Labor Pains

Television and movies lead me to believe that when I was in labor, I would know. My water would break and my friends would all get excited and we’d rush off to the hospital with some fabulous music playing in the background and the baby would arrive. It was all scripted and perfect and seemed fairly obvious to me.

Of course, it was wrong.

All of the books I read, people I spoke with, and experts said the same thing. You will know when you’re in labor. They were wrong too. I had no idea I was in labor.

I woke up at 3AM on October 18th. I wasn’t due until October 21st and everyone had said that your first baby comes late. I hadn’t had any of the symptoms they warn you about in class. No nesting, no loss of mucous plug, no water breaking… nothing out of the ordinary. I was having sharp pains in my stomach, but they didn’t feel like the tightening and loosening contractions that the nurse had described during our Planned Childbirth class a few weeks prior.

I’ll admit now that I’m the kind of person who worries about everything. I was concerned that I would wake up the on-call doctor with a false alarm and they would write down in their little book (I imagined they had a book) that I was a whack-job mom. So I waited until 7AM to call because I figured that was a reasonable time. My husband thought this plan was insane, but he played along.

By 7AM the pain was still there, but I couldn’t really “time it” the way you’re supposed to be able to with contractions. That and I’m terrible at explaining what’s happening to me, so the doctor told me that it was probably just “nothing” and to go back to bed.

At 7:30 I sent my husband to work and proceeded to log into my work computer and begin my day of working from home.

By about noon, I was in a lot of pain and kept having to stand up, walk around, hunch over, stare at my watch and then sit back down and keep working. I sent my co-worker an email saying: “I’m in a lot of pain, but the doctor said it was probably nothing. I’m going to log off for lunch. I’ll be back online soon.” He tells me now that he thought I was being ridiculous. He knew I was in labor. I did not.

I didn’t end up logging back in.

Again, like a fool, I was worried that if I called my doctor again she would see if as a direct challenge to the advice she gave me earlier. So I waited. I turned on the television and changed the channel to TLC. As predicted, A Baby Story was playing. I studied the women as they went into labor and tried to see if I was going through the same thing. I had to stand up and hunch over when the pain came back.

Eventually, Baby Story had me fairly convinced that I was in labor. I sucked it up and called back the medical group. I told the receptionist that I needed to speak to the nurse. I didn’t want to speak to the same doctor again for fear that she would think I was being ridiculous.

Thankfully the nurse told me that if I was in pain I should go into the hospital. I took her up on her advice.

By the time my husband got back from work and we were en route to the hospital, my contractions were four minutes apart. My son was born that night.

It’s amazing how there are no rules to life. You can plan and plan and plan, but in the end, it just happens the way it was always meant to and all you can do is come along for the ride.


~ by katiefawkes on March 13, 2012.

One Response to “Labor Pains”

  1. My experience was a lot like this one, but I KNEW, no matter what else anyone said, I was in labour…and I had cramps and a “funny” feeling in my stomach, not pain.

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