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Six False Alarms. No baby. Ignorant Midwife?(118 Posts)
Hi there, I really need some sound advice, because quite honestly I feel like I'm loosing my mind at the minute.
I am a first time Mother very eagerly waiting for my baby to appear as every other Mum to be on the planet. Since about the start of the third trimester on wards I started having really painful braxton hicks. I have been in absolute agony at home, when I've left the house, tried everything, baths, paracetamol, cocodomal, have been into the hospital/called midwives out six times now The only thing that helps when I'm having a episode is doing deep breathing, apparently I sound like I'm pushing when I do that, and that's not right because I'm not in labour.
Some days are better than others, some days I don't have pains at all, other days I have been screaming close to tears, just want everyone to leave me alone, and alas had my worried husband frantically rush me to the hospital/call for a midwife to come out. The pains usually come with tightenings, and the weird thing is that they're usually incredibly regular and mimic real contractions.
Yesterday was the sixth false alarm and definitely the worse I have ever been treated in the hospital. We got in, and I couldn't' talk properly cause it really hurt, I can't explain what it feels like apart from like I'm getting punched inside over and over again. About two hours after they started, I laid down on the bed and they stopped. The midwife put her hand on my bump to feel 'contractions' and of course they had just stopped so she felt no tightenings at all!! The midwife that saw me and my husband, quietly say to him that she thought I was just scared pretty much of childbirth and that's what was causing these trips to hospital As if I was putting the entire affair on, she wrote in my notes that I was tensing my muscles when the baby was moving and that they weren't contractions at all. She then had a chat to me explaining she knew what it was like after having three children, being so eager to meet your baby, as if I had been faking everything these last three months. She then gave us a number of an obstetrician saying if I have pains again to go to another hospital instead of the birth centre (after SIX FALSE ALARMS) (which is right round the corner from us, the hospital is about 30 mins away!) that basically I couldn't keep having false alarms at the birth centre!!!
It doesn't help that I used to have anxiety (which is in my notes) and they've wrote down that I used to be on medication for.. So she accused me yesterday of just being so scared of childbirth, that the pains were in my head.
.I actually didn't want to go to hospital yesterday, but with my due date being today, my husband and MIL rushed me down there regardless. Usually I leave it longer than an hour to see if the pains settle down. It has been suggested that I have an irritable uterus, but have not received any treatment for this.
Basically I think now, that they've just made me out to be this neurotic heavily pregnant anxious young woman. I stopped seeing anyone for mental health well over six months ago now, I have had no need to be on meds for over a year, I have completed a full time college course at a distinction level the last nine months, run my own house, volunteer etc. I don't have anxiety anymore!
I am so horribly offended and disgusted by the midwife yesterday, my MIL wants to write in a complaint to the birth centre. The other staff there have been helpful and wonderful, but this woman was so horrifically patronizing, I felt like I was being spoke to like a child having a tantrum. Unless my waters go, I have no clue how I will no I'm going into labour, and now I feel scared to call the birth centre/hospital/anyone at all. I was actually feeling very positive about giving birth, I did a hypnobirthing class, we have everything ready for our daughter, I have lots of support behind me, not scared at all, just in pain.
I'm 40 weeks at due date today, so it can't be much longer now, does anyone have any advice?
It doesn't sound like she was being deliberately ignorant, maybe trying to help by suggesting other reasons for what you are reporting but rubbing you up the wrong way? 6 false alarms is a lot, to be honest. Is this your first pregnancy? If what you're experiencing is BH contractions then they don't 'ramp up' in the same way that real contractions will, so it may be worth you/DH timing these and the time between them. If they aren't getting more frequent and closer together then you may have a good indication that it's BH rather than labour. Either way in early labour most people stay at home for a while until things get more established and perhaps going in quickly each time is what is adding to the view that you might be scared/anxious about labour? I'm sure baby will make an appearance soon! Good luck.
She may not have not meant to be deliberately ignorant but thats the impression she gave us overall. Suggesting that I'm perpetuating the pains isn't a suggestion at all, just made me feel like I was a total lunatic. I know six false alarms is a lot, that's why we're worried something else is wrong, but they haven't checked anything else in my body apart from my kidneys which were fine. I have had all of that, one episode, I remember the pains started 20 mins apart, and kept going till they were a few mins apart for a few hours. I've tried leaving it for a few hours, I've left it up to six hours before. I have pains almost every day, and like I said usually I leave it, to see if they settle down. We're really at our wits end.
I have no advice but I know hoe frustrating it is if you feel that they don't take you seriously. I wish you good luck and hope your baby will appear soon.
