Home » Pregnancy 2015 » Back Labour?

Back Labour?

Last night was a sleepless one in the mamaetmaman household. Starting last Tuesday, I noticed a slight tight spot in my left quadratus lumborum muscle during a pregnancy massage I was receiving. Since then, the tightness has morphed into a dull ache in my left lower back for a couple of days, but not constant- it comes and goes. Yesterday during the day, I noticed it linger for 20-30 minutes then go away for a couple of hours, and then start up again for 20-30 minutes, and then go away again. 

But last night- things changed.

Last night, the achy tightening became a searing pain in my left-sided lower back that also reached forward and caused a debilitating squeezing pain in my left belly. Each “contraction” lasted about 4-5 minutes, and then backed off for and irregular period of time- sometimes 9 minutes, sometimes an hour, but mostly in 15 minute intervals. 

I was moaning, wimpering, crying my eyes out. I tried bouncing on my exercise ball, leaning forward on the bed and swaying my hips, squatting, cat-cow on all fours, and DW did some counter-pressure and deep massage on my back and sacrum. The positional changes helped a little bit, but mostly with distracting from the pain. DW’s counter-pressure helped a lot, some of the time. The pain ranged in intensity, but was always between an 7-9/10 on my perceived pain scale. I puked twice from the pain.

We were so tired that I’m between contractions, we’d get back into bed and try to catch some zzz’s. But with 15 minute intervals between contractions, you can imagine how much sleep we really got. 

Also- the contractions are much worse when I’m laying down (on my sides- I don’t lay on my back anymore). When I’m standing, they don’t seem to start. But it’s so hard because I’m so tired from propping myself up and changing positions, that all I want to do is lay down and sleep. 

We finished packing up some last pieces for our hospital bag (mostly clothes because I’m wearing the same 3 Lululemon pants pretty much everyday), and DW has been working on lesson plans to leave for th substitute teachers if she has to take tomorrow off work. 

I’m trying to keep busy by finishing up some items on my “To Do” list. First thing is padsicles. 

It feels like Dumplin’s birth is gonna happen soon. I wasn’t anticipating this back labour though, because at last check, baby boy was left occiput anterior, and not in a typical position to cause back labour. I’ve read that back labour can happen regardless of position though. I’m not sure what to expect of its progression. I’m trying to time the contractions but they’re not showing any progression. I haven’t called the midwives yet because of this. But last night, all the Hypnobirthing breathing and visualizations went out the window, and I was wishing for an epidural. My own moaning and breathing cadence seemed to calm me a bit, but totally freaked DW out because they were sounds of pain. 

Having been sitting up and standing for a while now, I haven’t had any back labour, so who knows where this is going. All I know is that something is happening, and all I wanna do is sleep!

62 thoughts on “Back Labour?

  1. Oh my. I can’t comment on what back labour feels like, but what I will say is that for my first labour my contractions were beyond any kind of intensity I had been expecting. They literally floored me with how strong they were – it felt like I was being torn apart, right from the first few. Have you been checked/heard baby’s heartbeat? Is the little one moving around ok? Labour can be so unpredictable. Whatever is going on, it really sounds like things might be happening soon. Stay strong – you will get through this!!

    • Thanks. Yes, the pain was unbelievable. Any plans I had for an unmedicated home birth are now out the window with this back labour. I haven’t heard Dumplin’s heart rate, but he’s definitely squirming in there!

      • That’s good. Oh gosh – I really feel for you. We didn’t sleep much at all for the night before the night we went into hospital and it was just exhausting! I really thought I was prepared for anything – but like you I found myself crying from the pain and unable to believe how strong the contractions were. What IS good to know is that it doesn’t get much worse!! For a lot of people it seems to build in intensity, but for me I went straight in at the top of the pain scale and stayed there until the pushing started. It might be the same for you. Whatever happens I’m wishing you both lots of luck and strength xxx

  2. Oh my goodness – my sister had back labour with one of her children and she said it was THE WORST pain she’s ever felt. I sincerely hope your whole L&D isn’t felt in your back. My heart aches for you, imagining you in so much pain you were even puking!

    Sounds like he’s getting ready to come soon. I can’t wait to see his sweet face.

