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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to Goersitemail@aol.com.

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    Dec 16
    2008

    How long can early or "false" labor last?

    Archived User

    This is my 8th baby. I always have long labors so I know to expect that, but I've been having early or "false" labor for six days now. Braxton Hicks every 10-15 minutes, sometimes getting painful, non stop for six days. Extreme pelvic/rectal pressure, extreme backache for two days. Even loose stools for the six days. The only time the contractions go away is when I sleep (unless I'm just not noticing them) although they do wake me in the night sometimes. At my dr. appt. yesterday I was 3cm, 60% and -1 to 0 station and she said I'm still pretty thick. (not sure what she meant by that) One week ago I was 2cm, 60% and -2 station. I'm wondering if I should do anything to hasten this process or just be patient. I feel an urge to be alone and quiet but with 7 children it's impossible! Do you think my body is trying to go into labor but I keep getting stressed and that's stopping it? (I have alot of stressors right now including an injured husband, financial difficulties due to that, etc.) My doc wants to induce in 3 days with Cervidil in the evening, then break my water and start pitocin in the morning. I DO NOT want to do this. That is making me even more stressed. I even read that Cervidil is not for women who've had more than 6 term babies. (all mine have been term) Sorry this is so long, just trying to give as much details as possible. I'm so stressed and exausted from this. Thanks for your help.

    Angel

    Archived User

    I forgot to mention I'm 40 weeks and 2 days.

    Henci Goer

    Apologies for not getting to your post sooner. I hope that by now you are holding your 8th little one in your arms. Penny Simkin recommends calling what you are experiencing "prelabor" rather than "false labor" because while they may not immediately lead to progressive labor, they are certainly real contractions! And yes, you can go on for days in this way, which is frustrating but harmless, and yes, being under a lot of stress can make it hard for your body to let go and let labor happen. I do not know whether you went into labor on your own before the date your dr wanted to induce, you had the induction, or you waited it out, but for others who might be reading this post, the fact that your care provider wants to induce does not mean you have to go along with it if you don't want to. You have the right to make an informed refusal as well as to give informed consent. This is true under any circumstances, but it is especially true in situations where there is no medical reason for intervening.

    -- Henci

    Archived User

    Just for an update, I finally went into active labor the day before my induction , thank goodness! By the time I got to the hospital much to my surprise I was already 7 cm dilated and not even in any pain yet. As a matter of fact I was feeling so good I went grocery shopping, did 4 loads of laundry, packed my bags and got the other kids off to grandmas before heading to the hospital. I guess all that pre-labor was worth it! I had a wonderful natural delivery and the hospital even let me push spontaneously which is not very normal for hospitals. I had a beautiful boy, 8 lbs. 13 oz and 22" long. Thanks for your response!

    Henci Goer

    I am happy to hear things went so well for you! I hope this is the beginning of a turn around in the other stressful areas of your life as well.

    -- Henci

    Archived User

    I found this blog while I was searching for information on labor pains, false labor, and contractions.  This is my second child.   With the first they took him at 37 weeks so I only had a few braxton hix contractions and never as much cramping and pain as I have had with this one.  I'm 36 weeks pregnant by their standard but they changed my due date when I was at 8 weeks from 1/30 to 2/23.  I have had alot of pressure and pelvic pain with severe and mild (at the same time if that's even possible) cramping with some low back discomfort and belly tightening.  I've been extremely tired for the past few days as well.  I see by my reads that it's false labor pains but now I'm confused by the term of pre-labor pains.  I have never been comfortable with the idea that they moved my due date when I knew the exact day of my cycle.  So I guess my question is if I am having pre labor how long can I have this?  Weeks?  or just days?  if it's false laobr same question...weeks? or days?  I had my Dr's appt last Tues and when I mentioned the pain and tightening he blew it off as baby movement.  What I'm feeling isn't baby moving.  Maybe baby sitting on my pubic bone but that's it.  Any help is appreciated to ease my mind as to what I'm going through.  Thanks

     

    Kimberlie

    Henci Goer

    Let me start by clearing up the confusion between "false" labor and "pre"labor. They mean the same thing, but "false labor" is one of many medical model terms that convey negative messages about labor and birth. As you have been experiencing, there is nothing "false" about your contractions, although they have not so far kicked over into  progressive labor, which makes it much more accurate to call them "prelabor" contractions. Certainly, too, what you are describing are contractions and not the baby moving. (Seriously, after months of feeling the baby move, your doctor should have paid you the respect of assuming you can tell the difference between sensations of the baby moving and contractions, especially since, as a man, he will never experience either and cannot possibly have a clue about what either feels like.)

    In response to the second part of your question, you could go on having cramps and tightening for days, even weeks, but based on what you say about them moving your due date and your being sure of when you conceived, I would not be suprised to find that you have already had your baby, seeing as you posted on the 20th, and today is the 26th. If you are still pregnant, be patient, take good care of yourself, and get as much rest as you can.

