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#1 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just back from a midwife appt. I saw a brand new midwife (to the practice and fresh out of school I'm pretty sure). She was nice and seemed competent, but she said one thing that confused me and DH. We were reviewing when to come in when in labor (this is a hot topic for us because we're an hour away and both DH and I have worries about not making it), and she asked how long my first labor was. I said I was somewhere around 14 hours from being pretty sure I was in early labor till DS was out but that most of that time it felt pretty easy and very manageable. She said "We don't count it as labor if it is easy. We start considering it labor when you're active and it is hard." Going by that line of thinking I only had 4 hours of "real" labor, and 2 of those were pushing. I didn't have any cervical checks in labor till I was complete, so I don't know how my progress with dilating corresponded to my perception of intensity, but I suspect I didn't go from 3-10 cm in under 2 hours. I would guess that I was in active labor earlier but just found it tolerable. I know I just have to wait and see what happens this time, but I feel a little more nervous now about whether I'll be able to tell when it is time to head in and whether there will be enough time to get there. 

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#2 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Don't have any real advice, just my experience.

 

With my DS I had 30 hrs of labor that I found "easy" The only part that hurt was the gallbladder attack I had during the pushing stage. I dilated slowly, very very slowly from 0-7, and then from 7-10 was fast.

 

I am hoping with this pregnancy that it goes a bit quicker, even if it means more pain. Right now I am having a hard time wrapping my head around labor, and delivery. This pregnancy/labor/delivery has scared me. I think the twin factor may have something to do with it.

 

Good luck with your labor, and I am sure you and your body will know when it is time.

 

 


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#3 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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I think the concern with second time moms (and beyond) is that the active phase can progress very quickly and that pushing can also be very quick. Early labor varies greatly, but even if you're not super uncomfortable it is still doing something--your cervix is becoming more effaced and starting to dilate, even if it is slow-going at first. I'd say, if you are comfortable laboring longer at the birth center/hospital you're planning on birthing at then go on the earlier side. You don't want to spend an hour in the car during hard active labor. 


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#4 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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in my opinion that is a strange comment because that would mean that I don't have labor or just a few min. of it and as I have had 5 children already I definately did something to get them here. I think you have to go on how you feel and on your past experience. Typically the 2nd labor is faster than the first.

Due to past experience I call my mw the min. I start feeling steady cramping. She is usually only here a few hours before the baby comes. Look at your first labor: how did it progress? when did you decide you were definately in labor? when did you go in/call your provider? when did you feel pushy? when (if at all) did you feel like you couldn't do it anymore? If you can answer those questions with how was I feeling when "i knew I was in labor" how was I feeling when "I was pushy"? that will help you to gage it. If I had an hour drive I would wait till I knew for sure I was in labor then would head to my provider before I am in really active labor. Find something to do in the area and be nearby. I would not want to travel while pushing so I would rather hang out near my provider, maybe even rent a room or something.


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#5 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input. The questions you raised, theboysmama, are especially helpful. In my first labor, I knew I was in labor a full 14 hours before he was born, so that's encouraging, although I did have on and off doubts that it would stop all the way till about 4-5 hours before birth. I called the midwife first thing in the morning (about 12 hours before birth), but we just checked in every 2-4 hours throughout the day till about 3 hours before birth when my water had broken and I was at the point of knowing there was no turning back and it was getting really intense - at that point we planned to call and check in in another hour but after 20 minutes DH called back and said we're on our way now. When we got there I was already "pushy" even though I hadn't realized it. 

 

So, I guess my worry is that I won't have the 10 hours (or even 2-3 hours) of early or relatively comfortable active labor that will allow me know it's labor day while still having time to get DS handed off to friends or relatives and getting ourselves (without an agonizing drive) to the birth center. I know that probably the best I can do is try not to talk myself out of it when I think I'm in early labor and just try to leave as soon as we can. I'd be happy to have time to spare and find walking trails or other things to do closer to the birth center, and I'll try to be gentle on myself if I have any false alarms...

 

I'm surprised to find how being a second time mom brings with it its own anxieties. Having some experience is both helpful (e.g., I know I can do this) and challenging (e.g., will labor be too fast?, will baby come too early?, will I hemorrhage again?).

 

Anybody else suddenly realizing birth may be less than 2 months away and starting to freak out a little?

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#6 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mingus View Post


 

Anybody else suddenly realizing birth may be less than 2 months away and starting to freak out a little?


Yes. I am not quite as prepared mentally as with my last DS (21 months ago). Actually, I am getting a bit panicky. This is child # 4, my first three were spaced 6 years apart. Each labor was 5 hours long with precipitous delivery. This baby is a surprise. Anyways, since this one is so close to my last, I am afraid labor will fly. Also, my last child was 35 weeks, and I am on Procarida already for preterm labor for this one. Yeah, I am a mess......

