Anyone had a back to back (OP position) Labour/Birth for first baby?(267 Posts)
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.
Ps If there were back to back at what point in labour did they turn? Or did they not turn at all?
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also found I needed to squat. I couldn't have lay on my back. Being active really helped.
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?
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 :-(
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.
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.
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!
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.
You might like my story . 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 )
Just used a little G&A when the syntocin was cranked up, other than that, just HypnoBirthing
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
DD did look slightly frightening for a few minutes too. According to DMIL like Tyson, but she's a looker now!
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 .
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.
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...
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!).
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
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!
Ah, good point Gerbil. I had forgotten that bit.
No sensation of contractions for me either. I was 5cm before I got to the hospital and the midwives were quite suprised.
I didn't realise DS1 was back to back until I was examined by a midwife at home about 4 hours in - I had barely dilated at all. Got to the hospital 6 hours in and despite my very frequent and painful contractions they were about to send me home as still had barely dilated, when they spotted some staining so had to be hooked up to monitors. Had an epidural 12 hours into labour, which was really needed as hadn't slept due to contractions starting at bed time. Had ventouse, forceps to no avail and was taken into theatre. Was just about to have a c-section when last attempt at forceps managed to get DS1 out. Unfortunately had 3rd degree tear, so decided to have elected c-section with DS2 (a lot more straight forward and I was in hospital for exactly the same length of time). There is just no way of knowing in advance how a labour is going to be and I hope you don't get disheartened. Best of luck - you'll have a lovely baby soon one way or another.
IIRC, mine was one long contraction. Much pain and no breaks.
I just wonder how much worse it is than normal labour as I get the impression from what I read (I have asked this question on yahoo too) that it is a lot worse and I was terrified any way of a normal birth but I am also scared of having an epidural. I also have a DH who is being a total arse telling me to get on my hands and knees more and turn him then..like its that simple!
Both my awkward buggers were back-to-back. 1st labour was off and on after waters broke 12.10am Monday but real labour started Tuesday evening. I had no pains in front- everything was lower back and also felt like someone was ramming a broomshank up my arse. DD was born 8.30 am wednesay and I managed with tens machine only and a lot of bouncing on birthing ball/swearing at dh etc
DS started off 11 pm and he was born next day 7.30 am, again only arse/back pain but managed with tens machine and telling dh to " go f*** himself" etc etc.
I'd do it all again in a whisker- neither was horrendous and I managed to pack in a lot of eating in between contractions
they're both painful in their own ways. tbh what helped me most was breathing techniques. the more relaxed you are the easier (assuming everything goes to plan) it is to cope with the birth.
DD was back to back. Long latent labour (c. 32 hrs stop start and still at 3 cms) but once waters went after a shot of pethidine it was 4 hrs with 45 mins pushing stage. DD turned at very end just before crowning and was born with hand strapped up to her head. I also delivered on my back after being put there by midwife who thought I'd need episiotomy. In end I had tiny tear. I had gas and air and the pethidine, was asking for epidural but first it was 'too early' then no anaethetist available.
For me the pain was extreme, however it hasn't deterred me from planning HB with only G&A for DC no 2 due in few weeks. Despite the pain, with hindsight I am glad I didn't have an epidural as I think it would have slowed things down. I was exhausted after no sleep and got very tired in pushing stage. I suspect from what I've read that I would have ended with instrumental or C-section and from recovery POV am glad I didn't (but in the same position again I'd probably ask for an epidural). I regret having pethidine because it did nothing for the pain and made DD sleepy and jaundiced.
FWIW at 36 wks there is still time for the baby to turn or it may well turn during labour. Do not be flat on back if at all possible including having the belt monitoring - they can use a handheld doppler. Massage, water and hot water bottles can help.
Oh dear, this isn't helping you at all then! I think as others have said, most first births are pretty difficult back to back or not. If I was to compare my two labours, the last 3 contractions of the second were like most of the first stage of my first labour. But I guess I can't say if my first would have been different if DS had been in the right position.
Fear was the thing for me. I was expecting breaks between contractions - there weren't any. I was expecting to be able to get gas & air when I needed it - I couldn't. If I learned one thing, it is how important it is to get the appropriate pain relief at the right time. Otherwise you will exhaust yourself, panic and have a much worse time overall. By the time I did get gas & air I could no longer breathe properly and I got no benefit. In fact, when I was given it for the last few contractions of my second labour I exclaimed "so that's what's supposed to happen!".
I found I was totally unable to communicate and was kind of trapped in a pit of pain which was just horrid. DH didn't realise what was happening to me. So make sure you are flexible about your options and educate your DH to speak for you if necessary - discuss your fears and preferences with him in advance.
When I got to hospital I was 6 cm dilated and finding the contractions very hard to deal with and the midwife explained this was as DD was coming down back to back but was turning around.
The pool helped a great deal and I had gas and air. I had a normal delivery with no problems. The contractions were the worst part for me.
I don't think there is any such thing as a normal labour. You just have to deal with what happens and you will deal with it. Good luck!
I'll say one thing though. If you reach the point where the pain is so bad you think it can't possibly get worse - it won't. I reached this point at 3 cm and obviously I thought it would get tons worse, which added to the fear. It honestly didn't, and if I'd had appropriate pain relief at the time I think I'd have coped much much better.
And I absolutely agree educate your DH as to what your wishes are so he can speak up for you. I had trouble asking for the G&A and the midwife didn't know what I wanted (think he thought I wanted something stronger, I was in a birth centre) but DH knew what I wanted,spoke up for me and I got it.
Sorry, I feel like I may have been a bit too candid now. I agree with gaelicsheep, the pain of the contractions was the same at 3cm as later on, they just got more frequent. I was also both shattered and completely terrified/freaking out - partly because I was thinking if it hurt that much at 3 cm what would it be like at 10? I think I would have coped with the fast and furious labour proper had I been less tired and calmer as well. I didn't get great support from DH or the midwives though and this time round I've hired a doula and also gone to antenatal yoga to help me learn to breath and relax more.
Thanks everyone I really appreciate all this input. I am wondering about the ladies who said they were not having contractions..was it all back pain then?
Also at what point would I request the epidural..it seems really hard to know what to do because you want to see how far you can go but I dont want to miss the opportunity and for them to then say it is too late now. I totally hear what you say gaelicsheep about pain relief at the right time and can see how that really makes a profound difference.
Both mine were back to back. I can honestly say the backache in pregnancy was worse than the labour/birth. Approach the birth with an open mind and see what happens. Good luck.
Haven't read all the posts but here's my story:
DS1 was back to back through out late pg, labour and delivery. It took a long long time (imo) to get into established labour because of this. Contractions started at 2am on due date, finally went into hospital at 3pm-ish as was finding the ctx were getting hard to cope with (little did I know!).
They monitored me, and hooked me up to a TENS and left me be for a couple of hours. I spent most of the time kneeling up on the bed hanging over a bean bag, like you suffered from bad SPD and walking/standing for any lenght of time was beyond me at this point. Ended up going home early evening still with tens m/c on as still only 2cms.
Went back into hospital around midnight as things had ramped up. They kept me in, managed to get the hang of G&A which was good. About 2am I was getting frustrated and anxious so m/w suggested pethedine to help me relax as she felt I was starting to stall my labour as I was so tense (if that makes sense - it does to me). Progressed fine after that with G&A and TENS as required. Transition was about 7am when I just had to pull the TENS off my back it was winding me up by then. Ended up giving birth lying on my side with out any interventions other than ARM (that lovely crochet hook!) and 3 pushes later he was out. I had a 2nd degree tear but that's probably 'cause I pushed him out in a hurry and didn't really go slowly like the m/w was trying to encourage me to. He never turned.
In short - managed with TENS, G&A, a shot of pethedine, artificial membrane rupture and 2nd degree tear.
As an aside have to say with DC2&3, normal position, I couldn't believe how painful my contractions were in comparison to the back labour with DC1.
DS1 was OP and the labour was not particularly painful. My waters broke while I was asleep and I was already 4-5cm dilated when I was examined on arriving at hospital 15 minutes later. 3 hours later, with no pain relief other than yoga breathing, I was 8-9cms. Things did slow down after that so I was put on a syntocinon drip and I had some gas and air at that point but I still wouldn't really describe the contractions as painful. In the end he was delivered without intervention and the whole labour was less than 8 hours.
DS2 and DS3 were OP in the late stages of pregnancy but both turned shortly before or at the beginning of labour. I did use a birthing ball and scrub the floors in the last few weeks but I don't know whether that was what turned them. Both labours lasted 1 hour 20 minutes and were not painful at all.
A previous poster mentioned hypnobirthing. I used that for DS2 and DS3 and I would highly recommend it.
Not all back to back labours are traumatic - you might be one of the lucky ones!
Oh gosh Ferchel I would take your experience any day if that was offered. Thanks for the hope.
Yes - my first birth was very painful and long and the baby was born in distress with a low apgar score.
I don't want to be a harbinger of doom - but absolutely would suggest an epidural. I had two numpty midwives (one trained and one in training) spouting anti epi crap and would have thrown myself out of the labour room window if I could have ambulated that far. It took an Obstetric SpR with more than half an ounce of common sense to come in 24 hours into a hideous labour and to remark how inhumane it was and offer me a much needed epudural.....
Hope your baby turns- but if not - go for the epidural if you need it.
Incidentally second, correctly positioned labour was a piece of piss!
Post script - had forceps and ventouse too in theatre with c-section team in readiness
Both mine were OP. DD born first, 3 days of painful pre-labour/labour, day and night, contractions every 5 - ten mins, sometimes 1 min long. By then only up to 3 cm dilated, midwife recommended scrap homebirth and pool and go to hosp. I did, had an epidural, got to sleep for the first time in three days, and gave birth with no probs, lying on left hand side, supported leg in the air, very nice, no pain was a blissful way to get ready to meet my child. DS was induced to allow DP to be present at birth, as DS was overdue and DP had to go away following day. Hilarious gas and air followed by blissful epidural again, midwife tried to turn his head during delivery, no luck, so had to kneel to push and he was then able to turn partially. Good luck, have an epidural if you can, well worth all your National Insurance contributions.
Some midwives are dreadful. The one I have in the community is a lovely woman but I wouldnt trust her to deliver a letter let alone my baby!
Thanks woollymummy I may just do that! Especially given how much I need my sleep! The prospect of a long tiring labour on no sleep is a scary thought!
Just to add - agree with the poster who regretted pethidine. I have no evidence but gut feeling that it contributed to dd's sluggishness and need for oxygen and an incubator in SCBU for 24 hours. I think I recall reading something about the potential effects of pethidine on newborns....
oh yes here we are - scroll down, please don't have pethidine
3rd para under pregnancy and breastfeeding
My first (and second for that matter) was an OP baby. His labour took over two days, but to be honest it wasn't especially full-on until the last 12 hours. The first two days had plenty of painful contractions, but they were irregular and pretty bearable with a TENS machine/gas and air. Plenty of recovery time between each one.
Obviously he switched to the anterior at some point before he was born but came out with massive moulding on the top of his head- his head was banana shaped for a day or so. Midwife was brilliant but bloody consultant was exceedingly uncooperative throughout and kept using the "threat" of a C section as a way of trying to make me try harder. I'd really liked to have seen him squeeze a plum through his urethra before he felt qualified to stand at the foot of my bed threatening my like that. Baby weighed 8obs 12 oz when he finally emerged. Perfect condition.
My first baby was back to back. Through the NCT, I learned of a rocking chair (the Kneeler Rocker), designed by a midwife from New Zealand called Jean Sutton, which encouraged the baby to shift into the optimal position for birth. I hired the chair and dutifully sat in it a couple of times a day. One day, the baby did an enormous flip and turned round. A few days later, I had a straightforward labour that lasted only four hours. No pain relief required.
There is a website here which mentions Jean Sutton and gives a contact number. When I hired the chair, I had to go to her daughter in law's house to get it (somewhere near Twickenham - afraid i can't remember exactly where as this was 11 years' ago). I'm afraid the number quoted on the website is from 2000, but if it is no longer the right one, it might be worth phoning the NCT to see if they have a new contact number.
HMC thanks for that, I wasnt keen on pethadine as I have heard some bad things and on reading that it has put me off it more!
toffeefudgecake, thanks for that link..really interesting and I just read that having a placenta on the front wall often makes babies OP and guess what my placenta is anterior. I am feeling a little vindicated now that perhaps he isnt OP because I have been slouching back too much.
I had anterior placenta with my OP DC too.
If you can't get the chair, there are lots of suggestions by Jean Sutton here for encouraging the baby to turn.
I also had an anterior placenta with DS!
If I put a 'watch' on this thread, do you promise to update us in 4/5 weeks time re how it all went? Wishing you a good, positive labour!
ooh looks like there is a common link then. Bloody placenta..I knew that would cause trouble. I keep saying to DH (dont know if this is totally ridiculous) 'You must remember if I need an emergency C section that my placenta is on the front wall' ..I just have visions of them cutting and it bursting or something..probably totally irrational I know!
