Best way to get labour unit midwife to believe I'm in labour

(38 Posts)
PogoBob Mon 24-Dec-12 23:51:22

Sorry if this is long - I'm probably worrying unnecessarily here and realise that every labour is different but grateful for any advice.

With DD my waters went at midnight, phoned the labour ward who said I could go in when my contractions were regular, no more than 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute and I couldn't talk through them.

That never happened, I could pretty much talk through all of them and they were anything from 2 - 7 minutes apart, lasting 20 - 40 seconds. However by 4am I had the most horrendous feeling of pressure in my bum (thought my pelvis was being split open!)

DH was getting worried at this point and rang the midwife who really didn't want to let me go in and he had to really argue the toss with them. We got there about 4:20 when I was asked a few questions, directed to a room and told they'd check me in a minute. They came back at 5am to discover I was 10cm and DD was born at 6am.

I have no complaints with the care, they were really busy and when they realised I was ready to push I had excellent attention.

I'm due again on Friday and I'm worried the same may happen again but even quicker! Is there anything that I can say to the midwife to get them to believe I need to go in that doesn't involve the frequency of the contractions or an inability to talk??

We're living with my inlaws at the moment so birthing a home really isn't on my wish list!


VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Dec-12 00:01:38

Tell them you had a precipitate labour last time with only in coordinate contractions. grin

Tell them you know your body and believe you need to come in.

Should work. grin

I just turned up with all three of mine. Every time they acted like id come to soon and every time I went from 3cm to baby in less than an hour. You know your body, trust your own judgement and go in when you feel you need to.

Good luck!

fryingpanalley Tue 25-Dec-12 00:02:17

Just go in anyway - just show up! You don't need permission, if you know your body and how you feel and what happened last time.
I had my second birth 15 mins after arriving in hospital, with no pain relief, thanks to a MW refusing to believe I was in labour because I could still talk coherently on the phone. I was even quite calm on arrival at hospital, though I was taking off all my clothes which is apparently a sure fire sign. I wish I had ignored her on the phone as I knew I was in labour and that it happened fast with my first birth- I should have been more assertive and turned up and asked for a VE.

supergreenuk Tue 25-Dec-12 00:03:45

Just tell them your coming in. I phoned on both occasions and they were happy to let me make my mind up and I was happy to be sent home if that was the case. Both mine were very quick and if I hadn't have gone in when I felt it was right then who knows where I would have been. Trust your instincts.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Dec-12 00:06:25

Honestly as a midwife I beg you not to just turn up. We often wouldn't have a room on the labour ward if you did that.

With a little warning we can normally sort something.

sleeplessinsuburbia Tue 25-Dec-12 00:09:10

I'd just say you're coming in, contractions every two minutes. If you get there and you're not there's no harm done and you have peace of mind. I'm another who wasn't believed until I had the baby while the midwife was on a break!

AnAirOfHopeInAManger Tue 25-Dec-12 00:11:03

Say 'I want to be checked by a midwife please."

Repeat untill they say come in but if you are not dialated you will have to go home.

My waters broke and i had to wadle in gushing water and get checked then waddle home again as i was only 2cm sad
I was in labour for 10 hours or more.

With my second i was 3 hours from start to finish. Contracts then they broke my waters then they didnt believe i had to push and the midwife ended up holding baby in souting dont push im not ready i havent got my gloves on lol

Good luck and congrats

PogoBob Tue 25-Dec-12 00:12:22

I don't think I could just turn up, would totally stress me out - I have a real thing about making a fuss about anything medical - a childhood of my mother telling me it was just a sniffle!

Viva what should I say this time is the contractions are irregular and not that painful, will the fact it's my second time give me a little more credit?

PogoBob Tue 25-Dec-12 00:14:03

Sorry should have said thanks for all the comments and will trust my instincts and get DH to argue the toss on my behalf if needed - he's better at kicking up a fuss!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Dec-12 00:14:30

Tell them what I put in my first post. That you had a precipitate labour last time with in coordinate contractions. Basically means your last labour was very quick with irregular contractions.

When they ask if they're painful tell them that they're as painful as they were in your previous labour.

