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Continous pain in labour

(28 Posts)
Bravada Tue 07-Jun-16 11:00:26

When preparing for labour, I was under the impression that you had a contraction, and then it stopped, and no pain at all until the next contraction. OK, like interval training, I thought, and that was what I prepared for. We practiced counting down the contractions and things like that.

In the beginning hours of labour, that's what it was like, but after a certain point, I just had continuous pain, all the time. I think, for the last 10 hours or something like that, with no relief. There was certainly a crescendo of crushing pain during the contractions but there was also a continuous agony, like someone was trying to pull my hips apart like a wishbone. It was torture. Sometimes I didn't really know when I was having a contraction and when I wasn't, I was in so much pain.

Afterwards, when I was a gibbering, traumatised wreck, the midwives said my labour was 'textbook'. Does everyone have continuous pain like this? (And if so, I am now left wondering, why are we not told about this?)

locomomma Wed 08-Jun-16 13:21:14

That sounds awful! You poor thing. On my first, I had to be put on an oxytocin drip for the last cm, and it just felt like a continuous non stop pain for hours. I had had epidural but it totally stopped working. When it came to pushing, I couldn't distinguish when it was time to push as it was all agony. Then after my placenta didn't deliver so had MROP. I think my uterus gave up by then. I could barely think about the experience without getting upset. I blame epidural but never really got a full medical explanation. I had a subsequent induction on DC2 with no epidural just gas /air. I found contractions clearly came and went and while thing was totally manageable.

Diddlydokey Wed 08-Jun-16 13:24:30

I think this can happen when you're stressed and tense up anticipating the next contraction that's going to come.

It's not how I remember it but it was a few years ago and the hormones have likely done a number on me. I remember my contractions coming and going all the way through and although they got very close together there was definitely a moment to try and breathe in between

SleepyRoo Wed 08-Jun-16 13:25:56

I has a labour with no drugs and definitely experienced pain-free gaps between contractions, all the way to the final moment of exit. So no, I'm afraid your labour sounds different to that. Sometimes midwives don't really listen to what a woman is saying about her experience, it's a shame.

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Wed 08-Jun-16 13:27:56

I had continuous pain with both mine. Both were back to back. I think that is relevant

Pootles2010 Wed 08-Jun-16 13:34:23

My immediate thought was back to back, but if midwives said it was textbook, then surely not?

I was extremely tense, freaked out, did everything wrong and still got a break in between contractions, so i wouldn't have thought it was that.

Doesn't sound normal, especially for 10 hours! You poor thing.

Hawkmoth Wed 08-Jun-16 13:38:07

That sounds so horrible, I feel for you.

I had an unattended home birth in about an hour and even that had gaps in the pain, which was handy for apologising to DH and the emergency call handler for all the swearing.

thrillhouse Wed 08-Jun-16 13:45:13

I had constant back pain at one point. Being in water helped. It kicked in after I'd been having constructions for about 60 hours. I don't know if it was the angle that DD was at or if it was from tensing at each contraction but I could barely sit or lie down from it.

I don't know if it's normal but it was horrible.

Lbee123 Wed 08-Jun-16 14:13:24

I had constant back pain with erratic tightenings but I had 2 lots of prostin (?) gel to induce me so not sure if that was the cause of my constant pain. It's definitely put me off having another, even more so if that's just how I labour and nothing to do with the gel.

AliceInHinterland Wed 08-Jun-16 14:33:37

My experience was regular contractions, regular pain-free intervals. I got a couple of contractions that were one after the other and that was bad enough for me. I knew four breaths got me through a contraction and when it was still going at the fourth breath I was furious! By the end I was sleeping between contractions. I have absolutely no idea how you got through ten hours solid of that but midwives are used to people saying they are in agony and from their point of view I guess the key thing is that you are progressing and both not in danger - maybe why they said textbook? It sounds bloody awful.

Fairylea Wed 08-Jun-16 14:38:53

I had continuous pain with my first baby. The whole thing went on for 3 days start to finish and in the end I had an epidural and that went wrong so I had no pain relief at all! It was horrendous. I never had the stop start contraction thing at all.

With second baby I had an elective section. Much better! Even recovery was better.

Maybenot321 Wed 08-Jun-16 14:47:57

My labours were exactly like yours OP. Both back to back and forceps, no epidural just local anaesthesia in my nether regionsshock.
That pain was like nothing I'd ever experienced before or since, and to make it worse I vomited constantly both times until the babies were out.
On the plus side the pain went away as soon as delivery was complete and the babies+ I were ok.
I eventually did it again anyway! But was much more realistic about childbirth the second time.

AWhistlingWoman Wed 08-Jun-16 14:49:22

I had this in my second labour. I don't know if it is related but it was an induction. Also with just the prostin gel like Lbee. I was taking so much gas and air that I was completely out of it, just jabbering nonsense according to DH and screamed myself hoarse! Not much fun and my heart goes out to you. I endured four hours and cannot imagine ten.
My first and third labours were nothing like this and both had definite gaps between contractions. I found this much easier to deal with, so much so that I never made it to hospital with my most recent baby. The pain was so manageable by comparison that she arrived whilst I was waiting for DH to come back from the school run. No pain relief at all. I think that labours 1 and 3 were more 'normal' but I don't know what happened in 2!

LastFirstEverything Wed 08-Jun-16 14:51:40

I had this OP. I was very surprised, as having got the distinct impression that there would be breaks in the pain- from watching videos of women in labour, general info from friends and from what I learnt in childbirth prep classes.

The pain was constant and awful for about 15 hours, and then I finally got an epidural (because I then needed an oxytocin drip to speed things up) and the relief was, thank God, amazing. Ended up with an emcs about 9 hours later.

It was very painful, and like you I was surprised at the relentlessness of it.

Maybenot321 Wed 08-Jun-16 15:11:54

I wondered if it was a conspiracy of silence at the time🤐!

MyBreadIsEggy Wed 08-Jun-16 15:17:00

I was induced - and it was a very very fast induction. I dilated from 2cm to 10cm in just over an hour. I had no break between contractions whatsoever sad But my labour was only 3hrs from start to finish, so I can't complain!

hopeful31yrs Wed 08-Jun-16 15:17:54

Back to back labour here - only had active labour for 4 hrs before getting to fully dilated but boy were the contractions erratic - I went from something like 20 mins apart to 30s apart and so by the time one was easing off the next started. Almost constant pain but it was short thank goodness. DD then got stuck and ended up forceps after 2 hrs of no progress.

Hidingtonothing Wed 08-Jun-16 15:18:05

Mine was continuous but DD was back to back although I didn't realise that until DH mentioned months later that she came out face up. I was utterly traumatised by my labour, like you I expected breaks in the pain and was terrified something was badly wrong when there were none. I literally couldn't move or speak it was so bad and ended up doing the whole thing on no pain relief whatsoever because I just felt so paralysed by the pain and the shock of it being so relentless I couldn't ask for any. It didn't help that the MW kept shouting at me to push with my contractions but I had no idea when they were happening and she wasn't telling me despite me being hooked up to a monitor. It does leave you traumatised OP because it isn't how it 'normally' happens and it's nothing like we expected labour to be.

Dixiechick17 Wed 08-Jun-16 23:15:08

I had pain free breaks in between and regular contractions from start to finish. I was another one to vomit throughout... but textbook labour really and just under six hours, I applaud you for doing it for ten hours with back to back contractions, I don't think I would have coped!

houseeveryweekend Wed 08-Jun-16 23:20:41

Yes i had no break in between contractions until the pushing stage during which i had an epidural so i only assume there was a break in contractions as the midwife was telling me when they were happening. It was alot different to how it was described and what i expected. It was like constant wringing of my intestines thats the closest i could describe it as, like awful food poisening but 100 times more intense. So there was churning but no gap at all.

MrsBungle Wed 08-Jun-16 23:22:28

My first birth was continuously painful. Baby was back to back. Second birth was not back to back and there was no pain between contractions and it only lasted an hour.

ShowOfHands Wed 08-Jun-16 23:26:48

Yes. Same here. 31hrs and 38hrs respectively. Both back to back moving to OT. First in particular was a continuous agony. It was everywhere. My hair hurt. I had two emcs in the end. Consultant said the continuous pain was the poor positions.

It was NOT because I was tense.

neolara Wed 08-Jun-16 23:29:00

My first labour was like this. I think she was back to back. I was amazed when I had gaps between contractions in my second labour. My third was only 30 mins from first twinge to baby but that included a 20 mins contraction at full strength with no let up at all. Sore!

OhTheRoses Wed 08-Jun-16 23:36:33

NFirst labour was back to back and yes a continuous wall of pain except midwife kept telling me not to make a fuss because I was less than a cm dilated and if I couldn't cope with that I 'd be a horror later. Ha bloody ha. Hours later I got an epidural and cried I to the anaesthetists shirt. Then the baby's heart beat kept disappearing and the midwife said the belt was slipping. Not a problem ha ha. Third ti.e DH opened the door and said he wanted a doctor in there and wanted one now. Senior midwife arrived rook one look and hit emergency button. Rom filled I was hailed onto a birthing cushion, registrar took one look Sai this baby's posterior, cord round neck. Baby too far out for a section. Midwife had to cut cord before he was born. Registrar gave me two pushes while he got forceps ready. I will never know how I got that baby out, I think it was glinting steel bit I burst a blood vessel in my eye. Baby was very very blue and took a long time to resuscitate. It was very tense in that room. It was a total shambles. Thank goodness that baby is now 21. Chelsea and Westminster did not cover itself in glory that night. It was a shambolic mess of incompetency and right on midwifery.

OP ask for a formal debriefing and get a copy of your birth notes. Because we got a live baby and escaped an instrumental delivery I didn't realise until dd was born how traumatic it was although I was traumatised bit couldn't quite put my finger on it. With hindsight it was the matter of fact incompetence and unkindness that summed it up. I don't think there was any ackowledgement it was a less than optimum experience but if it hadn't been for my dh, our son might have died.

pinguina16 Thu 09-Jun-16 11:52:26

I'm probably not bringing much to the conversation but just wanted to say that in my view antenatal classes are not fit for purpose. They don't give realistic scenarios of how birth can unfold (this forum is so much more informative). They mainly omit to tell you how vulnerable you're going to be.

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