HMC yes I will update! I am going to be trying every trick in the book to get him out as soon as I hit 38 weeks as I am in way too much pain now and just want the whole ordeal over with. God if only getting them out could be as fun as putting them in hey!
re your last sentence. When I did a labour ward tour before my second delivery, I was talking to the MW about my fears after my first. I was in tears FGS. She was old school, and she said, quite seriously, that in her view "we get the fun, now we have to pay for it with the pain". WTF?! Methinks there's a slight overpayment there.
Yeah or that midwife was having some kind of orgasms the rest of us dont have! lol. Yeah I am thinking if that was the case I want my money back just in terms of the pregnancy!
And what about our DPs? Exactly how do they pay for their part in the fun? Do they carry the baby? No. Do they give birth? No. Do they breastfeed? No. Am I bitter? Too right!
Oh I said this on another post and some woman had a right go at me. My Dh says all he did was 'bring the raw materials on site'..and he gets an orgasm..what do we get...yeah its a pretty unfair deal it has to be said!
My DD (first baby) was back to back. She did turn during labour - not sure at what point. 19 hours, but only in hospital for last five, I got to 7cm at home using a TENS and active birth techniques - I strongly recommend both for back to back to labour - do not be stationary whatever you do. Then I had 4 hours in pool (fantastic). Unfortunately contractions slowed so I had to get out and she was delivered using a ventouse - but it was not on for long and I only had a very small cut.
Okay, this is what I know about back to back labours.
They hurt more at the beginning and you might want gas and air very early or need whatever other pain relief techniques you have learned.
At 3cm you will think 'fuck this, I'd rather die than let it get any more painful. I want an epidural'.
If you are refused an epidural you will, in fact learn that this is as bad as it gets. The pain came early but doesn't get worse.
If you get an epidural, they will make you wait because you aren't much in established labour. You will panic and fret. When you get an epidural you will almost certainly be on a parth for assisted delivery of some kind because your baby now has no chance of turning.
If you can stay mobile, but more importantly upright and not panic at the 3cm hell, your body will turn your baby as you contract. Your labour might be a little bit longer because of this, but the less the interference, the more chance you have of your clever body sorting it all out.
My DS was back to back and yes, the contractions hurt, but I coped fine in the birth pool with gas and air and got to fully dilated that way. (Problems then came in that he was stuck and ended up with forceps in theatre etc, but they give you pain relief for that stuff).
It does seem like back to back babies get stuck..which of course makes total sense due to the angle they are using. I just feel if he is potentially going to get stuck anyway I might as well have an epidural? I am so confused about what to do as I really dont want this birth to make me fearful of having another baby.
Also back to back. I had a classic persistent OP presentation, apparently. Contractions started on due date (registering on trace at hospital as 4 mins apart for half an hour) but went away again. Pattern continued like this until waters went at 40 + 12. Contractions never regularised so was induced. Managed pain well until about 5cm, then took epidural because I was really restricted in how much I could move about due to being induced.
14 hours from induction to delivery - 1 and a half hours pushing but he got stuck so had to be rushed to theatre and prepped for trial of forceps. They expected CS at that time as he was quite high but used rotational (Kielland's) forceps to get him out.
Kielland's forceps not so good, lots of pain afterwards and slow recovery. Shocked my baby so he didn't cry for a minute (but was fine.. just to warn you in case!). Rest of it AOK.
All's well that end's well.. I didn't give a toss about having had forceps when I had him, even though it was sore!
Oh, by the way, I never found the pain unmanageable really.. just knew I couldn't cope with a vag exam as was coping by breathing/being in my own space (sounds new agey but it really was my way of coping). I just felt that if someone was examining me I would lose it so I opted for epi.
I wasn't aware that my DS was back to back at the time - he had started off in the right position - but discussions with midwives have since confirmed that he likely ended up back to back...and my Mum and I concur that he was definitely facing upwards when he came out!
Apparently it was a typical back to back labour - waters broke dramatically and contractions started and continued in a half hearted fashion over a period of a couple of days until we reached the point that an induction was recommended because of the risk of infection.
The contractions felt very strange compared to how people usually describe them (i.e. no period type pain early on, no lower back pain later on) and I could not sit down comfortably so either had to be walking, on all fours, or lying on my side.
When we went back into hospital for the induction I had managed to dilate a couple of centimetres so they didn't bother with the pessary but put me straight onto the syntonicin (sp) drip at 5 p.m.
After a couple of hours I was feeling quite uncomfortable so the midwife offered me some gas and air. I enjoyed the G&A quite a lot and the next 5 hours were quite good fun and the pain manageable provided no-one talked to me during a contraction!
When I was about 8.5cm dilated I had the overwhelming urge to push (possibly because they had to up the syntonicin dose quite a lot to maintain regular contractions and possibly due to DS's position as well). It was pretty difficult not to push and I found this quite distressing.
When I finally became fully dilated I was very tired and kept falling asleep between contractions. In hindsight I wish I had just gone with the induction option earlier in the day and I might have had a bit more energy.
After 1.5 hours of pushing (and starting to wish someone would suggest a c-section) the senior midwife appeared and they put my legs in stirrups, told me to put the G&A down (I wasn't focussing enough) and sternly told me to push each time I had a contraction. This was just what I needed tbh and I managed to push DS a fair way down, the obstetrician then appeared to perform an episiotomy and ventouse and DS was born very quickly after that (8 hours after the drip had been started)! The sensation of the ventouse and the stitching afterwards were the most unpleasant parts and I did have some nightmares about it afterwards but I don't really remember the pain of it now (and DS2 is due in 4 weeks).
My motivation to not have an epidural was my fear of big needles!
oh gosh, that was long, sorry!
postive story!! both my ds were back to back. ds1 was born using gas and air in 4 hours and ds2 was born just using gas and air in 2.5 hours. mw had to break my waters with ds2 and that hurt more than anything else
Not sure my birth experience will be helpful! DS was born just over 2 weeks ago and was back to back. Very painful - only felt the contractions in my back and bottom, plus involuntary urge to push. Ended up with epidural which dealt with the pain nicely but DS got stuck (he was nearly 10lb), failed ventouse and then EMCS. Not great for me (bad tear and C-section) but DS was fine once they got him out.
Honeybee79..your story is typical of most. I think that is the crux of it ..back to back equals more pain and more likely intervention will be needed. Oh well at least I am not under any illusions and can mentally prepare. :-)
Similar story here too. First baby back to back - no progress passed 1 fingernail (yes you read correct 1 fingernail) dialated. Had an epidural but didn't need any other help as she was only 6lbs 7oz. They had to give me an injection to open me up and i was able to push her out even though i had no feeling. My mum had warned me if this was the case and i had an epidural, to imagine you are having a poo (tmi I know) but it worked. I tried lying on left side and all the tricks they suggested before labour but nothing worked. i would try Toffees chair - it sounds great.
All the best for an straightforward as you can hope for birth! xx
ladyinpink..at what point did they let you have the epidural then? Did you need forceps or anything?
DD was back to back but turned as she was coming out. It was painful but only really when my waters were broken. However the epidural worked, I had ventouse and some stitches but all in all a fairly ok birth.
Try not to panic
I had been labouring for 2 days and waters had gone so needed to hurry things on so they took pity on me. DH crying prob helped and me keeping my cool though in obvious agony. You normally have to be 5cm dialated before they even consider it but i guess they preferred me having an epidural instead of emcs as less resources needed - it worked though as i relaxed and let them do their thang and mercifully it worked. Weirdly they called it a "normal birth" on my notes, nothing normal about that.
Didn't need ventousse or forceps (my sis in same situation few weeks later did though as babys head bigger than my DD)
Every birth is different so don't be scared by our stories but just be aware. I was in blissful ignorance as to what a back to back baby's birth meant and thought i was being a wimp with the pain - later i found out by other mothers. My DH still does the washing up in our house if I say can you do as i gave birth to DD - it was 6 yrs ago but the memory still haunts him and he loves me more because of it and appeciates and respects me more too. Bless him
DD was back to back, but nobody realised.
Labour was not too long. Contractions started at about 6pm. I phoned the hospital at 9pm asking to come in. They said as it was my first baby, should wait longer.
Was in a lot of pain in my back (didn't realise but this was a sign DD was back to back).
Phoned hospital at 10pm because I thought I couldn't stand the pain any longer asking if I could come in. They said to wait, was too early
Somehow got through another hour and a half of me screaming through every contraction and poor DH despairingly rubbing my back with all his strength.
Phoned hospital and begged to come in, they relented and said I could.
Got to hospital at about midnight, was examined and was actually 8 cm dilated. V relieved. Midwife wanted to do an internal exam but was in so much pain I couldn't let her. So fact DD was back to back was undetected.
Lay down on bed, got gas and air, felt a bit better, got urge to push very quickly.
Midwife remarked that we were lucky baby was not born in the car on the way...
Over one hour of horrendous, fruitless pushing later, no sign of DD, midwife getting concerned, had called head midwife, and taken gas and air off me as it was "distracting me", lots of Drs in the room brandishing forceps and ventouse, telling me I needed to push harder (at that point was lying on my back with legs in stirrups) and pushing with all my might.
Eventually, somehow managed to push DD out without assistance. Honestly it was the most strenuous thing I have ever done, I thought my lungs would rupture from pushing so hard.
When she appeared, everyone said "Ooohhh, back to back, that's why you were having trouble".
DD was quite small, I think that is the only reason I managed to get her out without intervention.
So in my case, progressed v quickly at first, contractions were certainly painful but I did manage to cope with it, it was just at the pushing stage things went wrong. If I had known DD was back to back I would not have laboured flat on my back, I don't think that helped.
Hope things go well for you
Ah that is awful..they should have felt your stomach to see her positioning before having you on the bed like that. I would have been so angry. Good you got her out without any intervention though. You would think that ascertaining position would be something they did from the word go as part of their routine? I am not messing about ringing them for them to tell me no I cant come in. I will take the pain as long as I can then I will turn up and refuse to leave.
My second was back to back and as poster before nobody spotted it. Had episiotomy but had one with my first baby as well as being shaved and enema. Most unpleasant that bit.
No pain relief as there was none on offer. She was born in a small mission hospital. It was painful but not more so than my first baby. If there had been gas and air I would have definitely have used it.
Her little face was all squished and she looked like a wee boxer who gone a few rounds and not with great success. Gave me quite a turn when I saw her.
It was painful in my back but so was my first and third so perhaps that's where I feel it.
Think the third was the worst as got to a point in labour where I thought " I remember now how this goes "
Wishing you much luck
Oh thanks highriggs that is ood to know if he comes out looking a bit squashed..how long was it before that subsided?
Hello another positive one here! Both of mine were back to back & both turned during labour. With the first I just had gas & air & pethadine. I did have an epidural (not planned) with the second as it was more painful for some reason, maybe because it was quite quick & the contractions were on top of each other. I had no stitches or tears with either. Maybe just see how you feel but dont rule out an epidural. Good luck
ohnelly..no stitches or tears..I like the sound of that! Gives me more hope..thanks.
Forgot to add - pushed them out without intervension DS1 was 7lbs 14oz & DS2 was 8lbs. It was quite wierd with DS2 I could actually feel his head rotating as it was crowning!
ouch..that sounds painful. Even when this baby turns his head I get a terrible pain in my cervix and keep thinking oh he is turning..but still to no avail.
A few days, I think it is because she came sunny side up and her face was being squeezed against the pubic arch which is bony and gave her a squishing.
Have read that OP birth is sore in the back because the bony part of the baby's skull is against your bony sacrum so it is important not to lie on your back in labour.
It was a surprise to give birth to a boxer so don't be too upset if the same happens. I thought I would see a lovely wee girl when the midwife said it's a girl. Not Mike Tyson
You'll be fine and don't fear it but just be ready to change your plans if the baby doesn't turn.
yeah someone else on the thread mentioned their baby was squashed too. Good to know as I probably would have freaked out thinking it was permanent.
sorry wont lie to you.. first ds was back to back.. sorry but it was agonising and I left it too long for an epidural and ended up with forceps and loads of stitches.
the back pain was agony and totally unexpected and I didnt get any pushing sensations at all. gas and air and pethedine didnt even dent it..
other 3 labours not back to back and a doddle compared to the first one..
honestly my advice to you would be to get an epidural in early.
best of luck hun..
thebody ... nope if he stays back to back I am going to ask for the epidural I think. But it is a problem when they will give it to you. Hopefully I get a decent midwife who understands that a back to back shouldnt be treated the same as a normal positioning...otherwise someone could get hurt..lol.
yes, recoiling with surprise is never good when presented with your baby.
Sometimes ponder on harder squishing in the teenage years.
I had a long long labour -5 days. I had a cs in the end. The hip pain was the worst for me. I had g&a and diamorphine, no epidural.
So, not great, but everyone is different. I did not feel that I needed an epidural although I could have done with a few days' fewer contractions.
I got to 10cm with water and a tens machine, it was painful but not unbearable at all, and it didn't occur to me to ask for more pain relief (I was at home btw).
A lot of people report feeling all the contractions in their back - I didn't, but I do remember having some back ache at some stage.
The thing I found hardest about it was the length of labour - despite active birthing DD never did descend and was born after 50 hrs with the help of forceps!
