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Hey mamas,

I am getting very, very tired of people... relatives, strangers even saying "Oh you're so lucky" and "I wish I had it so easy" when I tell them that I had an under two hour labour with my second dd.

Honestly, it was 100 times harder (and more rewarding and beautiful) than my 26-hour labour, and in the moment I would have traded a longer, more paced labour.

What do you guys think? How should I reply? And how should I validate to myself the fact that I did really, really hard work even though it was over quickly!?
 

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I hear you. I had a 19 hour medicated nightmare w/ my older ds, and then younger ds burst onto the scene after the MOST INTENSE, intervention-free 2.5 hours of my life, period. I usually chalk it up to ignorance and don't say much, but it's very irritating, for sure. I do sometimes say "you wouldn't say that if you'd been there!"

ETA, as to validating to yourself: I try to bear in mind that I had less time to acclimate and assimilate to the actual birth than women who have longer labors. I never had more than 30 seconds or so between contractions at any point, there was no build up. I wasn't in labor, then I was, there was no adjusting. It's [email protected] hard, I've been there, and you deserve a foot rub and a lot of chocolate, not dismissive comments from the ignorant who have no idea what you went thru.
 

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My labors weren't short, really, though they were easy until I got to the pushing part, and then they were quick and intense! I have heard from several other people that shorter labors are more intense. Your body has to do the same amt of work in less time, so it's not too surprising!
 

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My first labor was a comfortable 10-12 hours of active labor (long hideous prodormal phase though)... and my third labor was about 5 hours of active labor... my second labor was about 1 hour 25 minutes of active labor... If I had had to judge labor on #2 I would never have considered having other children -- it's fast and hard without so much as a slow up to catch your breath, it's unpredictable and scary as your body takes over and you're just dragged along for the VERY fast and VERY bumpy ride! I never in my life felt so out of control, so intensely overwhelmed, as during that 1 hour and 25 minutes.

I've told people i wouldn't wish a REALLY fast labor on anyone but they don't believe me. LOL
 

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My first labor was a horrendous 3 1/2 hours. It was just awful. The second was way better and only 1 1/2 hours and the third was terrific at 2 hours. I don't bother trying to validate how terrible a short labor can be to most people but if I have to explain I just remind them that I had to do all the work (and pain) of a long first-time mom labor in just a few hours without any warning.

After going through a fast labor and knowing what to expect and all that my second labor was a breeze but I still wished I had more time to really "enjoy" it and get into laborland.

My first two labors were at home with midwives. My third was unassisted and I although it was short, I really enjoyed those 2 hours all by myself and got that laborland time-between-time feeling I had been looking for.

Laura
 

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I'm a doula and my last client had a short labor, I would NEVER refer to a short labor as "easier". She went from barely dilated to fully dilated and pushing in less than 2 hours and her contractions were so INTENSE. I am really in awe of her after seeing her body do that. Your body still has to do the same amount of work to get the baby out whether it takes 2 hours or 22 hours.
 

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My last labor was 45 minutes, start to finish. It was so fast that my dd was born unassisted, on the side of the freeway, in the front seat of our car.

I hear it all the time. "If I had a short labor like that, I would have gone unmedicated too!" Very frustrating. The fact is, it is only because I had prepared for an unmedicated birth that I kept from freaking out completely.

I always tell people that laboring is like moving a really large pile of bricks. You have to move the brick no matter how much time you spend. Less amount of time=more intense. It took me days to actually process the fact that I had birthed a baby because it had gone so quickly. I never had a chance to get on top of what was happening- the contractions got way ahead of me, and I did not cope as well as I hoped I would. And because she came so fast, I ended up with a third degree tear down, and also tore through my clit and urethra.
:

I would welcome a longer labor with the next one- four hours or so sounds perfect. The situation with my last birth was chaotic and uncontrolled, and my poor dh was terrified. And I would never, ever recommend birthing in a car on the side of the road.
 

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My DD labor was about2.5 hours from the first "real" contraction to the last- Although I dilated from a 3 to a 10 in less than 7 minutes. It was awful- it hurt, but I was mainly bummed out because I had studied my whole pregnancy about Hypnobirthing, accupressure and aromatherapy during labor and was so excited for it and it was over before I really even knew it started. I went to the hospital because I thought I'd might be in labor but after about 1.5 hours I wasn't showing any signs of progressing so they sent me home- Not long after I told my husband that we had to go back because I was in so much pain-By this time My contractions were pretty much on top of each other and I couldn't relax long enough to practice my hypnobirthing- I got to the hospital they checked me and I was at a 3 - put an IV in(which I didn't want ) and then checked me again and I was fully dilated! Then before I knew it I started to deliver my baby- still in the amniotic sac. SO then the nurses were like freaking out and they can see meconium in the sack- telling me "DONT PUSH" ! This was by far the WORST part of it. Every part of my being was telling me to push and holding that in for 20 minutes waiting for my doctor was AWFUL! The minute I saw my doctor walk through my door I just let myself push my DD out and caught her myself- STILL inside the amniotic sac. WHEW! It was crazy- Everyone also tells me that I am lucky but I don't really feel that way- even though it was beautiful in its own way- I am really bummed out that I didn't get to have more time to enjoy the actual labor process!

