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How to get through, "Labor Pains."

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I was looking through birth videos on you-tube, and I was surprised to see the GREAT number of hits that

videos get when they say, Labor pain on it. 

 

When I was pregnant for the first time I was curious about them too! I thought this this would make a great informational thread...

 

 

For the woman who have birthed naturally before, I thought it would make an interesting to share:

 

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

My answer will follow below! Gotta type it up!

 

:)

Barbara

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

Before I gave birth to my first baby, I read Ina May Gaskin's book, Spiritual Midwifery. Within this book she talks about labor as a sensation, or energy,"rush," which takes place to get the baby out. Once I read this I *KNEW* that I could *do* labor.

 

I cured myself from fibromyalgia and other chronic pain in with much of the same technique- of seeing, "pain," as "sensation," and being curious about it instead of resisting it.

 

 When labor started, I consciously made the decision to see only ONE contraction at a time. In labor there is really is ONE contraction that you have to get through.

 

Any woman can get through one.

 

Anyway- in short- I LOVE labor. ( pregnancy was harder)

 

 If I could go back though- I would ask my midwife not to tell me that I could push. ( When I was through transition, she said, " You can push now." I wish she would have not suggested that I push, and let my body deliver spontaneously.

 

 

I pushed all of my babies out in 2-3 pushes.

 

Barbara

 

 

post #3 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

My labor hurt like hell.  Contractions started out very, very mild (like period cramps), and ended up feeling akin to someone driving a semi-truck through my abdomen.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

Transition was one contraction on top of the other, intensely painful.  I didn't puke, but I think I shook violently, and there was plenty of pleading with god.  Pushing felt like "doing" something.  It was completely involuntary...  My body just started pushing, although I recall the pushing contractions feeling less painful.  Still painful, but less so than the contractions of transition.  Birth felt like the ring of fire, and then sweet, sweet relief.  I have never felt so relieved and ecstatic in my entire life!

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

A lot of women talk about the mental state for birth, and honestly, after birthing my son, I don't get it at all.  In early labor, yes, I could give myself pep-talks, and focus on visualizing and relaxing.  But at a certain point, my body took over.  There was no mental state to speak of.  I wasn't thinking of my issues, or my strategy, or anything at all.  I wasn't thinking, I was doing.  Or as Ina May might say, my monkey brain took over orngbiggrin.gif  I never transformed or transcended the pain into anything else.  It was what it was, and it got me closer to meeting my baby, end of story.

 

Even though my labor wasn't "fluffy" by any means, it prepared me to meet my son, and to be his mama.  I am forever glad that I did it naturally!

post #4 of 23

 

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

For most of the 44 hours, I felt pain almost constantly. It peaked during contractions, but didn't really go away in-between like *they* said it would. I would say it got worse with time, but not that much worse. I never had the kind that were light or that I could talk through. The pain was extremely intense in my back and hips. I was shaking a lot and felt freezing cold.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

I didn't have a clear transition period. I felt intense contractions one on top of the other but then they slowed down and later it happened again. 

 

Pushing was difficult for me because I was exhausted and I needed my inhaler to breathe. I was too out-of-it to ask for it and nobody thought to give it to me. I thought I was going to die. Next time it will have it right by my side!

 

As soon as DS was born I just felt a huge relief and my body was shaking uncontrollably. Relief is the only way I can describe it. 

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

I hummed and bounced up and down during contractions. I found that doing something with my body helped. Even just a few months later I can't really remember what the pain felt like. I think the way for me to get through it was just to keep remembering that it would eventually end and I would have a baby. I actually had one of his soft little baby socks in my hand the whole time to remind me what I was doing this for.

 

offtopic.gif OP-- I also have fibro... how did you train yourself not to feel pain? hypnosis?? What about the stiffness and other symptoms?


Edited by ZakareyasMama - 5/12/11 at 5:59am
post #5 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

With my first child: it felt like my cervix was dialating. It was the only place I felt them. I couldn't sit down.  At 5cm I was shaking but it was tolerable. Felt the need to pace; would have preferrred to run

With my second child, it started out feeling like I had to pee and progressed to feeling the contractions all over.  This one did hurt and I spent the last 3 1/2 hours of a 8 hour labor in water which felt better.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

First child:  I spent transition on the toilet.  Still wasn't too bad except for a couple of contractions; I did feel a strong urge to push; pushed her out squating on the floor which wasn't bad until the ring of fire.

