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How Painful Would You Rate Your Labor (PRIOR TO ANY MEDICATIONS OR DRUGS) - Page 4

Poll Results: Rate the level of pain you had in labor-multiple choices allowed for multiple births

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 4% (16)
    Not painful at all / Homebirth
  • 17% (62)
    Moderately painful / Homebirth
  • 11% (40)
    Horribly painful / Homebirth
  • 1% (7)
    Not painful at all / Birth Center
  • 8% (30)
    Moderately painful / Birth Center
  • 5% (19)
    Horribly painful / Birth Center
  • 6% (22)
    Not painful at all / Hospital
  • 23% (82)
    Moderately painful / Hospital
  • 21% (75)
    Horribly painful / Hospital
352 Total Votes  
post #61 of 82
Moderately painful/hospital
My first hospital labor was almost painless/to moderate with about 4-5 really bad trasition contractions. Without my consent or knowledge they gave me a cervical block and local for an episiotomy so pushing hurt, but not that bad.

Horribly painful/hospital
Second labor was at home for the most part and was extremely painful, but I doubt that it would have been any different had I been in the hospital or anywhere else. I ended up in the hospital and pushed for about 10 minutes--I screamed my head off as it felt like I was ripping my arm off with my bare hands.

Even though the second labor was much more painful, it was the most rewarding and empowering experience of the two. Med and intervention free--yeah! In the end, the pain didn't matter (of course when it's all done with!).
post #62 of 82
Yup Awesomely painful, definately the strongest pain that I can ever imagine experiencing. An alien clawing it's way out of my belly sort of pain....It was so worth it though for a healthy baby. I only with I'd know enough to make the same choice for my first baby (she ended up in NICU from labor intervention complications).
post #63 of 82
I voted "horribly painful" but that's not really the whole story.

In each of my births I've had an excruciatingly painful transition, maybe it's because of the way my pelvis is shaped, or maybe the baby is posterior up until the last second, I don't know, but I always get awful back labor at the very end, regardless of the environment.

HOWEVER, if we're talking pre-transition, labor for me has been so much more comfortable and enjoyable and less painful when undisturbed than when managed/observed, and that goes for postpartum as well.

Meowee, I had leg labor this last time too. I did have some residual intermittent pain for a few months after, very minor though. Funny, I'd forgotten about that until you brought it up.
post #64 of 82
Hospital,1st labor, moderately painful, induced due to Pre-E, pitocin about 15 hours in after I'd been stalled at 7cm for about 5 hours. 22.5 hour labor total. no pain meds.

2nd labor, mildly painful, hospital, 3.5 hour labor, no interventions of any kind

3rd labor, hospital, not painful at all (honestly!) and about 3 hour labor, no interventions of any kind, I caught her!

All in all, I agree with other people who say I've got it easy in this respect. Like my grandmother and now my dh say "you've got those baby makin' kind of hips!" :LOL! Guess that was their loving way of saying I'm wide?
post #65 of 82
1st - hospital birth - ok before pitocin NOT ok after

2nd- - induced hospital birth - HORRIBLY PAINFUL until I had an epidural

3rd - MUCH wiser - NO induction, NO interventions (Nothing - no IV, etc...) I wouldn't really describe it as painful but more like intense, consuming, taxing, hard, tough - but not like painful. I mean a paper cut really "hurts" more but labor was definately more work and all...does that make sense?? And in comparison to the 2 previous (1st ended in cs, 2nd VBAC) this was a cake walk - no wonder so many women have begun to describe it as "painful" that pitocin stuff sucks!

(btw - did you know that american women describe labor as painful but most other cultures don't? and along that same line - american women have more interventions, pain meds, etc...)
post #66 of 82
I had a home water birth going but got transfered to the hospital. I was in labor for 18 hours without any drugs and I rated that as horribly painful. My labor contractions actually got better in the car on the way to the hospital and while in the hospital (by better I mean less painful and less often). After being in the hospital for about an hour received an epi and pitocin then had completely knocked out c-section. I think I prefer the labor pains to what it was like right after surgery though....

My baby was apparently turned the wrong way, face facing my front. I never dilated past 4.
post #67 of 82
Horribly painful. Excruciating. Seriously the most intense pain I've ever experienced. I went in thinking "hard work, hard work, hard work," rather than anticipating pain, and was extremely surprised at how painful that hard work was.

