3 days with contractions, no dilation, doctor wants to section - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi I'm new to these forums. I'm hoping to hear some similiar stories, get advice or see research on the following.

I am 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I have been having contractions for 3 days now. They do become irregular at times and then will regulate for hours.

I have had 2 NSTs since the contractions have started (Monday), one scheduled, and another I had when I went to the hospital with contractions 2 minutes apart(Monday again). Both Nsts showed regular contractions yet I'm not dilated at all. My cervix is posterior and very hard for anyone who checks it to reach, the baby is at station -1 and when they check me they feel the head before the uterus.

I had an appointment with my OB today. Here is what he said.
Looking at my readouts from the hospital my contractions should be dilating me. This is now what day 3 and no cervical changes. He doesn’t think I will go into labor on my own.

So there are choices and problems.

He wants to schedule the c-section ASAP. He thinks it is risky to be contracting with no changes and says without being monitored there would be no way to know if there is a problem, he is worrying about uterine rupture because of how long and how often I have been contracting.

He wants to do the section tomorrow or Friday, he will give me til Tuesday but if I choose to wait he wants me to be very aware it is a risk, again of rupture and I also must keep track of movement. Also he is gone all weekend Sat-Mon for the holiday and will not be my doctor if anything happens.

Also he wants an nst tomorrow and told me not to eat before just in case.

I'm frustrated, I have come so far in trying to get this VBAC and now nothing. I have been having regular contractions every 3 minutes since 2 pm, so about 7 hours now today. Earlier they were 5-10 minutes apart and throughout the last 3 days I have had some periods of regular contractions every 2-3 minutes that last hours.
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#2 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 03:04 AM
 
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sounds like prodromal labor, which IS helping and is "progress", just a different kind. You didn't mention if you were effaced? The contractions might be effacing your cervix and getting it ready to dilate. They're also encouraging your baby to assume a good position. Do you know what position your baby is in? Have you looked at spinning babies? (spinningbabies.com) sometimes babies like to wait until they're lined up just right before initiating active labor. Thats a good thing. Your body and your baby know what they are doing. Your dr sounds like he's just trying to scare you. You WILL go into labor. There is no "i can't go into labor on my own" gene.. really! Your body is already proving that it knows what to do. Sounds like he wants to avoid the "inconvenience" of having his weekend interrupted by a birth (or, if he simply won't be on call, wants to be the one to collect the bill)

If I were in your shoes.. My car would mysteriously be unable to start tomorrow morning. Oops. Oh well. Or if I did show up, I'd eat a niiiice big meal, and tell them all about it to scare them off of pressuring an immediate ERCS It really sounds like your dr has every intention of finding something "wrong" on the nst so he can do a c/s.

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#3 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 03:26 AM
 
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Any chance they can try to ripen your cervix instead? It seems pretty ridiculous that they would jump to a c-section without at least trying some cervadil or a balloon catheter to see if they can get your cervix to start moving in the right direction. In the meantime, it definitely can't hurt to DTD with your hubby since that also softens the cervix, and maybe eat some pineapple since some say that ripens the cervix too. Good luck, hope you are able to avoid that c-section!

Jessica , wife to L (8-5-05), Mama to H (9-18-09)
Regretting our decision to circ after complications that could have killed our baby boy!
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#4 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 04:38 AM
 
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You're not even term yet at 40w3d. You still have two days to go before you're at the average gestation length for a multipara.

You also didn't say how your baby was reacting to the NSTs. If your baby is in good shape, there's no reason to do a section.

External monitoring cannot measure contractile strength, so what shows up on the nst is just that you are contracting, not how strong you are contracting.

I would refuse to talk about ERCS until you're at least 42 weeks or unless the baby is showing signs of distress on an NST or through kick counts.

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#5 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 04:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aylaanne View Post
You're not even term yet at 40w3d. You still have two days to go before you're at the average gestation length for a multipara.

You also didn't say how your baby was reacting to the NSTs. If your baby is in good shape, there's no reason to do a section.

External monitoring cannot measure contractile strength, so what shows up on the nst is just that you are contracting, not how strong you are contracting.

I would refuse to talk about ERCS until you're at least 42 weeks or unless the baby is showing signs of distress on an NST or through kick counts.
Yes to all of this.

Danielle, fabric artist, mama to Eleanor 5/05 and Charlotte James 09-26-09
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#6 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 05:07 AM
 
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How are YOU feeling. If you have had real strong contractions for three days Im sure you must be near breaking point? Buf if you feel you can handle it and that you get rest enough to go on, then its likely still prodromal. The doctor has no way of knowing how strong your contractions really are - only YOU know that. You feel whether they are painful but manegable (that would be prodromal or early labor) or so painful that you can think of nothing else.

It sounds like the doctor is a bit worried he might miss the opportunity to "deliver you" - and the money that comes with it - rather than be worried about baby.
If both you and baby are doing fine then no need for a section yet.

For what its worth I had contractions for 3-4 days on and off when expecting my second. Once labor really began it only took 90 minutes.

Active labor vibes coming your way.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

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#7 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies.

