Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Labour stories please

(32 Posts)
Vikkijayne2507 Wed 19-Feb-14 03:07:35

Hello I am 33 weeks pregnant today as its past midnight and cant sleep so am MNing. I was hoping you guys would share your own labour stories with me. I am fascinated about all the different types of births and when they happen. It also helps me relax a bit knowing what can happen and that there is a light at the end of this uncomfortable journey as it seems to be right now.

spritesoright Wed 19-Feb-14 03:34:03

Aw, bless you. You really do have to go in with an open mind and realising everything might not go to plan. Unfortunately I was wearing rose tinted glasses going into my first thinking if I just believed in my body I could avoid interventions and feeling a failure when I didn't.
DD1 waters broke at 39 weeks, contractions still not strong enough 24 hours later so they put me on syntocin drip. Contractions came on thick and fast and had to get an epidural. Baby got stuck on the way down and another 24 hours later was born via forceps and episiotomy.
DD2 contractions started up at 39+5 but eased off that night. Came back following night. When I got to the birth centre I was 2cm, they did a sweep and 4 hours later DD was born in the pool with gas and air only. Way better experience.
Whatever happens most important thing is healthy baby afterwards (and happy mum of course).
Best wishes!

MistletoeBUTNOwine Wed 19-Feb-14 04:07:26

Not sure when labour started really, had the backache all day 39+1, 'active labour' was 59 mins in total �� regular little pains til went to bed at about midnight, woke up 1.30am, had a bath, dp woke up at 3, got to hospital 3.30am. Water birth, gas & air plus meptid, frigging AGONY, pushed 5 mins, baby born, feeding well. Went home after lunch, that was 5 weeks ago gringrin

MistletoeBUTNOwine Wed 19-Feb-14 04:08:49

Was 8 cm when examined at hospital, DS born at 5 am shock

Sid77 Wed 19-Feb-14 05:01:04

If you're comforted by birth stories, give Ina May Gaskin's guide to childbirth a read. I read it before the birth of DS1 and found it really helpful as I had mainly heard negative stories of labour. It's full of birth stories - a little hippy at times, but still good.
My DS1 was born after 10 hour labour, at hospital with gas and air. He took some pushing and was 9 lbs 2 at 40+10. I had a small tear which needed stitches but was fine.
DS2 was 9lbs 10 at 40+1 and was born at home, at the bottom of the stairs en route to the car after a labour of 20 mins. I had a small tear again, but no stitches needed and after the midwife came to check us over, we stayed at home. It was fab! I was lucky and had two very positive experiences. Congratulation OP and good luck smile

CuppaSarah Wed 19-Feb-14 09:57:25

I went into labour in a very naive, idealistic state. I had a long latent phase with my contractions every 4-5 minutes lasting over a minute, which confused me, since they use that as an indication it's time to go to hospital, but they weren't very painful at all. Eventually I went to hospital, but was only 2cm, so i Iad a sweep and went home. My waters went an hour later, things ramped up and I popped back to hospital, still at 2cm.

By this point I had decided I really didn't want a water birth I preferred labouring on the bed. Anyway once I got to hospital, things progressed really quickly with DD born 3 hours later with a hand from vontousse. Even though it wasn't what I'd had planned, it was an amazing experience. Truth be told I slept through the entirety of active labor, so it was really manageable. I only needed G+A too, which was lovely lovely stuff.

If I could give you 1 bit of advice it would be, to just go with whatever feels right at the time.

kalidasa Wed 19-Feb-14 10:26:54

I had a truly awful pregnancy but a good birth. I was v. disabled by SPD (in a wheelchair and could barely part my legs at all, in a lot of pain all the time) and even the up-beat physio (let alone the doctors) wasn't sure I would be able to give birth naturally but actually it was FINE. Instinct totally took over and towards the end I got myself onto all fours on the bed and then kneeling up - I was so disabled that it took multiple contractions to move between each position but DH says it was amazing to watch as my body obviously knew exactly what it was doing, and in fact kneeling up was the only position they'd said might be possible for me, though I don't remember thinking that, I just remember this powerful instinct to move.