From the midwife's point of view, you're a first time mum with a recent history of medicated anxiety. You've been "rushed" to the hospital 6 times now in a state where you can neither speak about nor cope with what's happening to you. The episode ends at the point of medical attention. I think she's right to consider anxiety because of this.
If you know it isn't anxiety then speaking up and being assertive is the way to go. Or rely on your birth partner to do so.
I was a birth partner for my friend. 5 episodes of rushing to hospital, couldn't talk, hyperventilating, tightenings etc which disappeared on being examined. She was anxious. The assumption isn't ignorant.
I dont think she sounds ignorant. I wonder if shes thinking along the lines of low pain threshold= more pain relief required.
It's not a bad thing, they'll be more set up for you at the other hospital and able to make you more comfortable.
I think what you are describing, although difficult and frustrating, is typical of late pregnancy in IME.
My experience was that from about 36 weeks I had regular contraction type pains that would often continue for several hours and become more frequent before petering out. Certainly from 38 weeks, every evening I thought I was going into labour before the pains lessened in the early hours of each morning. I didn't go to hospital - used paracetamol and baths etc - but I was very weary of it all. I had no experience of going into labour so kept thinking that I was.
FWIW, I ended up have 4 sweeps and then being induced at 42 weeks. I also needed an epidural pretty quickly so suspect I have a low pain threshold! My baby was born safely at 42 plus 2 by EMCS.
Good luck - I found the very late stage of pregnancy pretty hard but it was all worth it.
My normal midwife is amazing, she herself has sent me down to get checked out, and she thinks they're painful BH. She hasn't mentioned anxiety once when she sees me, and thinks I've been really positive about it all. I have a history of anxiety, but thats in the past.
Thats why I felt so upset and offended by it, I spent a long time getting better, and am such a positive place now. If I was ill again, my Mum in Law would know and my husband would and they'd be dragging me to see counsellors and what not again.
I know what it looks like to someone seeing me in a state, but usually I wait it out calmly at home. It's just getting embarrassing now and I'm so confused as to whats going on. I wish it was anxiety because at least then we could just get that sorted.
I can see you're upset but try to think about how this looks from her point of view. You're a first time mum, you have a history of anxiety serious enough to require medication. You have had repeated episodes of BH that you find very difficult to cope with and so go to the birth centre but they stop when you're examined. It really isn't that much of a leap to suggest that the BH you're experiencing might be anxiety induced. It's not a judgement. Just a possible explanation.
I also think you should seriously consider giving birth in the hospital. Labour is more painful than BH and if you are finding those difficult to cope with you may well need some stronger pain relief than the birth centre can provide. Again, this is not a judgement. No one can control whether they have a high or low pain threshold but it sounds like a hospital birth might be better for you.
Late pregnancy can be very difficult.
In the gentlest possible way she sounds about right, maybe try a cuppa/glass of wine l/go for a walk or whatever you'd do normally to try and deal with the pains/relax
My friend is having seriously painful BH lately. I've had three children and she's had two, neither of us realised they could be so painful. Relaxing genuinely helps.
I was on anxiety medication for a very short amount of time mind well over a year ago. (6 weeks tops?) I don't even understand why it's in my notes. whether I'm a first time mum or this was a subsequent pregnancy, I'm fine with pain relief, but like I said yesterday I would have usually waited it out longer at home. My mum in law and husband insisted I went into hospital yesterday to get at the very least checked out , out of concern for me. I know labour is going to be more painful than BH maybe I do have just a very low pain threshold
But even if that's so, Our local birth centre still has the facilities for epidurals etc. A bit confused as to now where I'm allowed to have the baby.
Again on the anxiety front-
I've had no need to see any mental health professional for over a year, and have been asked to become a mental health advocate by a local charity because of how successfully I've recovered. If it was anxiety, I would know and seek help straight away! I was even paying for a private therapist at one point, who herself signed me off because she felt there was no need for further treatment.
Been taking it easy, maybe will just stop timing it at all, I've re read my notes now and they've mentioned the latent phase of labour? I know they said my baby's head is deep in my pelvis very close to being fully engaged and that I'm starting to efface, which is exciting. My midwife gave me a sweep on Thursday so I think that's why my mother in law and husband rushed me down yesterday out of excitement.
Thank you all for your kind words and suggestions.
I don't mean to be nasty, but your mil and dh seem to be doing a lot of insisting/rushing you to places. I can see why your midwife has decided you are just being dramatic. Fair enough the first couple of times but now you know it's not labour, so why keep going back?
