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How much does labor hurt? - Page 3

post #41 of 74
some adjectives that come to mind about labor:

powerful
intense
all consuming
beautiful
magical
other-worldly
awesome

I birthed our 2nd at home unassisted also.
Can't say there was any pain, because I believe pain to be a result of injury or illness.
Neither of those applied to me.
I think most opinions of labor as being painful, I have found, are more or less influenced by outside forces (such as doctors, nurses, friends and family) that can convince someone to expect pain.
And one's own personal and emotional feelings towards pain effect it as well.
If you think it will hurt, it probably will.
My personal experience with my last birth, I was prepared for the intensity of labor, and therefore managed it pretty well. I was NOT prepared for the intensity (which was identical to labor) of the afterbirth, postpardum period, and was really not enjoying it- or coping as well as I could have!
post #42 of 74
For me it was like a bad period. As soon as it was very bad, it was time to push. Pushing is the feeling of skin stretching to its max. Not horrible, but indescribable. I got up from having a baby each time thinking "here's a sport I can really do."


I hope it goes well for you.
post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavicula
Hello, huggerwocky, would you like to go into details? Did you labor at home or hospital? What had happened to you exactly?
I only went to the hospital when I had contractions every 3 minutes, my daughter was born just 1,5 hours after that.I suppose i labored mostly at home but then I can't say for how long since I slept

So I was really referring to the last hour, everything before that was really ok.
post #44 of 74
huggerwocky...
I think that fast labors are more instense and you don't have as much breathing time or really any time to get your bearings-- #2 was born in 1 hr and 1/2 of that was spent driving in the car---getting to the hospital was a blurr....
post #45 of 74
I did hypnobirthing which helped *a lot* but I did experience pain. Some people say that they don't but *I* did not have that experience. I did have an amazingly short labor (2 hours) so, overall, I was very pleased with the experience.

I do think genetics play a role too. Do you have sisters? If you do, I would ask them about their labors. My labor was very similar to both of my sisters labors. (There are 11 labors between us).

Best wishes with your birth.
post #46 of 74
After two posterior deliveries, one with a deflected head and asynclitism, I can tell you that labor is . . .

PAIN! . . .

unbelieveable pain, but you can do it - a woman's body is built for labor and delivery...with a healthy body, a healthy attitude and lots of natural endorphins, you can do it, and recover well enough to start the next adventure and position in your life, to care for your newborn child.

I ate well, exercised much which included much aerobic activity for my heart, lungs and circulatory system which helped my endurance which included bicycling, swimming, jogging, walking, and still labor was still extremely long and painful.

My next two deliveries were easy. I earned them.

post #47 of 74
My water broke w/o contractions, so i was induced. The pain was like nothing i have ever felt, and i had severe appendicitis as a teen. This was like that times 1000000. I went natural up until my c-section, so i felt everything. Ive told my 10-yr old sister, when she asked about labor, and told her the pain is incredible but it wont matter because of the incredible love you have for this unseen child. i did Lamaze, and that was the biggest help - the breathing, with the "Ah-heee, ah-heee, ah-heee, ah-HOOOO" during the biggest contractions. Thats what got me through up until the emerg. c-section.

And yes, i would do it all again in a heartbeat. As soon as i saw my baby, every memory of the pain melted away.
post #48 of 74
I have had easy labors where just relaxing got me through and I have had labors where I wanted to die. No amount of relaxing or counter pressure or water or heat or anything helped. Its different each time and for each women.

My 2 1/2 hour labor was the easiest. I felt no pain except the last 30 min. I laid on the bed during contractions and moaned through them. They felt like an orgasm going away. Really wonderful. The last 30 min were totally intense. I went from 7 to 10 in 1 contraction. My midwife checked me cause I was pushy, she said I was a 7. Had 1 contraction felt my cervix disappear and really had to push. Mw told me not to because she had just checked me. So the pain of the head going down my vagina was awful. Once my midwife checked me again said I could push it wasn't painful anymore.

