Precipitous Labour (sorry slightly long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 14 weeks pregnant with my 3rd and just really trying to mentally prepare for another fast labour and birth.
My last labour (2.5 years ago) was 40 min long from 1st contraction to babe in arms. It was an unplanned unassisted birth and it was fast and furious. At the time I was feeling traumatized, and was ignoring the baby in a way I can only describe as me "not knowing the baby was born yet".

Anyway we had a slightly rough start to bf'ing (still going strong ) which was not a HUGE deal but emotionally and physically I was just completely overwhelmed and felt fragile and weepy and just completely crushed. I tore badly from her coming out so fast (head came out while on toilet, stood up and she 'slid' out with LOTS of pain I might add). As they were stitching (which was absolutely excrutiating!) I kept falling in and out of 'sleep' and having flashbacks and yelling make it stop etc. Midwife said I had some definite PTSD going on.

I suffered extreme PPD as well as/caused by? postpartum thyroiditis for over a year and a half and am now dealing with the adrenal fatigue that comes with it but slowly on the mend..

Soon after the birth though I always said/felt that the labour/birth was so awesome and I hope they all happen this way etc etc. Really I felt awesome. So why the anxiety?? I feel like I didn't get a chance to process certain things (like my complete lack of control) and it's all coming to me now..

ANYWAY, I'm preparing for an unassisted labour/birth this time. While I do have a midwife I'm not counting on her being there or making it if I have such a fast labour again.

What I'm most afraid of is the tearing. I need to know which positions to be in to slow down the actual birth? What else to mentally/physically prepare? (I just read 'Emergency Childbirth'..although I didn't get *that* much from it I'll have dh read it) I'm not worried about the baby at all --in the sense I feel I 'know' what to do-- just worried about me, as selfish as that sounds

My next appt is in a couple days and I'll be discussing some of this with her. I'm just up early and wanted to put this out there.

Helping women overcome postpartum depression and birth trauma. http://www.postmommyhood.com

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#2 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 09:47 AM
 
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From one fast birthing mama to another it is traumatic. So incredibly intense. I wish I had some advice for you but I have no idea. I don't think you are being selfish at all though.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#3 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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Let me give you a hug!

I had a precipitous labor with my last birth. It was 1.5 hours. And, yeah, if you shaved an hour off of that, I'd definitely have noticed!!!! This time I keep telling my DH that if everything happens faster or even as fast, I'm going to need some time to just hang out and finish being pregnant while I hold/nurse the baby.

One thing that I do that helps is I envision myself responding to a quick labor... what I'll do depending on if I start out grunting with the ctx or not. If I start grunting with ctx, I envision myself going straight to the bathroom (do not pass go) and drawing a bath. (I really want to get a pool thermometer & draw on there two lines at the appropriate temps to represent ideal water birth temperature, so no matter how out of my brain, I can figure out if the water is too hot or too cold... I doubt I'll be able to figure it out otherwise.) I lay on my left side in the water with my right foot propped on the soap caddy and I let my body do it's work. I place my hand on my perineum as I feel it stretch. I apply pressure if need be. I catch my baby as he/she emerges. I breathe my baby out, I am calm, my baby's birth is peaceful and gentle.

That's the script I say to myself whenever I get caught up in fear. Can I handle it? What if it's shorter?!?! What if....!?!? Is just not helpful. So, if I feel fear coming up, I'll give myself some space to imagine the birth & my response.

Do you have a copy of Birthing From Within? There's an AMAZING section on releasing fears about birth outcomes in there. Oh, man, it's amazing. Right now while you're feeling the fear intensely, I'd go get your hands on copy for sure. I think it would really help.

As far as tearing goes, upright definitely has gravity working with you for a faster, easier to push out birth. Maybe you'd like side-lying or laying down modified squat instead? Or even hands and knees? The other thing is that water really cuts down on tears. If you can get in a bathtub or spa fast, that would probably help, too. Planning to (which you know, plans do change in birth!) feel your baby's head as he/she crowns also helps slow down pushing sometimes. (Goodness, I just realized that the birth I envision uses each of these suggestions. I didn't even plan it that way, just seemed like a good idea that I was drawn to while imagining.

Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy and a beautiful gentle birth no matter how short it is!

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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#4 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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s to you first off.

Fast labors are very intense. My last was an hr, start to finish - while I did not feel traumatized I can remember just being like "WTH just happened?"

These are just my initial thoughts, in the end you will be the best one to answer some more of these questions...

However, perhaps you are feeling anxiety due to the feeling/problems you dealt with PP after your birth. The fear that something similar will happen, perhaps?

Also, while it is great to be prepared for a fast labor & the aspects of that - don't count on it. It could really slow you down & hinder if a longer labor were to happen & you have preconceived ideas of how things "should" go, kwim?

On the other side, I've spent a great amount of time becoming at peace with *no one* making this birth. I tend to lose complete focus during transition and have always appreciated that touch/feel of someone close just to remind me... so I have been scared of hitting that point and no one being here. I think initially my answer came in recurring dream form and from there I have been able to make peace with this.

And my last thoughts are, remember during that pushing stage to listen to what your body is telling you. With dd I did not tear, a lil skid mark but what helped me was as I was sitting on the toilet I instinctively stood (knowing she was coming THEN) and from there - moved into a different position. Being vertical I felt she was just coming too fast so I went to hands & knees and eventually to my side. Even in those fast births, just changing postions can make a big difference.

I hope everything goes well for you
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#5 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kalisage View Post
Also, while it is great to be prepared for a fast labor & the aspects of that - don't count on it. It could really slow you down & hinder if a longer labor were to happen & you have preconceived ideas of how things "should" go, kwim?
That's a really great point.

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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#6 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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I had 2 fast labors. #1 was 2 hr. 45, #2 was 1 hr. 45. That's the one that shook me up and I tore - just a little but, still, I think the reason I tore was b/c I was on a birthing stool. Out of all 3 of my births my body has insisted I stay on all fours or leaning over the bed or birth ball. When I tore, I went against what my body was saying b/c I wanted to see dd being born, feel her head, catch her. I'm glad I was able to do that but I do feel like it's the reason I tore.

So, I know all fours works for me I think I read something about it helping to slow things down, too.

Also, after #2, I was so scared to give birth again. My mw rec. hypnosis. So w/#3 I did Hypnobabies. I'll be brief b/c I talk too much about it on these boards but it is a wonderful program. My 3rd birth was amazing. AND it was 6 hrs.!! Perfect. Ironically, I envisioned my birth being 6 hrs. throughout my pregnancy and that's exactly what I got. Even if you think hypnosis is hokey - that's okay. I rolled my eyes at it for years but never again.
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#7 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kalisage View Post
:However, perhaps you are feeling anxiety due to the feeling/problems you dealt with PP after your birth. The fear that something similar will happen, perhaps?

Also, while it is great to be prepared for a fast labor & the aspects of that - don't count on it. It could really slow you down & hinder if a longer labor were to happen & you have preconceived ideas of how things "should" go, kwim?
I *know* I'm worried about the thyroiditis/PPD happening again, especially the hyperthyroid stage when I was constantly suicidal and would tell my husband often that I was going to check into a mental institution because I was not in my right mind.

My endocrinologist said it's a 90% chance it will happen again and we have a *strong* family history of both. That said though, I've been working at healing for the past year and a half and as soon as I got a positive pg test I started getting things in order. Getting on my supplements, ND appt, talking it through with my midwife (same midwife I had with the last pg) etc.

Found out I'm Celiac a few weeks back (and have adrenal fatigue) and the celiac makes so much sense! For over a year I took every supplement imaginable, ate sooo healthy, protein every meal etc. and I was getting no where, still depressed, still anemic, still deficient in so many minerals/vitamins etc. Within a few weeks of being gluten-free though, my iron was awesome with *no* supplements (1st trimester nausea) and I was feeling better in many ways. So I feel that was a big piece of the puzzle.

