Labor, the French way

I returned home rather late on Monday night after having coffee with friends. One of my friends had insisted my bottom lip was slightly puffy which could only mean I was going into labor…soonish.

I wrote a blog post on waiting for B3, because Jason had started watching ‘The Wire’ without me. As he watched the show, he told me about how he’d felt super, crazy hungry after the kids had gone to bed. Like he needed to eat the world’s largest meal. Pronto. Suddenly he hit pause and went downstairs to fix himself an enormous chicken gyro pita. I saw (smelled) the red onions he’d put on top. ‘If you eat those, you’re sleeping on the couch,’ I told him. He removed the onions.

I’d had a bad backache all day and was still feeling pretty uncomfortable. ‘Didn’t you have a bad backache before you went into labor with the boys?’ he asked me. Sometimes he comes up with the most random (unlikely to have ever happened) memories. I mean, I can’t recall the precise circumstances or how I felt when I did finally go into labor with our oldest. But I don’t recall complaining about a backache. And I never ‘went into labor’ with the Hen. I just went to the hospital where they broke my water. A week after I’d gone to the hospital with false labor, which had resulted in us summoning Jason’s mom at midnight, from forty-five minutes away, to come and watch the Gort.

But, Jason’s comments got me thinking: backaches, severe hunger, puffy lips…I’d been cooking and cleaning up a storm all day, Jason had put the finishing touches on the nursery…and I’d set up a coffee date with another friend who’d told me that the last time she’d made plans with a pregnant woman, the woman had gone into labor and had cancelled the plans.

It all added up, and could only mean one thing, couldn’t it? It was past 12.30am at this point, and I put my laptop away. At 12.54am I felt an all too familiar Braxton Hicks contraction. Except this one lasted longer. And it kind of hurt.

Surely not?

I kept quiet for the next hour, as the contractions came eight or nine minutes apart. All of them on the painful side of the spectrum. Finally, around 1.45am, I decided I’d better take a shower, since I hadn’t gotten around to it earlier in the day. But I also knew if I got up and took a shower at 1.45am, Jason would get suspicious.

So I had to tell him I was having contractions, much as I didn’t want to raise his hopes that ‘this could be it.’

Sure enough, he sprang into action like a crazy man. The hospital bag got packed, snacks were packed, the cameras were retrieved, and the ipod was charged. Around 2.15am, after the flurry of activity, I suggested we try to get some sleep. Typical Jason, he started snoring almost immediately. Though he’d wake up every 30 minutes to ask me if I was still having contractions.

At one point, they were coming every seven minutes or so, and I started thinking about meeting B3. Thinking about how he’d chosen such an auspicious day to make his arrival – on our one year anniversary of moving to Calgary. How, if someone had told me when we moved, that, precisely a year later I’d be going to the hospital to meet my third baby boy, I would never in a million years have believed them.

Finally, around 3am I fell asleep, too. And, with my slumber, the contractions apparently ended. Because when I woke up again at 5.15, I was no closer to meeting my baby than I’d been at the beginning of my bout of faux labor.

I was a little miffed, but mostly I felt bad for the professor. He’d been all excited and my uterus had let him down. Yet again.

‘By the way,’ he informed me later that morning, ‘there are peaches in that (hospital) bag….you might want to take them out.’

11 thoughts on “Labor, the French way

  1. How far apart should the contractions be (and how painful) before you would actually get in the car and drive to the hospital? A good thing I hear these things a few days afterwards; you are making me extremely nervous.

    1. The hospital handout says 2-3 minutes…clearly I didn’t have a baby and ‘miss’ it….I still have a gut like a whale.

      1. Contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, continuing for 1 hour, then go to the hospital. There was a special case for 4-1-1, but nothing like 2 or 3!

      2. Uh, I’m going to go with the 5-1-1 rule, thank you very much. 2-3 minutes seems like teetering on having a baby in a car…though the Venture is certainly roomy enough.

  2. Awww, bummer!!!! There had to have been some progress, right? Maybe now you’re more dialated than you were before! Must be time for some spicy jambalaya and a looooong walk!!! Who am I kidding, my kids don’t come out either. This time of pregnancy just sucks.

  3. No need to feel bad for me, I’m not the one with a wiggly giant in my body robbing me of sleep and energy. and Tati don’t worry maybe we will facebook or twitter the announcement…

  4. One time Joe caught me doing jumping jacks in the laundry room trying to get labor started…it didn’t work and I felt stupid.


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