For women who have had a posterior birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS was born OP (and I think brow presentation), and it was a very difficult birth. Essentially, I dialated quickly to 8 cm (within about 3.5 hours), but the bag of waters was bulging and I was having involuntary pushing. Midwife broke the waters to speed things along, and boom, she realized he was OP presentation. Labor stalled, cervix shrunk to 5-6 cm, then began to swell, and I continued to have involuntary pushing. Got transferred to the hospital for pitocin and eventually delivered vaginally (with vacuum) after about 18 hours of labor.

The pain from this birth was beyond what I could handle. I tried all the techniques I had read about in Birthing from Within and from my birthing classes (at birth center, no standard philosophy). I did not have a doula (which I regret) & DH was not good at pressure points or anything like that. I labored pretty much on my side the whole time, except for a couple of hours in the jacuzzi tub (which unfortunately was not deep). I tried the birthing ball for one contraction, and I literally could just not bear my weight. Maybe if I'd had help and more motivation, I could have tried more positions, but it took all my energy to withstand the contractions that waved into one another. When I got home, I wanted to burn Birthing from Within and all the other materials as completely and entirely worthless.

From what I have heard, baby's position makes all the difference in the birth experience. Women who have had both posterior and correctly positioned babies have very different experiences with labor and pain level. I have heard people say that they felt like failures when hypnobirthing didn't help them, while others have had amazing birth with "no pain" using the same method. I assume much of this has to different baby positioning.

Bottom line, I want to prepare better for pain management this time around. My DH and I don't really have time to take a class now that we have a toddler to care for. But, I want to do everything possible to have a better experience next time.

So, if you had OP presentation, did you have a better experience the next time? Were you able to manage with the OP pain? What techniques worked for you?

Of course, I'm going to do everything I can to get baby in better position this time during the pregnancy, and get a doula for next time ...

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#2 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 03:50 PM
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#1 and #4 were both posterior, and were born that way. The amount of pain between their births and #2 and #3 who were anterior seriously has no comparison. The middle births felt so easy in comparison, and actually felt fine between rushes, which felt really strange. Mostly I want to encourage you that with a baby positioned well, it will often be a breeze compared to what you felt before with a posterior one.

Yes, I am concerned about another posterior labor/birth because the difference in pain is immense. I also know that if that happens, I will make it through...but I am praying that baby's position will be good!! I am planning to go over my 'Birthing from Within' book beforehand, as it really helped me to prepare for #2 and release fears, etc.

Cindy, loving wife of 15 years
homeschooling mama to 4 wonderful girls, and 1 boy!  praying for #6, sch, due 4/14/2013!



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#3 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 04:09 PM
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My son was born posterior, and I was able to give birth out of a hospital, but no one knew he was OP until he was born. The pain was pretty intense for me as well, I remember not being able to sit, and lying down on my back was excruciating. The birthing center where I was had an exquisite tub, which changed my labor the instant I was in it- truly the "midwife's epidural"! It was just what you said- bearing my own weight was so painful, the water allowed me to just float.

Before that, I was in the shower for 6+ hours, in and out of "sleep" and without much relief. I kept waiting for the relief between contractions to come, but I never felt that.

We did not take any childbirth classes; my husband and I just studied, read and reread Birthing from Within and anything by Ina May Gaskin. For me it came down to just trusting that my body was doing what it needed to do and just sort of separating myself from the pain, if that makes sense. I remember almost feeling as though the lower half of my body were completely separate from me during transition.

I don't know if any of that helps- hoping for a non-OP birth for you, but whatever happens, it is fairly short-lived (even long OP labors!), and before you know it, your little one will be with you!

M, wife to D, mama to J 8/29/08, expecting someone new in July/August
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#4 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 04:28 PM
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My labors can't compare with yours, because of how they were, I ended up with epi's for both. One lasted nearly two days and I was worn out by the end. The second was the posterior. I stalled at 9cm, for 3 hours after progressing from broken waters with 0 dilation to that in about 2 hours. That combined with the fact that dh was over 2 hours away and rushing to make the delivery mentally forced me to ask for the meds.

Just wanted to say, there was a HUGE difference between the two labors. After I finally started progressing with the first labor, it was relatively easy, I think, and I went through the final stages quickly. Pushed dd out in just a couple of contractions.
Second, the posterior, was excruciating pain. And the pushing was awful. I felt like I was getting nowhere. It took well over 45 minutes, long in my book for my body. (thus, the almost giving up and asking for the meds.)

All that to say, I think if this baby is OP, I will be able to tell before it gets to the pushing, and I will be able to mentally prepare myself. I hope that will help me control the pain better???

Once again, Chesapeake me!
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#5 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 05:51 PM
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My last daughter was posterior. The pain was terrible! I self-induced the night before with castor oil and by 10am I was in labor. It was a hard and fast labor. By the time I got to the birth center at noon, I was already 8 cm. The pain was so much greater then I pictured. I just rocked and rocked in the rocking chair, I pushed on the birth chair and on my knees. That didn't work so I went onto the bed. The midwife checked and said I needed to get her out now (I quit pushing because of the pain) and that she was posterior. She gave me 5 minutes to push and get her out before she called an ambulance. So, I pushed as hard as I could and she came out. She was posterior and weight 9 lbs 15 oz!!!

As for pain management, I think what saved me was having a fast labor (4 hours total). It was so fast and so hard that I couldn't think about it. Having a strong husband and midwife to calm me down yet push me when I needed it, really made a difference. Rocking for me is soothing and helped a bit. If it had been a long labor, I don't think I would have been able to do it. I was so drained. Thankfully, I recovered quick and left the birth center 2 hours later.

Amber (31) - Married to my high school sweetheart for 13 years, mom of 4 amazing kids (ages 12, 8, 3, and 16 months), homeschooler, and expecting our 5th child around May 18th!
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#6 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 06:13 PM
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#1 and #3 for me were posterior. They were both waterbirth boys, which I think helped me immensly. #1 was definitely the harder of the 2 labors (even though he was smaller: 7lbs 2 oz vs his brother who was 7lbs 12oz).
The back labor was very hard to deal with since it did not stop when the contractions did, but continued non-stop. With #1 when I was not in the tub, I was in the shower, with a hand-held sprayer directed as hot as I could stand on the areas that bothered the most. Hands and knees with a hot pack on my lower back helped too. He was a 24hr labor with 1 1/2 hrs of pushing. I did not tear, and thank the water for that. I was able to do it without any pain medications (although I do have a very high pain tolerance). We knew he was OP the last few weeks of pregnancy, and did try to get him to rotate, but he was stubborn and stayed put. It was painful, it was hard, it was exhausting at points, but it was tolerable. I had a lot of freedom of movement and birth choices and a supportive Dh and Family Practice Doc that made the experience a lot easier than it could have been. (he was also born at a birth center, which I think helped, since I was given a lot more time, and freedom than might have occured at a hosp.)

Baby #3 was a surprise OP and 8days late. My back labor was not as bad this time around, although it was still obviously there between ctx (not sure why; maybe I was more used to the sensation, or my body was just more efficient at labor with this being my 3rd). I spent most of my time at home laboring in the shower with the spray on my back again, and handeled it well. When we decided to head to the birthcenter I was 9cm and we called the MW to let her know to have the tub filled and ready. I remembered from my 1st waterbirth that I had never felt a spontaneous urge to push and I was prepared to just let this baby come on its own rather than start pushing just because I was complete. I "breathed" this little boy out and we dicovered that he was OP while I was touching his face. His birth was very easy and much more relaxed than my 1st.

Just know that your body is perfectly capable of birthing an OP babe, it's just another version of "normal". A lot of knowledge, loving support, and freedom of movement is crucial. I would also strongly reccomend the use of water.

