To push or not to push?
April 13, 2012 11:10 AM   Subscribe

YANMP (perinatologist) and I will call them but first can someone describe what back labor feels like?

I'm 32 weeks and 2 days. At 23wks I had a sherodkar rescue cerclage placed because my cervix had shortened to 1cm. Since then I've been having sporadic contractions, and preterm labor had to be stopped with procardia and terbutaline. Needless to say ive been in and out of labor and delivery countless times and I'm sure they are sick of me.
Yesterday evening I started having sharp and I mean sharp pain in my lower back which hasnt let up. I cannot put any weight on my legs because the pain is excruciating. Thing is though I've not had any contractions or bloody show or anything just thing pain that is making me almost suicidal. I hesitate to go in though because I don't want to cry wolf. Also I have a 1 year old and 3 year old that need taking care of and my husband will be livid if I pull him out of work for a false alarm.
So, ladies, doctors, veterinarians, Dr House, Doogie Howser, whomever... Ya think it's labor?
posted by ramix to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My back labor didn't feel exactly like that, but it still sounds bad. Maybe call your OB?
posted by christinetheslp at 11:14 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had back labour and it was so painful I had to throw up. Yours sounds similar. Can you speak with a nurse on the phone? Usually the rule is if the pain is so bad you can't speak it's time to go in (plus the contractions should be 4 minutes apart, lasting one minute, for at least one hour).
posted by Dragonness at 11:14 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have had two children, and while I had contractions that I felt initially in my sacroiliac joints, I have not had true back labor. I am not a doctor, midwife, or labor nurse.

Does the pain pulse at all? Does it roll, does it squeeze, does it remit? If it doesn't, it might be a pinched nerve. If you're allowed out of bed and if changing positions is not contraindicated, try getting onto all fours with your butt up HIGH in the air and put your forehead on the ground, and see if that relieves it; when I had sciatica in my first pregnancy, that was the only position that gained relief.

Also, drink a lot of water. But regardless, call your doctor and let them know that you're having this pain.
posted by KathrynT at 11:15 AM on April 13, 2012

Call L&D. They will know way more than we will. My Not A Doctor theory is that if you're in so much pain you can't stand up, you need to talk to the doctor regardless.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:17 AM on April 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

I had back labor and it was like being punched in the kidneys, repeatedly, but I wouldn't call it a sharp pain. This sounds like a pinched nerve to me. Try rolling a tennis ball around the painful areas and see if that helps.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:17 AM on April 13, 2012

You haven't had a typical pregnancy. Hubby will just have to get over himself. Find someone to watch the kids and go see your doctor right away.

It might just be a pinched nerve but if it is anything else, the sooner you know, the better for you and baby.

Part of one of my labors (3 kids!) was back labor. I remember it being very painful, in just one side, radiating outward. Thankfully it didn't last long and I went onto the regular, mind bending, breath taking, give-me-some-drugs regular labor.

If nothing else, you need something for the pain. Go to the doctor.
posted by myselfasme at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2012 [6 favorites]

"I hesitate to go in though because I don't want to cry wolf. " You have a cerclage and are at 32 weeks and in pain? Please go in or at least call. If you are in PTL, you need to get steroid shots (if you haven't had them), among other things. They are not sick of you! That's what they do! Signed, I was in 14 times between 18 and 33.5 weeks at various stages of bad things, had healthy boy at 34 w 1 d after so much worth it.
posted by Zen_warrior at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2012 [8 favorites]

If you have pain to the extent that you are not able to stand up, you need to discuss this with your doctor. Please stop hemming and hawing about it.

I did have back labor and the pain was awful. I can't tell you more than that -- I've actually forgotten/suppressed it. But the pain was relentless until I had an epidural.

At any rate, please see your doctor.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:45 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing call your doctor. You have already had complications in this pregnancy, so this is not in any way "crying wolf." Your medical team wants to have these calls rather than dealing with more complications later. I agree with Myselfasme that your husband really has no right to feel any kind of upset if you are taking reasonable steps to take care of yourself and your little one. Just think about how you would feel if you decided not to call and found out later something was wrong. There is nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution.
posted by goggie at 12:23 PM on April 13, 2012

If you cannot put weight on your legs because it's excruciating you need to be seen - I know, repeated trips to L & D are a drag but so is being in that much pain and if you've got something going on in what has already been a difficult pregnancy it's better to address it asap. Good luck and keep us posted!
posted by leslies at 12:46 PM on April 13, 2012

You need to go in--there are other conditions that come with excruciating pain and some of them can be very, very bad. Your husband needs to get the hell over it, they're his kids too and your health is extremely important.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:48 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've had back labor. That's not it.
The type of pain you are describing is asking for an emergency visit.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:50 PM on April 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

I had back labor with both my children and it wasn't sharp, excruciating pain, just rolling steady aching pain that got slowly worse over the course of labor. Contractions, in other words, except in my lower back. (I get menstrual cramps there too, just lucky I guess.) So I am going to add my voice to the chorus of yeah, call the doctor.

The other thing is, if you've already had two kids than presumably you know how your body lets you know when it's time. Listen to your body and your instincts. If you never had back labor before it seems unlikely that you'd suddenly have it? I always had cramps in my back and my gynecologist told me when I was still in my teens that I had a very tilted uterus and would probably have back labor when I had kids.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:17 PM on April 13, 2012

That doesn't sound at all like my back labour, but it certainly sounds like a reason to take a trip to emerg. Don't wait around, go now.
posted by arcticwoman at 6:17 PM on April 13, 2012

My back labour was the exact same as the back pain of the whole pregnancy, just with rolling peaks. It took me five hours to work out it was labour (kiddo came two hours after that).

Get thee to the doctor!
posted by geek anachronism at 8:28 PM on April 13, 2012

Really sounds more like your kidney(s) than back labor. Could be kidney stones--I found that pain more excruciating than when I went into labor.
posted by misha at 7:03 AM on April 14, 2012

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