    ~ Henci 

    Archived User

    Hi Henci, thank you for this great post.

    I've been feeling miserable for more than 24 hours i have been having irregulars (mild to strong) contractions average 7 minutes apart, sometimes 5 non stop.

    I went to the Hospital yesterday and my Midwife sent me back because Im only 1cm dilated, 80% effaced and -1 station, she said my body is doing work but i have to wait.

    She told me to take 2 benadrils and sleep all night but this didnt happens, as soon i fall asleep i woke up with a contraction.

    I want to try a natural birth, however if the active labor contractions are more stronger than what im having now i dont know if i can take it, plus i feel weak and havent sleep for more than 24 hours.

    I know i should sleep and trust me I want to,I was so drowsy with the benadrils last nite and I'm so sleepy rith now, however my contractions are preatty strong to wake me up or not let me sleep, I'm lost.

    I cant go into labor like this.

     

    Please adivise and thank you so much for the support.

    Archived User

    *Aditional Details:

    I'm 39 weeks and 4 days and i had blood show 2 nights ago.

    Henci Goer

    As with the woman who wrote earlier in this thread, I think it likely that by now you are holding your baby in your arms. I sympathize, though, for how difficult and miserable a prolonged prodromal labor (lots of contractions painful enough to disturb rest but little cervical change) can be. The best advice I an give comes from Penny Simkin, world-renowned childbirth educator and doula, and that is to alternate efforts to get contractions going (walking, stimulating acupressure points) with distraction (see a movie, window shopping) with relaxation and rest (warm bath, massage).

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    I was also looking for any available information on what I am expierencing and came across this blog.  I am 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant and I have been having some intense menstural like cramping that come and goes but at times last for 15 mins or so.  I feel my stomach tightning and the pain seems to start from the back and wrap around to the front.  I have been having this pain off and on for 3 weeks now.  The first time I went in to L&D they gave me two shots to stop labor but the swab they use to check for active labor came back negative.  The next week I went in with the same pain and my doctor felt that labor did not need to be stopped this time if iminent, but I was only 1 cm so I was sent home.  I then went to my regular shceduled appointment and had not dialated of effaced any further but my doctor told me I had a yeast infection from anitbiotics I had been on for a sinus infection and that may be causing contractions.  Since then (about 4 days) I have taken diflucan and have not had any cramping until the last two days and now its seems to be gettig more intense.  Could someone PLEASE tell me whats going on?  I call my doctor and all she says is to go in but I live 45 mins away and I am so tired of being sent home!  :(

    Archived User

    *Additional details*

    I have also been having a lot of pelvic pressure and pressure almost in my tailbone. 

    Henci Goer

    I hear your frustration, but impatience is your enemy. It can lead to medical interventions you don't really need. The problem with intervening when you don't really need to is that all interventions have harms as well as benefits. (Inducing labor, for example, roughly doubles the likelihood of labor ending in cesarean surgery in first-time mothers, and agents to soften the cervix don't reduce the excess.) When interventions are used when there isn't a problem or the problem can be solved by simple means or just by having more patience, then you and your babe are exposed to the risks with no counterbalancing benefits. It does sound like your body is gearing up to have this baby. This article I wrote some years back can help you decide whether to head in to the hospital. If you are having contractions that aren't getting longer, stronger, and closer together over time, then (with a tip of the hat to Penny Simkin from whom this advice came) alternate relaxation (warm bath, peaceful music, massage) with stimulation (walking) with distraction (watch a movie--in fact, watch these Lamaze videos on what best promotes safe, healthy birth).  

    ~ Henci 

    Archived User

    My situation is pretty close to Juliana's..I've been having irregular contractions for 5 days..Although, by around 6-7pm they start to become regualr and get close together and stronger...so far the cloest they have gotten is 3 mins apart. I've went to L&D twice already because they stay regualr for a while, but don't change my cervix..then space out. To me, they are pretty painful and I'm nto able to sleep at all when I'm having them. My ob has seen the contractions too but hasnt given me any advice at all..which makes me upset because im so discouraged from lack of sleep and pain. As Juliana had said, im worried that by the time labor has officially begun i will be too worn out and need pain meds, when i wanted to have a natural birth.It seems like it would be much easier to handle the pain coming at once with an end in sight, rather than having it daily..and the ob said it can be another 2 weeks before they would induce me..(I'm 40 weeks today.) I guess what I'm wanting to know is..are these contractions doing anything positive besides causing me pain/ I've also been seeing pieces of what look like my mucus plug about 8/10 times when i pee, with a very light pink color. I'm just feeling like im in all this pain for days and its for no reason, since it's not causwin too much changei n my cervix..although before i started having them I wasn't dilated at all..now i'm at 1cm..so i guess that's positive in a way. Could this mean I'm getting a lot of the work out of the way beforehand over these few days and that my labor could be shorter? I know the answers probably going to be that you can't predict what will happen and every labor is different, but i figured i'd give it a try as im desperate and have tried so many methods to reduce my pain..Thank you!

