So what actually happens in labour? The first stage involves the thinning and opening of your cervix. This may take a few days or a few hours. As the labour progresses, the contractions will become longer, more intense and more frequent. If you’ve been having regular contractions for 20 hours (14 hours if you’ve had a baby before) and your cervix is not dilating, contact your LMC to discuss your progress and to check that your baby is moving regularly.
The second stage of labour is when your cervix is fully dilated and you will push the baby into the world. This is the main event, this is what the previous nine months were all about. By the time the baby’s born, you may be so tired that you don’t even have the energy to feel the joy, the delight or the gratification. Don’t worry, it’ll come later.
The third stage of labour is pushing out the placenta. Compared to the second stage, it’s far less painful but also totally anticlimactic.
Wait. Wait. And wait some more. Colleagues may be asking how you’re enjoying your last days of freedom, and in your panic, you can’t decide whether you want to freeze time or fast-forward it to when the baby is 18 years old.
You are the size and weight of an even bigger watermelon. Your first sticky poop (meconium) is getting ready to be deposited in your first nappy.