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'latent' stop start labour....:(

(45 Posts)
rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 08:22:57

so - saturday i start to get contractions..not BH as too long and too painful! became more regular so popped along to MLU where i was checked and they told me i was fully 'effaced' and 1-2cms dilated. decided to go home as, despite regularity of contractions preferred to be there.

11pm thing kick up a gear and i'm in a lot of pain, contractions significantly longer. Cue another trip to MLU, another internal and told my cervix felt 'funny' to main hospital and transferred for assessment.

2am get told my 'outer os' is dilating nicely but my 'inner os' is tight shut. prob something to do with a cone biopsy/leep proceedure a year ago. CS suggested. cue panic from me - contractions stop! decide to go home despite them wanting to keep me in. got a little sleep.

sunday - fine until 10am when contractions start again. i refuse to call anyone and just keep doing stuff round the house. by 1pm they are coming thick and fast to the point where there seems no break between them. carry on like this for 45mins and DH insists on calling MLU and they tell me to come straight in. decide i am in 'active' labour. fully effaced cervix (still), 2cms dilation and baby's head also fully engaged (can't palpate at all........) on gas and air which helps, contractions still coming on fast and getting even longer and more painful!

VE four hrs later and nothing had changed. nothing. MW very negative about this - calls main hospital again. suggest pethidine to let me sleep. so pissed off i go home again where contractions die down.

now in complete limbo with lost of discomfort and no idea what my body is up to...sigh.

PeasPlease Mon 06-Dec-10 08:30:27

I would try to rest and relax and stay at home as long as you can, but if you are worried about staying at home without medical attention this might make you more tense and work against you confused

I have a history of contractions stopping when the sun comes up and restarting the next night so I know how you are feeling now.

With my twin labour having my waters broken brought the contractions back big time, has this been suggested or is it not possible?

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 08:36:42

thanks for the reply peas - at the moment i think they are treating this as 'latent' phase labour so not doing much about it, despite all the pain etc! they did say if the contractions start up again to go back in...but tbh i'm happier at home where i can just get on with things. no suggestion of breaking waters but i am only 38+2 so i imagine they're leaving things to hang on for a bit. i'm just frustrated and feeling like a bit of a 'fraud'! as you say, trying to keep relaxed and rested (easier said than done! grin)

PeasPlease Mon 06-Dec-10 08:43:27

Well, even though you are 38+2 it sounds as if your body is going into labour doesn't it? I can kind of see pros and cons for having pethidine. On one hand it might be the only chance you have to have a rest but on the other, I can't really imagine a 'normal' active labor happening once you have had it, although I'm sure it can happen.

Ina May Gaskin suggests wine (or vodka cooler whatever that is) in the bath for stopping contractions in the latent phase. I doubt the NHS endorses such advice though!

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 08:53:02

haha! ironically enough after getting home last night i figured if they were ready to dose me up on pethidine i might as well have a glass of wine! prob why i slept so well. it does seem as if i am in labour (of sorts) but its just taking its time. suppose from here on in its a waiting game...the registra at the hospital suggested the pethidine to 'relax' me as this might help the cervix continue (haha) to dilate.....think that's why i'm so keen to be at home where there's no 'pressure' and i can contract or not to my hearts content. apart from anything else the VEs were not a pleasant experience and the MW who did the second one yesterday was particuarly vicious. DH lay in bed last night and commented how women are 'treated like bits of meat' esp. our lady bits, by the NHS. i was quite suprised but had to agree!

PeasPlease Mon 06-Dec-10 09:38:12

Before having kids I though my waters would break and I would speed in an ambulance to hospital to push out a baby. Real life labour is a lot more boring and anxious isn't it!

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 11:03:06

Before having kids I though my waters would break and I would speed in an ambulance to hospital to push out a baby. Real life labour is a lot more boring and anxious isn't it!

too true!!!

tiokiko Mon 06-Dec-10 13:30:02

I feel for you - I had slow/latent labour for 3 days at home before going to hosp (but it felt like a lot longer than that!). Kept calling hosp but they wouldn't let me come in.

A cheery MW told me that it can be like that for 2 weeks sometimes shock - not what I wanted to hear really, but on the other hand it did reassure me that nothing was wrong.

If it's any consolation I think that possibly the slow build-up might have helped when active labour actually got going. It wasn't much fun for those days and I couldn't really sleep, but in terms of pain it didn't get any worse than the contractions I had at home (just more frequent).

I put on my TENS machine right at the start and kept it on right to the end, apart from when I was in the bath at home (which was a lot). I found that the bath really helped relax me and I could doze there at least which I couldn't really do in bed or on the sofa as I was uncomfortable.

I was really worried about being so tired that it would all go pear-shaped once I was in hospital, but I was OK. The tiredness really hit me when I came home and realised I hadn't actually slept properly for 5 days, crashed out for about 3hrs and felt great after though.

Try to see this as something positive. I know it's horrible being uncertain about whether things are getting underway or not but if you think of it as your body starting to limber up then it might help.

Get as comfy as you can, have baths, take paracetamol (I think?), eat anything you feel like and just relax as much as poss. Use a TENS if you have one/feel like it (I think mine really helped).

Good luck, hope it doesn't stay like this for too long!

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 17:53:57

tiokiko - a very reassuring post, thank you! am trying to do as much as 'normally' as possible to keep my mind off things. i wouldn't mind so much but with a fully engaged baby in my pelvis i'm finding i'm in quite a lot of pain and discomfort - not a thrilling place to be for any length of time!!! the bath is my saviour - and the DH is great at a back rub which helps a lot. i am resigned to the fact that i might be like this for some time, but really hoping something happens in the next 48hrs or so....!

misdee Mon 06-Dec-10 18:10:13

Have been like this for the few weeks. Between 2am and 5am is when thingd kck off for me, but so far have managed to get back to sleep each time so am staying put. I had about 2 weeks of this with my 4th so am bracing to be in for the long haul. I hit 37 weeks this week.