SAHM Wiccan mama to 4boys, 3girls and 3 angels.
UC/UP/EBF/AP/CD/BW, Waterbirthing, Homeschooling, no circ, no vax.
Expecting #8 on Dec 6th, 2011
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#7 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 07:34 PM
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My DS2 was an OP/face presentation. I have to say it was the hardest 2hrs of my I can't even begin to imagine what an entire day would be like....

I had a very straight forward labour with my 1st(he was 7pd7oz). He did have a nuchal arm at birth and I did tear a bit, but the labour was smooth and manageable. It was a quick one as well(8hrs) so I had this idea from the beginning that my 2nd would be a breeze.......Yeah right! HA!

My labour with DS2 was weird from the beginning. Cx were every 15, 7 and 2 mins and I also had coupling of cx's....for hours. I started getting them at 3pm and by 10pm I was wondering what the heck was going on-the cx were not getting stronger and were only mildly annoying, and I really wanted to sleep. I was getting some pain in my back during the cx's but when they ended, the pain would disappear. At 11pm I tried to sleep. I laid down and when a cx hit I would have to get in a hand/knees position. That is the only way I could handle the back pain. By 12am I knew that we had turned a corner and I called my MW after puking my guts out(yech!) at 1230am. The back pain by this point was insane!!! I remember feeling like I wanted to rip my spine out. I was lucky to not have pain between the cx's but with only 20seconds break between them, it didn't really matter....

My MW arrived at 1am, checked me and I was 8/9cm. My water broke while she checked(and can I say that I will never submit to another vag exam on my back EVER AGAIN!) and at that point she said everything felt fine(no face presenting). I sat on the toilet to help him descend and within minutes he was crowning. The pain of his decent was like my hips were breaking in half. Not pleasant. Anyway, I waddled to the tub, jumped in, and felt between my legs during the next cx. I felt a funny little lump and freaked! I thought it was cord....but MW checked and said that he was presenting with his face. I pushed pretty hard with the next cx and his head was out and within 2 mins his body was out as well. He was born at 130am.

I'm not sure if there would have been anything that would have helped me more in this situation. I had a doula, a supportive husband that knew all the right presses, I'd read a ton on how to help back labour (just in case) and it was still overwhelming. The one thing that helped in early labour was taking Kali Karbonicum(homeopathy) for the back pain. I had it on hand(I must have known that I might suffer from OP baby but just didn't want to think about it much)and it worked every time I took it. Oh and being on hands and knees to relieve the back pressure. I also used a rebozo to help turn him and although it worked for a bit he would turn right back in to OP(I think my pelvis is super roomy). My husband pressed my hips together(double hip squeeze) and also did back presses(right on the hot lump on my back which is the baby's head pressing on your spine/back)during the cx's. Those things worked but I have to say I'm very lucky that it went to fast.

I too am putting a lot of effort into OFP(Optimal fetal positioning) this time around. I really want a straight forward birth with less pain.
I hope this helps you a bit. Take Care,

Crunchy Mama to 3 boys bikenew.gif'06  and superhero.gif '08  h20homebirth.gif  and  moon.gif '10  uc.jpg