I hope you have a smooth and safe birth
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
good luck and if you can take dh or dp or someone kick ass with you into the labour room it always helps.. so they be your champion..
if you decide on an epidural then get it in early iyswim.. giving birth isnt a contest.. you cant fail if you have pain relief...
really wish you the best of luck and u will be fine..feel it in my water!!!
My midwife had told me that my DD was back to back at our last meeting before I went into labour, I didn't think anything more about it at the time, reading this, sooooooooooooooooooooo many questions have been answered about why I had a 36 hr labour!
The worst thing that happened with me was that my DD decided she didn't want to be back to back during the final stage so the midwives were kindly telling me that she was 'corkscrewing' her way out (ouch!) The pushing stage was over really quicky (25 mins) and I didn't need any 'help' however I ended up being badly grazed because of her spinning antics - it took over an hour of stiching
DD was back to back but not fully engaged when I went in to labour so that may have made it easier for her to turn.
It was long - 26 hours from first contraction - but I had her at home without intervention. A bath and gas and air from 8cm really helped!
I spent at least 12 of the 26 hours on my hands and knees mooing like a cow. There's no way anyone would have got me to lie down on my back!
There are good stories... although I'm petrified I won't be so lucky this time around :-)
MrsTumbles That midwife should have really warned you. I am terrible for looking things up and as soon as I felt my baby flip I knew he had changed position so I sat and read up about it. Then I asked the midwife to tell me for sure, which she did. She was quite blasé about the whole thing but did say try to turn him now before he further engages. The fact your midwife didn't at least prepare you for what it could mean for you (like such a LONG labour..eek) really she failed you.
Msbossy I like your story..I imagine if they try making me lie down someone will end up being punched as I have read so much and everyone says all fours is how it needs to be really.
DD1: started labour in ROA, turned back to back right at the end of a 70 hour marathon and had a c-section when she got into distress shortly afterwards. After all those hours of contractions was only 4-5cm though.
DD2: back to back for last few weeks of pregnancy despite me practising optimum fetal position from about 20 weeks! God the hours I spent on my hands and knees, and sitting bolt upright on a wedge cushion.... I had seen an osteopath who thought my pelvis was out of alignment and why DD1 couldn't turn properly and went back to back at the end. She did some work on my pelvis and it might be worth you getting checked by an osteo to check there is no impediment to your baby turning in labour.
As to the actual labour, it was pretty painful, the contractions were OK but I had awful back pain at the end of each contraction. Lying down was not fun. I was being continually monitored but was able to be on hands and knees or on my birthing ball. DH spent about 6 hours kneading my back with all the pressure he could manage. Unfortunately I got stuck at 9cm for 4 hours - I don't think she could turn, she was trying though! - and ended up with an emergency c-section. However I had managed up to that point with just gas and air and if she'd turned at the end I think I could have done it. I could even maybe have gone a bit longer and pushed her out but the drs were extremely anxious to get me to have a section as she was 18 days overdue (they'd been pressuring me for the last week to have section) and I had a previous c-section scar which they didn't want to take any chances with a prolonged labour. And after 4 hours at 9cm I took the emergency section when it was offered!
Ok wanted to give a positive back-to-back story - I knew DD was b2b for weeks bfore birth; i did look up techniques to turn (apparently the one with the shawl where somebody vigorously shakes it across your bump is v good?) but was kind of too lazy to do it properly!
There was a bit of a complication during labour - DD's head seemed to be pressing down on the cervix in the wrong position so after a few hours of contractions, the midwife couldn't tell how dilated I was because the edge was stretched around her head, rather than her head crowning through it (if that makes sense). I could tell MW was worried about this. BUT, baby descended fine and I had my home birth without any medical intervention. 12 hours from start to finish.
Had a waterbath and gas and air for pain relief. I have to admit I used a lot of gas and air! But my mum who is a midwife and was there said she was sure the water helped. Got out for the last stage of labour and did a lot squatting over a birthing ball, then did the last bit using my husband as a birthing stool! him sat on sofa, me on his knees.
My advice would be: DON'T LET THEM LIE YOU DOWN - being active, squatting and hands and knees positions are all really helpful. Practise those positions with your partner so you both get used to them and can build up some musclage (my lovely DH supported my entire weight for a couple of hours as I squatted on his hands!) I think birthing stools are brilliant invention, not very 'attractive' but perfect to utilise gravity. I also wanted to push against the sides of the bath with back and feet during contractions and apparently pressure against your back can help.
I can't deny, b2b labour seems to trigger a lot more nerve endings than otherwise - it can be intense. But you can absolutely do it, doesn't have to be any more of a problem than normal positioning. Talk through with your MW her ideas to help descent, there are lots of tricks of the trade.
Oh, just wanted to add that I considered mine to be a positive experience - both at the time and now. Not sure if that really came across in my description though!
MiniMarmite yours sounded 'ok' I think? Apart from the bit about them lying you down, stirrups and the ventouse.
I've had two back-to-back labours now - DS (now 7) was a horror story BUT DD (3 months) was born at home in 5h hours with just gas and air...my DH said the midwives turned a funny colour when DD came out looking up at the ceiling! They had no idea she was in that position but as I didn't either it meant I had an absolutely brilliant labour (ignorance being bliss?). Maybe it was more painful than it would have been otherwise but it really wasn't bad at all. I was on all fours all the way through, apart from some time on the birthing ball, but gave birth on my side as my knees were killing me by the end. I too tried everything to make sure both were in a good position - I don't have the stereotypical desk job that's meant to cause the increase in OP babies - but some bubs just ain't for turning...!
Oh is it desk work that's supposed to do it? My mum had one of us back-to-back as well (she being a very non-desk based worker!), maybe there's some familial link... I do think as with many things in pregnancy, an experienced, calm and focussed MW solves many potential problems. Having something to squeeze very tightly during contractions helped too - in my case, my mum's right arm (poor woman she was black and blue after)
My first DC was back to back and I only remember the back pain - I dont remember the pain of the contractions. Unfortunately, with contractions you get breaks in between but with the back pain it is constant. I persevered for hours, on all fours, birthing stool, lots of walking but eventually I was advised to have an epidural and a c section as I was shattered and the baby was starting to get distressed. It seems he wanted to come out as much as I wanted him to come out but he was stuck.
I'm pleased to say after lying down for 5 mins on the operating table waiting for someone who had to be there, DS shot out of his own accord and the CS was not required.
My second DC was born at home in a birthing pool and from what i can remember, the pain the first time round was not as strong as the second time round, just constant the first time rather than sporadic.
Good luck with trying to get the bugger to move. Don't give up hope - it might happen when you least expect it
Mckenzie..so the pain of your back to back was not as strong?
Omaoma I have read 9and a few on this thread have concurred) that they are more likely to go back to back if your placenta is anterior as they tend to face the placenta. Mine is anterior so that makes sense and also explains perhaps why your mother had a back to back. In the days before scans people didnt really know where the placenta was I suppose.
Wish I could remember where I saw the thing about desk work (i.e. being sat down for long periods)- that seemed to be the thinking at the time I had DS (2003)but I'm not convinced it's that straight-forward as lots of women with active jobs seem to get OP babies. Second time around it may have been because the placenta was in front so it was maybe more natural for DD to be facing it? Whatever the reason though - I wish you a birth as lovely as the one I had with DD whether baby moves or not!
I always remember a phrase from hypnobirthing classes that was really helpful - whatever happens with your labour, this is the day you meet your baby, which was a lovely way to look at it rather than being worried when contractions start that 'o god here is the shit bit what's going to go wrong', which i have to admit i was kind of thinking!
TCOB yeah I think sitting in a 'reclining' position is certainly not meant to help as the baby swings back as if they are in a hammock towards your back. Basically you have to turn the hammock the other way hence the all fours etc but I have tried that and I can feel him having a go and trying to move around but he just cant. :-( Your DD's birth sounds great for a back to back experience.
DD's labour was 22 hours and she stayed back to back throughout. I put the TENS on with the first proper contractions and walked walked walked. Went to hospital at 8cm, she was born 5 hours later after gas and air.
I only felt comfortable upright and gave birth kneeling over the back of the bed, but I used a birth ball a lot - sitting on it with my legs wide apart and my head in DH's lap, also kneeling and leaning against it.
I did tear because pushing was uncontrolled, the midwife told me after the pain got worse that baby was back to back and it would be another 2 hours before I would deliver. Three minutes later she was pressing the emergency button as her head emerged.
DS was back to back but he finally changed position before being born which was excruciating. I also had a long labour 19 hours. With both my waters didnt go until the very end, I think their positioning meant they were blocking it up. Used TENS and gas and air again and it was actually lovely (apart from the turning). Pushing was quick and painless and I only had an hour of actual discomfort as he turned. All the pain went as soon as I pushed properly. This time I gave birth on my back (well, sort of hanging half on and half off the sofa), but I never could have done that with DD, it was far far far too painful when she was in the back to back position.
With both children initial dilation was very slow, with DS it took me 17.5 hours to dilate to 6 cms and I went the last 4 cms in less than an hour once he turned. With DD it took me 17 hours to get to 8 but I walked so much more with her.
DS (2 weeks old today ) was probably back to back from the start, but I didn't realise.
Sorry if this is really long, it is all still rather recent.
Waters broke at about midnight after some weird cervical pain during the evening.
Contractions started pretty smartly thereafter and were much more painful than I had imagined they would be.
Went to triage ward at hospital, and was 2cm on examination. They suggested going home and coming back in a couple of hours at which point I vomited up all my dinner (from pain) and had some really messy gushes of waters, and was clearly in no state to get back in a taxi so they found me a bed. Walked/squatted/all 4s for several hours, then re-examined and only 3 cm.
Finally got G&A which helped, then it all got too much and I re-considered my position on pethidine (had been very anti). This helped, and I got to 5cm by about 11am.
Moved to Labour ward, and was offered epidural as pethidine wore off. I was exhausted and really in too much pain to be active so said yes.
By 24 hrs labour I was 8cm and they detected he was back to back and brow presentation on internal examination.
We then had a serious discussion with the obstetric team as this is not deliverable (he would need to flex or extend his head) and my contractions were slowing. So it was syntocin drip to 10cm, 1 hr non-active 2nd stage and then a trial of pushing to see if he would move. All this was done in the knowledge he would likely need an instrumented delivery in theatre with possible c-section if he got distressed or didn't move his head.
I pushed for 20 mins, he got decels and hadn't moved down or changed position of his head. We went straight to theatre and had a section, so I was very glad to have had the epidural.
He was 100% fine when born (slightly swollen brow)and screamed the place down. I was a wreck and a bit freaked out by not being able to move from the waist down!
I don't know if he turned before or during labour, but my instinct says before.
My advice would be: don't rule anything out in terms of intervention or pain relief. Good Luck
I have no idea if it's more painful coz I have only done it once!
Pain wise I could definitely have coped with just g&a. The problem was that it was a very long labour (64 hours ) most of which nothing was really happening. (This didn't alert the medical professionals to the fact that DD was b2b ) At my antenatal check earlier on in the day labour started (at 11pm) DD was the right way round, so she must have turned before labour as the pain wads in my back from the word go!
I ended up with an epidural, but only because I was just so exhausted having not slept for 3 nights! MWs were worried I wouldn't be able to cope with pushing because I was so tired. As it happened I did end up with a forceps delivery, and they still didn't know DD was b2b and put the forceps over her eye But I would say it wasn't a bad experience, even though it wasn't what I had planned.
FWIW DD had been back to back on and off for a few weeks anyway & I had been trying to move her...it just didn't work! (She was fairly small so still had lots of room to move about!)
Sorry, that was really long and probably TMI
Umm I had a very long labour back to back and have just worked out that it was an absolutely shocking 576 hours from start to finish - eight days! Tbh I think mine was very unusual - I had great antenatal and postnatal care but the actual care in labour was a bit shit really.
I was fobbed off with the fact that I was in latent labour at 3 cm for 8 days - regularly contracting every 4 - 5 mins. In early labour it would begin around 11pm every night and go on through regular as clockwork till 8 or 9 then become irregular during the day - every 10 - 15 mins. After the first 3 or so days it was every 5 mins all the time - I stayed in hospital a couple of nights over the week for monitoring but was given the option of returning home, so did.
Unfortunately my back to back was only spotted on day 7. By then my waters had gone and been meconium stained for five days - however when I came into hospital this was dismissed, so when my son was eventually born he was very, very poorly with mec inhalation and infection. I had a large pph because of the long labour and a couple of transfusions and had an infection and spent 2 days in itu, my son 7 days in itu.
Guess the positive spin to take on it is that if you feel worried and know that something is not right - really do make a fuss and be assertive as it may be something important. I wish I had been more assertive then - it almost cost me a lot
Whoops that should have read 192 hours - I cut and pasted my credit card bill! [embaressed]
wow i thought they swooped in on you the minute meconium was spotted in waters... I was threatened with instant hospitalisation and intervention should it be spotted during my home birth [goes off to ponder differences in care around the country]
Both mine were back to back and both came out face up.
