You know when you're about to start a race and they say Ready, Set, Go and someone goes on set and they false start the whole race and you have to do it all over again? Yea well thats been my life the last three days. And I'm still yet to compete in or complete the actual race! I'm talking about false labour.
I didn't know that false labour existed before this weekend. I assumed that once you start getting contractions that actually hurt that it is labour. The process has begun, get comfortable and get ready for the pain to get worse. Pretty much. At least thats how everyone has described it to me. With the added back pain and period like cramps.
So, Saturday morning at 1:30am I instinctively woke and while I wasn't sure why, I had a strong feeling I needed to be awake because something was going to happen. No idea how I knew that. I was right though. Within ten minutes I started to have back pain and then cramps. Within half an hour the contractions started. They came roughly twenty minutes apart. It took me about an hour to work out whether it was actually happening or whether I was just making it all up because I was half asleep. It continued for a few hours, but the contractions weren't getting closer together, just a little stronger. I decided to try and sleep because the midwives tell you that in early labour in the middle of the night you should try and rest before it becomes more intense. I fell asleep about 4am and then woke again just before 5am. By then the cramping was still there but the contractions seemed to have stopped. They didn't come back.
At which point I thought I was a freak of nature. How in the hell did I manage to sit out labour for four hours and then make it stop? I didnt know it could just stop? Id been told it could slow down like if you go to the hospital too early, but it had fully stopped. I thought there was something wrong with me. I must be the first person in the world this had happened to, because nobody had ever mentioned that it can just stop all of a sudden. Then for a second I thought omg have I blown my one chance at this and now shes never coming out? Ha, sounds completely ridiculous now (but for some reason made sense in the early hours of the morning).
Since then I have discovered there is such a thing as false labour. It is essentially the same as real labour, but it doesn't progress from early labour. Contractions do not get closer together. They can stop completely in false labour simply by changing positions, resting or walking. Unlike real labour - which does not end, until you get the baby. Its not really fun, its like going through all the pain and not getting the prize at the end. I feel a bit ripped off. I got myself all motivated and excited and then got nothing. Apparently 20% of all first time mums will experience false labour at least once before real labour (yes it can happen more than once). Of course I would be in the 20%. If there is a chance of something out of the norm happening, it will no doubt happen to me.
Since then I've had a couple of painful contractions, but nothing that lasts longer than an hour. Im hoping that the next time I get contractions it is actually the real thing. I'm ready. I didn't want her to come out early last week, but after this I am now very ready and anxious to meet her. At physio today I was told I probably wouldn't make it to my appointment on Friday, so for now I am just waiting for something to happen. Watch this space.
I am ready at the starters block, I'm just waiting for someone to say GO.