    Henci Goer

    I hear your frustration and discouragement. Back when I used to teach Lamaze classes, I would ask my students, "What is the hardest part of labor?" They would almost invariably answer "transition," the last couple of centimeters of cervical dilation, but it was a trick question. I would then point out that any part of labor can be the hardest part, your situation being one of the examples. Clearly you have read through this thread and know my general advice, so let me add some ideas that might help deal with how you are feeling:

    • Remind yourself that every contraction is bringing you closer to the birth of your baby. BTW, you might pay attention to your response to that. If you feel anxiety rather than, or in addition to, relief, you might like to allow your mind to float free and think about what that might be about. If you aren't feeling ready either for practical reasons (haven't prewashed the baby's clothes) or emotional ones (feel unready to take on the responsitilities of motherhood), addressing the problem or even just becoming conscious of it might help bring on more active labor.
    • Mentally welcome stronger contractions. You need them to get the job done.
    • Talk to your womb. Send it love and tell it how strong and well it is working for you.
    • Let go and trust the process. Tell yourself that your body is doing what it needs to do, which in your case is taking its own, sweet time.
    • Remind yourself that time is your friend, not your enemy.
    • Stay in the present. You only need to deal with what is happening now and not about what may or may not happen in a hypothetical future.
    • Trust yourself. Remind yourself that you are a capable person and with the support and aid of those who love you, you will be able to make good decisions for yourself and your baby, whatever they might be, and master any challenges that may confront you.
    • If you are spiritual, seek aid and comfort in your time of testing through prayer, meditation, or reading.

    As when anyone offers advice, feel free to try what appeals or makes sense to you and reject the rest.

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    36weeks and 1 day ihave been having contractions for some weeks now all over. sometimes i feel them in my legs. ive been losing my plug gradually for two weeks. i have major pelvic pressure to the point that i cant sleep well. most of the time i can barely move i want to cry. right along with around the clock contractions i have this pushing sensation on my cervix thats very uncomfortable. i have two kids both fullterm and i never had any of these symptons. ive had contractions all night long. they come stronger and lower. im confused. i can feel the baby pushing down. two weeks ago i have not dilated a thing. i have not been back to the doctors yet because my appt. isnt til the 9th. any idea what im exsperienceing?

    Archived User
    Posted By on 04 Aug 2011 11:05 AM

    36weeks and 1 day ihave been having contractions for some weeks now all over. sometimes i feel them in my legs. ive been losing my plug gradually for two weeks. i have major pelvic pressure to the point that i cant sleep well. most of the time i can barely move i want to cry. right along with around the clock contractions i have this pushing sensation on my cervix thats very uncomfortable. i have two kids both fullterm and i never had any of these symptons. ive had contractions all night long. they come stronger and lower. im confused. i can feel the baby pushing down. two weeks ago i have not dilated a thing. i have not been back to the doctors yet because my appt. isnt til the 9th. any idea what im exsperienceing? i feel like a burning sensation when he push down on my cervix. they say hes preping hisself but i think its more than that. im not one to keep runing to the hospital so thats why im here. im not scared at all. is this an earl labor sign? if so what do i do? i contract with urinating and stools too.

     

    Archived User

    when i first entered this page i thought it would be helpful to me to talk to some one who probably knows what im talking about or better yet a different opinion. since then ive been checking this page and im the only person without an reply. im not use to doing anything like this and im starting to regret that i did because im starting to feel like what i asked its not that important. im almost 36weeks and 5days and when i found this page i was 36 and 1day.. im constantly on this page to look for an answer and still no REPLY.. so im just going to not worry about it anymore because as much time as i spend trying to find this page again i could be looking else where for the results.. so thanks for nothing and GOD BLESS!!!!

    Henci Goer

    I hear your frustration and you have my apologies for not getting to your post sooner. It's just me doing the responding, and I've had a lot on my plate this past week. I'm not sure that even if I had responded sooner, it would have been much help to you. Beyond what I said to other posters in this thread about coping with prelabor, if you feel something isn't right, you should not wait for your next appointment but talk to your doctor about it now.

    -- Henci

    Archived User

    i do apologize for being impatient its my 3rd child and everything is so different and every one is saying the same thing. the fact is we can run back and forth to the hospital and keep getting sent home is ridiculous. they say its the baby gettin ready but they cant tell us how we feel. some women may be over exaggerating with their pain but im not.. I have a 9yr old girl she was over due by 4days and i have a 3yr old girl who was born exactly at 38wks. im having a boy this time and im wondering if thats why i feel the way i feel. im 37wks today and my pain is worst in my pelvic and cervix area. i went to the docs yesterday and she said once again its him getting ready. she said that my cervix was very very thin and i dilated maybe a fingertip. my back hurts everything is hurting and its starting to be over whelming so how do i cope because drinking fluids and lying down doesnt work. lying down is my worst enemy right now. the contractions are getting out of hand but not to the point were they say i need to come in. with all this being said do you think i can last another 3wks because i truly dont think im going to make it. ive had it with these pains mind you when i went into labor with my girls it wasnt that bad. i dilated slowly so pitocin was used with both kids and thats when the pain got real for me. so me being a mom of almost 3 i should know what to expect, but listening to these ppl at the docs are getting annoying and they are making me a confused women. so now i have no idea what to think anymore. so thats why im here. to see what do you think? once again my apologizes for me being impatient with you.

