Dreading another fast labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My labor with ds was only 5/5.5 hrs in total (he's my first).  I had very hard, long, intense contractions that I was totally unprepared for, and the L&D nurses wouldn't let me move around or lay on my side.  I was in so much pain I was basically non-verbal and did whatever I was told.  I felt like pushing only an hour or two in but I wasn't fully dilated and ended up having an epidural just so I could last until pushing.  Please no comments on how I should have prepared better, this I already know.

 

I am expecting dd in May, and we are trying to prepare for the possibility that it might be even shorter this time, based on my mom's experience.  I want to go natural, but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it.  I've been doing Bradley exercises, improving my diet, doing meditations and relaxation, but I'm still really scared of birth again.  My husband is loving and supportive, but if he sees me in pain he's going to tell me to get the epidural. 

 

Those of you who had very fast labors, do you have any advice for me?  Are the contractions and fast dilation easier to handle the second time?


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#2 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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My advice: homebirth!  My labors are also 5 hours long and VERY intense.  But - nobody will tell you not to move around, that is just plain abuse iMO!  Moving helps with the pain.

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#3 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I could have a homebirth; my husband would never go for it, though.  The HMO pays for everything if you play the game and go to the hospital.  We have very limited options and not a lot of time or money to switch to a midwife.  I was thinking of taking ds to mom's house, waiting to go into labor, then laboring in the shower until it's time to go.  But with a fast labor, when is it time to go?  I'll have the baby in the car if I wait till I feel like pushing!


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#4 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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My 5 hours were too intense for a car ride.

 

dh's are never on board AT FIRST

 

have a yard sale, sell stuff, etc.

 

just my 2 cents....

:-)

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#5 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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My first baby was 16 hours long, my second was only 4 hours.  I'm wondering if your labor may be even shorter this time around too.  With my four hour labor I never would have made it to the hospital (we did a planned homebirth).  By time I realized I was in transition it was too late and not even my midwife was there yet.  My baby was born very quickly with minimal pushing and my DH delivered him. 

 

With that said, I dealt with the contractions mainly on all fours to try to lengthen it out so the midwife would make it.  When I got into the birthing tub I had two very mild contractions then by the third one the baby was coming.  If you get into a tub or water early on it can stall labor so maybe try that if it gets too intense.  I yelled alot and made my DH stay by my side with every contraction rubbing my lower back.  I also leaned on him and squeezed his hand. 

 

Basicaly all I can say is if your labor is that short again, I know the pain is hard and seems unbearable, but just keep reminding yourself it is short, you can do it.  To be totally honest I'm surprised a doc or nuse would give you pain medication with such a short labor because it may not kick in before baby is born.


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#6 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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With DD, I woke up around 3.30 with mild labor, left the house at 5.05 and she was born at 8.08 (yes really). Out of that time, I would say that only 45 min were intense. But man, those 45 min were something. If anyone had tried to stop me moving around during a contraction, I would have creamed them. I had a hard time not to rip off the portable monitor and cream someone with that as it was. I remember hanging on to the roma birthwheel screaming and rattling it with all my strength, wondering if someone would try to stop me. When I collapsed on all fours because I couldn't keep moving anymore the midwife told me I was ready to push. Except for some coaching during pushing, at no time did anyone tell me to stop what I was doing or to assume any position I did not want. That was all I needed to get through it.

 

DS was a preemie and in fetal distress, so they told me I had to stop moving, stop screaming and lie still on my left side so he'd get the oxygen he needed, otherwise it was going to be an emergency c-section. So I told them I'd need an epidural to do all that, and that's what I got. Sometimes they are necessary to save the baby, period.

 

There may have been a reason why you were told to lie still, or they may have been just crap in that particular hospital. It does not have to be that way the second time!


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#7 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 11:55 AM
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Moving around will help tremendously. Anyway you can labor in water? Amazing for pain relief. Also, since you know it'll be short, just tell yourself it'll be over soon. My last three labors were 3 hrs, 1.5 hrs, and 3 hrs. The last one was very intense and I asked for a cervical check because if I was only four I wanted to go to the hospital for the epidural- thankfully I was at ten.
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#8 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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I have fast labors, most under 4 hours. All at home. I think your issue wasn't w/ how fast your labor progressed, but w/ the confinement to bed. I would insist on freedom of movement and if possible access to water, either a shower or more optimal a birth pool. Know way could I manage w/o the water.


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#9 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzunel09 View Post

Please no comments on how I should have prepared better, this I already know.


Oh honey, this makes me so sad.  Fast labors are HARD, even for mamas who have "properly" prepared.  Many women who go in "fully" prepared, when faced with a fast labor, will end up  throwing in the towel, or at the very least have a pretty scary picture of birth.  Fast labor is intense!  No breaks!  Ooof!!  But, I think it really helps to have an extra support person if you know this about yourself.  But don't be so hard on yourself!!  My first labor was about 5 hours of hard labor, and that was not at all what I was expecting!!

 

You mentioned that finances are tight (I hear ya!!!), but would maybe a doula be an option?  She could help to calm you and keep you focused on natural birth, and she can help to redirect and remind your DH that pain is normal and okay, and maybe help him to support you through that pain...  I think she could also help to advocate for some movement on your part.  I agree, that stillness would be TORTURE!!  There are a lot of doulas in training who work for reduced rates, or no rates even, to get more experience, but who would still be confident in your ability to birth naturally.  I'd poke around in your tribal area to see if it's a possibility for you.

 

Keep in mind, too, that you can just flat out refuse to be still.  They aren't going to tackle you and tie you to the bed.  Hospital policy is policy, but you can decline anything and everything.  That's hard to do though, I know, and a doula could probably help a lot in just being an advocate for the birth that you want.


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#10 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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^^And my friend is a doula and just started being able to do it on clients insurance, so you may be able to find one that your insurance will cover.


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#11 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Wow, I totally agree with the others that most likely moving around will help IMMENSELY. Maybe try to educate your DH on natural pain management techniques so that he can give you some options when you are in labour. Make a list & get him to help you try some of the options.

 

If you're not hooked up to anything in the hospital you don't need to lie in bed & you and your DH should feel comfortable & confident in telling the nurses so. Standing, squattting, on all fours, or put the back of the bed up and lean forward on it. Long slow deep breathing & moaning helped me cope.

 

A birth ball was comfortable to me during my one fast labour (my 2nd- the other 2 were long & drawn out. I would take the fast, intense one over the long ones. At least you know you're getting somewhere. It was also my only unmedicated. I digress....) A shower also felt great, personally I didn't like the tub.

 

Hiring a doula is a great idea. Sounds like you're going to need someone to advocate for you in hospital.


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#12 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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Have you considered Hypnobabies? I'm studying it at the moment (due in June) and there's a lot of emphasis on "fear release" - working through your dread of a(nother) painful/nasty birth experience - as well as mental techniques for coping with and maybe even eliminating the pain. Interestingly, the CDs keep telling me to visualise a "fast, easy, comfortable birthing time" - so clearly the makers of the program don't feel that a fast labour necessarily equals a dreadful one. Also, remember that a LOT of women find birth easier the second time around.

 

I don't think epidurals are always a bad option, but I think you should make up your mind whether you definitely want to avoid one or not. If you do, you need to speak firmly to your DH about NOT offering you one during labour, even if you're in pain (and remind him you'll still be capable of asking for one yourself, should you change your mind). I know there's a "guy mindset" out there that offering pain relief is helpful and supportive, but depending on the couple in question, what the woman wants out of labour etc, it can actually be unhelpful and demoralising. I would have been peeved as heck if DH had trying to push one on me during labour with DD, even during my "I can't do this" moments.


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#13 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the responses!  Moving around would be great, but I'm GBS positive so I'll be hooked up to the antibiotics and the EFM...again.  I guess that's why I would want to stay at home as long as possible.  My hospital doesn't have birthing tubs or squatting bars or showers in the L&D rooms.  Someone mentioned hypnobabies, I have been doing some guided imagery and meditations on labor and birth, this may be helpful if I stick with it.  I will look into student doulas!


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#14 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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My first labor was a big longer (7) hours but my second labor was totally different and even longer.  I think that a lot of it will have to do with the baby's position when labor starts.  With one of mine had dh time the first 30 seconds of a contraction (you'd be shocked at how long it lasts) and after that I knew that it wouldn't get any worse and seemed to help. See if you can find something like that to focus on and look forward to.

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#15 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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They did your gbs screening for this pregnancy already? Isn't that normally checked much closer to the due date? It has a short-ish cycle (2 weeks if I remember right) so I would ask to have the test run again when you are closer to your due date.


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#16 of 23 Old 02-24-2011, 10:53 PM
 
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They did your gbs screening for this pregnancy already? Isn't that normally checked much closer to the due date? It has a short-ish cycle (2 weeks if I remember right) so I would ask to have the test run again when you are closer to your due date.


Absolutely agreed!  It is WAY too soon to be testing for GBS.  Between now and May it's something that you could absolutely work on tackling.  No guarantees, but search GBS in the threads here.  There are a lot of things you can do to pass that test and avoid antibiotics and EFM.  I would try some of the things mentioned on the boards, and then demand a test 4 weeks from your due date.  There is NO reason to test for GBS now...  Even without doing anything, it's very possible that a test closer to your due date would come back negative for GBS.  Other mamas weigh in on this, maybe in mainstream obstetrics it's common to do it 3 months before?  But that seems silly.  A woman who was GBS+ 3 months ago could very well not be GBS positive now...  A GBS test so far ahead of a due date wouldn't give valid info...