I don't know it's not labour each time, and with my due date being today!!! They just want to make sure, better to get checked then have us delivering the baby at home. Unless my waters go, we've got no signs that the baby is coming at all. Sorry but what sort of thing is that- my midwife told us to go in everytime I get like that, because at some point it will be real labour. better to get checked then have my husband and mother in law deliver the baby at home.
I just think you need to wait a bit longer and see if things develop. You seem to be saying that you didn't even wait an hour last time.
And my point about your dh and mil is, why do they get to 'insist' and 'rush you' to places? Surely you can make your own decisions?
Being a first time mummy is difficult as you have no idea what to expect. However having been through this recently I can certainly tell you that your baby will come when he/she is ready and nothing will make him/her come quicker or later. Although your secretly hoping they will come now now now!!
When the time comes, your body takes over and instinctively you will just know! It sounds like your body is getting ready for labour and giving you hints that your baby will be arriving shortly and preparing you.
I advise you to SLEEP and REST as much as you can and I know easier said then done, but you will need all the energy you can get when it comes to the real thing.
Take brisk walks in between resting and nice relaxing baths.
Although your husband and MIL have your best interest at heart, remember this is you going through this and it is your body and only you know what your feeling.
So in short. Keep calm and relax.
You may well spend over 24 hours in early labour. You don't need to be in hospital for the entirety on your labour.
Even if you are in labour, there is no benefit to being in hospital all that time, you can do most of early labour at home - that might mean a full day and night at home labouring.
54 hours from my contractions being 15 minutes apart to giving birth, with my first. 23 hours for DC2. 25 hours for DC3.
Also can I say that the reason she has maybe suggested the hospital is that they may be willing to investigate more than the birth centre. You've said no one has checked to see why you're having such painful BH. If a pt in so much pain and not obviously in labour is seen by midwives, they usually want second opinions. Everyone including Drs will scream incompetent if they didn't refer you
Elephants - she waited 6 hours once. Last time was an hour because she'd just had a sweep. If you were at due date, had a sweep and then had painful tightening a, wouldn't you go to hospital?
Op, BH can be painful - don't feel bad about getting checked out.
From a hypnobirthing point of view, can you put on your CDs and go lie down in a quiet, dark room when it happens and see if that helps at all?
With me, with both of my labours I had a bloody show first - that's quite normal with labour as it's the seal coming away. That may give you an indication? But, as always - if you have unexplained pain then get medical assistance. Don't let them shame you into not going.
With my first DC I had a couple of episodes of pretty painful cramps, upset tummy, feeling like labour might be starting, only for it all to stop again. These started at about 36 weeks. Twice people I was with thought it was actual early labour, but I wasn't convinced and the pains died down. My real labour, when it started, was unmistakable, and also fairly short for a first baby. I think the previous episodes were 'practice runs' that were doing something - maybe effacing and dilating slightly (??) which was why they hurt, but my body wasn't quite ready to go into proper labour. If it happens again, really try to wait it out to avoid any professionals thinking you're neurotic. If it carries on and intensifies into a regular pattern, and becomes properly painful, that's the time to go to hospital. I don't think your MIL is helping by 'rushing' you to hospital each time. Even if it is real labour it's very unlikely to require a 'rush'.
OP, this sounds like prelabour contractions. I've been having them on and off too for several weeks and have had several points where I thought it might be time to go to hospital - went as far as getting the toddler looked after the first time - but on every occasion so far my contractions (which have got as close as 4 mins apart) have tailed off again.
Being a second time mum though, it's not throwing me into a panic as I have my experience of last time to draw on. Last time I went to hospital when cx were every 3 mins, and it was still a further 24 hrs before DD was born. First labours can take a very very long time and it is really unlikely your baby will suddenly arrive at home.
Have you read up on how various hormones affect labour? Very basically, relaxin and oxytocin get contractions going, but adrenalin stops them/slows them down. So it could very well be that all the rushing you into hospital, and attention from medics, is actually causing contractions to stop. That's pretty normal, and is kind of in line with what the midwife might have been trying (badly) to express.
Like others have suggested, I think you should try to chill out at home. You don't need to be seen by a midwife in early labour/prelabour. Pain can be caused (and contractions set off) by baby moving down into a new position - prelabour is helping baby get into the right position for birth. Now that you've been seen several times and know there's no sinister reason for the pains, I would suggest just trying to relax at home. Do some reading up about prelabour. I think there's a lot of useful stuff about hormones and their relationship to birth in the hypnobirthing book. And get MIL and DH to chill out as well.
When you are in full blown labour it will be pretty apparent, believe me.
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