    Henci Goer

    Don't apologize for the impatience. It is perfectly understandable. It's hard when you are in such discomfort that you can't relax or sleep properly and you're always on edge wondering "Is this it?" The thing, though, is that impatience is your enemy. Unless there are medical indications, the best and safest thing is to let nature take its course, but impatience can lead to decisions to Do Something, such as induce labor, that may be a leap from the frying pan into the fire. This is because all medical interventions have the potential for doing harm as well as doing good. If you don't have a problem--or, at least, if you don't have a problem that can't be fixed by time and good self-care--then you are running the risks of that intervention without the counterbalancing benefit. 

    If you can't (or shouldn't) change the situation, then your best option is to change your response to it.  My advice is to think of your feelings as a horse and you as the rider. They are what they are, but you are in charge, specifically: 

    • Accept your feelings of frustration and irritation. This is making your miserable, no two ways about it. So have the occasional pity party if you need to but then allow yourself to move on without dwelling on your feelings or trying to push them away. Dwelling on them just intensifies them while telling yourself you "shouldn't" feel this way is like saying "Don't think about pink elephants." It then becomes the only thing you can think about. 
    • Substitute positive thoughts. Remind yourself that this is how your body wants to do things this time. There's nothing wrong, and eventually labor will begin and you'll have your baby. (You have an enormous advantage over a first-time mom in that you know pregnancy doesn't go on forever.)
    • Brainstorm ways of making yourself more comfortable: warm bath? back massage? foot massage?arranging pillows so that everything is supported? chiropractic adjustment? ask dr if there is any pain reliever that is safe to take?
    • Brainstorm ways of simplifying your life: Get take-out for dinner? Have other family members take over some of your usual chores? Let some things go?
    • Do something every day just for you that makes you feel good: Cozy chat with a friend? Curl up with a book?

    Here, too, is an article I wrote some years back on how to decide if you are in progressive labor.

    I hope this helps.

    ~ Henci 

    Archived User

    Hello Henci,

    I was searching on the internet about how long early labor can last and came to this post....I started reading it and soon realized I was the original poster!!

    Here I am again, two and a half years later in the same predicament...lol. My doc again wants to induce in 2 days and I've been having prelabor for several weeks on and off. I am currently 40 weeks and 4 days.

    The docs have said baby is still high, and I'm assuming this is why I can't get enough pressure on my cervix to get progressive labor going. I'm continuing to try walking, squatting, birthing ball, alternating rest, disctraction, etc. I am 2cm dilated and 40% effaced however, so there is some progress.

    I hope I have the same luck as last time and go into active labor before the induction, although I will decline if it comes to that.

    I'm glad to see this post has helped so many others.

    Sincerely,

    Angel

     

    Henci Goer

    I smiled when I read your post. "When the fruit is ripe, it falls from the tree." No one stays pregnant forever.

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    Hi!

    I'm 38 weeks 5 days with my second child and have been having "prelabor" contractions for about 24 hours now. I went to my midwife today and she let me know that I'm not dialated at all but I'm 50% effaced and at a -2 station.  After dealing with the pain all day I started wondering if it was normal for it to last this long so I began searching the internet when I came across this thread.  I just wanted to let you know how helpful all of your advice to the other women has been for me!  I never went into labor with my first child (had an emergency c-section) and am eager to have a VBAC with this one.  I think part of me kept waiting for something to go wrong and ruin those plans but after reading about all these other women with similar problems and then reading your great advice I'm feeling good about how things are going even if I do have to deal with the pain for a while.

     

    Thanks again for all your help!!!

    Henci Goer

    Thank you for writing in. You made my day! I wish you an easy birth to a beautiful healthy baby.

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    Just an update (and a possible silver lining to women going through this):  I went to the hospital the morning after my last post and was there all day with "prelabor" cramps.  I went to 100% effaced but was only a fingertip dialated the whole day.  Finally at 2am, after convincing myself this was going to last forever and I was going to be sent home still pregnant, my water broke and an by 330 am I had a beautiful baby girl with no complications and only a half hour of pushing!  Hang in there girls! Best of luck to anyone reading this thread!!

