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If you failed to dilate the first time, what happened next time?

(24 Posts)
JackOLANTERNstini Mon 27-Oct-08 16:30:53

Never got past 2cm with dd, she was between 9-20 days (depending on whose dates!) overdue at this point.
Had hind waters broken as forewaters started dripping after sweep, full of meconium.
Had prostaglandin - nothing. Hooked up to max dose syntocin for 12 hours - nothing.
Eventually had an emcs when they saw problems with dd's hb on second day of induction. mw said she must have been in meconium at least a week as she was so poo-stained, (had to blood test her for jaundice as she was bright yellow bless her, it took us a week until it started to come off!)
Anyway am due again in another 7 weeks so have to make the decision whether to go for an elective cs, or try naturally again.
What noone seems to be able to tell me is how common it is that failure to dilate repeats itself.
So... if it happened to you first time - what happened next time?
PS - timing does not work great either - if I do pick natural they have said I need to give it until 41 weeks before they will book me in for a cs so will be in hosp prob Christmas without dh & 2.7 dd sad

JackOLANTERNstini Mon 27-Oct-08 17:35:02


Sycupatree Mon 27-Oct-08 17:42:21

Hi JackO - You're story reminds me very much of mine. In fact, almost to the letter. I was in hospital a week before I ended up with a crash section.

I'm sorry to say I ended up with another section this time round, but elective ( I desperately wanted a vbac). In hindsight it was the best thing as I had abnormal volume of fluid and also another very big baby (10lbs 2 oz).

Did you ever get any reason for the failure to dilate? I pretty much know that it was because DD was too tangled up in the cord to descend properly and put any pressure on the cervix. She was also a big babe at 9lbs 9oz.

All I can say is that looking back, the elective was no bad thing, but I only had it 2 days before I was due as I was hanging on to the last minute for a scan to see if DS was as big as they seemed to think he was.

JackOLANTERNstini Mon 27-Oct-08 17:47:07

Thanks for replying Sycup.
No - I never got a reason for the failure - will ask though. I did have a higher than average amount of fluid and dd was 8lb 9oz so not huge but bigger than average. (considering dh and I are both on the weeny side!)
Am seeing the consultant on the 13th so if anyone has any good questions for me to ask it would be much appreciated!

Sycupatree Mon 27-Oct-08 17:59:09

I think you should just ask, based on their notes, what they imagine the problem may have been. At least, I suppose, mine made sense in light of the absolute tangle DD was in.

I think it's highly unlikely your body just can't do it - there would have been additional factors - I am no medical expert but clearly there was some foetal distress that they haven't been able to account for - perhaps she was in a not so great position, as per my DD that just was preventing her descending.

See if your notes give an indication of how many 5ths her head was descended before you due date for eg (my DD never really got down more than 3/5). How "ripe" was your cervix? Did you have several of those agonising internal examinations? Was the cervix posterior up until induction - or where there more promising signs?

See if you can build a picture with the consultant via the notes as to what (didn't) happen, then you may be in a better position to make a judgement call this time around. smile

needmorecoffee Mon 27-Oct-08 18:02:43

didn't dilate at all with number 1 despite 24 hours of hard contractions so ended up with CS. CS for numbers 2 and 3. Vbac for number 4, dilated within 6 hours and pushed her out in 30 mins.

Sycupatree Mon 27-Oct-08 18:05:29

That's an incredible story needmore...I need to know what brilliant consultant supported you with your vbac after 3 sections. They deserve some kind of consultant of the year award. That's amazing smile

needmorecoffee Mon 27-Oct-08 18:23:51

none of them did. The consultant was deeply unpleasant so I never saw her again and had a homebirth. The NHS midwives were pretty horrible and unsupportive too. But 2 had to come to the birth anyhow.

Sycupatree Tue 28-Oct-08 11:03:39

Then that is even more amazing needmore.

I'm genuinely interested in how you avoided the pressure to go for another section.

Not sure I'll go for baby no 3 yet, but if I did, I just feel I would be hitting such a wall of opposition after two sections. I was made to feel I was putting my DS in danger by not going for the elective this time round - so I did.

