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Just wondering, when babies come very quickly, is it typically because the mom has been in labor and just hasn't felt it (in which case, sign me up!
) so doesn't realize, or is it that mom just dilates very fast? I had a relatively quick first labor and my midwife keeps reminding me that second babies come even faster so it's just on my mind lately (although I'll probably be cursed with some super long labor just for thinking about it!) and my husband asked me why some people have such quick labors....realized I didn't really know the answer!
 

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My DD's birth was just over 2 hours, and I dont believe I was in labor beforehand (though I was asleep, so maybe a little). With DS's birth (7 1/2 hours, pretty fast for a first baby, particularly since 4 hours was pushing), I was definitely not in labor beforehand. In both cases I got the pop of waters breaking and was headlong in labor, with 3 minute apart contractions that I knew were It. Though with DD I did have a good bit of prodromal labor beforehand, and was 3 cm dilated & 75% effaced with baby low, 4 days before I delivered, so that probably helped.

Frankly, I'd rather have a longer labor, and am working hard on visualizing that for my new baby. 8 hours sounds about right to me, spread the work out a little! 2 hours total, 40 minutes of labor hard enough to have to stop and breath through, was very intense.

I dont know why I have fast labors. Partly I think it is psychological (I can honestly say I dont have fear about the pain, etc), partly preparation in terms of really trusting my care providers and feeling good about homebirth, partly paying attention to optimal fetal positioning, and partly just plain "luck" and maybe anatomy.

Good luck with your birth!
 

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I think for most women it's that they dialate quickly, but for some it may be they don't recognize labor. I went from 2 to 10 in 2 hours with ds1, 3 to 9 in 1 hour w/ ds2, and I had a relatively long labor w/ ds3, 8 hours to go from 2 to pushing. I wouldn't be so quick to sign up for the short ones. IME, and I've been told that this is almost always true, the short labors are very very very intense and harder to handle. You don't have time to relax and let things go, you're too busy trying to catch a breath between the strong painful contractions. In comparison, my 3rd labor was relaxing until the last few minutes of transition. I much preferred the long one.

Before my 3rd baby I always prayed for short labors b/c I didn't think I'd be able to handle a long one after having my first. I was pleasantly surprised w/ my 3rd longish labor.
 

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Fast labors are just genetic for me, apparently. My mom and sister both had 4-5 hour labors with their first. My mom then had 2.5 hours with the 2nd, and 1.5 hours with the third (ME!). I followed this pattern by having a 2.5 hour labor with a preemie, where my water had broken 4 days earlier. I'm not expecting my 2nd one to be faster than that if full term, but I'm not discounting the possibility either. I'm guessing I'll probably do about 2.5 hours again, but we'll see.

Anyway... for me, I was on contraction monitors all day. I was not in labor until 5pm when I felt that first little contraction (which felt kind of like a gas pain that moves). It wasn't just a tightening. It actually hurt right away, but I could still talk and eat and all that fun stuff. I ate dinner while having those contractions. Within the hour, they were getting alot more serious, and I needed to hold DH's hand (I was stuck in bed, so no changing positions except to lay on my left side and relax, a la Bradley Method, which we'd had a crash course in that afternoon
). 2 hours after the first contraction, I hit transition and the nurses checked me and baby was "right there", so they raced me to the LDR, where I then had to wait for an OB to get there, etc. So it was about 15 minutes before I was "allowed" to push, and then I pushed 3 times and DS was out.

Yes, some women have really light early labor for a long time and then have a fast active labor, but some women jump right into active labor and get it over with right away. My family is apparently in the 2nd camp. I really didn't mind my labor, although it kind of makes it hard to get a grasp on it when thinking about it after the fact. Like it's hard to remember how it was because it just zoomed by and was done. But since I was laboring in bed and told to use a bed pan for urine, even though my body was screaming to get upright (and I didn't know any better to challenge them on all this, due to my situation of why I was there in the first place), I'm glad I had a fast labor. It kept me from giving in to drugs or even being offered drugs until the last minute (and if I'd said yes, I don't think they'd have had time to get the drugs in anyway, but they did offer and DH said no for me, which helped me realize that I was at the "I can't do it anymore" phase and thus it was almost over).

The nurses thought I'd be a while because I was a first time mom, so they just left me alone. I was the talk of the L&D floor the next morning!
It was a wild ride from the antepartum unit to the LDR.
 

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Oh, I should probably mention ds3 was in a weird position and this is certainly the reason why my labor was so much longer. ANd the fact that I was so much more relaxed might have been helped by the fact that I was haing a homebirth for the first time. My favorite memory of that labor was sitting around my dining room table drinking tea w/ my sister and my midwife.
 

