G I V I N G _ B I R T H
before labour
This is the birth story from having my second child on the 8th of February 1998. My first birth was a so called "normal" birth, yet it was probably the worst experience of my life. I mentally trained myself to expect the worst with this one as well, so that it wouldn't come as such a shock. It ended up being the most beautiful wonderful experience! Read on to find out why.

My tummy a few days before birth

My tummy a few days before birth

5 days before labour

    At this stage I was 6 days overdue, and had had no signs of an upcoming birth until today. No Braxton Hicks let alone real contractions. But today I was spotting slightly and thought it was the mucous plug. I also experienced one single whopper of a contraction that lasted 5 minutes! This contraction was different from what I'd ever experienced - it burned from inside and to the touch!

    Physically I was starting to look like a orange, and feel like a ripe banana, about to burst open from the seams. Back pains were getting worse and walking around became increasingly awkward, since baby's head finally became engaged.

4 days before labour
    The spotting had stopped and I realized that it hadn't been the plug after all. The baby's head's weight pushing against my my cervix was the cause for the slight bleeding. I could actually feel the baby between my hips and thighs, I hardly dared to walk!
3 days before labour
    My pelvic joints started aching quite badly during the day. In the evening I started feeling a menstrual type cramping which got stronger when we went to bed. I tried recalling my first birth, and how contractions felt. Was this pain a contraction, or was something perhaps wrong!? I was excited yet a little scared since baby was hardly moving around anymore. Soon I started feeling a second pain on top of the cramps. The pain came and went about 5 min apart. I realized that these were *REAL contractions! The pain made me toss and turn trying to find a better position, but there was no escape. I lay in bed, wondering whether I was going into labour. Was this it? Was I going to give birth tonight? I fondled my tummy, but baby was quiet, although usually active at this time of night. The longer I lay there, the wilder my thoughts became. I decided to get up and do some work on my computer since sleeping was out of the question. My partner Esa, had been like a coiled spring the last few days, just ready to jump up and drive me to the hospital. So he became quite nervous when I told him of the pains. I told him to continue sleeping since this was probably a false alarm.

    The contractions had intensified the longer I lay in bed, but as soon as I got up and came to my computer they ended immediately. The cramping continued but died off after about 15 minutes. After hyping up my imagination in bed for half an hour, thinking that I might be in labour, I was understandably disappointed as I crawled back in bed with no pains left. I lay there waiting for them to return, thinking that the laying position would bring them back, but dozed off into a painless sleep after a while.

    * Last time I was induced, so I never got to feel a natural contraction, and the fact that I didn't know whether my body could go into labour on it's very own, haunted me till this day. Also the first time round, there were no signs of oncoming labour since my body was probably not ready to give birth at the time of inducement. So this time it was like giving birth for the first time.

2 days before labour
    To my surprise, I had no contractions, what so ever, but had menstrual type cramping in the evening again.
1 day before labour
    I had menstrual type cramping as soon as I woke up, and the back pains were unbearably sharp. This time I was positive that the mucous plug was coming out when I saw this big yellow wobbly blob come out, (looked just like "last nights sperm"). The rest of the day was normal, no pains, no contractions. Towards the evening I started swelling painfully in my genital area. I felt ripe and about to burst open.
Read on to see what happened next...

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