Narrow Pelvis? (Continuous contractions - no break) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-26-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I gave birth a few months ago and was really surprised by my experience. I expected pain and for it to be really, really tough. It was. However, I never really was knocked off my feet by the uterine pain/contraction. What was so awful was the bone crushing hip pain. This was my first and so I assumed it was normal at the time...but after talking with lots of people, it doesn't sound right. There was absolutely no break in the contraction, no up and down whatsoever, nothing unbearable about the uterine pain, just hours and hours of bone crushing hip pain. (no back labor either and we knew that the baby was indeed head down before labor began). I am not a loud person but I screamed at the top of my lungs for about 7 hours straight and ended up with a very swollen chest and throat for a week after the birth.

The triage nurse mentioned to me that I had a narrow pelvis. No one had ever made that comment to me before. I'd been going to the chiropractor up until the day of the birth (to release my hips or open the sacrum or something like that) and he never mentioned that I had a particularly narrow pelvis. I also exercised, drank red raspberry leaf tea, used hypnobabies, had a wonderful doula etc. I was very well prepared and did manage to have a medication free birth...but I dont understand how some women have a break in contractions and can talk or move in between.

Does anyone know what might have happened with my contractions? Why would contractions have no break when the baby is in the right position?
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#2 of 9 Old 01-26-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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Well, I don't know, but I had just what you describe - one non-stop contraction too.

I started off with 'normal' labour, which was fine. When I noticed my contractions they were already 5 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute and over the next 6 hours they gradually ramped up in intensity to where they were about 3 minutes apart and lasting between 60-90 seconds. But this stage was totally handle-able, as I had the breaks in between to centre myself and prepare for the next.

Then suddenly it all just changed. From being 'handle-able' it went to 'okay the baby has to be coming now because this just isn't stopping' to not being able to form fully coherent thoughts or speak at all as it was taking *all* my effort to just stay conscious.

That went on for another 16 hours. It was just incredibly difficult and not at all what I was prepared for. In all my reading about birth I had never heard of anyone experiencing this. (I ended up being coerced into transferring by my useless MW, and had a high forceps delivery complete with large episiotomy without any pain meds which to the best of my knowledge was totally unnecessary and simply done to punish me for having attempted a HB).

By piecing together various pieces of information later on, including trying to translate my hospital notes (with the aid of a very helpful MDC mama) I figured out with fair certainty that DD was both posterior and asynclitic (head tilted off to one side). I did dilate to 10 but with a lip and after nearly 6 hours at 10 the lip still hadn't resolved and I had no urge to push. It was at this point that the MW forced me to transfer, though she didn't appear to have noticed any positioning problem herself.

I still kick myself over this, because somehow I never had the feeling that DD was in trouble - it was just a positioning issue, but I didn't know that at the time. I thought if the baby was in a bad position you would have 'back labour'. So when I didn't have bad back pain I didn't make the connection, but I'm now as sure as I can be that the 'one giant contraction' was the direct result of positioning problems. I wonder if it might have been the same for you?

I know what you mean about not really understanding how women in labour can move and talk in between contractions - I read those birth stories and shake my head in awe/disbelief, because it was so different from my own experience where I couldn't even speak to say 'water' when I was desperately dehydrated, and the only way I could move was to have people haul me around.

As an aside, if anyone else has had this experience and gone on to have another baby (which I will be doing in late summer) was there anything you could do to prevent it happening again? I was also *really* careful about fetal positioning and doing all the right things - it doesn't seem fair that I would have a malpositioned baby anyway...

Friendlee - you're the first person I've encountered on here who has described pretty much my experience (though I didn't experience hip pain, just all over non-stop pain pain!). It's difficult when labour is so different and so much more difficult and painful than you have good reason to believe.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#3 of 9 Old 01-26-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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This happened to one of my friends. She had bone breaking hip pain. She said she just screamed for hours and hours. She has incredibly narrow hips, but I don't know if that makes a difference. She describes her labor pain as her hips/tailbone/ pelvis feeling like they were ripping apart.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-27-2010, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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did dilate to 10 but with a lip and after nearly 6 hours at 10 the lip still hadn't resolved and I had no urge to push.
This is what happened to me. I wanted to "breathe the baby down" but I had been in labor for so long and when I was fully dilated despite the lip, I just wanted to push in order to get it all over with. I describe it as the absolute worst day of my life...which just happened to result in my most favorite person in the world. I'm sad it really was the worst day of my entire life, though.

