What’s early labour really like?

(Unsurprisingly there are no pictures of me giving birth so instead I chose a pretty flower for you to look at)

‘Is it supposed to hurt this much?’

That was when I knew we were fucked.

I was probably 3 or 4cms dilated, at home, in the early stages of labour and my partner, the man who got me into this mess was already panicking.

I realised I was going to have to get us out of this mess on my own.

We didn’t do the baby classes.

He didn’t want to and I did my own thing to prepare (yoga classes, planning a fantasy 6 week trip to China).

I had also been down the business end of a few births filming for a television show so I had some idea what I was in for.

Rather stupidly, as it turned out, I had assumed my other half would be aware of the fairly commonly known fact that giving birth can be a wee bit hurty.

‘Of course it’s supposed to hurt this much. Did you even read the thing on Mumsnet?’

He looked uncomfortable which was annoying.

I felt quite strongly that I had the monopoly on uncomfortable as I was the one about to HAVE A FUCKING BABY.

Two hours earlier and 10 days overdue I had been waving my legs in the air whilst a consultant at the hospital massaged my cervix  in a process called a sweep.

Not to be confused with Sooty’s grey haired doggy pal who is also called Sweep, both involve someone stuffing their hand up inside a comfy sock like object and waggling it about a bit.

But the hand inside puppet Sweep doesn’t require any medical training.

Also only puppet Sweep makes a high pitched squeaky noise.

Anyway the sweep was having the desired effect and the baby was starting to corkscrew its way out of my insides.

To celebrate the sweeping of my membrane we went for dinner at the posh Italian we had been meaning to try for ages.

I ordered pudding because I am greedy and because everyone kept telling me how much our lives would change once the baby arrived.

I was unsure if life post baby would include pudding so better stock up while it’s on offer, I thought.

Immediately after ordering I regretted it.

Stuff was going on inside me I couldn’t control and I wasn’t sure pudding was going to help.

There are very few situations in life when pudding won’t help.

And this was definitely one of them.

It’s hard to appreciate a good pannacotta when you are trying to look normal in a busy restaurant whilst jumping out of your seat shouting ShitFuck! every few minutes because of the pains shooting up your vagina.

I was hoping it just looked like I was either really, really enjoying my dessert or that my boyfriend was kicking his heavily pregnant girlfriend in the shins.

As long as it didn’t look like I was going into labour.

I mean that would be embarrassing.

I think we would have probably got away with it had I not vomited up all three courses immediately outside the restaurant door.

The food really was fantastic.

Back home, once we had established that my boyfriend had no concept of the amount of pain involved with childbirth we spent the evening watching television (Bang Goes The Theory)  whilst I rolled around on a birthing ball and he phoned the hospital every half hour.

Eventually it became unbearable and I had to go in.

‘You need to come to the hospital.’

The midwives said.

‘He’s calling us every five minutes, it’s doing our heads in.’

So we left home for the last time ever as a carefree couple.


To be continued….


If I can remember the rest.

7 thoughts on “What’s early labour really like?

  1. Love your sense of denial, going through with the pudding order.

    To be fair, there is very little actual good pudding involved in parenthood, just lots of really badly decorated fairy cakes which do not count.

  2. I was in a chinese restaurant when I went into labour the first time. We were considering going to the cinema afterwards (there is definitely not a lot of cinema-going when you become a parent), but I’m quite glad we didn’t in the end. It gave my husband time to build the cot that I had told him I didn’t want him to be building while I was in labour, while I was downstairs biting on my duvet and mooing like a cow.

  3. Haha great post and includes one of the best lines I’ve read. “Sweep…Not to be confused with Sooty’s grey haired doggy pal”! My wife gave birth a 1.5 weeks ago – baby girl came 2.5 weeks early and it took just 3.5 hours from first contraction to the little one being with us! Look forward to reading the rest of the story! http://thedadventurer.com

  4. Was induced with my first, but I remember being in labour with my 2nd and getting a chicken sandwich meal from McDonald’s & eating it between contractions.

  5. Funny piece, well written!

    I think it’s more the induction that caused the pain though. Those sweeps are bad news and I really feel that babies should nearly always be left to come out when they’re ready.

    I got to 3cm dilated before I was rushed in to an emergency c section but I didn’t feel a thing up to that point. And I have a low pain threshold!

    Look forward to reading the rest!

  6. Ha ha ha several times over. Labour is funny in hindsight isn’t it? Not so much at the time with all the vomiting and the unbearable agony and the complete loss of dignity and bodily control. But it sure does make a good story! I am sorry the pudding couldn’t fix it, maybe one day science will rectify this, but in the meantime I look forward to part two!

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