They all come out in the end…
I was eight days overdue and the pressure was mounting – but unfortunately only metaphorical pressure rather than the literal pressure that might signal labour was imminent. Despite our hopes for the birth centre, induction and the labour ward was once again looming.
Then, at bedtime, I sensed change. A slight abdominal ache, back pain, a heaviness between my legs. The next morning brought some splotches of a creamy, bloody stuff and I knew the time was nigh. I had a labour-inducing acupuncture session booked for that morning and, lying on the couch wired up, watching a muscle in my hand quite disconcertingly twitch of its own accord, I mused on how the £38 could perhaps have been more usefully spent.
Back home, there was an ominous atmosphere. Looking outside, I expected to see a sky expectant of a storm, heavy and murderous, but the clouds were white and calm as if unaware of what was surely beginning inside me. Preparing lunch, I doubled over briefly – a sudden shooting pain in my abdomen. Just like I sometimes got with my period. Sudden and then gone. And then again, half an hour later. I made myself comfortable in the conservatory with a wheat pack on my abdomen and got my knitting out, ignoring the inkling that such behaviour merited my immediate removal to a retirement home.
8pm. After a shuffle round the streets for a bit of fresh air, we got the tens machine attached and settled down with a film – To Kill a Mockingbird – and popcorn. The pains were sharper now; when I felt them coming, I knelt on the floor and leant over my birthing ball. By 10pm the noise of the film was distracting and the popcorn was starting to make me feel sick.
11pm. The pains (I suspected they were contractions, but was reluctant to use the ‘c’ word in case they weren’t) were stabbing and sudden and I was beginning to rethink my minimum pain-relief birth plan. Sally packed the car and ran me a bath. She phoned the midwife and explained that her partner was in labour (once again ‘coming out’ which it seemed happened every few days for one or both of us towards the end of our ‘lesbian pregnancy’). The midwife told us it could be three or four days yet, so at midnight, we settled down in bed to try and get some rest.
Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 1st December 2013