Monday, 23 April 2012

Bring on the elephants

39 weeks pregnant. Enough. Any suggestions to bring on labour welcome. Can't sleep, can't even roll over in bed without first alerting the fire brigade and getting them to come over with a reinforced winch and pulley system. How much more nesting do I have to do? There's only so many times I can clean the bathroom before I lose my mind. I've stockpiled enough pasta, rice and fish fingers to feed a small nation of toddlers when I'm in hospital and G has to prepare dinner for himself and The Munchkin. I've shaved my legs (again), plucked my eyebrows and trimmed my finger nails. In short, I'm ready.

Of course, I'm not really ready. Who could possibly be ready for an experience that can only be compared to being trampled by successive waves of stampeding elephants for several hours?

'Don't worry,' clucked the midwife running my antenatal class, 'the pain of labour isn't a constant pain, in fact, if we realise that each contraction lasts no more than one minute and that you have probably five minutes between each contraction, that's a total of only 12 minutes of actual pain in a whole hour!'. Huh? 'Isn't that right Melissa?' Ummmmmm... Unfortunately, I'm the only one on the course who's already been through the blinding agony of childbirth so the other girls look at me a little like (as a friend of mine put it) 'the alien in the room' and the midwife is always asking me to confirm stuff. What am I supposed to do? The truth is so horrific that I don't have the heart to really tell them about it and I usually just end up confirming the midwife's wildly optimistic statements. For example, 'Contractions don't get worse as labour progresses, do they Melissa? And the pain practically disappears once you start pushing.' Gulp. The other girls look at me wide-eyed and pale.
'Absolutely' I nod.

Occasionally though, I realise that I've let something slip, like when one of the girls was bravely asking about the chances of having an episiotomy.
'It's no big deal,' I scoffed 'they do it during a contraction and you don't feel anything!' Silence. It was only afterwards that it dawned on me that they were all thinking about how painful contractions must be if you don't even feel it when someone takes a scalpel to your private parts. Opps.

Luckily I've managed to piss the midwife off with questions like 'how do I know if my waters break while I'm in the bath?', so she doesn't keep looking to me for support anymore.

Anyway. If you know of any ways to bring on labour, don't be shy. In the meantime, I must go now and re-pack my hospital bag.

1 comment:

Dianna Gendron said...

Mel, you're my hero.