16 hours since the first killer pain and not much progress... Managed to sleep from 5:30 to about 9am, waking only to breathe heavily and abuse the TENS machine which we cunningly put on my back before retiring.
This piece of kit is great once you get used to it. It's quite a bit like the electronic muscle development machines they use in physiotherapy but it has a much faster, lighter pulse. Basically, it feels liks a whole Nurenberg rally of jumping spiders bouncing in unison on ones skin. The rhythm is also very quick and military and you have to leave it turned on all the time for it to work properly.
The result is that at first I swear to you I drifted off to sleep dreaming of uniformed spiders jumping up and down and singing 'Give Me Some Men Who Are Stout-Hearted Men' in gruff voices to the rhythm of the machine. And then of course, like an alarm clock on 'sleep' mode, every 15 minutes I woke up to breath heavily and press the 'constant' button which does this heavenly thing where it not only massages the muscles but also scratches ones back. You can see why it's been getting some abuse.
It does actually help. It's not as though you can't feel the pain of the contractions, it's just that they are more bearable. The problem however is that you can't use it in water, and the birth pool is now inflated in the living room and a quarter full of water which means at some point, me and my little electronic marvel are going to have to be separated. I forsee tears.
Contractions, if that's what they are, are coming between 5 and 10 minutes apart and lasting 1 to 3 minutes... it's reasonably random but this is down from every 8-13 minutes so progressing in the right direction.
Considering that it's been at least 16 hours since the first pain and 24 hours since my waters broke, it's really not been too awful - I mean, I've managed to type this (with a few painful pauses) and even call the IRS to abuse them about a letter they sent today asking me to fill in a tax form, when I have been waiting for them to send one for the past three weeks. I even got an apology without having to resort to the old 'and I'm in labour' chestnut which I'm sure you've all used yourselves.
I tell you, abusing the IRS on the telephone through a light contraction is one way to release one's pain...