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This seems like the old argument, which is harder a long labor or a short labor. Well, I've had both, my first two were very long and dialation took forever, transition was a nightmare. My third was about four hours of hard labor and let me tell you, it was about the same as the transition stage of my other labors, without the exhausting, horrible first 20 some hours. So after my first two, I felt like I had been run over by a truck, with my third I felt great afterwards. And I looked better too! You get transition either way, I guess some people think that a short labor is hard to handle because you go "straight into it" without much preparation. But I would prefer that to hours and hours of pain any day. So it probably just depends on whether or not you are caught off guard by going into labor or what kind of personality you have. Also, if you don't have a long labor to compare it to, I could see how some people would imagine that a long labor is this easy, luxurious thing, lol.
 

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At 36 weeks I was 3 cm and 70 -75% effaced. At 36 weeks 6 days, I had a day of what I thought was braxton hicks and a lot of back pain. At 6 pm that evening at the coaxing and insistence of my dad (via the phone) and my hubby, I marched myself into the hospital and up to L&D for a "quick check of my cervix." I even told the nurse that I was sure it was nothing and "quite possibly indigestion."


I walked in at 6pm and my daughter (DD2) was born at 7:34pm.

It was completely intense and I had a hard time getting on top of the contractions to breathe through them, but luckily I only had an hour of intensity before I was ready to push. I was still 3 cm when I was admitted so I went from 3 cm to 10 cm in less than an hour. She was born posterior so I had back labor and that was hard - but all in all it was my best labor and I felt wonderful afterwards.

DD1 and DS were both long labors (over 17 hrs).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sweetiemommy View Post
My third was about four hours of hard labor and let me tell you, it was about the same as the transition stage of my other labors, without the exhausting, horrible first 20 some hours. So after my first two, I felt like I had been run over by a truck, with my third I felt great afterwards. And I looked better too! You get transition either way, I guess some people think that a short labor is hard to handle because you go "straight into it" without much preparation. But I would prefer that to hours and hours of pain any day.
This. My two hour labor was intense and painful -- like suddenly being hit by a train-- but compared to the last few hours of my posterior back labor it was easy... and I wasn't already worn out and tired when that intensity hit. There's a little bit of shock when you realize you're holding a baby (where did this come from?) but it wasn't too bad. It was much better than being dehydrated from hours of vomitting, or having hours and hours of what seemed like transition (my first labor).
 

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My first was 3-4 hours, and it was like being hit by a truck. There was no build-up, no break between contractions to breathe. I had no midwife until I was pushing, so I had no idea what was going on with my body. It was scary; the shock of having a baby in my arms so fast was overwhelming.

I don't know what will happen this time, but my midwife said she'd found that 6 hours was a very nice length for a labor. So maybe I'll hope for that.
 

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My labors from start to finish:
baby 1: 3 hrs
baby 2: 1 hr
baby 3: 2 hrs
baby 4: prodromal labor previous night and then a 2 hr labor in morning

No tearing with any of them. First two were hospital births (no pain meds) and last two were home births in water tub.
All very intense but over with quickly.
 

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I was 41W 4D & my hospital wanted to induce at 42W as their standard. (Although 1 MW I spoke with made it clear she didn't have a problem with mama's declining, and I would have.)
But I decided to go ahead & have my membranes stripped. That was my first VE all pregnancy since the swab for GBS (She did a VE then at my request to confirm position. I was paranoid!)

I was 3 cm & she said stretched to about 4 as she did the stripping. She didn't tell me a % effaced (I didn't want to know, didn't really care since I knew it doesn't mean much in terms of predicting when baby will actually arrive.) but she kept saying, "It's a perfect cervix! Just perfect! I think this is going to work!" I had asked her about coming back to have another sweep & she said I could, but repeated that she thought this would work.

Well, that lady knows her stuff!
Ctrx started 2 hours later (I hadn't even had any BH previously!) The 1st hour was so minor, just cramps, I paused for a second from doing laundry & vacuuming, didn't pay close attention to tracking them.

Then I decided to get into our big in-ground pool. Lucky me it was 1:30 on a hot afternoon at that point! Things got a bit more intense in the pool, but still totally manageable.

I got out of the pool at 4:30 only because I felt I had to use the bathroom & I was getting cold.
Our pool got obscured by shade by that time of day, so I was cold.) THEN it was intense & painful. But that lasted less than an hour before I felt the urge to push.

The worst it ever got for me was thinking, "Huh, I can see why people want drugs for this."
Never, "I can't do this!" or "I want drugs!" But "I can see why others want drugs." That was it!

So, first baby, fast, but awesome! LOL, the worst part was fighting the urge to push for over 30 min!! Had a 20 min drive to the hospital, took a min to get out the door, then into a room at the hospital.