Induced for both, very very long with dd, I did have an epidural eventually but it only patially worked but at least helped a tiny bit, forcepts, tearing, 9lb 6, me never ever having another baby. EVER. Did not have sex for two years to make sure.
The one time I (a tiny) sort of did makes my ds, also OP (also both had placenta at the front) also on that horrible drip, no pain relief whatsoever (not for want of screaming then swearing for it) when I was found pushing on the induction ward only then was I allowed down on the labour ward
Ds was not quite so big 8lb13 I did get some gas and air for my stiches.
This is a POSITIVE story, I won't lie to you, the pain was like something I can not explain, I was being sick with every contraction, they were one on top of the other, I'm getting a bit sweaty thinking about it now but I did it. I thought I was going to die but I didn't and I have my gorgous ds to show for it.
Good luck and if you feel you want any sort of pain relief go for it, healthy baby at the end is all that matters not how said baby gets here.
I've only done it once, too, so don't know about more painful but DD was back to back at the start of labour but came out the right way round. So they can definitely turn in labout. And I only had gas and air - I forgot to ask for anything else which I hope shows that it really wasn't that bad (I would certainly have asked for more pain relief if I'd wanted it, didn't have any particular desire to have a really painful time).
I also vomited a lot, but not through pain, I think sometimes that's just what happens.
Both mine were back to back but totally different labours:
DS1 went on for bloody ages (induced Wed eve delivered Fri am) & brings me out in cold sweats when I think back to how distressing it was despite finishing well with a natural delivery numbed by epidural.
DS2 was over a pound bigger (9lb10) and first twinge to delivery was under 6 hours with only 2.5 hours proper contractions -feck me it hurt but I delivered without any pain relief & not a single tear/cut.
IMO being strapped flat on my back to a hospital bed with DS1 as opposed to walking round the birthing centre until delivery in squatting position with DS2 says it all.
In case you didn't mine or a few others hint: DO NOT LIE DOWN
We didnt know DD was back to back and until her head popped out looking up--both midwives said "oh!" in surprise, which was not what I was expecting. With hindsight it was obvious she was back to back as all my pain was in my back. I kept active throughout my labour and used a birthing pool which was brilliant. I kept saying to DH "I'm not in labour, this doesnt feel anything like the books say" as my contractions were all felt in my achey sore back. I pushed for a while when we thought I was ready, but it turned out to be DDs head pressing against a remaining lip of my cervix which was horrible and knackering and a waste of energy. When I finally got to push for real (prior to this I'd used g&a and had a shot of meptid after exhausting myself pushing stupidly) I pushed for 2 hours until she came out and hated every second of it!
BUT the whole labour took 10 hours (first baby) and I managed to push her out without intervention. They monitored her during the 2 hours of pushing and she never got distressed--had she done I'm sure her delivery would have been quite different.
I NEVER want to deliver another back to back baby again although I have nothing but positive memories of that wondeful night and DD is SO worth it.
Dunno if it helps, but I do love reminiscing about my labour with DD!
My DD was back to back for most of late pregnancy and I did lots of time on the birthing ball, all fours etc. She was still back to back when was in labour but turned herself during labour. She was born normally and I only used g&a for pain relief.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks ladies..so many experiences for me to think about. I am going to keep reading over this thread I think until he is born just so I can formulate in my mind what I may do under the circumstances because I dont want to make the wrong decisions because I feel dis-empowered by the medical staff..also you are so vulnerable in Labour and that scares me, that they are in control in so many ways.
I had a back to back labour the first time and it was unbearable until I had the epidural. The pain quite honestly was as bad near the beginning as near the end of my second labour where I only had gas and air.
I had never understood how women could have such different experiences and now I know its not just down to how scared or stressed you are a big part is the position the baby is in. I felt like a right wimp after my first as was literally crying in pain from quite near the beginning and I normally have a high threshold. It was a long horrible labour so bad I was repeatedly vomiting so badly I had to be given medication, my waters also had to be broken.
The second birth was almost enjoyable by comparison my waters broke before I went into labour and it lasted just 5 hours. After the first birth I was very stressed starting out in case I was in for a repeat experience but it never happened so it can't be put down to I was more relaxed. The baby was in a good position and the pain was completely bearable and I didn't even consider an epidural. I didn't cry with pain at all even at the end and I didn't tear although I had double stitches with my first.
I would go for an epidural as early as possible if you are in real unbearable pain I could have saved myself 8 hours of pure hellish torture if I had.
In a way I am glad that I had such different experiences as child birth like every thing else with mothers can be quite competitive. I try to tell as many people as possible that some labours really do need more than gas and air and those that are lucky enough not to really shouldn't judge others as they have no idea of what they could be going through.
Summermadness..you are quite right. I realise now from reading every story and the quite different experiences that people's experiences are totally unique in many ways. Women who have had easy problem free births probably wonder what all the fuss is about but its a lot clearer when you are seeing it from both sides I suppose.
Catholic, I know a few people who had back to back labours. Most of them do talk about it as being rather extreme, but one didn't actually realise it was supposed to be much more painful until I told her, after the event! So you may be lucky... (although to be fair she had other things on her mind - which may sound an odd thing to say about a woman in labour, but she really did).
I have a positive story to add. My DS2 was back to back - something that was only discovered when I was admitted to the Delivery Suite. I can honestly say that the run up to the birth was SO much worse than the labour itself. I had irregular, but painful, contractions for nine whole days and it was a nightmare. I could only sleep sitting upright on the sofa or in the bath! The midwife informed me that the baby's position explained all of the pain I was been having but amazingly she said she could still get the baby to turn, even at such a late stage (unbeknown to me I was only just over an hour away from giving birth). She got me to squat next to the bed with my elbows on the mattress and just 2 hours after the first real contractions had begun, DS was born the right way up. The labour was uncomfortable but I managed it on gas and air and it was quick. Interestingly my placenta was anterior so there seems to be some truth in that theory. The midwife said it was important, with the next pregnancy, to keep as active as possible to prevent the same thing happening. Good luck and stay positive!
a positive story here. i was induced with ds1 (not because of position). was put on dripat about 2pm and labour eventually started properly at about 4pm - and had ds1 at 8pm. it was painful but I only had gas and air. I did ask for an epidural but was too late. I don't think it was that much worse than my other 2, one of which my husband delivered so no intervention whatsoever. good luck.
catholicatheist - glad you are going to keep this thread: yes, they 'are going to be in control in so many ways' because they have your safety and a live baby top of mind! My first was OP and I agree the urge to push was non existent, and forceps were used (ow). Second dc was also OP but turned during labour and shot out....
Please, please don't worry TOO much and please, please don't mistrust the medical staff: we have a fantastic, world class maternity service in this country. My niece has just given birth in the USA with very, very little consultation or choice given. You will be fine x
My baby flipped to be back to back during labour but they only discovered it towards the end when I was pushing and he wasn't moving out! It wasn't too bad really though - the whole labour from start to finish was less than 8 hours and I only had gas and air with a birthing pool for most of the labour - they did have to do an epsiotomy though to aid things along when they discovered he was back to back - not too bad in the long run though :-)
Summermadness, I had your exact same experience - how wierd!! With my second normal-postioned labour, although it was still painful, it seemed almost easy. Contractions manageable, just a few pushes and he was out etc. After that labour I remember thinking: God, THIS is what labour is supposed to be like, like how it is described in the books!
It's a difficult call witih back to back babies. On the one hand you are advised to move around to help your baby into the right position, but on the other, as you've learned on this thread, OP labour IS more painful, so you're more likely to want an epidural, which would then mean that you'd have to lie still, and in turn this increases your chances of intervention.
The plus side to an epidural is that if they need to manually turn the baby internally (a la James Herriot's arm up a cow's backside!!!!) as they did with me, then you will be VERY glad of an epidural! They actually said to me as they were turning DS1 "There's no way you would have let me do this if you hadn't had an epidural ha ha". Or of course, if the baby DOES get stuck and you need a section or instrumental delivery, then you've already had your epidural. My eyes water now thinking of you poor ladies who have had forceps or ventouse with no epidural....
I think the best thing to do is try and last as long as you can before an epidural and move round as much as you can during that time, but without leaving it too late to get one, IYSWIM. But epidurals are very useful in this situation, as other posters have testified too. Do not discount them.
Great post summermadness. Your experiences mirror my own, posted yesterday.
Incidentally, re waters breaking. Totally off topic, but the MW never did work out when my waters broke with my second. There was no obvious evidence and I definitely never noticed it before going in...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
thesecondcoming, the contractions with my OP labour didnt have a "crest" - they were straight in at the highest intensity and VERY close together for hours on end with little evidence of them doing any good in dilating my cervix. Hence why gas and air was useless in that labour.
With my normal second labour, I DID experience the peaks of contractions. I knew when I was going to get one as they came and intensified gradually and then subsided. So as soon as I knew I was getting one I sucked on the gas and air and by the time the peak of the contraction was there the gas and air had kicked in - it was ACE! Fab stuff if you have normal contractions with notice of when one is coming, bloody useless if your contractions come at you with a vengeance out of nowhere.
Ditto CurlyHairedAssassin. That is why I used to laugh out loud when I saw people suggest that breathing techniques could be any use. In my second labour I discovered what they meant!
No I know they do try to do what is best for mother and baby but reading a lot of these posts they often do get it wrong and I do think people know their own bodies and that is often too easily discounted as they are the 'professionals'. I have already had one incompetent midwife telling me I was having the baby at 30 week when I was admitted as I was having frequent strong and painful contractions. I hadnt even had the fetal fibronectine test (which came back negative)and she was going on about his survival rates and how I could bring my breast milk to the neonatal unit etc..I was on the verge of tears and my DH went white. She was banging on about steroid injections and all sorts ..I thought whoa..lets wait to hear what the consultant says thanks very much. Now if I got someone like that again I dont want to feel as vulnerable as I did on that occasion, but I know by and large most are very good!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
catholiccatheist, the problem is that I think you DO know your own body when it is a "normal" labour. The signals are there, I reckon, so your body knows what to do better. I don't think the signals are there so much in a poorly positioned labour. Or, as people have said, it's the WRONG signals, and that can confuse you about what the hell you should be doing. Then you get the medical staff coming in and doing tests and looking at each other with worried faces and you think "Well, I suppose I have to trust them, seeing as my bloody body doens't seem to have a clue what it's doing!"
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
omaoma when my waters broke for the second time I had pads on and took the meconium pad with me wrapped in a sandwich bag (lovely!) - the midwife at the hospital didn't even look at it and threw it in a bin and told me that my waters def had not gone and to take a nice warm bath!
A year later I bumped into the same mw - at another mum's baby's first birthday. She had invited her as this same mw had given her so much care and support in her premature labour.
I was a bit well shocked, and a little bit angry tbh - she may as well have tossed a dice for me and my ds's life (tho said nothing!). But the point is that it is not meant to be like this - meconium is not a good sign - but I don't blame the mw. Even the best I guess have an off day.
with my first (and last)I had a 40 hour labour and had to have an episiotomy right at the end and also needed forceps to get her out. There was absolutely no question of managing without an epidural. I had my epidural fairly early & it started to wear off just as I was having my stitches but that's all. with regards to the epidural my only advice would be to say you want all pain relief available(even if you don't need it) as if you opt out, when the time comes its a lot harder to get an epidural once you've stated not to.
Just thought of another thing re epidurals. Check whether they are available at your hospital 24/7 because they often aren't. I was seriously considering going for an early epidural with my second (glad I didn't now!), but I decided against planning one because depending when I went into labour I may not have been able to get it. And I wouldn't have been mentally prepared to manage without IYSWIM.
DD was back to back, which for some reason I wasn't expecting so didn't read on up on the best positions.
It was a long one, after a day at 4cm, they broke my waters which made things progress rapidly. I just remember burning pain in my back, nothing else. The hardest part was transition as first it hurt in my front (so wanted to curl inwards) and then my back (the opposite).
Once pushing stage was there, it was a breeze (hard work, but not painful). As is typical it was a long pushing stage (2.5hrs) and had a 3rd degree tear (maybe because I was so tired I couldn't get into the best position, no energy left).
I asked for an epidural but didn't get one, but that part was only 2 hours long. Unfortunately I couldn't have gas n air.
As a first time, I wasn't unrealistic about the pain, it was underestimating how long it could be (and how tired I would be before it got going proper) that did me in.
DH was more traumatised by it all, for you it will hopefully pass in a drunken daze.
I remember being upset that I couldn't just sit on the toilet as that the best position. A close second was pulling on the door frame.
During the contraction I could stand nothing on my back so don't be surprised that the heat packs they offer you cause more agony (though I hear they help some people)
The massage oils for early labour were nice though even though I was a bit
good luck (ps haven't really read the thread)
i remember being bummed that I got through it all, then had to have a spinal afterwards. If that happens get to to give you LO to feed as I didn't, had real trouble getting her to feed the next day, which might be unrelated, but I always wonder. It was night when I got the ward so people weren't encouraging feeding then either
Well, all 4 of mine were back to back and I had them all with only gas and air. I either stood or Knelt throughout the labours and just about managed. My main problem was the stitching which I found horrific each time!
