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At what point did YOU consider yourself to be formally "In labour"?

(24 Posts)
verylittlecarrot Sun 12-Jul-09 12:03:14

When your waters broke?
When your contractions were 5 minutes apart?
When somebody examined you and told you that you were X cm dilated?

I ask because it bugs the hell out of me that 36 hours after my waters broke, and after I had been having hugely intense contractions 3/4 minutes apart for over 24 hours, I was still considered not to be in true labour - based on some arbitrary dilation measurement.

I think I will be completely refusing any internal examinations in any future births as I think they can be unhelpful, and want any midwives or doctors to evaluate the situation they see on what they are observing about how I am labouring.

When people tell me they laboured for x hours I always wonder whether it is their own definition of labour or the HCP's definition which drives their perception.

What did you use as your own yardstick?

For me, from first contraction, rightly or wrongly!

rubyslippers Sun 12-Jul-09 12:05:21

when my contractions started

this was about 2 days before active labour

according to the MW, my labour was 10 hours not 2 days and 10 hours

Comewhinewithme Sun 12-Jul-09 12:06:46

When I started having CTX every 5 -6 mins .

spinspinsugar Sun 12-Jul-09 12:08:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

feedthegoat Sun 12-Jul-09 12:14:21

I counted it from when my contractions started.

Mine never got regular and my waters were broken for me. I had to insist on going into hospital as they were adamant I wasn't in full labour. I was 9.5 cms when got to hospital. Have no idea how things has progressed in the 18 hours prior to this as had one phone call to hospital who told me to have a bath, paracetomol and ring back when in proper labour.

I was a further 6 hours after I got to the hospital so it was 24 hours as far as I'm concerned!

Rindercella Sun 12-Jul-09 12:17:08

I woke at 3am feeling some strong pains. Think my waters broke at about 5am. Spent 2 hours jumping in and out of baths, showers and generally running around, thinking "this will take forever, so don't panic". Got to hospital at 7am. Was told I was 9cm dilated shock shock shock DD born at 10.17am - should've taken less time but I was scared witless to push - too late for any pain relief other than G&A you see grin

The mw didn't actually confirm (or deny) that I was in labour when I got to the hospital!

I could well have been in labour for far longer - I remember a couple of days before being in real pain but it mostly subsided so I assumed it was BH.

shonaspurtle Sun 12-Jul-09 12:20:23

Well I had pessaries shoved up my fanjo so I didn't really get the long build up, but for me the contractions didn't really hurt until my waters broke so I say I had a 5 hour labour although the machine they hooked me up to showed that I was contracting for 6 hours longer than that.

bronze Sun 12-Jul-09 12:21:58

a little before it got to the point that I had to 'convince' my dh to hurry up cos this was it

Lulumama Sun 12-Jul-09 12:24:50

with DS, I had ARM and then synto, so went from nothing to contractions every 3 minutes within an hour.

however, i did not dilate beyond 2-3 cm, so was never officially in labour , i had a c.section for failure to progress after 9 hours.

with DD, I woke up with ctx at 07.30 on thursday morning, she was delivered 01.15 friday morning but i did not start dilating until thursday night, so established labour was 3 hours 15

Yorky Sun 12-Jul-09 12:43:49

With DS when I was having enough contractions to wake DH! even though my waters had gone 24hrs earlier, homebirth - delivery suite kept telling me over the phone it would be a while yet but DS arrived within 45 mins of midwife getting to house

with DD I asked for a sweep and was told I was 5cms, had to drive home, didn't have painful contractions till DS had gone upstairs for bath, DD born within 2hrs of then!

