If you recall from part one, I tucked myself into bed around 10pm on Friday May 16th, 6 days past my due date, after having contractions 10-15 minutes apart for about 5 hours, wondering if there would be a baby in my arms by sunrise.
The next thing I knew, I woke with a start, sat up and looked at the clock. The amount of discouragement and disappointment I felt when I saw that it was 1 am was indescribable. Three hours had passed where I had slept soundly, without feeling a single contraction. Did that mean they had stopped? Were they just weak enough that I wasn't feeling them? What was going on? I rolled over, trying to let myself get back to sleep. But of course, the mind games began and I was laying wide awake, waiting, more like hoping, for another contraction to come. Surely what I had felt the night before wasn't more false labour? After about 20 minutes, I decided to take some Tylenol, in hopes of it helping me ease back into sleep and get as much rest as I could. But, my body had different plans. There was not much rest left in store for me that night. At 1:30, the contractions started up once again, still remaining at 10-15, sometimes even 20 minutes apart. But they were definitely stronger and more intense than what I had been feeling in the evening.
I was also finding myself up and in the washroom quite a bit, losing more and more of my mucous plug and feeling more “poop like” pressure all through the night. Thankfully, despite the intensity of the contractions, the space between them allowed me to rest as much as I could, sometimes falling asleep during the break. I found that there were times I would go a big long stretch, even up to 30 minutes, without a contraction, but almost always, as soon as I shifted positions or stood up, a contraction would immediately follow. I battled so much with myself through the night, as well as through the rest of my labour, about what to do about this. Keep moving in hopes of speeding things up or take advantage of the opportunity to rest during the gap? In the end, my exhaustion prevailed, and I stayed in bed as much as possible, hoping that if this was the real deal my body would do its job regardless of whether I was standing up or laying down.
Of course, morning quickly came and there had been no change in the pattern of my contractions. Still coming. Still intense. Still hard. But no pattern in terms of timing. We've all heard the whole magic “longer, stronger, closer together” trifecta. Well, I felt like I had the longer, stronger down pat but the closer together was just not happening.
I got up earlier than anyone else in the house and started making breakfast. As I was laying bacon out on a pan, I had to stop a few times and gaze out the window while I worked through contractions. This was the kind of thing that continued on throughout the day. During breakfast, my mom and Evan and I all kind of predicted we'd see a baby by evening. Even Evan said something about how having a labour/delivery all throughout the day would be different for us. We were really starting to think this was it. I decided to have a relaxing bath to see if it would make any change to the pattern of things. It was super relaxing, as the girls both insisted on climbing on in with me!
I texted Marcia and Linda to tell them what had been happening through the night and that morning. They offered to come get the girls but again, I decided to just keep them around in order to prevent moving too soon. The rest of the morning was basically business as usual. My mom and I worked on some laundry, we played outside with the kids, went to see the horses … all the while, with contractions coming at every 10-15 minutes, but no change. Around 11, I started to feel so tired, so I laid down for a rest. I chilled out for about 40 minutes, without a single contraction coming. Again, enter disappointment. My baby was never, ever coming out.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty quiet. I rested, having a few contractions but nothing serious. It was raining when the girls woke up from their naps, so more outside play was out of the question. Around 4, I told Evan I wanted to go into town to do some walking around stores, just to keep myself moving and see if things might lead anywhere. We grabbed a coffee, walked around Canadian Tire, and grabbed a few groceries. A few contractions, more mucous plug and a near attack by two dogs tied up outside Food Basics later and we came home to find freshly baked cookies made by the girls and Nana. My dad had also arrived from the cottage while we were gone, so we all enjoyed dinner together without any serious action.
After dinner, I noticed the contractions starting to pick up in intensity again – but like before, no change in distance apart. We were able to get back outside for a little while and I decided to take matters into my own hands as I climbed onto the 4 wheeler. I had been bugging Evan for weeks to take me for a spin but we never had actually done it. So, up I climbed and started (very slowly) riding down the lane. I looked back to see my Dad laughing as I had to stop and breath my way through another contraction while sitting on the 4 wheeler.
We got the kids to bed, again deciding to leave them at home because there was no amount of confidence that tonight would be the night and settled in to watch some TV. At some point in the evening, I told Evan that if I got to morning like this – with these tough contractions and no sign of speeding up – I was going to page the midwife in the morning, hopeful that she would be able to come and perhaps give me another membrane sweep or something, anything, to speed things up. I was getting discouraged and tired, not knowing if all of this work I had already been doing was getting me anywhere. Just before 9 I decided to call it a night, knowing that if morning came and there had been no changes, I was not going to be a happy camper. I laid down in bed and spent some time in prayer, asking God to grant me wisdom and discernment, to keep my baby safe and healthy and to bring her to us soon. Little did I know what this night had in store for my family...