Mine turned back to back when I was halfway through labour, they contractions slowed and became irregular but when I got them they were longer than normal ones. I stopped dilating and was told I would need to have an epidural as it would be too painful to proceed without one, reluctantly I had one and 10 mins later the he turned and the contarctions speeded up! You never can tell...
Here's a story you will like:
First birth: back to back, 4 hours 40 mins established labour. Gas and air (and episiotomy). Though it was painful, felt as though my body was throwing me around the room a bit, really not that bad at all for a first birth. Didn't realise back to back until birthing.
Second birth: not back to back
Third birth: back to back initially, but took a couple of hours at the start of labour to right himself and came out fine (1 hour 45 min labour once he had turned and 7 mins pushing).
It doesn't have to mean epidural etc. Good luck
I had a back to back birth. Did not realise as second child and I will be honest it was more painful as she came down the canal but and I needed the gas whereas with my first birth, the tens machine was enough but it would not put me off another birth and was soon forgotten when she was out. She got a bit twisted on the way out and the emergency cord was pulled so a doctor had to come in but I did not notice. It was my DH getting worried.
Sorry also ended up with third degree tear but just painful for about a week.
I had a back-to-back home birth with no pain relief other than TENS and a pool. I didn't even know he was back-to-back until the midwife casually mentioned it when I was about 8cm dilated, at which point it was a bit late to worry about it! She examined me and felt my bump, and then said 'Oh yes, and he's still back-to-back...' as if we all knew all about it already. Not sure how long he'd been that way round, but it was fine - quite a long labour at 19 hours, but most of it was relatively easy and he popped out quite quickly in the end after under half an hour of pushing. No tearing or stitches either! I didn't know it was supposed to be more painful and I've got nothing to compare it to, but it was certainly no worse than I'd imagined childbirth to be (and I'm a total wuss with pain!).
I've spotted this thread a bit late. My 4th birth was back to back and changed everything I thought I knew about labour.
It was a horrendous birth experience compared with all the others but didn't require intervention with forceps or any tearing.
I found it relatively easy to push DD out even with a (very unwanted) epidural.
The main negatives for me were the duration (days compared with minutes with baby 3), the effect this had on baby (stopped breathing) and me (exhausted to the point of wanting to jump out the window), change from Home birth to hospital via ambulance, fear, and loss of autonomy.
My main criticism is failure to notice positioning and the resultant monitoring and crap positioning for me - instincts seriously hampered by all this.
Positives were sense of triumph and the focus at the end on pushing.
I feel the best thing I had, and that any woman could have when delivering a posterior baby, is a very patient, calm and competent midwife at pushing stage. For me, it was me, midwife and birth partner on our own in a darkened room - even after a crash section was called earlier and stood down - just focusing entirely on good pushing and relaxing at the right times. Not only was this an amazing experience which left me feeling in control of a previously out of control birth, it also (I believe) saved me all the forceps, ventouse and tears that I might otherwise have experienced.
My most emotional birth which left me even more of awe of DD's existence. <wipes tear>
DD1 first baby - at home - active labour - 3 hours. she came out still back-to-back.
My DS (an only) was back to back. Only labour I've experienced so I don't know if the pain was worse. For me, I progressed fine, and dilated normally (12 hours to full dilation) but DS got stuck coming out and I needed a C-Section. He was totally fine though (except for very pointy head!). Apgar of 9/10 despite having been stuck for over 3 hours. .
Hope it all works out for you OP.
haven't read the thread, so sorry if you've already gone OP, or made a decision.
My experience - both my first and second DC were posterior. My 3rd DC was not, and the 3rd was by far the worst labour (because she was in an awkward 'chin up' position, though not posterior).
Labour 1 - DD was posterior until I was pushing. I used gas and air (didn't like at all) and then had some pethadine which I found helped quite a bit. The hardest thing was the constant back pain, even when there was no contraction - the pethadine helped with that, and helped me relax (whereas the gas made me very tense). She turned as I delivered her.
I laboured on my bath in a bath and birthed her on a bith stool - in hindsight not the best options for my pain, BUt she was born after 15 hours active labour and a 2 hour second stage (which is reasonable for a first labour I believe), and no epidural or other intervention.
Labour 2 - DS was not posterior for as long, and the labour was much shorter. I laboured on all fours, leaning over a bean bag, and he turned sooner I think (bit hazy). I only used pethadine, and found it helpful.
Labour 3 - Don't think DD2 was posterior (although she was in the days prior to labour, so maybe she was at the start of the labour too). But the labour was excruciating for other reasons.
So I wouldn't assume you'll need an epidural for a posterior baby. My tips would be to ask for pethadine/morphine early on and see if that kicks some of the back pain, and labour on all fours/leaning forward.
sorry, that should read : "I laboured on my back in a bath and birthed her on a birth stool"
Thanks Astophe, that doesnt sound too bad at all. Do they still give morphine? I know a few who had that but they made no mention of it in the antenatal?
Biggest issue for me was lack of progression of labour. I wasn't aware of any serious back pain. My 2nd and third DC were born very quickly (less than 4 hrs for DS1 and less than an hour for DS2) so I attribute the slow 4th labour to baby's position. Because of this I had to be given a drip to get my contractions regulating and strengthening again and alongside this the epidural as I was 2 days into labour and very tired and intolerant of an increase in pain.
If labour was progressing normally I would not have had the epidural at all. I had one naively with DC1 and then just G&A with DC2 and 3 and know which births I preferred!
It's all so personal OP. I think you do just need to bear in mind that back to back labours can be and often are: slow, painful (especially in the back) and can provide a tricky pushing stage which needs experienced management.
You are at something of an advantage in that this is your first baby. You won't feel that this is 'more painful' due to positioning, this will just be the pain of labour for you having nothing to compare it to.
It is so very true that the pain is different to other types of pain one experiences because it is productive. Keep that in mind - it really helps you deal with it.
My DS was back to back and stayed that way though out labour. I had all my contractions in my back which was really painfull. But he was born in with two hours contractions and then 20 mins pushing.He came out back to back as well. I had no pain relif apart from a tens but i had asked for a epiudal but they couldnt do it time.
Hope the baby turns or you have a easyish birth.
I've had 2 back-to-back labours. DS1 hind waters broke at 3pm, painful contractions started around 6pm, G&A useless and morphine didn't work. He was born face up at 11pm.
The contractions were very powerful and intense but it was all over very quickly. Had some fancy crochet-type stitching but it healed quickly.
DS2 waters broke 9pm, born 2am face down (turned pretty damn quickly). 2 paracetamol!
Biggest issue was getting urge to push too soon.
I would say they were both good births, compared to some of what you hear.
Someone mentioned spinning babies much earlier. It's really very good.
Also worth noting that it is the position that you labour in which is most effective in turning baby.
Mine turned quite late in the day before labour began. Keep to your plan, you can always change it when you're underway - it's only a guide, and to be honest they're not great at reading/remembering them (need to coach your DP).
Tips for turning:
never cross legs and keep knees lower than hips at all times (use a cushion in car)
sleep on left side only
clean your skirting boards.
Go for long walks.
I wasn't told my first daughter was back to back until I was pregnant with my second.
I went through 24 hours of labour before an emergency c-section for the first one as her heart rate started to yoyo.
I planned on a normal birth with the second and was told there was no reason why I couldn't have a normal birth.
After 4 days of on and off labour I ended up with a second emergency c-section.
I had every type of pain relief with both labours and to be honest if I'd known the second labour was going to be as awful as the first I'd have gone for a planned c-section.
Not wishing to scare you! And every labour is different, wishing you lots of luck!
DS, first baby, was OP.
I had a v long labour, but managed very well on TENS then pool, and didn't want G&A at all. I didn't have the back ache that often seems to go with an OP baby, either. I spent the majority of labour upight, walking about or kneeling forwards over the back of the sofa or on the stairs.
We did have problems after 3 hours of pushing (again I was fine) and transferred to hospital for a ventouse delivery. I think that was to do with the head not pressing in the right place to trigger strong expulsive contractions, or maybe notm because they tried a drip to increase the strength of contractions before ventouse. Anyway, long, but never more than hard work / uncomfortable.
DD2 was in a bad position, not sure exactly what but contractions really painful and labor stalled at 8cm. Started out in the birthing pool, got out after 3 hours & had a shot of pethidine. Midwife broke my waters at 8cm to move things along and there was meconium so they moved me off the MLU. I asked for an epidural at that point but it never materialized.
Monitor showed heart rate drops so an OB was called in and he did some manouevre that turned her. Don't know what it was but it hurt terribly. Started pushing a few minutes later (the kind of pushing where your body just does it for you) and she shot out in a few pushes.
If I had another back to back I'd probably go for an epidural from the start. The only thing I'd worry about would be not progressing because you wouldn't be able to move much.
really was it something internal or on your stomach? That sounds bloody painful...
Both of mine were back to back.
DD - waters broke at 38+3, an hour later contractions started, very strong straightaway, TENS for about 4 hours then into the pool with gas and air for another 5 hours or so. I was upright the whole time, leaning forward against the pool side or on all fours. By pushing stage, I had to get out of the pool as my legs were so tired I had no strength left in them. She had turned to her side though after 9 hours leaning forward - midwives were amazed that I naturally found that position the most comfortable. Pushing took AGES - 90 minutes and then I had a post-partum haemmorhage (prob due to long pushing stage).
DS - induced due to lack of movement at 40+6. Waters were broken and then some irregular contractions started. They were strong and immediately I knew it was back to back again. I already suffer from lower back pain anyway. I asked for an epidural before they put the drip in so I only had about an hour of irregular contractions. That was enough for me. If he hadn't been back to back I would have gone the TENS and pool route but there was no way I could handle that pain again. The epidural was a godsend and my second labour was so lovely. I haemmorhaged again though even though I only had to push for about 5 minutes so they don't know why - maybe I'm just more susceptible.
Hope that helps.
I've had one back to back and one normal birth and I can testify that BtoB is more painful by a fairly long way.
My little stargazer didn't turn and was turned with the forcceps after 3 hours of fruitless pushing.
Get on your hands and knees and scrub the floor, bounce on your birthing ball as much as poss and spend labour on all fours or bending over forwards.
If you can't take the pain and the baby doesn't turn you can ask for morphine or epidural then, you don't really need to write that into a birth plan anyway.
catholic are you asking about The Manuevre? It was internal and it was like a very painful exam. The OB had the biggest hands I have ever seen, he shook hands with me and all I could think was You are NOT going to put those up me are you? The midwife told us later that they called him "Dr Magic Hands."
It hurt at the time but afterwards I didn't care, because DD2 was out, she was ok, and it was All Over. Feel quite grateful to him actually.
oh my word...I just cant imagine it! I had an internal at 30 weeks and he put a few fingers up and it was so painful..I thought to myself good god get a grip a babys head has to come out of there!
Dr magic hands..haha..I wonder if his wife calls him that
I had a scan about 10 days before labour and baby was back to back. I managed to maintain lying on my left, hips above knees etc and when I went into labour he had turned front to back, so 'spinning' can be done! My placenta was at the back mind.
My dd, now 2.10, was OP, although I didn't know it, and what the implications were, until after I'd given birth. Had a very long latent labour (3 days) and by the fourth day, given I hadn't slept at all (the exhaustion still makes me want to weep!) a doctor wrote me up for some temazepam so I could get some rest. Had visited the labour ward a couple of times before then, only to be sent away in increasing state of desperation! After the T, had to stay in hospital, and got about an hour and a half's kip before my waters broke and I was in active labour. That was at about 1.30am and had my dd just before 10am the same day. Hallelujah! Had the 'works' pain-relief wise, incl. epidural, and like other posters came v close to emergency section as dd getting distressed. However managed to deliver naturally with help from forceps and an episiotomy. Because I was so tired, I think I had v limited ability to deal w/ the pain, but found it all about awful gripeyness - the back pain wasn't so bad for me.
For me, I didn't have a birth plan as don't hold particular views either way about pain relief etc and was happy to leave matters in the hands of the experts, given childbirth can be quite an unpredictable thing.
My only frustration was that I was 10 days overdue when went into latent labour, and I gave birth the day before I was due to be induced. Given the length of my labour, and increasing lack of sleep - which really was the worse thing, for me - I couldn't understand why they didn't bring my induction forward....There may be an obvious reason for this that I'm not aware of...Did ask the staff (repeatedly )but they didn't really explain...
At 40 weeks +5 my baby was back to back. My baby was born 11 days late and had turned. I don't know at what stage the baby turned. You never know, hopefully your baby will turn also.
BTW my labour was all back pains so maybe the baby turned during labour. I had gas and air only as I was rather late arriving at the hospital.
Normally positioned labour can be all back pain too, I had a lot with my normal positioned birth.
Back to back labour is more painful all over not just in the back because the baby's head is coming through the cervix at the wrong angle. Not just back pain, but ctx worse too.
