Anyone here have experience of a fast labour?

(225 Posts)
doubleshotlatte Wed 12-Jan-11 16:54:52

Did you have 3-4 hours, or less, of active labour?

I didn't realise my last labour was considered "fast" until Midwife at first booking appointment told me. So it took 4 hours or slightly less from being 2cm then feeling the urge to push, pushing actively and DD being born. This after 2 days painful contractions and no sleep. I did feel traumatised by the birth, upset at not having had any pain relief (entonox didn't work). Only when I understand that it was a "relatively fast labour" does it all make sense. Now due in a few weeks confused knowing its going to be even shorter shock am trying to plan and prepare better this time...

So, if you knew you'll have a fast labour in advance, what would you do differently? Or did do, in subsequent births?

hastingsmum Wed 12-Jan-11 22:35:54

DS1 3 hours in hospital (5 hours after water broke)

DS2 not sure, born 4 minutes after ambulance arrived

DD1 - induction, about 6 hours from AROM to baby.
DD2 - one hour thirty minutes from first slight back ache to baby. She was 5 weeks early.

IF we have another one I will be planning a homebirth in order to have all the kit on hand, and I will be getting hold of the kit by about 30 weeks. Yes, my ambition would be to get to hospital but I absolutely, positively refuse to go through transition strapped down in an ambulance again.
Next time I would also quite like to realise I'm in labour at some point before crowning starts to happen. I will not again mistake it for a kidney infection blush.

queenballerina Wed 12-Jan-11 23:18:39

my first baby was 2 hour 30 min. appox..

2 started feeling funny, a bit nauseus.
2.30 started some minor contractions
3 got to hospital but they sent me home as only 2 cm
3.30 got home, contractions really started got un bearable so eventually headed back
4.30 water broke in car, started pushing when we pulled up to door of hospital..
5 made it to the room, two pushes and baby born at 5

the whole thing freaked me out, no one ever warms you about a very intense fast labour... i felt totally out of control too, plus scared to give birth in car.

i cant wait to have baby #2, but am slightly worried about it being so fast... oh well.

hawesmead5 Thu 13-Jan-11 19:47:40

DS1 -(38 weeks) 4 hours (but got stuck second stage and was pushing for about 3 1/2 hours) forceps delivery
DS2 - (37 weeks)42 mins from waking up and delivering him on the bedroom floor.
We are hoping to try for number 3 sometime later this year but I am dreading another fast birth, poor hubby is worried even more. I won't dare leave the house from about 35 weeks onwards!

ja9 Thu 13-Jan-11 19:53:21

Gosh, i'd never considered myslef to have a 'fast labour' with dd (my 2nd)... but it was less than 2 hrs from start to finish.

woke at 130am to go to toilet - disappointed to not feel any twinges or anything (was about a month overdue - or feeling like it at this point). woke with a start at 4am with a contraction, phoned hospital at 430am, midwives finally arrived 5:15 ish (had a HB booked), dd arrived 5:54am.

First labour was about 18hours from start to finish... but was couple of weeks early, so didn't feel long at ll iyswim.

Didn't feel in any way out of control with dd, just desperate to get her out grin

I have been lurking to see if anyone had a shorter labour than the one I know of. A friend of xps sister had her DS a few months before me 20+ years ago.

Went to the toilet, had first huge contraction and very odd feeling between legs. Screams for mum who checks and sees a foot hanging out shock

Staggers into lounge having 2nd contraction.

Father delivers his grandson with 3rd contraction, feet first while his wife hysterically calls ambulance and new mother apologises for state of the carpet.

8 minutes from start to finish!

Mother and baby fine, no stitches IIRC.

If I didn't know her at the time, I would never have believed it.

Her 2nd DC arrived in a more sedate 2 hours.

Was so envy, my labours took forever.

DS1's labour, 90 mins from waters breaking to 6cm - no idea about after that as I had a c-section as he was breech
DS2's labour, 2 1/2 hours start to finish. Only an hour after contractions starting I was fully dilated.

So yes, be ready for a quick labour! Tis a little scary when you already have a little one as you have to have a fast plan to put into place for their care when the time comes for DC2. I had a very quick short plan - get him to neighbours who would look after him until my mum could arrive (1 hours' drive away) for longer.

8 mins tho... goodness!

TidyBush Thu 13-Jan-11 20:53:57

DD1 was induced and I had a 9 hour labour.

DD2 - had a sweep on the Thursday, couldn't settle all day Friday then woke up at 1am Saturday in full blown labour. Following a quick trip to the hospital it took just 2 pushes and she arrived at 3am. I was back home by 4pm.

