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Need encouragement- 2nd time mom, 39 weeks pregnant and dealing with weeks of pre-labor symptoms-...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm hoping some of the more experienced mommas can give me some encouragement here- I'm 39 weeks 1 day with my second baby. First baby was born after an induction at 41 weeks 3 days. I had planned on going to 42 weeks before inducing but hadn't emotionally prepared for going past my due date, and had a lot of anxious family members pressuring me to induce, and ended up losing my patience with the process- I had NO signs of labor being imminent, despite having my midwife sweep my membranes weekly starting at 37 weeks (she suspected a big baby and she was very right!) After each sweep I would be crampy and uncomfortable for a few hours, then back to normal. No dilation, little to no effacement before the induction. It was, as most inductions are, horrible- and I very narrowly avoided a c-section. I've sworn to be more patient this time- I'm planning a home birth this time to completely take the temptation for an induction off the table. This time my body seems to be gearing up for labor on it's own- which is great- but I've been having painful contractions almost daily for weeks now. Every time I start to think-- this is it, I need to call the midwife-- it stops. But baby is putting sooooo much pressure on me it's ridiculous, he feels like he's going to fall out if I sneeze too hard! I'm already 4 cm and 50% effaced, and my cervix is anterior- so my midwife thinks when he comes he'll come quick. But after 3 weeks of feeling like labor is imminent- I'm once again losing patience with the process! I'm not going to induce, but I just would love to hear from some other moms that a) this is normal and b) I will not stay pregnant forever (and this delivery will be easier than my labor from h$ll last time. At least last time I was only emotionally uncomfortable - this time I feel like I'm trapped in pregnancy purgatory. I'm emotional all the time, freak out when I'm left alone (I'm afraid I'll end up delivering the baby alone if he comes too fast!) and although chatting with my midwife and doula reassure me for a time- it's only temporary and before long I'm back to feeling crampy and uncomfortable. I think the biggest thing that I'm dealing with is the fear I've been miserable and exhausted for weeks and I'm going to end up with the same lengthy, painful labor I had last time. I know that the odds of that are pretty small- this time I'll be at home, with no evil pit driving the contractions, and have the waterbirth I really wanted last time. But I'd love to hear some stories from other mamas who have dealt with this. I'm emotionally preparing myself to go past my due date again- I've let go of the calendar, for my own sanity- but the day to day feeling like I could squat and push out my baby is just bizarre!! Help please!

post #2 of 13

Oh boy!   I can totally relate!  My first was a hospital induction at just over 40 weeks.  It lasted 2 days, and I ended up with Pitocin, an epidural, a 4th degree tear....  I pushed for 4 hours and, like you, only narrowly avoided a c-section.


My 2nd (and 3rd and 4th) babies have been born at home.  They have all come at about 41 weeks and all have been after weeks of prodromal labor.  It makes me pretty crazy during those last few weeks, being sure over and over that this is finally really it. 


My labors and births (at home) have all been sooooooo fast though.  Once I really tip over the edge into real labor, it goes crazy fast.  The past 2 times my main midwives didn't make it for the actual birth, but their apprentices did and did great. 


It is a really crazy-making thing, that prodromal labor.  I bet when you finally do go into labor it will be fast though. 


Hang in there!

post #3 of 13

I also had an induction with my first and desperately wanted to avoid it with my second (and did!).  I had a long prodromal labor with my 2nd like you and the PP.  She came fast when she decided to show up, but I was 40 +5 even though I expected to go early.  I am sure it does not work this way every time, but I think the long pre-labor does often lead to a fast active labor- your body has spent so much time preparing and 2nd babies are usually faster labors anyway.  I would echo the hang in there- you are actually getting somewhere even though it doesn't seem like it.

post #4 of 13

you got this Momma - trust your body, it's doing everything you need it to do!

this birth will go exactly as it should - sending positive birth vibes now~~~~~~~~~

post #5 of 13
Well, you have less work to do when it comes to labor smile.gif

I had almost three whole weeks of prelabor with my last baby and it sucked. I couldnt go anywhere or do anything because it seemed like I was always in pain or some sort. The good news for my story was, my actual labor only lasted 3 hours, and he was out in the second push.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh my goodness- thank you all so much! And thanks for giving me a name for this- I've heard of prodromal labor but never quite connected it to what I was experiencing. I was up part of the night with contractions, again, and in between was doing some googling and found lots of information and stories, which has been helpful. For those of you that have experienced this- have you gotten dilation checks at your weekly visits? I know it made me feel a lot better at my last visit to know I was almost 4 cm and 50% effaced- that the prodromal labor was doing a good job of getting me ready- but don't want to get too caught up in the numbers either. And since I'm GBS+ I really should avoid unnecessary exams. If anyone has thoughts I'd love to hear them.


