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Painful and Pain-free birth: Have you had both? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Some people say it only hurts because women believe it will hurt.

Then when women say they believed it wouldn't hurt and it still did, the response is "Well, you didn't really believe it, then."

post #22 of 33
i went into my first birth unafraid, expecting labor and delivery to be moderately painful and brief. instead, the pain was excruciating and i labored for 4.5 days. my water broke about 5 days before eli was born, and labor started about 12 hours later. it was truly horrific.

this time, i want anesthesia paged as soon as i arrive at the hospital. i'm just plain not doing that again, end of story.
post #23 of 33
not to demean doulas who haven't birthed before, but i'm personally very glad i went through labor a couple of times before i began to do doula work...

i NEVER told a momma it wasn't going to hurt! i wouldn't ever say it WOULD hurt, either... but there's usually a point in each labor where the pain gets pretty intense.

and that's where some experience can help a doula be believeable: when i say, "i know this hurts, and i know you can get through it," i think it helps that i've done it myself.

on the back of my hypnobabies cd case, there's some text for decoration. and one line promises "no pain for mommy." i think this really stinks, because if a mom experiences pain, the company will just say, "oh, you didn't practice enough" or something. but with back labor or a displaced tailbone, no matter how much you relax, it's GONNA HURT! sure, you can deal with the pain in different ways, and some of those ways could exacerbate the problem, but there's just no getting around the fact that sometimes birth causes stretching, movement or tearing that will cause pain. and to promise otherwise, i think, is very irresponsible. still, i'm going to do the program and hope for the best.

in any case, in the back of my mind, i will try to keep some space open for the belief that maybe... just maybe this time... i'll get one of those "baby falls out when mom thinks she's only 3 cm" births. sigh!

katje
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally posted by Breathe
Wow. This input was *exactly* what I needed. From hearing all your stories, I'm feeling more and more convinced that whether or not you experience a lot of labor pain is pure luck! Yes, there certainly seem to be ways to lessen the pain, if needed (relaxing, water, counterpressure), but I'm pretty convinced that "mind over matter" isn't really going to work if there are some true physical sensations going on that are tough on your body.
Amen, Breathe. Personally, I think labor pain or the perception of labor pain, is a meaningless physiological variable, like nearsightedness, or an individual's rate of cervical dilation, for example. On the other hand, I do believe fear causes pain in labor. That's not the same thing as saying fear causes ALL pain in labor, a notion I find to be frankly ludicrous. Admittedly, I didn't use to believe other women truly experienced painless childbirth. How is this even possible? However, after experiencing the intensity of uterine contractions both with hypnobirthing and without, I can absolutely see how it's true. For me, it's as simple as acknowledging that in much the same way some women feel cramps during their period while others feel nothing, for some women, uterine contractions on their own just don't hurt. Take away the fear-tension pain, and all they're left with is a feeling of tightening, discomfort, or even ecstasy, if they're lucky. I wasn't lucky. Take away my fear-tension pain, and I was left with, well, Pain. But much less pain. Very manageable pain. Exciting Wow that was SOMETHING Pain. No thank you, I'm ok Pain. I can totally handle it for the duration of this one long breath Pain.

For me, hypnobirthing was a safe and empowering way of relieving the part of my pain I had complete control over, which was MUCH more than I thought, as it turned out. So while labor wasn't exactly pain-free, the normal pain was put into a context where the pain wasn't the point. It was there, but more of a sort of peripheral sensation, unpleasant when I focused on it, but ultimately just one of many much more interesting sensations competing for my attention. Sort of like when you're running a race or dancing all night. You don't focus on the lbs per sq inch pounding your feet, or your lactic acid threshold, or whatever it is that makes intense physical activity unpleasant. You just experience the moment as it is.

