Pregnancy

Labor Pains: My 6-Week Labor Lasted Three Pushes

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labor painsI was pregnant with my first baby last year, and since I live in England, I was cared for by midwives (with a consultant doctor) throughout my pregnancy. The first 20 weeks were a maelstrom of all-day, unrelenting sickness. From 24 weeks, I had problems with my blood pressure that meant that I needed frequent medication and appointments to have my blood pressure checked. At 32 weeks, I went into hospital with vomiting, seeing black and white spots and abdominal pain – all classic signs of pre-eclampsia. After a positive fibronectin test, they told me my baby was coming early, and the pains I was having were labor!

I was scared to death. However, after a few days of monitoring and medication, it didn’t seem like baby was going to make an appearance, so I was put on partial bed rest and told to go home.

 After that, I began to have tightenings that were different from Braxton-Hicks contractions. On Christmas night, I went in, and they determined that I had an “irritable uterus.”  If you want to understand what that is, imagine having painful contractions, two-three minutes apart, regularly for entire weeks. Being a first time mum, I thought that I was losing my mind. Every midwife kept saying, “There’s no way you are having real contractions. You’ll know when you are in labour.”

They were wrong.

I went into hospital three more times in five weeks with my blood pressure and the contractions, and they never thought to do an internal exam. By week 38, I could not take it any longer. At my appointment for my blood pressure, I begged the consultant doctor to help me. I couldn’t sleep at night, and every time the baby moved, it cause a painful contraction.  Finally, he agreed to induce the next day if I had progressed after an internal check to see how far I was dilated. The midwife who checked me was astonished because I was over four centimeters!

 The next day, they broke my water and started an oxytocin drip. After an hour they got more painful and about a minute apart, so I used gas and air for the pain. By an hour and fifteen minutes, I begged for an epidural, but my husband just shook his head and said, “I’ll get the papers for you to sign in a little while if you feel like you still need one.” I didn’t realize that the midwife had checked, and I was fully dilated.

Three pushes and she was out! Everyone marvelled at my quick labour, but they still didn’t seem to acknowledge that it felt like the longest labor ever! Six weeks worth!

This is a reader submission for Labor Pains Week.

(photo: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock)