Monday, 31 August 2009

August? September? October?

So, let’s move on with the continuing saga of will she or won’t she give birth early?

On Saturday morning, right from getting up, I had mild (very mild) contraction-like pains. They were almost exactly every six minutes apart (and, in fact, might well have been, if I’d been using a clock with seconds on it to time them).

I pottered around for a bit and sat down in the bathroom with Rosemary while she was having her bath, keeping a log. After I’d timed them for an hour, I thought I’d better wake Chris up. He took over with Rosemary, while I lay down and continued timing them (because Braxton Hicks are supposed to go away with moving about or lying down, so I wanted to rule them out before calling the hospital). I continued timing for another 45 minutes and they kept up the 6-minute interval. Pain levels were 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

In the end I decided to call the hospital, particularly as I’d had a show last week (little bit of a show on Wednesday and much more of one on Friday, after traipsing round town getting hospital bag stuff). They said at this stage (33 weeks + 3 days), it would be best to come in, particularly as they were coming after a show. This time, my sister came with me and Chris took Rosemary into town to buy a birthday present and lunchbox and the shopping. He had the mobile and would be able to call my mum to take over if necessary.

So, yet again, it was a case of being strapped to a monitor to check Eleanor’s heartbeat and measure the contractions. As it turned out, they only showed up as slight blips – not really registerable as proper contractions. Ho hum. The midwives were very nice and both said I’d done the right thing to call and were clear that I should call back with any other concerns and they could talk through them on the phone before needing to come in. Had to wait for a long time for the doctor to come round, who had a quick feel of the bump and said I could go home. No internal or swab this time, which I was surprised at as the midwives had suggested the doctor would probably want to take a swab because I’d had a show. But really, who’s going to complain about not having an internal examination?!

So off we trotted home again (my aunt, Emma, drove us there and waiting while we were in there and drove us back again). The pains had stopped by this point, but I now had a continual stitch-like pain at the bottom of the bump – the doctor had said I should take some paracetemol, so I did and the pain was gone within an hour or so of getting home.

Yesterday (Sunday), I woke up feeling great – thanks in large part to Chris getting up with Rosemary so I could have a lie-in. I decided that Eleanor wasn’t going to be super-early and that it was time to relax and just go with the flow. Everything is ready, so she can come when she’s ready to and it’s time to stop worrying about whether it’s going to be in August, before 37 weeks or whatever. She will come when she’s ready.

The day was quite a busy one. Took Rosemary to a birthday party (thanks to Emma and her car again) and went and sat at Emma’s house for a couple of hours until it was time to pick Rosemary up again (party was next door to Emma’s). Emma was expecting her eldest son home for a visit, so was busy baking bread and preparing dinner and so on and Rupert (Rosemary’s cousin) had been upset that Rosemary was only there for five minutes and then went off to the party, so I suggested Rupert come round to play at ours and have dinner with us for a few hours.

Yes, I’m crazy. Two small children (one three and one two) running around screaming for a few hours and getting every other toy out, especially those that have lots of bits that can be spread around the floor. Chris came and tidied up just after we got home (Rosemary had already made a big mess in the morning before we went off to the party), but it didn’t last very long. There were moments of calm, such as when they both sat down to play with the Happyland toys, and a couple of requests to read a book. And dinner time was fine, with both of them eating lots of food and taking plenty of time over it.

I did end up having to pick Rosemary up twice and Rupert up once. Rosemary because she was climbing inside her toy box thing, which isn’t strong enough to hold her safely (and refusing to get out); then again when she was doing something else dangerous and refusing to stop. Rupert when he fell and hurt himself and needed some Arnica cream.

While Chris was putting Rosemary to bed, I decided that I would try to tidy the living room up, as he’d already done it once that day and he’s been doing pretty much all the housework for a good few weeks now. I was mostly sat on the floor, shuffling about to gather bits and pieces to go in bags and boxes and so on. There was some bending down and lifting, but nothing too heavy. It was pretty exhausting, but I was very pleased that I managed to do it (funny what you can feel proud of when you’re doing practically nothing at all!).