My labour was a pretty average length for a first birth I think - woken by first serious contraction in the early hours, delivered at about 6pm. Had about four or five hours of the really serious intense labour (from late morning), then a short pause and the pushing bit was actually quite quick (about 40 mins I think). I did tear moderately badly but that's mostly because DS was in the 'superman' position (arm up by his head pointing forward) which apparently is a pretty guaranteed tear. Also kneeling up makes it harder to control delivery.

I had no pain relief at all until mid-morning and then just gas and air. The G&A was fantastic to start with, less useful as things ramped up but still took the edge off. I didn't want it after transition though and pushed it away - it's such a different feeling when you are pushing, you really need to concentrate on it rather than distract yourself.

I hardly spoke at all for the entire labour (and didn't swear - DH was very disappointed!) but I did make a lot of noise (sort of moo-ing sound!) through the most intense bit. This was helpful.

I think for me what made it manageable is that I never felt frightened or out of control. Although it is very painful I found that I was in a very animal, 'in-the-moment' state (actually sort of like sex, weirdly, but with pain rather than pleasure) so I would think "oh this is very painful" and then it would stop, even if just for a few seconds, and I'd stop thinking about it, then I'd think "oh this is very painful" again but I never reached the point of thinking "it's so painful now and then it's going to be even worse over and over again agh I can't cope!!!" which I think is when you would start to panic. I don't think it was anything I did or didn't do that helped me cope in this way because I had been so focused on just surviving my terrible pregnancy (severe HG all through too) that I hadn't really prepared. I think mostly I was just lucky with the way it took me, plus I was just too excited about not being pregnant to be frightened!

One thing I would add is that although I was glad DH was there as I felt I could relax I didn't really want or need his input at all, and I certainly didn't want him touching me. I actually tried to send him away for a couple of hours when we were first at the hospital! (I heard the midwife say "just pretend you've gone and sit outside the curtain"!!). I was just really "in the zone".

Definitely read the Ina May Gaskin book. It is a bit hilariously hippy BUT has lots of detail about different labours and takes such a positive calm view of it all. I also liked the 'Birth Skills' book which is pragmatic without being too ideological.

AFergie Wed 19-Feb-14 13:42:39

My first labour was 40 hours. Slowww start, then the drip then hours of contractions, episiotomy and my son was born 8.8lb. The hardest part was waiting as long as I could to get an epidural to be brave, and when I finally couldn't take it any longer and asked for it they suddenly had back to back emergencies and it took another 4 hours to get one. NIGHTMARE.

My second labour I had prepared for hypnobirthing, water birth, had read a million birth stories was convinced I was going to 'blow the baby out' hahaha. After 12 hours of contractions every 6 minutes at home I got to the hospital at nearly 1 cm !! I was hoping id be 7 ! They checked my pulse ( which was racing) and within minutes, MW told me no water birth. 18 hours later my son was born. So 28 hours in total. And baby was back to back it was so painful. I asked for epidural as soon as I got to 4cm this time !

Labour stories vary so much from one woman to the other. Some women are still laughing at 7 cm dilated and others are in agony screaming when they are barely 2. Just go with the flow!
In the end you will have the most beautiful thing ever and all you went through won't matter for one second smile

Good luck ! x

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 19-Feb-14 13:53:33

I was in early labour for 10 days or so which was rather emotionally draining but generally not painful. It resulted in a fast active stage of labour which was better than I could have hoped for. Timings were as follows;

6pm Bloody show
9.30 contractions, 10 minutes apart but bearable (as had been happening for 10 days!)
Midnight - gave up trying to go to sleep went to get a drink and waters went
2.30am - waters confirmed by hospital. Not examined though so went home to rest and labour there.
4am - still contracting but went home and slept

Contractions stopped whilst I was asleep. Walked to shop and the walk got them going again at 1pm. Still totally bearable.

Chilled out at home watching movies, dosing and surfing t'internet whilst having many clear outs.