So I always thought I'd have a posterior baby since my placenta was anterior. But, like you, when I didn't have the dreaded back labor, I assumed her position was fine. But now I'm really curious about whether or not she was posterior and/or asynclitic.

I worked hard throughout the pregnancy to avoid reclinging on the couch or computer chair and spent many hours on all fours over the birthing ball in hopes of obtaining optimal positioning. It's just amazing to me that I could have prepared so much and then others just accidentally birth naturally in under four hours. I really thought I'd be one of them, since my mom and all of my aunts had been that way.

So how would one determine whether or not they are posterior and/or asynclitic? I tried spinningbabies.com when I was pregnant but could not determine a butt from a foot from a head from an elbow. I was totally boggled that other people could tell with such distinction!
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#5 of 9 Old 01-27-2010, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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P.S. Did your asynclitic baby have any head/neck symptoms? Mine did not...but my sister's baby was stuck in a postion with her head tilted (she was stubbornly breech and ended in a C-section) and for about a month afterward she couldn't really straighten her neck. All's fine now, but I wondered if a baby would have trouble straightening their neck if their head was pushed to the side like that for so long?

(Just wondering if I should rule out the asynclitic thing or if I should really consider it as a possibility in my case.)
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#6 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Friendlee View Post
This is what happened to me. I wanted to "breathe the baby down" but I had been in labor for so long and when I was fully dilated despite the lip, I just wanted to push in order to get it all over with. I describe it as the absolute worst day of my life...which just happened to result in my most favorite person in the world. I'm sad it really was the worst day of my entire life, though.

So I always thought I'd have a posterior baby since my placenta was anterior. But, like you, when I didn't have the dreaded back labor, I assumed her position was fine. But now I'm really curious about whether or not she was posterior and/or asynclitic.

I worked hard throughout the pregnancy to avoid reclinging on the couch or computer chair and spent many hours on all fours over the birthing ball in hopes of obtaining optimal positioning. It's just amazing to me that I could have prepared so much and then others just accidentally birth naturally in under four hours. I really thought I'd be one of them, since my mom and all of my aunts had been that way.

So how would one determine whether or not they are posterior and/or asynclitic? I tried spinningbabies.com when I was pregnant but could not determine a butt from a foot from a head from an elbow. I was totally boggled that other people could tell with such distinction!
Yes; worst day of my life too. I did get DD out of it, but wow, what a price.

I too was *really* conscious of positioning throughout the pregnancy to the point that when I was at home I only ever sat on my birthing ball throughout the whole 3rd trimester. If I was out I would take my coat off and sit on it to make sure my hips were above my knees and never lean back. I consistently slept on my left side and spent at least 30 minutes a day on hands and knees. It just doesn't seem fair!

I honestly couldn't figure out DD's position either - the belly-mapping was totally useless to me. I could just feel lots of hard bumps, but figuring out what they were was next to impossible. She moved around a huge amount though, so I wonder whether that might have contributed. She was actually engaged at about 37-8 weeks, then moved so much she disengaged again, and never got really fully engaged again before labour. So she might have just moved so much that she jiggled herself into a really bad position then couldn't get out of it..

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Originally Posted by Friendlee View Post
P.S. Did your asynclitic baby have any head/neck symptoms? Mine did not...but my sister's baby was stuck in a postion with her head tilted (she was stubbornly breech and ended in a C-section) and for about a month afterward she couldn't really straighten her neck. All's fine now, but I wondered if a baby would have trouble straightening their neck if their head was pushed to the side like that for so long?

(Just wondering if I should rule out the asynclitic thing or if I should really consider it as a possibility in my case.)
She didn't have anything that I could immediately point to, but we had a lot of breastfeeding issues, that in hindsight I think might be the result of head/neck problems. She seemed to have a much harder time latching on to the left side, and continually arched/overextended her head/neck leading to terrible latch, but she just couldn't seem to get comfortable latched on close to the boob.