Hi there catholicathiest,
Have just quickly read the posts on the first and last pages to see if anyone has made this point, but think it's worth saying: knowledge is half the thing, and it's great that you know in advance that your baby is OP, and can prepare for it. Like others have explained, that means three things:
1 - you do the few practical things you can to help the baby turn before or during labour
2 - you make yourself aware of the types of interventions which typically occur during posterior labour. This helps you be knowledgeable and able to make decisions during labour, even if in lots of pain or feeling exhausted. (e.g. I had never heard of Kiellands forceps, I thought at the time it was preferable to a section, but would not make the same choice today)
3 - ultimately, your best efforts to deliver your baby vaginally may not work out, and knowing in advance that this is a possibility will help you deal with it. (Hopefully it won't come to this). A healthy baby, and the least-battered Mummy possible, is the best outcome. Good luck....
DD3 was back to back. Yes she was more painful than the other 3, but she was my shortest at an hour and a half.
I had my first baby 5 months ago and she was back to back. It was a long labour 30 hrs from when I started counting my contractions as they seemed more evenly spaced but I used the pool and gas and air for the majority of the labour. I had a single dose of pethidine about 18hrs in as I'd been having intermitent contractions for the previous two days and so hadn't been sleeping and I was exhausted. The pethidine let me rest between contractions so I was prepared for the rest of my labour. I delivered her naturally with nothing for the actual delivery and no complications. I was in a mid wife led unit and she was born a whopping 10 pound 2.5 ounces and 57cms long.
Yes back to back labour was painful but it doen't mean that you can't deliver the way you want and it deosn't mean that you will definately require intervention either instrumental or surgical.
I've had three back to back labours. All at home, all fine (yes it hurts obviously, but no horror movie moments), with no pain relief, and I'm a giant wuss.
In terms of length of labour, 1st was 8 hours, 2nd 4 hours, 3rd about 15 minutes (well, if you ignore the 3 days of weird pre-labour stuff - but 3rd labours are notoriously on-off).
catholic, I don't know whether they give morphine or pethadine. I had pathadine in both Australia and in the UK, but now I hear that in Aust they are giving morphine instead of pethadine. I assume the effects would be similar, whichever they give.
They wont give it close to delivery though, so be aware of that. With my 3rd I left it too late to ask and this contributed to the very difficult labour. If you think you might want ti, tell the midwife when you arrive, and hopefull she will remind you when its a good time to have it. You never know though, you might not need it at all, but from what I hear a lot of people go straight from G&A to epidural, and personally I found pethadine a real help and good way to avoid epidural.
As others have said, be very aware of your position in labour (all fours, leaning forward are reccomended) and tell your DH/Birth Partener/midwife so they can help you to get into those positions when you are too knackered to move or care.
My DD1 was back to back, induced labour at 41+6.
It was a 23h labour, the last 4h in water with G&A. It was hard but i never stopped walking and the movement made it easier.
She was born without assistance weighing 8lb 8oz.
It's painful, but the walking constantly really helped.
My DD2 was back to back, and came out that way, with a VBAC. Yes, it was painful, but I don't have another VB to compare it to. My pain was mostly in my back, and was worse when I was lying on my back (which I had to do every now and then as was being monitored as VBAC). Also, baby heartrate kept racing whenever I was on my back.
I had G&A from 6cms, and didn't need anything else. I had to push her out very fast as the monitors showed her heart rate slowing, so I did end up with a 3rd degree tear, but that was stitched well and has given me no trouble at all.
I don't have any 'bad' memories, and would do it all the same way again.
hi, my 1st was back to back, but also 9lb 5oz so after prolonged 2nd stage she was born by emergancy c-section. 2nd was back to back but turned towards the end of pregnancy-i knew it 2-the pain (not bad pain, good pain) and sight of the whole shape of ur tummy changing/moving around was quite bizzare!but can happen, i 2 spent quite a bit of time on the gym ball.
DS turned back to back late in my pregnancy. I was lying on my back reading (!) when there was an almost audible (?sp) glug and he flipped round!
My labour was quick. I had 3 contractions that I could talk through, then my waters broke and it all kicked off.
My sister is a mid wife and thought I was being a wimp but 2 hours later I was in hospital and fully dilated.
I pushed for over an hour but had little actual urge to push, from what I understand this is because back to back babies don't put pressure on the cervix the same as a normal presentation does.
I survived on gas and air but DS was not budging. At one point the Dr tried to turn him by shoving her hand inside me and trying to push him round. She made me lie on my back during this and it was the only time I really lost control and shouted out.
In the end I was taken to theatre and given a spinal and epesiotomy and he was pulled out with ventouse and forceps.
The whole thing was over in 6 hours and I would rather go through the labour again any time rather than the first 2-3 weeks after the birth.
The episiotomy (after the birth not when they did it) was agony and so was the first few weeks of BF though that did settle down and was worth the initial pain.
my 1st was op and the labour was painful, but ok. however mw was awful and i asked for epidural just to get away from her really.
it was the worst thing i could have done as dd got totally stuck as i was on the bed. she ended up trying to come ear first. ended up with rotational forceps in theatre.
with ds i was adamant i would not have another op baby, all pregnancy he was lovely and anterior, however slowly at the end of pregnancy he started to turn posterior. i was doing all i could to avoid, but in the end i figured that's how my body wanted it. the birth was beautiful, at home, 4 hours from 1st twinge to birth. he was 9lb 11oz and i had no tears, so op doesn't have to be long terrible labour.
(sorry if that doesn't make much sense, but i've been on the old vino!)
2 babies, both B2B. Both bloody painful, but gas-and-air and an episiotomy and 2 babies arrived without further intervention.
2 babies, both B2B here as well. First one was overdue - induction - pain - epidural - failed forceps - emergency section followed by a week in hospital for various things.
as second one was also B2B doctor strongly suggested elective section which I agreed to and all went smoothly.
am sure your birth will be straightforward though - good luck and hope your baby turns!
Only have one labour to go on, but here's my 2p worth:
27hr 'labour' (waters broke early, no real contractions for several hours) then syntocinin drip got things going.
I managed contractions for a few hrs then we realised my DD was OP - I think it was my swearing that gave things away - before I got an epidural...
She was eventually born with intervention from (failed) ventouse then forceps and episiotomy..BUT she was healthy and well and much less overwhelmed than I was!
Unfortunately I was bed-bound due to monitoring (we knew I had Group B strep) from the off, but I do think it might have gone differently (ie less intervention) had I been able to move around as I'd so hopefully planned
That said the epidural felt AMAZING by the time I had it - would recommend to anyone in the same position (no pun intended)
PS Like some other posters here, I agree that labour is usually over in the space of a few hours/days and its the first few weeks that many people (myself included) find the bigger challenge.
What will be, will be for the birth, but it's worth reading up about basic baby care stuff too - eg it's so nerve-wracking bathing your LO for the first few times for instance
Good luck! Hope everything goes well for you and your family.
I had a back to back labour with my first. It wasn't very painful and I managed with gas and air, but as someone further up the thread said, the baby's head doesn't always push against the cervix in the most efficient way in that position. My labour slowed down as a result and I needed a drip to get things going again. That made the pain worse but it worked and my son was born soon after. I think it is difficult to predict how it will go. Best to be informed about the different interventions but don't assume that you will necessarily need any.
Heres a positive one for you, when my son (3rd preg) was back to back towards the end I worried that maybe I`d have a hard time (had been lucky with the other two, 6 hours and 5 hours). I remember scrubbing floors etc to help turn him! A friend gave me some moxobustion herb which you burn near your toe, its meant to turn breech babies but I thought I`d give it a go and see if he just turned! I used it in the morning, took the kids to playgroup, went shopping, was putting shopping away and started to get contractions. They were at the point where I was having to breathe through them so I went to Dr surgery to see if I was in labour (was 8 days before due date) mw said I my cervix was softening but not open yet! Went to hospital anyway, when I got there I was 3cm and 3 hours late Charlie was born with just gas and air in a beautiful water birth passed to me by his Daddy I think I must have started contracting before I started dilating so he could turn around. I know everybodys different but not all back to back births are awful thank gdness! Xx
Hello, here's my story: quick and painful but managed without pain relief or too much intervention...
DD was in a good position nearly all late pregnancy, but my waters broke early and I think she turned after that. I was induced after 60 hours of broken waters (tried to wait and see if natural labour would start but no joy), once on the drip contractions got going fast and fully dilated after about 4 hours, pushing stage was horrid and after about 2 hours of it they gave me an episiotomy and out she popped. She was back to back and also her chin was sticking out at a funny angle.
I think I'm lucky it was fast as I was getting really worn out from the pushing. Also lucky DD was small (just under 6lb)! Unlucky that I had to be on my back and strapped to the drip and monitors, it definitely makes it harder.
All the best with your baby when it happens, OP!
DD was back-to-back and turned during labour. It was long: contractions began 2am on Sunday 5-10 mins apart, but irregular, and she was born 5pm on Thursday.
The slow build-up meant the pain never seemed overwhelming and the worst thing was not sleeping. I had pethidine on the Wednesday night, which was great because it meant I could sleep for a couple of hours, then had G&A from 7ish-10 cm.
I felt I was coping well at that point, but then the contractions stopped. I had syntocinon to start them up again, but her head was stuck at the wrong angle, so I had an episiotomy with local anaesthetic and ventouse to deliver her.
The only thing I regret was trying to push for ages, on the midwife's orders, when I wasn't having any contractions. I think that wore me out and led to the need for the drip.
DD was back to back - had to be induced and did not progress. After 48 hours I only got to 5cm. They told me it was more than likely going to be a delivery with forceps or vontouse (not sure of spelling) and I was like NO WAY so I spoke to the consultant about a csection and that is what happened in the end and I was very, very glad for it!
Recovery was fine, breastfeeding was good.
I had gas and air and an epidural - but once the drip was in I could feel all the pressure of the contractions which was not nice. My advice would be see what you can stand and then be assertive about how YOU want the labour to be helped along(if you need it)
Usually lurk rather than post, but just wanted to add my story, cause I think it's a good one... DS was back to back, I went to 10cm dilated at home (oops!) with nothing but a TENS machine, went to hospital, TENS off, didn't bother with anything else, lay on the bed (admittedly very uncomfortable on my back but did as I was told because I hadn't the energy to question it!). I pushed for two hours, could have gone longer but DS was getting tired, so for the final little bit, I needed the help of a ventouse. The worst bit was tearing at the end, but to be honest, that lasted seconds and the relief as he slid out was indescribable! Oh, and DS was a little fatty, at 9.5lb! If I (the biggest wimp out there!) can do it, I'm sure you can too, if you're really determined. Though I certainly wouldn't feel a failure for accepting some help to take the edge off it! I might've done the same if I hadn't arrived at the hospital already pushing!
Ladies thanks so much for sharing your experiences, there are also some really positive ones here which have been reassuring to read. Thanks also for your good wishes. I have really enjoyed this thread as I feel I am well and truly prepared now for all eventualities! You have all been great!
I was back to back.
Get a Tens machine!!
I was induced and it was ALL back pain. No cramps at all, just horrible back pain. The Tens machine really helped.
I did the first day and a half with just the TENS on the anti-natal ward, then went to Gas and Air on Delivery and managed with just that. See my reply to your post about your MIL (hell, no, btw!) for more details.
It's hard... but it can be done.
Just leave your options open.
I needed a ventouse, but that was because my waters had been broken too long and they were worried about the little one.
And honestly, I swear to you, the momoent when you think you absolutely cannot cope, will be the moment before it all clicks and they tell you to start pushing!
Oh, and I'm seconding the people who've said walking helps.
I walked, and walked. It was what I wanted to do!
Thanks Ginny and thanks for your advice on my other thread. I wish I didnt have the additional worry of a pushy MIL as well as the prospect of a difficult birth. Interesting about the tens machine, so many people say they are useful and others say they are pointless. I may hire one as it will probably be worth 20 quid or however much it is, just to have an additional option.
Hi, my little girl was born 10 days ago, she was back to back from 27 weeks onwards and never turned once.
this was my 3rd pregnancy with previous labours of 15 hrs & 7 hrs.
the labour was slow, 12 hours at home, after which went to hospital with close painful contractions to find I was 2cm and 'too early' for pain relief (which I've noticed someone else has said too)
After 18 hours my contractions totally changed, 20 minutes of short, very painful contractions - and a baby that turned in those very last few minutes, and born normally!!
I know she moved during this time as I was frantically checking her position throughout. I was told labour was slow as the presenting part of her head wasn't pressing on the cervix.
So a happy story from me - I too didn't want an epidural because the chances of her turning would have been practically nil if I had been on my back.
I won't say it wasn't painful but I coped with gas and air and a short shot of meptid as I was getting so tired.
Oh - and a TENS machine! A Godsend if only to give you something to focus on!!
All the best!!
and I second what Ginnybag said - when you think you can't cope any longer you are minutes away!
I felt like this at 8cm dilated and remember thinking 2 cm to go, I CANNOT do this - then I lay on my back, had an uncontrollable urge to push, and out she came, 3 pushes later
Another positive experience.
DC2 was back to back, induced by pessary at 41+5. I kept active, got to 5cms before abusing gas and air . Waters burst at 6cms, and I delivered him 90mins later without need for any intervention or other pain relief.