Second child: I moved to birth pool (from bath tub).  This really hurt really bad; felt out of control with contractions one on top of the other; sitting in birthpool (probably not the most effective position); never felt the urge to push.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

First Child: very logical: DH timed the length of the contractions and let me know when the contraction peaked. This worked 98 percent of the time. I was very reliant on this.

Second Child: I was just in water and transition did hurt. Prior to transition I was able to just go limp through the contractions (while in water) and it did help.

 

I'm too logical to have a particular state of mind that will block out pain :)

  

post #6 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

I definitely felt pain but so long as I was managing it right it didn't really... hurt?  It always gets said, but it just wasn't the same kind of pain as like.. stubbing a toe or breaking an arm.  I've suffered a great deal more pooping before than I did during labor.  For me, walking was NOT the answer.  In early labor, I wanted to sit or stand... I really liked the birthing ball.  I was fine to move between contractions but I had to stop before one started (not at the onset) or it would be much worse.  I also wasn't able to move as much the closer they got together (probably because movement at the onset made them worse, so the closer together they were, the more likely I was moving at onset haha.)  Once I was in the birthing tub and the glorious hot water when active labor really picked up, things were amazing and easier.  I just had to focus and work through and then I could forget I was in labor between contractions.  It WAS labor though.. there is a reason the experience is given that name... it was hard.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

I didn't fully realize I was in transition until I got out of the tub when I was too uncomfortable being on my knees any longer.  I couldn't labor leaning back or sitting.. I needed to lean forward and it hurt my knees so I got out and finally settled on my side.  any other position out of the tub was too much to handle.  On my side and again, I could focus and handle each contraction as it came even though I didn't really have time between them by the time I settled there.
Pushing was a bit difficult for me.  I wasn't able to slow it down to breathe kiddo out and such.. it was such a force that I just had to go with.  It took a few pushes to really get the hang of and then I had more issues with the charlie horse I got and once THAT was gone, the ring of fire started.  kiddo was out right after that though.  Had the charlie horse not happened, I think pushing would have been better.  I pushed for a good while and it would have been nice to have had more control between the shock of the force of pushing and the ring of fire immediately before birth.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

Honestly, I don't know.  I went inside myself.  I can't remember much.  I really only remember that when I tried to communicate with others, I felt really... drunk?  My speech felt slurred and too quiet... maybe more like I was under water.  However my mom (who was my birth partner) says this wasn't true but I asked her about it two years later so maybe she doesn't remember.  Learning now about things like hypnobirth, I wonder if I somehow did something like that though.
It helped though going into it being so sure of myself.  I knew all the basic 'birth is natural' 'your body knows what it is doing' 'its not the same kind of pain' 'each sensation has a purpose' stuff.  My midwives told me after the birth how much they loved my attitude about everything going into it and how upbeat I was, even about pains of pregnancy.  I'm sure my attitude going in played a part in my ability to find a my footing with labor, although I know it wasn't the main thing.  I still have no clue because I'm awful about pain and challenges but something about pregnancy and labor and birth really changed my whole being.

post #7 of 23

1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

early in labor, I feel the constractions (of course) they aren't too painful just uncomfortable. I can manage them in the pool or by walking around.

 

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

I have to say...I started to lose my confidence when I need to push. It hurts very much. I really like to have supportive people around me that will talk in my ear telling me, "you can do this, this pain is for a reason, your body is opening up to let your little one through.....don't close up, open up you can do this!" I remember at my last labor having to call my mom just to hear her voice and to pray with me over the phone. I do't emember anyone else in the room, but the phone on the bed as I pushed and hearing her pray and telling me, "your doing fine, you can do this...come on baby girl."

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

I try with each birth to prepare my mind, but as the pain becomes worse, I think I just internalize it. I am thinking about making a poster to stick to my ceiling ( I push on the bed) that will tell me positive things. (my love language is words of affirmation ;).

post #8 of 23

labor hurts. who are these women who don't feel pain??

 

it is a heck of a thing, having a baby born out of you. wonderful. miraculous. wouldn't trade the experience for anything! 

