40 weeks + 3, Wednesday
Contractions still going, received a message from my doula (E) first thing AM:
E: How are you feeling today, are the contractions increasing in frequency/intensity?
L: Yea… erm… maybe…? I’m not sure…
At this point I may be making it all up in my head.
She decides to come by to check on me, and confirms that I was indeed making it up in my head.
E: Real labour is much more intense than this.
L: But how will I know?
E: Oh trust me, you will know.
At this point I’m screaming my head off with each PRE labour contraction.
“To hell with this hypnobirthing crap!” I scream internally as I tell E that I’m not sure that I even envision any gentle ebbing and flowing of waves as what I’m really currently experiencing. She encourages me to try different labouring positions and applying different massage/counter pressure techniques while coaching the husband on them. We try a few back tickling ones which do nothing but make me feel weird and laugh, chair/human support ones, and I decide that bent over a chair with counter pressure to the sacrum/lower back/tailbone is the best combination to deal with these PRE LABOUR contractions.
L: What can I do to speed this up?
E: Well I was walking the whole time I was in labour (I’m like, walking?! Incredulous.), so you could try that. It apparently speeds labour up.
So I start walking circles and circles round the apartment while we continue to chat and hang out in between (my) screamings. All this time we’re timing contractions and they haven’t progressed any differently since TWO DAYS AGO!! Contractions are anything between 5 and 40 minutes apart.
I’m so tired at this point that I either want to drop dead, or to run away from this whole episode and skip to the next one where baby is already cooing happily (haha, as if this happens, but more on that later) away in my arms – except that I can’t.
We then decide that we should have some lunch. And being very clever, I decided on getting me some Papa John’s. I’m not going to have any of this for the next whole month anyway. I sensibly only have the cheese pizza, *in case* I really do go into labour *some day*.
I’m so tired with not having proper rest for 2 days now, that E encourages me to lie down for a bit. I’ve been ‘working’ on speeding up the process this whole morning. The only thing I thought about was – “I’m never going to make it through this if it continues at this pace, let’s not even talk about birthing the baby!”
I might have told the husband that I was not going to be participating in this birth, right before falling asleep with the hypnobirthing track playing in the background.
I feel the contractions through my sleep, but miraculously remain asleep as I’m Just. So. Tired.
The Real Hypnobirthing Begins
I suddenly hear the track playing in my consciousness and I somehow manage to ‘obey’ (if I may use the word as I instinctively follow the speaker’s instructions to a T) all that is being said to me on the track. I feel a contraction coming but it becomes a wave that just gently ebbs and flows, just as is being suggested. I don’t feel any pain, nor panic, nor fatigue, just calm, relaxed and peaceful, as the voice suggests. I lie there listening for what feels like a good 20 – 30 minutes, breathing calmly through all the contractions, feeling absolutely NO PAIN.
I slowly open my eyes to find that I’m alone. It’s already dark outside. The only light in the room is coming from the Apple TV, through which I’m playing the track. In my half-asleep, half-dazed, half-unbelieving, half-amazed, astonished mind, I realise that I’ve suddenly ‘got’ this hypnobirthing thing!
I get up to use the bathroom. Husband asks if I’m ok and I tell him I feel really weird. Uh-oh, he thinks to himself. And I’m like no-no-no listen, I get this hypnobirthing thing now! I don’t feel any pain at all! Like, zero! I’ve been lying there the whole time just listening to the track and breathing through all the contractions but I felt NO PAIN!!
He’s just as amazed as I am. I’m even talking to him and having contractions but he can’t tell. “I just went through 2,” just to ‘prove’ it. He immediately starts messaging E, who had left while I was sleeping. The amazing thing is, I’m not even consciously thinking about the hypnobirthing – I can have a conversation at the same time and not feel a thing. It’s like I’ve hypnotised myself in the subconscious while being conscious and active, just as the lessons said I would.
She pops by immediately and is amazed at the sudden transformation of the situation between lunch and dinner. She whispers as she enters – “It’s so calm in here.” I was screaming my head off at lunch. I even scared the maintenance guys – who were here to look at the A/C – off.
Strangely, things become quite uneventful from this point as we have a little chat before sending my doula on her way to get a good night’s rest – we don’t want her spent before really needing her to jump into action! 2 of the main cast of 3 were already exhausted after 3 days of PRE LABOUR.
I can’t remember if I had any dinner or even ate, must have had something at least. But it was almost 1 am and I still couldn’t sleep. Decided I was just more comfortable laying down on the couch. Hubby joins me and tells me to try get some rest.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the reason for NOT inducing labour before it threatens life. I am very disapproving of women who say that they’ve ‘had enough’ of being pregnant as a reason for inducing labour. I’m sorry, but you chose this, so the baby will arrive when his/her body is developed enough to survive outside the womb.
I’m of the belief that ‘The Sweep of Non Consent’ was what made me go through three whole days of pre-labour contractions. I still curse the ob/gyn to this day and hope that he loses his licence, but sadly I know this will not be so. I came across a shocking article about this malpractice by ob/gyns worldwide, that it is “the norm”, and that women think it is to their benefit! But I digress, more on that later. In the meantime, I hope that my birth doula continues to discourage anyone from consulting this monster.