Is anyone else jealous of the "normal" labors that last more than an hour or so? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 05-21-2012, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know people think this is completely insane, and it's not that I'm after some perfect "experience". Birth is birth and I just want it to be safe. However, with dd1, my water broke several hours before contractions started, but once they did start, she was born less than 5 hours later. With dd2, my water broke, nothing happened for just over an hour, then she was born 52 minutes after I started having contractions. It was horrible, so much more painful than labor with dd1, and I felt completely shell-shocked when it was all over with. I had gone into labor assuming it would be short, I didn't have big plans for any particular place I wanted to give birth or what music I wanted to listen to or anything like that. I just wanted a normal birth that did not end with me feeling completely unprepared for what had just happened. I know that sounds crazy to people, but I felt like at least the first time I was READY when it was over. I was ready to have this baby in my arms and all that, and the second time I wasn't.

 

Now I'm due in a week and I am worried about another precipitous labor. I'm reading birth stories and feeling so jealous of women who talk about going grocery shopping or baking a birthday cake, knowing that their baby's birth will be that day. I won't have time to do anything like that. I won't be able to snuggle with my kids on the couch for a few last stories with just the three of us. I'll just hope not to be so loud that I scare them while I feel like I'm being torn apart at the seems during a fast and furious labor and delivery. I'm hoping that going into it knowing that's probably what will happen will at least prevent that shocked feeling once it's over with, but still...I wish it could be just a little more peaceful and less terrifyingly, horribly fast and painful. Anyone else?

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#2 of 18 Old 05-21-2012, 05:34 AM
 
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I understand what you're saying.  My last birth was my first homebirth so there was no escaping whatever pain was to come.  I went into labor at night and called my midwife at about 6:30 am.  I was in some pain but she told me I was in early labor and I was annoyed!  :)  But then by 8:30 I was in "real" labor and dd was born 2 hours later.  It was very, very painful and I understand your feeling of shell-shocked.  I had always looked forward to the pushing stage with the others but with this baby I had the ring of fire and I did whatever to get her out. 

 

I didn't watch the Jim Gaffigan special I was going to, I didn't listen to any "birth" music.  I wasn't even sure if I should get in the shower because I didn't know if I was really close to giving birth so I didn't want to waste that form of labor coping. 

 

Maybe it's time for you to mentally prepare for what is more likely to happen.  I don't know if there's some way to get ready, mentally, for the fast and furious birth.


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#3 of 18 Old 05-22-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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I've had two 90 minute labors. Both times my water broke and then nothing happened for 30 hours and then it was like "oh, is that a real contraction?" and then 90 minutes later I was holding a baby.

 

 

The first time it was crazy. For 30 hours I tried to bring labor on. For 30 hours nothing happened and I wasted time I should have been sleeping, eating, relaxing, being peaceful with hiking (but not for fun, to try and bring labor) and all sorts of other stuff that wore me out.  Then, my first real contraction came and I was like "yay" and then the next one came, like, 2 minutes later...and 2 minutes after that and on and on and on non-stop. No gradual build up, no resting in between, no drinking and eating and talking as the contractions slowly got more intense. Labor just ran me the frack OVER.


The second time was much better. I'd had much more in depth conversations with my mother at that point, realized that she had FOUR 90 minute births with water breaking 24+ hours before hand, and I expected that I was going to have a similar experience again.

 

When my water broke, I got up, did what I needed to for pads, etc and then went back to bed. I didn't even let myself feel like labor was coming. I got up and made food, I put together some last minute things and mentally prepared myself for the "labor truck" that was surely going to run me over when it finally started....and boy did it. Exactly 28 hours after my water broke, I got my first contraction. Exactly 1 hour and 37 minutes after that first contraction, I was sitting on a birth stool in my kitchen with an exploded vagina, holding a beautiful boy.

I don't have any other kind of labor to experience it to....so I don't know how much more intense it really is. But I asked my MW "is this as intense as it feels like" and she was basically like "Um, when you go from high, tight and maybe 1cm dilated to holding a baby in 90 minutes, yeah, it's supposed to feel that intense" - so, there it is. At least it's "supposed" to feel as intense as it seems to me when I'm in it!! Hahaha.

 

With my DD I "came to" from her birth kind of like "what the hell just happened to me" ......with my son, because I was expecting it, I was very, very deeply moved in a spiritual way. Because I fought it much less and let it just wash over me, I was transported to a crazy cool place. I totally left my body from the intensity of it and I'm actually really looking forward to having the experience again(she said, stupidly!).

What is interesting to me is how silent I became with both of my births. My DH and MW were very surprised when I finally looked up at them and said "the baby is here, s/he's coming out now" because I'd been so quiet. The intensity was so incredible both times that I couldn't even speak or make a sound outside of a quiet hum. My MW took this as me being very prepared with hypnobirthing and using the skills I'd gained in doing hypnobirthing work...yeah, EFF THAT! My hypnobirthing work went out the window...I was just sitting there, unable to move or speak.

 

 

 

People have said around here and to me in real life that third births can be fluke births. I think I will probably have a similar experience this time as the last two times...but a part of me kind of wonders what it would be like to have a more "normal" experience. It seems like the more typical birth being a little longer, people tend to get tired...but having such an intense, short birth takes so much out of you, too....I'm not sure, in the end, from a healing/bouncing back standpoint, that one is better than the other.

I will say though, something I would REALLY like to experience is pushing. I didn't push a single time with either of my kids. My body just did the whole 90 minutes of labor ending with a straight up CANNON BALL shooting out of me. I had no control over the labor or "expelling of the baby". It would be nice, I think, not to explode again...to stretch things out nicely by pushing and giving my tissue time. Healing from "explosion" tears really kind of sucks. The scar tissue being in so many different places is kind of sucky too.
 


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#4 of 18 Old 05-22-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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Hahahaha...yeah, when people talk about putting together birth soundtracks I get a little sad. I am huge lover of music, so I would totally love to put together a whole soundtrack. Hahahah, no dice.

 

 

I would like to say, I'm not complaining....my children were both born into incredibly gentle, serene surroundings. Giving them gentle birth was all I wanted either time and while I can't imagine how intense their births must have been for them when they were going through them, they both emerged to dim lighting, hushed voices, ONLY wonderful people who are very very close friends or family present and nobody but mama and dada touching them for a long time after their births...the only people who touched them at all for the first weeks of life are people who continue to be important, positive and loving members of their family circle. So, they are lucky. I am lucky. I feel very lucky and blessed for having safely delivered two babies in the most gentle, warm situations imaginable. <3


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#5 of 18 Old 05-25-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Now I'm due in a week and I am worried about another precipitous labor. I'm reading birth stories and feeling so jealous of women who talk about going grocery shopping or baking a birthday cake, knowing that their baby's birth will be that day. I won't have time to do anything like that. I won't be able to snuggle with my kids on the couch for a few last stories with just the three of us. I'll just hope not to be so loud that I scare them while I feel like I'm being torn apart at the seems during a fast and furious labor and delivery. I'm hoping that going into it knowing that's probably what will happen will at least prevent that shocked feeling once it's over with, but still...I wish it could be just a little more peaceful and less terrifyingly, horribly fast and painful. Anyone else?

 

Honestly, no.  Having had one 14-hour labor and one 90-minute labor, there is absolutely nothing that I preferred about the longer one.  Why have 14 hours of pain when you could have 90 minutes of pain??

 

FWIW I did not find the pain of the 90-minute labor worse than the transition/pushing part of the 14-hour labor (which lasted >2 h I'd say).  I'd say it hurt slightly less actually (of course it was my second baby so I understand that's common).  Of course they still both count as the worst pain of my life.

 

Plummeting could you arrange for someone to take your kids out of the house when you deliver if they are home and awake?  My ODD was completely terrified when I went into labor, I was supremely glad that DH was able to get her out of there fast.


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#6 of 18 Old 05-27-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Honestly, no.  Having had one 14-hour labor and one 90-minute labor, there is absolutely nothing that I preferred about the longer one.  Why have 14 hours of pain when you could have 90 minutes of pain??

 

FWIW I did not find the pain of the 90-minute labor worse than the transition/pushing part of the 14-hour labor (which lasted >2 h I'd say).  I'd say it hurt slightly less actually (of course it was my second baby so I understand that's common).  Of course they still both count as the worst pain of my life.

 

Plummeting could you arrange for someone to take your kids out of the house when you deliver if they are home and awake?  My ODD was completely terrified when I went into labor, I was supremely glad that DH was able to get her out of there fast.

 

Note that I didn't say I was jealous of labors that lasted 14 hours. I just said labors that lasted "more than an hour". lol And for me, my second dd's birth was the one that was less than an hour and there was not one minute of that experience that less painful than any minute of the first dd's birth, despite the fact that dd1 was posterior and dd2 was not. The 50ish minutes of dd2's birth was at least ten times as painful as the 50 minutes of transition and pushing I experienced in dd1's birth. And the first 4 hours of my first labor was really nothing to complain about at all. In fact, I have had contractions as painful as that regularly for weeks leading up to birth in my second and now this pregnancy. My experiences were nothing at all like yours. Everything about the fast labor was worse - the whole thing hurt worse than transition with dd1, and with dd1, I didn't feel ANY pain during pushing, except as she was crowning. With dd2 pushing felt like hell, but the only way out was through, and it wasn't like I could resist that freight train anyway.

 

So to answer your first question, I'm not comparing 14 hours of pain to 90 minutes of equivalent or less pain. I'm comparing 4 hours of mild to moderate pain + 30 minutes of bad transition pain + 20 minutes of no pain + 2 minutes of crowning pain to 52 minutes of horrific transition-like pain in which I was pretty sure I was either going to die or my uterus would rupture, and that is why I would choose the first over the second.

 

Someone can take my kids out if DH is home and they need to be taken. The thing you may not understand is that if he isn't home and this birth is like the last one, I will not be capable of calling someone to come get them. THAT is the kind of pain I'm talking about - the kind where making a polite phone call is completely outside of the realm of possibility, because you can barely speak coherently. If that happens, dh already knows I'm calling him and he's calling the midwife, to save me from having to make phone calls. We have great neighbors, but no one I'm close enough to, to call while I'm all crazy and have them come in my house and get the kids. The kids will have to survive if that happens. They will be okay - I'm not worried about them. I just don't like the thought of scaring my 2yo. DD1 has Asperger's and doesn't tend to be terribly upset by someone else's pain - it didn't bother her in the least last time. She was just annoyed that I was so loud. She will just turn on a Netflix show for dd2, which should occupy her until someone gets to the house, and she'll happily watch it with her if it means she doesn't have to listen to me. It's not perfect, but it's fine. :)

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#7 of 18 Old 05-27-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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My longest labor was 36 hours and pretty mellow most of the time, though I was not up baking cakes or anything. Shortest labor was less than 6 but not precipitous as I was already dialated to 4 when it was started by arom. It was still harder than the longer one.  So, yeah if I had the choice longer, mellow labor is my preference.

 

PS...go read Broodys birth story in the June ddc if you have not already. 

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#8 of 18 Old 05-28-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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I completely understand. I had a 16 hour labour with my first and a two hour labour (including 1.25 hrs of pushing, so 45 minutes of pre-pushing labour) with my second. With my second labour I felt like I had been hit by a truck, and it was much more painful than my first labour. I could not maintain an "I can do this, I'm working with my body" mindset, and later, all I could think was "What the hell happened to me?" In many ways my 16 hour labour was easier. For weeks after my second labour I would think about the experience and burst into tears, it seemed so traumatic. I have been tokd that with very fast labours you don't get that hormonal/endorphin rush that helps you cope.

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#9 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 06:35 PM
 
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I had a 1 hour, 48 minute birth (from water breaking to baby in arms, never felt a contraction or anything beforehand) with my first and an hour and 8 minutes with my second --  and the cord was wrapped around her neck, twice, slowing her down!

 

My body prepares a lot before hand and i never feel so much as a twinge. My midwife with #2 told me a month before the actual birth that baby was coming any day now. I walk around for a month or so working up to 100% and 4-5 cms dilated without ever feeling anything. Then the water breaks and LOOK OUT! It is intense and powerful and super intense and FAST! The midwife missed DD2's birth.

 

We're done with babies, in part because I don't know if I can physically/mentally handle that again.

 

I have a friend who was in active labor for almost 3 days with her first... I don't envy THAT so much, but a normal birth that gradually increases in intensity must be nice. Mine are just IMMEDIATELY INTENSE and there's no real "valleys," just differing degrees of "peaks."

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#10 of 18 Old 05-30-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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I loved my short labor. My 2 prior labors were in the 5-6 hour range, but then with twins I had a super-fast 1.5 hours from first painful contraction until baby #1, then another 20 minutes until baby #2. It came on faster than I was expecting, but it was definitely very manageable. I guess it helps that I already have an arsenal of coping mechanisms, so I was able to very easily fall into a new pattern.


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#11 of 18 Old 05-30-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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After two 2 hour labors with #2 and #3, I was ready for something similar with #4.  Then his total labor, from first contraction to birth, was less than 30 minutes, it was like a freight train! I'm curious to see how #5 will be.


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#12 of 18 Old 05-31-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to hear a few stories of faster births that were MORE comfortable or LESS uncomfortable, however you want to say it. :) Those make me feel a bit more relaxed.

 

I think that it is a mistake to believe that simply having a bunch of coping techniques on hand is going to make all the difference. I would bet that 99% of women who go into a birth hoping to do it naturally having many coping techniques in their bags of tricks, especially women who've already experienced the pain of labor, whether they ended up following through with the natural birth plan the first time or not. We all have coping techniques. I had them, too. Coping techniques can only get you so far. I didn't have terrifying pain because of a lack of coping techniques. Rather, the pain was so exponentially more unbearable that the very idea of coping techniques was laughable. It still is. I know what it felt like. The "coping technique" for what I experienced amounts to knowing that pain will not kill me, even if it feels like it will. That's how you "cope" with that sort of pain. It's insulting to others to suggest that the only reason their labor/delivery experience (or really any experience with anything, but since we're talking about giving birth...) was worse than yours is because they somehow failed somewhere along the way, that if they'd only done something better, they would've had a better experience. Not that anyone intends that in this thread, but it's something to keep in mind. I know it seems like I'm talking to you, nudnik, since you're the one who used that term, but it's not my intention. I just think these sorts of discussions very easily turn into that kind of silliness, and I'm not going there.

 

I went into that second dd's birth highly educated about natural childbirth and pain management techniques. It wasn't a lack of knowledge or lack of strength or some other lack or weakness that made it so painful. It just was what it was. That's the way it is sometimes.

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#13 of 18 Old 05-31-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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Agree with that...not a precip labor but with my 2nd I transfered and got fentynol. I had been coping fine for some 20 plus hours but a swollen cervix and a malpositioned baby thrown into that just made it extremely difficult to continue coping without something changing. 

 

I wonder if women who had short but not too difficult labors were already dialated somewhat prior to begining of active labor and just hit transition quickly. Whereas when I hear women talking about precip it seems like they are going from begining to transition so fast there is almost no breaks at all between contractions. 

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#14 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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Coping techniques can only get you so far. I didn't have terrifying pain because of a lack of coping techniques. Rather, the pain was so exponentially more unbearable that the very idea of coping techniques was laughable. It still is. I know what it felt like. The "coping technique" for what I experienced amounts to knowing that pain will not kill me, even if it feels like it will. 

 

Yes that's how I felt in my first labor (the longer one).  I did HypnoBabies but it was a total joke, how can you use a breathing technique when you are in too much pain to breathe?   Works great for stuff like stubbing your toe though, heh.  After that experience I didn't even bother trying to learn anymore 'techniques' for the next one, it seemed pointless.

 

My second still hurt a lot (not quite as much as the first but lots) but it was obvious it was going to be over really quickly, which was something to hang onto.  I remember thinking, "This is so horrible but thank heaven it is going to be over really really soon!"


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#15 of 18 Old 06-03-2012, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had my baby, and I figured I'd update in case there is anyone else who stumbles across this thread and is worried about a repeat precipitous labor, like I was. This baby's birth took a little over 3 hours, so while fast, it doesn't meet the definition of precipitous, but the most important thing is that it wasn't anything like my precipitous birth. :) I was lying in bed and started feeling a LOT of pressure and cramping, very low down, but I couldn't even tell if it was contractions or just pain. I laid there for a while, ignoring it, then I felt and heard a small internal "pop" so I got up and went to the bathroom, but there was no fluid, so I thought maybe it was just my sacrum popping or something, and I went back to bed. However, a few minutes later I soaked my underwear, so I thought maybe it was amniotic fluid, but I couldn't tell because it wasn't a continuous flow or drip. It stopped when I stood up. I wandered around for about 2 hours, unsure if I was in labor or not. I was in pain, but not enough to convince me I was actually in labor. Then I had another gush of fluid and assumed it had to be amniotic fluid, but still wasn't convinced. Luckily DH insisted I call the midwives. They arrived about 30 minutes later and baby was born about 45 minutes after that. Only about 90 minutes of it was really very painful, but NOTHING like last time. :) Plus, even though this baby's head was the same size as my precipitously born baby, and her chest and abdomen were even BIGGER than my precipitous baby, I didn't tear AT ALL. Other than the afterpains, I honestly feel like I didn't even give birth.

 

Sorry to put the birth story here, but I thought maybe it would be helpful to any other women who were in fear of a repeat precipitous birth. :)
 

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#16 of 18 Old 06-04-2012, 02:35 AM
 
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Congrats momma! Glad everything went smoothly for you. 

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#17 of 18 Old 06-04-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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Congratulations!!


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#18 of 18 Old 06-04-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both!

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