 

 

 


Edited by ElliesMomma - 5/28/11 at 10:01pm
post #9 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

Mine felt like my daughter's head was pushing on my cervix.  Sort of like a bad pap.  Feelings were very intense and required a lot of focus to get through.  Not sure I'd describe as "pain" though I would definintely say "uncomfortable"

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

More uncomfortable, requiring more concentration.  Pushing:  partly like I was going to vomit (well, I did, but that was during transition), partly like I was pushing my guts out, I could actually feel my sacral-iliac joint stretching.  All in all, extremely intense.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

I didn't think about the pain.  I just thought about counting my breaths.  15 breaths per contraction and then it was over and I could clear my head.  At some point during my (2+ hour) transition, I asked "how much longer do I have to do this" but it never occurred to me that I couldn't handle it.  I just new that the better I handled it, the faster I'd meet my baby.

post #10 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

It was very painful! started out like mild menstrual cramps (which I have rarely had) and they just got progressively worse.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

Transition- I was paralyzed by the pain...they made me get up on the table to check me and I think it took me 10 min just to move that little bit..I just couldn't..then I wanted to go to hands and knees to deliver but ended up stuck on my back.

Pushing was sweet relief..the sounds coming out of me probably sounded awful but I really enjoyed the pushing..especially with my last two because it was spontaneous..I had no control over it. I have never experienced the "ring of fire".

And of course the birth was relief until the after pains started but compared to labor they weren't to bad.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

I need quiet when in labor..birth music is not for me. I just go inside my head and all I see is blackness.I enjoyed sitting on the birth ball and hand massage from my doula last time. Towards the end I start bargaining with myself..OK you can do this for 5 more min..OK just 2 more min..I have never had to go farther then that I am always pushing by that point.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

whoops

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

 

I love this QUOTE!!!!  , " I have never felt so relieved and ecstatic in my entire life!

 

post #13 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

My labor was quick, four and a half hours.  I did feel pain but nothing I couldn't handle...that is until about 8cm.  That's when I thought @$*! this I want an epidural.  Thankfully my lovely doula talked me out of it.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

I never felt really "pushy." Once I was told that I could push when I wanted I was totally focused and on a mission. It just felt so good to push with the contraction, like I was really DOING something.  I had resting periods between each contraction, drank water etc... It was odd because actually pushing my DD out didn't hurt.  I did not experience the ring of fire.  I had a third degree tear but did not feel it when I tore.  I had to ask.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

I practiced hypnobabies during pregnancy and feel that it helped me cope during labor. I did not follow it to the letter but did use some of the techniques. I hardly opened my eyes during labor.  I really did turn inward.  I focused on trying to get through the contractions one at a time...and I moaned...loudly.  The moaning helped so much.  I'm sure everyone thought that I must be dying but I moaned because it felt like when I moaned I released some of the pain with it.  I kept thinking to myself  "I can do this.  I can do this.  This isn't so bad.  It's only for a moment." etc

 

 

post #14 of 23

My first labor and birth was an induced, epidural at 2cm, "failure to progress" resulting in a c-section

 

My second labor and birth was an induced (due to preeclampsia), no epidural or pain meds, 7.5hr labor and 1.5hr pushing resulting in a VBAC

 

 

 

 

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

It was painful, but honestly not AS painful as I had feared... My pitocin was regulated VERY well and my body sorta took over after the initial few doses.  I also went into a total "labor zone".  I kept my eyes closed through 95% of labor.  I didn't even know when my CNM and nurse came in to check on me.  Had no clue my aunt and grandma had been allowed in, ect..

 

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

Transition went QUICKLY.  I went from 5cm to 8cm in an hour and from 8cm to 10cm in less than 10 minutes.  It was quick and truthfully wasn't any harder than active  labor.  I believe though this is because my contractions were all pitocin induced and therefore once I reached the dose that was adequate, my contractions never really got "worse".

 

Pushing - I wasn't coached (per my request) and got discouraged because he was posterior and asynclitic and HARD to move.  My CNM started talking  about paging the OB to do a vacuum assist after 1hr 25m and I hadn't been able to get him through my pelvic arch.  I heard that and got a new wind.  Very determined -  I pushed with all my might and his head popped out in 1 push and shoulders/body in another.  In retrospect - I might have PREFERRED the vacuum if needed because I had 3rd degree bilateral sulcus tearing, outer tearing, and labial tearing... My suturing lasted 2.5hrs and I had over 80 stitches...

 

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

I kept reminding myself over and over that I could get through anything that lasted 30-45 seconds.  Every time a contraction would come over my I would mentally reassure myself  that this contraction would only last a minute tops and then I would be ok again.  It really, really helped.