Most definitely the most painful of all three of my labours, (due to constant backache) but not hideously so. (If pethidine had been offered, I probably would have had it, but the MW didn't mention it and I didn't feel the need to ask for any more drugs obviously couldn't have been that painful because I'm normally a wuss)
Good luck with your labour, I'm sure it will be fine, you seem opened minded and prepared. Let us know!!
Sarah Lou8 what is meptid? Is it available in all hospitals? Also was it really painful when she turned? And did you just 'know' that she had?
Meptid is a weaker version of pethidine, with much less impact on the baby, I've been offered it with all three labours. It calms and relaxed you and allows you to rest between contractions. I'm sure it is widely available.
I didn't feel her turn, I was just suddenly aware of the curve of her back along my front left side during those last few minutes, followed by that urge to push - as if my body suddenly said 'ok she's in the right place now, go for it!'
My contractions definitely changed at the end, only lasting 20 seconds with 20 seconds inbetween. I knew she had turned on the way out too because her nose got stuck and I could feel that too (not that its big or anything!)
Have faith in your body. I was so worried about this before I went into labour. If your baby wants to turn, it will do, if not, you will get through it ok - especially if its the labour you're worried about as mine was a b2b labour till the bitter end!
cheers Sarahlou8 I am seeing the midwife tomorrow re birth plan and will ask about this as I didnt want the pethidine because of the sleepy baby etc and breastfeeding but this stuff sounds like it might be an ideal option!
I had a back to back labour with my first and second baby, my third was in a better position. The difference with a back to back is that the contractions seem to be continuous because of the pain that is experienced in your back.I felt that there was no rest phase between contractions and I was unable to prepare myself for the next one. My first labour ended in a forceps delivery as my son was nearly 9lbs.
My suggestions would be to keep upright if possible and move around as much as you can. Getting on all fours can help take some of the pressure off your back and may help the baby to turn slightly. My layman's understanding is that the presenting part of the baby, ie the head, is trying to come through the cervix at it's widest part which can prolong the labour. My labour lasted twelve hours, which I didn't think was too bad, but if it looks like you are in for a long haul, I wouldn't rely on gas and air. I think I would opt for an epidural. I didn't, I used pethidine instead but that made me so muzzy I couldn't focus on the birthing process. Much better to have a clear head I think!
Don't worry too much, there is still the possibility that your baby will turn. This could even happen after your labour has started. Good luck.
my first child was back to back. Was induced and had incredibly long labour. Delivered a 9lb10 boy by forceps but did it all with just gas and air so it is possible. I did lots of deep breathing and held off the gas for as long as possible to really appreciate it when needed it.
I should add that I was not being negative about gas and air. I used it for both my other labours and found it really helpful. Just make sure someone shows you how to use it properly. Don't be embarrassed, I wasn't using it correctly the first time. The best thing about it is that it is so short acting, you can concentrate on the labour and remember it all. My regret with my first labour is that I 'lost' about three hours of it because of the pethidine I had.
My daughter was back to back. I had a homebirth with only gas and air. The back pain was BAD. But keeping active really helped. Keep an open mind. Good luck
Try and give birth standing up (leaning on bed) or squatting.
Have a very hard back rub during contractions - only way to relieve the pain of the sledgehammer feeling in your lower back.
Warm baths and walk around the delivery room.
Pain was bad but not unbearable (you just can't bend double to ease it). Managed it without drugs - so it's definitely do-able.
Second birth (DS2) was far far worse being much quicker and that wasn't back-to-back. I was happier with the back labour of DS1.
2 back to back labours. First one lots of stop start contractions, wasn't sure I was really in labour but phoned lovely midwife at MLU and she told me to come in. No contractions at all on 40 min journey to unit but turns out was 5cm dilated by the time I got there. Had waterbirth with G&A and baby out in 4 hours. Water really helped with positioning.
Second one a homebirth which stalled when I was around 7cm. Midwife remarked that she wished she had a student there as my coccyx was being pushed out by baby's head - apparently classic back to back sign. They got me walking up the stairs sideways but were scratching their heads a bit so glad when my waters had meconium as they got to transfer me back to hospital. Once there had great midwife who assured me she could get the baby out. She put me on my left side, put her hand up me and got a bit veterinary during a contraction, told me to rest for the next one and push on the one after. Baby born half an hour after arriving at hospital. Apparently being on your left side helps baby's head turn round.
But to answer your question, more backache but no more painful for me and a better result than my other 2 births (ventouse and emcs). Deep massage around your lower back during contractions also really helps.
Thanks ladies! Gosh after reading all of these experiences it has really calmed my nerves especially when people are saying their back to back was not as bad as some 'normal' births.
My third baby was a back to back labour. First was induced after rupture of membranes and second was ELCS.Went to hospital 8pm contractions every 5 mins, 3cm dilated. Asked for waters to be broken but first an epidural was sited as it was a trial of labour because of vbac. Felt nothing at all, midwife said at 5am you're fully dilated we'll try a few little pushes. Two pushes and didn't think anything was happening then felt a real urge and dd emerged face up at 5.30am on the third push.I always say it was my best birth by far tbh
My second was back-to-back. It was a bit more painful than my first, or rather it was a different sort of pain, I think, but it was a short (4 hours) uncomplicated home birth and I had no pain relief. Being on all fours and wiggling my bum from side to side during contractions helped a lot.
Hi CA, add me to the list of back-to-back first deliveries that really weren't so bad (not that I have anything to compare it to, yet!). It was very tiring, it seemed to go on for a long time, but I managed on just gas and air. Agree it's a good idea to try lots of different positions- my MW was fab and really encouraged this- and then just stick to whatever seems to work for you. Good luck!
Just gonna be really honest here OP....
My first baby was back to back, although I didn't know until after she was born . Yes it was horrendously painful, but everyone had told me labour was horrendous so I thought nothing of it, IYSWIM. I had a 10 'start to finish' labour, with 2.5 hours of pushing, which was very painful, although I did only use gas and air, and a TENS machine. I had SPD and previous sacrum/pelvis problems and so the pain that felt like my sacrum breaking in half I thought was just cos i had pelvic problems, so again, just got on with it...it was only when the MW told me afterwards that that pain was the babies spine rubbing down my own (ouch!) that it made sense!
I had no intervention, if by that you mean forceps or ventouse etc, and I had 3 stitches only.
DD2, born 2 years later, was NOT back to back, and slid out like a wet fish....easy peasy....
Good luck, I hope your baby turns, but if not, I hope it all goes well anyway. I can honestly say I didn't find me first labour that bad at the time, it was only when I had DD2, that I realised how much harder DD1 had been.
Just re-read my post and I sound like a bit of a thicko....I'm honestly not, and I am a Physiotherapist aswell, so I talk about pain all day long......(yawn).
My first and fifth were back to backs. With the first I was quite ignorant (with hindsight) and not aware of b to b or that I was experiencing one. Severely sore labour - of the 28 hours the last 14 were excrutiating. Two lots of pethidine and gas and air for that one. Then three quick 'normal' deliveries. So was not really looking forward to labour fifth time round when I knew it was another b to b. Labour lasted 14 horrible hours - one lot of pethidine and gas and air. But you know what?? at the end of it you get this gorgeous little bundle and really, you'd go through anything for that llttle tot. All the best x
Yes my first was OP. Delivered naturally in a MLU. Don't be pressured into thinking it's got to be a medicalised birth. I would recommend keeping as mobile as possible, as being flat on your back won't help.
i had a back to back but i had had an epidural and all the gas and air i wanted from four onwards and didnt feel a thing bar the crowning , i felt very relaxed and was able enjoy my birth experiance but the docs did have to do a lot of fiddiling down there because of the epi
OP, I had a back to back for my first and only DD, who is now 19 months.
I got the hospital when I was 6cm, so I did really well in the early stages - contractions seemed to develop really quickly, I was on gas and air, but I didnt notice any extreme back pain. Everything then slowed down, and it got really painful, at which point I had a pethidine - still not knowing baby was back to back. They then proceeded to put me on a drip, and still nothing happened. I had a top up of pethidine, and after a 14 hour labour and being 9cm dilated, the doctors announced baby was back to back, and an emergency c section was needed.
I was prepped for theatre, arrived in theatre, got a spinal block, DH came in all scrubbed up - and then the doc did a final check and said there was no need; baby was very close to being born. They helped her along with a ventouse, and she was born in the next 15 minutes, in theatre, with about 11 doctors/staff looking on and a male obs pulling her out ever so gently( )
And guess what was written on birth plan?
"gas and air and no male doctors please." HA!
It actually sounds horrendous - but it wasnt as bad as it sounds. Honest!
My first was back to back, more than 40 hours long and (sorry) really really painful. My second was right way round and popped out in about 3 hours. Please don't think you have failed in any way if you have an epidural - you might need one so you can sleep to have the energy for the very final stage. I had one about 14 hours from the end. If your labour does go on a really long time you might be gagging for an epidural as I was. I have to say the pain was really very very intense and the epidural was amazing as I could finally rest a teeny bit and no more pain! I was with midwives all the way through and about 20 mins from the end a doc came in, looked at my chart and said 'right lets prep her for theatre' so it might be the case that if you keep going for a very long time you will have a ventouse/section at the end. However, I just did one big huge push and out came my ds..
DD was back to back, and so painful I'm afraid. I was puking very frequently whilst at home, so had to go on a drip at the hospital. Puked as soon as I tried G&A, so tried pethidine. Don't remember much about that, but DH says I was still in pain, just seemed out of it. Back pain was MUCH worse than contractions, and I found it really hard to stop myself from pushing every time I had a contraction, so I reluctantly had an epidural. Pain went, but everything progressed quite slowly. I ended up with forceps in theatre (so ready for c-section) as DD was in distress. Had an episiostomy because of the forceps, but it healed very nicely. DD was VERY sleepy after the birth, so I'm very reluctant to do pethidine this time round.
However, one of my friends had back to back with her DD a few months later, and she got by with G&A and bouncing on a ball to try to turn baby. All ok, and no intervention at all!
I think with any kind of birth, it's just the luck of the draw, so be prepared, but try not to worry too much.
DD was back to back and I had a home birth.
The biggest deal was that the labour was long.
If I'd been in hospital I would have been pushed to have a drip to speed things up or possibly even a section as 'failure to progress'. This is not me making things up, this is what the midwives looking after me said afterwards. (possibly wouldn't have said it to just anyone, but they knew my mum )
Having said that, once I got to the actual birth things were fine. She had turned on the way, which is why things took so long. The delivery itself was almost enjoyable (on hands and knees)after having been in labour for so long! The contractions weren't agonising as I was able to move around and get into positions that made the pain more bearable. Having a TENS machine helped although that may have been more to do with feeling able to do something than actual pain relief.
If you're planning a hospital birth I'd be really careful to stay at home for as long as you feel able to manage without pain relief.
There's lots of advice on optimal fetal positioning available online if you want to try and get the baby to turn before labour. But, there's also a theory that for women with certain hip shapes the baby will have to enter the pelvis in a OP so working on gettint the baby OA can be counter-productive or no use.
Some babies start of OA but turn to back to back just before or at the start of labour. Some babies start off OP but turn on the way. Some are persistantly OP, which means they stay that way even as they're born -but this is the least common.
(sorry if I've duplicated something someone already said)
Oh, and rupturing the membranes artifically removes the cushion around the cervix, and if the baby is still not in a great position can really increase the pain. If it's suggested I'd want to make sure the midwives/doctors really spelled out why they wanted to do it - and if it was only that progress was slow or not conforming to their chart/hospital policies I'd refuse.
To echo others- depends totally on the circumstances I think. Ds2 was back to back, pain was not worse than ds1 just in a more localised area (lower back rather than general pelvis & tum). For me it was gas and air only, although not through choice- I was begging for an epidural with both about 1 hr before they were born but by that time it was too late!
He didn't turn, and I only had a small tear and a few stitches as per ds1. Plus both ds1 and 2 were relatively short and straightforward labours- both about 5 hrs from start to finish.
So it doesn't necessarily follow that if your baby is back to back it will be horrific.
I don't think that when you're in the zone you'd think "oh this isn't really this bad it doesn't hurt that much" ;)- It's gonna hurt whether it's a 5lb tiddler that comes out in a textbook manner or whether it's a whopper of 11lb who is back to back and needs forceps. But here's the really good bit- YOU CAN DO IT and yes it will hurt like mad and you might not think you can carry on but you will, and then it won't hurt anymore.
Thanks anastaisia. I am planning on using a birth centre with a pool and if necessary I will be transferred to the delivery suite. I am hoping that being in the pool may help turn him sooner and hopefully I wont need the intervention I may get if I went straight to delivery suite.
Thanks Redsalamander..I am hoping now that I can do it without needing an epidural and I have decided to plan for a water birth. If needs be I can go over and have the epidural but I am now remaining optimistic rather than assuming it will be an assisted delivery etc. i think it really is very hard to say one way or another so best to remain positive.