By 4pm contractions were 1 in 5 so called hospital who said I seemed fine and to carry on at home.
4.30 went to the toilet to see quite a lot of blood and decided that we needed to go in.
Called hospital and ward was closed as too busy.
Called other hospital and started driving. Stuck in rush hour traffic for an hour or so, arrived at 6pm. Was in a lot of pain at this point.
Examined straight away, 7cms. Progressing very quickly and no time for pain relief. G&A didn't seem to do anything.
Husband arrived back from car to be told it was time to push and sprog arrived after an hour at hospital.

It was very sore but only for 90 minutes or so. I'm pretty certain that I panicked when I saw blood and the ward was closed. I didn't have a birth plan but that wasn't what I thought might happen, hence the huge shift in pain at that point as I was no longer relaxed.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and would try to remain relaxed throughout if I did it again.

glorious Wed 19-Feb-14 20:38:03

Try smile I found it so helpful and now mine is on there.

Derbydolly Wed 19-Feb-14 23:18:07

I'm basically a total weed when it comes to pain. For my first baby I ended up having forceps without an epidural and it was awful. It put me off having another! However, I've just had my second and it was so much better. (I'm still never doing it again, though- it hurts like hell!) I think the lessons I learned the first time helped:
* the contractions do get more and more intense, but I found they still varied. When I had a really strong one, this time I wasn't panicking thinking 'god that was really bad and the next one will be worse!' Often (apart from the end) a bad one would be followed by a couple of milder ones
* have lots of 'tools' to help- a bath, visualisations, breathing. I used a load from Ju-Ju Sundin's book. Use a technique until it stops helping then try something else. The visualisation which worked for me was imagining my 'out' breath pushing down through my body and opening my cervix. It'll be different for everyone what 'tools' work- my earliest one was watching a RomCom I'd recorded from Christmas! Anything that relaxes you and calms you down!
* stay at home as loooong as you can. If (like me) you end up at the last minute on 'consultant led care' you'll be on a bed without a sniff of a pool, beanbag or whatever, so at least at home you can do whatever! Also, the car journey was a good distraction when things were getting hairy!
* rocking my pelvis side to side. Again, the organised among you may have birthing balls which I guess does the job beautifully, but I found rocking my pelvis side to side really helped with the pain.
When I got into the hospital, I was 5cm dilated and two hours later baby was out. Just gas and air and praise be, no forceps!
I'm sure second births are easier cos your body knows what it's doing and you know what to expect but I think these things did help me. I hope your labour is uncomplicated and positive, but the most important thing is that baby at the destination- it doesn't matter in the long run if the journey there was rocky or smooth! :-)

Cariad007 Thu 20-Feb-14 15:11:18

I had my baby son yesterday. I won't lie to you - the 24 hours of contractions that preceded his birth were horrid but the birth itself was wonderful. I arrived at hospital around midnight screaming for an epidural but then composed myself and had him in the pool as planned with gas and air within 90 mins and felt elated that I'd got the birth I wanted. I do have some tearing but I've been stitched up, am taking painkillers and the midwife assured me that it'll be fine in a few weeks. Apparently I have a short perineum so was lucky not to get any third of fourth degree tearing really.

I can also highly recommend the birth centre at the Whittington in North London - they are wonderful there and all the care I had was great.

kalidasa Thu 20-Feb-14 18:29:46

Wow cariad congratulations! That's really hot off the press . . .

ithoughtofitfirst Thu 20-Feb-14 18:31:16

derbydolly i second that about the contractions. Mine totally varied in intensity... even when i was nearly fully dilated some of them were very mild with the odd beast thrown in.

Mine was a textbook pool birth, 6 hours in active labour, waters went in the pool but wasn't aware of it, midwife examined me and laughed to say the baby was nearly out on his own, got back in and pushed him out. Hurt like hell but i was so spaced out on g and a it was like a dream. Can't remember delivering the placenta cause i was busy counting fingers and toes... but i did ask to look at it. It looked amazing, then i realised i was starving and had some toast.

Good times!

