It seems this baby boy of ours is set on keeping us on our toes. If you’re following me on Twitter or instagram, you might have seen me talking about how I just have this gut feeling that he will make an earlier than planned appearance. Until yesterday that feeling has just been based on instinct.
Yesterday morning, after an unsettled night, I was woken by an intense shooting pain across my back. At first, I thought it was a trapped nerve or I’d just slept funny but a few minutes later it happened again, this time moving around across my tummy too. That was odd. I got up to go to the loo and it happened twice more,combined with what I can only describe as ‘pressure’ down there and period type cramps. There didn’t seem to be any pattern between them. Surely this couldn’t be contractions already? I’m only just 30 weeks!
My labour with Florence was all systems go from the moment I had my first contraction – there was no build up, no gradually getting worse, just intense contractions every two minutes for 17 hours until she was born. I have no idea what ‘mild’ contractions or normal early labour feels like.
I have had Braxton Hicks on and off for a couple of weeks now, but this was stronger and painful. I ran a warm bath to see if it would ease everything a little but the pains just kept coming. After debating back and forth, I called the maternity unit who initially said they’d like me to go in but then asked if my doctors surgery was nearer. They wanted to rule out an infection before I traveled all the way to the hospital and as the pains weren’t coming at regular intervals they were happy for me to get the tests done with my GP before making my way to them.
Walking to the doctors surgery, with Florence wrapped up in the pram, (Sean was at work) seemed to make everything step up a notch. The pains were getting stronger with less time in between and I had to stop a couple of times on the way until each one passed. The nurse took my blood pressure and I had to do a urine sample and hand it in at reception because all of the doctors were fully booked. As usual the receptionist seemed completely oblivious and when I asked if the midwife was there she just said ‘probably, it is Tuesday. We’ll give you a call once we’ve tested your sample.’ So I walked home again to wait for the call.
As the pains kept coming all I could think about was how totally unprepared we are for me to go into labour. My hospital bag was not packed, I had no way of getting myself to the hospital and with everyone at work at least half an hour away, what on earth was I going to do with Florence? Take her with me? Do people do that? Sean had taken the car seat with him so even if someone could get to me in time we still couldn’t go anywhere. And would the baby be okay despite being 10 weeks early?
Florence and I sat cuddled up on the sofa reading stories and slowly the intensity & speed of the pains began to ease a little. A couple of hours passed with Sean coming home in between to bring us lunch before having to go back out again before the call came from the surgery. The tests they’d run were inconclusive and would need to be done again at tomorrow’s midwife appointment unless I started to feel worse or the pain became too much to handle. I wasn’t exactly encouraged by their advice but they’re the experts right?
By now Florence was tired & overdue her nap so we went upstairs to lay down. As soon as I stood up another painful wave swept across my back and tummy. It seemed any sort of activity made everything intensify. Thankfully, it calmed again when I laid down so there I stayed until I fell asleep snuggled up with Florence.
I spent the evening on the sofa, taking it easy to try and keep everything as settled as I could before coming up and packing an emergency hospital bag in case things accelerated again.
By around 10pm the waves had subsided and so far have not returned. I’m looking forward to chatting to my midwife today and maybe getting some more advice etc on what to do if it happens again – or even what to look out for when it comes to signs of premature labour.
What a day.
Fingers crossed for a less eventful day today.