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#8 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 08:15 PM
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My DD was OP and actually ended up coming out facing sideways. I ended up swelling due to involuntary pushing that I took to mean it was ok to push. I tried for 3 hours to get the swelling down through pain that I cannot even begin to describe (although I'm sure you know what I'm talking about). I then ended up with an epi and 45 min. later I was able to start pushing again. It was miserable and I have spent a lot of time since then working through it, accepting it, and letting go of my fear of it happening again.
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#9 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 08:24 PM
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hey mama- those posterior babes can be rough.
my two boys were both born posterior (#2 with a hand by his face) so i really have no way to compare a birth in the optimal position (though i am hoping i'll be able to after this may!). but i can tell you what worked for me so far...
i had two 12-16 hour labors so it's incredibly important to rest in the beginning- with back labor you don't get to rest between contractions (often the pain is pretty constant) so the end of labor can be exhausting.
my husband applies pressure to my low back/hip squeeze as the pain gets more intense- we also tried heating up some rice packs and applying those... rolling a rolling pin along your low back also can help.
i spent most of transition in the hands and knees position, and didn't feel able to move from that... when i felt the need to push i would sort of rock from hands and knees back to an almost squatting over the edge of the bed position (really tough to explain, but the bottom line was i just really listened to my body).
i've never actually tried water birth, and i was really interested to see what some of the other women thought of it. for me, trying to push out a posterior baby is so. much. work. i just didn't feel like i could be powerful enough in the water if that makes sense?
this time around i'm trying my best to have this baby in the anterior position... i've been seeing a chiropractor and doing lots of prenatal yoga (spending time *every* day in a hands and knees position). my midwife is also going to do the rebozo technique as i get closer to my due date and babe is still posterior (which he/she is now). i've also heard that spinning babies ( can be used to help a posterior baby turn as well as a breech.
overall, i'm just trying to trust my body and this baby... if the baby is posterior again... well, we will get through it together. i hope that was helpful and good luck!
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#10 of 46 Old 03-14-2010, 10:17 PM
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DS was posterior, those 4.5 hours were the worst of my entire entire life. My previous two labors were much longer (one was close to 20 hours) but the pain was NOTHING compared to DS's labor. I never ever want to experience that again. Nothing helped with the pain, I knew all the tricks, nothing worked. I was in tub as soon as there was a inch of water in it, I was that desperate. What got me through it was water, rocking in the tub, counter pressure on my back, and biting side of the pool. Water was essential. DS came so fast and I was in so much pain that I couldn't talk to tell anyone that he was coming that fast, the MW didn't make it, DH came in to check on me so he just happened to be there, 5 minutes in either direction he would of missed the birth.

I agree with the others that it was so draining, I never got the birth high, despite it being a short labor with a full night's rest, I was utterly exhausted. I didn't want to hold DS, I just wanted to crawl in bed and sleep.

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#11 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for posting this OP.... I've only had one birth, my DD (7 years ago), who was late, posterior and large (9 lbs 8 oz). So it is very encouraging to hear that births can be much easier if the baby is positioned right.

Her birth was tremendously hard. My mom and sister both attended and were awed by how hard her birth was - they both have super fast easy births (especially my mom).

I had contractions much like Tulafina (every 12 min, 7 min, 5 min) for a full 24 hours before my water broke (doesn't help you rest much). Once it did, since we had planned for a hospital birth (as we have again), we arrived there at 12 midnight. Much to everyone's dismay I was only 1.5 cm. They let me labor for about 8 hours, did lots of walking, spent time in the whirlpool tub, all with excruciating back labor, but I just did not progress to anything past 3 cm. Given my bag of waters was broken, they did need to get the baby out. So on went the Pitocin. Shortly after that I did get an epidural since I could not lay down on my back - I could not get comfortable in ANY position. It was horrid. I remember pre-drugs straddling the bed (which is pretty funny in itself) and having XH ram his fists into my back. The pain was like nothing I'd experienced (or expected).

DD was born at 9 p.m. (21 hours after water broke) after an episiotomy and about an hour of pushing.

She was healthy, and so was I, which is very important - but I so hope to have this lil' guy in the right position. I will be asking my OB often as time gets closer and try my hardest to get him to be "right". I will still be laboring in the hospital, but I'd really like to do it without Pit and if I can, without the epi.

I guess time will tell come June! (But again, very nice to read everyone's experiences.)

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#12 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 10:13 AM
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I've only had one baby and she was posterior, so I thought I'd chime-in. With DD, I had about 10 hours of prodromal labor, which wasn't that bad. I wish I'd taken advantage of it to do some positioning exercises, but everything I had been told was to rest during early labor, so I'd have energy for later. Real labor finally kicked-in around 9:00 PM. It got intense quickly and like others have mentioned, it felt like I even had back pain between ctx. I went from 3cm to 8cm in about 3 hrs and then got to spend another 3 hrs in transition. Not fun. Then another 3 hrs of pushing (OP + nuchal hand = babe that was difficult to move).