PogoBob Tue 25-Dec-12 00:17:13

So sorry, missed your first post (think my pregnancy brain shut it out due to long words blush).

That is really helpful grin

When you ring, tell them your labour with DD was only an hour long tiniest of white lies and that you want to be in asap just incase.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Dec-12 00:20:55

Good luck. grin

Murtette Tue 25-Dec-12 20:51:17

With DC2, the first time I rang, I was told I couldn't possibly be in labour as I'd been able to continuously talk during my conversation with the MW. I called back 15 mins later & luckily a different MW answered so I put in a few (fake) gasps, groans & dramatic pauses & was told I'd better come in to be examined. Went in, doubled over due to a (fake) contraction as soon as I spotted the MW, did the same on the way to the delivery room & was told "ooh, handy you came in when you did" & was then examined and was 5cm with DS arriving 24 mins later so it turned out that, yes, it was handy I went in when I did! I have to say that those 24 mins were agony as it seemed to be one continuous contraction, something which may have been retribution for my fake contractions when talking to MWs!

I would phone, explain what happened last time, and agree that if you are found not to be in labour you will go home.

ginmakesitallok Wed 26-Dec-12 09:11:56

Murtlette - I was the same with DD2. Was kept in the assessment room, with midwife constantly asking me to describe the pain, telling me that my waters hadn't broken (when I was sure they had, but couldn't convince her hmm ) and not offered any pain relief. MW due to go off shift so said she would check me just for my notes - I was 9cm. Had DD2 about 40 mins later. Afterwards they were "tidying up" my notes and a different midwife popped her head round the door and asked "So, when DID your waters break??" FFS!

dinkystinky Wed 26-Dec-12 09:16:39

That's really odd OP - with DS2 when my waters broke the midwives wanted me to go in so they could check no issues (they said they'd send me back home) - I had a contraction while on the phone to them and asked them to wait a minute or two and they then said its fine, we'll see you later tonight. No idea how they knew that from being put on hold for a bit but it was the senior midwife and she certainly knew her stuff - DS2 was in my arms a few hours later!

Just explain your last labour was quick and it is probable this one will be quick and the contractions dont really distract you that much.

Good luck and hope all goes smoothly.

MistletoeAndMerryChristmas Wed 26-Dec-12 09:21:55

Just go in. 30 mins before DS was born I was walking about.laughing with midwife. She was about to leave. I told her not to. I knew he was coming but I didn't have strong or regular contractions till my waters went 20 mins before!

AndiMac Wed 26-Dec-12 09:26:45

I do hate the fact that they judge whether you are ready to come in based on how panicky you sound on the phone. I could talk throughout both my labours and if I had waited until the point I couldn't, the baby would have been crowning.

With my second one I was getting indications he would be coming fairly shortly. I phoned the birthing centre and they tried to put me off from coming in, but I just said I'd like to be checked and didn't mind being sent home again if I wasn't close. They agreed. By the time I got there, I was still able to talk and was calm even through the contractions, so the midwife took her sweet time about getting to me and checking (about 20 minutes). I was 7cm dilated and what a surprise, they let me stay.

RooneyMara Wed 26-Dec-12 09:28:12

Viva is great, do what she says smile

Second births are often quicker, mine was 3.5 down from 8-9 hours with first.

The mw didn't want to come out and said ring in an hour, (I'd rung after 4 contractions within 20 minutes), so rang again another 20 minutes later when they were 3 mins apart and they reluctantly sent someone - who found I was 4cm and stayed!!

This thing about contractions not being too predictable is worrying me now - expecting 3rd any minute and every twinge is making me go 'Oh no! is this is? how quick is it going to be?!'

Good luck x

KristinaM Wed 26-Dec-12 09:41:34

My friend had her baby standing outside the night entrance of the hospital while her DH was shouting through an intercom trying to get them to let them in

cutegorilla Wed 26-Dec-12 18:29:34

Slightly different but my DC2 was a precipitous labour. I was advised by my MW and my consultant to go into hospital at the very first sign of anything happening with DC3. In the event the first sign was waking at 3am with a small trickle of waters. I phoned and explained and they said to come in but no rush. Well, we rushed, and got there at just about the right time given they kept us waiting for 30 mins before I even got assessed! By the time I got to the delivery room I was desperate for pain relief. Good job it was a slower labour (4 hours from that trickle) not a faster one or I'd have been giving birth in the waiting area.