The doctor has been saying I am thinned for weeks, I'm not sure what % he just say thinned no dilation. I have been looking at spinning babies and wondering if the baby is posterior or even still facing the side. I'm not sure. I have already decided to eat this morning I feel like not eating will give the hospital a non active strip which will lead to a c-section, I was feeling kinda "set up" but at the same time I am worried, my doctor did a great job at scaring me.

I do want to mention that I did feel the doctor has really been great at working with me during my pregnancy, out here it is hard to find a doctor or hospital that will VBAC and I feel like he was already letting me push all the limits. He didn't want me going beyond 40 weeks at all and the VBAC was by my request.

Not sure about methods to ripen the cervix. I can ask when I talk to him.

What is a multipara? As far as how the baby is doing, on Monday night when I went in with strong contractions every 2 minutes I ended up with a non active strip. They kept me there for 5 hours and sent me home still not seeing the accelerations they wanted. But she is still moving fine and her heart rate was always between 128 and 150something, so within the safe range.

I do feel as the days go on they are becoming more painful. I have been having a hard time sleeping and although sometimes I do feel at my breaking point I do not want to give up. I do feel a lot of pain in the lower abdomen and I can't say the doctor's talk of rupture relaxed me any.
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#8 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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If I count the days with strong irregular contractions for periods of time, my vbac labor took about 10 days. When it did finally get going (after some mild coaxing with some castor oil at 42 weeks) it took about 5 hours to birth my son. Most vbacers, go "post dates" and really need 41 or 42 weeks to give birth. I agree with all pps about a doctor who wants to get you "wrapped up" before his holiday and will probably create some problem the next time you are seen to convince you to just get it over with. I also second the motion to check out spinningbabies.com baby positioning is sooo important to an easy labor and most western cultures combine lots of reclining time with poor posture to create malpositioned babies. The other thing I would consider is taking some time to really do some soul searching. Face any old demons and fears you have rattling around from your last birth, take a moment to reflect on all the frightening and discouraging images you've picked up in your life involving birth either from personal experience or culture impressions. When I took the castor oil to encourage my labor to go from passive to active, I tried to do it with some ritual involved, I was taking control of my life and telling myself and the universe that I was really ready for labor and really wanted the baby to come. I guess I just mean address any possible emotional impediments to your labor starting as well as physical. In the mean time, steer clear of all things medical.

Mom of three spunktastic kiddos, supported by super-partner while dabbling in midwifery and organic farming. Biting off more than I can chew since '03.
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#9 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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I started losing my mucous plug one Tuesday evening. I woke up with crazy contractions on Wednesday morning. Called my midwife that afternoon and told her I thought it would be soon. They petered out. They started and stopped for the next 5 days. By Monday morning I was in so much pain and exhausted that I was on my sofa sobbing my eyes out. We left for the hospital that night when my mother was absolutely positive I was about to deliver. Turns out,I was only 4 cm when we arrived at the hospital. 17 hours later, DD finally arrived by VBAC (this was the following Tuesday evening - yes, a week later!).

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#10 of 23 Old 09-03-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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I VBA2C'ed on April 7, 2009. I did not dilate at all until I was in labor. Once my contractions started, I went from 0 to complete in 5 hours. Then I labored down for about 20 minutes, then I pushed for about 20 minutes (well, I was involuntarily pushing while I was laboring down). It doesn't have to take days to dilate to a 10....and it doesn't have to take "their" typical "1-2 cm per hour." Your uterus did not read their medical textbooks. It's gonna do things on its own time.

Effacement is harder to achieve than dilation. If you're effacing, your body is already working. It is not broken. As another poster said, it knows what to do and is already doing it. You are not going to stay pregnant forever. You WILL go into labor. It just may not be when your dr. wants you to....but you will!

As for the U/R.....even rarer than the rupture itself, is one that the woman could not feel at all. I think most U/R's are very, very painful. While one sign of a U/R can be contractions that don't do anything (b/c the pressure is released via the rupture site), I don't personally believe that having contractions for many days increases your risk of a U/R. But that's something you'll have to decide upon.

Your body is not broken. It's doing things it's own way....not anyone else's way....including yours. It's got a mind of its own. You're along for the ride. If I were you, I'd let Mother Nature take care of this.....that's where I'd put my trust.....in the Man who designed this process, in yourself, in your motherly instinct, and in your baby.

You can do this! Your body can do this! You don't owe your dr. any explanations by the way. This is your birth......not his. He is your paid consultant.....not your boss.

Also, try to relax and stay in a safe, comfortable environment. Any mammal who feels threatened in labor can cease labor or even reverse it. so if you're stressed, worried, scared at the hospital, your body may involuntarily slow things down to protect itself and its offspring. Keep that in mind.

And talk to that baby. Tell him/her that it's safe now to come into the world, that you can not wait to meet him/her, hold him, sing to him, look into his eyes. Do this a lot. And see what happens

Best of luck to you!!
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#11 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 05:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mama2twins+1 View Post
What is a multipara?
A multipara is a woman who has had a baby before. Gravida is how many times you've been pregnant, para is how many you've carried to viability. So the fact that you're close to term with a second child makes you a multipara, as opposed to a primapara (a first-time mother).