There were a couple of things that helped me cope with labor. First, my DH apply pressure to my low back with every ctx. Second, during the last hour of labor my MW injected sterile water papules under the skin on pressure points in my back. Amazingly, I felt no back pain between ctx for almost an hour. It really gave me time to rest and gather myself before the time came to push. The difference before and after the sterile water injections was stunning. They hurt worse than bee-stings going in though!

This time around I'm planning to do a few things differently to maximize my chances of having an OA baby. I'm getting a birth ball. There are lots of exercises you can do to encourage baby to get into proper position. I'm also going to start seeing a chiro around 35 weeks to make sure everything is aligned properly. I've already started "talking" to my baby about getting head-down, chin tucked, and facing my back. I hope he will listen!

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#13 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 10:22 AM
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I have had two OP births and two non OP births. They were light night and day, honestly. My first was posterior and asynclitic (sp?) and was in a hospital. 36 hours of labor plus 4 hours of pushing. He was born vaginally with vacuum assist and an episiotomy. I swore I would never do it again! #2 I payed a lot of attention to positioning and planned a homebirth. Less than 2 hours of labor and just minutes of pushing, he was over a pound bigger but wow, what an easy birth! When #3 came along, I let myself forget about how my posture and positioning could effect the baby's positioning. I spent many hours in my rocking chair, just like I did with my first. That might be a coincidence but I really don't think so. Again, posterior birth. Labor was only 12 hours but it was very difficult. Another home birth so I don't really know how long I was pushing but it seemed like a very long time and I was shaken and said "never again!" again. He was a full pound smaller than #2, fwiw, and also had his hand by his face. Pregnant with #4, I sat only on my birth ball or very upright in a chair. I spent time on my hands and knees, did my pelvic rocking religiously, spinning babies, the whole deal. Labored off and on for weeks but nothing major and I feel like I know why this was. Didn't think I was really in labor on the day of her birth but called the MW anyway just to appease my DH. Baby was born less than an hour after she got there. Best and easiest birth I could imagine, she was the same weight as #2 but much shorter and fatter with bigger shoulders.

I read the Bradley books when I was pregnant with my second. I found them very helpful in all of my subsequent births, especially with #3 who was OP. I was able to rest into the night and felt very peaceful in between contractions. Though during contractions and while pushing I very distinctly remember suddenly understanding why women sometimes agree so quickly and happily to and even ask for a C-section.

I'm pregnant with #5 now and I feel I have learned my lesson. I just can't forget about positioning. I'm hoping for another perfect easy birth.
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#14 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 11:27 AM
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My 4th was posterior. She came out facing my left (?) thigh. Going to a chiropractor greatly helped get her to move a bit so she wasn't straight posterior. That labor was hard (and a UC) and draining. Contractions on top of each other...but kneeling/squating in the birth pool really helped. I'd get out, and go straight back in it made that great a difference. I don't know yet (only 5 weeks!) if this baby is posterior, but if it is, back to the chiropractor and birth pool for me!

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#15 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone for posting! It is indeed encouraging to hear that the position really must have had a lot to do with it. I definitely got to the point where I just wanted to get him out, even if that meant a c-section. I forgot to mention that with the pit I also got an epidural -- thank god! I would have agreed to a c-section if it wasn't for the pain relief!

It's also encouraging to hear that optimal fetal positioning really has worked for people! I will be getting a birthing ball too. I have tried reading but find it so all over the place -- I just want all the information to be presented succinctly! Anyway, I guess it's worth wading through, so I'll try to find the time. I will also get the Bradley books from the library, and have already requested the Penny Simkin book.

The one thing that REALLY seems to help is the water -- I would love to have access to a pool-size rather than just a jacuzzi tub, but the birth center does not have that. I have even thought about home birth in order to get one, but DH is not really on board in case of any newborn issues. Not sure I could handle it either -- all that planning! I just want to make a mess somewhere else and have someone else clean it up!

Anyway, thanks again, and keep the stories coming if you have more!

