a birth story - part six

You can read the rest of my birth story
but to summarize:

My waters broke.
My contractions started at 3 minutes apart.
I went to hospital,
They sent me home because I'd only dilated 2 cm.
Twelve hours later,
I'm in a lot of pain
so we're heading back to hospital.

That car journey to the hospital was not as comfortable as the first one had been.
I winced at ever bump in the road,
every corner,
every time we braked,
every time we accelerated.
I had to be helped from the car park to the hospital this time.
And no one suggested for a minute that I wasn't in labour.

We were met by a different midwife as the shifts had changed over,
and she immediately took us into a birthing room.
She'd been briefed by the previous midwife
that things seemed to be progressing quickly with me,
and after taking one look at me
had decided I was beyond the 'assessment room' stage.
She advised us to get settled,
brought us some water to drink
and asked for yet another urine sample.

Then came time for another internal examination.
I was more apprehensive this time after the pain of the previous time
and when I contracted as she was doing it,
I actually cried for her to stop.
It felt like I was being cut open.

In my head I was trying not to get ahead of myself.
I was telling myself I'd be happy to be 4cms
but was secretly convinced I'd be 6cm.
6cm meant that I had finally reached active stages of labour.
6cm meant pain relief.
6cm meant I was over halfway.

But I was still 2cm.

I couldn't hide my disappointment.
I burst into tears.
I hung from my hubby to stop myself from collapsing into a puddle of misery. 
How could I only be 2cm?
I'd been at it for 12 hours now.
And my Mum had produced both my brother and me in less that 2 hours.
It just wasn't fair.

Right from when I discovered I was pregnant
I had been planning to play down any pain I was in.
I was simply NOT going to be like those crazed, screaming women
that I'd seen on One Born Every Minute.
I was going to have my baby with my dignity intact.

But as the midwife was explaining to me
that early labour could often take a really long time
particularly with first babies,
the next contraction hit me like a wave of pure pain.
I forgot my plan and I panicked.
I wanted this to be over.
I cried out in pain.

As I wobbled on the birthing ball,
the midwife reminded me to breathe and to try and stay calm.
She said that she suspected from her feel of my tummy
and from the internal exam
that my baby was in a back-to-back position.
This would explain why I was experiencing so much pain in my back
and also why my contractions were so close together.
It was my body’s way of trying to turn the baby around
into a more preferable front-to-back position.
She explained that back-to-back labours were notoriously longer and more painful.
This was not what I needed to hear.
Back came the panic
and I sobbed through another few contractions
trying to regain control of my breathing.

It was suggested, yet again, that home really would be the best place for me.
That I would be calmer there
and that at a rate of 1cm dilation per hour,
I still had a few hours left before they would want to admit me,
at that magical 6cm stage.

Read the next part here.


  1. Ouch ouch, that sounds so long and the back to back thing sounds really painful. I hope it speeded up for you!

  2. Oh hunny, I feel for you here, being sent home again. How disappointing. I have heard the same that back to back is really the most painful labor. Bless you. Hoping the next post means baby appears!!!

  3. Ouch this is so familiar, I'm afraid when I write my birth story up it will be very similar to this :( you poor thing

  4. My second was unknown back to back, I knew the pain felt different and once she was out the midwife said, well done you! That baby changed back to back through labour!


Back to Top