Unexpected progression and back labour
Last night I was 41 weeks pregnant and experiencing contractions for the third night in a row. So far they had come and gone and never got consistent or very strong before. Now they were still 3-7 minutes apart but really painful 😖. They also felt unusual compared to what I was expecting. They were basically strong downward pressure combined with lower back pain; no belly pains at that point.
I called the hospital for advice and they were friendly but kind of brushed me off saying that it didn’t sound like labour had properly started and that I could probably just wait it out at home for a while. After me being a bit pushy about it they did eventually agree to let me come in for a check up saying that they could give me some pain pills to let me sleep through the night at home.
When I got there however, without my packed birth bag etc, it turned out to everyone’s surprise I was already 6 cm dilated! I got given a room and started my proper birth journey.
After 10 hours at the hospital my son was born at 1:20 pm. He was 52 cm, weighed 3745 grams, has lots of dark hair and is absolutely beautiful in my eyes. I’m a very proud FTM. For those of you who are interested in details of the process and pain management etc read on. It gets a bit long but I was always interested in the specifics when I was waiting to give birth.
I had trouble establishing a proper frequency and actually went from 6 to 5 cm over the next couple of hours. To speed it up my water was broken, which got me back to 6 cm after a lot of labouring. And eventually I had to agree to an oxytocin drip that got me the last way to full dilation fairly rapidly. This whole part took about eight hours after being admitted to the hospital. And I was absolutely exhausted after it, not having slept much the previous nights or having had much appetite to eat either.
Throughout the process my contractions remained of the same kind; lower back pain and downwards pressure. My goal was a birth that was as intervention free as possible; definitely avoiding a c section and preferably no epidural. I’m happy to say I managed to avoid both. In the beginning I went without anything, then I used gas and eventually I agreed to try sterile water injections for the back pain. If you end up with back labour I can definitely recommend it. It’s lots of painful needle pricks in your back but for me it took away the back pain completely for maybe three hours and helped me avoid the epidural. I had two rounds of this and used lots of gas while getting it applied! The gas in general was also really good and with these two methods I had a large chunk of the labour process in a chilled out stage with the remaining sensation of immense downward pressure.
After the dilation came the pushing part which is what I had feared the most and I’m sorry to say that though it was all fine in the end it was really hard for me. The main problem wasn’t really the pain as I had thought but just the sheer exhaustion and hard work. It ended up taking an hour and a half for me which is unusually long and as I said before I was already so tired. There was a bit in the start when I just had to go with the pushing sensation and relax my body and let that happen. Gas was great for this and it was fine. But then there was a longer part when I had to push very actively and that was like the most intense work out session I have ever done. The midwife encouraged me to move from one position to another and she, the nurses and my SO were a great help in applying counter pressure and taking care of me in terms of giving me juice, cold water in my face etc. Afterwards the midwife told me that she was really impressed with how I handled the length of it which was good to hear. I don’t think it could have been speeded up really; this baby just needed a bit of time to get out.
The after birth part was alright for me. Placenta and remaking stuff came out in one easy pull. Bleeding hasn’t been excessive. My son had had a bowel movement in uterus so they are keeping an eye on him for infection but so far he is doing great. I did tear a little bit but though the sewing up part wasn’t pleasant (another part that I had feared) it also didn’t actually hurt much with the numbing they used. I was more annoyed with being distracted from quality time with my son at the time really. It also seem that they did a good job of it and it doesn’t hurt now.
I hope this can be useful to some of you. :)