I'm a woman of faith as well, and prayer was a powerful thing during labor.

 

post #15 of 23

1. My labor wasn't pain free but I did hypnobabies and it got me through it very well. It felt like tightening and pressure mostly.

2. Transition felt like a ton of waves crashing threw me. I was overjoyed that she was going to be there soon but it was intense.

3. Pushing felt very relieving for me. Mentally I just kept telling myself "It's just tightening and pressure" over and over and "every contraction is bringing your baby closer" You HAVE to really control your pelvic muscles so they are loose and open.

 

I did tear though and the stitches were the worst part of my birth!

 

I did it all natural at a birth center at 21 y/o (believe it or not I was the youngest to have birthed there) in 11hrs total. My birth started with my water breaking and the contractions started within an hour. It was amazing and the "high" you get afterward is irreplaceable.

post #16 of 23

1.My labors all felt intense, pelvic crushing/squeezing kind of pain.  Unlike the BH contractions that tighten the front high and the sides, these contractions are deep within my pelvis and feel like someone is squeezing it together with force not humanly possible. 

.

2. Transition is the point for me where I just withdraw within my self.  The pain doesn't change in how it feels from before but is at it's peak now.  I can't speak, hear anyone else (except in between contractions) Don't want to be touched at all.  I feel completely out of control unless I can have complete silence and concentration.  Transition never lasts me long and after a few minutes to 10 max, I am feeling that natural feeling where my body is starting to get slightly pushy with each contraction.  It gets stronger with each one.  I tell the midwife it will be very soon now.  All of a sudden I feel it.  It's like that poop you have to take and as much as you try you can't hold it in, its coming ready or not.  That urgency times 10. 

 

 

3. Pushing is a scary thing.  Some women say it hurts more than the contractions, others its a relief from them.  I find its a little of both.  Pushing is super scary.  It's the most intense part of labor whether its painful or not.  It's just scary to have your body stretch that way.  There is a moment where you hesitate to push from fear but you know nothing else will end the pain from the contractions.  It's like standing on a cliff (or airplaine) and there is no other way down, you have to jump.  You know you will be fine but its so scary you argue with yourself for what seems like eternity though its only a few seconds if that in reality.  Then, you make that decision to surrender instead of hold back.  Not that you can anyway.  Trying to fight your body's natural pushing or "baby ejection" reflex is like trying to paddle up niagra falls. 

 

Truly though, the contractions are so intense, you are willing to push even if it does hurt a little more just to bring it to an end and get your baby there.  it's so much more short lived (for me) than the contractions I dont care.  I pushed 2 times, maybe 3.  It feels intense, just when you think you are stretched all you can, you stretch more.  It happens to fast for me to feel that "ring of fire" women talk about but its like no part of my body exists except my vagina and what is coming out of it.   At that point though all your primal brain can think it "get it out, get it out".  Then it's out with this huge sweet relief and flow of water that is so welcomed and needed and euphoric it's almost like an orgasm.  Nope, don't feel good in that area like that, haha, but it's the same kind of instant release from tension.  There is no bigger high than that moment either.  Hormones are awesome. 

 

Now, all my births were slightly different but those basics were the same.  As for how I coped, I just rode it out like a storm for the most part. It wasn't until my last that I actually found a coping method where I felt I was actually doing something that was helping.  At the start of each contraction, I would lean forward over the side of the birth pool, relax my entire body completely, head to my toes, and just let the pain flow through me instead of tensing and fighting against it.  Who can hold back that kind of force of nature anyway.  It was mid labor when my midwife recommended this technique as she could see I was tensing up with each contraction trying to meet it's strength with my own.  I was in a losing battle though.  Immediately after switching to working "with it" rather than against it, I noticed a difference.  It didn't hurt less, but hurt "different".  It wasn't as scary anymore, I felt I had some aspect of control, instead of feeling out of control clinging to a canoe in the ocean during a hurricane like before.    I was also able to sense more about what they were doing for my body and how I could actually feel the baby moving lower and lower and how the pains grew more intense over time.  I noticed every sensation unlike before when I was just trying to survive them. 

 

 

post #17 of 23

So I was just thinking about this discussion because a few weeks ago I listened to a speaker who does hypnosis for childbirth. She showed a nice video of a woman who had her first birth using hypnosis and did quite well.  From the outside she looked calm and relaxed.  Afterwords, the woman in the video said that it had taken a lot of work and a lot of concentration, but that she was very pleased with her birth.

