Part 1 of 2: Pre-Labour – ‘noun’ 1. the calm before the storm

It was 6 months ago but I can remember it like it was yesterday. I suspect I’ll be saying the same even when Sophia is 16…probably with exaggerated truths as a bargaining tool to get her to make her bed (if she’s anything like her daddy!)

Being a doctor and training to be a GP, I’ve done my obstetrics rotations. So yes, I’ve delivered a few babies, shed a few tears, had lots of postnatal ward cuddles and been in more than a few labours (at the other end as it were).

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Cuddles on the job 

Having worked in the best birthing unit ever (Broomfield!), I decided I couldn’t have my baby anywhere else. And yes, I had thought of how awkward it might be if I ran into a former colleague during labour but in truth, you forget about all of that when you want the best for your baby.  So after attending NCT and NHS antenatal classes, packing, unpacking and repacking my hospital bag several times, I patiently waited. And waited. And waited some more. My due date came, went and bought the t-shirt with Miss-No-Show-I’m-Too-Cosy not budging so you’ll forgive me for being a little fed up at this stage!

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You don’t realise you have an expectation until it’s not met and apparently my ‘sure thing’ feeling of delivering at 38 weeks (that’s when me and my sis were born) was but wishful thinking. Being fashionably late is kind of a family signature on my part, so surprising as it is, the only time I’ve ever been early for anything was when I was born. My super punctual husband on the other hand, the cheese to my chalk, has only ever been late for one thing – his birth, so apparently, this little miss was already a daddy’s girl!

I tried almost everything – hot curries, pineapples, long walks, clary sage and birth ball bouncing. Oscar wasn’t too keen on the latter (neither were my neighbours probably) as it led to a guaranteed 20 minute barking battle – Oscar v Birth ball 1-0…hmm Baby v Me 1-0 more like! Ah to hell with it I thought, she’ll come when she’s ready. And she did.

So several false starts, 2 sweeps and is it/isn’t its later, we finally had some movement…I think? You see, I couldn’t bloody tell if ‘that’ pain was Braxton Hicks, real contractions or wind! Glamorous, I know. So when the time actually came, I dismissed it and carried on.

Little did I know that it was the real deal and things were underway unbeknownst to us. So we took Oscar for a long walk, I baked a cake, we watched the semi final of the British Bake off, I crocheted a little and we went to bed.

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Our last walk as a three!

Hub was keenly recording the odd pains I had throughout the day on that blasted ‘Count the contraction’ app! And with short lasting pains and irregular intervals recorded, we decided it probably wasn’t much to get excited about. Ah never mind, induction it is I guess. Right?

Wrong. Sophia had other plans…

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