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Talk to me about spontaneous labour

(22 Posts)
Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 09:42:39

So, DC1 is nearly 3, and I am 32 weeks pg with DC2. DC1 was induced after an epidural so the whole thing was pretty much pain free. Part of the reason for this was that I have a complex disability so no-one knew how I'd cope with labour. As it all went well, my consultant is recommending waiting for spontaneous labour. Which is terrifying worrying me quite a lot.

I guess what I want to know is how spontaneous labour feels when it starts. Chances are I'll be at home with DC1 and I'm worried I won't be able to look after her. But what if I'm driving? Or going up or downstairs, which is a struggle already? Would I be likely to fall?

Am probably overthinking this, and I know it's different for everyone. Just want to know if I should go along with the spontaneous labour idea or push for an early induction again confused. I'm working until 38 weeks, and oddly am less worried about that as at least if labour started there I'dbe surrounded by other people, I'm most worried about being alone or just me and DC1...

Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 11:30:28


GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 29-Dec-14 12:56:03

Mine started with fairly mild pains in my lower back (all my labour pains where in my back throughout). After about an hour I realised it was probably the start of labour. My early labour was really slow so it was manageable for around the first 12 hours (I would have been able to look after a toddler at that point). Second labours tend to be quicker though so it might be more intense from the start for you. How far away will your DP be?

Lweji Mon 29-Dec-14 13:02:35

It started slowly and it felt like period pain and in the lower back. It lasted for almost 24 hours before the waters broke and these were 12 hours before DS was actually out. But this was a first labour.
I had had a show a couple of days before the pain started.

The pain itself was fairly bearable, and it did ease in a warm bath and when leaning forward, probably because DS was facing the wrong way.

DS was born at exactly 41 weeks.

Most people report induction pain as worse than normal birth, so it's likely that you could cope with normal birth.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 29-Dec-14 13:04:29

It really isn't that dramatic for 99% of people. Almost everyone has a period of mild contractions. You wouldn't crash the car. Some people have their waters go, which is messy but no debilitating. The variation is really in how quickly they get strong -minutes, hours or

SantasFavouriteHo Mon 29-Dec-14 13:10:28

As most people said, it wasn't that fast or instantly debilitating even for my second - I had a show when I woke up about 7am, pains started like period pains slowly getting worse til ds2 born at home (planned!) about 4.30pm, was really ok honestly.
I even sent dp out for some biscuits for the midwives about 10am leaving me with ds1 for 15 minutes or so

Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 13:14:36

Thanks everyone, that makes me feel a bit better! I literally felt nothing the first time round so have no idea what a contraction feels like confused. DP is about half an hour away, but sometimes very difficult to get hold off mainly when he forgets to charge his phone. I think the consultant wants me to come straight in when labour starts so hopefully I'll be monitored quickly after that!

purplemurple1 Mon 29-Dec-14 14:34:14

My waters went and a few hours later I started getting contractions which were like very mild period pain that came in waves. I was able to continue walking around, up and down stairs etc and doing things, I just stopped for contractions. I would have been able to drive for the first hour or so but after that would have been difficult to concentrate, I think.
Obv it got more painful but I was quite far along before it became debilitating and by that point the epidural was already being put in.

Mammanat222 Mon 29-Dec-14 14:47:28

It's not like in the films?

At least not for anyone I have ever spoken to.

It starts gradually. Even if you have a fast labour you tend not to go from 0-10 with no warning whatsoever?

I wouldn't worry too much says me shitting a brick about labour number2

eddiemairswife Mon 29-Dec-14 14:51:52

I've had 4 children, and all labours started with mild period type pains moving round from my back. It always infuriates me when characters in TV dramas suddenly double over in agony when labour starts.

Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 15:26:44

That's interesting, I never made the connection to what I'd seen on tv! And on stuff like OBEM labour is always established so that doesn't help. Sounds like I should be ok though still shitting a brick like Mammanat222 smile

Pandasandmonkeys Mon 29-Dec-14 15:54:31

For me the contractions until I started pushing were manageable. Thankfully, second stage was quick and it was all over before I could really think about it! For the first few hours I looked after ds while waiting for DH to get home.

Ultracrepidarian Mon 29-Dec-14 15:57:48

I've had 4 dc. 3 born at home no pain relief, community midwives all late night births, all past their due date. Gradual build up, the pain starting in my lower back and thighs - same place I get period pain. Each labour lasted between 2-4 hrs. One dc was a transverse lie and was a little star gazer, lovely relaxed gentle births.

