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Dear lord, how long does this go on for?

(49 Posts)
Skaffen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:24:17

OH was 40 weeks yesterday, had her show the day before and started getting irregular contractions (mainly around her back) at about 11am. They became v.regular about 3pm and we rang for a midwife at about 10pm, when they were 2 minutes apart.

Only 1.5cm dilated at that time. Had awful night, about 4hrs sleep each - woke up to wife in floods of tears due to the pain, decided to bin the homebirth and headed to hospital at about 8am.

No change in dilation and baby sitting quite high, so back home again and it's now 10hrs later. Still getting regular contractions - 4mins again v.painful, wife crying out with it. Has managed to calm down a bit now through hypnobirth relaxation, but both of us feeling a bit punchdrunk and wondering when it's going to get the realthing.

Is it common to drag on so long? Awful experience so far, hating seeing her in so much pain. Is it possible to OD on a TENS machine? She's been zapping almost 24/7!

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 18:31:09

I'm afraid the first stage can take a long time (days sometimes), particularly if it's her first. Keeping mobile as much as possible might help her to manage the pain, and anything that will take her mind off it will help as well- tonight might be a good night for that chick flick and takeaway... Also, make sure she is on all fours/ leaning forwards as much as possible to minimise the risk of the baby being posterior- this would extend labour and make it more erratic.

Good luck.

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 18:33:34

Have a look at this if you haven't already seen it -it's about best labouring positions to encourage the baby into the right "lie". Also, if you're majorly worried about her, please don't hesitate to call your midwife, particularly if you've booked a homebirth.

chosenone Fri 07-Aug-09 18:33:50

hang in there it is (unfortunately normal!) let her do what ever is comfortable, tens although effectiveness might wear off. What about a bath? Hot water bottle on tummy, a gentle walk!?! If she relaxes it might speed things up, it might not. I had a long uncomfotable latent phase, very stop/start and eventually I did end up having an emergency C section due to a back to back baby! so perhaps mentally prepare yourself for that but maybe not your OH! Or it may all speed up all of a sudden! Even when I was admitted to hoispital at 3cm it was still 48 hours until I had DS but he was worth it, hang in try to eat and drink and contact MW if you think she's not coping.Good luck

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 18:37:45

From your description of the site of the pain and the irregularity of the contractions, I suspect the baby might be posterior, in which case all fours from now on might help. Also, from experience, very gently stroking the base of her spine might as well- my midwife did this during my second posterior labour and it really helped. Some women prefer more pressure to counteract the pain, best start gently though.

Also, being in the shower for extended periods might help. And don't forget to mop her brow often with a damp flannel! and keep her eating and drinking. Once the baby is in the right position, things will pick up.

TwoJobsOneManOneBump Fri 07-Aug-09 18:37:47

good luck with that. My regular, painful, 'real' contrax started 23.30 last wednesday and baby popped out 09.00 Saturday. Used TENS until getting in a birthing pool at 0400 Sat, but took it off while on the Foetal Heart monitor and uterus monitor things strapped to me (assumed it would interfere, should have asked, it wouldn't).

So, by my count, childbirth went on for 57.5 hrs. But you know what, at the end of it you get a lovely little teeny gorgeous scrunched up wrinkly baby smile and there is a point to all those contrax - building up your mrs's pain threshold so the last bit is just, yeah, whatever, blush nnnnnrrrggghhhh.

Did you (or rather she) get a stretch and sweep? and are you feeding her lots of good energy food? and water water water? good luck and look after yourself as well, she needs you.

liahgen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:38:36

make sure she's eating little and often and drinking and weeing lots. I don't mean sips of waterr, I mean good full glasses. If she is not fed and watered her labour will be slower.

Latent, (1st) stage can and often does take couple days in a 1st baby.

Try and get her to rest, or try this, send her into the bedroom on her own, sit close by and let her "crack on". Sometimes works.

If waters are intact, you could try a quickie, Get some good ctx going, also some good nipple twiddling, ofetn brings on nice strong ctx.

Good luck, this baby will be born, and you now have the whole of MN desperate for a good labour thread on a Friday night.

blinder Fri 07-Aug-09 18:39:05

How distressing for you! Poor things!

Using the hypnobirthing is a great idea. The breathing technique they use is to breathe in veeeery slowly with the contractions, as if you are inflating a massive balloon in your belly. Then let the air out gently and slooowly while keeping the belly relaxed. Repeat for the length of the contraction. This makes the contractions easier to handle and more effective, because you are not tensing the belly against them. Basically, the womb needs to lift UP and OUT. Opening the abdomen really helps this.

