Originally Posted by funshine
I wish that instead of debating whether or not birth is painful, we invited women to evaluate their own experiences/beliefs/attitudes with/about pain and we discussed what birth pain is and how it is different from other types of pain, like pain related to infection, injury, surgery. Birth pain, for the majority who experience it, is a physiological pain caused by our body doing a normal thing, and can be useful to us in labor. The other types of pain, with which most of us have much more experience and which shape our culture's approach to pain in general, are pathological forms of pain, they tell us that something is wrong with our body.
if a separate thread hasn't already been started about this, it should be! i think this would be a fantastic discussion: "how did you feel about your birth pain?"
i mean, i might be a little weird but i LOVED labor even when it was excruciating. i had a necessary c-birth and i really regret that i didn't get to experience vaginal birth. pain or no pain, i had so strongly visualized myself reaching down to touch Willow's head as she came out and i still mourn the loss of that very deeply.
hell yeah labor was painful, especially when i went through transition - i didn't know i was in transiation at the time, my doulas were keeping track, i went through transition at least 3 times as Willow's head dipped down into the birth canal and bobbed back up on her very short, wrapped cord. i do have a high pain threshhold because i've been disabled with arthritis and fibromyalgia for many years and have developed a ton of pain-coping styles. so i wasn't afraid of the pain of birth at all, i was only afraid of interventions (hence 2 doulas!). i experienced the pains as riding the world's largest roller-coaster, sometimes it felt like cliff-diving - basically a HUGE rush of endorphins that helped me ride the waves.
i only hated the pain once i knew i had to have a c-birth, then it became an intrusion, something that wasn't welcome. because i knew it wasn't bringing my daughter any closer to me. so i think that how a woman perceives her birth environment and circumstances has a LOT to do with how much pain she'll experience.