Then I have had 2 labors which were painful to the point where I seriously wanted to die. Both were abnormal labors. One of them I was dehydrated from castor oil I had taken, it was a 5 hour labor thankfully. I was sure I was in for another one like the one I transfered for. The other I transfered to the hospital for an epidural after 24 hours of labor at 7 cms. It was another 12 before I had dd. So neither was in the normal realm.

My other 2 labors were totally manageable, normal labors, 4 and 5 hours long. My only complaint was that with those 2 I was really really tired and sleeping between contractions. I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Honestly even after my really painful 5 hour labor I knew I had done it and therefore could do it again. I realize that each time I have a baby and although the possibility of that pain scares the crap out of me I know I can do it. I prefer an easy labor of course :LOL but I can do it and its worth it. This time I am hoping for another labor like my 2 1/2 hour one. But listening to my body and pushing when I feel like it!

Michelle
post #49 of 74
I like the quote in Birthing From Withing that says something like "it's painful. It's hard work. And you can do it." I hate talking about pain because some people have connotations to the word that do them a disservice when they associate it with labor, but I also hate to not be completely honest in terms that we can all understand. Because being prepared for it to be an awesome experience of rushes and great power is easy...but being prepared for the unknown and having the tools ahead of time to maintain an okay mental state if things are harder than expected is a big help.

My first birth was pretty easy. I had been prone to very severe menstrual cramps for years and transition never got worse than my worst menstrual cramps. Pushing was harder work than I expected, but felt better (more relieving) than transition. He was born posterior, and having the constant back labor was actually a help to me. With constant pain to deal with, I couldn't stop to think about what was happening or what the next contraction might be like.

So I cruised into my second birth feeling excited and ready for it to be even easier and faster. It was not so at all. It was harder than I could have ever imagined. The pain got unbearable in transition and my poor midwives who had been assured that I would want intimacy with dh and would like them out in the hall as much as possible, had to be convinced that I really wanted their help. Help me do something different...this was not working. I felt like I was breaking. I pushed for 2.5 hours in every position possible, and got out of the tub to try positions on the bed and birthing stool. I thought my baby would never come. By the time she was born, I felt ragged and beaten.

My third labor and birth were nearly as physically hard as my second, but with one huge difference, I planned in advance to turn my brain off, to use mantras and visualization and vocalization -- not just to try them, but to really get into them to the extent that I'd never have the chance to think "this is hard, painful, sucks, I can't..".etc. My midwives waited in another room so that they couldn't accidentally bring me out of the mental place I needed to be in. That birth was painful, hard work, long pushing, but I knew that I could do it...and that made a huge difference for me.

All the best to you on your journey to and through birth...
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs
huggerwocky...
I think that fast labors are more instense and you don't have as much breathing time or really any time to get your bearings-- #2 was born in 1 hr and 1/2 of that was spent driving in the car---getting to the hospital was a blurr....
yeah, that gives speed delivery a total new meaning :LOL
post #51 of 74
Labor hurts, there is no way around it, but while I had a hard time believing what my Mom told me over and over that you forget the pain the minute that beautiful baby is born but it is true. I remember intense pain, but it seems to fade with time a bit. It must be that initial rush of motherhood that acts as a natural pain reliever - the moment you see your child the world changes and, at least me personally, I don't remember any more pain with the delivery of the placenta or with my few internal stitches..amazing what motherhood can do for you!
post #52 of 74
I've given birth twice. Each time I thought the pain was pretty bad, but I wouldn't have described it as the worst pain I could imagine. The real difference in the pain of labor vs. the pain of injury to me was that with labor the pain was just relentless and that's hard. I had back labor with my first which actually made my labor *less* painful in a way than my 2nd birth. I had constant pain in my back but it was like a more dull pain that would intensify as a contraction would hit. Then the pain would decrease, but it never went away. Feeling this pain in my back actually kept me from feeling any pain in my abdomen. It wasn't until after the baby was out that I felt my first contraction in my abdomen the way I would have expected it. With my 2nd birth I still felt some dull pain in my back (I get this way when I'm menstrual too) but the majority of the pain was in front - just like I had heard of contractions being (like a severe cramping sensation - like really bad gas pains). These were intense and extremely painful. It was like my body was being seized when they'd hit - I don't know if that makes any sense. BUT... they were only that intense b/c that labor was incredibly fast (90 minutes start to finish) and my water broke before hand so that usually makes the pain more intense. I would have preferred my longer (almost 10 hour) labor to that because, while it hurt, it was very manageable. I still managed though and I just kept telling myself in my head that I could do this - I was built for it and I could stand anything for 90 seconds. And that's how I did it. Plus I was in the water and that has always helped me a great deal. I think Bradley classes are a great way to learn about emotional signposts which tell you when you should go to the hospital. Staying home in your space as long as possible is ideal. Hopefully by the time you get to the hospital, your baby will be born very shortly thereafter.
post #53 of 74
In the Birthing From Within classes they make you do breathing exercises while holding onto ice cubes. The last class we had to dip our hands into a bucket of ice water. I understand that the pain will not be exactly the same, of course, but ... how close is that simulation to what the real thing will be like? My brain tells me it's not all that close at all, so I don't even know why I'm asking but I'm gonna post this anyway.
post #54 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarina
My first birth was pretty easy. I had been prone to very severe menstrual cramps for years and transition never got worse than my worst menstrual cramps. Pushing was harder work than I expected, but felt better (more relieving) than transition. He was born posterior, and having the constant back labor was actually a help to me. With constant pain to deal with, I couldn't stop to think about what was happening or what the next contraction might be like.
Wow - you're the first person I've ever heard besides myself describe back labor in this way. This was *exactly* my experience and I've always described it to people in this way (who look at me as though constant pain could possibly have been a good thing)!
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by valeria_vi
In the Birthing From Within classes they make you do breathing exercises while holding onto ice cubes. The last class we had to dip our hands into a bucket of ice water. I understand that the pain will not be exactly the same, of course, but ... how close is that simulation to what the real thing will be like? My brain tells me it's not all that close at all.
You are right - it isn't close at all. But I assume they are trying to get you to stay relaxed during something uncomfortable. In our Bradley classes, someone squeezed your arm tightly to simulate a contraction. I think that even though it is nothing close, it is at least a tightening - which is what contractions are. The best I can describe contractions is the feeling that you get when your blood pressure is taken - slowly tightens until you think it can't get any tighter, then slowly loosens up. As soon as it is over, it is over - no lingering pain or tightness.

I really believe that the "trick" is to go completely limp. Don't fight your body. Don't tense up and think about pain. Relax and close your eyes and mantra something that will help you - words like limp, loose, relax, open. Make sure your partner knows what you like and what you don't. Two examples come to mind.

1. During practice at Bradley class one time, my dh was running his hand over my hair. Normally would be good, relaxing. But every time his hand ran over my ear, it was loud, annoying, interrupted my relaxation. I told him, showed him by doing it to him. Finding and fixing stuff like that will help him do only helpful things during labor.

2. He started out rubbing my arm, back and forth on my forearm. Too rough for relaxation - and it reminded me of revving up one of those cars that you rev up and let go on the floor. Just annoying (can you figure out I was a pita to "coach") :LOL We fine tuned it so that he lightly stroked my forearm from elbow to wrist, not back and forth - starting over near my elbow each stroke. It reminded me that the pain/tightness/stress was going down and out, down my arm and off the tips of my fingers. It was a small change but made all the difference to me.

For the OP and others who haven't had kids yet, the thing that helped me emotionally before I got to labor was to remind myself that if it was as bad as everyone says, no one would have second, third, fourth children! I reminded myself that 15 year old girls do this. My MIL was 43 when she had my dh. Women have babies in cars on bridges in traffic. Certainly I can do this! And I did - three times, happily. It will go easy or not so easy but either way, it is a finite period of time; it will end. And it will be the best day of your life.
post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by reader
For most people, there is pain. But it's not pain like your arm has just been sawed off or anything. The pain comes and goes, and slowly builds in intensity, so you have time to get used to it.
I wish that my labor had been like that. I had back labor. Imagine 12 hours of searing pains that last for several minutes at time with breaks of only a minute or so in between. Ow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reader
I won't sugar coat it. It hurts. But it was also a really empowering experience. It's pain with a purpose. The pain ends, and you get a gorgeous baby to show for it.
Still, I completely agree with this. It is empowering, and it is bearable. My best advice is to remember that every contraction, no matter how bad it might be, is one that you will never have to have again and is taking you one step closer to the wonderful goal of meeting your baby.
post #57 of 74
It hurt, but as someone said earlier it's not like cutting off a limb. I labored for 10 hours then pushed for the next 4. Yes, I tried to push my baby out for 4 hours. I was so exhausted and had tried every position (I thought) but the baby's head was stuck under my pelvic bone. My doc suggested I try laying flat on my back (huh? I thought that was supposed to be the *worst* position), and it worked. I made huge progress then. I ws so grateful I avoided a c-section.

Before i gave birth I cried at every episode of A Baby Story and everytime I saw someone give birth on TV. I didn't cry when my son was born, I felt like I was in mild shock over the pain and exhaustion. I am so very glad I had my birth experience even though it was like a marathon.
post #58 of 74
Ary99 - Wow, another experience that completely echos my own. I labored for about 6 hours with my first dd, then pushed for 4. Midwife had me pushing mostly on the toilet but then lying flat on my back. I had serious issues with that b/c that's the *wrong* way to do it! But she told me that sometimes that's the best way to get the baby past the pelvic bone and it worked! It also felt MUCH better than other positions I tried. AND, I also cried (and still do) at every TV birth I see but didn't for my own kid's births. I always feel sad about that, but after all that work it really was more of a feeling of relief. Glad to know that I'm not alone.
post #59 of 74
I'm taking my MW's HB class right now and when we talked about pushing, she mentioned the lying on the back thing for stuck babies. Apparently it works sometimes! Amazing, isn't it? You're so lucky to have a doc willin to work w/ you! I switched docs when I was about 34 weeks w/ my first when I found out the practice wouldn't allow women to push on their own for more than 2 hours. Good thing, too, cuz I pushed for 2.5!
post #60 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs
huggerwocky...
I think that fast labors are more instense and you don't have as much breathing time or really any time to get your bearings-- #2 was born in 1 hr and 1/2 of that was spent driving in the car---getting to the hospital was a blurr....
Yeah, I agree w/ that! I started pushing after 4 hours of labor w/ my first and I was NOT OK w/ labor! I was TERRIFIED and out of control. Until my doc got to the hospital and told me I was having a fast labor. Duh! I just remember thinking there was NO WAY I was going to be able to do it for hours and hours! And I wouldn't have been able to. My contractions were too close together and too intense fo rme to handle well. I was begging for drugs, but the nurses were sticking to my birthplan and waiting for my doc. As soon as my doc told me I'd be puahing soon, I was fine. LOL!

W/ my second, they were even closer together and MORE intense! But I handled them really well, I must say. Mainly because I knew exactly what was going on and I knew I was having another fast labor. Made it much more bearable to know it was going to be over quickly. I was at 9cm 1.5 hours after starting labor when we got to the hospital. I did end up w/ an epidural b/c I kept contracting like I was in transition (over a min long, 2 min or so apart), but didn't dialate the rest of the way (and did not feel like pushing at all). A lot of things were not going my way that night and I am sure now that I was subconsciously fighting labor. After about 4 hours of that, I finally got the epidural and almost immediately dialated to 9. I think the defeat of giving in and having the drugs made me slump and give up whatever fight I was giving and relax enough for my body to finish its job. KWIM?
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