I was SHOCKED by the urge to push - I never imagined 1st stage would be less than 5 hours, with the 1st hour barely being anything. I didn't even call DH to come home from work until I'd been laboring for 2 hours already - and then it was mostly because I didn't have a water proof watch & I was getting sick of having to kick over to the edge of the pool to time ctrx - so I wanted him home to time ctrx for me.

ETA, as I think my story describes, mine was fast, but I had plenty of time to get into it - built up very gradually.
 

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My daughter's two hour labor was intense. The end got pretty excruciating (though my birthing companions say I handled it beautifully
), and pushing was slow and scary, compared to my barrel-through-like-a-train three minute pushing with my son's 4 hour labor. I felt shaky and disoriented after my son's birth, but alert and happy after my daughter's birth.
 

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Originally Posted by 1babysmom View Post
Yeah, my pushing phase with DD2 was nothing short of...well, short!
It was maybe 2 min. max from the time I moved off my birth ball (thinking I needed to get on hands and knees because my back was achey and I thought we might have a positioning issue), the my water busted (that's seriously the most accurate word
) and she was out like seconds later, I couldn't control my body shooting her out. It was kind of bizarre. It was the first time in the whole 5 hours labor that I made any noise at all...and my word of choice was, "OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH!"

"OUCH OUCH OUCH" You're like a total stud! I cry like a baby when I'm in transition.

I know you already know my stories, but I'm feeling nostalgic reading all this.


Ds1 was a hospital induced/epidural birth due to SROM. So yeah...onto the next. Dd I had prodromalish labor a few nights, but in hindsight the contractions were more like realllllllly looooooooong bh. I woke up at 3:40ish am to pee and had a totally different contraction. I was already 4-5cm dilated by then. Labor had definitely begun in a noticeable way! She was born a little over 4 hours later. I'm pretty sure that getting to 6cm is/was the hardest for me-because I was only 6cm 2 hours later; I go pretty quick after that. Even with my messed up medicalized first birth. With him I was only 2cm at midnight and he was born at 4:04 am. With ds2, he was posterior, and I knew it. I tried to encourage him to roll, but he didn't, and I trust that posterior was the best for him. Labor started with him Sunday evening, with contractions 11 minutes apart. I was already 3-4cm at this point. By Wednesday morning, I think I was 5cm...I have this written down somewhere...while I was getting dh's lunch ready for work I realized that contractions were 7 minutes apart! I was excited because that was an improvement because contractions had held at 11 minutes apart all 3 days before, except while nursing dd and after, then they'd speed up for an hour or so. By noon they were about 5 minutes apart. At 2 I told dh to come home because I needed help working through the back pain. Ds2 was born around 4:30 that afternoon. I was completely exhausted after all 3 births, in different ways. With ds1 it was just being in the hospital. It just SUCKED all around. With dd it was from staying up until like 2am and then getting up an hour and a half later in labor and not resting much. After ds2, I never wanted to do it again! Until the next morning when I felt better. I'd say I felt the best after dd's birth though. Can't wait to see what happens for you!
 

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My last birth was a very very nice 3 and a half hour labor. Contractions got painful pretty quick into labor but the painful part of them was short with a nice rest inbetween every contraction even a short rest between the contractions when I was pushing her out. I really can't imagine a better easier labor- well she could have been smaller- although I didn't tear my pelvis bones really ached after getting a 9+lb baby through them!

My second the intense part of labor and pushing I had NO BREAK between contractions and that was less fun. Although I have fond memories off all three of my births no matter what length they were.
 

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Short labors aren't always intense. DD was born two weeks ago. My labor was about 3.5 hours total and I went through all of transition and pushing in about 4 contractions. My midwife didn't even think I was in active labor when she arrived, and we had a baby an hour later. I never had an internal exam and there was never time to call the back-up midwife. Given how calm and collected I was until the last 10 minutes, we were shocked to suddenly see a baby!

******Happy birthing vibes, mama******
 

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My last labor was both long and short.
I had prodromal labor for 48 hours - consistent, painful contractions every 7-10 minutes without pause. So I got no sleep, and was very aggravated that my cervix wasn't dilating at all. The contractions weren't unbearable, but they were enough to keep me out of bed and using my ritual to cope.

Then 'real' labor kicked in and Fiona was born in under an hour. It was very, very intense, but not all that more painful than the prodromal contractions. I felt the need to yell and holler, but I specifically remember thinking things like, "Wow, I'm really overreacting, this isn't that bad, why am I yelling so much?" and "If this is how I'm handling early labor, how on earth will I ever deal with hard labor?" and then as I felt the baby descend and got my first inkling that it might be over sooner than expected, I remember thinking, "Wait, where's the incredible pain? Where's the out of body experience? How come I don't feel like I need an epidural?" I pushed just at the peaks of 2-3 contractions, then said, "Oh sh!t! The baby's coming!" - her head was out in one push, her body in the next.

It was very surprising, but also a HUGE relief that it wasn't as long or as painful as I'd thought it would be. I still feel like I don't have the 'right' to say I had NCB, because it wasn't that bad.
Even though I was cursing the prodromal labor because I was so sleep deprived, it really was a blessing in the end.
 