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#17 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 04:10 AM
 
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I do not have short labors.  But, I find moving around helps soooo much.  You need to move around.  You need to make it very clear that you want to move.  My first birth I had pit and an epidural and basically stayed confined to my bed.  My recent natural birth I wanted to be more aware/in control of my body and I really noticed a huge difference in being able to get thru contractions by moving into different positions.  I was so sad when I ended up having this strange unrelenting pain in my side and I had to lie down for long periods of time because that is the only thing that would make it stops, but it made contractions really uncomfortable compared to contractions I would face on my hands and knees or whatever.  I know you say you will be hooked up because you are GBS positive, but if I were in your position I would look into options that would allow me movement.  You NEED to be able to move.


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#18 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 05:54 AM
 
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Thank you so much for the responses!  Moving around would be great, but I'm GBS positive so I'll be hooked up to the antibiotics and the EFM...again.  I guess that's why I would want to stay at home as long as possible.  My hospital doesn't have birthing tubs or squatting bars or showers in the L&D rooms.  Someone mentioned hypnobabies, I have been doing some guided imagery and meditations on labor and birth, this may be helpful if I stick with it.  I will look into student doulas!



No reason you can't move around with IV and EFM!  Just stand up next to the bed, get on hands and knees, kneel over the back of the bed, whatever you feel will work for you.  You may not be able to actually walk around the room if they don't have telemetry, but you can still MOVE!  Every single client I've had get induced has had continuous monitoring and an IV and they have all been able to move around and have had unmedicated births.  You can do it!  Your husband needs to know how to advocate for you.  There is no reason for you to have to stay still in the bed.  If they can't get the heartrate on the monitor, the nurse needs to sit there and hold it on.

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#19 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 06:43 AM
 
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No reason you can't move around with IV and EFM!  Just stand up next to the bed, get on hands and knees, kneel over the back of the bed, whatever you feel will work for you.  You may not be able to actually walk around the room if they don't have telemetry, but you can still MOVE!  Every single client I've had get induced has had continuous monitoring and an IV and they have all been able to move around and have had unmedicated births.  You can do it!  Your husband needs to know how to advocate for you.  There is no reason for you to have to stay still in the bed.  If they can't get the heartrate on the monitor, the nurse needs to sit there and hold it on.


 

ITA. I kept running around the room with the portable monitor. At one point I couldn't stand the shoulder loop anymore and DH grabbed the little box and just ran beside me. I am sure you could move around even with an IV, though I suppose it might restrict the range and speed somewhat. After all it won't be for long! Just being able to get on all fours and rock will help. There is no reason whatsoever to lie flat on your back, unless the baby is in distress unless you do so. And maybe you can even get rid of the IV - wouldn't you have to take antibiotics now?
 


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#20 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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I have short, intense labors, too. They are a roller coaster ride. And I was in the hospital but things went very well. My Bradley trained dh and my CNM kept the hospital nurse busy with silly tasks so that she didn't get in my way. Also, if you have to go to the bathroom, they have to let you out of bed to get there. I don't see how the nurses can insist you stay in bed like that. And if you get a bad nurse.. ask for another.You are the /boss here.

 

 

 

And to the previous poster with the "homebirth" comments. Not everyone feels comfortable at home. Homebirth is not the be all, end all for many of us.

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#21 of 23 Old 02-25-2011, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought that once you test positive for GBS, that's it.  They haven't tested me yet this pregnancy, so maybe there's hope on that front.


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#22 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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I just had my second fast labor (my first labor was fairly quick for a first timer, but not super quick) and I ended up with my third epidural.  While I know that MDC is more natural-birth friendly, and honestly, that was my intention going in, I just was not able to handle the intensity of my labor, and I'm okay with that.  I probably could have been better prepared, and I know there are people that have labors like mine and make it through without medication.  If you really want that, I'd do a lot of research and preparation in whatever method sits best with you philosophically. 

 

I will also say that the good thing about fast labors is that if you do end up opting for pain medication, there is less likelihood of the "cascade of interventions" happening in my opinion when your labor is progressing at a mile a minute.  I ended up dilating from a 5 to complete in about an hour, possibly a little less, and gave birth about 40 minutes later.

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#23 of 23 Old 02-26-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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Also I wanted to say about staying home as long as possible while GBS + that if you are giving birth in a hospital, it might mean that they will want to keep you and the baby longer after birth or run additional tests to monitor the GBS.  Since my labor was really fast and started with my water breaking, and I was GBS +, they didn't get the full dosage of antibiotics into me.  Fortunately they didn't keep us there that long (gave birth at quarter to 12 on Wednesday night and was released Friday morning at 11) , but they did do a blood test on me and two blood tests on the baby 12 hours apart to check our blood counts.

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