PeasPlease Mon 06-Dec-10 19:04:06

Does being on hands and knees help much?

misdee Mon 06-Dec-10 19:09:09

When it gets too much I either squat to relive the pressure on my hips or just rest up and watch trashy tv. I am going on the basis that until I can't talk or sleep through the tightenings that its just practise.

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 19:19:16

i find the most comfortable place when the contractions are bad is on the loo! i'm finding the pressure on my bladder/bum makes sitting down quite difficult!

tiokiko Mon 06-Dec-10 19:22:11

Do you have a birth/gym ball?

I found it was just about the only comfortable way to sit during those few days, and it might help move things along with the aid of gravity!

mololoko Mon 06-Dec-10 20:13:48

I had this for 5 days with DD and still had a homebirth at the end of it. For what it's worth, I did have a shot of pethidine on day 5 to help me get a couple of hours sleep as I was hallucinating, but it was rubbish. I was getting 3 minute apart contractions for the last 24 hours and I think it's only when they broke my waters it finally got things going.

I wish I'd known how common it was beforehand!

It's exhausting but not abnormal, so do try and get as much rest as you can. Good luck!

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 20:37:35

i'm so glad i don't seem to be the only person suffering/to have suffered this!!! mololoko i had no idea this could happen and the MWs haven't been that helpful in giving me info about it either.

today has been nice and quiet but contractions making their presence known again - sigh. day three of this as we speak, i'm just keeping everything crossed (or not for that matter wink)that maybe tomorrow will bring something more 'active'...

Nagoo Mon 06-Dec-10 21:03:33

Definitely not just you. I was 3cm dilated from monday to friday when I finally started proper labour and dd was born within 1 and a half hours.

The stop starting was soul destroying when there was pressure to be induced!

Nice easy labour in the end though, so the job was getting done slowly, and the 'active' part was good and quick.

I did manage to sleep though. I'd do whatever you can to get some sleep.

rudbekia Mon 06-Dec-10 21:15:37

i'm liking the sound of the nice quick active labour bit....this seems to be a running theme! makes this whole thing seem more positive (although i had a full-on emotional break down yesterday at the hospital after goodness knows how long of contractions and no progress.....generally very emotional right now. i blame the hormones.)

misdee Mon 06-Dec-10 21:50:28

it def does help.

my quickest was 1hr 45mins with dd2.

with dd4, i had weeks of this as mentioned. i woke up just as my waters leaked slightly, and was awake through the whole build-up of contractions, but actually dozed on the sofa towards the end of the labour, and woke up just in time to start pushing. was just over 4hrs start to finish with dd4.

izpie Tue 07-Dec-10 02:40:01

I'm sitting here (2.30am) with painful contractions and bloody show but no regularity - they started around 6pm and are anything from 6-20 mins apart and differing strengths from really ouch to twinges - fabulous to have found this thread which makes me feel a little less insane. Could really do with some sleep though, just about doze off only to get jolted awake by another contraction - sigh, lying down seems more painful than sitting up too.

Am due in hospital at 7am in the morning for induction, would love some sleep before then and hope active phase is short and sweet for me too.

Good luck

Marjee Tue 07-Dec-10 03:46:13

Good luck izpie, it sounds like you might not need that induction after all!

I hope things get moving for you soon rudbekia, this will all be so worth it when you're holding your little baby smile

rudbekia Tue 07-Dec-10 04:05:08

ooo! izpie that sounds both annoying but really positive.....fingers crossed.

its 4am and i'm awake, in lots of discomfort and feeling rougher than a badger's bottom. baby feels like its trying to push its way out so my bladder/groin/bum/back and legs are all twinging - and contractions gearing up again. not holding out too much hope tho sad

thanks for the thoughts marjee!

TruthSweet Tue 07-Dec-10 21:06:44

tiokiko - I went into labour with DD3 on 21st Sept and she was born on 11th October. It can happen and it isn't well known and it sucks.

rudbekia - I spent lots of time on my birth ball interspersed with walking, hot showers, hot baths, sleeping on left side, all fours rocking, labour dancing and back rubs. You may find some more information if you look up pro-dromal labour (this is the US name for latent labour).

I had a easy labour with DD3 though in the end even if she wasn't born at home like planned - when the waters went they were mec. stained (old and new). This was probably due to the Sunday before DD3 was born I contracted every 3 mins for a min for about 4 hours and after the contractions stopped she was very active and wriggly. DD3 took 17 mins and I only needed g&a so all the prep work paid off.

I really hope you find a way to cope with the discomfort and pains (or that they bugger off until the 'proper' labour), and that your baby comes soon and easily.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 07-Dec-10 21:53:30

Hang on in there ladies! And take a read of this website warm-up labour it will really help you! {grin]

rudbekia Wed 08-Dec-10 08:08:53


brilliant article, really helped lift my spirits and make me feel less low, less of a fraud/failure etc than before. thank you so much! (hugs)

i've had another really rough night with two hours of pretty severe contractions which started with horrible back-pain. am on to day four of all this and its difficult to stay positive. the advice to rest up and keep the food going does seem the most napping during the day when i can too which will hopsfully help.

i would like this to 'end' sooner rather than later, but knowing more about this situation i find myself in really does help make it easier to cope with smile

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