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Why would I have a back labour if baby wasn't back to back?

(10 Posts)
Londonmrss Sun 31-Mar-13 10:12:38

Hello, I was just wondering if anyone might know anything about this. I won't go into the whole story (although if you're really interested it's here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/birth_announcements/a1598855-My-very-long-birth-story-I-just-need-to-write-it-down
Basically all my labour pains were in my back and were unbearable and agonising. They were regular (5 minutes apart) for 3 days so for that time, I couldn't sleep and stayed at 2cm for more than 2 days of that. The contractions didn't open my cervix until they induced contractions after more than 55 hours when I finally got to 4cm. The head didn't engage until I started pushing.

This was almost 6 months ago and I am planning to have some kind of debrief with a medical professional because I am struggling with the fact that I don't understand. Why were my contractions in my back? Why didn't they open my cervix? Why did it all go on so long? Why didn't the head engage? We have been talking about having more children in the future, but at the moment I'm not sure if I can bear to get pregnant until I understand my first labour. Has anyone experienced similar? Or does anyone know why it might have been like that?

Thanks for reading.

firawla Sun 31-Mar-13 10:26:00

baby could have turned while coming down the birth canal, but initially was back to back? my 1st labour was similiar to this. i think a few factors all contributed with mine in making it hard and the same would apply to yours - 1st baby, induced, back to back (even if not actually born looking upwards, baby could have been back to back during most of the labour and it does sound like it??)

a debrief would be a good idea if it helps you to understand and feel better.
if it helps to know, my 1st labour was very similar to what you described, the next 2 i had were much much easier/better and my 3rd was also back to back and induced but it just went so much more smoothly that time round, so it doesn't mean it will always happen like that for you

TobyLerone Sun 31-Mar-13 10:33:09

Sounds word for word like both of mine.

It still sounds like a pretty normal labour. Normal delivery, no drama or emergency, everything fine. Don't be surprised if they tell you that.

Londonmrss Sun 31-Mar-13 11:03:42

Thanks for responding. She was definitely not back to back. They were checking all the way through and she was in the perfect position. She has been head down anterior since 27 weeks. I always get period pains in my back. I wonder if my uterus is in a weird place or something.

bigkidsdidit Sun 31-Mar-13 11:06:00

my contractions were all in my back and excruciating too. I almost passed out from the pain till I had an epidural. And DS was not, at any point, back to back.

Don't know why, sorry.

TobyLerone Sun 31-Mar-13 11:27:36

Sometimes they get the position wrong. My sister was 9cm into a textbook, straightforward delivery when her waters broke, the cord prolapsed and they realised the baby was undiagnosed breech. Alarms were pulled, a midwife knelt on the bed basically holding the baby in while my sister was rushed to theatre, knocked out and delivered by EMCS.

Honestly, yours sounds very straightforward, if long and painful. Sometimes the baby's head just doesn't engage. Neither of mine did. This obviously leads to less pressure on the cervix and therefore far slower dilation.

mayhew Mon 01-Apr-13 11:21:39

It can be difficult to be sure about position. I know i get it wrong sometimes and I've been trying hard to get it right for over 20 years! And position can change from ideal to unhelpful DURING labour. Which is very annoying. It happened to me….

In early labour, where the cervix is not very dilated, its difficult, and uncomfortable for the woman, to feel the landmarks on the head that identify position on VE. And not a lot of point in trying too hard because what you are mainly looking for is whether the labour is progressing. Awkward positions often self correct with good contractions, which might need a syntocinon drip to happen.

there's a bit of a circle that goes on. An awkwardly postioned head, especially in a first labour, can lead to poor stimulation of the cervix, where it doesn't sit in it neatly, like an egg in an eggcup.It might be back to back or it might be sideways where the head is tilted to one side or anterior but not with the chin tucked under. This inhibits the cascade of hormones that should progress the labour. Labour can be slow to start anfd fitful. Contractions are often painful, irregular and do not progress labour. The cervix does not change as expected. The contractions are called "inco-ordinate" ie they happen but they are not effective in the normal way.

Non-invasive methods of dealing with this are; alternately resting and being upright and active; avoiding dehydration and low blood glucose; keeping bladder and bowel empty; pain relief as wanted. The aim is that gravity, varaitions in postion will encourage small changes in position and stronger co-ordinated contractions that will promote progress.

Sometimes, a syntocinon drip is the best option. It encourages the contractions to become co-ordinated, to open the cervix, push the baby down and rotate its head to a more helpful position.

The good news is that this scenario much more often self corrects in a second labour. The uterus "learns" in a first labour (even if it ended in cs or instrumental) and the most likely outcome is a normal vaginal birth without syntocinon.

AmandaPayntedEgg Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:08

I am not medical, but I think some women just feel contractions in their backs. There's a lot that isn't understood about the human body. Why some women get morning sickness, some HG and some nothing. Why we go into labour when we do. Even why we need to sleep isn't really fully understood.

I think you need to accept that this may be how you experience labour. It may be different next time or it may not. It's about thinking about ways to deal with it next time - whether that's early pain relief or whatever.

You do have my sympathies. I had a very similar first labour, although DD1 was back to back (but they didn't realise until the very end). It felt like being kicked in the back by a horse. Every few minutes for days on end and when everyone was telling me I wasn't even in labour yet.

With DD2 I planned for a homebirth and equipped myself with lots of coping techniques like natal hypnotherapy and positioning from spinning babies. Other people might go completely the other way and plan to ask for an early epidural. Or even start asking about an ELCS. It's about working out what can help you face the uncertainty I think. Second time round was a lot better.

lollypopsicle Tue 02-Apr-13 11:45:24

I felt my contractions in my back too. Baby was not back to back. The pain was strong and contractions intense but labour was relatively quick at 6hrs. Since giving birth I find I now get bad sometimes unbearable and contraction like period pains in my back.
As others have said, some women feel contractions in their back. I believed it to be normal from what I'd read/been told.

learnermummy Tue 02-Apr-13 16:17:43

My first was back to back and the pains were obviously strong in my back. Epidural was the only way. Second was not back to back so was confused when labour started with back pains. He was not back to back and delivered quickly at home but the pains in my back were the same as before, just not as strong.

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