Giving Birth: Early signs of labour

Still waiting for our new baby to arrive, Sunday evening found us at a friend’s house for a roast. Well, we might as well make the most of these unexpected last few days of freedom before giving birth. Everyone was trying to guess which day Sproglet would come and what sex it would be. Me? I was on the look out for early signs of labour...

We kept the gender as a surprise as we thought for the first baby it’s quite nice to go through the experience of not knowing, to have something to look forward to, like unwrapping a present.

Having a baby? Please take a seat... - Giving birth: early signs of labour | New baby blog
Having a baby? Please take a seat...

I’ve never been a big fan of pink stuff for girls or blue stuff for boys anyway, so I’ve told all my friends to buy gender neutral presents. My guess has always been a girl (a little tom-boy I hope, as I was one!)

I don’t know why, it was just a feeling I had even before I got pregnant, Ryan always said a boy, partly because he wants a boy to play footy with but obviously he said he’ll be happy whatever the sex.

You have to say that, it’s part of the unwritten rule book of becoming a parent.

Even so, when it’s actually happening to you, you realise it really is true! You really mean it when you say, “as long as it’s a healthy baby”.

Later on that evening, I started to have a lower abdominal cramp, just like before a period. I’ve had cramps during my pregnancy before, but this felt more intense and heavy, it felt like something was going to happen.

Obviously, I got straight on Facebook to update my status...

Lucy Li something may be happening...
24 January at 01:18

This is 2011 after all. What would a birth be without live status updates or tweets?

I was due to have a Membrane Sweep the next morning anyway, so I thought I’ll just sleep on it and see what happens.

I switched off my laptop as the film we were watching ended and went to bed.

It was 1:30am.

I climbed wearily into bed and just as I hit the pillow, I felt a gush of water come out down below.

Oooooooh!!! Something was definitely happening!

To be honest, what I felt was excitement, I quickly waddled downstairs to the toilet and when I looked down, the water was clear, there wasn’t a huge amount, so I wasn’t sure if it was my ‘water breaking’, or just the beginning of ‘the show’ - which is a mucus discharge at the beginning of labour.

Ryan called the delivery suite and I told them what happened. The midwife on the phone said, I could come in now or I could put a pad on and see if that gets soaked through within the next hour to make sure it was my water that broke and then I could come in. We decided to wait...

But as soon as I put the phone down, I felt my cramps getting heavier, then after a few minutes, my muscles relaxed and then it started again - this must be the contractions!! Surely?!

Ryan timed how many minutes apart these potential contractions were - they were 5 minutes apart. That can’t be right?! Early contractions are supposed to be about 20 - 30 minutes apart!

We checked again. Yep, definitely 5 minutes! Holy crap, does that mean I’m quite close?!

Ryan quickly dialled the midwife again and they said it was best I went in so they could check if I’ve really gone into labour. Eek.

We jumped into the car. Well... Ryan jumped, I wobbled slowly and carefully.
The contractions were getting more intense, but I could handle them by breathing in deeply, they felt like really strong period pains: an intense and deep pain that lasts for just a few seconds.

It was 2am by the time we got to the delivery suite. The midwives were ever so calm, told us to wait in the waiting room.

WHAT?! Aren’t they supposed to rush you through the room with a wheelchair and examine you straight away like in the movies? Can’t they see I can’t even stand up straight?!

Nope. This is the UK after all and for now, the hospital staff are far too busy with their paper work to bother with a pregnant woman in (what might be, for all I know) the advanced stages of labour.

We took our seats...

Lucy x


Lucy Li
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Article Plan Giving birth | New baby blog
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