Uppermid Wed 26-Dec-12 18:36:25

I had this with dd2. Dh called the hospital and rightly the midwife wanted to talk to me. When we spoke she asked. What was wrong, I explained that I was in labour, she was a bit grumpy and said that it didn't sound like I was in labour. I told her it was because I wasn't having a contraction, give it 30 seconds!! And sure enough.

When she heard it was number 2 she reluctantly agreed that I could go in. 2 hours later, dd2 arrived.

PogoBob Wed 26-Dec-12 19:02:34

Thanks everyone for taking the time to post, thankfully we're less then 10 minutes from the hospital so doesn't bother me if they send me home. I will remember to gasp on the phone - but after a pretty much pain free labour last time this one is bound to be agony!!

Having spent the last 2 days thinking things are kicking off it's all gone quiet this evening so don't think I'll be having a 2012 baby!

chatnickname2013 Wed 26-Dec-12 20:50:44

I HATE this bit and it's stressing me out too OP, they can't "assess" you by phone like they think they can. They really stressed me out with no1 which IMO contributed to poor pain control and cascade of interventions.. kept telling me I COULD talk when I was shaking my head and pushing the phone away because I COULDN'T, but according to them all first labours take a long time and I should just go to sleep - as if!

this time I'll just go in, and if I have to go away I will

emsyj Wed 26-Dec-12 23:08:42

I had the same issue last time: went in after waters broke, was told (incorrectly) that they hadn't broken, sent home just as contractions were starting. About 3.5 hours later I got DH to call and say we were coming back as my contractions didn't have any breaks between - they didn't want me to go in because I could still talk through contractions and it was the same shift of midwives so they remembered/knew I had only gone home a few hours earlier. They were very dismissive but it was quiet on the labour ward so they just said we could go in if we insisted.

I too am having 'precipitate labour' written on my notes - and fortunately in this area we have the pilot scheme of the One 2 One midwifery service, so I will have my assigned midwife (or a colleague if she's off duty) with me at home and I will be examined before I go in this time and accompanied on admission - so no arguing as they try to send me home without examining me (as they wanted to do last time).

If they don't take you seriously you might have to just ham it up a bit and pretend that it's worse than it is! grin

chatnickname2013 Wed 26-Dec-12 23:14:33

"they didn't want me to go in because I could still talk through contractions"

argh I hate this one size fits all assessment they do about you comming in! some women pace through the whole thing are still standing up when it comes to pushing!!!

poppy283 Wed 26-Dec-12 23:14:44

Agree with murtette - ham it up a bit!

chatnickname2013 Wed 26-Dec-12 23:15:38

sorry thought you said "walk" but same goes for talking!

SavoirFaire Wed 26-Dec-12 23:29:01

Have had 2 precipitate labours (although only just learned that word!). First 4 hrs, 2nd was 2.5 hrs and no pain at all until 30 mins before DD born, waters broke at last moment and no pain relief at all with both of them. Was very lucky to get to hospital with second - didn't occur to me to call hospital until I was on my way into hospital as was farting around sorting middle of night chid care for DC1 until we were in the car. Called from car and was told "you don't sound like you are in labour so expect to be sent home". I was a little smug when waters broke over same midwife 15 or so minutes later as I gave birth in the waiting area..... My advice would absolutely be to go in when you feel you are ready. Worst case scenario you will be sent home again. I hope all goes well for you.

SavoirFaire Wed 26-Dec-12 23:33:38

Have had 2 precipitate labours (although only just learned that word!). First 4 hrs, 2nd was 2.5 hrs and no pain at all until 30 mins before DD born, waters broke at last moment and no pain relief at all with both of them. Was very lucky to get to hospital with second - didn't occur to me to call hospital until I was on my way into hospital as was farting around sorting middle of night chid care for DC1 until we were in the car. Called from car and was told "you don't sound like you are in labour so expect to be sent home". I was a little smug when waters broke over same midwife 15 or so minutes later as I gave birth in the waiting area..... My advice would absolutely be to go in when you feel you are ready. Worst case scenario you will be sent home again. I hope all goes well for you.

