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what is the pain like?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, this is a weird question but -

With DS I had 24 hours of pure back labor. It didn't "hurt" until that first one I felt in my back. Then I think at some point it got excruciating. My thoughts were, "this is the worst experience of my life. why did i sign up for this."

When we were pushing, it felt like my tailbone was going to snap off.

So, I'm wondering what regular labor feels like. I know it's different for everyone. But what is the difficult aspect of it? Is it a stabbing pain? A burning pain? Is there anything to liken it to? Where does the pain occur? If you've had both, how would you describe the difference?

BTW, I am preparing for the worst and praying it doesn't happen. This time with a doula expert in pain relief.
post #2 of 15
I read you're other post about back labor, and since it appears like there's no good explanation for why you had back labor, maybe what you experienced is just how you personally feel labor. So you may feel the same exact thing. Otherwise there's no real good answer, most people just say really bad period cramps. I think preparing for the worst is a good idea- I found it helpful! During my labor I was like- so this is it? I mean it was painful, but I was expecting so so much worse!
post #3 of 15
I had back labor with my second baby and it was awful! Then he turned or moved somehow, all of a sudden, no more back labor, and voila, not half bad! Then transition a while later, awful again, but at least at that point you know you are near the end, and it's not unexpected, and soon you are pushing and it's "not bad" again.
Of course everyone is different so that's an EXTREME generalization but not too off-base for most, I think.
post #4 of 15
I had 30 hours of back labor w/ DS (he was born occ. posterior). My experience of pain w/ him was kind of like you described, no "pain" until I started feeling it in my back, and then it was just excruciating. I also had the experience of feeling like my tail bone or spine was going to snap. For me, that pain was continuous, stabbing and it just felt "wrong", if that make sense.

W/ DD, I had under two hours of labor, most of it in transition. She was positioned w/ both hands on her face, w/ her elbows jutting out, which prolonged transition. The pain of her birth was immense. It was incredibly different than back labor, tho. The pain was all-encompassing. Literally, I felt like I was going to disappear into the pain. I felt like I was going to split in half down the middle. I wanted to climb out the top of my head to get away from the pain.

I can't really say which experience hurt "worse", they were SO different. I can say that, in retrospect, back labor felt "abnormal" to me, and non-back labor hurt in such an intense way that I can't put it into words.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by babygrey View Post
I had 30 hours of back labor w/ DS (he was born occ. posterior). My experience of pain w/ him was kind of like you described, no "pain" until I started feeling it in my back, and then it was just excruciating. I also had the experience of feeling like my tail bone or spine was going to snap. For me, that pain was continuous, stabbing and it just felt "wrong", if that make sense.
This was my experience with my first (and only) DD. OP, 30 hours of back labor; something felt "wrong" and it was terrifying. I was expecting the crampy abdominal pains, which I never had. I think I would have stayed home much longer if not for that back pain that just felt like something wasn't right.

Incidentally, something was wrong--DD was too wrapped and unable to descend despite me being fully dilated.
post #6 of 15
I was wondering the same thing, since I only have DS and had horrible back labor from him being posterior. So I have wondered, if I can have labor w/o the back labor, how different will it feel? Will it at least be somewhat better, hopefully? My whole torso seized up with each contraction of the back labor, which made my cervix swell and stalled dilation.

The back labor I had led to narcotics, epidural, Pit, vacuum delivery and 2nd degree tear. Hoping to avoid all that this time and also hoping to ward off the back labor to begin with!
post #7 of 15
I've had back labor and "regular" labor. I would say the pain is worse in back labor, but it's the same type of pain as the regular kind. And when I say back labor is worse, it definitely doesn't mean the other kind is any walk in the park. It felt excruciating at the time, and only with back labor the second time around did I realize there was something worse than excruciating.
post #8 of 15
I have endometriosis adhesions, so labor is absolutely awful for me. The uterine pain isn't so bad - it's manageable, gets very intense, but the hard part there is pretty brief. It's the adhesion pain that is so hard for me, and in some of my labors lasted 8+ hours (in terms of the length of time I would say the pain was "excruciating" or "extremely difficult"; actual labors were about 20 hrs total). My most recent birth was easier in that the labor was quite short. Very painful and intense, but only about 2.5 hours long.

I think labor is such a unique experience that no one can say what labor will be like for you if you don't have the back labor. I hope that it goes more easily for you, though, of course!
post #9 of 15
My DS was positioned perfectly - didn't have any back labor. If felt like bad period cramps at first.
In transition, I remember it was very painful, but I honestly can't recall the sensation! When I realized it the next day or so, I thought maybe there is a tiny bit of truth to that saying about maternal amnesia - you forget the pain.