    Archived User

    This is my first child so I have no clue what I'm looking for. Last night at 3am I woke to go to the restroom and noticed some cramping and discomfort in my abdomen. I noticed it was different and that they were contractions. After I got up and went to the livingroom, they got stronger. As they got stronger i could feel not only the cramping getting stronger but my uturus tightening. I could feel my stomach tighten with my hands. they would last about 45 seconds and were 5 minutes apart. But after a few of those it mellowed out again and was only having cramping again. Then finaly went away all together. Now, I'm feeling a lot of discomfort and sometimes mild cramping. I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I'm anxious and curious as to how long early labor may last. This is the first time i have felt the contractions my whole labor. I went into the OB department 4 days ago and had 3 contractions in 15 minutes that I could not feel.

    Henci Goer
    Posted By on 16 Oct 2011 06:04 AM

    Just an update (and a possible silver lining to women going through this):  I went to the hospital the morning after my last post and was there all day with "prelabor" cramps.  I went to 100% effaced but was only a fingertip dialated the whole day.  Finally at 2am, after convincing myself this was going to last forever and I was going to be sent home still pregnant, my water broke and an by 330 am I had a beautiful baby girl with no complications and only a half hour of pushing!  Hang in there girls! Best of luck to anyone reading this thread!!



    Congratulations!  Your story is a textbook illustration of why no one should put much credence in the usefulness of labor graphs. Women just don't progress smoothly and predictably in labor.

    ~ Henci

    Henci Goer
    Posted By Crystal Barrett on 19 Oct 2011 12:53 PM

    This is my first child so I have no clue what I'm looking for. Last night at 3am I woke to go to the restroom and noticed some cramping and discomfort in my abdomen. I noticed it was different and that they were contractions. After I got up and went to the livingroom, they got stronger. As they got stronger i could feel not only the cramping getting stronger but my uturus tightening. I could feel my stomach tighten with my hands. they would last about 45 seconds and were 5 minutes apart. But after a few of those it mellowed out again and was only having cramping again. Then finaly went away all together. Now, I'm feeling a lot of discomfort and sometimes mild cramping. I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I'm anxious and curious as to how long early labor may last. This is the first time i have felt the contractions my whole labor. I went into the OB department 4 days ago and had 3 contractions in 15 minutes that I could not feel.


    I think the best way I can be helpful is by directing you to resources that can give you more information about pregnancy and childbirth. Here and here and here are some Lamaze-associated resources that I recommend. Specifically related to early labor, here is an article of mine on the topic.

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    Thank you all for posting all this.  As a 2nd timer entering day 5 of labor or prelabor or whatever you want to call it, it is helpful to see others in the same situation to keep it in perspective.  Pregnancy will end.  The easiest way to end up with an induction or c-section is to insist on staying at the hospital when your body isn't truly ready.  And every baby will come in his own time.

    By the way, is it just me, or are most of these posts from 2nd or 3rd timers having a boy after having had a girl, just like me?  Just an odd statistical anomoly...or my husband is right: this is just the first of MANY ways in which this boy will be decidely more troublesome than our daughter.

    Henci Goer

    Personally, I think it is just Mother Nature's way of keeping us from getting too cocky now that we've been through labor before a time or two and think we know it all. ;-)

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    Hi Henci According to my doctor i am 34 weeks and i have been having false labor for almost 3 weeks now.  my problem is that i think my doctor my have missed a few things.  first off he almost never tells me anything unless my husband asks, and i need to know if it is possible to have been pregnet with twins, loose one but carry the second one to full term.  on may 21st of last year i had a misscarrage according to my doctor.  i would have been almost 6 weeks along but i went in for a check up 4 weeks later and he told me that i was pregnant again.  when he had the ultrasound done another 4 weeks later it came up in the computer as i was only 10 weeks along.  he has been counting from the misscarrage on the 21st but seeing as how i still have 6 weeks to go im thinking that he has things wrong.  I have been having contractions starting christmas eve and they started out at an hour and a half to two hours apart starting in my lower back going up and around to my stomach.  as the days  have gone by they have gotton closer and closer together but after just a few hours they go away and come back the next day.  i have also been expericing migranes, loose BMs, shakes, nasua, and a lot of presure in my pelvis along with the contractions. i have also been diagnosed with gestional Diabetes so i have to see my doctor every week. my blood sugar is all over the place and when i have a contraction it shoots up but after it stops it dropes low. at my last appointment he checked me but again he said nothing as to the effect of weather or not i have started dialating or effaced much less to the effect of what i need to do to try to keep my blood sugar somewhat level and in an ok range.  I am getting fustrated because this is my first child and know nothing about this department and the fact that my doctor tells me nothing is making it worse.  after reading some of the other blogs i do feel a little bit better but i am still fustrated.  please help!   

    Henci Goer

    It seems like your problem is that you are not getting the information you need from your doctor. I'm going to send you to a page on the Childbirth Connection website, "10 Ways You Can Get Good Maternity Care." Among other things, it will tell you what you have a right to expect from your care providers. I would start with requesting a conference appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. Give specific examples of the problems you have been experiencing with your doctor's care and what you would have liked your doctor to do differently. If your doctor's responses aren't satisfactory, your doctor gets angry with you, for example, I strongly recommend finding someone else. One place to look is on the Birth Survey website, a kind of Yelp for midwives and obstetricians. If there is a birth resources center in your community, that would also be a good place to ask around. Likewise if there is a birth network. Finally, "Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask" can help you interview prospective candidates. Don't wait, though. Many midwives and obstetricians won't take new patients late in pregnancy. 

