Anyone had a back to back (OP position) Labour/Birth for first baby?

(267 Posts)
catholicatheist Thu 28-Oct-10 21:02:09

Hi ladies..I really need to hear some experiences. I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and my little boy decided he wanted a change of view and turned and is now in a back to back position. I have tried everything to turn him (all fours birth ball etc) and he isnt budging. Can people tell me their experiences as I feel I may need to rethink my birth plan (had hoped for just gas and air) but now considering epidural if it is going to be really really painful and long.

catholicatheist Thu 28-Oct-10 21:02:57

Ps If there were back to back at what point in labour did they turn? Or did they not turn at all?

FranknCock Thu 28-Oct-10 21:10:18

I'm not sure you'll want to hear mine, but here goes anyway...

DS was the correct way around to start with, but flipped back to back during labour. I didn't progress after 4cm so after hours of labour, diamorphine, an epidural, and loads of G&A, I ended up with an emergency section. They had a monitor attached to his scalp and took some blood from his head--they weren't very happy with the results, and his head was being sort of squeezed the wrong way too.

Honestly it wasn't that bad. I recovered really well, still got skin to skin in the recovery room, and managed breastfeeding pretty easily (still going at 14mo).

I would say definitely rethink your birth plan, particularly if this is your first. It is a pain unlike any other (which is not to say it is necessarily worse), and I don't think you can really know how you are going to react. Things can happen that disrupt the most carefully laid plans. I think what is important is that you have informed yourself as much as possible about what is available and how it is administered so you at least have some idea of what's going on when/if it happens to you!

Best of luck, hope it goes well for you. There may still be time for the baby to turn as well!

Dee78 Thu 28-Oct-10 21:18:31

I don't know if you'll want to hear mine either. I got to 7cm but never progressed. i was a home birth but ended up with two sets of forceps in theatre. That said I didn't find it too painful and did the first 16 hours on just gas and air and only had the epidural once I had the drip put up. You may well be able to cope with the pain. I didn't find it that bad at all.

I would recommend reading up on instrumental deliveries and sections so if you are confronted with any of these you are fully informed and can make decisions about what to do without panicing but just go with flow and see what happens.

The baby could turn, and plenty of people have ok deliveries with OP babies so don't worry.

flashcards Thu 28-Oct-10 21:21:56

My labour was back to back and it was a long labour. I had lots of gas and air and an epidural (which I wasn't planning on). I had a nice Thai midwife towards the end of the labour who was very supportive and she was determined that I didn't go to theatre. I wish I had known to go staight to sleep when my baby did as I was exhausted, but just wanted to stare at him. Hope it goes well for you, don't worry!

catholicatheist Thu 28-Oct-10 21:22:26

Thanks ladies. yes I had heard with this position intervention is highly likely. This is why I am trying to get as much info so I can make informed choices on the day.

If he stays back to back can you ask for a c section or would they tell you no for this position?

OhBuggerandArse Thu 28-Oct-10 21:25:23

My DS1 was back to back all the way through, and like you I did everything I could to turn him - spent hours kneeling off the sofa, on the bouncy ball, obsessively reading Ina Mae's and the Spinning Babies websites (worth a look if you haven't already). Everything I read sounded so confident that it is possible to turn the baby, and that even if it doesn't turn keeping active and using the right positions will get them out naturally.

He never turned, I had a 36 hour labour and needed forceps to get him out. There was absolutely no question of managing without an epidural.

I think one of the problems with wanting to educate and empower yourself in respect to your birth is that if you turn out not to be able to manage what you plan can feel as if you've failed somehow - but really, passing or failing doesn't come into it. Do the best you can with the situation you find yourself in - I'm sure you'll be able to retain all sorts of aspects of an active birth even if it does turn out that you need an epidural.

But do try not to feel disappointed or surprised if you do need one - I think I'd have had a much better time immediately post-partum if I hadn't felt so shell shocked by things not having worked out the way that all the resources I'd been reading said they would.

mollycuddles Thu 28-Oct-10 21:29:13

I was induced with ds and once the drip was up the pain was awful, particularly because being monitored I couldn't mobilise. I had an epidural which was rubbish and then pethidine. He still turned as I reached 10cm and I pushed him out with a small cut. Considering the way it was going with the whole cascade of interventions I really thought we were going to end up needing a section or an instrumental delivery but it was ok in the end. I do think you should be flexible with your birth plan anyway as whether he stays OP or not it's all a bit unpredictable especially first time round.

thingamajig Thu 28-Oct-10 21:31:42

Now for something completely different. DD had been the right way round all the way through, she must have turned right at the end. But still: I had a home birth, all over in 12 hrs from first twinge to holding baby, no pain relief other than birth pool ( and boy, did that help). I gave birth squatting in the bathroom, and although we had to go to hospital for a few days for breathing/blood sugar problems, she was fine. (Though she had a bit of a squashed nose where she had been behind my pubis.)

I would go for a natural (non c-sec) birth if possible, and make sure you use positioning to help the baby out - do NOT lie flat on your back. Pain relief wise, see what you need on the day.

Good Luck, and hope baby turns soon, apparently they often do.

naghoul Thu 28-Oct-10 21:39:20

8 hours, gas and air and I got him out by myself. He was 9lb7oz.
I did tear. The back ache was worse than the contractions. I was more grateful the back pain was gone than the baby was here.
I wasn't trying to be a hero btw, I was prepared to just go with whatever I needed to do.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Oct-10 21:41:41

Hi catholicatheist. Not a great story here either unfortunately. My first flipped back to back during labour. My birth plan stated a preference for gas and air. Unfortunately, I had also asked that no other pain relief be offered unless I asked (because I didn't want to be tempted by something I might react to badly). In the event, the unbearable pain kicked in really early, around 3 cm. I was told I couldn't have gas and air as it was too early, in my weakened state I thought that meant it was too early for any pain relief and consequently had to go until 6 cm (around 4 hours) with no pain relief at all. It was hell on earth. Then I got gas and air and "managed" the rest of the first stage with that and being in water. My pushing stage was 3.5 hours because DS got stuck, but although I was threatened with a drip when my contractions stopped I delivered naturally with an episiotomy.

So far, so good. The problem was that the intensity of the pain I suffered during that labour traumatised me for years. I would not recommend limiting your pain relief choices by a birth plan. And yes, for a back to back labour I would consider an epidural if I ever had to do it again.

My second, incidentally, was a normal presentation and labour was an absolute doddle in comparison.

naghoul Thu 28-Oct-10 21:41:42

I also found I needed to squat. I couldn't have lay on my back. Being active really helped.

catholicatheist Thu 28-Oct-10 21:45:11

What..I didnt know they could say no pain relief 'its too early' ? What do they mean too early..surely if your in pain they have a duty to help you?

catholicatheist Thu 28-Oct-10 21:47:16

Gaelicsheep..at least they do seem to move in labour (even if yours flipped the wrong way..it still gives me hope he might flip the right way). I wouldnt mind but its been a bloody horrific pregnancy with one thing after another and I am practically bed bound now with SPD. I was so hoping for a hassle free (ish) birth :-(

alicatte Thu 28-Oct-10 21:48:50

My Eldest was back to back towards the end of the pregnancy and I had terrible sciatica etc. But then when he was born (3.5 weeks early) he moved round and I was through it in just over 8 hours.

The midwife had been talking about 'moving him' round with a sort of massage - which I think is an option - but in the end he did just sort himself out.

Good luck.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Oct-10 21:52:48

Also look on the bright side that yours only has to turn from back to left side. Mine started on the right side and went all the way around. sad

Hmm, the no pain relief thing. It seems pretty rare that they'd take that approach. I think the thinking is that you can saturate yourself on gas and air too early time wise, and when you really need it, it won't work so well any more. I found out later I could have had meptid or an epidural at that stage - it was only the gas and air they would limit. If I had known about the policy I would not have written my birth plan in the way that I did. Incidentally, when I said no pain relief, I did have TENS but it was worse than useless.

Having said that, with my second I wasn't finding the contractions that bad so I assumed I had hours left to go. They were bad enough for me to not want them much worse, and the mere thought of having the same experience made me ask for an epidural on arrival at hospital. Before I could even be examined I was pushing!

FranknCock Thu 28-Oct-10 22:03:09

catholicatheist, I can totally sympathise. hyperemesis, SPD, and antenatal depression for me! The great part was, once the baby was out, I felt brilliant and was on a high for months. Hope it is the same for you.

Notanexcitingname Thu 28-Oct-10 22:09:32

You might like my story wink. PLanned homebirth. DS1 decided to take the long way round, and went LOP in labour. Laboured at home for a day and a half in typical stop-start, contraction coupling fashion. Transferred to hospital, found to be 5cm dilated, syntocin drip went in and I had a baby within two hours. Laboured on all fours, and I couldn't have moved if my life depended on it. I'd have murdered anyone who suggested I lie on my back (and I'm scarey grin)

Just used a little G&A when the syntocin was cranked up, other than that, just HypnoBirthing

Allora Thu 28-Oct-10 22:12:09

I had my back to back baby at home (turned at the beginning of labour so I hadn't known) the back pain was horrendous and it did make things slower but if you can handle pain ok then you may not need intervention.

I think you just have to stay at home for as long as you can and try not to be in a hurry. Getting wasted on gas and air in the pool really helped me grin

DD did look slightly frightening for a few minutes too. According to DMIL like Tyson, but she's a looker now!

exexpat Thu 28-Oct-10 22:18:02

A few more positive stories on this thread a few days ago. I've had two back-to-back, neither horrendous, and both without pain relief smile.

TimothyWerewolfTuppennyTail Thu 28-Oct-10 22:19:00

DS was back-to-back. I had no pain relief, just a local anaesthetic for the episiotomy as they had to use forceps.

But d'you know what? It doesn't matter that it isn't what I'd had in mind. I have my beautiful boy, and it was worth it.

AvengingGerbil Thu 28-Oct-10 22:20:03

Mine was back to back as well, having been the right way round until the last minute.

I had gas and air and ended up with a ventouse delivery because he got stuck.

The most disconcerting thing was that I had nothing that could be described as a contraction throughout the whole proceedings, so there were no 'signals' for when to push or not. And the midwives didn't believe I was making any progress in dilating because they couldn't time the gaps between contractions, and were all surprised about it when they finally got round to looking to find I was fully dilated having told me for hours that there was no point looking as nothing was happening...

Merryseveredlegs Thu 28-Oct-10 22:20:35

My first was back to back - long labour, managed with just gas and air but had to have an episiotomy right at the end as he wasn't budging and was distressed. Not ideal, but better than a c-section in terms of recovery. In general, first labours ARE a real effort, subsequent ones are often not so bad (relatively!).

nellieisstilltired Thu 28-Oct-10 22:23:12

ds1 and ds3 were back to back. both were four hour labours, no interventions needed just gas and air. the back pain was bad but it goes.

I also had pethidine - not sure it helped with the pain but psychologically it was good grin

Ishtar2410 Thu 28-Oct-10 22:23:15

DD was back to back. It was a bit painful (!) and I opted for an epidural in the end. She then tried to turn the 'wrong' way and got herself stuck. (Changing her mind, even now, is very difficult - she's a little girl who knows what she wants!)

They decided to try the Ventouse, but in order to do that they had to turn her - thank goodness for the epidural. She came out fine.

There is a website Spinning Babies that can help with fetal positioning. Recommended to me when DS insisted on sitting in a breech position until 34 weeks, when he turned with a lurch one evening!

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