For those of you that experienced this- when you finally went into a more active labor pattern- did it arise out of one of your regular prodromal labor patterns or was it completely separate? From what I've experienced and read last night- most women have a definite pattern and times of day when they are dealing with contractions- I have contractions/cramping from 2-4 pm then usually 9- midnight. Should I expect to have things happen for "real" at one of these times, or might I have it start at a completely different time?


And what do you think causes this? I was reading that some people suspect that the baby is getting into a better position is part of the issue- baby was ROT last week but I've been doing inversions and I think he's either OA or somewhat LOA at this point. If better positioning is the problem I will happily do more inversions or go to a chiro to see if that will help. 


Thank you so much for sharing your experience and reassurances. Please keep sharing your stories- it helps so much! 

post #7 of 13

I had silly prodromal labour with both of mine though it was worse with DD2.  I literally got to 8cm with 2-4 contractions an hour!  It was ridiculous, though she stayed high (turned out she had a true knot in her cord which presented no issues, it just made her descend late and fast) so i could still potter about with relative ease.


In the end i felt like i was grunting suspiciously at the peaks so i had OH call the midwife and as soon as she said she was coming i started contracting every 5mins.  They never got more frequent, i had 11 of them, 11 contractions from when i called the MW, 2 of which were pushing.  She flew right out.  The midwife was with us about 40mins before she was born.  It was really lovely actually, perfect.  


And no i never felt like "oh THIS is different", i just had these stupid on off contractions, always strong but soooo infrequent and irregular, and then realised i was grunting at the peaks.


Don't worry, you're doing a lot of good work! :D

post #8 of 13

I was still doubtful when it actually became active labor.  It did not feel that different than the days before (until it did).  My contractions got closer together and a bit more regular, but not totally regular- like 5;5;3;9;5.  I decided it was real when I had to stop, lean over the counter, and hum through the contractions.  By the time we actually went to Labor and Delivery (I was GBS+ too) they started to come nearly on top of each other and it was barely 3 hours before she was born.  I did not get the full dose of antibiotics because of how short it was, but since my water did not break until pushing, there was little chance of infection.

post #9 of 13

Oh the lovely prodromal labor.  NOT!


My first was a horrid induction story like yours.  I wasn't being pressured into a Csection though, thank god.  But the pit drip is hell, nurses were hell, tearing, pushing, epidural, hell hell hell. 


I would take weeks of prodromal and a natural labor over that any day, and I have had both.  My second babe was born at home and I was 7 cm by the time labor really started, but it was pretty soft labor for the most part.  mw did break my water eventually, he was born 45 minutes after.!


3rd- prodromal for at least a week, (looking back, I think I really had it longer but was pissed about it for a week. haha).  MW came out on wednesday night, stayed til thurs at 5 am, when she said "honey it's not really happening yet, drink some wine, get some sleep...) sigh. At that time I was 6 cm, fully effaced, and he was at +1 station. after no "real labor" just the annoying on and off prodromal cx


had contractions off and on through saturday night when we left our big kids with my parents, went home, had sex, and I slept from 1030ish til 805 (I did toss and turn a bit but no real waking with cx)

805-water broke.  so audible it woke dh

I told him to call my mom and the mw, even though I wasn't feeling anything yet bc we knew it would be fast, probably.  (he had to call my mom for the number, bc I had left my phone at her house ha! took a few minutes...)

I got in the shower to clean up real quick (lol, optimistic)

by 815 I was in full transition, in the shower, mw was on the phone.  I could hear her say to dh "let me talk to her, so I can see where she is" and I said "tell her to get over here now! (darth vadar voice)

"oh dangit, we are going to miss it"


got out and back to the bed with dh's help, got on my side, wrapped my top leg over his shoulders because ds's head was RIGHT THERE and I needed some space, man!


835-mom and my big kids walk in as ds was crowning, I wasn't even really pushing, he was just coming out whether I liked it or not. I was more breathing to soften and slow the descent than anything else.


mw got there soon after, checked him and me out, I delivered the placenta, cleaned us up, etc.


I know you didn't really ask for the whole birth story, but I just wanted you to hear about it.  It was fast and furious, and mw missed it, and it was the most glorious and empowering thing I have ever been through.  I'll take 3 times the prodromal this time around if I get a birth halfway as awesome. 

(I need to reread this closer to the day, bc I know it's going to piss me off again come 39 weeks...)

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

oh my goodness!!! that is an amazing birth story- thank you so much for sharing. fast and furious is right :) 


well, my babe was born not long after i posted :) i read all of your lovely posts, felt 100% reassured and empowered- finally having a name for what the heck was going on. 