QuietNinjaTardis Fri 21-Feb-14 11:32:13

Ds birth wasn't great. Back to back contractions and there was meconium in my waters. Strapped to monitor at hospital. I dilated quickly though, went from 4cm to 10 in an hour but after 2 and a half hours of pushing ds was not coming out. He was dragged out with forceps after shoulder dystocia as well so bit traumatic. He's now a strapping four year old.
Dds birth was completely different. Was in latent labour for a day and then at half one in the morning contractions started to get stronger and closer together. Got to birth centre at 3.15am. Contractions painful but able to cope, got into birth pool at 3.45am and started pushing straight away, dd was born 15 minutes later grin no pain relief apart from screaming. Dh was impressed that I only swore twice though! I'm so pleased I got the birth I wanted as I'm not having anymore.
Good luck, hope all goes well for you op.

Karen1226 Sat 22-Feb-14 17:33:13

I had my first 3 weeks ago and although it was painful it's true what they say about forgetting it soon after. I did have quite a straight forward labour though. Early contractions started at 10.30am on my due date but carried on as normal(went out for coffee with friends and then did my horse). Went into local maternity unit at 7.30pm who told me to go into hospital as they were closed for deliveries. Hospital checked me at 11.30pm and I was only 2cms so sent home, half an hour after getting home my waters broke and contractions sped up, arrived back at hospital at 3.30am and delivered in birthing pool at 7.42am with just g&a. Only 3mins of pushing and tiny tear for my beautiful 7lb 11oz baby girl. X

enormouse Sat 22-Feb-14 17:46:26

I had DS2 3 weeks ago and it was fairly straightforward. I started having contractions on and off on thursday so I decided to send DS1 to his grandparents just in case. They tailed off so I spent the evening watching the IT Crowd and eventually I just went to bed. Woke up around midnight in pain and was advised to come straight in to hospital as my labour with DS1 was pretty fast. Got to the Labour ward at around 2am and was found to be 4cm dilated. I went into the bath with gas and air and laboured there for a few hours till I felt ready to push. Came out of the bath and delivered DS in bed at around quarter to 6 in the morning. I had a small tear as he came out with his hand up by his face. I went home later that day. It was lovely as it was DPs birthday and DS2 and I made it home in time to celebrate it.

My Labour with DS2 was virtually identical to DS1s (same pain relief, labouring in water, similar tear, fairly quick) but shorter.

Vikkijayne2507 Sun 23-Feb-14 01:03:01

thanks guys its really interesting to read people's experiences and I will read the suggested books

TobyLerone Sun 23-Feb-14 07:04:30

DD2 was born 6 weeks ago.

My waters broke at home at 40+2, but I never progressed past 3cm in the following 24hrs, despite regular agonising contractions. 28hrs after my waters broke, they put me on the drip. I was 3cm then. I had the most fantastic mobile epidural (I could still walk, feel the contractions, go to the loo etc but it took the edge off) and 4hrs later I was fully dilated. We waited an hour or so for her head to come down by itself, until the urge to push became irresistible.
DD was born with me kneeling over the back of the bed, in about 5 easy pushes. It was great, although long (waters broke 3.30am Tues, DD born 11.30am Weds). But most of that time was just my body being generally crap at labour. I've never got past 3cm by myself.

Youcanneverhavetoomanybooks Mon 24-Feb-14 21:31:43

My dd2 is almost a week old (can't believe it!). We had a fast birth too.

Had 2 and a half hours of mild contractions every 10 mins last Monday night, but then they stopped. Had an antenatal appointment on Tuesday anyway, so went in and they gave me a sweep and said I was 2cm dilated already. Went home and had contractions all afternoon and evening, gradually getting stronger, though never unbearable - breathed through them.

Went back in at 9.30pm Tuesday night when things seemed to be getting more intense - but they examined me and said I was still only 2cms - couldn't believe it! They put me on the antenatal ward at about 10pm. Contractions getting stronger but still breatheable through - just as well as the promised gas and air never came and the cocodemal arrived too late to blunt the edge of much. At about 12.30am, suddenly had the mother of all contractions and started screaming for an epidural - and then that I had to push! They came in and said I was 9cms - whizzed me down to labour ward, barely got me on the bed and I was pushing.