    -- Henci  

    Archived User

    Thank you so much for your time in responding to all of the questions here online.  Your advise is wonderful to read and very helpful.  I am 5 days away from my due date and have had many, I guess better termed as pre-labor issues.  I had two beautiful underwater homebirths with my first two, whom are now 17 and 14.  With my 2nd child, I had two false labors, and didn't even believe that I was in labor when it finally happened (I crawled out of bed, down the hallway, took a shower in the middle of the night and called my midwife, only to then find out from her that it was actual labour.

    This time it is many more pre-labours...thought maybe something last night but nope...reading this site has helped...relaxing more!  Other issues that went on for me is that we just moved 3 months ago, to a place that is a perfect size for our family and better rent, only for landlady to try and get us to move out in 2 months, as they want to sell the place, and want to keep showing the place...this I wonder....may have added to my issues at hand...it has been stressful...but I have been truly trying to be calm about it....we did find out our legal rights, and we will just have to renegotiate best we can with her but it has not been the best time to be doing this!!

    A note/question on pregnancy I was wanting to ask:  when pregnant at the beginning this time (as well as with my first child), I was told that I was a month later in pregnancy than would make sense, with regards to my last period (meaning that I had a whole regular period at the begining of this pregnancy, as well as this also occured in my first pregnancy).  I was told that this just happens sometimes, but years ago when this happened, my aunt, who's husband delivers babies, said that it means that I had had a twin that miscarried in that first month.  What are your thoughts on this?  Is that sometimes the case or what explanations do you have?  Thanks! 

    Again, your support for women is so appreciated!!

    Archived User

    Henci, I have been in "pre-labor" for almost 4 weeks now. Contractions, back ache, leg pain, pelvic pain, etc. I've gone to the hospital twice now for contractions and once for slight spotting. Everytime I go they send me home. Which is fine, because obviously I'm not in active labor. As far as I know I am 3cm. dilated and 70% effaced. The only thing that really bothers me, is that any time I tell my doctor how I'm feeling she says that it's normal and I'll have my baby soon. I understand that, but I've had some signs of pre-eclampsia, like high bp, protein in urine, dizziness, swelling in only one leg/ankle/foot. She acts like nothing is happening. The pain is becoming extremely annoying and yet she doesn't try to discuss anything to help, even when I ask. I don't want pain meds, I just want some helpful tips on positions and other light activities that mey help relieve some of the pain and pressure. She never tells me anything. Up until 34 weeks, I was completely happy with her as I hadn't had any complications and no un-neccesary pain. But once I did and started asking questions, she hasn't given me any answers. I was checked at the hospital the first time I went and was 1cm, the second trip to the hospital I was 3cm. The doctor has only checked me once and  I was still 3cm. The only reason I was checked is because I had to REMIND her that I had been to the hospital and had been having contractions. She then asked, "Is this your first child" REALLY? That's on my freaking chart! She has been really impersonal and I am unhappy with her. But that's not the point of this post. Please, please, please, any encouraging words to get me through these next few days would be greatly appreciated. How much longer could pre labor last? Tomorrow I will have been in pre labor for 4 weeks. I have been since 35 weeks and am almost 39 weeks. I am really ready to meet my little girl. I would like to help progress the labor, but I don't want to do anything that would harm her. A lot of herbs and other "methods" can have bad effects on the baby. Also, I really want to avoid and induction. Since I have high bp I know it may be an option, but I would much rather have her naturally. The doctor hasn't given me any tips on how to lower my bp, and I've been researching everything myself on google (Not the best resource!). Honestly, I just want some tips on comfortable positions, if you have any advice on the blood pressure too, that would be amazing, and how much longer could pre labor last? Do you think my doctor will try to induce me? I obviously dilate slowly and I know that a lot of doctors will either send you home or try to induce if you don't progress to their liking. Next time I am SO having a home birth with a midwife and doula. I should have this time, but since it's my first baby I wasn't very informed on my options in the beginning and I wasn't sure I was pregnant till later in the pregnancy. I feel like I HAD to choose this doctor, because no others could see me soon. I just need reassurace and advice. And I'm really sorry if this is just a bunch of rambling.  Please help. :(

    Archived User

    This is my 3rd baby, and I am currently at 32 weeks.  I didn't have painful false labor with the first 2, but with this one I have had really horrible contractions all night and off and on today.  I'm concerned because this feels like actual labor did to me for the first 2 and I am only at 32 weeks.  I have a doctors appointment in 2 days, and I haven't gone in for this because I'm not bleeding or anything.  I have been a bit mucusy down there when I wipe, and it was thicker yesterday.  I had that happen with my first born, and the doc told me not to worry about it, then I started leaking amniotic fluid at 34 weeks, and laid in a hospital bed until 35 weeks when they induced me.  I guess I'm just paranoid that this one may end up being a premie also, and it scares me a bit.  The contractions are high up, and wrap around my mid-back (feels like I'm being squeezed by a big snake....been watching animal planet :) )  They are bad enough that I have to stop what I'm doing and breathe through them.  I also have a horrible headache.  I have been feeling just 'not right' for the last 5 days.  Do you think it's time to worry, or is this one just different?

