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Can you describe your early/latent phase?

(10 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Feb-16 06:54:54

Hi, I'm almost 35 weeks with my second DC so have been noodling around this board a while! My DS was an ELCS for breech so I've never experienced labour but am going for a VBAC this time.

What are your experiences of how bad those very first contractions are, how you dealt with them at home and at what point you called DH/got childcare for older ones/ rang hospital to come in etc. It seems like a hard judgement to make when you've never done it before and I think my worst fear is turning up at the hospital too early and either being sent back home or having to hang around for days waiting for a midwife to believe I'm 'ready' to be examined (after reading a few too many stories on here of people being ignored/disbelieved!!)

Our hospital is about half an hour drive away and parking is impossible and I want to try to get the timing just right!! TIA!

ODog Mon 22-Feb-16 12:47:08

I think everyone is different. Last time my waters broke at about midnight but no pains. Rang hospital and told to come in in the morning to be examined unless thins progressed. Had a few period type cramps on and off tat night. Went in to be examined early next morning. They confirmed waters had gone and hooked my up to a monitor which showed I was contracting irregularly. Not painful really and I could talk/walk through them and didn't need pain relief. Sent home and told to come back next morning if no progress for induction. Went home and had the same cramps all day until about 10pm when things really went up a notch. Had a bath and paracetamol but wasn't helping so I went in at about 1am. Baby born at 7.30am.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Feb-16 15:48:49

Wow thanks for sharing ODog. It's incredible how long things can take from the first sign to the baby actually arriving! Though good to hear that you were ok at home for so long.

So often you hear people say 'it's nothing like in films' but it's hard to imagine what the reality actually is.

Dixiechick17 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:12:45

I didn't get much of a latent phase, I had a few dull period type pains for about and hour and a half at 11.30pm which were around 8 mins apart, but they were really dull, so I thought just strong braxton hicks. My waters then started going at 1am, and I had no more period type pains. An hour after my waters started to go I got my first contraction, that bought me to my knees and they were straight away 2-3 minutes apart, got to the hospital at 3am, examined at 4am, DD born at 7.17am. So my latent phase wasn't much really.

lilac3033 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:33:50

I had very mild contractions starting at midnight that got closer together until 5am. Then they petered off, for 3 nights... It was too much to sleep but I didn't consider it enough to wake DP. had a sweep after the 3rd night and it kicked off a few hours later around 11am. I used a TENS machine and the contractions very slowly grew in strength until around 7pm, when they started to get a bit more intense. Went to hospital at 1030pm, and was checked within the hour. I was 3cm. Waters broke within an hour and by 3am I was dialated. So long stop start latent phase but active labour was quick. First baby and she was back to back.

manateeandcake Mon 22-Feb-16 19:53:26

I recently gave birth to my second dc. First time going into labour naturally, so I wasn't sure what to expect! At 40+2, we went for a walk in the morning and I was feeling a bit twinge-y so I thought something might be about to happen. I'd agreed with DH that I would take DD to a friend's 3rd birthday party in the afternoon so he could have a break, and I decided to go ahead as it was literally around the corner. Came home from the party exhausted and I just knew I had to have some time to myself. Had a bath while DH started DD's bedtime. I was having period-like cramps and didn't know whether to keep DD up so that MIL could pick her up and take her to hers as planned when the time came. But I didn't want to do that unless I was absolutely sure it was the real thing. So I held off, but almost as soon as DD was asleep I realised that I was having contractions that were still quite mild but definitely increasing in intensity and only 2-3 minutes apart. I rang the birth centre while DH rang his mum. To my surprise, the MW I spoke to said to come straight in as she could tell by my breathing it was real labour. MIL came straight over and stayed at ours; I got to the birth centre around 9pm and DS was born at 2.53am.
Good luck!

tittysprinkles Mon 22-Feb-16 21:31:47

Both times started out with backache which ramped up to full intensity contractions within an hour or so. I can honestly say that going from 0-4cm was just as painful as everything after. In fact, the latent phase was much worse because I wasn't allowed any gas and air until 4cm, only paracetamol and 30mg of codeine hmm
I had back to back labours though.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Feb-16 22:05:10

Wow such different experiences from everyone, there's really no way to know how it's going to be is there!

Thank you for sharing everyone. Dixie and lilac's experiences are one extreme to the other!!

ThePowerOfCake Mon 22-Feb-16 22:36:40

Epic post warning (sorry!)

Following a sweep at lunchtime on a Wednesday I started to have mild cramping pains. These got slowly stronger and more regular over the afternoon and evening, probably every 5 or 10 minutes. I took some paracetamol and went to bed, assuming I'd wake up in more definite labour within a few hours.

Nope! I woke up the next morning to find the pains had become pretty random. DH had started his leave so we just mooched about the house, played games and walked to the shop for icecream!

By the evening the contractions were becoming more regular and a lot more uncomfortable. I was planning a homebirth and called the midwives out at about 11pm when I had been having 3 contractions in 10 minutes for a while and was finding them more difficult to cope with.

Unfortunately the arrival of the midwives stopped my contractions pretty much dead! They examined me and said I was 2-3cm, which given that I'd been 2cm at the sweep well over 24 hours before was disappointing to say the least. They left for a while to get some rest as they expected me to need them later in the night. As soon as they had gone things started to ramp up but I kept thinking it was too soon to call them back out again. I eventually called them out some time around 2-3am, when I really couldn't cope with the pain any longer and could no longer sit or lie down during a contraction. I now realise I was probably in transition as I kept trying to run away! When they arrived they found that I was over 9cm and having the urge to push. I was pushing for quite a while, with the help of a LOT of gas and air and gave birth at 5am, around 36 hours after my first contraction.

I suppose the moral of my story is that I don't think you can guarantee timing it "right" as each labour is so different. I managed to call both too early and too late!

ThePowerOfCake Mon 22-Feb-16 22:37:15

Oh and my waters went when I was pushing!

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