Loopymumsy Sun 12-Jul-09 20:06:39

Message withdrawn

smee Sun 12-Jul-09 20:43:23

I was told that they don't allow labour to go over 24 hours and my records show exactly that, even though I'd had 24 hours of intense contractions before that. The midwife told me that if you want a natural birth, which I did, they start recording established labour as late as they possibly can to give you a chance of getting there by yourself before they start foisting intervention on you. Who knows if it's true or not, or if it's just that hospital, but it made sense at the time.

notnowbernard Sun 12-Jul-09 20:47:30

With both dc, I felt I was in (my definition of) established labour when contractions were stopping me in my tracks and I needed DP to rub my back and focus me on breathing properly

With dd1 this was about 6hrs before she was born

Dd2 about 4 or 5 hours before birth

turtle23 Sun 12-Jul-09 20:59:56

After 18 hours or so of prelabour my contractions were hideously painful, 2 minutes apart and over a minute long. But apparently I wasn't in "real labour." I say differently.

CMOTdibbler Sun 12-Jul-09 21:08:14

When I found myself holding onto the sink, puking into it whilst having contractions that I couldn't talk through, or indeed between contractions think that I should press the buzzer for a midwife to tell them that I was prob in labour now. Fortunatly someone turned up to give me antibiotics (waters had broken earlier that day at 35 weeks, so admitted for antibs and observation as baby wasn't engaged, so risk of cord prolapse), and thought that maybe I should be in the labour ward and called DH

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 13-Jul-09 10:43:38

Message withdrawn

Tinker Mon 13-Jul-09 10:47:13

First contraction. Both my labours started with full-on "f*ing hell" contractions straightaway.

craftynclothy Mon 13-Jul-09 10:59:11

Well my waters broke at 11pm, had a few 'period pain' type contraction while being monitored between 12 and 12.45. Contractions came full on with hardly any break between them from about 1.15 (approx) after I got in the bath. Baby born 3.22am.

I count my labour as starting at about 1.15am so pretty much 2 hours.

Hospital notes contradict themselves all over the place hmm. MW said I could go home at 1am if I wanted as "not in labour" (stayed in cos I was being sick) and didn't believe I was in labour until about 2.30am when I said I needed to push angry. Notes say my labour was 2 hours 20 mins in one place. They say 3 hours 20 mins in another (which is from the time they put me on the monitor).

I always tell people a little over 2 hours.

poorbuthappy Mon 13-Jul-09 11:18:14

With my first I think I was in labour for about 20 hours, but the first 12 hours were at home and I didn't go in until I had my show because I didn't really believe I was in labour as I was booked in for a section later that week - therefore the possibility of going into labour naturally didn't enter my head! I went in at 10pm at 5cm and dd1 was born at 5.30am.

With the twins my waters broke at 3am. I rang the hospital who advised me to come in because I was only 34 weeks, and in my infinite wisdom I said I wasn't in pain...by the time we got to hospital I was having horrendous contractions but was told that because I said on the phone an hour earlier I wasn't in pain I wasn't in labour. After a huge argument from me I made them examine me and I was 7cm I was finally given gas and air. Babies born by emcs at 8.30am.

So I guess from when the pain became too much for me to bear!

By the way where does the "too late for a epidural thing" come from??

KingRolo Mon 13-Jul-09 11:21:54

From start of the contractions it was a 30 hour labour.

From waters breaking it was a 30 min labour.

I tend to go from when I arrived at hospital as that was when the contractions were getting too strong to cope with on my own. On those terms it was a 8 hour labour.

pointydog Mon 13-Jul-09 11:25:06

when my contractions started. Both times, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart right from the start (although not painful at first obv)

SpangleMaker Mon 13-Jul-09 15:12:02

Waters broke at 3.30pm on a Tuesday, first cramps 12 hours later (in hospital for obs as pre-term). Had a bath at 6.30am - up until this point it was like bad period pain. Just after I got in I had a huge contraction after which they were every few min and grab-hold-of-nearest-furniture-and-BREATHE! This is when i assume active labour started and what I regard as the start of my labour. DS arrived 3 hours later.

bumpsoon Mon 13-Jul-09 20:10:47

For me not until i couldnt stand the pain any longer and needed some pain relief grin

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