Kabouter's birth story (part I)

(I intended to write this post a bit less than a year ago,  started it last winter and again previous spring...but now at the  occasion of Kabouter's first birthday and my first year of motherhood, it is time to write it down to keepsake my memories for the future).

For weeks you are wondering how it will start and when it will start.  In fact you only know with hindsight that it has started and if it was for real.  Slowly but steadily the last weeks I had become less mobile,  suffered more from cramping and constipation.  My mom had suggested me in a phone conversation this week to take a walk and I had replied "you don't understand".  Just before the call I had told Jan I'd go buy some bread across the street, at which point I had a sudden fierce cramp and I sat down quickly "or maybe I'll get some break in 5 minutes or so".  And walking up the stairs sometimes caused me to see stars.  Only natural that everything became more difficult as the due date was approaching.   Although the entire upcoming birth process made me anxious, I also hoped I'd not get overdue, so this increase in discomfort was also comforting.

But when it actually all starts...you can only tell with hindsight.  I simply wished that evening that I'd be able to go to the toilet as I felt constipation once again and that gave an annoying pressure. It kept me out of my concentration to read a bit or watch tv. Unfortunately when constipated, it doesn't help to camp on the toilet regularly...but of course you do wobble back and forth anyway, hoping that this time it'll be better. At least there me and my big belly could sit a while comfortably with a book or an iPad game and the pain eased a bit. Then I felt annoyed for spending my evening on the toilet so I returned back in the living room after which the pain increased again.   ....and eased....and increased....and eased...and increased...and I complained to Jan about being really annoyingly constipated this time...and it eased...and increased...
Pff I really wanted to go to bed and get some sleep as it was getting late but if only I first managed to go to the toilet, that would be such a relief.

And all of a sudden (well, after a few hours) it hits you.  The alert flag is up and waving in your face big time:  constipation pain does not come in 5 minute intervals!!
5 MINUTE INTERVAL!!   Already?  Isn't that when you are supposed to go the the hospital?
"Give them a phone call" was the pragmatic response from Jan.  After all we had been told multiple times at the info sessions in the hospital to definitely never hesitate at the slightest doubt to phone or come by. So I phoned them and explained them that I was confused.  "Oh madam, if you can talk to me like that, you are only in pre-labour yet, trust me...take some paracetamol and try to profit from some extra sleep still".  And so my big belly , some hot pip pillows and my big sausage pillow made a camp in bed and tried to get some sleep.


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3 AM...I gave up.  Sleep simply wasn't going to happen anymore. I had already been in and out bed for a couple of times. As soon as I lay down my back ached way too much, while walking around is better and sitting on the toilet is even better.  For the rest of the night I proved that if you are too tired to read or think, you can still spend hours of mindless Bejeweled games, trying to beat your own record.

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In the morning the rest of the world joined my wake and now I had the company of Jan to hang out a bit, have some breakfast etc., play some more bejeweled leaning on the kitchen counter top.  I was mainly tired due to the lack of sleep but as long as I kept upright, the discomfort remained moderate.  An attempt to catch some more sleep anyhow was quickly abandoned. Ouch that hurt! Sleep is for sissies after all, who would want to go into full labour well rested?

So I paced around carefully moving my hips around as taught in yoga visualising the baby sinking deeper and deeper in my womb, moaning from time to time, ...
I crawled in and out the sofa watching day-time tv, ...seeking some comfort somewhere that could not truly be found anymore.  By noon I had contractions every 10 minutes or so.  In the afternoon I filled the bathtub and whaled a bit in there which was actually quite effective. For an hour or more I had no more contractions and I feared that I had stopped the entire process. Yeah you know you can't make a woman in labour happy: it's wrong when you have painful contractions and it's wrong when the contractions stop. You can't win. But hurray damned they came back after I had escaped from boredom out of the cooled down bath.

So the pacing could start again alternated with wobbling on my gym ball against the wall.  Actually the combination gym ball, a warm pip pillow on my belly and The Big Bang Theory on tv was pretty succesfull for a fairly long time too.   It sounded like that

"oach...it's coming again...auw auw aaauWWAUWww   ..ok ok ,it's going away again...hahaha, Sheldon's funny, good one....pheeew, man, that last one was pretty heavy...hahahhaaa....awww, another one, aaaaaaUUWwww, pffff pfffff, ....pffff, ok ..ok,    yes, I'm fine, I'm fine again...  oh damn, must go to the toilet, can you pause that for a moment please?"

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By the evening however I found little or no relief anymore.  I think around 9 PM Jan stated "It's not working anymore, right?" at which I simply shook my head.  My interaction had dropped away to an almost constant puffing away of the contractions. "Shall we get ready to go to the hospital?"  At this point I nodded.

I was in pain, I was tired...and at this point I started to cry and needed a hug.

As long as I was in labour at home, by definition I felt in control. It meant that the pain was bearable, that things had not progressed that much yet, that I could hang out in the cosiness of our home seeking for comfort and distraction.

Admitting that I needed to go to the hospital was admitting that I didn't feel I could control it anymore on my own.  It was realizing that things were now really really happening,... that the big unknown event of which you both hear horror stories as more reassuring stories was around the corner and I had no idea if it would classify either way.
Admitting that I needed to go to the hospital was leaving the house with 2...and not returning as 2 but 3.

I was in pain, I was tired...and at this point I started to cry and needed a hug.

While Jan gathered all the stuff that was waiting already a long time packed in my suitcase as the other things that I had been listing all week  (snacks, music, massage oil, paperwork, ....), I took another shower to calm down again and ease the pain a bit again.

And then with a last glance at the empty waiting crib, we left the house.....


















Comments

Brian Miller said…
oy. i dont want to think back on this day...ha...not for my kids...logan was an ordeal...cole was easy...it will be fun for him to one day read this...