I don't regret it as much as I thought I would before, but I'm still hankering for that natural birth experience...

babymt Tue 28-Oct-08 13:08:31


I had a similar first birth. My hind waters went on the thurs. On the sat I was admitted to hospital and given a pessary. Meconuim staining on sunday morning then I was finally taken up to labour ward for synto drip. 10 hours later I was only at 3cm and was given an emcs (2 hours later!!!) for failed induction, failure to progres and fetal distress. It was a horrendous experience and I suffer PTSD from it.

I had a huge issue trying to decide between having a vbac or a elcs the 2nd time round. In the end my dd2 was born at 40+10 (40+28 by lmp), I had a long latent phase but established labour was 2.5 + 1 hour pushing (ending in ventouse).

I was sooooooo surprised she came so quickly. Especially as I was (and still do) viewing it as my first real birth. And she was 2lbs heavier than my first.

I've had the midwives joking they'll need to put their foot on it to get to me this time. I've come full circle from the woman begging for an elcs for being so overdue to having a home water birth with an IM next time.

The 2 experiences couldn't have been further apart. I really do believe that being in hospital meant I didn't dilate. It wasn't natural. All the intervention was just pushing me down that road towards a cs. I can't see how I could ever have ended up having a natural birth after all of that. The 2nd time around I wanted it as natural as possible and refused any form of induction including them breaking my waters. I'm so glad I stuck to my guns. It was the greatest acheivement of my life...still is!

lisasimpson Tue 28-Oct-08 13:17:35

failed to get past 8 cms after much intervention first time (but he was back to back) and ended up with an emcs but 2nd time dilated fully in average time - he didn't want to come out either and due to hb and meconium problems ended up with a crash section.

JackOLANTERNstini Tue 28-Oct-08 18:52:43

Wow what a fab story needmore - just shows what you can do with determination! You have much admiration from me.
You too babymt - and I am so glad you got the experience you wanted. One query, did you have any monitoring to check baby was ok at that late stage or did you just know? I am worried about not being in hosp as dd's hb deteriorated so fast the emcs saved her. (not sure if that was due to the meconium?) but these stories are all making me think of good questions to ask consultant so thank you. I really feel I don't know enough about my last birth sad
Sycup - I never got more that 3/5 and cervix was not ripe. My cervix was posterior in hospital but no idea if it was before blush - ouch yes, the internals were a killer!! I had to have gas and air for the last one before they did cs!
Lisa - what a nightmare, you must have been so relieved when they were out and safe in your arms.
Decisions, decisions.... really want to go into labour at 38 weeks and have the choice removed

Joeymac Tue 28-Oct-08 21:41:14

Hi Jacko
Had a long labour with DS1 (40 weeks+6)- 50 hours with synto in the last couple of hours as not past 4cm - did nothing and so finally emcs - quite traumatised afterwards and believed my body just couldn't do it - put it down to a notion that I had a small pelvis.

Saw consultant for DS2 at 34 weeks to book date for planned section and he pointed out it was unconfirmed if I had a small pelvis but maybe cos DS1 was back to back that's why I never got beyond 4cm and it all took so long.

Decided on VBAC at 36 weeks and spent a long time on a birthing ball infront of telly to get him into the right position.

At 39+3 I went from waters breaking to baby out in 7 hours flat! When examined 3 hours on from waters breaking I was already 8cm and I kind of panicked as I was mentally prepared for the long haul and another emcs - not a fast vaginal delivery (I know it sounds mad - why did I put myself up for a VBAC if that's what I believed but I like a challenge). Anyway I just remember being so amazed that I'd got to 8cm and kept shouting 'I've beat my PB' to my hubby. Got some diamorphine then and took about 3 hours to do the last 2cm and then about 40 mins of pushing. It's 11 weeks ago now but I still can't believe my body managed it. So glad with my decision to go for VBAC as it was such a positive birth experience compared to my first - I'm still on a high from it!