If I were you, I would just ignore them- I know it's hard but they really have no idea what it is like unless they go through it themselves!
 

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Stacymom- I also tore on my clit and urethra area- also they were minor and I didn't tear anywhere else- 2 stiches I think. With my son though, I had a third degree tear also- ow!
 

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My second labor was pretty fast, and I really felt dazed and confused and even as I was holding my baby I still didn't really understand what had happened. I was about 4cm dilated at 11:45pm and really felt like I was still in early labor (at that point I still fully expected to sleep between ctx through the night and then have the baby the next day) and then DD was out shortly after midnight. Transition and pushing were fast and so very intense. I remember the midwife in training saying she wished all labors could go like that and I was so perplexed by her comment since from my arrival at the birth center to baby's arrival I felt totally out of control with ctx's that were right on top of each other and quite painful and like I said I wasn't even totally sure how DD got here.
DD2 is 3.5yo now and while I've sort of been able to process her birth, I'm not sure I'll ever come to grips with just how amazingly intense that half hour was.

My first labor was three days long and I wouldn't really recommend that either. I'm hoping for a nice "average" labor with my third.
 

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From a Mama that had a 45 minute labor with a 9 1/2 pound baby:

"I did 18 hours of work, it was just crammed into 45 minutes"


Keri
Hoping for a nice 12 hour labor with #5.
 

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Oh, yes, it's annoying. It's like I can't possibly give any advice or understand "real" labor because mine only lasted 2 hours. And yet, if they only knew how overwhelming, intense and hard that two hours was! I have yet to fully process it (still can't write her birth story!) and she's close to two!! And there was a lot of wierd let down. Like the pp mentioned, I had prepared very carefully with hypnobirthing and had all kinds of things planned, and all that went right out the crapper
: ! It was just crazy!! I would really like a 5-7 hours labor this time. But we'll see.
 

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[/QUOTE] It took me days to actually process the fact that I had birthed a baby because it had gone so quickly. I never had a chance to get on top of what was happening- the contractions got way ahead of me, and I did not cope as well as I hoped I would. [/QUOTE]

This is exactly how I feel about my first. My Mom had fast labors will all 3 of us and when I asked about that happening to me I was told absolutely Not. I did not prepare for what came and it took me a very long time to process the labor.
 

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I get you. Totally. My 4 hr Broken bag-to- baby birth was more intense and more difficult than my 21 broken bag to baby birth was by far!

I usually say, "I would have preferred it to be a little longer, I just felt like it got away from me, all the intensity of birth was squished into a very short amount of time. I never felt on top of it the way I did with my longer labor."
 

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I just shrug and make a comment about sprinting being just as hard as being a marathoner, its just a different kind of work. People dont always understand, but I know how much hard work I did. It did take me a long time to process though, especially because no one seemed to get how traumatic it was. I had to do a lot of emotional work afterwards that I would really have rather done during labor.

I'm terrified this one will go even faster (my 2nd was 2 hours). I am really working on letting go of that fear and being prepared for anything, while at the same time visualizing it being longer. 6-8 hours sounds about right to me, in case my body is listening. lol
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kerikadi View Post
"I did 18 hours of work, it was just crammed into 45 minutes"

that's why i don't want a short one!

my dh is hoping for a short labor with baby2 after a 30 hour one with ds...but i really don't want one much shorter than 12 hours or so... i like the calm-ness of a long one... i'm definately not wanting a short one (but under a day or 24 hours would be nice).
 

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After a four hour labor/birth with my first, and two hours with my second, I definately prefer the 4 hours.

I don' think there's really anything we can say to those people. They will believe what they believe. I just usually change the subject quickly, because I don't like trying to convince people that quicker doesn't necessarily mean better. Though, some people might understand if you remind them that it's the same amount of work in a much shorter period of time.

I found it very validating to read the comments here and also in a thread I posted a week or so earlier. Also, the author of "Heart and Hands" mentioned in her book (in a section about precipitous labor) that short labors are usually not as great as they sound (I can't remember exactly how she worded it- something about the moms feeling like they missed the birth, and being quite shaken, as well as havnig a higher incidence of hemoraging.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by storychick View Post
I just shrug and make a comment about sprinting being just as hard as being a marathoner, its just a different kind of work. People dont always understand, but I know how much hard work I did. It did take me a long time to process though, especially because no one seemed to get how traumatic it was. I had to do a lot of emotional work afterwards that I would really have rather done during labor.

I'm terrified this one will go even faster (my 2nd was 2 hours). I am really working on letting go of that fear and being prepared for anything, while at the same time visualizing it being longer. 6-8 hours sounds about right to me, in case my body is listening. lol
I, too, am worried about this. I think, at least, the next time around I will be prepared for a short labor. Maybe we'll kick everyone into motion as soon as I start to have contractions. Though, i just had my second child, so I have a few years to work through it all.
 

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I had one of babies in under an hour. I went from watching a movie with dh to 'I think that was a contraction' to transition in the course of 10 minutes. WAY to much to integrate. Not to mention that the midwife missed the delivery and I had to talk dh and doula though the 'what to do' part. It was over fast, but it was like I'd been hit by a truck
 
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