My daughter was back to back but no one realised until after 30 hours of labour. It was tough going and quite traumatic. I was prepped for c-section but they tried forceps then ventuse as last resort and she came out. She was bruised and had very swollen head but no lasting effects, she's my gorgeous girl. I'd be ready for anything and don't try to stick to your birth plan as things change the whole time. Good luck though!
lushlady..my current birth plan is not to have one. I will give it a go in the pool but if it gets too awful I will have whatever pain relief is offered. I think from reading the threads it seems like its a bit luck of the draw as to how these back to back turn out.
Not all back to back births are bad. Mine was back to back and was born with just G&A and I had no tearing. When I got to the hospital I was 4cm (without any pain) and he was born 47 minutes later with no intervention. Only downside was that I could hardly walk for 3 days after the birth but other than that all went OK. Good luck!
DS was back to back, very difficult pregnanacy, sciatic nerve damage (long term)
Consultant said there was no way she would let me deliver naturally and we had a really lovely, calm, planned c-section.
The nerve damage was bad, and I had longterm physio from it.
I was terrified by a midwife at 5 months who told me to move that baby or labour would be hell - so unprofessional it still blows me away.
However what I susbequently learnt that however much I wanted a natural birth, I saved my body and my back a whole load of trouble. There was absolutley no trauma to baby or me, it was lovely.
I haven't got a personal experience of this, but I have a friend who is a bellydancer and she was back to back through labour.
she ended up using bellydance techinques (hip circles mainly and other dance moves) during contractions.
there's a youtube clip on it:
(oh, she was water-birth)
DS was back to back and I gave birth with only gas and air, the labour was 12 hours long with 3 hours of pushing that is.
DS was back to back - very painful but also my first so no idea how much more than regular.
I did G&A and in the water.... the water helped so much. When I felt a contraction coming on I rolled over so I was on all fours and the gravity seemed to help ease the "back to back" during the contraction.
1st phase labour was quite long but then I pushed him out in 4 minutes with no tearing
wow I may give the belly dancing a go! I will try anything to turn him! Your friend looks remarkably calm!
she's been dancing for quite a while, but I can't see any reason why a beginner couldn't learn the few basic moves she did.
She didn't want any interference, and to keep the birth as natural as possible.
My dd was back to back - a 48 hour labour, ending in her having to be pulled out with a ventouse.
I can honestly say that it wasn't traumatic - just very, very exhausting, and I was so completely worn out, as I hadn't had much sleep for 2 nights.
I had an epidural - which gave me some time to take a breather. I couldn't get dd out though - despite pushing for 4 hours total!! I was desperate to get her out, as they threatened forceps, and they terrified me. The epidural ran out and they chose not to top it up, I think to help me push. I had a episiotomy, and then she was out - all the pain disappeared, and my beautiful girl was there!
I haven't got anything to compare it to, so I couldn't say if it was more painful- I just think all labour is BLOODY painful, by all accounts!
As for birth plans - I think they are a bit daft when you haven't had a baby before. How can you plan for something that you haven't any experience of? Alot of womens plans seem to go out the window once they're in labour anyway, as you just don't know what situation you will end up in.
Good luck with it all x
mmm had a back to back birth last monday. A bit slow and did have to be assisted in the end, still a bit sore but have a beautiful girl to show for it
you will be in safe hands with your midwife they were amazing and will make sure you and your baby are just fine. Try not to worry your little one may decide to get in to position soon.
DC2 was back to back - my fault, too much sofa time trying to get my ankles not to look like elephant feet...
Labour hurts anyway and he was my second so I knew a bit of what to expect. The first was an epidural, contractions and progress slowed down, drip and ventouse, so I wanted to avoid the epidural...
I spent the first few hours leaning over the sink in the labour room sucking away on gas and air with a tens strapped to my back, then another bit of time leaning on the bed head (the bed head was raised right up and I was propped up on pillows, leaning forward kneeling, very comfy ironically as I could relax and just lean on the bed)
Gas and air does take a bit of timing ie breathe it in as much as you can, just in case a contraction starts as it takes about 10-20 seconds to kick in. Counting was therapeutic...
The leaning forward seemed to ease the worst of the pain which was more like back passage pain (it was quite bad) than labour pains and after my pelvis had stretched I was flipped onto my back and in stirrups to push.
No problems with a slow down or stopping dilating and I managed him on just gas and air plus the tens and a midwife who I knew very well was delivering me. He was 8lb 9oz and 57cm long so not a teeny baby.
It hurt, but when does labour NOT hurt????
I think he must have turned during labour as he came out OK, upart from coming arm first - this caused quite a long second stage (silly baby wanted to fly out like superman - don't they read the books!)
It cna be done - also remember, birth plans are only plans - htey can be changed and often do change, but it's not a problem if they do change. Do what you're comfortable with at the time, there's no right way IYSWIM, just what's right for you - might try water birthing if I'm lucky enough to get another chance...
Good Luck and enjoy your baby however it gets into the world!!
PS - agree with the other posters about not trying to be a hero.
Do whatever suites YOU at the time and remember it's YOUR birth, NOT some kind of test...
Gas and air plus a tense machine suited ME and my baby second time around - plus the very good support of a midwife I knew extremely well, throughout the majority of the labour and the final stage was a godsend! SHE really helped me give birth!
My first was back to back after turning at the start of labour.. the thing that really helped me was my TENS machine.. made a HUGE difference to the back pain.. ended up with an epidural as after 20 hours I wasn't fully dilated.. she then "popped out" 3 hours later..
All I can say is go with it, talk to your midwife and OH and see how you cope at the time.. My birth plan for No 1 was 2 pages long, for No 2 it simply said "get them out safely and as quickly as possible" :-)
Good luck! x
My baby was back to back. I never really had a birth plan, more the wait and see what happens. I was also induced- and that does make it more painful. From the start of waters breaking and contraction starting, stopping and re-starting, I was in labour for 52 hours. Somewhere in there I had an epidural (after 22 hours of continual contractions), when the gas and air and tens maching weren't doing enough.
Thanks for all of that ladies. I do wonder if going for the pool is going to be pointless if I end up wanting an epidural, but I suppose at least I speed things up by leaving the epidural as long as possible? Would you say that was the right way to approach it?
See what happens on the day - you could start off pool and see what happens? Just because you change you mind doesn't mean a pool is pointless IMO as you've every righ to do what you want.
My SIL has used a pool before and raved about how it helped with the pain etc. Could they do pool with gas and air as if you do need to get out of the pool it can apparently be a bit eye watering, going from lovely pain relieving support to the cold harsh reality of the open air?
I could be wrong but is an epidural better earlier on, so you're not too numb when it comes to the pushing part??
Remember - you can change your mind minute by minute if you want, even during labour.
Birth plans are just that - plans - they're NOT set in stone and it doesn't matter if you change them or how often you change them even during labour.
Yeah the gas and air is available whilst in the pool, I made sure I checked this before saying I would like to try it. Apparently the epidural they give at my hospital isnt one that fully immobilises you (although most women feel too unsteady to walk about) so guessing it may still be effective but you can feel the urge to push. Ah I am going to quit worrying about it and just see what happens. It would be lovely to do it gas and air in the pool but if needs be they can give the epidural as there are no prizes for doing it without! Thanks.
My DS was back to back and there was no way I could sit still long enough for an epidural to go in so good job he arrived (after 5hrs) as the anaethetist did. Trainee midwife was pleased as it was her first delivery of a baby with a mum standing up!
was planning a homebirth with dd2, until it was discovered she had a kidney problem.
she was still footling breech at 37 weeks so was offered an ecv, thankfully she turned but was still back to back.
she was quicker than dd1 who was front to back...but it did hurt more...and they had to break my waters.
blimey, that was 13 years ago..
Birth plans shouldn't be about planning exactly the birth you want out in great detail; they should be a chance for you to look at the available options and have a think about how you feel about different things and in what circumstances you'd accept certain interventions. Because if the first time you hear about something is in the middle of a contraction you're probably not best placed to take in all the information and make an informed decision about the best choice for you.
Just another thought - is there, or could you put a step in the pool. Going up and down stairs sideways can be very good at rocking the hips the right way to encourage a baby in a less than optimal position to descend. And is something that could easily be duplicated with one step (like a low energy pregnant water version of step areobics!)
My ds2 was back-to-back, managed with gas and air, although do vaguely recall whimpering into my pillow at one point that "I caaaan't do this".
Turns out I could do it after all and ds2 was 9lb 13oz
Yes the midwife told me yesterday that according to my measurements the baby is likely to be about 8lb 8 if I go to term. I am 5ft 2inch and very very petite so wondering it that is going to be bad news for me!
I think these posts are probably pretty terrifying. The first thing I would say is that b2b IS much more painful but not terrifying impossible unless you let it be that way. Take a big calm breath and just accept that a birth plan is just that, a plan, and there isn't a d#### thing you can do about it. Labour is a bit like a plane journey, you get on and you get off but how comfortable you are or how good it is is beyond your control. A good attitude does help [I know that sounds geeky but it is true].
I have had 4 labours,
#1 was b2b and very painful, I had a fabulous midwife and an epidural for the end.
#2 one gulp of gas and air but it was so quick pain relief wasn't an issue
#3 was twins I had an epidural early on in the labour, twin 2 was breach but turned manualy [ie squeezed round by the peadiatrician from the outside]
#4 was huge[9lb10oz] b2b and very painful, I had a mad midwife who wouldn't give me anything but gas and air [and yes I mean wouldn't! grrrrr!] In an ideal world I would have had an epidural, but in the end I just pushed her out and prayed.
As I'm sure other peole have said to you, the baby is so so so much more important than the birth itself, so keep your mind on that and do what feels right for you.
catholic, see this thread to remind yourself of just how innacurate weight guesses can be
Thanks for that..yes it all seems a rather haphazard way of determining size..I mean it is a tape measure and a midwife. I am sure it can give a 'vague' idea but I told my DH and he said ' I wouldnt trust that as accurate love'. I guess I just have to wait and see.
catholic- still following this thread!
dd1 7lb 15
ds2 8lb 11
this baby estimated between 9-10 lb by midwife, brought down slightly by a scan at 34 weeks to 8lb 7 at term.
she was 7lb 8 !!
really really don't panic about size - the midwife who delivered me said she never ever guesses because that is all it is - a guess!
sorry for lack of punctuation, typing one handed while bf!
Thanks Sarahlou..to be honest I think by and large you body gives you a baby you can handle delivering. If this was going to be a biggy then I think he will just come earlier. My husband and I are not big people so I cant see it to be honest.
Iif it reassures you I am also 5ft2, size 8, was 8st6 when I got pregnant and that was slightly above my normal weight. DS was 8lb7 and back to back, and the labour was fine. I had G&A for a bit but ditched it for pushing as I found it a bit distracting.
I did have a ventouse in the end as becuase of his position he got a bit stuck, but the birth was a totally positive experience. Good luck!
Oh cosmosis thanks so much. That is reassuring to hear!
come back and let us know how you get on! My gorgeous boy is currently curled up asleep on my chest, and i'm resting my chin on his head. It's worth it, i promise!!
Don't listen to MW predictions - I don't know anyone who was given an accurate measurement.
My MW told me that the reason DD's head was engaged at 36 weeks was probably because she was 'so big she wouldn't fit into the pelvis and would need a CS' - .
DD was 7lb 15oz at 41+4, I am nearly 6 foot so she was totally not a whopper.
Ignore them - really like your theory that you get a baby your body can take.
Tiokiko This baby has been engaged since 34 weeks and she was surprised I hadnt had him by my 36 week appointment. I take a lot of what they say with a bucket of salt to be honest. Most of it is supposition on their part rather than hard facts. :-)
Yeah, my mw told me at my 38 week appointment that I wouldn't be at my 40 week one. I had him at 42 weeks exactly
My DD was back to back. But I had the most sraight forward birth. I had a home birth. Coped fine on just gas and air. The pain in my back was unreal but my mum and the midwife were really good rubbing my back. Keeping active helped aswell. In the last hour or so I was screaming the place down - I could have done with some pethedine but i didn't want to make baby drowsy as I heard it can interfere with breast feeding. I pushed for 40 mins. She came out fine. Had a teeny tear that didn't even need a stitch. Alot of it is to do with mind set. Stay positive. And good luck
P.S. she didn't turn at all during labour, until obviously when I pushed her out.
Thanks Charl2503..that is a nice positive story. Did your baby come out looking more bruised or squashed as a few posters have mentioned this can also happen with back to back.
Hi! As I mentioned to you in the email, I had a back to back baby with the cord around the neck twice. We had a home water birth and I laboured for 45 hours before finding that I was still only 4cm dilated. My midwife wanted me to transfer in to hospital for a c-section as I was absolutely shattered, but my mum, (a midwife in Australia) told me to lie on my left side with a pillow between my legs.
I went from 4 - 8 cm in 1.5 hours lying on my left side with a pillow between my legs, and at 8 cm returned to the birth pool. Less than an hour later my little girl shot out with the cord wrapped around her neck twice, still back to back, but the birth was beautiful, peaceful, intense and awesome. I'd love to go through all 48 hours again, just for the incredible days that followed a natural pain meds free birth.
Wishing you all the very very best - and remember. Fear increases pain, so take deep breaths and remember that your body was made for this.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.