 


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#7 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 03:38 PM
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Anybody else suddenly realizing birth may be less than 2 months away and starting to freak out a little?

 

YES.


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#8 of 19 Old 08-02-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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I'm surprised to find how being a second time mom brings with it its own anxieties. Having some experience is both helpful (e.g., I know I can do this) and challenging (e.g., will labor be too fast?, will baby come too early?, will I hemorrhage again?).

 

Anybody else suddenly realizing birth may be less than 2 months away and starting to freak out a little?

I agree ... sometimes a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to sabotaging what is, essentially, a new and unique experience, whether it's influenced by our previous labours and deliveries or not.

I'm not afraid of transition, or pain, or contractions, or where to labour and deliver ... I'm worried about another cord injury, another induction, another derailed birth plan, another hemorrhage, another shrinking baby, another spell of boob failure. 
 

 


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#9 of 19 Old 08-03-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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For me, active labour only starts when the baby is ready to actually be pushed out. No, it's not textbook, and I don't fit into any category that the medics seem to like to fit us in to.

I'm not a quick labourer.

I basically have "inactive" labour for a month before the baby is born. Braxton hicks, really. But they're productive contractions. (I find it hilarious that they call it inactive if my cervix is dialating, but whatever.)

I walk around for around 1-2 weeks before the baby is born, almost fully dilated. And then, suddenly i'm having a baby, without much warning at all.

 

So to say that "easy" labour doesn't count as active labour is kind of...well...misleading. Especially if it's not your first baby! If I was an hour away there's no way in heck i'd make it there in time.

Our hospital is only 5 minutes away...and it THAT was pushing it. (no pun intended!!hah)

 

 


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#10 of 19 Old 08-03-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I didn't read all the comments but I will say the comment sounds off to me. There are different stages of labor, for her not to count it "as labor" until you're in active labor and it hurts seems weird to me. 


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#11 of 19 Old 08-03-2011, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I think what she probably meant is early labor is unpredictable and can fizzle out, so basing a guess on how long my second labor will be on just the more intense part might be more accurate. However, I still think saying the earlier, easier part doesn't count as labor is inaccurate and not very helpful - I was already a bit stressed about getting there in time, and I need my providers' confidence in me that I'll know when I'm in labor and will be able to leave in time to make it to them. 

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#12 of 19 Old 08-04-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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There's no harm in arriving too soon. If I were in your position, i'd possibly rent a hotel room to labour in until you get to the point that you know you want to go to the hospital. (unless you don't mind labouring in the hospital. I personally get the heeby jeebies and dont like to be there any longer than necessary.-Now if it were a birthing centre, that might be a different story!)

It's important that you do trust your provider though, and that you make sure that she's on the same page.

 

I'm half considering switching-mine has said a few really strange comments that have rubbed me the wrong way. I can't decide if it's worth it to switch this late in the game.


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#13 of 19 Old 08-04-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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I was checked when I arrived at the birth center with my first, was "just barely" at 4cm and told I could go home if I liked. He was born less than 4 hours later, so, just want to say, I think that you CAN dilate very quickly even with a first. My second I was in what felt like "real" labor less than 3 hours, and DD was born with 3 pushes (and she was 9lbs). My MWs only got there 15 minutes before she was born (at home). (but I am editing to add... I knew something was up that day. So while I wasn't in anything that was painful, or frankly even particularly regular, I took it real easy and told my DH-- who did go to work but knew to keep an eye on his phone-- and my MWs-- and my mom, who was there to help with DS- then I took care of some paperwork, and then I rested and read and prepared the bed, and ate small healthy snacks and whatnot. When things got cooking it was crazy how quick it went is all).

 

DH and I swear we'll call the MWs earlier this time!! (even though I know it could take longer)

 

I think you should talk to other MWs in the practice about this, and if you are an hour away, certainly err on the side of going in earlier! I think most places will let you hang out even if they aren't going to admit you...


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#14 of 19 Old 08-04-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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When distance is a factor, I vote earlier than later. But, my last dc was born in the car OTW to the FSBC that was 2hrs away (and I had headed there at first sign, which was the water burst).

Also a good idea to prepare for the possibility of not making it. I'm very glad I had :)


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#15 of 19 Old 08-05-2011, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. I am getting more comfortable with the idea that I may not have a leisurely early labor that allows for some time at home and an easy drive to the birth center (of course I may, but I am feeling more accepting and able to handle a faster pace if needed).
 

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When distance is a factor, I vote earlier than later. But, my last dc was born in the car OTW to the FSBC that was 2hrs away (and I had headed there at first sign, which was the water burst).

Also a good idea to prepare for the possibility of not making it. I'm very glad I had :)

Can I ask what you did to prepare for the possibility of not making it? I'm wondering about having something like a mini birth kit for home that we could take for the car ride too. There also is a small hospital half way to the birth center, so we're leaning on that as our back up plan for the most part. There is also a bigger hospital about 25 minutes from home in the opposite direction that we'll head to instead if there are clear signs of trouble, but it is the place I'm actively avoiding birthing at so would only go there if I were truly concerned.
 