Adrenaline makes the womb fight the contraction so unfortunately, the more scared she gets, the more it will hurt. Nasty vicious cycle. So do anything to relax, both of you. Warm baths. Kisses. Foot massage. Laughing is good. And tell her she is beautiful and how lovely it will be when the baby comes.

Good luck to you, and congratulations that you will soon be a dad! Well done for posting here too. You will get lots of good responses!

Skaffen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:43:52

Thanks for advice everyone. She seems to be coping better at the moment. Getting contractions every 2 mins at the moment, but no tears or screaming!

She has a prolapsed disc (had for 10 years) which might account for extra pain. No way she's letting me anywhere near her back for stroking, just the arms and head!

Am dishing out lots of water, biccies, lucozade and cold flannels!

LynetteScavo Fri 07-Aug-09 18:44:14

Oh bless - lots of good advice here.....do keep going iwth the hynobirth relaxation..it's Good that the conractions are regular...and really you shouln't be calling them ontractions if you are hypnobirthing, they are "surges" wink

It will be fine...the baby will come out eventually.....and don't hesitate to call the midwife to come to your home again.

LynetteScavo Fri 07-Aug-09 18:44:59

oH, and don't be too alarmed by teh screaming..sometimes screaming is good.

shootfromthehip Fri 07-Aug-09 18:46:07

Bugger. Sorry to tell you that I had this too- 3 1/2 days of prelabour with contractions every 10 mins but not actually dilating. I was sent home from the hospital 3 times until I refused to go home on the 4th visit. I was exhausted by the time I got to active labour. 24 hrs of that and I then had an emergency section.

DD was back-to-back and in a terrible position hence why the whole thing went on for so long. I was told by a midwife that they (the hospital staff) would leave you in that situation for up to a week before taking you in shock. Sorry to be a misery but that's what they told me.

Lots and lots of luck with the birth when it happens.

CarGirl Fri 07-Aug-09 18:47:31

She may find that the pain doesn't actually get any worse than she's already experienced IYSWIM, think the hardest thing is coping when you're so tired.

Looking forward to the birth announcement.

blinder Fri 07-Aug-09 18:47:56

Yes your home birth might be back on smile. Going from 4 mins to 2 mins in twenty minutes is nice progress. I would give the midwife another call. Exciting! grin

stuffitlllama Fri 07-Aug-09 18:48:11

have you got a big bucket

if you sit on a bucket (open end) and leaning forward you are sitting down (so less knackering) but the pelvis is a good shape for labour

you are supposed to sit on it and sort of rock or circle round

nb not you your wife

bath might slow it down

stuffitlllama Fri 07-Aug-09 18:48:43

and good luck and congratulations

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 18:49:47

Good point Cargirl! My first stage contractions never got any more painful from start to finish with the first two births- they just hopped around all over the place as far as timing was concerned, and actually the second stages were a lot easier. Both posterior. Third one was a textbook non-posterior labour.

TeamEdward Fri 07-Aug-09 18:49:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

liahgen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:51:05

also similar to bucket but safer is sitting backwards on toilet, really opens up the pelvis, and makes mum feel safe, Face the cistern, this is usually nice and cold to lean on too.

If she's worried baby will fall out into loo, drape a large towel loosely under the seat, (does that make sense)

liahgen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:51:54

Also how long are they lasting? A good ctx is usually 45 secs+

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 18:51:59

Oh, and when the baby's born, get your wife to come and join us on the August antenatal/postnatal thread if she's not already!

stuffitlllama Fri 07-Aug-09 18:52:41

aha liahgen but on a bucket you can watch the telly

on a serious note ..I didn't know a bucket was unsafe

twas nct advice in the olden days but no longer perhaps

Skaffen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:55:31

She's now riding the toilet backwards - I have been warned that this IS NOT a suitable time to take a pre-birth photo

If we have any more progress, I'll update - as it is, off to rustle up some food. Thanks for all the good wishes.

liahgen Fri 07-Aug-09 18:58:14

stuffit I only suggested safer as very pg woman can sometimes get a bit wobbly, if she lent too much to one side perhaps, you know how the edge of buckets sometimes can buckle.

Wasn't insinuating your advice was unsafe, sorry if it read like that. blush

skaffen Good husband, food is good

grin at no photoshoot at this moment in time

duchesse Fri 07-Aug-09 19:00:08

Skaffen grin You're both doing well, I can tell. Hang in there.

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