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I had a 4.5 hour induced labor with my first and just recently gave birth after a 2 hour labor. First birth I had NO contractions/signs of labor beforehand. Just recently however, I was having contractions on and off a couple of days but I thought they were braxton hicks and they weren't painful. When I woke up and realized I was actually in labor contrax. were 3 mins apart lasting one minute. Even then they weren't so bad and I wasn't convinced it was the "real" thing. Consequently, midwife showed up as she was falling out.
I think it was a combo of not realizing I was in true labor and dialating quickly.
 

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While my first labour was 44 hours of hard (I'm not counting the early stuff in the beginning), my second labour was only a few hours.
Contrary to most, it actually wasn't intense at all. I didn't really know I was in labour until he was crowning. I never even felt the urge to push.
I felt kind of crampy and weird all day, but it wasn't like labour, it was just annoying... then sometime in the evening it very suddenly changed and felt pretty regular, but still not that bad. I kept waiting for it to get worse so I'd KNOW it was labour, but it never did. It was just crampy. Finally I decided to go to the hospital just in case it was, and maybe have them determine whether or not I was in preterm labour or it was just nonsense contractions. THey kept saying I wasn't having any because the monitor didn't pick any up, and only the last 20 or so minutes before the OB came down and *finally* checked me did it kinda feel like real labour, but even then I was completely floored when he said, "You're 10cm dilated and the baby is right there" (he was about a knuckle in with a part on my perineum).

I'd like to have an in-between labour. 44 hours is kinda long! But 2 hours wasn't even enough time for me to really realize I was in labour! 6 hours would be nice.
 

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Could be either. I think the cramps I'd been having (baby #2) that I didn't really think about were probably accomplishing something.
But when my water broke, the contractions started immediately and there was no break in between them, and they started out almost transition-like. So it was like cramming all the contractions in an average labor into an hour and a half, which hurts!!
So I think for me it was a bit of both.

- Krista
 

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nak

baby 1 for me took 18 hours.
baby 2 took 4 1/2 hours
baby 3 took 1 1/2 hours

Why did 3 come so fast? Well, all morning, I kind of felt funny. II kind of felt like my baby was posterior and trying to change. I just didn't quite know what my body was doing. I was overdue and didn't really want anything holding my body back. My DH suggested calling the MW to see if she could stop by to check the baby's position. I was just hanging out leaning on my birth ball and my water broke. The MW stopped by to check position a 1/2 hour later. The baby was born an hour after that.

The thing is, it was a way easy birth. I didn't need the MW there. We would have been a-ok without a MW in the house. When babies come that fast, it's because everything is totally fine. If the baby comes faster than the MW, then you didn't need her anyway!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Spark
When babies come that fast, it's because everything is totally fine. If the baby comes faster than the MW, then you didn't need her anyway!
That's what my midwife's apprentice said when I mentioned that I wanted HER there especially since there is a chance the midwife wouldn't make it (lives an hour away from the birth house, whereas the apprentice lives 15 minutes away like I do).

The sad thing? Both my mother and my sister's first babies were delivered with forceps, even though they both were having 4-5 hour labors.
: In my sister's case, she had meconium in the water, and her midwives had a mec transfer rule. Thankfully, mine doesn't transfer for that unless baby is actually in distress. I'm not sure why forceps were used with my mom. Her subsequent babies were bigger and came out even faster, and no forceps were used.
 

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For me the labor was just that fast - 45 minutes.
This was my 4th and my water broke which got me up out of bed at around 3:30am.
So I was waiting for contractions - anticipating them. I had a premonition that the labor would be very fast so I put myself in the bathtub hoping to slow things down before I had my first contraction. The first 2-3 contractions were medium strength and then transition hit! She was 9 pounds 8 ounces - my biggest babe yet but was still out in just a couple of pushes.

Keri
 

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My first labor ended up being around 20 hours, with 2.5 hours of pushing- way longer than necessary, but I had drugs/interventions, and a very bad situation, so its no wonder it took forever. Not to mention I was birthing a posterior baby. The women in my family tend to have fast labors, however I have yet to experience this for myself. My mom was in labor maybe 12 hours with me?? Her sister had a longish first labor, then a quick 4 hour labor with her second. My grandmother also had a long first labor, then her next two were "fast" according to her. I'm due any day now, and crossing my fingers for a fast labor and birth this time around. The baby is SOOOOOO low, I think he's going to fall out
 

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My labor was 6 hours total, but I dilated from 3 - 9.5 in 1.5 hours, 1 more hour to complete (which I think was due to being in bed and not upright), and 31 minutes of pushing. I had two nights of crampy contractions 20 minutes apart, but they would go away once I woke up and started moving around. Then one night I woke up at 1:00 am to contractions five minutes apart. It was an intense ride from there on out. My labor was fast, intense and incredibly painful. I was supposed to have a tub, and a birthing room, and a nice midwife, but I got a normal L&D room, no tub, and the meanest nurse and midwife imaginable. I had some nubain too, but there was no slowing this force down. It kept speeding along at a terrifying pace (for me, I know for others it would be the perfect length). So in my experience, it didn't matter where I was, or who was with me, or what they were doing to me, my body just wanted to get the whole thing over with. My Mom's 4 labors were all 4 hours long, but they were really mild, not intense at all. My friends labors were the same, about 4 hours long for each child, but very mild. I would love one of those short mild labors, but I am really scared for next time (if there is a next time), because I just don't think I can handle it going much faster. I sure wish there was a way to slow things down.
 