    Henci Goer
    Posted By on 16 Feb 2012 09:50 AM

    Henci, I have been in "pre-labor" for almost 4 weeks now. Contractions, back ache, leg pain, pelvic pain, etc. I've gone to the hospital twice now for contractions and once for slight spotting. Everytime I go they send me home. Which is fine, because obviously I'm not in active labor. As far as I know I am 3cm. dilated and 70% effaced. The only thing that really bothers me, is that any time I tell my doctor how I'm feeling she says that it's normal and I'll have my baby soon. I understand that, but I've had some signs of pre-eclampsia, like high bp, protein in urine, dizziness, swelling in only one leg/ankle/foot. She acts like nothing is happening. The pain is becoming extremely annoying and yet she doesn't try to discuss anything to help, even when I ask. I don't want pain meds, I just want some helpful tips on positions and other light activities that mey help relieve some of the pain and pressure. She never tells me anything. Up until 34 weeks, I was completely happy with her as I hadn't had any complications and no un-neccesary pain. But once I did and started asking questions, she hasn't given me any answers. I was checked at the hospital the first time I went and was 1cm, the second trip to the hospital I was 3cm. The doctor has only checked me once and  I was still 3cm. The only reason I was checked is because I had to REMIND her that I had been to the hospital and had been having contractions. She then asked, "Is this your first child" REALLY? That's on my freaking chart! She has been really impersonal and I am unhappy with her. But that's not the point of this post. Please, please, please, any encouraging words to get me through these next few days would be greatly appreciated. How much longer could pre labor last? Tomorrow I will have been in pre labor for 4 weeks. I have been since 35 weeks and am almost 39 weeks. I am really ready to meet my little girl. I would like to help progress the labor, but I don't want to do anything that would harm her. A lot of herbs and other "methods" can have bad effects on the baby. Also, I really want to avoid and induction. Since I have high bp I know it may be an option, but I would much rather have her naturally. The doctor hasn't given me any tips on how to lower my bp, and I've been researching everything myself on google (Not the best resource!). Honestly, I just want some tips on comfortable positions, if you have any advice on the blood pressure too, that would be amazing, and how much longer could pre labor last? Do you think my doctor will try to induce me? I obviously dilate slowly and I know that a lot of doctors will either send you home or try to induce if you don't progress to their liking. Next time I am SO having a home birth with a midwife and doula. I should have this time, but since it's my first baby I wasn't very informed on my options in the beginning and I wasn't sure I was pregnant till later in the pregnancy. I feel like I HAD to choose this doctor, because no others could see me soon. I just need reassurace and advice. And I'm really sorry if this is just a bunch of rambling.  Please help. :(


    Let me apologize. I have been tied up with a project with a hard deadline and got behind in my responding to Forum posts. Usually, I answer within a two or three days. I let you down, and I feel badly about that. I hope that by now, everything went fine and you are holding your little one in your arms.  Just in case you are still a lady in waiting, I'll paste in what I said in one post further down in this thread.

    ~ Henci

    12 Aug 2011 04:37 PM [script removed]Alert

    Don't apologize for the impatience. It is perfectly understandable. It's hard when you are in such discomfort that you can't relax or sleep properly and you're always on edge wondering "Is this it?" The thing, though, is that impatience is your enemy. Unless there are medical indications, the best and safest thing is to let nature take its course, but impatience can lead to decisions to Do Something, such as induce labor, that may be a leap from the frying pan into the fire. This is because all medical interventions have the potential for doing harm as well as doing good. If you don't have a problem--or, at least, if you don't have a problem that can't be fixed by time and good self-care--then you are running the risks of that intervention without the counterbalancing benefit.

    If you can't (or shouldn't) change the situation, then your best option is to change your response to it. My advice is to think of your feelings as a horse and you as the rider. They are what they are, but you are in charge, specifically:

    • Accept your feelings of frustration and irritation. This is making your miserable, no two ways about it. So have the occasional pity party if you need to but then allow yourself to move on without dwelling on your feelings or trying to push them away. Dwelling on them just intensifies them while telling yourself you "shouldn't" feel this way is like saying "Don't think about pink elephants." It then becomes the only thing you can think about.
    • Substitute positive thoughts. Remind yourself that this is how your body wants to do things this time. There's nothing wrong, and eventually labor will begin and you'll have your baby. (You have an enormous advantage over a first-time mom in that you know pregnancy doesn't go on forever.)
    • Brainstorm ways of making yourself more comfortable: warm bath? back massage? foot massage?arranging pillows so that everything is supported? chiropractic adjustment? ask dr if there is any pain reliever that is safe to take?
    • Brainstorm ways of simplifying your life: Get take-out for dinner? Have other family members take over some of your usual chores? Let some things go?
    • Do something every day just for you that makes you feel good: Cozy chat with a friend? Curl up with a book?

