Thursday 4 November started off as a seemingly normal day. I was happily making some lunch for the husband to take to work (point-scoring) when I suddenly needed to take a break to sit down.
Then I went to the loo. Then I went for a lie-down.
Something wasn't right. I just felt extra tired and had a bit of lower backache and.... oh, hang on. I'm not, I can't be...
I hinted to Paul that I didn't want him to go to work. I cried a lot. And eventually we agreed he would go to the office and get his laptop, call me and if I still wanted him home, he'd come back and could work from here if needs be.
Well, I called him and said I'd just had a bout of diarrhoea and he jumped straight in the car to come back to me, knowing this could be a real sign of impending labour.
I was having a few contractions, probably just braxton hicks, but the thing I couldn't figure out, was that I felt really really sick too. I wasn't really sure if this happens in labour and it hadn't happened to me last time. In the meantime I completely emptied my bowels and we called the hospital. They suggested it could be an upset tummy and I should hang on at home for a while, if contractions started coming regularly and more painfully then I should go in.
Then I was sick. Real 'body trying to empty itself' sick. And I felt a lot better. I sat downstairs and watched a bit of telly with the poor neglected toddler and when he'd had his lunch and headed off for a nap, I headed off to bed too. I was still having contractions, but assumed they were just braxton hicks and tried to get some rest to see if they calmed down.
My next vomit was so intense - and with nothing left in my stomach to come out - that I woke the toddler prematurely from his nap. Several more vomits followed, each one coming on so suddenly that I was glad to have the sick bucket to hand on my dash to the bathroom.
We started timing the contractions at about 4pm and for the next 3 hours they didn't stop. But they weren't regular. Sometimes the gap would be 2 minutes, sometimes 10. But they did not stop. We rang the community midwife who insisted we go to hospital so we arranged childcare, and off we went.
The car journey seemed to make the contractions more regular, frequent and intense. At this point I was feeling really glad we'd decided to go. But once we got into hospital and they'd taken a swab (yes, more probing down below), they confirmed that I was not in labour and it was probably the irritation of the tummy bug making my womb contract.
A doctor fitted me up with a canular in my wrist and due to my dislike of blood, the discomfort it caused and my predisposed vomit situation, I threw up whilst he took samples from me. Then I was hooked up to a drip to rehydrate me as my urine sample was showing all sorts of nasty things from the bug and the total lack of anything else in me.
Eventually, after a very long wait (and dull for Paul as I'd drifted off to sleep), I was moved down to the maternity ward at midnight. Paul came home (where he had to sleep in a musty old sleeping bag as mum hadn't been able to find our spare duvet!!) and I got a bit of sleep whilst sweltering in the heat, unable to get to a window as I was connected to things.
Friday was spent at hospital having a few checks, sleeping lots, eating a bit at a time and awaiting discharge home. Around lunchtime, my urine showed that I was still burning off my own body fat (I know, sounds like a positive thing, but really it's quite bad) instead of burning off sugar so I was asked to stay in until teatime to provide another sample for checking. But given my odd love for hospital food, this was hardly a problem for me.
And I managed to get home just in time for the boy's bedtime - not that he was exactly thrilled to see me. He'd been having far too much fun with Nanny and Grandad all day as I'd sent Paul off to the wedding we were supposed to be attending! Still, I got a bit of a cuddle and time to sit on the sofa eating little snacks.
I can safely say that having a tummy bug is not a pleasant experience ever, but particularly this late in pregnancy. I am relieved, however, not to have given birth prematurely again.
This time next week, it'll be a different matter. I just want to pass the 36 week marker (next Weds) then I'm happy to pop as soon as possible as the sooner he comes out, the smaller he'll be. And small babies fit out much more easily!