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#16 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 01:19 PM
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don't have a story to share, but i enjoyed reading everyone's stories and coping methods! thanks!

one thing i've read elsewhere that i want in my bag of tricks in case my baby is posterior, is that hanging can relieve pressure. i've read it's good to install a pull-up bar in a doorway.

we are installing eye hooks for a kanoe baby hammock into our ceilings, and those hold our weight (screwed into the crossbeams). i think threading the moby through the carabiner and wrapping the fabric around my forearms could be great for hanging to help w/ back pressure.

me+him for 15 yrs, welcomed our little one march 25th, 2010.

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#17 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 01:52 PM
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All three of mine were OP, DS2 had his hand by his face! I was in labor for 31 hours with DS1, 20 with DS2 and active labor for only 8 hours with DS3. I had an epi with all three but had the last two boys failed and it was horrible and God awful. If I ever have another I'll just do it naturally because as bad as OP labor is, it's even worse (in my opinion) with a failed epi!
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#18 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 04:08 PM
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Dd2 was a planned HBAC and she was OP and ansynclitic. The pain was unbelievable and the mw and I tried everything to get her to turn. It was horrible, horrible. It's hard to even describe how much it hurt. My labor stalled (after 2 days of excrutiating labor) and she went into distress so we wound up at the hospital with another c/s.

Dd3 was a hospital VBA2C and she was perfectly positioned. I tried to be mindful of my posture and positioning (ie no reclining on my back) during pregnancy and went to the chiropractor regularly at the end. The difference was unbelievable. The pain was so minimal compared to my OP baby. I wasn't even sure if I was really in labor because it barely hurt at all (but I definitely was, I was 7cm by the time I got to the hospital!) I did push for two hours, but overall the birth was easy and epidural free.

So I'm going to see my chiro regularly this time again and stay mindful of my posture/positioning. But if I have another OP baby that refuses to turn I'm absolutely getting an epidural. No way will I ever suffer through that pain again. (Okay I know I sound very dire but seriously, I've been through a lot of pain in my life, and that OP labor tops it all, hands down).
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#19 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 04:39 PM
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My first was posterior, and was WAY harder than my next two. Whew. I was sure I had to be in transition from all that I had read, and I was only about 2cm. It was constant. It was still only 12 hours, and 45 minutes of pushing, but...

My second was born facing my left thigh, although I suspect he just started his head turn too soon. At 10:30p I finally had a contraction I would have considered an "early" labor one. At 5 till 1a, suddenly I was in transition. He was born at 25 after. So, from the first "oh wow, I have to pay attention to this contraction", to birth was about 30 minutes. It was a little too intense for me. I did find great relief in hanging; it was the only thing that helped. I do consider his position to have been pretty good, and was pleased the labor had been so quick. WAY different from #1.

With dd2, who was exactly correctly positioned, it was SO easy. Ds was not hard, just was like a freight train. Whew. But dd2 was about 6 hours total, and never got intense. Not a big deal at all. It was a little uncomfortable at the very, very end, ring of fire and all, but it was totally not a big deal. I wouldn't even say it hurt at all.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#20 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 04:44 PM
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Sadly, all three of my babies have been posterior. The two things that have worked best for me is being on all hands and knees for laboring.... and having somebody push very very very hard on my sacrum when I have a contraction.

I actually read recently that they think low levels of thyroid hormone may be linked to a posterior presentation. I've always been on synthroid... so no idea if that's really played a part or not.

This time, I'm starting to see a chiropractor early in my pregnancy. I have no idea if it will help, but it's worth a try.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#21 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 04:55 PM
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Great question and one I've been wondering about since my baby was posterior. The pain was unimaginable--so NOT like having pain from a period. More like having your back hit with a baseball bat repeatedly OR having your back squeezed by a vice. I had wanted to not have any pain meds because I wanted to do everything I could to avoid a C-section, but after 3 hours of that pain and being told I had likely another 3 to go, there was no way I could handle it for that much longer (and I always thought I had a high pain threshold) and I begged for the epidural. What a huge difference it made. Incidentally, I was induced at just under 36 weeks and he was only a 5 lb baby. I ended up avoiding the C-section and had a 6.5 hour labor only.