    Here, too, is an article I wrote some years back on how to decide if you are in progressive labor.

    I hope this helps.

    ~ Henci

      
    Henci Goer

    I am not a midwife or doctor, but it certainly sounds like you are doing the right thing by seeing your doctor. I hope it turns out to be nothing, but the symptoms you describe are more than the usual pregnancy discomforts and the severe headache definitely falls into the "consult your midwife or doctor" category.

    ~ Henci

    Archived User

    Henci,

               Thank you for responding, you were a little bit late :). I had my sweet baby girl on the 17th. I was pretty unhappy with the doctor, especially since I had to wait almost an hour to push even though when I had two "practice pushes" with the nurses, I was obviously ready to have the baby. So the doctor took her sweet time and my little girl had a cone head at first from being in the birth canal for so long. All in all I pushed about 5 times and she was here. I do feel bad for getting the epidural, but it really helped me relax for about an hour before it wore off and I was ready to push. Knowing that people care and want to help other people is a really great thing. I really think its awesome that you take time out of your schedule just to try to make someone elses life a little easier. Your forum really helped me when I was pregnant and during early labor. Thanks for all you do.

     

    -Gwenavere's Mommy.

    Archived User

    Oh, and I forgot, I did end up having to be induced, because as I suspected I did have pre eclampsia. I went to my doctors appointment and she made me go to L and D because I had high BP and protein in my urine. Just thought I would point that out because pregnant women should trust their bodies more than their doctors. If anyone ever feels a little "off" and your doctor trys to play it off as nothing, get a second opinion! Oh and the reason I got the epidural is because the nurses told me that the anesthesiologist was about to leave for the day and that if I wanted it, I would have to get it before he left and they told me he was the best one there so I should let him do it, sooooo, me having contractions every two minutes apart (Though they felt never-ending), and me being afraid that if I didn't get it before he left and I did end up needing it, that I  would regret not getting it, I went ahead and got him to come by right before he left (I was trying to wait till the pain was REALLY bad), I guess it did help in the long run, I was just hoping I could have done it on my own. Though, it did wear off completely before I was ready to push; the pressure was unbelievable! And I had to be sown up with no numbing medicine, two packs of disolvable stitches! I think being sown up hurt worse than the pushing, pushing is a huge relief. Okay here I go rambling again :p. It's all just exciting and amazing. Thanks again, and have a good day. 

    -Gwenavere's Mommy 

    Henci Goer

    I'm glad that everything turned out so well in the end. Based on what you say about how things went, though, next time you may, as you wrote in your initial e-mail, want to have a home birth with a midwife and doula. Still, if that had been your plan with this birth, you might find it some comfort to know that because of the preeclampsia you would have ended up being induced in the hospital anyway.

    I should add, too, that most women report induced contractions to be more difficult to deal with than natural labor, which may also be of some comfort when you start thinking about your next birth. Let me add as well that having to take the contraction pain back after being numb can be harder than never having had the epidural in the first place. For one thing, you haven't had the opportunity to adapt to slowly strengthening contractions and for another, you've lost your own endorphins, which your body produces in response to pain. Speaking of which, do you know why they let the epidural wear off? It isn't usual to do that. Another thing that puzzles me is why the stitching was so painful. Since the epidural was gone, they should have injected numbing medication locally like the dentist does for fillings.

    As you mull things over, a model for thinking about how it all went--which, BTW, I got from one of my daughters who learned it in acting class--is to consider what went well, what didn't go well, and what you learned from the experience. I like it because it is a nonjudgmental. 

    ~ Henci  

    Angel Wills

    It's me again, original poster!! I'm 39 weeks 5 days and having more early labor, as usual! :) This time around I'm relaxing more and preparing my body and mind for the big day. I'm not stressed about it and I KNOW labor will come.....eventually! I'm so glad this post has helped so many people. 

    One thing I'm doing this time is wrapping my belly. Since I've had so many children, my uterus tends to stick out quite far and I believe it keeps the baby from putting much pressure on my cervix. I'm hoping the belly wrapping might help bring him in alignment a little better, but like I said, I'm not stressing about it...just enjoying the journey!

    Thank you,

    Angel

    Henci Goer

    Good for you! You might want to continue with the belly wrapping in labor. I'm not aware of any research on this point, but I can't think it would do any harm, and it makes sense to hold the uterus more upright so that contractions can do a better job of pressing the baby downward against the cervix as well as pulling the cervix open. I know midwives who use this trick on women who have had several children.

    I'd love to hear how everything goes when you have your baby.

    ~ Henci 


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