Took 15 mins pushing to get her out and only a very small tear for me, but think we were both in shock (I know I was!) and they had to call the crash team to get her breathing. Thankfully, she is fine now - and totally gorgeous.

Good luck with your own birth - every one is different. DD1 was an emergency c-section 3 years ago as she was in distress and thankfully, she is fine too (if a teenager in toddler disguise!).

jennyapples Tue 25-Feb-14 10:54:07

If you find birth stories comforting you are a better person than I! LOL I was flying off the handle when people would tell me what happened to them. haha

For me, I was fortunate to have an easy pregnancy...I say fortunate because I went into labour 2 weeks overdue. I laboured at home for 24 hours, just chilling out. I mean, it hurt but it wasn't that big a deal and I was fine. Finally I thought, hmm I should go to hospital, got there and I was wellll into active labour. They couldn't believe I lasted so long at home! So I went into the birthing centre and continued labouring. Again, it hurt bt it was fine. Then, one contraction was manageable but the next was a COMPLETELY different ball game. They broke my waters and baby had done a meconium. They rushed me upstairs into the labour ward and long story short, baby had kind of wedged himself in there, hence the panic-pooping.

The labour got a bit gory after that, but mostly because I'm the extremely rare person who is almost totally resistant to anesthetics. I repeat: this is not normal, please do not worry about this. For a normal person, they'd have an epidural and continue on their merry way.

In the end they dragged him out with suction and forceps. And after all that he was top score on the APGAR scale, so a totally healthy baby, thank goodness.

Wishing you all the best xx

jennyapples Tue 25-Feb-14 10:55:00

Oh and forgot to add, from the time I first realised I was in labour to baby exitiing the premises was 36 hours to the minute. 2/3 of that were fiiiiine, though. The last third sucked. But I got a baby out of it, so yay!

marzipanned Tue 25-Feb-14 21:36:21

I gave birth to DD just over two weeks ago.

Labour started at 10pm Friday night and she was born at 9.30pm Saturday night, so 24 hours-ish, but totally manageable (and at times enjoyable) until about 6pm on the Saturday.

I went into hospital at 4cm dilated, straight into the pool and stayed there until the birth. No pain relief besides the water - I hated G&A and had forgotten to sort out tens machine hire. I dilated about 1cm per hour thereafter, so pretty textbook, and pushing was quick - 20 minutes? Though I pushed like a madwoman and this almost certainly resulted in 3rd degree tear. I wish my midwife had attempted to coach me through the pushing stage as I think I could have potentially got away with a lesser injury.

7cm to birth HURT. And I am really impressed reading about those people who used visualisations because I had practiced those but it all went out the window. All I could do was writhe and scream in the bath. I wasn't really getting a break between ctx, and when I did I was vomiting everywhere, so I didn't manage to get into that mindset of 'ahh here is a moment's relief from the pain'.

But it was exactly the birth I wanted and, although the recovery has been much more difficult than I anticipated, I do feel very lucky to have had this experience.

Vikkijayne2507 Wed 26-Feb-14 16:52:39

its amazing how different labour can be thanks all for sharing

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Wed 26-Feb-14 19:57:05

The beginning was fine. two days of contractions, no water breaking, never did know when they went. I remember thinking, wow if this is it, maybe I am going to get lucky, this is just about ok.

That was just the rev up! When I was in "established" labour it was like a different place, mentally and physically.

The pain was unlike anything I have even known. The only way I could describe the whole thing to my DH was it was like me saying to some thugs, go and beat and torture my dh until I say stop, and it goes on for hours, and gets worse and worse....and they make a melon come out his penis too....

all done supposedly on deep breaths.

I should have had an epidural but I was naive and put off one.

After, when I came to the other side, the relief of passing baby was immense. I immediately told all my friends never to have a baby normally and to not put themselves through it.

Two hours later, I was saying : "ah, it wasn't that bad...

My tip to you would be, don't panic when in labour, BUT get a really good gage of what pain relief is open to you, I was led to believe in classes and talking to community MW that Epi was part of the choice of drugs on offer

The reality is very different, so you need to find out what their reputation for them is...

Arm yourself with knowledge. Good luck.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: