What do you consider to be the beginning of labor? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When people ask me how long my labor was with ds, I'm not really sure what to say. I started losing my mucous plug on Friday. Monday morning I had a lot of wetness, freaked thinking I was leaking water, went to the OB, but it wasn't amniotic fluid. I was having very mild, inconsistent contractions that morning. By the afternoon, 4 or 5pm, they were consistent at 3 minutes apart, but very mild. They didn't get intense until around midnight or so, but were always 3 minutes apart. I was 10cm by around 10am, pushed for 3 hours, and ds was born at 1:05pm on Tuesday.

So do you consider labor to begin when you first notice contractions? When they get regular? When they get intense? What criteria do you use?
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#2 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 06:49 PM
 
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I use whatever people want to use. Sometimes the martyr in me says "I had 29 hours of labor!" When in fact, I had 16 hours of 5-7 minute apart contractions that were not regular followed by 9 hours of active labor (3-4 minutes apart) and four hours of pushing.

Technically, I look at prodromal labor as early labor (before 3-4 minutes apart or before 4 cm) and then first stage is when the contx are 3-4 minutes apart or there is active dilation beyond 4cm).
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#3 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 08:31 PM
 
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I *wish* I knew.

I have to count the begining of my labour with Boo as when my water broke (1:15 am), but contractions didn't start (at ALL) until 2:00 am.

We arrived at hospital shortly after 4:00 am, I was checked about 4:15 am, and was 10 cm.

I was holding Boo in my arms at 4:42 am.

BUT - I'd been having regular, mild, painless contractions (around 5-10 mins apart) for more than 48 hours prior to my water breaking. I have NO idea where I was in labour (as far as dilation is concerned) at that point.

Canadian mom to Boo (Aug '02), Bug (Aug '04) and Bear (Dec '06).
Jesse (July '09)
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#4 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 08:50 PM
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This always confuses me too. I say I had a total of 9.5 hours, 7 hours of early labor (ctx 10-15 min apart and not painful, cervix at a tight 3 cm the whole time-even before any ctx started), water broke followed by what I consider to be active labor-ctx less than 5 min apart and intense, rapid dilation, 20 min of pushing and ds born. SO, if ppl only count active labor, my labor was 2 1/2 hours, 20 min of which was pushing. If they count from the time I noticed ctx, 9 1/2 hours.

Pam-so does that mean when ppl ask how long a labor was you include prodromal or you don't? Like if a client of yours just gave birth and someone was to ask you how long the labor was, how would you couch your reply?
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#5 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 08:57 PM
 
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I started timing when I realized that they were contractions and they were bad enough to keep my awake. That was midnight on Fri. I had my daughter at 2 on Sunday.
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#6 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 09:03 PM
 
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I usually say both the early and active. Some women really count the early - I know I have because even though my contx were only every 5-7 minutes, I couldn't sleep much. But, in actuality, I only had a nine or so hour active labor. The rest was early.

I typically give both early and active. I'm not sure if it makes sense to everyone, and some people don't get it.... "you mean you LET HER GO for over 30 hours?" Ack. Ok. Whatever. Hee!
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#7 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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I say I was in labor for 72 hours. At 8 pm on thursday night I went into early labor. My labor went active and crapped out quite a few times before dd was born. I went from 10 minutes apart to 3-4 minutes apart for 8 hours then back to 10 minutes apart every time the sun would rise. Even when my contractions slowed, I was still in labor but my body was so tired from working in active active labor just to get a swollen cervix it would crap out for awhile then start back up when I went to bed. Dd was born at 7:54 pm on Sunday night. Thursday night I went to 5 minutes apart, friday night I went to 4 minutes apart, saturday night I was at 3-4 minutes apart and sunday night dd moved and I went into transition. So I say 72 hours. When people's eyes bug out I say it probably came down to 24 hours active labor. Yes, i was a sleepy mama after that!
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#8 of 10 Old 05-14-2004, 09:33 PM
 
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I always assume that people are counting from the time when contractions start and don't stop again, whether or not they are regular.

First my first labor I was having contractions 7-10 minutes apart for two days straight. I didn't even start dilating until about six hours before the birth, which I guess would be considered active labor; but I *really* don't feel like I had a six-hour labor, yk? For my second and third we didn't time contractions or check dilation, so it especially makes sense to me, in that case, to count from when contractions first begin, because I really can't say when "active" labor began.
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#9 of 10 Old 05-15-2004, 02:19 AM
 
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My ob and my doula joked that my labor lasted almost 5 mos. No joke really, I had cx 3-5 min. apart non-stop from 23 weeks (when I dilated to 1 cm)until I had my baby at 38 weeks. Couldn't sleep through them most nights until I was completely exhausted. I was on bedrest and terbutaline, and the terb made the cx less forcefu but they did not stop. Had several trips to L&D to get shots of more terb. When I stopped the terb at 35 weeks I dilated 1 cm each week. At 38 weeks I was 4 cm. and still not in active labor. Finally I had my membranes stripped and had cx that I couldn't talk through and made me cross-eyed so I guess that was the start of active labor.

I can't wait to tell my second born how long I was in labor with her when she starts to smarth mouth me as a teen. lol!

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#10 of 10 Old 05-15-2004, 02:21 AM
 
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double post

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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