 

My point is, that no matter how we look or sound in labor -- no matter how "easy" we may make it look and how well we may appear to deal with it, or what words we use to describe it (be it "pain" or some other words), labor is incredibly intense and requires a lot of concentration to get through.  It's a lot of work, and they don't call it "labor" for nothing!  About five minutes after birthing my daughter, my mom, a CNM who was acting as my doula, asked me what I thought of the whole experience.  I said (and I still agree with this statement) that it was the hardest thing I've done in my life, and worth every minute of it.  I've competed in triathlons and the level of sustained *mental* effort required for labor is doable by everyone with good support I think, but there are certainly techniques that can be used to help you get through it easier.

post #18 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

 

1st labor was more painful than 2nd, but I still thought of it more as hard work and pressure.  If I didn't go limp when a contraction started then it hurt. 

 

With the 2nd, I was walking and talking through them easily pretty much until transition.   The only time I thought "this hurts" was a couple of contractions during transition and the ring of fire.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

 

1st labor -- had an epidural just before I got to transition.  I was dealing with the pain well, but had the "urge" (read: my body was starting to push uncontrollably) to push at 7 cm, and I got scared.  Also at a military hospital and no support from personnel there. 

 

2nd -- I didn't realize I was in transition until I started having to push and knew it was over.  The urge to push the 2nd time was a little different.  Since I was completely dialated (I assume, anyhow), I could feel the head moving down.   During transition I rememember sitting on the toilet thinking "How do you forget what this feels like?".   I also knew it was time to get to the hospital "right now" although I still didn't realize how far I was.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

 

1st -- I practiced from a Bradley book.  Went limp and still for contractions.  I made it through 16 out of 20 hours hard active labor without the epi.  It felt more like really hard work or pain from a tough work-out rather than pain from injury.

 

2nd -- Again it was really hard work more than actual pain, and more intensity then pain during pushing.  This time it felt better to move through it.  My shower was great.   It helped me so much I didn't even know it was time to leave until it was almost too late.  There was officially 11 minutes from check-in to birth at the hospital.  Moaning (loadly) helped me release a lot of the intensity.   I remember thinking how I read it was helpful, but at that point it was reflexive.  I couldn't have not done it.  I think of going deep within and releasing it -- going inside rather than distraction.

 

I'm not saying that I didn't have pain in my labors, but I think mentally you help yourself LOTS if you put a different spin on it.  I like labor too! 


Edited by llwr - 6/1/11 at 11:42am
post #19 of 23

For the woman who have birthed naturally before, I thought it would make an interesting to share:

 

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

Intense belly squeezes, some back tension, pain as intensity ramped up or if I lay down.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

My transition type phase came early on at about 5-7cm, unpredictable strong contractions, panicked and out of control feeling, fear, loneliness. I got a handle on it again and labored happily from 7-9.5cm. Pushing was intense and involuntary, without any break in contraction. It hurt in this case. Birth was a shock and relief when suddenly his head crowned and was born all in one contraction (no tears though).

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

Shut everyone out and recognize I had to do it myself, though their quiet support and help and company was also quite valuable. Observed the sensations as intensity (good, active, and productive) not pain (negative, passive, and miserable). Physically I felt best when I sat on my birth ball, showered, and in later labor stayed in my own room.

post #20 of 23

#1) What did your labor  feel like? (Did you feel pain? Some women don't!)

Early labor was a breeze. I walked, swayed, squatted. Easy peasey.

 

#2) What did transition feel like? Pushing? Birth?

Transition was hell. I felt like my pubic bone was going to be ripped away from my body. Pushing was glorious. It was a release from the intense pressure of transition. Birth was the best feeling in the world.

 

#3) How did you release, transform, transcend the "pain? What did you do internally to achieve the right mental state for birth?

My mantra was "pain with a purpose" but that only took me so far. During transition, I had to completely let go, and just let my body do what it was going to do. It was like I wasn't there. I mean, I was there (very much different- better- than my hospital births), but I was not in control. If I tried to tell my body what to do, it hurt more. So I just let go, and gave in. There was this rush of energy. I kept saying "I can't do this! I can't do this!" but never once was I referring to birth. I couldn't harness the energy I was feeling. I just had to let it run through me.

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