast approaching. Anyone who has had a baby knows the angst of waiting, day after day, night after night, as that last month drags by. Never knowing if today is the day. Never knowing if what you ate at dinner, you would be regretting a few hours later as you hit transition. Another thing anyone knows is the endless, persistent questioning of “Is anything happening?” Sometimes I must admit that I was tempted to say, “Why yes, I had the baby, but I knew how much you loved asking, so I didn’t want to ruin it for you!” And so it was, as we came to Mother’s Day 2013, I had no more patience left and decided to ignore all texts and e-mails and live the last couple of days in peace.
Mother’s Day started like any other. Me exhausted and wondering if I would ever not be pregnant. Trying to remind myself that within the next 2 weeks I would definitely be a mother of 2(in Canada they only let you go over by 2 weeks), giving myself continuous pep talks of how I could conquer what lay ahead. I must admit, my first birth experience left much to be desired, and I was not keen on repeating it any time soon.
Hubby and Poppet greeted me early. (As early as any 9 month pregnant woman emerges after a night of insomnia). I received an amazing Jamie Oliver cookbook and we headed out for brunch. Italian it was! Garlic upon Garlic, pasta galore. I was in heaven….until I went to bed. I tossed and turned. Terrible gas pain from all the mixed ingredients from an Italian buffet. I was quickly starting to regret this decision. It was one thing to miss out on sleep because you can’t sleep, quite another to miss out because of your meal choices! I finally drifted off, only to awaken at 4:30 am with terrible cramping. I decided to hop in the bath.
Contractions had started, were 5 minutes apart and lasting for 45-60 seconds. I lasted until 6:30. I had been warned that because of how quick my active labour was with my first, that I was to call as soon as I had one good contraction. I thought, for sure, I would have a baby by lunch. I called the midwife, took some Tylenol and gravol as I was already vomiting, and stayed in the bath. Lunch came, and went.
After a few hours in the tub, my contractions had started to slow down. Every once in a while they were as far as 10 minutes apart. I was exhausted and dozed off between them, only to be rudely awakened with the next. I had a scheduled midwife appointment at 3PM. I got in the car as soon as one contraction ended, and got out on the other end 2 contractions later. They were back to 5 minutes apart. I sat in the waiting room as the midwife ran late. I stared at a specific point on the rug and tried not to freak out the other expectant mums as each contraction came. The primary midwife on call popped out and gave a little encouragement. “You look like you’re in labour!” she smiled. Ah, yeah! My appointment was with the secondary. At 4 PM I was finally in my appointment. She asked if I would be interested in a student attending. Who asks when you are in labour! But as any woman in labour will tell you, you really don’t care. Michael Buble could be in the room, and I wouldn’t have known, or cared. I agreed, and was immediately drawn to her. She smiled with freshness and youth. The midwife checked me, and I was, wait for it………2-3 centimeters. WHAT!?!? THAT’S IT???????
I was sent home, assured that baby would be coming tonight. Whether it would be early, or late, she was on her way. The midwife was trying to decide whether to hang around town, or head home after appointments. I went home. I got in the bath. I didn’t move. At 6:30 I told my husband to call the midwife. I just felt that something had changed with the contractions. They were the same length, same distance apart, but they were different. I wanted to be checked. My primary midwife had just arrived home (about 30 minutes from where we live). She was going to grab a quick bite, and head on over to us. At 8 PM she was at our house. She checked me. I was………2-3 centimeters.
I was at a breaking point. How could this be? This was like my first birth, where after 19 hours in I was at 2 cms. I was frustrated, I wanted an epidural. After complications with my first (which we had planned a home birth for and ended up at the hospital), we had decided this time we were going to go to the hospital to begin with. I wanted the option for pain relief, and if something should go wrong again, we would already be there. I asked for it. The midwife said, “We don’t like to give epidurals to second time mums.” Apparently, something about more interventions, difficulty pushing, slowing down of labour, etc, etc, etc. I told her that I wouldn’t have chosen a hospital birth had I known that. She told me, she had everything in her car, just in case.
The midwife offered me a stretch and sweep. This was 8:15 PM. They stretch the cervix and sweep a finger around the membranes. Sounds like a walk in the park, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is offered as a way to see if they can start labour. She offered it, assuring me that she was pretty sure my cervix just needed a little jump start. I agreed. She did it. Now, anyone who’s ever had a S & S knows, it can be just a wee bit uncomfortable (that is putting it mildly). She gave it everything she had and it felt that she was making sure this was the most thorough stretch and sweep she had ever done. Me, well I did what I do best. I kicked the midwife.
~to be continued~