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3rd Babies and False Labor

By Kay on Fri, Sep 15, 2006

General, Memoirs, Pregnancy

So many of you have been wondering about my progress this week with baby #3 (aka Karis), that I thought I’d do all of us a favor and just write a post about it. Besides, it’s been such a FUN week (read with extreme sarcasm), that I also figured the rest of the mommy world might get a kick out of it, too! Be prepared though, this may be a long one.

I went to my birthing center, Nativiti, on Monday to get an update on my progress. I met with one of the midwives, Katherine, and a new student mid-wife, named Julie, who is an absolute sweetheart. After going through the regular measuring of the belly (I’m measuring between 36.5 and 37 cm), listening to the heartbeat (she’s doing great), and questions about my general health and well-being, the appointment was coming to a close. They were ready to send me on my merry way to go home and rest (my heartrate was a tad elevated – no doubt from the HEAT here in Houston) and see me next week.

When I asked if they were going to check me, Katherine said they didn’t have to, but would if I wanted them to. Of course, I said, “Please?”. Both Kate and Ethan have come 5 days early, which would have put Karis coming on Thursday. So, I was REALLY curious to know if I had dilated at all, or was still tight as a drum…

Julie measured me and estimated that I was at a ‘generous’ 2 or maybe even a 3. They both congratulated me and told me, “We’ll see you later this week!” I set up my next appointment for the following Monday just in case Karis hadn’t come by then (fat chance, right?) and said goodbye to the wonderful staff at the center with promises to go home and rest.

After lunch with my mom and incredible husband and the kiddos, we came home for nap time. Both the kids had fallen asleep in the car, so I was encouraged that, at least for today, nap time would be a success. I transferred both kids CAREFULLY into the house, got them snuggled in their beds and headed towards my room to lay down. Sure enough, Murphy’s Law kicked in and, on the day I was supposed to be resting to get my heart rate DOWN, both of my kids decided not only to not nap, but to be REALLY loud about it. After fighting with Ethan for an hour and a half, and Kate for 2 and a half hours, I finally had them both down, but my heart rate was most definitely UP!!!

My poor husband came home about 10 minutes later and found me in the middle of a hormonal nightmare of a melt-down. I was tired, frustrated, grumpy and feeling like a miserable mother. I was also coming to terms with the fact that I had apparently set myself up to think that Karis was NOT coming this week (I’m REALLY good at denial), and was dealing with the emotions of realizing I was nowhere NEAR ready to have this baby yet. My bag was mostly packed, but I still was missing some groceries and a coming-home outfit and a baby book and, oh yeah, the pyschological readiness of having a newborn in my house again.

So after freaking out on Shawn about all of this and how it was affecting the psyche of my sweet unborn baby girl, he was finally able to talk me back down and remind me of what my sweet friends, Sarah and Cheri, had told me. Third babies are like this. There’s the excitement and fear of the unknown with number one. There’s a more confident understanding and joy of bringing home number two. But number three is different. You are deeply aware of what a newborn requires and have a sense of the impact that will make with the other two – especially if they are young like mine are. So, it’s a little harder to get excited because the deep responsibility of it all is really setting in. Couple that with hormones and the guilt of NOT feeling as excited about this one as the other two, and you’re just a big blubbering, sobbing mommy waiting to happen…

Tuesday morning I had already planned a playdate with some friends, so they were a GREAT distraction for my racing mind. And, my incredibly sensitive, supportive husband called me to tell me that he had gone shopping and bought Karis her coming-home outfit and her baby book. Not only made me cry, but impressed my friends, too! 🙂 So by the end of the day I was feeling like maybe I was actually ready for this. Amazing what 24-hours can do in the mind of a female.

Tuesday night I had contractions on and off all night. Nothing hard though and nothing that made me think we were actually having a baby quite yet. But, since my experience with the other two was ‘once the labor signs started, we were on our way to a baby’, I figured maybe this could be it. So Wednesday morning I called my midwife, Melanie, who has been at the births of both Kate and Ethan and is my hero! She encouraged me to go for a walk and then come in after lunch to let her check me and see if I was even far enough along that she could break my water and have this baby before she left town on Thursday. I was totally surprised at her suggestion and thankful for her sensitivity to my deep desire to have her at my birth even though she had just had a birth the night before and was leaving the following day. What a lady!