If you ask me what it feels like to stub your toe, have a hangnail, have muscles sore from weightlifting, walk into a wall ( something I do too often), I can recall those sensations. I can bring them to mind & try to articulate them. But with the pain I felt in transition no idea! Weird though. I remember it hurt & I was screaming a bit & sorta 'dreading' the next one, but I felt I was still OK & I could cope. I didn't WANT to feel the next ctrx, but I could.
post #10 of 15
I didn't have back labor but I had butt labor. Here's my thread I started about it a few years ago and my update after having a normal labor/delivery. It started as my way of trying to figure out what caused it since I felt so alone in my experience. To anyone who might read...I hope you find it helpful. Here's the link to my update, you can read the other pages if you wish:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=523152&page=3
post #11 of 15
I have had 1 baby so I can't compare but it was not back labor (was on pitocin though). I think of the experience as a very very intense sensation - akin to pain but different from a pain from hurting my back or twisting an ankle or something like that.

It was all in the abdominal area/uterus and really was just very intense during contractions especially around transition where I got a bit panicky for a while at the intensity of it all.. then starting pushing and that was fantastic for me compared to the intense feelings of transition.

I like reading Ina May Gaskins book and they describe contractions as surges instead of pain etc. I think it was a good perspective as the feeling is unique.
post #12 of 15
Like MegBoz, I can't really remember what the contraction pain felt like. I know that during my 6 hour transition, it was AWFUL, so awful that I kept telling my midwife, "I don't even want the baby anymore, I just won't have the baby if you can make it stop hurting."

What surprised me about labor is that I felt my cervix dialating as a distinctly separate pain from my contractions. That felt like a sharp, pinching pain (and not like a productive, "pain with a purpose" pain like many people say labor feels like).
post #13 of 15
I had two "normal" labors and two extremely painful (one was pit-induced, the other, I think had to do with the people at my birth and the environment). I recall the early contrax felt like bad period cramps.

Transition with my first two was totally do-able. It was intense, I but I could breathe through and keep it together. With my really painful labors, I can't recall the sensation exactly, but I just wanted to run away! I wanted it gone. I felt like a cat trying to claw its way out of a bag. It was awful. During pushing with my last, I felt like my pelvis was going to break apart. I even said that to the mw and they assured me it wouldn't

BUT, I don't anticipate another horrible labor this next time. I'm thinking positively about having another manageable labor, and my mw and I are going to make sure the environment is as favorable as possible, too.

I've never had a posterior baby, but my heart goes out to those of you who have. Huge kudos for not transferring for an epidural, because I don't think I could last for hours with that kind of pain.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
My DS was positioned perfectly - didn't have any back labor. If felt like bad period cramps at first.
In transition, I remember it was very painful, but I honestly can't recall the sensation! When I realized it the next day or so, I thought maybe there is a tiny bit of truth to that saying about maternal amnesia - you forget the pain.

If you ask me what it feels like to stub your toe, have a hangnail, have muscles sore from weightlifting, walk into a wall ( something I do too often), I can recall those sensations. I can bring them to mind & try to articulate them. But with the pain I felt in transition no idea! Weird though. I remember it hurt & I was screaming a bit & sorta 'dreading' the next one, but I felt I was still OK & I could cope. I didn't WANT to feel the next ctrx, but I could.
Absolutely the same with me! (painful contractions but I don't remember where exactly)... after my DD made a turn from being posterior
I had two days of what they called early labor with mild contractions but very painful in my back - I could not lay down, no sleep, no progress and "steel rod" in my back.
She turned into normal position during my medicated 3-hour sleep. After that - perfect 4-hour labor. the only painful sensation I remember well- pubic bones coming apart (felt like it) and some burning at crowning.
post #15 of 15
First labor was back labor. Second wasn't. The first one was pretty crazy, like you described. I was in labor denial for much of the second because I actually had BREAKS between ctx. It was great. Late active labor/transition was painful, but it was so bearable w/out back labor. It felt like an intense charlie horse in my lower uterus--I apparently don't feel ctx up high at all.

Many people who have that tailbone breaking off feeling with a first birth don't have issues in subsequent births because the baby actually has moved--and sometimes broken--your tailbone. That said, I completely agree with a PP that said back labor is just how some women labor, though I don't think it's the norm. I think 1st babies (even in optimal position) and malpositioned babies are the biggest reasons.
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