And when I finally got some money to take her to a chiropracter, well over a year after the birth she said that DD had quite a lot of neck issues, and once she had adjusted her a couple of times she suddenly started sleeping really well (before that she would wake every 30-90 minutes all night long, until just about 18 months). May not be related, but quite a coincidence if not.

Unless it's written in your medical report there's really no sure way at this stage to tell whether or not your LO was posterior or asynclitic, but from your description of it I would say it's a fair guess. And honestly I don't think many HCPs are able to identify such malpositions very well anyway - they seem to think if baby's head down that's all that matters, and don't take into account the *huge* difference that a posterior/asynclitic/nuchal hand etc. can make to the progress and difficulty of a labour.

Oh, BTW, I forgot to add last time that I was never told I had a narrow pelvis either. In fact I would laugh at anyone who tried to tell me that; I'm a pretty generously built woman all-round. So I don't think it was necessarily that either; seems like that's a catch-all explanation for difficult births when the HCPs don't really know what might have caused the problem.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#7 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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That sounds so much like my experience as well (including hypnobabies, etc.). My DD was asynclitic, and she never did straighten up: just came out that way, with a hand up there to boot, and slept that way for at least 2 months. I never really had the urge to push, and I pushed at 9cm because after all of that time, I just wanted.her.out. For me, I almost thought DD wanted to shoot out my tailbone because the back labor and tailbone pressure, pressure, pressure was insane. My DH gave me counterpressure with every.single.birthing.wave for more than 12 hours.

I also had a med-free vaginal birth at the end, but I didn't bounce back the way people said I would. By 6 weeks I still wasn't anywhere near "normal" physically. I still think my experience was different from yours in that my waves were still "waves", even if they were tripling and not breaking in between I could still feel some kind of strengthening and easing pattern.

But to answer your original question, I have never heard of that kind of birthing with a baby who is in the perfect position.

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#8 of 9 Old 02-21-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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I have birthed 2 posterior babies and I can honestly say that the ones who delivered face up, were just incredibly PAINFUL. No rest, just constant horrible pain.

Compare that to my 2 that came anterior...well, no comparison at all. Between contractions, I didn't.feel.anything. I could rest and be comfortable. I would suspect that your baby had some sort of malposition by your description.

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#9 of 9 Old 02-22-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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My first came on his own five days past my due date. It was one constant contraction. After 12 hours of it I developed a migraine. I was so looking forward to the waves and was prepared for those but had no clue what to think of the constant contraction. So, with the migraine I opted for an epidural. Son was born about as textbook as can be. Pushed for 45 minutes and even with the epi I could feel the horrible pelvic pain.

My second was an induction - not my choice but to have my midwives attend I agreed to it. I didn't respond well to the pitocin but once my contractions got going I had normal ones. His birth went into the crapper during the last 45 minutes or so and I had to push him out as fast as possible. Very traumatic and he died 12 hours later due to his cord tearing sometime during the end of labor and he lost most of his blood. Not a birth I can really compare to others, not textbook at all.

My third came on her own three weeks early. It was the best of all three. I had the most powerful waves, incredibly painful and I really needed those breaks. Huge difference from my first. I guess overall my labor with her was about six hours. By the time we left our house my contractions were so close together if felt like one constant one but still very different from my first birth. I went into L&D observation long enough for my water to break and the nurses rushed me to the delivery room. As soon as I got there I transferred to the bed, pulled up my legs and pushed her right out. I felt incredible after.

I had PSD with all three. My pelvic bone will never be the same. I remember with my first the pain in my pelvis was horrible. With my second the pain from the blood loss in my uterus was indescribable - nothing I've ever experience. With my third my pelvic bone hurt as she moved out but she was born so quickly (two pushes) that it was fleeting.

I think each birth can be different and as others have said positioning has a lot to do with it.

Oh, I don't have tiny babies, either. 1st - 10lb 11oz, 2nd - 9lb 14oz, 3rd - 8lb 14oz. I know my pelvis is far from narrow and so much of my pain was from the PSD.
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