ArkadyRose Wed 26-Dec-12 23:49:47

All three of mine have been precipitate labours - 4 hours for DD1, waters went as I got into the delivery suite & DD2 was born 15 minutes later, and with DD3 (planned homebirth for various reasons, including speed of previous labours) my OH called the MWs at 9am, waters went at 9:30am, DD3 was born 9:40am, MWs showed up at 9:50am. They didn't bother trying to argue - the moment OH said "It's on!" they rushed and still got here too late! This time around my notes have "PRECIPITIOUS LABOURS!!" in big letters all over them, so I don't think there'll be any arguments this time around either. grin

Alamaya Thu 27-Dec-12 00:41:00

deffo tell them your coming in.

DD i was induced and had a 57min labour
DS i rang them and told them the above and said they were 30 sec long every 2-3 mins. Was told take a bath eat something ring back if worse in a couple of hours blah blah crap. 10 min later i ring back as i feel my bag of waters. Within 45min my son was born at home luckily with ambulance crew just getting there. He was an unexpected footling breech with cord round neck. just 20min before he was born i was alone with my 18 month old.

skullcandy Thu 27-Dec-12 00:49:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProtegeMoi Thu 27-Dec-12 01:21:45

Had 3 fast labours, 2 hours, then 27 mins with number 2 and number 3 was 16 minutes! All from first contraction to delivery. Luckliy I was induced each time so already at the hospital.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 27-Dec-12 02:29:36

I went into hospital on Monday night last week, was on the drugs to stop labour and from Thursday morning I was on my own with contractions, he'd come when he did. I knew all week I was still having contractions, but the monitor disagreed with me. About midday on Friday I noticed I was bleeding, still walking and talking fine. The MW called the doctor (first time I'd seen one despite spending a week on a delivery bed) who was actually just coming to discharge me because I wasn't having contractions, just irritable... She checked and I was 4cm, membranes bulging, head so far down it didn't show up on the scanner. They called my Mum to tell her she needed to come in (my husband is a panicker so I said to let her get him) they took about an hour to get to me, so about 2pm. I was still walking around, talking to Mum and DH. Probably about half past I said I needed to sit down, Mum saw me have my next contraction and pressed the button. Put back on the monitor, still only irritable. Not sure when I started pushing but after a couple of pushes baby deceled so she cut the bag and he was born in one push at 2:44.

If that doctor had sent me home I would have had no more warning that I was about to deliver because my plug had gone on Monday, my waters have never broken of their own accord (pretermers) so I would have BBA'd a 29 weeker and potentially lost him.

I know my births go like that and I said it all week, the MW actually asked Mum at one point if she thought I was close, she said she thought so but it would all happen at once when it did. So I always take things seriously. If I have any CTX from about 20 weeks I get them checked out (I've gone into labour at 23 weeks, fortunately they stopped it and I carried on a few weeks) and I don't care how often that means I go in, I always insist.

I have a rule when it comes to HCPs, I tell them what they want to know - what they want to know is that you can't talk through a CTX, so don't. What they want to know is they're every 3 minutes and last for a minute, so tell them that. It's not uncommon for things to calm down a little on the journey in, so if you're not exactly like you were on the phone they aren't going to question it. When you are examined tell them that your last labour was fast and you feel like you did at X time last time.

cbeebiesatemybrain Thu 27-Dec-12 12:58:53

This really annoys me! With dc1 I was told not to come in as I didn't sound like I was in labour, I was in a real panic and hadn't timed my ctx (which they knew I couldn't talk through) and I didn't know about the 3 in 10 rule. The mw was very dismissive and rude, waters had gone and I was scared but she still said no. Ds was born an hour later, very scary and traumatic (unnecessarily imo) and no apology when they realised their mistake. With dc2 I phoned as soon as ctx started and said they had been 2 mins apart for an hour and I had a fast labour with dc1. I had a ctx on the phone and really hammed it up so they sent a mw out (planned hb) and I was 5cm already.

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