Voices about prolonged labour

Prolonged labour is a difficult situation for the women giving birth, and little spoken about although it is so common. We have talked to some women who remember.


The water broke as a jumped off the bus on my way home from work, 4 works early. I called my husband at work and he became quite hysterical. My contractions started almost immediately, with only 2-3 minutes in between, almost from the start. But nothing happened. I did not open up as I should, inspite of being induced. We kept at it for almost 24 hours, I almost felt I did not care if I lived or was dead. She got stuck on the way out, the midwife fought like an animal…I went down to the Underworld to pick up my child, that is how I see it today. She was damaged afterwards, and spent a week in a respirator with jaundice. I was damaged too. It took us months to heal. I would have liked to have learned more about prolonged labour before giving birth. This came as a chock. But we have great bonds today me and my daughter, so it can be healed.

Maja, mother of four


I went two weeks over the planned date. It was my first baby. After four days of labour and very little food, and hardly no sleep, I was exhausted. Now the midwife said I was opened enough and I should push. … ahhh ..no energy ..no force .. my mind and heart were totally disconnected .. I could not understand what to do or how to do it. All breathing technique learned were forgotten at this point.. .. nothing made sense at the moment. I remember hearing voices, explanations, distant talking, people telling me what to do .. I also remember somebody turning the baby in some way – another incredible pain moment. Afterwards they forgot my epidural needle in my back, which gave me enormous pain again. I felt surreal and in chock, and could not connect to my baby. Yes, I became an Absent Mother. I became disconnected with my own body and life for years.

Edith, mother of two


My delivery started off quite normally, with smaller aches and pains first at home. As the water broke we were off to the hospital. I remember cars bumper to bumper outside the car window and darkness. The contractions started coming more regularly. Then they stopped. An hour passed, I remembered people in the room, looking at me with concern, then I got induced intravenously. It was like a door hitting me in the back. That was how strong the contractions were, and I found it hard to follow them. I gave birth to my child in some sort of chaos, but what an experience that was. I am so proud of myself for managing-I never thought I would.

Carina, mother of one child