Then I decided to watch Becoming Jane. I’d made a concerted decision not to watch at the cinema or get it out from Blockbusters, because I didn’t think I’d be able to watch it. I’m a big Jane Austen fan and have read biographies and letters and so on, as well as the books and I knew it took a lot a liberties, but I’d always said I’d give it a go if it was on terrestrial TV. I actually quite enjoyed it as well – by watching it as a period romance and forgetting, for the most part, that it was supposed to be about a real person.

Anyway… there’s a point to all this rambling – I don’t normally blog detailed accounts of my days! All the time I was watching, I was having pains. Considerably worse pains than the ones I had on Saturday, and with very definite bump hardenings – to the point where I was starting to feel embarrassed about wasting the midwives’ and doctor’s time. I walked around a bit and sat up straight and lay down and changed my position a lot. I didn’t time them, so don’t know if they were regular, but they certainly felt closer to proper contractions. Instead of sitting with a timer and piece of paper, I decided to go to bed when the film finished and see if I could sleep – they would probably just go away. In the meantime I warned Chris and also called my sister, to tell her to keep her mobile on and next to her bed in case she needed to run round her in the middle of the night. I also took some paracetemol

Well… I’m still here. Did get some sleep. Woke up a lot, but more about not getting comfortable than actual pains. Don’t seem to be having any this morning. So I’m thinking they were probably down to the extra physical exertion yesterday of running around of two small children and then, more to the point, picking up after them.

I’m back to being relaxed and waiting to see what happens though, while I think the August birth is quite unlikely (only a few hours left now, after all), she is probably still going to come before 37 weeks (am 33 + 5 today).

Watch this space…


  1. Ohh i had about five false alarms with the twins and it was made worse by the fact my sister in law (a midwife) assurring me i would not go over 36weeks as she had delivered lots of twins and all came by that point! Oh no mine bloody well didn't 38 weeks and 6 days i went - with twins arggh!!!!! They weighed 5lbs 110z and 6lbs 9oz and it was all au naturel. Hope you can hang in there a few more weeks and fingers crossed for you that Eleanor arrives before Spetember is up :)
    P.s I love Jane Austin too, my favourite is sense ans sensibility, what's yours? x

  2. I think you have a great attitude with 'Eleanor will come when she is ready'. My oldest friend just gave birth to twins at 31 weeks yesterday, and they are in hospital, but doing fine. Good luck with it all though, as it must still be pretty unnerving for you. Thinking of you. x

  3. Sounds like your body is getting itself ready! Hate to tell you but I had similar early contractions like this with my son, and he ended up being 10 days late! The good thing was that I was 4cM dilated before I even went into proper labor, so it was fast. Best of luck, I'm sure you can't wait to meet her!

  4. TWOB: Goodness, that's a long time to go with twins! In fact, now I remember, there was a friend of a friend who had twins a couple of years ago. She already had three children, who had all been really early, so was expecting the twins to be early, too. And she went to around 38 weeks. I guess you really never can tell!

    I have to go with the general consensus, I'm afraid, and say Pride and Prejudice. Though I'm also rather fond of Northanger Abbey. Love them all, really.

    BiB/FM: Thank you, though I have already had a couple of panicky moments today since writing this post. Think I'll probably have one or two a day until she arrives. It's very reassuring to hear about babies born early and doing well. Congratulations to your friend. I am confident that she would be fine if born from any point now on, so that's a good thing.

    Geekymummy: 10 days late?! Oh blimey. I honestly don't know how I would cope if she was late. Rosemary was almost 7lb at 36+5; she'd have been huge if she'd gone to her due date, and even huger if she'd been late. And I can hardly move or do anything now, so goodness knows how I'd be that far away! Then again, quick would be good. Will just have to take it as it comes, though, whenever that is.

  5. This sounds exactly what i had with the pudding she kept me guessing for weeks!! and then was LATE!!! I hope she stays in and stops giving you the runaround xxx

  6. So she isn't here yet? I guess she will make an appearance when she is ready.

  7. Amy: Oh, I don't want to hear about lateness. That's just not going to happen, here. Nu-uh.

    Susanna: Nope, not yet. I think she's settled in for a bit longer, now, and maybe will make it to official full-term. (Of course, now I say that, she'll probably arrive tomorrow, because she clearly likes to prove her mum wrong!)