At least I think the moment has arrived… It’s just after midday on a gorgeous autumnal sunny day. I’m 39 weeks pregnant today. And I might be in labour, or shortly about to go into labour. Let’s step back a bit…
I stayed up quite late last night, being Friday and all, and I expected my husband Mr Chewbacca home about 9 or 10pm. As it happened, he’d left work a lot later and therefore his pub time started later, which meant he wasn’t home at 9 or 10 or 11 or 12… I wasn’t too sleepy so I just climbed into bed and was reading and just falling asleep when I heard Mr C come in. He said how glad he was that I was still awake and I was glad to see him even though I was half asleep. He quickly got ready for bed and we chatted very briefly, I think about birth stuff, before beginning to drift off. It was probably about 1:30am at this stage.
As I lay there on my side, I began to feel an odd sensation, as if fluid were trickling out of me! Nah, I thought, can’t be, must just be a ticklish feeling. But it kept happening so I felt behind and sure enough, there was liquid coming out!
“Umm, right, this is weird…” I said.
“What?” asked husband sleepily.
“I think my water might be breaking!”
At that point I hauled myself up and out of bed to our tiny bathroom, which is literally right next to my side of the bed. As I moved the two or three metres between the bed and the toilet, fluid really streamed out; not a gush, but a dribbling stream. I sat on the toilet and lots of fluid came out but I think it was partly urine as well.
“Turn on the light,” said husband, as he jumped up to grab the paper towel from the kitchen. I launched myself at the light switch and saw, with my very myopic eyes what appeared to be clear liquid all over the bathroom floor! Husband busily mopped everything up as I tried to get up from the toilet but then had to sit down again because more was coming out.
“Is it clear?” I asked.
“Yes,” said husband. “It looks cloudy though.” And I looked into the toilet as he was doing and yes, it was a bit cloudy, but all the fluid on the floor was not stained so that was great.
By this point I was shivering quite violently.
“Is it cold, is that why I’m shivering?” I asked husband.
“Yes, it’s cold in the bathroom.” I can’t seem to feel cold these days – never was any good at feeling the cold like normal people anyway!
“So what do you think,” I asked, “should we just go back to bed as normal?”
“Yes.” Husband knew the best thing to do and had already put a towel on my side of the mattress.
We cuddled back up and my shivering quickly subsided, but I was so wide awake. Husband had to play rugby the next day and in case something happened we both knew it was important to rest while we could. It was so hard to get to sleep. I was uncomfortable as I couldn’t put my body pillow between my legs as normal due to the random face washer I’d shoved there to soak up the fluid that was continuing to leak slowly. Husband was obviously having problems falling asleep too and I rubbed his arm and back to help him relax, which always works. I knew I was far less likely to fall asleep myself anyway, so at least one of us would get some rest!
I eventually slept but very lightly, constantly waking. My mind was racing about what had just happened – this isn’t how I’d imagined it at all! And we were supposed to see Ben Folds in concert in a week’s time, I was going to miss it! I’d been telling baby for ages that it just had to stay in until after 13 May so we could all enjoy Ben and then it could come out straight after that, any time from the 14th (due date) and the next week or so. Clearly it is already not listening to its mum!
I woke up at probably about 4:30 or so, just couldn’t try to sleep any longer, it was so uncomfortable. I tossed and turned for quite a while and eventually relented and checked the time. 5:30… I was wide awake but still tired. I played Solitaire on my phone for a bit, and eventually put it down at about 6:10am and must have finally drifted off to sleep. At 8:15 we were both awake, just barely, given we’d both had such a bad night’s sleep. Husband had to get up and start getting ready for rugby, and I wanted to get up just to see if it was more comfortable.
We had breakfast and coffee, and yes, I was still leaking fluid! But not a single contraction…
Husband has gone to rugby now, should be home in a couple of hours, and hopefully things will begin happening. My midwife said to take some vitamin C, drink lots of water, just do what I’d normally do, and see what happens…
I feel happy that something is happening and that it isn’t painful or anything yet, but I feel slightly scared that I’ll never have a contraction and it will become dangerous for my waters to have been ruptured for so long. I’m giving it 48 hours before I begin to worry though. For now I feel like I should try to do a few things to bring labour on, and I tried some acupressure, which did nothing (maybe I wasn’t doing it right?) and I had a hot shower during which I got down on hands and knees and moved about slowly to help baby get in position. My back got sore quite quickly when I took out a load of washing to the machine, and I’ve had the odd achy twinge in my tailbone, pubic bone, hips… but I can absolutely say I have not had a contraction, or to be more precise, I haven’t felt anything I’d consider to be a contraction.
I’m writing this mainly to remind myself what it was all like, and I know, despite how detailed my description is, that I’ll read this back in years to come and think, ‘but what about such and such?’ Many years of diary writing have taught me that you can never include too much detail. It’s like a photograph; you go somewhere amazing, you take what you think are a million pictures, too many, of everything; surely you’ve overdone it! But you look back later and think, ‘oh, that doesn’t do it justice… what about x, y and z?’
If nothing happens by tonight I will write again…