Tanibani, your post took me back to my own hypnobirthing labor. "the storm stops dead." Yup, that was very much how I experienced it, too. Unfortunately, sometimes the hype surrounding hypnobirthing overshadows the very real benefits of it. That's why I tell women that hypnobirthing is an appropriate tool for women who want childbirth without aneasthesia, not childbirth without pain. For me, it was indispensable and I credit it with giving me the chance to have my HBAC. The hypnobirthing scripts and affirmations remind you to trust your body to do the work its designed to do. No doubt, fear of pain leads a lot of women to seek out hypnobirthing as a way to eliminate it. Pain in most other contexts serves as an indicator of illness, a harbinger of death, so it feels logical that if there is less pain, there's somehow less danger. Hypnobirthing trains your mind to separate the sensation of pain from the feeling that something's wrong. Not everyone knows how to do this instinctively and many of us, myself included, need *something* to counteract the relentless brainwash we're subjected to from Day One telling us that childbirth is dangerous and our bodies don't work well most of the time. As a survivor of 2 highly managed hospital births (one c-section, one hard-won VBAC), I needed some serious deprogramming before I attempted my HBAC.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally posted by SamuraiEarthMama
on the back of my hypnobabies cd case, there's some text for decoration. and one line promises "no pain for mommy." i think this really stinks, because if a mom experiences pain, the company will just say, "oh, you didn't practice enough" or something. but with back labor or a displaced tailbone, no matter how much you relax, it's GONNA HURT! sure, you can deal with the pain in different ways, and some of those ways could exacerbate the problem, but there's just no getting around the fact that sometimes birth causes stretching, movement or tearing that will cause pain. and to promise otherwise, i think, is very irresponsible.
Many HypnoBirthing practioners agree with you (it's irresponsible to promise a "painfree" birth) and thus, don't... anymore. It's an individual thing from practioner to practioner.

As far as "not practicing enough" it is true for some women. Some women do not practice enough. Not the PC thing to say (and nobody wants to hear that), but even a Hypno mom who has done it twice (and didn't practice as much the 2nd time around) concedes this. So the practicing does make a difference (range can be painfree or making the labor much more tolerable.) A first time mom may not see it that way - for a variety of reasons.

And other times it's just not "anybody's fault." Things happen in labor that can't be controlled (like back labor).

And maybe the mom has more emotional baggage that wasn't dealt with in a typical class (more anxiety than most, more history) and that mom would have benefitted from more internal work, with the help of a counselor. Is that her fault? Nope. Is that the fault of the course? Nope.

For example, if a mom is convinced that her mother had a certain type of labor and she is destined to as well (thus can't relax during her labor because in the back of her mind is nagging little voice... ) I'm not going to blame her but I can't blame HypnoBirthing for trying to help either.

I wish women would get away from the self-blame that accompanies birth. All of us do the best we can with what we have at the time. (Though I blamed my OB and DH for stuff and that took me a long time to heal from. The wallowing and regret did me no good.)
post #26 of 33
Both of my labors were induced. My first was Bradley and I really liked the classes and did lots of practicing, but although I was able to do it without any pain meds, it was really tough. I was in transition for 4 hours-- having Miss Nasty-Nurse-from-Hell didn't help any. I think the only reason I didn't have an epi was that I'm too bloody-minded.

My second was HypnoBirthing and was almost compleatly pain free even with pitocin and back labor and a sunny-side up DD. The only time I had trouble was when the nurse was rushing around to get things set up for delivery (I was at 2 cm for 7 hours and then complete in about 20 min.)- I lost focus for a couple of contractions (sorry, I just could never think of them as surges).

I was really bad about practicing, just did relaxation tape once a day at bedtime and fellasleep most of the time before the end, except for the last couple of weeks when I got a little more serious about it (the anxiety attack I had during class when we did fear release helped me get more serious about practicing!)

I thought the Rainbow Relaxation tape was a bit "fluffy" for me and DH kept giggling at Marie's Boston accent: Our instructor did an alternate tape for us that used an elevator and beach imagery that was really nice and I also did a private session for fear release (horrible first nurse).

Overall, my second birth was everything I could have hoped for-- except for needing another induction.

Oh, yeah-- popped tailbone. It didn't hurt during birth but it took close to two months before I could sit down comfortably afterwards.
post #27 of 33
FOr what it is worth:

My 1st was very painful, I was induced w/ pitocin at 41 weeks & ended up with pretty much every intervention short of a c-section. It was awful.

My 2nd was pain-free, and I am completely serious here. I, too, did Hypnobirth. I wasn't silent & meditative during labor, I moved & talked & grunted a lot. I didn't even believe in it up until the day I went into labor--thought it wouldn't work. But it must have on smoe level because I had a 4-1/2 hour labor from first tingle til baby was born--completely unmedicated--and never felt anything that could be described as pain.