Also, I had a doula and she put me in the positions that are supposed to help with back labor and nothing worked. The positions tried: I was on an exercise ball, on my knees facing the top of the bed with my arms hanging over the top of the bed, and finally, on all fours in bed, while the doula massaged my lower back and used pressure. NOTHING worked. It was terrible. My OB told the doula to use counterpressure while I was pushing and she made two fists and put them under my lower back. I was on the epi then, so it didn't really make a difference. Actually, maybe she did that before the epi. It's all so foggy now...

In any event, I am hoping for baby #2 and had the same question you do and wondered if I could handle a "correctly positioned" birth the next go round. If it's not as bad as posterior, I think it would be much more doable. Also, the nurses were very helpful in giving suggestions. We won't be using a doula next time. Now that we know what to expect, I think my husband would know what to do. I might also take a hypnobirthing class, as we didn't take any classes last time. A friend said that worked wonders for her first birth...
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#22 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 05:12 PM
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This is an interesting thread. I never realized posterior birth was considered so much more painful.

My DD was born OP, she was facing up. I had prodromal labor for more than a week, along with diarrhea and complete misery. Finally the midwife stripped my membranes and I went into active labor. She also broke my water at some point early on in active labor. (This was a CNM at the hospital.)

I never felt any contractions in the front, it was all in my back. It felt like someone was sending electric shocks down my spine and into my hips with each contraction. The only thing that helped was being in the water, and even that didn't take away the just allowed me to feel more weightless. I was in labor for 3.5-4 hours before pushing.

The hospital staff forced me out of the water and flat on my back in the bed, and I pushed for 2.5 hours. It was completely excruciating! I begged them for a c-section at one point, I just wanted it to end. I kept feeling her head move down the birth canal, but in between contractions it would slide right back up into me.

Finally at one point I pushed hard enough that her head hit my pubic bone and the pubic bone loudly cracked apart. Everyone in the room heard it! Shortly after that she was born, and since was face up I tore around the clitoris as well as a tiny tear on the perineum that didn't need stitches.

It's exciting to read that births with better positioned babies weren't even comparable pain. My baby is due at the end of April and so far she's been positioned perfectly! I've been spending a lot of time on my hands and knees.

Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
Aspiring urban homesteader, photographer, homeschooling momma! Blog link in my profile. 

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#23 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 05:12 PM
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Moved to Birth and Beyond

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#24 of 46 Old 03-15-2010, 09:15 PM
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i had posterior pleasurable birth.

i question whether it was, but all evidence points that way!

i suppose if i were to have normal presentation--or rather anterior--it would be more pleasurable?
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#25 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 12:11 AM
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I just wanted to say thank you to the OP for asking this question and also to all of you who shared. DD was a very long hard labor ending in C/S and I have been struggling with how to prepare for this next birth. It's so reassuring to hear that was I experienced was normal, my body didn't fail and it's ok. Thank you all!

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
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#26 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 01:07 AM
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foremost, i do not believe that women pass or fail in birth. some births require interventions and some do not. that's just a part of the landscape of birth. that is what birth is inherently--just as it is inherently risky (risk of injury or death).

in the modern era, though, what is really failing is "the system." the medical mentality toward births has an underlying assumption that women's bodies are somehow inherently pathological, and thus more often than not, require interventions. they then set this into reality by forcing women's births into procedural structures based on statistical averages, rather than simply allowing women to birth at their own, healthy paces and in the way that their bodies require.

once they begin the intervention to make her body fit the "mold of how birth should go," as defined by them and their statistical averages, then those interventions become that cascade that leads to more and more interventions. and this validates the underlying assumption that birth is extremely risky, that women's bodies are pathological and unable to birth, and therefore that most will 'fail' at birth.

