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Two questions about labour?

(18 Posts)
DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:26:17

I am curious about two things. One, what exactly happens if you go into labor before the date of an ELCS?
Two, for women having a VB or women with scheduled CS who have to have VB dor some reason how long do they let you be in labor? I keep reading about women who say they were in labor for 'days'. Sheesh. Is that allowed? Can you just ask for a CS at that point? I wouldn't want to be in labor for more than 24 hoursblush

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:27:09

Also, can someone tell me if its labour or labor?!

Cheria Thu 14-Jul-11 18:29:43

Labour in the UK, labor in the US.

When I had ELCS planned they told me to go in immediately if I went into labour (not to wait for regular contractions). If they plan a CS it is for a reason and will probably want to go ahead with it if you go into labour.

The other question, I was in labour for 16 hours before they did EMCS. During your labour they monitor the fetal heartrate etc and your vitals too, and decide to operate if either of you become distressed (in the ledical sense of the word).

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:34:06

Sigh. My mum was in labor for 47 hours with mesad

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:35:37

Also, I'm talking about an ELCS purely out of choice.

Wigeon Thu 14-Jul-11 18:44:44

No one is "in labour" for 47 hours. They are having a really long early labour / pre-labour. Which isn't exactly a bundle of laughs, but isn't actual, established labour where you are having really really painful contractions.

There are various reasons that the medical professionals would suggest additional interventions if your long early labour wasn't progressing to actual labour, but this would depend on lots of factors - eg if your waters had broken, if you were getting actual contractions which were increasing in frequency and duration, you are probably closer to giving birth than if neither had happened.

If your labour wasn't progressing they might suggest breaking your waters (if they hadn't already broken spontaneously), or other ways of speeding up labour. But I doubt you could just ask for a c-section, given that's a major operation with added recovery time and various risks etc.

<prepares for ten zillion posters to say that they were in fact in actual labour for 4702340 hours>

fruitybread Thu 14-Jul-11 18:46:29

My waters broke over a week before my planned CS date, and they just did the CS earlier. I went in to hospital, they told me to come back next day (I wasn't having contractions), and then did the CS then.

I had to wait for a slot in theatre, as they had EMCS/instrumental deliveries a go go that day, but that would be the same whatever day a planned non emergency CS was scheduled for.

This was a scenario I'd discussed with my MW (going into labour before CS date), and she wrote it very clearly in my notes that I was to be given a CS if I went into labour, no 'trial of labour' etc, and she told me to get to hospital if I suspected anything was kicking off, and not to wait. From the hospital's POV, they don't want you arriving in active labour and them having to rush to fit you in somewhere. And you don't want to risk (the very small risk) of labour progressing so fast it's too late for a CS.

I think with length of labour, it seems to depend on the individual hospital, what the labouring mother wants, how she is coping with tiredness/pain etc, and most crucially, how well the baby is coping with the stress of a long labour. I've read women complain about being 'rushed' into a CS for failure to progress - I've had friends who are very angry and upset that they were allowed to labour for so long before the decison was taken to go to CS. Different expectations, different perceptions I guess.

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:47:46

Wigeon, Lolgrin
I guess I should have specified that her waters had broken. She was just dilating very slowly.

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 18:50:54

Thanks fruitybread! Which hospital was this? They sound like what I need. I'd love to have CS and "no trial of labor" written on my notes when I get Good to know it is possible.

Flisspaps Thu 14-Jul-11 18:51:16

To slightly argue with Wigeon, established 'labour' (I believe) is considered to be the point at which you are 3cm or more dilated.

It is perfectly possible to have very painful contractions before this point (as per the demonstrations of several women on OBEM)!

fruitybread Thu 14-Jul-11 19:21:04

DancingWind, it was the Heath, Cardiff.

It was quite a long route getting the CS agreed, as it was basically on mental health grounds - long story! - but I had a fantastic supportive MW and consultant MW who were just very humane, and never tried to pressure or bully me into anything I didn't want.

The consultant MW suggested writing info in my notes because neither of them could guarantee to be around if I went into labour before my CS date, and she wanted to avoid me having to get into stressy explanations of why I was having a CS, and why I didn't want to 'try' for a VB with whatever MW was on duty. Which I really appreciated.

DancingWind Thu 14-Jul-11 19:23:58

Fruitybread, sorry to go on and on with the questions, but how soon did they give you a confirmation about a CS?
I'll be asking for a CS on mental health grounds as well, so just wanted an estimate.

Wigeon Thu 14-Jul-11 19:30:09

Flisspaps - yup, agree, but surely no one is having screamy excrutiating contractions every 3 minutes for 47 hours?! So when women say "I was in labour for [insert improbably long length of time], some people (or first-timers) are a bit misled. And made unduely anxious.

Disclaimer: am still not claiming that a 47 hour pre-labour is easy / fun / relaxing etc etc.

fruitybread Thu 14-Jul-11 19:30:47

I think I was given confirmation fairly early - somewhere around 22-24 weeks IIRC (doesn't sound early, but it's a lot earlier than most CS's are sorted out).

I had been given to understand before that that it was highly likely I would get one, though. It needed a consultant to formally agree to it, after a meeting with a psychiatrist, and they did this sooner rather than later so that I could relax and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy without this awful crippling fear on my mind.

And I did enjoy it after that, I was very lucky with my pregnancy.

TrinaLuciusMalfoy Thu 14-Jul-11 22:18:33

>>coughs politely<< Excruciating full-on contractions every 4/5 minutes for 70 hours don't count as labour then? What was it, tummy ache?

FessaEst Thu 14-Jul-11 22:27:37

I had irregular contractions up to 8 mins apart from Tuesday afternoon. I didn't reach 3 cm until 10 am on the Thursday. None of my prelabour was "counted", but my goodness, it felt like labour to me! There was no way I could do anything other than focus on them, use TENS and breathe through them from Tues eve/night, and I wouldn't say there was some amazing discernable difference in pain when I reached the magic 3cm. (I do understand what you are saying though)

thursday Fri 15-Jul-11 00:18:52

i didn't really give a shit what terminology they used, i was in agonising pain for 4 days, and as i was premature (just) they said they'd leave me like that as long as possible. apart from the first 12 hours when they were building up they were the same from day 1 to 4, and were 90seconds apart when i set off to hospital after 24 hours at home. i know it's techincally 'pre-labour' but doesnt mean it hurts any less ime. i wouldnt wish it on anyone tbh but i still preferred it to my section.

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Jul-11 00:39:25

I had 2.5 minute long contractions with a 30 second break for 28 hours. It was most certainly established labour... 8hrs of that was 2nd stage though.

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