JackOLANTERNstini Tue 28-Oct-08 22:38:28

That's a great outcome Joey - well done & congratulations smile
Think I definitely need to find out a bit more as to why my body didn't work last time and how likely it is to happen again.
Will make sure they don't push me into making a decision before I have the answers I need.

booksgalore Wed 29-Oct-08 07:59:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lulumama Wed 29-Oct-08 08:07:13

quick response:
i failed to progress first time, due IMO to an indcution done too early, with a low bishops score, my entire labour was medicated and immobile...

i got to and remained at 2-3 cm and had an em c.s

second time round, i had a longish latent stage, and with supportive and knowledgeable birth partners, was able to stay active and upright, and then went from 3 - 10 in 2 hours 15 and pushed baby out in 30 minutes

i did a lot of research and knew the things i could do to help myself have a better chance of a VB

JackOLANTERNstini Wed 29-Oct-08 10:48:36

Hi Books - sounds very similar to mine - I hardly had any contractions at all (3 in 12 hours iirc). I have also been told they won't induce in case of scar rupture (plus they reminded me it did sweet fa last time!)
Am going to do everything possible to try and get this one started early so will be bouncing on ball eating chillis and pineapple and drinking raspberry leaf tea during sex I think!
Lulu, that's really interesting. Where did you do your research?
I am really torn between not wanting to go too overdue or risk baby's health but wondering if I can manage a vbac!

JackOLANTERNstini Sun 02-Nov-08 15:02:00

Just checking for any more experiences from the weekend lot...?

melpomene Sun 02-Nov-08 15:21:28

My dd1's birth was similar to the OP's dd; I had about 9 hours of contractions(mostly lying down strapped to monitors) but only got to 3cm and dd1 was in distress so I had an emergency CS and she was covered in meconium.

Second time round, I tried for a VBAC and made an effort to keep mobile during labour and relax more. The contractions felt very strong (at one point, I wondered if I was going into transition), so I was disappointed when the mw told me I was only 1 cm dilated (can laugh about it in retrospect though!). It never got beyond that, despite having long contractions every 3 minutes. After 10 hours of contractions it was another CS.

However, even though my 2 labours & births progressed (or failed to progress!) in a similar way, they felt very different. When dd1 was born I was terrified while having the CS and I can't remember much about first meeting dd1 Second time round I felt much more in control, even though I was in a lot of pain. I had a better idea of what to expect, and I have happy memories of meeting dd2 for the first time.

I'm still glad that I tried for a VBAC. My attitude was 'hope for the best and prepare for the worst' (not that an emergency CS is really 'the worst', but I hope you see what I mean). If I hadn't tried for a VBAC I would always have wondered whether we could have managed it.

Best of luck!

lulumama Sun 02-Nov-08 16:47:17

i read a lot, and looked up research on the internet.. this was before i was a member of MN! it just kept coming back to a few simple things:

being active, upright, mobile and as far as possible unmedicated. having informed supportive birth partners who knew how important a VB was for me and could support me ( which was necessary when the MW who first examined me said i was one of those women who does not dilate, and was going to phone my obs to get m ein for a c.section!! )

in the end i had a small dose of pethidine and lots of gas and air for the first stage.. was a very positive and empowering experience

i am convinced that my first induced labour was doomed from the get go, my bishops score was 5, i was immobile in a bed for the entire labour, had diamorphine and an epidural at 2 -3 cm and labour did not progress further

bracingair Sun 02-Nov-08 17:08:09

MY dc1 was an emcs very similar to you and DC2 was a succesful vbac.

I got to 41 1/2 weeks when my waters went - like the first with no contractions. I didnt realize but a scan on Tues showed they had gone. An elecetive cs was deemed necessary but there was no room till Thursday. Wed at midnight I hobbled into hospital with contractions and had dc2 at 14.00. When the midwife said i was dilated till 10 i cried with relief that my body 'could do it' (last time i wouldnt dilate past 4 despite heavy contractions for 20 hours)

Good luck

Jackstini Sun 02-Nov-08 19:59:25

Thanks Mel - that seems a good point of view!
Lulu, I was also fairly strapped up and immobile - sure that did not help gravity help me!
Bracing, thanks for your success story smile

DefNotYummyMummy Sun 02-Nov-08 22:10:10

First time got to 2cm's. Emergency c-section after failure to progress and the baby was in distress.
Second time gave birth 4.5 hours after arriving at hospital (I was 2cm on arrival which really pissed me off as I was in so much pain I thought I must be 7 at least ! But all happened very quickly in the end).

Good luck.

Jackstini Mon 03-Nov-08 08:24:42

Thanks YM
Did anyone get given a reason for their not dilating?

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