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I am 45 and newly pregnant with my 13th baby. My uterus has shown signs of growing increasingly weary. I am looking for information and experiences of possibly other mothers who have birthed many children and had a lazy or tired uterus.

My experiences:
I have had 2 sections, with 1st and 9th babies.

My 10th birth my labor stopped upon arrival at the hospital and every time a contraction would start, it would fizzle out and go away. (I was 6 cm) Finally, after 6 hrs we were told that if I did not deliver in 2 hrs time I would be sectioned. I got an epidural and shortly after it took effect the nurse gave me a vigorous stripping membranes experience that ruptured my membranes and contractions started again and I had my baby about 1 1/2 hrs later.

11th birth I could only get contractions to come if I was rocking on the birth ball and during the rocking back motion I could feel irritation on my uterus in the front that would eventually drum up a contraction and when it was strong enough I could stop rocking and it would continue but if I stopped rocking it would die away. I rocked myself into transition before contractions continued without my bringing them on.

12th birth at 42 wks my midwife had me come to the birth house and use a bst pump 15 min. of every hour. Baby was high. At about 8 cm they broke my water hoping it would bring baby down and help labor continue without the pump bringing on the contractions. It worked and baby was born shortly thereafter.

My options are not what I wish they could be. I think I would choose to labor in hospital and possibly have help through an epidural and if needed, a very low dose of pit and only increasingly upped if done very slowly. However, my experience has been that I am not given the opportunity of a VBAC now or when it has been given to me I have had ridiculous standards to meet that I am unable to now that I am older and my uterus doesn't labor like a steam engine. I have always been told that my uterus is not making good, strong contractions or in a good pattern, but so far, except for the 2 sections (unrelated to uterus) it has been adequate to get the job done.

I've got so much fear and so many questions and there just isn't much out there on older mothers who have had many children and what is normal, what is safe. I don't want to put my precious baby in any danger but do not relish a possibly unnecessary surgery.

I'm just thinking and praying and researching and looking for information to help us make a wise decision for this birth. Does anyone have anything to share that might benefit our decision making process?
 

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I'm not an older mother, but I can give you my opinion until you get responses from others.

It sounds like it might be safer to birth in a hospital or a free standing birth center within 5 minutes of a hospital. It sounds likely that you will need something to help labor along. I can't blame you for not really wanting pitocin. It increases your chances of a c section, but that's not the only reason it sucks. My least favorite part (besides the pain that becomes worse than natural transition labor) is that you can't eat while on it! You get so hungry and weak. And yeah broth and jello doesn't cut it as far as helping with energy or helping you feel full. I spent 45 hours in labor that wasn't progressing. I was at the max in pitocin twice for hours on end (I did get 2 breaks for eating.) The second time I was absolutely certain I was in transition, until they told me I was at 3.5 cm still! I eventually gave in and begged for an epidural. They said they couldn't give me one till I was at 4cm. So I asked for at least the iv narcotic as I was at my limit for pain. 3 doses later and after several delays in getting my epidural I was able to get mine put in (after all other pain medication wore off and I was still at the max for pit.) They lowered my pit only minutes before getting the epidural. This made no difference of course and I had to hold still through an intense contraction. I'm certain the only reason I was able to do so was because I wanted to be able to walk in the future. The amazing thing was that I went from 3.5 cm to 10 in just an hour. Apparently the epidural relaxed me enough to help move stuff along.

I can say I get how stressful a labor that won't progress is. I was induced at 37 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. My body was NOT at all ready for labor despite trying to prepare at home for weeks with epo and dates (the fruit.)

I suppose how your labor progresses and how long it is allowed to go on for really depends on your care team. Mine was an ob (kinda my only option with pre-e, I originally planned on a birth center birth.) I also had my husband and doula for support. You could always go with a team of cnm's in a hospital if it makes you feel more comfortable.

I hope you hear from some other mothers who can tell their stories and lend their advice.

You're very fortunate to have birthed so many children. I have only two and will be lucky if I'm able to make it through a 3rd pregnancy. My body just doesn't handle it well. I retain far too much water (55 lbs gain with my 1st, and 70 with my 2nd.) I can only imagine what my weight would be with my 3rd and can't imagine I wouldn't have at least pih again. You really are so blessed! I hope this birth goes well for you.
 
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