Is back to back labour without an epidural really that impressive?

(80 Posts)
Moulesfrites Tue 08-Feb-11 09:57:18

...because I did it a couple of weeks ago, and having read the obem thread where the woman in the pink pjs did it, it would appear we are some kind of superwomen?! Am feeling all smug and proud now...sorry!

wigglesrock Tue 08-Feb-11 10:47:10

Me too, I had no idea dd1 was back to back when I was in labour, had her with g&a, ps I love pain relief and am not at all airy fairy. It just happened. I didn't realise it was anything out of the ordinary until I saw peoples faces when I told them. Although it did have one big benefit, it made dd2 labour feel like a piece of piss grin

CilantroLarry Tue 08-Feb-11 10:50:32

Well I had a 2 day op labour (she turned to transverse during the 2nd stage and I then had a spinal block for an emcs) and it hurt like a bastard. I knew the level of pain wasn't normal. It didn't stop between contractions, contractions were 2.5 minutes long (because dd wasn't moving down properly) and I honestly thought I was dying.

So yes, I think in some cases, it's quite a lot to endure.

frasersmummy Tue 08-Feb-11 10:52:02

giving birth is impressive no matter how you do it !!!

There are no prizes for doing it better or with less pain relief than others

EdgarAleNPie Tue 08-Feb-11 10:53:00

i have also done it. not harder than nrmal labour. but then i wasn't in a crap hospital with cameras on me, stressin gme out, but at home, with a nice calm mw.

No more painful than subsequent (and DD1 also came out unturned)

i don't feel proud particularly becuase i know other women are being scared out of home birth/low intervention births because thir baby is OP.

Lulumaam Tue 08-Feb-11 10:54:20

If any woman wants to feel proud of how she got through her labour, regardless of baby's position and what drugs she did or didn't have , fair play...

DD was OP. I didn't know until she was born. and she was looking at the ceiling. She was a VBAC, so my first 'proper' labour, if you like. I had pethidine and g&a. the worse part for me was the 15 hours of contractions that it took to get me to 3 cm. after that it was really quick. and i enjoyed the pushing stage. felt really productive and positive to do something.

ivykaty44 Tue 08-Feb-11 10:55:07

I didn't know it was a back to back labour with dd2, gas and air. Far better than a brow presentation and emergency c section as dd1 got distressed sad

ruddynorah Tue 08-Feb-11 10:55:08

I did it on gas and air with my first. It hurt, but I didn't know any different. Second baby was not back to back, but was induced with pessary. Again, just had gas and air. Seemed no worse or better iyswim. Both times the mw was surprised I didn't want an epidural.

ruddynorah Tue 08-Feb-11 10:55:42

In fact my first also had her hand by her face.

Lulumaam Tue 08-Feb-11 10:56:04

`agree, edgar. Some women want to elecet for a c.s if they find out baby is op, as they are terrified. it's not that unsual a presnetation and coping with an OP labour can take more endurance, but it is doable

i thikn part of the issue is that lots of women end up on the bed/lying/semi recumbent for labour and deliveyr and that is bad in OP labour, you reeally need to be up and mobile as much as poss. which is true of labour generally

GandalfyCarawak Tue 08-Feb-11 10:57:18

Yes, it is impessive.

RamblingRosa Tue 08-Feb-11 10:59:28

I did it too. It was bloody hard work and painful but I agree with frasersmummy that giving birth is impressive however you do it! I don't have anything to compare it to but I'm guessing that labour hurts whether baby is back to back or not!

CilantroLarry Tue 08-Feb-11 11:02:33

Giving birth is always, always impressive. It's taken me a long time to say that because having generally wailed and sobbed through it, I thought I'd 'failed' somehow. Particularly ending up with an emcs, thought I was bloody useless tbh.

Lulumaam Tue 08-Feb-11 11:03:59

cilantro, i felt the same after my em c.s , a total failure, my body let me down, i did it all wrong and it was very upsetting.. not helped by people telling me I should be grateful I didnt have to push and what did it matter as long as the baby was healthy... >>sigh>>

Littlefish Tue 08-Feb-11 11:10:32

I don't think it's that impressive, no, nor better or worse. Just different.

I had 3 OP births with gas and air and didn't realise it was a big deal until I started on Mumsnet. I still don't think it was a big deal - pain and labour is very individual, and that goes for OP ones. I definitely can't believe that my comparatively quick labours were worse than my friend's drawn out nonOP labours. A good OP birth is always going to be better than a bad nonOP one.

And that was incredibly badly written, apologies. Must stop multitasking whilst MNing!

CilantroLarry Tue 08-Feb-11 11:13:04

I know lulu (you know me, have namechanged). DD is nearly 4 and I'm expecting dc2 (hence the namechange, not admitting it under my real name). It's taken 3 years, a lot of counselling, a termination and many tears to get to this point. And I don't mind admitting I'm terrified.

I always find that 'you should be grateful' line weird. Like we only have space for one feeling. It's not rocket science to understand that you can be grateful for the healthy baby while feeling utterly traumatised by the birth.

VeggieReggie Tue 08-Feb-11 11:16:57

I had an OP labour without pain relief (except TENS then pool, which is actually very good pain relief!). It wasn't painful at all, just long.

Other people suffer with ba backache throughout.

I don't think births can be categorised in a hierarchy, and giving birth is simply and impressive event, whoever does it, and under whatever circumstances. It's a flawed human process where the outcome is what counts - not an olympic sport!

CilantroLarry Tue 08-Feb-11 11:20:31

I think what the op was saying wasn't that people who have op labours are somehow more impressive than those with oa labours but instead saying is it true that it's often more difficult obstetrically speaking. Which, yes, it is in very general terms. It's not the normal presentation. Not too problematic either on a spectrum but it has a higher chance of being trickier as a labour goes.

In the event though, oa, ot, op etc all pales in light of the overwhelming 'this smarts a bit' feeling.

Dumbledoresgirl Tue 08-Feb-11 11:21:50

It depends. I have had 2 back to back babies, weighing within half an ounce of each other.

Ds1 (my first labour) ended up being a forceps delivery after my labour was induced after my waters broke but labour failed to start. He was stuck, going nowhere after 2 hours of pushing, and he was becoming distressed.

Ds3 (my fourth labour) was a straightforward, spontaneous labour. He took a little longer than expected to be pushed out (but we are talking minutes here, not hours) and when he was born, the MW was surprised to find out he was back to back and said "oh that is why he took a bit longer to come".

For ds1 I had pethidine and G&A and only didn't have an epidural because the hospital did not do them except for planned CS. I certainly wish I had had an epidural. For ds3, I had nothing but G&A.

So,in my mind, birthing ds3 was not an especially heroic feat for me, but getting ds1 out without an epidural was! The mw explained to me that if a first labour is back to back, the mother's body can struggle, but subsequent back to back labours tend to be easier as the mother's body knows what to do.

Crawling Tue 08-Feb-11 11:35:45

I had a op labor without pain relief it was hard I remember feeling so defeated after 20 hours of constant cc and the mw said I had only got to 2 cms I wanted to cry. But I was just as proud and happy of my second normal birth. I think everyone should be proud regardless of how you give birth.

asdx2 Tue 08-Feb-11 11:37:57

My back to back labour was my easiest and least painful. I didn't actually realise that it was supposed to be more difficult or painful tbh. She was my third birth though so maybe that's the difference.

I did it with ds2, and a bit of gas and air. He was 9lb 13oz <<polishes Blue Peter badge>> Actually found it easier than ds1, when I had epidural and "normal" presentation. Now they're older it doesn't seem that important though in the grand scheme of things.

HeroShrew Tue 08-Feb-11 11:56:44

I think "impressive" is the wrong word as it implies that choosing pain relief (or having a natural birth with a non-OP presentation) is somehow inferior. Which it isn't. Congratulations and well done and all that, but birth story smuggery is really quite unpleasant.

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