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Both my labors were relatively fast (14 hours for #1, 1 hour and 45 minutes for #2). I can't say for sure whether it's dilation or not knowing. With my first baby I had only 1 cervix check, which was when I was at 9cm, and with my second baby I had none. My midwife says I am a very efficient birther though, so maybe it's fast dilation.

I think if you can find ways to not freak out and go with the your labor rather than fighting it, this helps with "efficient" birthing.

One thing that helped me with not freaking out with that hour and 45 minute birth was trying to be curious about the pain and noticing details about the sensations rather than just trying to flee from them. I got this idea from the Birthing From Within book.

My midwife told us what Spark/Claire said about how if it is going really fast, that means things are going well. This also helped me wth just going with it and not being afraid.

I don't mean to imply I was as cool as a cucumber. I did freak out a little bit. It helped having people around me who didn't freak out and stayed anchored when this happened.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Birth Mama Poot!!!
 

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My labour, or what I consciously felt as labour lasted around 4 hours. I literally woke up in the night with heavy stomach cramps and horrible sickness.

Did I labour before and not know? Maybe. I've felt like crap for 2 days before that and felt just like that going to bed at 8 pm. You know, pelvic floor pressure,backache....it's been normal for a while by then ( and already is again at 33 weeks now
: ).

I am somewhat expecting this baby to just sorta fall out one day, I mean how much shorter than 4 hours can labour get?
( plus I'll be at home and not scared > relaxed > even faster?)
 

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Both of my births were very standard hospital births. With my first, the labor only lasted 6 hours from beginning to end. I had pitocin (and painful contrax) and an epidural.
With my recent and second labor, I had no pain until it was time to push. The nurse couldn't believe I wasn't hurting based on my contraction frequency but it wasn't until 10 minutes after the doctor broke my waters that I felt anything. The pain was pretty intense then but managable with pushing. I pushed for 10 minutes and that was it. The only drawback to suck a quick labor is that her lungs were filled with quite a bit of fluid that had to be suctioned out. Should I decided to have another baby, I'll make sure to read up on how to suction out/deal with the fluid should I end up delivering at home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by savannah smiles
The only drawback to suck a quick labor is that her lungs were filled with quite a bit of fluid that had to be suctioned out. Should I decided to have another baby, I'll make sure to read up on how to suction out/deal with the fluid should I end up delivering at home.
Her lungs being filled with fluid has nothing to do with it being a fast birth. All my babies were pushed out in less than 10 minutes and my last labor was 45 minutes from beginning to end and she was born in the bathtub and none of my children have been suctioned.
What usually happens is that when a baby is born in a hospital they stimulate the baby, clamp the cord immediately and hold it on it's back and the baby inhales fluid at that time. During a homebirth the baby is put on the Mamas chest right away and any fluid drains naturally. There isn't a lot of stimulation to make the baby cry and the cord is left attached longer so there is no need for the baby to inhale deeply and it is MUCH less likely baby will have fluid.

Keri
 

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With my 3rd my mw broke my water (it was either her do it at home or the dr do it at the hospital) and 2.5 hours later my baby was here. I know I wasn't in labor before hand cause I had been having contractions every 7 min for 2 weeks with no cervical change. Labor was extremly easy with only 30 min of pain (5 of which was pushing). So I guess I just dialated fast. My last labor was 14 hours but really easy. I could see how if my water hadn't broken I wouldn't have known I was in labor till I was pushing. I guess both is possible, just depends on the labor and the mom.
 

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I have dilated a fair amount before labour began each time - getting to 4 cms or so several days prior to labour begining.

Baby #1 - 3.5 hours from first ctx to holding him.
Baby #2 - 1.5 hours from first ctx to holding her.

I'm hoping for around 4 to 6 hours this time, I'd like enough time to wrap my head around actually being in labour before it's over !
 

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With my first my labor was an hour and half long. It started with cramping and bloody show and then went into strong contractions.

I was induced with my son but did dilate very quckly at the end. My ob checked me and I was at 5cm and five minutes later I was pushing.

I think my dd's birth was wonderful (UC to boot, although unplanned) and would love a repeat this time!! It was intense but completely manageable.
 
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