Spent Tuesday trying to relax and wrap my mind around possibly being pregnant for 2 more weeks. Tuesday night I was putting my 2.5 year old son to bed and feeling crampy and uncomfortable so asked my husband to take over for me. I went to try to lay down and rest but after a bit gave up and decided to hop in the shower for a while. I was still thinking I was going to have a few hours of prodromal labor and then get to go to bed around midnight. At around 10:45 I thought it might be interesting to start timing my cramping- they were very very short (<30 seconds) but quickly they starting coming closer together- first 15 minutes, then 8 then 5, etc. At 11:30 pm I decided I wanted my husbands company- still not realizing I was in actual labor, I just felt like I wanted him to hang out with me- I had woken him up once the week before when I was feeling similarly- so still- mentally not accepting I was in labor. I got my husband up and after 2 harder "cramps" I looked at him and said "I think this MIGHT be the real deal"- he agreed, especially as I had started vocalizing during the contractions. I made him get in the shower with me and when we got out he suggested we call the midwife. I got back onto the birth ball- the only place I could tolerate- and he called. My midwife wanted to talk to me and she heard me have a contraction- at this point she told me to get up and walk around. I said heck no. She told DH to get me up and walk me around and if they got worse to come to her place (we ended up deciding to "homebirth" at our midwife's house for logistical reasons) Tried to get up and ended up on my hands and knees- couldn't stand upright. At this point I realized this was for real- DH called back the MW and we grabbed our son and got in the car. I was having contractions 3 minutes apart but for 30 seconds each for the entire 35 minute car ride- which was incredibly hard. My midwife was on her porch when we arrived and I made it as far as the front of the car before having a massive contraction, me gripping the hood of our car. I had been texting her during the ride and she said "that was way closer than 3 minutes apart" and I agreed. We got inside and went downstairs and I got in the shower. It was around 1:30 am at this point. 

The 2nd midwife and my doula showed up shortly thereafter and they checked me- 5-6 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced. They were all concerned that my contractions were too short- never longer than 30 seconds long. Intense but blessedly brief. They asked me to consider taking a tincture that they thought would lengthen and strengthen my contractions, which I refused. I felt like I was handling the contractions because they were so short- in my previous labor the length of the pit contractions was what was so challenging. I realized that it might make my labor longer by having these short contractions, but I didn't want things to be too fast and for me to get scared. I labored for about 3.5 hours- mostly in the shower and then in the birth tub. Started pushing and- once again in denial that the baby was almost out. I kept insisting I needed to poop. Finally realized we had entered "the ring of fire" and was pushing some. He was there for a while- I could feel his head but didn't have the incredible urge to push. It was really interesting this time- I would go several contractions with no urge to push, or several minutes with no contractions. I just trusted my body to know when it was time. My midwife did ask me to push a few times without the urge just to have more control and a more gradual descent, since I had torn so badly with my first. Finally the head was right there, but not coming out. They had me get out of the tub and get up on all fours with my one leg up to open my pelvis- a few minutes later he was out! It was amazing and I'm still not sure how I did it. I wanted this birth to be so different from my first and it was- I'm still kind of in awe. My 2.5 year old was there and got to see his brother being born. There were no IVs and anxious nurses and no one was telling me how to labor and it was loving and supportive and I felt in control (as much as you can in labor) and it was everything I knew it could be. 


The only bummer was I had a 2nd degree tear- tore right wear I had torn last time. Apparently my OB had sewn me so tightly the first time that there was absolutely no give - according to my midwife it was like I had never given birth before. So that kind of stinks. But I'm feeling so much better after this birth- it was incredibly empowering and healing to have a completely unmedicated labor and birth and to go into labor completlly in my own time- and seeing that my body knew what to do and how to get ready- and it was so nice to have to not labor nearly as long.If we have more kids, I guess I would say I prefer the prodromal labor (even though it was a pain while it was ongoing) in order to shorten the active labor stage. I'll take the 5 hours of labor this time vs. the 18 hours last time!! 

Thanks again to everyone sharing their perspective and helping me know this was normal and I wasn't going crazy!

post #11 of 13

Yay!  Congratulations and way to go, mama.  What a fantastic story. <3

post #12 of 13

I'm right here with you, with a few differences. My first pregnancy, I was pretty young and had an OB who was very induction happy if you went over 40 weeks at all. The last three weeks of my pregnancy, I was 3 cm dilated, but finally was induced at 41 w 1d. Before my scheduled induction, I saw a Chinese herbalist and tried dong quai tea (the most foul tasting thing I have ever put in my mouth), black cohosh, blue cohosh, Evening primrose oil capsules inserted vaginally, walking and sex - all to no avail.


Now, I'm 38w4d and miserable. I've been having painful but irregular contractions since Friday. My cervix is still closed. I've woken up every night moaning in pain every 1-2 hours, all night. The only things I can keep down are small amounts of juice and smoothies, pretty much, I have no appetite and the smell of food or cooking make me vomit. I've also been sweating like crazy in my 70 degree bedroom - as we speak, my hair is soaked with sweat for no reason. This is pretty much the first break I've had where I've been up to sitting up at the computer in days.


Congrats on finally having your baby! I can only hope I will soon be doing the same :)

post #13 of 13

Oh Zoe, hugs.  Hang in there!!!

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