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25 Sep 2008: The Second

A picture

Finally You Realise You Can Be Called Grandparents

Sunday 21st September, 2am, Aki started experiencing cramping pains. Her torso had kept jamming up all day, going as hard as a stone, these were pre-labour Braxton Hicks contractions. But it was at 2am the pain began, and neither of us had gone to bed yet.

Hysteria! Panic in the streets! Holy wotsits! The contractions were coming quite close together and were very long, indicating she was in an advanced stage of labour. I couldn't believe that it was now, the jig was up, we could no longer pretend this twosome existence could last any longer. The final minutes of the last episode of this season - and boy, it was going to be a cliffhanger.

It was decided that I should try to grab some quick kip but Aki doubted she could get some sleep because the pain was uncomfortable. She gave me three hours before waking me up at 6am.

The contractions had continued, getting stronger to the point where Aki couldn't speak through them. Finally, we made a call to the hospital, just as the contractions nose-dived into a territory that, normally, would mean it was time to leave the house. The contractions bobbed between 3 and 5 minutes apart, stretching to a painful length of 1-2 minutes, which meant Aki was in pain for around a third of the time. We were told to wait it out and see how it goes.

But it stayed like this all day. Aki surrendered to a bath. I read every internet site I could about weird contraction patterns.

At 4pm we went along to the hospital to see if they could tell us what the hell was going on. They checked out the baby's heartbeat - no problem. They checked whether contractions were happening - yep. Then they checked the cervix.

The midwife told us that Aki was far advanced as the cervix was 6-7 cm dilated. The baby was definitely coming out that evening.