  3. I had back labor and that’s exactly what it felt like. Bean was posterior though. Did you try a robezo? When you’re on all fours during a contraction have wifey hold a scarf or woven wrap around your belly while she holds the ends, like a belly hammock. Then she lifts and all the weight will come off your back…I dont know it seemed to help me a bit. Also wrapping my arms around cades neck and bending putting all my weight on him. Don’t feel bad about the hypno stuff, same thing here, as soon as labor hit it wasnt working for me…

    • I didn’t try the rebozo during the contractions, but I might if they start again. Did your back labour last the entire time? Mine seems to have stopped and now I don’t know what to expect.

      • Yes but definitely intensified by about day three or four. The morning of her birhday was the worst

  4. That was my experience with back labor too (puking, some things making it slightly better, 9/10 on the pain scale). My only advice is try to stay hydrated as much as you can. I’m thinking good things your way!

  5. Di had back labour (amped up by pitocin), puked a lot, and also found that she couldn’t lie down – so in that sense it sounds similar. For her the pain was very low down, like, right by her tailbone, even though the baby was high up. We brought a tie-on heating pad to the hospital and it helped more than anything else.

    I have heard that sometimes contractions rest once the baby has turned a bit, so maybe that is what is happening for you and when they come back it won’t be as bad? Hope you’re able to rest a bit before things get busier for you!

    Sending you good vibes 🙂

    • Ahh! Good to know. I have an electric heating pad but it might get too hot to be safe for Dumplin’. I’m gonna try taking a nap in a bit, so we’ll see if the back labour starts up again. I’m also gonna try walking to help things along. Poor Dumplin’ and his huge head.

  6. Nothing to offer advice wise but we’re cheering you on from NYC. You’re doing great and will continue to do so. 🙂 Can’t wait to meet baby boy. 🙂

  7. The only thing positive I can tell you in support of getting through it naturally is that the back labour didn’t endure for me. Once she shifted positions it seemed to stop. Hot baths helped. Xx

  8. Oh my! Glad to hear that you’re experiencing a bit of a break right now. Hope when the contractions pick back up that they’re more manageable. Labour and childbirth is so unpredictable! You’re strong and have great support and all decisions that you make will be the right ones for your and your little guy. Best thoughts being sent your way.

  9. Good luck! Hopefully the back pain goes away for you. It’s a waste of water, but having the shower hitting onto my lower back helped while I was at home. I had the sterile water injections and they sting and burn like nothing else I have ever felt before. Not sure if it is the same over there, but they were given during a contraction, two at a time and there was four needles all up. The feeling afterwards was amazing, while I still felt the contraction it was mild and the back pain was nowhere near as intense. The good thing is that you can have these injections more than once. For me, it lasted about 1-2 hours and was a nice break from the pain. I hope your little guy decides to come sooon 🙂

    • Thank you! I hope things progress nicely and that he’s here with us soon too! I think my midwives do being sterile saline injections with them, so I’ll definitely consider that when I’m in active labour. Thanks!

  10. I get this feeling Dumplin may arrive before our baby! My sister also had back labour and opted for the epidural. Sometimes we have to change our preference when facing the unexpected. Thanks for the reminder about padsicles. I’ve got the supplies but haven’t made mine yet either. Will be keeping my eyes out for continued updates and I think you are very close to welcoming Dumplin home. 🙂

    • Thanks Linds. We’ll see what happens. I have a midwive appt tomorrow so I will hopefully get them to do a check for dilation and give me feedback on the back labour. Tonight it’s been mostly an unsettled feeling in my belly. Nothing really painful, but uncomfortable enough that I got out of bed to sit on the couch for a bit.

      • It’s funny how labour can start and stop like that. I’ve been asking around and some people get that, some don’t. Hope your appointment goes well tomorrow. Try to get some sleep!

      • I’m fortunate my little man is definitely more awake during the day right now. Half way through this pregnancy though he was up all night. I’m sure you will get Dumplin adjusted once he’s on the outside.

      • Im glad your little guy has changed his sleeping pattern- it’s nice having them active when you are awake. You get to enjoy the last couple of days/weeks of the pregnancy together.

  11. I had horrible back labour with the twins, courtesy of Quinn. I feel for you! I hope the little man arrives soon and your labour and delivery are smooth and uneventful. Thinking of you 🙂

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