Sunday, 15 May 2016

When a stickler for time keeping is late: "Have you had that baby yet?"

Warning: This is a ranting post about being overdue and people's need to ask totally unnecessary questions or make dumb comments.

I was due last Wednesday, I'm now only 3 days (4 days by the time this is published) over due but if one more person asks me that question, I don't think I can be held responsible for my actions. 

As a first time mother, I have absolutely no idea what a contraction is going to feel like.  I hear it's like a bad period pain, but to be honest, I don't get those very much.  I always imagined contractions would feel incredible tight!  Like my insides are caught in a vice.  But thats not what my menstrual pains feel like.  So at the moment it's a bit of a guessing game. 

It's not like things aren't happening, things seem to be on the move and for a week now, I've felt like labour could begin at any moment.  On Sunday evening in fact I was so sure that I was in the very early stages of labour that I repacked my hospital bags and got myself into the bath thinking, "right the midwife said have a bath and take some paracemetamol, then try to get some rest, so bed straight after this". . . 

Then, nothing! 

Monday came and went.

Tuesday I woke up all aches and pains and thought, okay this could be it,  so I downloaded a contraction counter . . . then nothing. 

Wednesday I woke up early with bad pains, and thought this could be it! I'll start timing these, but I fell back to sleep.  I woke to find that the plug had come out too! Woohoo! Especially as this was my due date and I'd booked in for a membrane sweep.  But nothing! no more aches and pains.  So I went to my midwife appointment and told them the news about the pains and the plug.  She said this was great news and should mean the sweep could be a success.  But alas - the sweep was not possible as the baby's head was not quite low enough.  Not to worry, the midwife said we could try again in a couple of days. We booked a re-try for Friday.  I left with the knowledge that even though my cervix was soft and had shrunk, it had barely dilated at all!

Thursday morning I woke up early, horrible achey menstrual type pains all over my front and back. "this could be it, I'll start timing these in a bit" then I fell back to sleep . . . then nothing all day!

Friday morning I wake up, menstrual pains all down my legs and back.  "this probably isn't it, I should go back to sleep".  We make our way to the midwife appointment,  all geared up because I know what to expect now from a sweep (uncomfortable with a lot of pressure,  made worse by the fact that my cervix seems to be half way up my spine at these appointments, but not as bad as a cervical screen). Then the midwife, who was not the same lady as the one I saw on Wednesday explained that sweeps are more likely to be successful the longer you leave them.  I look at her with a face of 'so...?' She continues to explain that they can only legally do two sweeps (this was news to me), so if she does one today then that's my lot, and that it might be better to wait for next week when I'm 41 weeks.  I agree, after all they are the experts.   Then as I got in the car I though 'but I've not even had a sweep yet!'  When I get home I ring them back and explain that on Wednesday I didn't actually have a sweep, so surely that can't count as one.  We discussed it for a little bit, most of my arguments beginning with 'yes but...' However it seemed this midwife was adamant that the internal exam counts as a sweep.  So I decided to drop it and leave it hoping to see a more negotiable midwife next time, after all I'd just spent 5 minutes arguing her professional judgement, did I really want her carrying out the procedure now?

Late Friday night (Or Saturday morning) I wake again with the same menstrual pains.  "..." no thoughts this time.  It's just a thing that seems to happen.  

Despite all of the false alarms and the perpetual boredom of waiting, particularly when your limited to what you can actually achieve in the day with sciatica creeping down your right side after just a few steps, the worst thing about being over your due date, is people asking you if you've had the baby yet. 

Can you see a baby?  Can you see the size of my belly?  Do you think I'm crossing my legs to keep him in?  Do you really think I wouldn't let you know if I'd had the baby?  Do you not realise that despite the agony pulsating down my right side with every step I take, that I still try to walk at least 1 mile a day to get this baby out?  Do you not realise that I spend about 2 hours a day bouncing on my birthing ball while I slowly develop motion sickness?  Do you not understand how much sleep I am vetoing in order to sleep on my left side, even when my left hip feels as though it's going to crumble under the pressure, all because I'm told sleeping on the right side doesn't give baby as much room to drop?

I'm doing all I can to get this baby ready to be born.  He's just not ready yet!

I'm even trying all the old wives tales that everyone keeps recommending just  so I can say 'yeah I tried that it didn't work'.  All of which I am 100% don't ever work! If you ate a curry and went into labour, you would have probably gone into labour if you'd have had scrambled eggs on toast.

I'm trying hard to make the most of this time, knowing that life is about to change dramatically and I won't ever know peace and quiet quite like this.  But I hate waiting around! Especially for people! He should know this.  It's hard for me not being in control of a big life change like this.  Perhaps this is my first hard lesson of being a parent; my usual need to be in control and have everything organised and ready to go is now going to have to be ignored!

40 weeks 1 day