Labour Day and Labour Stories – Part One

Jake’s fourth birthday is less than two weeks away, which has had me reminiscing about, appropriately enough, his birth. I LOVE birth stories, labour stories, pregnancy stories. I love hearing about them. If you want to share, I promise to be a rapt audience. I love the ordinary run-of-the-mill birth stories, the grisly birth stories, the weird labour experiences, the pregnancy-related aches and pains. The only thing I do not like about labour stories is the term that is frequently employed, “birth experience”. I don’t know, that term conjures up the same feelings that “synergy” and “optionality” did in my long-ago working days.

You know when you see an enormously pregnant woman, and her behaviour is incredibly irrational and insane, and you know with the benefit of experience that any minute now, that woman will be going into labour, but when you are that enormously pregnant woman, you believe your behaviour is perfectly normal and reasonable, and everyone else around you is crazy? That was exactly my situation prior to going into labour with Jake.

The day before I went into labour I was at the hair salon, which was incredibly fortunate as I did not want to be an exhausted mother to a newborn and a toddler who was not yet one and a half with three inches of grey roots. I really needed those roots covered to rise to the situation. Thank you Dad for those genes. Anyway. In retrospect I should have guessed I was about to go into labour. I hated everyone in that salon. Every single thing bothered me but I had to hold everything inside because really, who wants to annoy the woman with the scissors? So I seethed on the inside. What is with the insipid chatter, I thought. Why is the smell so bad in here? This is an OLD issue of People! If they hadn’t been so behind, I wouldn’t be driving at this time of the day, I fumed in the traffic on the way home. I was so irritable and uncomfortable I decided to try to sleep on the couch. My husband checked on me when he heard my uncontrollable sobbing. He probably thought something was horribly wrong.

“WHAT IF NO ONE IS AROUND TO TAKE CARE OF MARK WHEN I’M IN LABOUR?” I sobbed. This was my fear: that I would go into labour and no one would be around to take care of the toddler. Side note: my parents live twelve minutes away, less if my lead-footed father is driving. My husband pointed out this fact, and also the fact that my elderly neighbour had specifically said she didn’t want to see me on the news as someone who had given birth in a taxi, so if my mom couldn’t come right away to call her. Also, I had been so paranoid that I had made up a list of people who could possibly look after Mark, starting with my best friend and my brothers and ending with almost every neighbour on my block and a couple of his co-workers. Still, I would not be dissuaded. I was convinced that everyone on that list would be unavailable all at the same time. Either I was going to go to the hospital by myself while Rob looked after Mark due to NO ONE else being available, or we would have to take Mark with us and he would be scarred for life watching his brother exit his mother’s vagina. There could be no other options. I cried until I fell asleep.

Then I woke up, at 4:30, to let Rob know we should call my mom to come over and take care of Mark.


  1. I am with you! I could sit and discuss labour stories for HOURS. Delivery method does not matter. I’m also into anything about pregnancy, from the gender of the baby to the emotions and cravings mom had and even the most comfortable sitting and sleeping positions. I could spend my life immersed in pregnancy and delivery, and maybe even immediately post-partum and be happy as a clam. 🙂

  2. Look how cute you are!

  3. Gotta love pregnancy hormones eh?

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