KirstyJC Thu 13-Jan-11 21:09:04

I had a 16 hour first labour, in hospital and got scared and asked for an epidural which slowed things down and caused huge pph.

2nd baby - was told I had to be actively managed in hospital but DS2 had other ideas - heard a 'pop' and the waters broke, he was born at home 2h 25mins later!

Now 29 weeks with DS3 and planning a homebirth, but also working out what I need in case of an unattended quick homebirth - just in case!

Odd thing, both labours started with waters breaking at 7.40am on the Monday morning following the due date...seriously, what are the chances of that? So I've told DH to set the alarm and make me breakfast at 7.00am for the next one so I'm ready to go before the next one comes....grin

KirstyJC Thu 13-Jan-11 21:10:01

blush that should read DC3, I don't know the sex blush

ja9 Thu 13-Jan-11 21:11:27

shudder at thought of my dad delivering one of my babies... eurgh and blush

TheSecondComing Thu 13-Jan-11 21:19:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The funny bit was her teenage brother trying to convince the baby's father- he'd only left about an hour before and took ages to convince.

Nickoka Thu 13-Jan-11 21:26:04

My two labours took exactly the same time - 2.5 hours. In both cases I wasn't in labour. They broke my waters at 5cm at 8pm, and then it was just constant contractions.

Exhausting but quick!

Hope it all goes well for you OP.

Renaissancewoman Thu 13-Jan-11 21:37:21

Doubleshotlatte - what you could take away from your last experience is that you can do it. You and your body managed the ordeal that is labour, the pain and the rest of it. This should give you great confidence for the next time. Also knowing what to expect you can prepare a bit.

I have 3 kids. Ist labour just 2 and a half hours in total. I thought I'd eaten too much, just had mild bloating pain for about 20 minutes, tried to ease it in bath, felt pop = water breaking. Then panicked as hadnt packed bag. So rushed round getting every thing ready. Didn't want to leave the bathroom due to bowel pressure. Finally thought I had to get to hospital as my head was spinning and I felt very confused. Luckily I live a short distance from the hospital and was early hours so no traffic. As 1 walked the 2 flights of stairs to maternity (I couldn't remember where the lift was as I was so out of it) I was screaming like a banshee and behaving in a very animalistic way! I couldn't lie on the bed and remained upright, this was just making the whole thing faster as I later found out. I was finally persuaded to get on bed and the midwife expected to examine me. Instead she saw the babies head!
Throughout this I was quite out of control but I think that is good. You just have to go with it and not fight it. I had excellent ante natal classes and I had in mind various mantras from the birth instructor which helped me get into a meditative state so I was not that alarmed by the feeling of the loss of control - something that would normally freak me out.
For the subsequent birth I was terrified I wouldn't make it to hospital so I went for a home birth. As soon as I felt signs of labour I went into a on all fours position with my head down lower than my pelvis. This slowed the whole thing down to a very manageable 6 hours. I did exactly the same with third and that was the best labour of all, really relaxed 4 hours with just 20 minutes of agony at the end.

I really advise the on all fours position with head low. Looks awful with your bum in the air but it works and kept me feeling like I was controlling the speed. It allows the hormones time to build up and open the cervix but with the weight of the baby pointing away from the cervix. I did specific birthing yoga and hypnobirthing/breathing techniques for the third and it all worked a treat.

As long as there are no complications I think fast labour can be great as the recovery period is quicker and easier, no recovering from days of slow labour or caesarean etc.

Hope it all goes OK.

maxpower Thu 13-Jan-11 21:43:51

I had a vbac 25 days ago - waters broke at 7.30pm, first contraction 10mins later, baby born at 9.41pm. So 2hrs 11mins start to finish. Did feel very surreal as i assumed I'd have a few hours to get my head round the fact that the baby was coming, but I didn't feel it was traumatic (although that might be coloured by the fact that I do consider my first delivery to have been traumatic). I would also have preferred not to have the flu at the time!

jessikart Thu 13-Jan-11 23:17:22

First baby was under three hours, so I was a bit panicked about DC2 as our nearest hospital was half an hour away.

Had no signs, no indications, nothing, until...Woke up at 04:44 with contractions, fired up computer, checked the online contraction timer. Made DP a cup of coffee, then woke him up to say 'it's time to call the hospital, and maybe call an ambulance too, just in case we don't make it.' We didn't make it, the paramedics walked in just as she was crowning.

She was born at 0523, on the bathroom floor.

