38+1 (or, waiting)

About 10.30pm on Tuesday night, I started getting mild contractions and feeling very heavy, with period pains and just deeply uncomfortable. I put my electric blanket on and tried to rest or sleep. I barely slept from then until about 4am, with the ‘contractions’ coming regularly every 10-15 minutes. Marto and I were unsure what was happening, so I used my contraction timer to start timing. They appeared to get closer together and we had a vague sense of excitement, wondering whether this was really it. And then, about 5, I managed to go to sleep. By 7.30am, I was still feeling tightenings and pain low down but nothing was increasing in intensity. 
By 10am, it was apparent that nothing was going to happen. I felt a deep sense of disappointment, that I had allowed myself to get excited that this might be ‘it’. Lack of sleep and embarrassment made me furious. With myself, Marto, even the cat. I slept all afternoon on the sofa, a hot water bottle soothing what felt and still does feel like I am getting a period.  
Today, I am veering between tiredness, lethargy, anxiety and a sense that I should be making the most of these last days of pregnancy. I feel guilty when I rest, guilty when I do anything, or spend any money. I have a deep sense of strangeness about this enforced period when I am still employed but yet I am earning barely enough to cover my student loans. 
I want to write. And yet my brain feels shrivelled as an old walnut. I want to go out and do things, but fear either spending too much money or my waters breaking whilst I am on a bus. On Saturday I managed to go bowling, to celebrate a dear friends birthday. The ball I bowled was smaller than my baby. We then went out for a meal and then to a bar in Camden, where I drank soda water and ate crushed ice, enjoying the (smug?) feeling of being pregnant but not letting it stop me leading my life. And then I retreated to the sofa on Sunday where I lay there all day.
And so, I continue to wait. In 2.5 weeks, if Pip has not arrived naturally, we go back to the consultant to discuss a c-section. Apparently my consultant doesn’t induce big babies. Pip is classed as a big baby. Which, I think, is why I am anxious for him to come sooner rather than later. I will feel seriously disappointed to have an elective c-section. I want to experience birth, to feel empowered by it. 
And still, we wait.



  1. I know just how you feel! I had those period pain type contractions at 35 and 38 weeks and my midwife suggested it could be due to the baby engaging and getting ready. Frustrating when you kind of hope it might be labour but a good sign.

    I’m giving it a couple of days and then trying everything under the sun to bring on labour. Although apparently it’s all rubbish and babies come when they want. Which in some ways is reassuring, that it’s out of our hands.

    I can imagine you don’t want a c-section but as my midwife said to me when my baby was breech and a c-section was discussed, it’s not the journey that counts but the destination. And the end goal is a healthy baby and healthy mama and that’s what we should focus on. Hard sometimes but hope it helps :)

    1. I agree, it’s about the end goal not how it happens.

      Am thinking of you and your baby. Hope she comes soon x

  2. Your belly is AMAZING.

    And I know that the idea of an elective section is shit, but believe me, it will be an experience of birth, even if it’s not the exact experience you’re hoping for. xx

    1. Re c section. I know, and if it’s best for Pip that’s what we’ll do. It’s just not the birth I had in mind. Still, there’s 2 more weeks til that decision so there’s still time.

  3. Gosh I remember this feeling – crushing disappointment every time we had a false alarm. For some ridiculous reason I felt like such a failure, as though I was not producing the baby everyone was waiting for! Silly I know – that’s hormones for you… and L being 13 days didn’t help!
    You look totally gorgeous by the way, a perfect peach!
    Have I already recommended going for a pregnancy massage? (I went as it is supposed to help bring on labour. Who knows if it worked!) So worth it for the relaxation though and the novelty of lying on your front! I went to the Life Centre by Nottinghill Gate and they were really lovely.
    N also took me to the cinema about four times during those over-due weeks – to take my mind off it all and because we wouldn’t be able to go again for quite a while. I remember thinking every time I took my seat “will I see the end of this film or will we be rushing off to hospital??”
    And however it turns out my dear – Pip WILL be born and you WILL experience his/her birth!!

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