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My first two labors were 19 and 8 hours, my last one was 4 hours. Ouch. It sucked, really really sucked. The first 30 minutes was ok and then it just felt like I got hit by a train. DS was posterior, the pain between contractions never went away, I could never get on top of the pain. And the pain was SOO much worse then it had ever been in any of my other labors. I was sobbing, it felt like my back and hips were literally breaking in addition to the normal uterine pain and pressure. DS was also 2 lbs bigger then my girls and his shoulders were "sticky" when I was pushing, just the entire labor sucked all around. I never got the birth high, I was just so thankful that was over, and honestly all I wanted to do was nap after that. Which I actually did, the first time I didn't sit for hours oggling my new baby. DS's labor was a huge dissapointment for me, I normally love giving birth, but I never ever want that experience again.
 

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Both of my labors were a little over 3 hours, but they were different from one another.
The first labor my water broke first, then contractions started about 45 minutes later, which meant that the pain was out of sight from the get go. Contractions were right on top of one another. Then, add the ride to the birth center and I thought that I would lose it! I was 10 cm when I go to the FSBC and pushed for less than 15 minutes. Basically, the entire labor was intense.

The second labor my water was intact until the last 3 minutes, so contractions were much more bearable even though they were close together and still painful. Plus, I was at home in my birth pool, which was a God-send. It was the very end that was super intense for this one. Baby wasn't descending no matter how I changed positions even though I was complete/complete and I had no urge to push. My MW broke my water (with my permission) and I immediately had a huge contraction which brought baby down, followed by two hugely intense contractions causing me to push involuntarily with each one. 2 pushes, 2 contractions and the little stinker was out. So, basically, less than 5 minutes of out-of-control intensity.
 

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Dd1 was 12 hours labor, hospital birth involving an epidural and episiotomy. Dd2 was a 3 hour 15 minute home birth with no interventions. So the situations around the births were quite different. But I would take the short intense birth for me. The first hour or so wasn't that intense but after that is really got going. Mw checked me, told us it would probably still be a while and told the back up midwife it would be fine to finish her paperwork. Then things got rolling. I got in the tub for about 40 minutes and got out and was like holy crap I need to push. I remember thinking its too early I can't have to push already. But i did indeed need to push. I think I only did about 5 pushes. But it was intense. I was totally fine between pushes, could talk normally and stuff. But during pushes,wow. Out she came through the ring of fire. Mw2 arrived exactly 2 minutes after birth. Hah hah.

As far as recovery, #2 went way way way better. Best of luck and happy birthing!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peony View Post
My first two labors were 19 and 8 hours, my last one was 4 hours. Ouch. It sucked, really really sucked. The first 30 minutes was ok and then it just felt like I got hit by a train. DS was posterior, the pain between contractions never went away, I could never get on top of the pain. And the pain was SOO much worse then it had ever been in any of my other labors. I was sobbing, it felt like my back and hips were literally breaking in addition to the normal uterine pain and pressure. DS was also 2 lbs bigger then my girls and his shoulders were "sticky" when I was pushing, just the entire labor sucked all around. I never got the birth high, I was just so thankful that was over, and honestly all I wanted to do was nap after that. Which I actually did, the first time I didn't sit for hours oggling my new baby. DS's labor was a huge dissapointment for me, I normally love giving birth, but I never ever want that experience again.
Mama I just wanted to say that I had the exact same experience with my posterior babies (#1 and #4). The thought of another labor/delivery like that is terrifying because the difference between a posterior birth and a normal one is too broad to even explain!!!!
 

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I know that's what they say--that the fast labors are so intense--and I've seen it with doula clients, quick labors are usually crazy intense--but mine weren't too bad.

My first was a 6 hr hospital induction. PROM. Pitocin drip. Started at 2-3cm. Complete after 4hrs, waited for ob for half an hour, pushed for an hour. It was intense and the pain was unholy, but I blame the pitocin.

My second (homebirth) was a 4hr labor. It wasn't painful, but it was intense. I wouldn't let anyone speak, and I made my friend and my mom leave (they wouldn't shut up,) but with that little thing managed, I was able to keep on top of the contractions. I vocalized a lot. I even laughed at something funny that happened during transition. I felt pain for the first time when she crowned. The pain was surprising. It was surprising to realize that as intense as it had been, it hadn't been painful.

My third (uc) was less than 3hrs--probably closer to 2. I got uncomfortable at the end, but it never felt scary or out of control to me. It was never painful. I labored and birthed in the middle of the afternoon with my kids at home (I'd expected to give birth at night.) Quiet, dark and private wasn't really available--but it was ok because I apparently didn't need those things with that birth. I was very quiet, I think because I didn't want to call attention to myself (my older kids were engaged in their own thing, and I needed them to stay away.)
 
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