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I need the truth about labour!

(42 Posts)
mogulfield Sun 13-Aug-17 21:12:07

I had a long Labour with DS;
He was back to back and it was 44 hours from the first contraction, 16 hours of established labour ending in an EMCS under general anaesthetic because the spinal didn't work.

This time I have the choice between natural or c section.

I'm tempted to go natural as I laboured relatively calmly for 40 or so hours (hynobirthing), my body went into natural labour and I managed to 8/9 cm on my own.
But my question is, how much more painful does it get after 8-9cm?
My midwife said I'd reached transition (contractions on top of each other, could hardly cope), therefore it gets no worse.

Can anyone who has had a normal delivery tell me the truth?! If the pain had remained the same I think I could have (just about) soldiered on. Had it got worse I don't know how I'd cope!
Any advice on this or VBAC in general very welcome!

OP’s posts: |
ferriswheel Sun 13-Aug-17 21:19:17

Three babies.

1st 18 hours, hadn't a clue what I was doing. All a bit of a nightmare, support was too little too late.

2nd labour 2 hours perfect midwife. Delivery bit gruesome but would have another baby if I wasn't 41 and getting divorced if that was the experience I was guaranteed. Wonderful really, all things considered. And my D's was 9lb 10oz.

Third baby labour 13 minutes. Yes, minutes. Absolutely excruciating pain. Not one contraction after another. More like a spasm of thirteen minutes of utter terror. I was in shock for days. He's snuggled up to me as we speak!

Hope that helps.grinwine

pinkcardi Sun 13-Aug-17 21:20:40

Personally, not no more painful. Once I was pushing the pain became much more productive and therefore much more bearable. I don't remember pain when pushing.

That said, I did find labour awful and am in awe of those that remain serene throughout: I was a sweaty, swearing, shouting type smile

Second time round it was all together much better than the first time. Not sure if any of that helps, but there you are.

OlennasWimple Sun 13-Aug-17 21:22:41

Not much more pain. Crowning stings rather than hurts IYSWIM (though I didn't tear). Once I was ready to push, I felt much calmer and in control and it was relatively straightforward from there on

Shylo Sun 13-Aug-17 21:23:51

My first labour was horrendous, my second much easier ...... I agree with your midwife, after transition it was easier, even crowning wasn't as horrific as I'd read about lol

mogulfield Sun 13-Aug-17 21:24:55

13 minutes?! Surely that's some sort of record (seriously I'd get that checked!).
Good to hear second time round was much better, I figure it can't be longer than 44 hours this time.
Also reassuring to hear the pain isn't worse, I imagined this additional level of intolerable pain but it seems that's not the case 👍

OP’s posts: |
Phillpot12 Sun 13-Aug-17 21:25:00

First EMCS due to low oxygen levels and meconium. Then twins VBAC after short labour on gas and air wanted epidural but no time! Back to back is meant to bbe a really hard labour. So unless your next is baby is in the same position I imagine it would be an easier time with no 2 as you would probably also labour faster.

ScarletBegonia1234 Sun 13-Aug-17 21:25:02

I gave birth 2 weeks ago with gas and air only. For me after transition was no more painful and actuslly because you are pushing felt much more productive and easier...i found the established labour hardest as there was no 'end ' to aim for. I was in established labour for 4 hours but tbf my pushing bit was only about 10 mins which probably mad a difference too! :-)

justdontevenfuckingstart Sun 13-Aug-17 21:25:38

No one can tell you, sounds like you did a bloody amazing job.

I did 2 med free but they were short, first was monitored. Midwife said I did well as I must have been in pain. Second, one push but hurt like hell. I couldn't have gone through hours like you did.

I was 8 at arrival with the first and good to go with the second. Best wishes x

ScarletBegonia1234 Sun 13-Aug-17 21:25:57

That was after 30h+ of intense but irregular contracting though

EekThreek Sun 13-Aug-17 21:31:07

My first was 60+ hours from first contraction to delivery, 12 hours from 5cm to Baby. I was off my face on pethidine so I can't remember whether it was more painful for that last cm, but I know I just wanted it over with by that point and it was too late for any other pain relief.

My second was 12 hours from first contraction, 3 hours from waters breaking and arriving at hospital. At some point I got to about 9cm and the MW told me to push if I wanted, that last cm would get moved out of the way if I gave it some welly 😉😂

She was right! He was out in about half an hour. I think. I was slightly shell shocked at not having any time for any pain relief other than g&a, and I remember just saying 'I'm not allowed to push before 10cm, I'll just breathe through it"! DS had completely different ideas and decided he'd rather be out,thanks.

Good luck with your new arrival. I hope it's better for you this time. Mine was certainly lots easier - both in the delivery and the recovery - second time round.

Trustmeimadoggroomer17 Sun 13-Aug-17 21:37:48

One child all natural I swore to my self I would not take any medication because I read that you are more likely to have a c cection and I was terrified to have one. So I never had meds, I swear to god I will never have another child it hurt like hell! It was so painful I nearly gave in, but the pain oh my God I screamed so loud I always watched soaps and thought God I couldn't scream like that the shame. Oh I screamed so loud and so much my throat hurtm never ever ever ever again. You asked for the truth halo

QueenNefertitty Sun 13-Aug-17 21:43:05

for my one and only Labour have any pain relief (used hypnobirthing). I was actually saying to DP as we arrived on Labour ward that if "it's this bad, I can't do it without drugs" ... Someone checked me 10 mins later and I was fully dilated, so I guess that was transition talking grin

As soon as I knew I was fully dilated, I was totally totally fine. I knew the "worst" was over.