 

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#16 of 19 Old 08-05-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Mostly mental preparation. Knowing the things to watch out for with the baby and myself to know if 911 would have needed to be called (depending on how far away we were, ended up being about 30min from the BC, though with rush hour traffic it ended up about an hour till we actually got there)

I had blankets and towels. I also had cord clamps/scissors if the cord needed to be cut for some reason (it didn't). Looking back I would have put a chux pad down on the seat before we left, so I would add that if I was to do it over again.


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#17 of 19 Old 08-06-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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Can I ask what you did to prepare for the possibility of not making it? I'm wondering about having something like a mini birth kit for home that we could take for the car ride too. There also is a small hospital half way to the birth center, so we're leaning on that as our back up plan for the most part. There is also a bigger hospital about 25 minutes from home in the opposite direction that we'll head to instead if there are clear signs of trouble, but it is the place I'm actively avoiding birthing at so would only go there if I were truly concerned.
 

 


I think this is a good idea and worth talking to your MWs about. I had a HB for my second so I had the basic supplies at home anyway (chux pads, etc). I don't know how much "kit" you need... something to put under you for catching blood/fluid, something to wrap/clean baby with if needed. So... some towels? Anything else you'd "need" that I can think of in terms of medical equipment isn't stuff you'd carry around with you. Help in the form of paramedics would probably reach you pretty quickly as long as you have 911 service. If you are alone, making sure you have phone near you. Do you have close neighbors? Someone you could call for help if things were really fast and you were alone (or alone with your older child). Important phone numbers and a copy of your health insurance card posted prominently so you don't have to go looking! I imagine you will have this anyway as its normal for your hospital bag to be ready.

 

Both of my previous MWs assured me that precipitous births are usually pretty "easy"... not much to do. They said they would talk me or my partner through everything on the phone if that were to happen. I bet the MW on call at your birth center would also do the same if you were en route. I did read about how to prepare for unexpected birth alone (I had several dreams about giving birth alone, unexpectedly, so it was something I was worrying about). I will do that again to "refresh" my and DH's memory once we hit about 35weeks. I think my DH might have fainted away if it had really happened though. Right near my apartment for that second birth I did have a doula and a multi-UCer as neighbors, I had their phone numbers posted on the wall! Anyway we were pretty close to it, I was feeling "pushy" already before my MWs arrived.

 


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#18 of 19 Old 08-08-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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my second was fast!!!

I read the emergency childbirth manual that someone posted a link to just in case the MW does not get   here in time....

they know that I went quick last time so they mentioned that the would like to know asap when I am in labour so they can try to get here...

 

for my secon I had a brand new MW too...I met her at the hospital and she sent me home because I was only 2 1/2cm - I was only 10min from the hospital

 

we got all the way home - turned around- called her back- she wanted us to come to the office so she could check me instead of meeting us at the hospital ( around 2am)

 

I said no way- we are going with you or with out you...

 

I was 5cm when we got there - I stood up to go to the tub and my body began to push (I thought the baby was going to fall out on the hard floor-could not stop the push)

 

I climbed back on the table and was 8.5cm....I stayed on my back until the baby was born less than 1 hr later...terrified that it would fall onto the floor....lol

 

the new MW was not at all helpful and the more experienced midwife who showed up was useless to me- focused on the new MW the whole time....grrr

 

If you can avoid a new MW or student do it!!! the other midwives seem more concerned about their performance than focusing on you.....grrrrr

 

I was sooooo freaked out at what my body was doing on its own I thought I was going to be ripped apart ( I had 14 stitches with my first on a pit epi induction)....neither midwife reasured me that it was what your body was supposed to do....it was all about the new midwife getting it right :(

 

this time I have read a lot of birth stories and a couple of books...ina may gaskin Guide to Childbirth and the Birthing from Within book....also skimmed a bradley book before my last kiddo...very helpful with relaxing and not fearing/fighting contractions.....I especially liked the image of the contraction of your uterus like pulling a sweater on over your head....I just kept imagining (with early contractions my cervix opening like the neck of a sweater over the babies head :)

 


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#19 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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Nobody believed that I was in labor. I had no pain in my abdomen, just back and hips. The midwives advised me to buy a maternity support belt and go swimming or see a chiro. My contractions absolutely never got closer together or farther apart. I really don't know how long my labor was, but I was working hard for 5 days. The birth was easy in comparison to my "non-labor." This time...I hope things go differently. It was 5 days of excruciating pain, so much so that they were going to put me on morphine in the hospital so that I could sleep. Quick check to find out I was 8 cm. "Oops, guess you are in labor after all."


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