Of course, I should have known that I was nowhere NEAR far enough along, but somehow it took me by surprise anyway. I KNEW that there was such a thing as ‘false labor’, but having never experienced it and being that this WAS my third go-around with labor and contractions, I thought I would know the difference. So, even though I thought I had prepared myself to be okay with coming right back home again, I was still really disappointed and somewhat depressed and frustrated with myself for trying to push what was apparently not the real thing. Besides all of that, it sank in that while I WAS probably going to have this baby in the next few days, Melanie would not be in town to deliver her. And while Katherine is also a great midwife, we obviously don’t have the same shared experience of two other wonderful births.

So, the last two evenings I’ve been at church for different functions that I just didn’t want to miss and have tried desperately to dodge all the ‘when is this baby coming?’ and ‘haven’t you had that baby yet?’ questions from well-meaning people who haven’t been on the ride with me this week. I felt like making a sign to wear around my neck – “not yet, and please don’t ask”. 😛

I’ve only had sporadic contractions and labor signs since Tuesday – just enough at a time to make me think, “Is this it?”, only to realize it’s not – and I’m finally starting to be okay with the fact that this baby is just going to come when SHE decides she’s ready. (If that’s not a ‘no-duh’ statement, I don’t know what is!) So, here I sit on my couch on Friday, September 15th (a great day for a birthday, right Auntie Ellen?), waiting for the inevitable and trying not to think about it at the same time. I think I’m going to go play with my kiddos for a little while and try to practice just ‘being in the moment’. And if I don’t answer the phone when you call, please understand that I still love YOU, I just really don’t want to think about all this again right now! 🙂

I’m off to play, but stay tuned. I’ll try to be sure to keep you all posted on how things go… or don’t go as the case may be………..

Written by Kay Hesketh - Visit Website

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Aunt Kathy Says:

    Thanks for this wonderful update, Kay.

    I remember going through something similar, regarding false starts, when we were waiting for Will to be born. I was certain I had begun dilation, so I pushed my doc for an exam. He not only told me I wasn’t ready, he implied I had wasted his time! Not one of your more sensitive docs. Luckily, that doc quit birthing babies after Will was born.

    You and Shawn are wonderful parents and I believe you’re more ready than you know.

    We’ll be praying for you and Karis this weekend. It sure would be nice if she could share Ellie’s birthday!

    Much love,
    Kathy

  2. Auntie Ellen Says:

    Yes, darlin’ Kay, Sept. 15 is a grand day for a birthday, so keep Karis coming! I was just thinking this morning that mid-September is such a good time of year to have a birthday: the days are bright, but not too hot; the nights cool off; Indian summer is popping out with golden and orange leaves everywhere; and there is a little of that excitement about the new school year that still seems to hang about even when one is middle-aged! Let’s go Karis! Let’s go! I’m thinking of you, Kay, but I am NOT about to ASK!! Love, AE

  3. Amy Ewing Says:

    Hey Kay!

    Thanks for keeping us all updated! I experienced the same type of “false start” situation with Cody & felt really dumb because I thought I should’ve know if it was the real thing or not, having already had a baby. So, I completely understand how you’re feeling, and I just want to encourage you to just try to enjoy the remaining time that you have with just 2 kids! I know it’s got to be hard, because if nothing else, you’re ready to get the whole labor thing done with!! But, take heart: she won’t stay iniside you forever! I look forward to meeting Karis! It seems as if she & Ariah both have minds of their own, huh?!

  4. Sacha Says:

    I am going through the same thing, but this is my fourth child. My first came on his own four days early. My second and third were induce due to medical reasons. Though at 34 with this one I started in with contractions that got closer and stronger with time, went to the hospital and was sent home the next day, because I was not in ‘true’ labour. Since then I have had four more false starts. Each of them the same as the last, getting closer together and stronger, then after about 7 hours they would just stop. How frustrating. Last night was my last and I was sure it was it, because this time it was at a different time in the day and woke me from a deep sleep. No luck for me. I am getting very depressed, I think I would enjoy this one so much more if my body wasn’t playing tricks on me. I now feel like I am over a month over due, just becasue of the false starts. I don’t think I am going to be convinced that I am in ‘true’ labour until my water breaks or have the bloody show.

    I just want to cry.

  5. Kay Says:

    Poor mommy! I soooo know how you feel! It kind of takes the joy out of the end of the pregnancy to ride the roller coaster of “maybe today!” to “false start again…” I’m sure with three other little ones under foot you get little to no “mommy time”, but if you can, try to squeeze in a little pampering for yourself soon. Something that will help lift your spirits and give you a little motivation to keep going for the next time. 🙂

    You can do it, Momma. Just remember, this baby WILL come out and SOON! 🙂 Praying for a quick and easy delivery for you, too.

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