So Wednesday night around 9pm I started with really bad abdominal pain & sickness, I knew straight away I had to go to Maternity. So I called a friend who took me over to Beziers & let my husband know in Ireland that I was in pain but I didn't think it was labour pains.
On arrival I was put on monitoring equipment & my pains turned out to be proper labour contractions...le travail had started. My husband called & I confirmed his fear, I was in labour & he was stuck in Dublin due to the strikes & couldn't get back until Thursday at the earliest.
After 4 hours I was over half way through the labour process (for those of you with experience of this you will know what I mean without me needing to make everyone else squirm). I was in a very positive frame of mind surprisingly & very calm & relaxed considering I knew I was doing this without my other half. By 3.30am the midwife wanted to move me into the delivery room & thought the baby would be here in anything from 30mins to 3 hours. I said I was ok and didn't need any pain relief yet so could I stay in the labour room for a bit longer.
At 4am the pains stopped completely. End of labour.....baby had joined the french side & gone on strike. I later found out that my husband had been picked up by his taxi to go to the airport at 4am exactly.
For me, my journey was over for a while, I went to sleep peacefully & awoke with no sign of labour progressing.
For my husband it was the beginning of his. He bought the last business ticket for a seat on the first plane out of Dublin to Paris (I don't want to know how much that cost!), then arrived at CDG. He took a taxi to Orly & managed to blag his way onto the next plane to Montpellier (his technique was to choose the oldest looking customer services lady & explain his wife was in labour whilst waving 2 boarding cards for Air France flights later on that same day & very nicely ask if it was possible he could get on the flight that was currently boarding..his luck paid off & he was given his golden ticket).
At 2pm he arrived at the hospital at which point I was elated & instructed baby Fitzgerald to get back into action (I know I'm still 2-3 weeks early but really I've had enough false starts now). Nothing. I dragged my poor shattered husband up and down stairs, round all the corridors and then I bounced around for hours on the birthing ball to try to get things moving. Nothing.
I was kept in overnight & left alone but whilst he slept, completely zonked out, I sat impatiently getting frustrated at why I couldn't switch labour back on again as quickly as it went off. Still nothing.
The midwifes re-examined me & concluded no contractions so whilst the effects of the 24 hours previous are irreversible until the baby is delivered (I was assured I don't have to re-live the efforts of those 6cm again) I was allowed to go home to wait for more contractions.
Boy did this cause a lot of concern amongst my mum, friends, all the mothers & grandmothers in the village who are outraged that the hospital has let me come home with an open cervix. I am a bit worried about getting back to the hospital as I know I'll be re-starting in the active stage of labour but I am also relaxed as I now have my hubbie here to take me & to be with me for the rest of the journey.
My mum is staying for the next 4 weeks so we don't have to worry about the little one as she's already been passed from pillar to post with the 5 false starts we've already had. She was beginning to get a bit stressed by all the to'ing & fro'ing and hasn't been eating properly. Since we came back yesterday she has been beaming & has eaten really well, slept until 10am this morning (for which we were both extremely grateful) and has been drinking her milk too. So with us, the little one & the petrol tank refuelled we're back on track & ready to go...
So...until the next time....