with my first, my daughter was born 39+3, water birth with only gas and air. i went walking that morning then that evening i was getting regular contractions. not one other symptom. With my second, my son was born 40+2. i had the sweep at 40 weeks and started getting irregular contractions, 40+1 i lost my plug all day and started getting more contractions. spent that night in hospital with contractions then in the morning i was on gas and air begging for an epidural although i never got any as the anaethetist was in an emergancy. it was so much harder than my first, i coped very well, the bath was amazing. i was unable to stand to get into the bath at 4cm with my son. i was doubled over with pain and he was born that afternoon. swaying your hips helped me, but i had horrible back labour with my son and he did not turn from back to back until about 2 hours before he was born. breathing techniques got me through.
Breathing is about the best thing I can do in labor. I practice meditation prior to labor and practice my breathing through contractions. I am usually by a toilet the whole time because I am usually sick to my stomach and going to the bathroom. Being hunkered over and squatting is the most comfortable for me. My 2nd birth I went to the hospital too early and my contractions slowed down because of it :(
The first child I waited till the last minute literally and just got to the hospital in time to give birth. It's such a mental thing for me, I don't want someone checking on me every 20 minutes or timing me. I know everyone is different though. Thanks for sharing this!
I had a backache the day before everytime I was going into labor. My water never broke for any and I didn't lose my mucus plug until I was in the hospital. I knew once I starting having back pain that it was going to happen within a day or two!
I started going into contractions at work at 40 weeks and two days. I called the doctor and the nurse told me it was just braxton hicks. I was livid. So I took castor oil. I know now that it isn't good to take castor oil and I do regret it, I won't be doing that this time around. It must have worked as my contractions became more constant and more painful. I went to the hospital at 11 at night not knowing if I was ready. My contractions were as much painful as they just took my breath away. I lost my mucous plug after they checked me and they told me I was 3 cm dilated. Not too long after that I got my epidural they told me to get some rest and then they would wake me up at 6 am to push. I didn't sleep. I woke up at 6 pushed for almost 3 hours and then she was born at 8:43 am in the morning.
my first was at 39 weeks and my nurse did a sweep I had contractions and timed them and went to the hospital..4cm and epidural and she was here in about 8 hrs
2nd 38 weeks reg contractions timed them, got to the hospital I was 4cm got epi and slept and about 10hrs later she was here
3rd 38 weeks reg contractions my water never broke with any of them I was 5 cm when I got there and got an epi she was here in about 6 hours
I lost my plug with all of them about 1 or 2 days before
My first two were pretty similar - had a membrane sweep and had them each the next day. The membrane sweep caused cramping. Going to the hospital got me into labor because they forced my body into labor with drugs. My preference, in retrospect, would have been to avoid drugs and labor on my own whether it took a day or five days. So I learned from that and hired a midwife with my next baby.
With my third I had a midwife and she did a membrane sweep at my request when I was 40 weeks. It didn't work this time. Instead I had cramping and then had a ton of bloody show. I researched bloody show and found that most women have their baby within a day or a few days of having it. My water broke three days later at home and baby was born 5 hours later.
Contractions for me with my first two were hardly noticeable at first; just a strong tightening. It felt like baby was curling up in a ball and pushing out as hard as they could. When I was in active labor and transition contractions were definitely recognizable as labor contractions; they were intense, close together, I had to breathe and focus through them, etc.
Forgot to answer your last questions. What helped for me was counterpressure which is having someone press their fists (or tennis balls) into the lower back where your hip bones are. Oh my gosh it was wonderful!
Water is also great! Walking helps speed up labor; laying down can slow it down. Likewise getting in the tub can also slow labor down (it relaxes you and is a natural anesthetic though it won't completely take away the pain).
Every woman is different! I know a woman who felt most comfortable on her back, others on their sides, others swaying or moving, others in water... the point is to try different things and keep moving (your body will naturally want to do that and will shift and find new positions). Find what works for you!
I usually lose my plug before labor and within the 24 hrs give birth. My first the water broke in my sleep and I was cramping and starting labor right away, my 2nd my water broke early about a week before he was born. I just kept myself clean to avoid infection, avoided baths, took showers only, my water bag resealed and had to be manually broken a week later when labor came on.
I think this time around I want to move around more to help with transition and staying focused.
I go fast and hard so for me it goes from bh contractions that are about 5 minutes apart to having that one big contraction that's a sign. It's like my body says ok here we go and I know it's the real deal. From my first "real" contraction to the last push was 4 hours with my son and 3 hours with my daughter.
Prior to the start of hard labor I have bh for about a week every day and almost all day. I like to take a hot shower right at the start of hard labor and then sit on a bouncy ball. For the most part the only thing that seems to feel right for me is sitting down and leaning forward on something. Someone told me I should try getting up on my hands and knees this time so I plan on giving that a shot.
With my first i experienced a back ache which i never had so i started to time them and noticed that they were like 8 mins apart and what not, then once they were going from 5 to 3 apart then i went to hospital, but with my 2nd i was induced with the perssary thing and again once the back pain started i knew then and 2 hrs after ds popped into the world and both times the only thing that helped was learning fowards over a pillow or onto a bean bag on all 4s
I love hearing these birth stories, it makes me so excited for the whole event :) Thanks for sharing these!