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2nd baby but 1st labour - should i expect a long one?

(5 Posts)
omama Fri 17-May-13 20:26:49

Ds was breech & delivered at 39+4 by ELCS. I hadnt had even so much as a twinge, so this time i have to face the apprehension of what labour will feel like all over again!

Anyway I keep hearing that 2nd labours can happen a lot faster since ur body has already been thru it once - but what about if, like me, 1st child was born by ELCS? Is this going to be like having a first baby i.e. expect it may take a long time?

TurquoiseTranquility Fri 17-May-13 21:44:16

Hi there, not from personal experience, but the same sort of question was asked at my parenting class. The midwife did say that the reason why consequent labours tend to be quicker than the first, is that your cervix has a "memory" (which means, once you get to about 4 cm dilated, it kind of goes, "oh I remember this" and from then on labour can progress real quick), and also because your perineum is already stretched (but that only matters at the very end anyway). So yes, if you've never given birth vaginally before, it would be like the first time.

That said, not all first labours are long anyway. I know quite a few people who were done and dusted in 2-8 hours. And mind, you won't be in pain ALL of that time. Contractions come and go, you get a bit of a breathing space in between, and when you get to about 8 cm dilated, you tend to go into a kind of a hypnotic state and lose track of time.

Best of luck anyway, and can I just say, I haven't had a C-section but I think women who go for a VBAC deserve a medal! flowers

ChangeMyHappy Sat 18-May-13 22:21:15

I had exactly your situation- section for breech DD1, and vbac for DD2.

My midwife said that although technically it was a first labour, (like you not a single contraction and no dilation with DD1) it may still be relatively quick.

When my labour started, I had contractions roughly every 4-5 minutes, but could carry on normally until about 8pm, arrived at hospital at 10.30pm to be told I was only 1.5-2 cm dilated, but intensity increased following that internal so they kept me in. Checked again at 3.30am and I was finally 4cm (my unit say you're in established labour at 4cm not 3cm) and then it all kicked off! DD2 born at 05.38am.

My delivery notes say that my total labour time (for all 3 stages) was 2hours 8 mins. I would have said it felt like the 7 hours from when things ramped up on delivery suite wink

Either way, I'd been preparing myself for a 'first labour' of 24 hours or so, and didn't get to eat any of the snacks or use any of the other things we'd packed in the labour bag!

My only mistake was staying in a night 'for a rest' (DD1 can be quite full-on) because I don't think I got a wink of sleep all day (numerous visitors for other women in my bay) or all night (if DD wasn't crying, the other baby in the bay was! I felt a bit like I'd been run over by a steam-roller and just wished I'd been in my own bed smile

Felt bloody amazed and proud that it worked out though :D


thedicewoman Sat 18-May-13 22:28:36

my first was EMCS, my second was natural and midwife described it as a classic first time birth. felt first twinges at 2330, baby born at 1515 following day. Am not sure how long so called active labor was, I was 7 cm at about 11 am.

omama Mon 20-May-13 22:00:07

thanks all. Pretty much what I expected then - eek!

I think I'm gonna try for a VBAC, but its a long while off yet, so plenty of time to build up some courage! wink

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