Not sure I would belive this if it hadn't happened to me, so all I can do is relate the info! I wish every woman could experience birth the way I did.

Also, for teh record, my water was broken at like 1 cm with the first birth, and ruptured on its own at 9 cm the second time.
post #28 of 33
BACK LABOR! I think it's futile discussing pain free labor when you're having back labor. My dd was OP and I had natural labor for about 16 hours. Even with a doula, I couldn't cope. My cervix wouldn't dilate past 6 and I was exhausted from the pain and caved and got an epidural.

It didn't feel so much like the contractions were hurting but I had this one spot on my right side (not my back strangely enough) that was excruciating. It began hurting about 2 days before labor started and got worse and worse. I think it was nerve damage or something - I was going through the roof with this pain. BTW nothing else hurt much! I'm sure it was due to dd's position and even after the c/s, she came out with such a cone head - she was 21 inches when she was born and lost about 1 1/2 inches later on.

And after my eventual c/s for non progression, I continued to have excuciating pain in that one spot. The c/s scar didn't even hurt this much. After a CAT scan, the OBs thought they'd sewed a nerve into my suture. Maybe, but it didn't explain why this spot had hurt so much before the c/s. I had to be given steroids and painkillers injected into that one spot.

I feel pretty confident that I could have a natural med free birth with manageable pain SO LONG AS IT'S NOT BACK LABOR.
post #29 of 33
That's funny, my dd was OP as well and all the pain was in my sides. It felt like I had a major kidney infection. My back didn't hurt at all. (Or maybe it did and I just didn't notice because of the side pain.):
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
My ds was NOT posterior (he really wasn't -- I've had someone of these boards argue with me that he must have been and that all my caretakers must have been wrong!: ), so I was pretty confident going into labor that I couldn't possibly have back labor. Well, guess what?!? They tell me half-way thru that *anyone* can have it, depending on your own body type/shape/size, etc. And I agree that the actual contractions were not so bad once I got used to them and stopped tensing up, but the unrelenting pain in between each and every contraction was what was exhausting. And just damn annoying!

All I can do is expect it next time, so that if I don't have it, I can be pleasantly surprised!
post #31 of 33
my second labour was much, much LESS painful than my first..

i was similar to you.. was doing great until the back labour with my first.. it was so hard to stay on top of it all..

with my second, no back labour.. not pain free, but in comparison, it was a breeze!! with my second, i also had a doula in addition to my midwife, i found this to be fabulous, i felt so well taken care of!
post #32 of 33
I do believe that our culture doesn't leave women the choice of going into labor w/o preconcieved ideas about it being painful. Birth =pain is sold as the truth and if a woman doesn't experience pain it is considered a fluke. I do think those messages live in our subconscous even if we have tried to "deprogram" our views of birth. Now I by no means think that this is the only reason women feel pain in labor but I do recognize it more than likely plays a part.
My labor with my daughter was somewhat painful but nothing like I had been told it would be, However I never (at the time) questioned the "fact" contractions were painful. My daughters birth was wonderful and I came away from it knowing I could do it again. I had her unplanned UC , btw.
My son's birth was horrible, I was induced and well it was the worst pain I have ever felt. I didn't get pain meds but had he not been born 5 minutes after I had agreed to them I guess I would have had an epi.
I do now believe labor can be pain free and fear and conditioning to have a lot to to with how much pain is felt. I also think the baby's postion has a lot to do with the pain as well. So eventhough I think pain free is possible, I don't think it is always a possiblilty, if that makes since.
post #33 of 33
I've had 5 babies (all homeborn) and had slighty different experiences.
Myy first labor (back labor with twins) was not that bad and at least labor was pretty quick (start to finish a bit over 4 hours) and the first twin never rotated but was born face up
My second birth was free of any pain, I didn't have back labor and it was very quick (start to finish a bit under 2 hours).
Third birth was quite intense (on a scale of 1-10 it was about a 7-8) I had another OP baby + back labor but again it went quick (4 1/2 hours).
My recent labor was over 2 days (all back labor) and another OP baby but very mild (2 on a scale of 1-10 ) and nearly pain free.
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