Pre-labour – My experience surviving the last week of pregnancy

A more personal post today…..

Yesterday I arrived expectantly at the hospital only to be sent home a few hours later. I hadn’t been particularly prepared to have a baby that day and my husband was still interstate for work. Although it wasn’t ideal timing – I still left a little disappointed.

I’d awoken the night before with painful cramps that wouldn’t go away. I panicked. My husband was away for work and I was alone in the house with the kids. The cramps were uncomfortable but not too bad but I still couldn’t sleep. I eventually relented and took two panadol and drifted in and out of sleep until 5am when I awoke to a stabbing feeling. It also subsided. I got out of bed at 7am with a headache and nausea and threw up for the first time since I was about 12 weeks pregnant.  Feeling like death, I took hope in the fact that something was happening. After hours of painful-ish contractions my sister convinced me to call the hospital and they told me to come in right away. It took me 2 hours to get organised to go. I wanted the house in order just in case I had to stay in! Needless to say they were a little peed off when I finally arrived!

My beautiful sister accompanied me while they monitored the babies heartrate and contractions for half an hour. They then called my obstetrician to get his opinion and he gave me an internal. He said babies head was right down but there was no dilation therefore the diagnosis was possibly latent-phase labour or just simply pre-labour.  He ordered me some food (God bless him!) and sent me home.

I’m booked in for a c-section after having 3 previous c-sections but I always prefer my babies to tell me when they are good and ready. Thankfully my OB is also supportive of this and says that waiting until as close as possible to your due date with the risk of natural labour is in babies best interests and has a better outcome for everyone.

Last night my husband got home and ran me a warm bath with candles and lavender oil which was so relaxing that my contractions stopped altogether! I went to bed early and woke up to only one painful contraction overnight. Today, I feel a million dollars – no pain whatsover. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed.

A midwife had said “You may go into labour tonight or last until your due date next week.” When it comes to babies and birth there are no specifics! Every experience is different! I don’t like the unknown and I don’t like waiting. I’m torn between wanting my body to do its thing and baby to choose it’s own birthday and between the convenience of knowing exactly when I need to be ready to go into hospital. This is particularly helpful with three other children to organise. I’m embarrassed to admit that it has also crossed my mind that I have a hairdresser and naturopath appointment the day before my scheduled c-section that I’d like to keep. I’m a walking contradiction at the moment. I’ not sure if I want a surprise labour or a controlled schedule?

I feel like I’ve been experiencing pre-labour for weeks but then it’s also hard to know whether it’s pre-labour or a normal fourth pregnancy where every experience seems magnified.  Pre-labour is frustrating to say the least but I’m going to try and focus on the million other things that I should enjoy doing while I’m still pregnant! This means having a nap today and focusing on the projects I have going and getting super organised for when bubs arrives. This means yet another load of washing and re-organising cupboard space. I might even clean the bathroom!

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