once we step out of that assumptive process--even if we choose to utilize medical prenatal and birthing care--then we begin to see that it is not at all a "pass/fail" game. it is simply that birth is happening. sometimes with interventions, sometimes without.

that's just part of birth.

you never failed; you always succeeded.
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#27 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
foremost, i do not believe that women pass or fail in birth. some births require interventions and some do not. that's just a part of the landscape of birth.


once we step out of that assumptive process--even if we choose to utilize medical prenatal and birthing care--then we begin to see that it is not at all a "pass/fail" game. it is simply that birth is happening. sometimes with interventions, sometimes without.

that's just part of birth.

you never failed; you always succeeded.
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#28 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 02:51 PM
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this thread has been great for me to read. thank you so much.

my son was a posterior birth. i was prepped for a section after 19 hours of active labour, but managed to have a vaginal birth with forceps in the OR instead. i have struggled with his birth story since that day. i so wanted a more gentle entry into the world for my little boy.

i would love tips on better positioning myself for my next baby (due late August 2010). i'm feeling more optimistic and hopeful about my upcoming birth after reading this....and so glad to know that it wasn't just ME.

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#29 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by porcelina View Post
From what I have heard, baby's position makes all the difference in the birth experience. Women who have had both posterior and correctly positioned babies have very different experiences with labor and pain level.
So, if you had OP presentation, did you have a better experience the next time? Were you able to manage with the OP pain? What techniques worked for you?
My dd1 and dd2 were correctly positioned, but dd3 was OP. The labors and pain levels weren't drastically different, but towards the end of my labor with dd3 I kept saying "something is wrong" over and over. I didn't know what, and I wasn't panicked but I just knew something was different and it wasn't good. Then she was born OP. Mystery solved.

The same Bradley techniques that worked for correctly positioned babies also worked for my OP baby. Bradley is really an amazing way to have babies! The best book on it (IMO) is Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg. For me, really understanding what natural birth was, and staying out of the hospital, and having a supportive dp were key. You have to practice relaxation. If you can go so limp that your head is hanging and you might drool then you are doing it right!

Originally Posted by sweet_tart_vt View Post
Baby #3 was a surprise OP and 8days late.
This was me too! Dd1 was six days early and presented normally. Dd2 was six days early and presented normally. Dd3 was eleven days late and presented OP.

I really believe that my recliner (which we did not own when I was pregnant with dd1 and dd2) led to poor positioning. Sit in regular dining room chairs or on cross-legged on the floor. If you think about a baby curled up with her arms and legs in front of her... which part is heaviest? Body, right? So if you are in a recliner - butt down, chest and legs up a bit - is baby going to naturally fall/turn face down or face up? Face up would make sense as the heavist part of the baby ends up down/near your spine.

NO RECLINERS! And read that Bradley book. Hers is much better than the one that Dr. Bradley wrote himself - may he rest in peace.
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#30 of 46 Old 03-16-2010, 05:59 PM
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I had 30+ hours of posterior labor, that was proceeded by almost 2 weeks of prodromal labor. MW and my chiropractor agree that the prodromal was most likely caused by the position of DS.

Oh it hurt, the contractions were so much worse than I ever imagined.

Two things that helped the MOST. The tub!! Our hospital had big, deep jacuzzi tubs. I spent most of my labor in the water. The second thing was counterpressure. On my hips, not my back... I layed on my back in the tub, with my knees up, and DH stood/knelt at my feet, with his hands on my knees, and pushed my knees straight in line towards my hips. It helped SO MUCH.

Lucky for me, pushing him out was easy and fast.

Mamas, dont beat yourself up too much about what you did, or did not do to position your babe. I did everything right. I always tailor sit anyways, even non pregnant. I have good posture, I do yoga. I did a ton of rocking on a birth ball, hands and knees, pelvic rocking, etc. And I STILL had a posterior birth. And it wasnt my fault, and it wasnt DS's fault. Its just how it was.

The labor was intense, but I was still so gratefull because I DID at least manage to get DS head down.. he was breech almost up to the end. So even though I had to have a posterior birth, I felt lucky.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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