Average, intervention-free gestation for primaparas (or "primips") is 41w3d. Multiparas is 40w5d, IIRC.

As for you, I would spend time in the shower or bath if you're having a lot of pain. Get on your hands and knees to encourage the baby to turn. Listen to yourself and your baby about what the right thing to do is.

knit.gifWife to Ageek.gif since 7-7-2006, Mother to Mnocirc.gif since 11-23-2007ribboncesarean.gif, and N slinggirl.gifborn on 4-9-2010vbac.gif
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#12 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 08:43 AM
 
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It really sounds like your dr has every intention of finding something "wrong" on the nst so he can do a c/s.
that's what it sounds like to me as well. I plan on waiting it out as long as I can before going to the hospital or contacting my OB about labor this time around for that very reason. I know if I call the OB too soon that they will only make me get worried of what they think could happen if I don't just go through with another c/s. I don't want that to happen if at all possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle.english.19
As another poster said, it knows what to do and is already doing it. You are not going to stay pregnant forever. You WILL go into labor. It just may not be when your dr. wants you to....but you will!
that is so true.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#13 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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You're not even term yet at 40w3d. You still have two days to go before you're at the average gestation length for a multipara.

You also didn't say how your baby was reacting to the NSTs. If your baby is in good shape, there's no reason to do a section.

External monitoring cannot measure contractile strength, so what shows up on the nst is just that you are contracting, not how strong you are contracting.

I would refuse to talk about ERCS until you're at least 42 weeks or unless the baby is showing signs of distress on an NST or through kick counts.
I agree completely.

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#14 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 09:31 AM
 
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Please take a look at this.

Mama to 4. winner.jpghomebirth.jpg
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#15 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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If it were me, I just wouldn't go in to see the OB until something had changed. have a nice day, take a walk, etc. Sex can also jump-start things if you feel like it wouldn't really be unpleasant, or even making out.

But your OB is jumping the gun. He is probably a nice guy, but he is looking for problems, and so not seeing normal labour.

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#16 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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Please, do your research before considering any artificial cervical ripening agents, (cervadil, prepadil, cytotec, misoprostol, miso, all names you might hear) they are very contraindicated for VBACs because they can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus and tectonic (massive) contractions, increasing risk of uterine rupture.

Natural prostoglandins (sperm!!!) do not have the same risk!

Just as your body knew how to grow this healthy baby, it will know how to birth it. The hardest part is just having the patience and energy to wait it out.

Hopefully with the full moon, things will kick into high gear!

Best,
Sharon

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#17 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Everyone else has given great advice and insight. I just wanted to come on here and give you my experience.

I had a VBA2C in Feb '08. On my due date I started having regular contractions. They were 10 minutes apart and lasted throughout the day. But after 12 hours, they went away. Then I only had about 1-2 an hour for the next week or so. My doc was willing to let me go to 41 weeks. I was doing NST's twice a week. During a vag check, I was found to be effacing, but no dilation. On Feb 7th, 41w4d, my contractions came back regular again, and a lot stronger and different from before. But still, not powerful, not quite big enough (I guess?). I wanted it to happen so badly, that I kept convincing myself it was more than it really was. But, after about 17 hours, we went into the hospital. I was only dilated to a 1! So, we went home after a bit. I slept, I worked through contractions. I ate, I was getting fed up. I had an appointment at 3pm that day. I was a 3 - stretchable to a 4! Yay! Then, a few hours later, I went into really, really, real labor! Wow...when it's real labor, you really know it! LOL Got to the hospital at 7pm, gave birth the next morning just before 1am. So, that was 41w6d.

Okay, so I went into more than I probably should have there (we do tend to go on about VBAC's don't we? LOL), but my point is...those contractions ARE doing someting. Your body is laboring gently for you! It's doing you the favor of thinning out, so that it only has to dilate later. Most women have to do both at the same time. As a VBAC mama, this is a really good thing for you! It can get frustrating, no question about that. But remember, it IS doing something!!!

Stay strong! You can do this!
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#18 of 23 Old 09-05-2009, 01:49 AM
 
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super great advice so far~!

Wishing you all the best.
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#19 of 23 Old 09-05-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this post.

So far:

Normal prodromal labour
Normal baby coping well
Normal things going on in the uterus
Normal mom coping well
Mom hasn't even reached the average date for labour, much less gone over.

Then the non sequiter - OB wants to do a section?

Do let us know what happens, mama!

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#20 of 23 Old 09-06-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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Great advice ladies! I so feel the love here and wish this Mama the very best! You can do it and you know it! I can't wait to hear how it went!
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#21 of 23 Old 09-07-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Have you had a cyro or LEEP surgeries? My doula said they can cause a cervix to stay very posterior even w/ contractions?
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#22 of 23 Old 09-07-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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Not a VBAC but I had contractions for a good week. Baby was posterior. Midwife called them "turning contractions," helping the baby position properly. I sat in straight chairs, swung my belly on all fours and tried to relax. When labor did truly hit, baby was low and anterior.

These contractions are doing something! Tell the OB to back off
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#23 of 23 Old 09-07-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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PS - How are you feeling now?
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