Waters broke about an hour later and DS followed 23 mins after that. Pushing wasn't painful- actually a relief, and I managed to control pushing well enough to keep my big baby from doing any damage beyond a "graze" (one stitch.)

I'd recommend reading Ina May gaskins Spiritual midwifery. I found it invaluable.

mogulfield Sun 13-Aug-17 21:44:10

I'm taking a lot of positives from this, thank you! The midwife can tell me one thing but to hear anectdotes really do help.
It seems as long as labour isn't back to back again (Il be on the exercise ball as much as humanly possible), Il be in for a much quicker labour.
It also seems transition stays consistently painful, which is very reassuring (don't get me wrong it fucking hurt), but I could tolerate it.
I like the fact you can push at 9cm! I always thought it was 10cm rigidly.

OP’s posts: |
QueenNefertitty Sun 13-Aug-17 21:44:37

Oh and my Labour was about 12 hours start to finish - all but the last two hours at home. And absolutely absolutely managed just with breathing techniques and moving around a lot.

ElizabethShaw Sun 13-Aug-17 21:46:49

I had an epidural at 8cm so the actual birth was lovely smile

mogulfield Sun 13-Aug-17 21:46:56

That book has some excellent reviews queen thank you, looks like my kind of read!

OP’s posts: |
QueenNefertitty Sun 13-Aug-17 21:52:25


It changed my pregnancy. Honestly. And it made my birth.

I'd also recommend looking on YouTube for "positive birth experience" "natural birth video" "drug free birth" "hypnobirth" "gentle birthing" etc etc - and watch as many videos of positive births as you can. I drew on the memories of women having their babies and having fun, uplifting, enjoyable (if painful) experiences a lot in earth Labour.

QueenNefertitty Sun 13-Aug-17 21:53:08

Early* Labour.

I can't say I was on this planet for my birth at all really. Or at any point since grin

LunarGirl Sun 13-Aug-17 21:57:45

First labour I was induced and the pains were on top of each other. Baby was back to back as well. Honestly thought I was going to die. I was screaming at DH "where's my two minutes apart?! Why aren't they stopping?!!". Lasted 8 hours so well done for your mammoth 44! It swore I would never have another child. 5 years later that thought went out the window and I was pregnant with DD. Contraction at 9pm, waters went at the same time. She was also back to back but the pain was much more manageable and contractions quite far apart. They really ramped up at about 4.30am, made our way to the hospital and gave birth 25 minutes later and she was out in one push grin Both labours were completely different experiences.

I'll just say, do whatever you feel more comfortable doing but I truly believe if you made it through 44 hours of back to back labour you will have no problem whatsoever with transition and pushing.

SleepFreeZone Sun 13-Aug-17 22:04:03

DS1 I was labouring for 10 hours, got to 9cm dilated and mw decided I had to go on that fucking hideous drip with no pain relief. I have never known pain like it. I was grinding my teeth on the gas and air mouthpiece as she took the rest of it away. I remember swearing a lot and acting like the Excorcist but eventually he was born and I had no lasting physical issues.

DS2 was born in hospital. I had to labour alone as we had no childcare for DS1 and DP got chucked off the ward. Luckily it was around 2 hours until he was delivered with just gas an air. I felt every single second of that labour, it was a very profound moment in my life and I remember pretty much howling to the moon as he crowned.

I'm pregnant with DC3 now and will hopefully be able to have another natural birth. I suspect it will be very quick this time as my body knows exactly what to do.

mogulfield Sun 13-Aug-17 22:11:11

lunar I have been thinking that I went through a pretty tough labour, so that mental fortitude will surely help!

I remember thinking why is it painful ALL THE TIME, not just the contractions. The midwife would ask me to do thing in between contractions and I was in so much bloody pain I couldn't (still didn't realise it was a b to b labour, oh well).

sleep it's a shame they intervened so early on, after only 10 hours. They let me go 2 days without so much as a drip 😂 Well done for giving birth alone as well!!

OP’s posts: |
LBOCS2 Sun 13-Aug-17 22:11:14

I would say that the pushing stage is a very different type of pain, personally.

Once you're seriously established then the pain doesn't change, and you've felt that - you got to 9cm! Once you get to pushing, you work with the pain. You bear down as the pains come and I felt like it was absolutely essential to do so - almost like vomiting; I couldn't have stopped myself if I'd tried. But I don't particularly remember them hurting.

Crowning is a bit stingy, mind...

badg3r Sun 13-Aug-17 22:17:16

In the pushing stage I found the pain a lot more bearable because I was actually pushing ON something instead of just contracting. It was also a different sort of pain, less achey. So I would say the bit at the end of the first stage and around the transition was worst, much worse than the second stage. Both my DC were about 5h from first contraction, 2.5h of established labour.

kel1234 Sun 13-Aug-17 22:25:22

Hi, I know what a long labour feels like. I was on early labour for 4 days, as the head wasn't fully engaged. I was due on the Sunday, I was booked in for a sweep on the Wednesday, but I started having contractions on the Tuesday. I declined the sweep as I wanted to see if things would progress naturally. They didn't, so I had a sweep at 3pm on the Friday. I went to the hospital at 9pm, and was in the birth centre by 10.
I managed the pain with nothing until 5pm after the sweep, when I used my tens machine. That was all I used for ages. I took it off to travel, then used it again when I was settled. I also used the birth ball. I had my waters broken at 3am, then I used the pool for an hour. I was physically exhausted, so I was given a pethadine injection so I could rest. (I did try a tiny bit of gas and air but it made me feel so sick). I 'woke up' at 6.45am, and gave birth at 6.58am.
For me the worst part was the crowning. The burning sensation was awful. But once the head was out it felt much better. I honestly don't think it's much worse. Though the pethadine did help take the edge off.

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