This was my first labor, and it was 42 hours. People are just going nuts when they hear that. For me, it was also exhaustion, not the pain, that was one of the main elements. The MAIN factor was that she never dropped past a -1 station, even though I was dilating and effacing well. We tried everything in the book to get her to drop--deep squats, climbing stairs, lunges, birth ball, all sorts of positions, etc., but she never moved. The c-section revealed she had her little hands up next to her face, like she was going down a roller coaster shouting "Wheee!" but she wasn't able to really get herself in a position to come on out.
I was a birth center for the first portion, which is why I know they allowed me to go so long. A hospital wouldn't have that! After over 24 hours at the birth center, they recommended a hospital transfer, and I agreed wholeheartedly. I was only at a 5cm when arriving at the hospital. Even though I didn't want epi/pit combo originally, I knew this was a situation where it was necessary. Even after that, it did all the job it could and the section gave me Hannah Claire at 8:33pm Saturday. My water had broke Friday at 3am, with basically early labor since that previous Sunday night!
So in actuality, I could have had a longer labor than 42 hours, but I just chose to count when my water broke-when she was born as the actual labor time.
I'll tell you what--it sure didn't seem like 42 hours when you are in labor lalaland and time really doesn't register.
Mama to 2 little darling squooshy faces