Giving birth is an emotional process.
However, there’s one particular term that is most controversial amongst mums and mums-to-be while they’re in the midst of a difficult labour – “failing to progress”.
That is, to describe a labour that goes beyond 20 hours for a first-time mum and 14 hours for a woman who’s already given birth before.
Gold Coast-based gym owner and fitness influencer, Revie Jane Schulz, says hearing the words “failing to progress” affected her for months.
“It took me six months, maybe longer, to really embrace how Lexi was born and feel like I had done a good job, and stop beating myself up,” Schulz said in a YouTube video.
Already impatient with an overdue pregnancy that had extended to 40 weeks and 10 days, Schulz explained she and her husband Clay made the decision to induce their now daughter Lexington (Lexi for short).
When they booked in at their hospital for a Friday 2pm appointment, Revie and Clay were ready to meet their future baby.
At 3pm she was induced with a ‘gel’ (normally containing hormone prostaglandin to soften the cervix) that gave her a few “period-like cramps”, before receiving another round of the gel at 9pm.
This resulted in a “rush of contractions” and her water broke soon after.
Listen: I’m scared of birth. Can I get a c-section? We ask Midwife Cath if a fear of vaginal birth is a good enough reason to have a caesarean. (Post continues after audio…)
By 11pm, Schulz was experiencing contractions every four to five minutes and by midnight she had dilated to three centimetres, which is normally expected at the early labour phase.
“From 12am to 5am I could probably just say that it was the worst experience of my life… It was like I was in the ocean and I kept on getting hit by wave after wave.”
Despite this, five hours later she was still only three to three and a half centimetres dilated.