That said, I felt AWESOME afterward. I recovered very quickly and was ecstatic at having birthed the way I wanted to (no pain meds) and having worked through the pain. In retrospect, I think I had some back labor in there, but at the time I wasn't verbal/higher thinking enough to realize it. After Qualia was born, I felt like I could have climbed a mountain, no problem. I'd do it med-free again in a heartbeat.
post #68 of 82
I didn't vote for my dd's birth because they put in the pitocin to start my labor since I was already at 3-4cm. That birth was horrendous and they were amazed I didn't take the epidural. I did take Nubain which made me drunk. :

Second birth... I voted moderately painful. Really though,only pushing was moderately painful and over really quickly. My labor itself was not painful. I was 9cm at 4am and at 4:36 both the baby and placenta were out.
post #69 of 82
I stayed home and labored a long time, which was great. Labor was very managable. It seemed like things slowed down a bit during the car ride to the hospital. When I got there I was 9cm. At the hospital the pain was worse, but not so horrible I couldn't handle it. I didn't have an IV and did not sit in the bed for EFM. I did most of my pushing on the toilet. During transition when I was in "laborland" I moaned "I don't like this!" I remember it feeling very uncomfortable, like my hips were coming unhinged. DP and I had a codeword I would say if the pain was unmanageable that meant I was really suffering and needed help coming up with something different. I never used it and it never occurred to me to ask for drugs. I think I was so in the experience that high of a level of thinking was beyond me! :LOL

Pushing was nice because then my head cleared and I felt more like my regular self. It was difficult and exhausting though. But had an amazing ending!

I didn't answer the poll cause I wasn't sure which category was right.
post #70 of 82
i voted modertely painful-homebirth..

i laboured at home..had a hot bath for a while.. couldnt get the birthing pool to work. i didnt ever feel like i needed drugs for pain, thoughi did cry and throw up and think i was going to die durring transition, which didn't last long thankfully :LOL
my midwife administered arnica every 10 mins?! i think and it made a huge difference and one i had thrown up i felt much better actually.. my son was born at home in our bed after about 15 mins of pushing.. i guess my labour was 12 of totally manageable labour (i was walking talking eating ect.. ).plus 12 hours of hard labour .

recovery was very fast. i didnt tear at all and i woke up after a few hours of rest and tidied the house and had a shower while elwynn and his pappa slept..
post #71 of 82
I had my dd in the hospital with a midwife and voted horribly painful.

I was in transition when we got to the hospital and was throwing up from the pain. It was excrutiating back labor, and I thought that I was going to die. In fact, I actually told the midwife that I wanted an epidural and a csection because I couldn't possibly survive labor. Luckily, she new me well enough to know that I wasn't being rational and that that demand was completely at odds with my totally non-interventionist birth plan.

I went on to have dd naturally without so much as an aspirin even though I was in labor for a total of 24 hours and pushed for 3 of those.

Two things saved me: my wonderful midwife who fudged some dates so that I could use the birthing tub even though dd was actually almost 4 weeks early and my extraordinary doula who knew exactly how to apply pressure to my back during the contractions. Once I was in the tub and the doula started doing her thing, the pain dropped from excruciating to manageable.

After that, the only part that I remember being really bad was the final push that got dd out. It felt like my whole body had been turned inside out, but then it was over and everything was all right.

As bad as parts of the labor were, they really were no where as bad as the pain of the pregnancy itself. Starting around 4 months, the muscles on the bottom sides of my belly started to ache. By 6 months, I could barely walk or carry anything. By 7 months, walking, standing, moving in bed, carrying a purse, etc., was as painful as the worst of the labor. In fact, it's the memory of those long months of absolute agony that really make me hesitate about another pregnancy.
post #72 of 82
Originally Posted by Angierae
I voted Horribly painful--at home. But I think the word Horribly makes it sound worse then it is. I definitely felt extreme, exhausting pain, but there was nothing "horrible" about it. Actually I would rather vote for "Awesomely Painful"!
This is sort of me. I had 2 homebirths both were very painful, but doable. My first labor was back labor, which pretty much sucked and labor was very dark for me during transition. Labor hurt, transition made me want to crawl out of my skin, pushing hurt alot - it all pretty much hurt. My second labor was very short and very intense. I was really glad when it was over. Intense is the word I'd choose over painful, but I still voted horribly painful.
post #73 of 82
The first 12 hours were painless and actually pretty fun, though tiring. 5 minutes after prostaglandin gel, it was horrible. It got worse with Demerol, and worse still with pitocin. Then I had a single dose epidural, which was very nice. It wore off after transition and before pushing, and that part didn't hurt at all either, besides the tearing
post #74 of 82
Both mine were homebirths and I voted Moderate for the first one and Horrible for the 2nd one. The pain from the first wasn't really that bad on it's own. It was just the consistency of it that made it seem so bad (like one contrax wasn't a big deal but hours of them were). With my 2nd birth it was just too fast I think (90 minutes) which is why I believe the contrax were so horrible (and yes, to me they felt horrible). I was so quite and inward during my first and during my second i just said "this f***ing hurts!" a lot. Pushing was a very miserable sensation both times although it was the involuntary style pushing, so my body was definitely ready for it. I think I'm just not the type who gets a good feeling pushing stage.
post #75 of 82
Either I was "born to birth" or I just got lucky ...

My pain was very manageable. I totally thought (and prepared DH for) me like, swearing at him and being really mean ... but I was totally serene. Never swore once (which is unusual, even in my daily life :LOL), and DS was born in under 3 hours, in a jacuzzi tub, naturally, med-free, with his Grandma, Auntie and Baba looking on.

I can't wait to do it again!
post #76 of 82
I wouldn't know. lol My water broke before I got to the hospital, and ds's heart rate went down to like 30 bpm (before any meds or anything other than external moniter) so they hooked me up to pitocin and epi before 3cm. Yep- in case we needed emergency c-sec (had vag birth btw). I thought it hurt at that point I'm such a wuss.
The most painful part was AFTER he was born, and I was hemorrhaging (hmmm... do ya think it could be related to all the drugs?) and the doc kept shoving his hands in me. I was pretty sure the pain would kill me.
post #77 of 82
I voted horribly-home only because it was the most intense pain I've ever felt, but agree with pp that "horrible" isn't the best word to describe it.
post #78 of 82
I voted horrendously painful birth center birth, although I transferred (very reluctantly) to the hospital after 24 hrs (labor was 34 hours total) because I was GBS+, my waters had been broken the whole time, and I had only dilated 4 cm.

However...I would rate approx the first 12-14 hours as "moderately painful." It was those last 8-10 hours before transfer (note: I did not dilate AT ALL during those hours) that were horrendous. DD was posterior (did not turn till pushing) and I had back labor (and also the "leg labor" others have mentioned). I continue to describe the pain as equivalent to being hit in the spine with a baseball bat every 3 minutes.

I never was even AWARE of the contractions in my abdomen. Couldn't even feel it there because my back hurt so much. When I had afterpains while nursing, I was like, "Oh, how interesting. A contraction in my abdomen!"

Worlds and worlds worse than any other pain I have ever had, including having my wisdom teeth removed, oral surgery, and a root canal. Like, not even on the same planet.

After I transferred I had Pitocin and an epidural. They let it wear off for pushing because I needed to be able to be very active to help get her anterior. Pushing hurt--I tore, and I felt that tear--but it was not even close to unmedicated back labor.

I will try for another unmed birth the next time, though. I am hoping it will be one of those anterior-after-posterior births where the mom says she didn't even know she was in labor at first because it was so different.
post #79 of 82
Labor with dd was moderately painful for the first 25 hours, and the next 13 or so were horrendously painful, probably due to the transfer to hospital, extreme exhaustion, and fear that it would never end. But all pain was completely gone the moment she slipped into my arms.

Labor with ds never occured as he was in distress with NO amniotic fluid and a plummeting heart rate. I was a week post dates and attempted induction, but went with an emergency c section. I'd take my daughters labor and delivery over an unplanned c section and it's recovery any day.....
post #80 of 82
Originally Posted by tower
I had a hospital birth with Pitocin and no pain meds. Labor wasn't painful, just very uncomfortable. Pushing was painful. I was mobile and initiated my own positions for all but the last two pushes.
This is my story, too. I had great labor support with a hospital-provided doula. My labor stopped after I got in the shower and I was REALLY resistant to the pitocin. If wouldn't let them do it for a couple of hours. I was very afraid that the pitocin would put me over the edge and make me "need" an epidural. Then I was afraid that I'd be in so much pain from the pitocin that I wouldn't be able to sit still for the epi.

My doula understood all of this and was able to describe my concerns to the nurse. The nurse explained to me that since I'd been at 9.5 cm for the last 5 hours, most of the hard part was already done. The pitocin would just start my contractions again, but it probably wouldn't hurt any worse. And they'd start off with a low dose and slow drip. And that's just what they did and I was just fine. I was very much afraid of the pitocin. But it my case, they were right and it didn't make things hurt any worse. I never felt l needed an epi (and I was pretty set against one anyway).

All told, I labored in the hospital for about 18 hours and at home for 6 hours. I was 6.5 cm when I got to the hospital. I won't say it was great. But it definitely wasn't that bad, even after 18 hours. Having a doula and great labor support really helped.
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