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getting labor REALLY GOING...keeps starting and stopping

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The reason I am posting this here is that I would like the input of professionals when looking at this particular situation. I have a similar posting, but I titled it w/a VBAC lable, so it got moved. I have a girlfriend with labor that keeps stopping and starting, to the tune of six weeks. It is changing the cervix, but she is really really tired, and would like to simply get it over with and HAVE the baby, already. Problem is, she's on her fourth baby, and her third was a c-section. She's been drinking a steady supply of RRT, has been having a lot of sex, warm baths, and walking. Can someone suggest something to try that won't put the c-section incision in danger of rupture? Her first two labors started with rupture of membranes, but after 24 hours, contractions had not started, so she gave in and went to the hospital for pitocin. The third was a supposed breech emergency section. So, she's NEVER had contractions on her own before this. This is heartening to her, but she's on a clock of sorts, hospital will only allow a VBAC to go 41.5 weeks and she's at 40 tomorrow. Any ideas? Thanks!
post #2 of 9
what position is her baby in? often, if baby is posterior, there will be alot of stop and start labor stuff. It sounds like her body is doing stuff, but in a slow way. Maybe there is something going on with her baby/placenta/cord that needs a slower labor like this.

Of course she is tired, she's having her fourth baby! I'd say the best thing for her is a good movie, dinner out and relaxing.

I wouldn't suggest much else unless there was a valid reason to get labor going. Sometimes nature knows more than we do...and our interference creates an unwanted outcome.
post #3 of 9
Have you addressed possible emotional issues. I know I staved off labor for weeks with anxiety and fear. Perhaps talking to her about these things, her anxiety about l/d, vbac, having four kids, etc. may help.
post #4 of 9
I'd really recommend that she stop trying to get labor started. If she is getting tired, she needs to rest. Working through her fears about labor, VBAC, adding a new baby to the mix, etc, can be very helpful as well. She has over a week for her body to do what it needs to birth her baby, and she is going to need her energy and emotional strength to do it.

The fact that she has never had "natural" contractions can make them seem that much more overwhelming and all consuming. Activities that distract her would be very helpful, so she can't just sit around and think about what is happening. Assure her that these contractions will get longer and stronger, and she will know when it's really time.
post #5 of 9
I was also going to suggest baby positioning - to check what that is (posterior is a common culprit of on-and-off-again labor). I also think that sometimes, our bodies (and babies) know what is going on more than our physical minds. It's very hard to wait when we are exhausted, uncomfortable, excited to meet baby, and on a deadline (and likely feeling the push), but really... we can't see in there and know - I'd encourage her to talk to her baby and relax as best she can. It's still 1.5 weeks before the hospital cut-off (and even then, they can't make her do anything if she doesn't want to) and baby knows best.

That's thoughtful of you to ask for your friend.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

It's the real thing...finally!

Thought I'd update...she's 40.5 weeks, and she started labor last night! Yesterday during the day she started with some of the signs of impending labor...frequent bowel movements, period type cramps, labor in her low back, very low in her pelvis and in her upper thighs. In the evening, she started with some very strong contractions. We went walking (dad stayed home to put the kids to bed) at the mall, which is exactly a mile around...after four or five miles the contractions continued to be strong and consistent. She went home and was up with them all night. Passed her mucus plug around midnight. Also had a bloody nose. She is not yet in "active" labor...we don't think. She is still talking during the contractions. Snoozed w/dh's help in the tub a couple of times last night. Ate small easily digestible meals three or four times.

IF she's not in active labor by 11am, she'll go to her scheduled appointment, and they'll check her then. She's decided that she wants to be checked, just for some encouragement.

She's so excited! This is the first time she's been able to look in the books at the "you're probably in labor, if you..." checklist and have any of the symptoms...in fact she has all of them. This being her fourth (and probably last) pregnancy, she's happy that, finally, she's having a "normal" labor. After all of these weeks, the payoff is near. I told her that, even if she goes into tomorrow, it's getting visibly closer, and that's something to hold on to. It's nice to know that she has great labor support waiting for her in the way of our midwife!

Anyway, thought I'd give an update. Any positive thoughts you want to send their way would be great...especially w/the csection last time, she hasn't had the best birth experiences!
post #7 of 9
Best birthing wishes to her!! Im glad things started moving for her!
post #8 of 9
Sometimes, the best thing is to stop what you are "trying" to make happen (how's that for a broad philosophical statement?). This applied to me for conception when I was getting impatient, and labor #3 when I was good and tired of being pregnant. I agree that the pressure of the time limit was probably very psychologically inhibiting, trying to beat the clock before c section, how stressful! I am glad she got going on her own, and that she has good support Let us know what the outcome is!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

It's a girl!!

After three days of early labor and sixteen hours of active labor, the baby was born vaginally this morning at 2:56. Baby is nursing well and mama is FINALLY resting. : :
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