Backinthebox Fri 14-Jan-11 13:26:59

Just to put the cat among the pigeons - I have had the dubious pleasure of having a 42hr labour and a just-under-4hr labour.

42hr labour - 2 sodding days and sleepless nights of misery, followed by a 5 day stay in the High Dependency Unit, apart from my baby who was in SCBU.

4hr labour - I woke up thinking I had a tummy bug, rang midwife (I had an independent midwife booked for a planned hospital birth after my first birth. I wanted continuity of care and was anticipating another marathon birth.) MW arrived about an hour later and I was fully dilated. She told me I wouldn't get to the hospital in time, and I had my baby in the corner of the bedroom. Second stage took a little bit longer than she thought because my baby had to turn a little to get into the best position for descent. The speed he came out at meant a trip to hospital anyway for a repair to 2nd and 3rd degree tears.

But if you ask me to state which labour and birth I preferred - give me the 4 hr birth over the 42hr one any day of the week. I was fully capable of taking part in the first few hours and days of my baby's life, which wasn't possible after the birth of my first child. Sticking my neck out here, I think people who are shocked by the speed of a quick birth have never experienced the feeling of curling up on the floor exhausted and just knowing you are dying - the feeling I had as we went past 40hrs of labour with first baby. I found my second, very quick labour to be elating after that first experience.

Having the MW come to my house was what made it a good experience rather than having to make the decision as to when to go to hospital for myself. If I was to have another baby (I think 2 is enough, but my daughter disagrees with me about this!) I would have a HB booked, with an IM as a luxury but not a necessity.

shanks313 Thu 10-Feb-11 10:47:55

Dd1- 8 hour labour with epidural back to back
Dd2- Another back to back
6.30- Induced
9.00- Dh went home
10.30- Contractions started
Got very painful but midwive wouldn't call Dh
11.45 -examined and 1cm dilated
11.50- Midwive finally called Dh and told him I was distressed and wanted him but not to rush as only 1cm
12.00-Baby born

Bit worried about having Dc3 after that one.

Pinkjenny Thu 10-Feb-11 10:52:53

May I direct you to my fabulous birth story which details my fast labour!

DC1 was 3 1/2 hours from first twinge to birth.

DC2 was 1 1/2 hours from first twinge to birth.

DC3 was 1/2 an hour from first twinge to birth. I woke feeling odd, not quite right, it is very difficult to explain. Bundled the kids in the car and dropped them off at in laws. DH broke the speed limits to get to the hospital. Got through the doors to a very bemused staff who wanted to know why I was there, but my MW saw me and got me a room and I had my first twinge. Thirty mins. later I had my DC in my arms and he was back to back, MW says if he wasn't he would have been quicker. I had to stay in for a while due to GBS and a health problem I have and was regarded as a bit of a curiosity

PaperView Thu 10-Feb-11 12:28:16

1st: 3 hours start to finish - G&A and pethidine

2nd: half an hour start to finish- no pain relief and included his shoulders getting stuck!

3rd: 5 hours from me thinking "ey up i feel a bit iffy" to DS3 being born - G&A

After DS1 we were advised to have a HB or at the very least have a few things in in case things progressed quickly (plenty of clean towels, a cheapo shower curtain.

After DS2 we were told any more and they would highly recommend a HB grin unfortunatly i went from a planned HB to a complicated pregnancy that would have resulted in CS if he hadn't been born when he was.

BelieveInLife Thu 10-Feb-11 12:30:30

I had a four hour first labour with no pain relief. I didn't feel traumatised by it at all, I considered myself lucky to have only had to deal with the pain for such a short time. I am a very 'get on with it' type of person though.

This time I am having a home birth as I've been told it's likely to be at least half the time of the first and I don't want to risk getting stuck in traffic on the way to the MLU!

wilbur Thu 10-Feb-11 12:36:32

First two labours not mega fast in total, but they both took off like rockets after I got to 5cm. With dd (2nd labour), I went from arriving at hosp, being examined at about 5-6cm, to holding her in my arms in about 45 mins shock. They hadn't even assigned me a midwife as my team's mw was with someone else who they thought would be finished before me. I had to make do with some random staff who were milling about the labour ward!

I had ds2 at home - just over 2 hrs from first twinge to baby. It was bliss and I felt much happier knowing I didn't have to go anywhere.

pearlgirl Thu 10-Feb-11 12:41:34

Ds3 was 2 hours from first contraction to holding baby - the others have all been induced and have varied in length between 16 hours and 3 hours.

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