Dc 4 however, woke up in full established labour. No advanced twinges, nothing. I woke up in agony the day before my due date with the urge to push. Paramedics were called and I was 7cm dilated, blue lights to hospital and I only just got in the building when dc was born. Maconiam baby and all caught up in his cord. 40 minutes, from when I woke up.

No baby I've heard of has been born like that and it was a bit traumatic. Decided to stop at 4 dc as the consultant believes any further babies will come very speedily.

Not to scare any one but all deliveries are different, I was very smug with dc 4 thinking I knew how to give birth and what was going to happen. I was so wrong.

MadgeMak Mon 29-Dec-14 16:02:22

Actually it can go from 0-10 in a matter of seconds. For my second baby I woke up to full on full blown can't speak contractions 2-3 mins apart. There was no build up, or none that I'd been aware of. I'm aware this it's usual though.

MadgeMak Mon 29-Dec-14 16:03:42

*isn't usual

PolterGoose Mon 29-Dec-14 16:36:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 20:32:36

fshock Hmm, looks like fingers crossed is the way to go! fconfused

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 29-Dec-14 20:57:23

It really isn't! You are very, very unlikely to have a sudden and instantly debilitating onset of labour. You've written a thread title which will, understandably, draw people in who've had that type of experience. People are also more likely to comment if they have something interesting to say.

Also note that a few of the stories are people who woke up in established labour. Likely it took a while to ramp up but, for whatever reason, the pain wasn't intense enough to wake them. Assuming your DP is normally with you overnight, that would be a manageable situation.

The story of the evening labour,yes it started suddenly (which is very unusual), but they were 5 minutes apart for a few minutes. (see below).

My real life experience is that I probably know 30+ women who've had babies other than by planned section or induction in the last few years. I know one woman whose labour was incredibly sudden and immediately left her unable to do anything else. She has had sub-30 minute labours for all her children. I also know a couple of women who didn't make it to hospital. But that was more "is this labour. Ooooh, it's getting strong now, should we head off. Oh. Shit. It's. Coming". So in one case I'm thinking of the labour was actually about 3-4 hours. It just ramped up very fast from contractions every 10 minutes for a couple of hours to birth.

In terms of your specific questions. There is a reasonable chance that you will have niggles for a while before you get going. I had a full day of widely spaced contractions with DD2 - as in, if I was talking to an adult I stopped and took a deep breath, but if I was with DD1 I ignored it. With DS I had at least 2.5 hours before I knew things were kicking off. But if you don't and it is suddenly intense:

- if you are looking after your child, you put them in front of a DVD and put the door on the latch, and keep your mobile on you;
- if you are driving, you stop. Emergency stop if necessary. You then probably have at least a couple of minutes to drive the car into a safe position and park. Call 999;
-If you are going up or downstairs, you stop until the contraction is over and then you go downstairs.

Remember that contractions have gaps. So even if they are suddenly intesnse, you would have spaces to keep yourself safe. There is a difference between being debilitated during a contraction and utterly debilitated if you need ot do things to keep yourself safe.

You'll be fine. smile

sunnyfrostyday Mon 29-Dec-14 21:20:00

I know dozens of women with babies/children - every single one had at least an hour of managable labour before it kicked in. My sister was fast with dc2, but had time to phone my Mum and get to hospital. My friend was 3 hours from first twinge to baby, but had time to arrange childcare for her other dcs.

My first was fairly painful from the start but I could walk and talk. Second time, I was at the park and actually drove myself home.

Bearsinmotion Mon 29-Dec-14 22:02:47

Thanks penguin and sunny smile

I don't think it helps that in our NCT group we had two inductions, one EMCS, one super fast labour and one super long. I do really want to give it a go, even if it's just to get out of hospital sooner and recover quicker (and avoid an EMCS!). Just worried about DC1.

sunnyfrostyday Mon 29-Dec-14 22:35:43

Think about it this way - you naturally slow down and stay close to home towards your due date. You often feel a bit rubbish just before it kicks off (dodgy tummy, twinges etc), so the chances are you will be at home or nearby.

Do you have a friend or neighbour who could do an emergency babysit if necessary?

Lweji Mon 29-Dec-14 22:48:16

Another thing with inductions is that I know a few women for whom it didn't work and ended up having a C section.

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