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What does labor feel like? - Page 2

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you for sharing that! That is also the type of experience I wanted to hear about... on some level it doesn't matter what's "typical," because anything is possible.


I have been getting a lot of advice to "be open minded" about labor and pain medication, and your story helped me to understand what I should take away from that advice. I think when a lot of my particular friends say that, my first instinct is to be rubbed the wrong way because it comes with advice to basically check myself in for the epidural right now (everyone I know except one acquaintance has had an epidural, and for most people it has worked out very well and they can't really understand why you would go through birth without one. Not that I have told them I am considering trying to do that, but they seem to sense that I am not 100% "give me the epidural now" and some people have really been kind of a pain about it.) It bugs me to be told to "be open minded" when what they really mean is "do exactly what I did." But that doesn't mean their overall advice is bad; rather than get defensive, I think what I should hear is that we live in a time and place where the option for pain relief is there if I need it, for any reason--nothing more complicated than that. (Also that, thank goodness, emergency care is also available if I need that.) I can safely say that in your situation, I would need the epidural and be very grateful for it.


So, thank you again for sharing what sounds like a very traumatic experience (at least at the time) to help those of us who haven't gone through this before. It is much appreciated.

post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by girlfromthenc View Post

I’ve been debating for a few days about sharing what labor felt like to me, because it’s not typical. But I decided to share, because some of you might experience something similar, and I really wish that I had known this before having my first. I was completely prepared to deal with the type of labor that everyone has been describing, but it’s not what I got. And the reason it was so lousy was because of poor positioning, despite doing everything on spinning babies, chiro care, and everything else possible. Some of us just have bad birth luck I guess. But my resulting babies are beyond awesome, and totally worth it all.


My contractions felt like a foot cramp in the front, and it came on very fast and furious, not at all like a wave. At the same time, my tailbone felt like it was being smashed by a sledgehammer, repeatedly. My contractions lasted for 3 minutes from the start, with multiple (3-4) peaks (so much for a minute at a time). And I never had more than 30 seconds in between. I never felt fine between contractions. The entire time it felt like someone was inflating a giant balloon between my hips, which was agony, and made my hips shake uncontrollably. I was also vomiting and shaking non-stop. The only time I’d heard of a labor like this, it was precipitous, so the only thing that got me through the first 8 hours of this was thinking that I will be pushing soon. Eventually, I became severely dehydrated and exhausted, and my midwife checked me and I had made no progress, and was still 5. I felt completely defeated, because I’d always heard that when you really know from the bottom of your heart you cannot do it much longer, you’re in transition. But that wasn’t true for me. My midwife told me that she thought we needed to transfer to the hospital for IV fluids, and that this was truly a birth that an epidural would help, because otherwise there was no way I’d have the energy to push the baby out. The pattern was just too ferocious. So that’s what I did. I ended up staying at 5-6 for 20 hours total. And as soon as the epidural took effect, I cried the entire rest of my labor, because I thought my body failed me. I was depressed for months about it. When the same pattern happened to me a second time, I handled it better, and have made peace with the way my body labors.


Again, I just wanted to share in case any of you find yourself in this type of labor. We natural birth types always like to say that birth is 90% psychological, but we can’t forget about the other 10%. There are so many factors in birth we can’t control. I went into that birth 100% against getting any type of pain relief, and I had such a hard time dealing with it. I think had I known the full range of misery that could happen, perhaps I would have gone in with a more flexible attitude about it and saved myself a lot of grief. And I can tell you, 7 years later, I forgive my body, and I love that “baby” so much! Good luck to you all! Whatever happens, you’ll get through it!


Due date crashing - I'm not due til August.  I just had to chime in and say that I had an IDENTICAL experience.  I was not prepared for it and I had no idea that women could really be in labor for 28 hours with absolutely NO medical interventions and just get stuck.  I had double and triple peaking contractions and never got a break pretty much the entire time.  I also transferred for an epidural and it was a good decision because it allowed me time to sleep and recover my strength so that I could push. I hope it doesn't go this way this time, but if it does, I won't wait so long to transfer!

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