I'm sorry I went off topic, but I just wanted to say that YES I am feeling anxiety due to what I went through PP, so I want to prepare as much as I can to reduce the stress throughout pregnancy *and* birth.

I do realize I could have a long labour too (my first was a 24-hour induced hospital birth), but don't feel I need the same preparation as with a short labour. Mainly positioning.

I was confused to see many suggesting lying down when I always read about how lying down in labour is the worst position and you tear easily that way etc.
Spark, I love how you envision your birth> I think that would totally work for me. I have Birthing From Within but didn't like most of it but I'll go back and reread the part about releasing fears. I don't remember reading that part.

Thanks again everyone

Helping women overcome postpartum depression and birth trauma. http://www.postmommyhood.com

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#8 of 16 Old 04-20-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere View Post
I was confused to see many suggesting lying down when I always read about how lying down in labour is the worst position and you tear easily that way etc.
Lying down isn't always terrible. When it's the only postion allowed, and there isn't any choice to move - yea pretty bad IMO. It's like with missionary, can be pretty darn fun as long as there are other options

ETA: When I say lying down, I meant on my side - not on the back!
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#9 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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My labour was fast too. When I started pushing (not voluntarily), I kind of squatted on the toilet, but then I just felt way too much pressure and stretching so I, purely instinctively (I definitely was not thinking), jumped on the bed, lying on my left side. Then I continued to push involuntarily until the head was crowning and I got really excited so I gave a big push. I immediately felt the burning of a tear about to happen so I stopped, shocked. The head then came out on its own, very slowly, with no tearing. I then felt the shoulders very slowly turning (the most amazing thing ever to witness IMO) and she slid out in a big gush of fluid (my water had not broke until then).

A few weeks later, I read that lying on your left side can slow down the pushing phase. I cant remember where I read this at this moment though.

After that, I nursed and fell asleep with my daughter. I woke up several hours later, completely shocked to discover a baby in my arms. I was looking at her, then my stomach back and forth, wondering if this was like one of those dreams I had a few weeks before where I took out the baby and then put it back in several times). I had a brief moment of panic, but then I started to remember it all, in a dream-like fashion. I was fine later on, my memory of it came back and I did not have any tears or other negative or worrisome problems, but I can definitely see how a quick birth can be traumatizing.

I think that one important thing is to make sure all the details are prepared (the bed ready, etc) in advance (all my pyjamas were in the laundry, not so practical on a few minutes notice) to make sure you can be as comfortable as possible when it happens. I know that if the bed was not properly done, I might have just stayed in the bathroom or otherwise have been unable to make myself comfortable and probably teared.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#10 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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I generally have fast births, but they don't always get shorter and shorter. My last birth in 2005 was 26 mins from start to baby, but my birth a few days ago was an hour. Still short, but longer than the last one.

As for tearing, my dh is really great by now (#6 lol) at applying counter-pressure so I don't tear. He has been my saving grace in that area.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 09:58 AM
 
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Side lying and all fours - that is what I read somewhere, too, about slowing down the pushing stage. And, of course, you can always try not to push and let your body/baby do it - but I don't know how that works b/c I've never been able to deny myself that urge.
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#12 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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I have very fast labors and SUPER fast second stages- ever since #3, it's like someone flushes a toilet and baby flies out... Side lying has worked well, and side lying in the water is my preferred- total absolute control that way!

#3 was an hour long birth (but I was already in the hospital- my water broke long before contractions). But #4 was a homebirth since I wouldn't be able to make it to the hospital in time and his labor was 3 1/2 hours long! With an anterior placental lip no less. #5 was funky weird and LONG- like days, but she was early and in retrospect we learned that her placenta couldn't have held up through my "normal" labors, so there was a reason. #6 I was right back to "wham, bam, thank you ma'am!". 45 minutes from "real" contractions to birth. Side lying in the water enabled me to check for the cord, slow down and control breathing/pushing, and gave me a great view for the birth. AND it helped stretch the tissues so no burning or stinging at all.

-Kristi
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#13 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I've only had one baby and had a long labor (13 hours) ...but used this set of herbs. They claim that it can help make labors that are too fast not be as fast.

Here is a link to a lady that sells it in pill form....I baught them from her: http://www.birthjunkie.com/5week_formula.html

This is what this set of herbs claims to do:

**********
Polly Block, a midwife, writes in her book
Polly's Birth Book--Obstetrics for the Home *:

* "We have found the Polly-Jean Formula--an herbal combination that gravidas begin taking five weeks prior to anticipated date of delivery--to be a boon to the home birth movement. It assists in the following ways:

Much easier labor and delivery.

Longer and easier labors for women who tend to have precipitous births.

Shorter and easier labors for women who tend to have long labors.

Bigger dilation before discomfort arises.

Minimization of postpartum bleeding when taken in conjunction with the "Good Program" (the "Good Program" is spelled out in Polly's Birth Book).

Shorter periods before lochia stops.
****************

I dont know if anyone has tried useing these herbs to help make labor a little longer but thought I'd share it anyway. I hope all goes well with you.

(Edited to add a list of the herbs that are in the pill:
• squawvine • blue cohosh • blessed thistle • red raspberry leaf • false unicorn • motherwort • wild ginger • lobelia • wild yam • bayberry root bark)
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#14 of 16 Old 04-22-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm about to have my 3rd in a few weeks and had a precipitous labour with #2 (1hour, 10minutes) which was completely and absolutely terrifying. I didn't tear, as I didn't push, just took advantage of the fetal ejection reflex

This time, I took a hypnobirthing course, which really helped me get through the panic. I no longer nearly start to hyperventilate when I think about giving birth. Watching the video "Birth as we know it" helped tremendously - I kept going through birth scenarios in my head up to that point and could not figure out what I was scared of, I just said to my husband, "it's right here, something here", pointing at my heart. Watching that video, it hit me that it was energy trapped in the heart chakra that I couldn't release. I will be using the spiral motion in my hips to release that energy this time if needed.

I also plan to lie on my side this time, as I did for my first birth. (I was practically standing for the second). Perhaps all fours for pushing. As long as the tailbone can move and the pelvis can open.

And, no pushing
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#15 of 16 Old 04-23-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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I had a really long labor but the pushing stage was really fast. When I felt the baby descending too fast for my comfort, I sat back on my heels and leaned back in a semi-reclining position, but not on a surface so there was no pressure on my tailbone from underneath anyway. I supported my weight with my arms straight and my hands on the floor behind me. I was in water but I'm pretty sure I could do this out of water as well. I think it made the descent slightly more manageable, and I suppose it made it easier for DP to catch DD! It just felt right to be in this position towards the end. I did tear because I was so exhausted that I helped the last push along and I probably shouldn't have! One more un-aided push would have probably done it.

I think I got this position idea from "Active Birth" by Janet Balaskas. I looked at that book a lot during my last pregnancy.

I'm a proud mama of two girls! 4/30/06 Madeline, 09/25/08 Amelia
--**I'm here to share my mistakes and learn from yours**--
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#16 of 16 Old 04-23-2008, 03:59 AM
 
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you know the more i research about birth the more i'm more nervous about a fast labour than a long one. i know i could handle a very long labour, not that i want one, but i could do it. i'm good at zoning and embracing pain, but a really quick labour, when you don't even have time to process anything and you're just pulled along for the ride, that's scary stuff.

for you mama, the fact that you're aware of this will only help you to work through it. don't let fear get the better of you, just breathe through the anxiety and picture your ideal birth. you can do this, remember that you can do this. and you will.
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