So where was I on this whole ongoing birth story again?
Oh yeah, I’d given up all hope of ever going into labor. Castor oil did not work, but luckily I didn’t have any of the severe side effects.
Anyway, turns out it was kind of a really good thing that the castor oil did nothing because my midwife was a little busy attending two other births that day.
Yesterday Stephen and I started off the day with Bean up bright and early. So we decided to take her to the park and do some walking. Well, more like I decided and Stephen went along with it. He had the day off, what else was he going to do?
So the walk does nothing except exhaust me. We get home around Bean’s naptime so I promptly put her down and then went into my bedroom to put myself down.
I can’t really get into the details, but about 30 minutes after I laid down some drama started and pretty much lasted all day. So we were both basically emotionally exhausted.
So it was pretty nice when we got a last minute invite over to my sister-in-law’s for a small gathering of friends to ring in the New Year.
As I was showering to get ready I felt a couple of contractions. I wasn’t sure if they were Braxton Hicks or real. They certainly hurt more than Braxton Hicks usually do, but they were too long and indistinct, unlike real contractions. This isn’t an uncommon occurance during a shower though so I just dismissed it.
And as always these friends (and family) did not disappoint. Stephen and I got some much needed belly laughs in playing silly games, snacking on yummy hors d’ouvres and roasting marshmallows in the fireplace for smores. As we drove home around 2am we both commented on how much we needed that tension release after our day and just how great it was.
During the course of the evening I felt a few more of the uncomfortable hybrid Braxton Hicks, but again dismissed it. Maybe they were more uncomfortable because of all the laughing, I thought to myself.
Anyway, as much fun as the evening was I made a terrible mistake in that I did not drink any water while I was there and instead had two glasses (actually plastic cups) of Coca Cola instead. For one thing I was trying to stay awake to ring in the New Year. Plus, I rarely get to drink the stuff so I kind of indulged.
Well, caffeine is a diuretic which is a substance that basically dehydrates you. I’ve read numerous times that for every caffeinated or alcoholic (another diuretic) beverage you consume, you should be having 1-2 glasses of water alongside it to avoid dehydration.
Yeah, I knew this and did not do it even though as a pregnant woman staying hydrated is even more important than most. I guess this means you should give me my sign right now.
On our way home from the party I commented that I wasn’t sure if I was having contractions or just so sore from all the laughing. By the time we got home I knew that I was having some sort of contractions. I even actually saw the start of one when I stood in front of the bathroom mirror while washing my hands.
Stephen said we shouldn’t worry about them and try to get as much rest as possible. He tried to coach me into relaxation in our bed, but it wasn’t working for me. These things hurt and didn’t seem to stop hurting. I felt like I was on a never ending abdominal workout. Plus, I was also experiencing some restless leg syndrome symptoms which have started in the last few weeks and basically it means that just as I am drifting off to sleep I have the incredible and irresistible urge to kick something really hard, jerk my legs, run a marathon, I don’t know. I just have. to. do. something. with. my. legs.
So I decided to go downstairs. I was very delighted to find out when I got online that my friend Barbie that was due within days of me was also possibly in labor (turns out she really was and has probably already had her baby at this point, anxiously awaiting some news!). I started trying to time the contractions which was slightly difficult because my belly just hurt so much! But I did manage to do it and discovered that my old friends 1 minute long and 2 minutes apart were back in action.
This isn’t how labor normally starts. So even though they hurt a lot more I was pretty skeptical that this was the real deal. It was about 3am at this point. I laid on the couch and managed to slightly dose off until 4:45am. I felt like I “dreamed” (not sure if that is what I actually did) about contractions the whole time. They hurt so bad. When I “woke” up I was just miserable. Why wasn’t I getting a break?
I started timing them again and they hadn’t changed in duration or frequency, but they had gotten more intense. I also learned that Barbie was actually headed to the hospital! As for me, I was still debating whether I should wake up my midwife or not. I was so skeptical that this was the real deal. I knew this wasn’t how labor was supposed to be.
Finally, around 5am I decided to just give her a call and see what she thought. She agreed that the fact that the contractions hadn’t changed in duration or frequency seemed suspicious. I told her I would take a bath and drink some more water and keep her updated.
So I did all that. When I got out of the tub I was just so overwhelmed at not getting a break and the contractions hurting so. freaking. bad. that I started crying. Stephen woke up and tried to make me comfortable in our bed. He was trying to get me to stay calm and relaxed, but it hurt and I wasn’t getting a break. It really, really hurt.
He called our midwife back up and it was during this conversation that we figured out my hydration problem. She said that if I was dehydrated it could cause an irritable uterus and that could be why I was in so much pain. She suggested walking around and drinking more water.
Well, walking around did not help. It just made me belly get all hard and contracted and stay that way and then it was crampy and really sore on top of that. I was having a hard time maintaining my composure. It just really, really hurt!
I kind of figured out at this point though that there really didn’t seem to be real contractions happening. I wasn’t really that crampy low, rather it was more across the middle section of my belly. There weren’t waves of contractions, just constant pain like you’ve worked out much too hard. Stephen called our midwife back again and she said that it would probably take a couple hours for the water I’d started drinking at 2am when we got home to kick in and rehydrate me. Once that happened, I would probably feel a lot better. She said another bath might help.
So another bath was drawn. I kept a water bottle by my side and Stephen dutifully rubbed my back the whole time. About thirty minutes to an hour later I finally was no longer in pain, just really exhausted. No more contractions were happening so we both got into bed. Stephen called our midwife again and let her know that it was all over and we were all glad that she didn’t have to make another trip out here for nothing.
Lesson learned. No more diuretics. Drink lots of water.
Maybe this baby will eventually decide to make an appearance.