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Crowning and scared - Page 2

post #21 of 69
Originally Posted by christygen
...It just really worries me about something that big coming out of something that small...
Just to reiterate what others have said: it's not that small.

In Ina May Gaskin's guide to childbirth book, she contrasts vaginas with penises. Penises change in size during their day-to-day operations, right? No one starts worrying about it growing big, or will it shrink down, etc, etc....that's what penises do.

Vaginas grow big during birth, and they shrink down again later. They are dynamic.

YES....if your vagina stayed the same size as it is right now today, the day you're not in labor birthing, that WOULD be a small "hole" to push a newborn out of. But it will grow and stretch....that's good!

You'll do great.

It's important to think about all this stuff while pregnant, and to go ahead and ask the questions, voice your concerns, and put those fears to rest, so you can fully enjoy and participate in your birth, without nagging worries or doubts about your body's abilities. This culture is NOT a pro-woman, pro-birth culture....pregnancy is a time to undo some of that brainwashing, y'know?

Happy Birthing!!!
post #22 of 69
Just a little tidbit about my own experience... I did not feel ANY pain at all during descent, crowning, birth, etc. NONE. Labor hurt like hell and during transition I was sure I was IN hell, but during pushing and birth I literally could not feel anything at all "down there."

My birth was totally unmedicated, so no it was not from an epidural!

I've speculated it was from adrenaline, but I really don't know. As the birth of #3 approaches (my first was c/s) I am surely hoping for a similar experience!
post #23 of 69
I didn't notice the crowning and wouldn't have known if the doctor hadn't told me. I did feel like pooing though, maybe that was it?

What I did feel was when they cut me :
post #24 of 69
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
Just to reiterate what others have said: it's not that small.
people do sexual practises that stretch the vagina as much as a baby's head for pleasure, it is NOT that small!
post #25 of 69
Also remember, it's not a solid 13cm diameter circle going through your normal cervix, it's a compressible 13cm diameter circle going through a stretchy 10cm diameter circle. I've done some sketching with compasses and the relative sizes are quite reassuring.
post #26 of 69
As you can read from all the previous answers it is very different what women feel at this stage. But personally in my case - it felt exactly how I had imagined it would. It hurt like the devil - it hurt so bad that I considered not pushing to avoid it. But the good thing about crowning is that it is the LAST bit. Once you have done it then all the pain is GONE!
What really helped me during crowning was to be rational. Once your baby is crowning there is really no way that you can regret - no way to not do it. At this time you HAVE to go through with it - so you just have to tell yourself that being scared at this point is utterly useless. The only thing that will help you at this point is to remember what you have read - try to relax your body and especially the pelvic muscles, to pant shortly while the head is crowning to allow the skin to stretch. This may hurt - but believe me it wont hurt as much as pushing hard and fast to get it overwith and then tearing from front to behind.

However- my best advice about crowning is - dont give it too much thought at this point. It really is only a few moments - and compared to hours and hours of labor it really isn't worth too much worrying.

Also remember that pain is only a part of what labor and birth is. It is SO much more - it is potentially an amazing experience that will stay with you always. The best you can do to make sure you will get a good birthexperience is to try to stay positive as much as you can.

Good luck.
post #27 of 69
For me the pitocin contractions were much more painful than the baby actually coming out. I had an epidural, but they turned it off when I was ready to push. And I pushed for so long that the epidural was completely worn off by the time DS crowned. I felt no ring of fire. TMI, but all it felt like was pushing out a hard BM. The contractions that racked my whole body were way worse.
post #28 of 69

Very different each time

With #1 I had a longer pushing stage. I felt the urge to push -- and it really was this awesome, unstoppable urge. Others have used the term "like throwing up, only downwards," and it was. But once those contractions started, nothing hurt. I didn't really feel pressure, either, or the descent. Just these huge waves of the URGE. Never felt the ring of fire, either.

In fact -- I always hesitate to tell people this, but I found it more pleasureable than anything else. As baby descended and put pressure on the whole perineal area, the only sensation I remember was a sort of "thrumming" feeling -- almost like orgasm aftershocks, but more difuse.

Baby #2, however, I almost did not have to push out. I felt a little weird, I think the term midwives use is "grunty?" in the tub, but nothing like the waves of MUST PUSH NOW that I had with #1. And then suddenly my water broke and she crowned *instantly*. THAT time I felt that ring of fire! But it didn't last long, as others have said. I think the first time descent was so slow that I benefitted from endorphins and pressure numbing the area for crowning, but the second time, it all happened too fast for that. And for me, I've had worse burning pain from hemmeroids (though in a different area) or diarreah (again, different area).
post #29 of 69
Thread Starter 
Ok, lets try this again. I've tried to post a reply 3 times and the power keeps going out. Thanks a bunch for all the replies! Didnt know who to turn to ask this kind of question. I've worried myself sick about the birth, especially as the baby is coming out. I'm just going to trust my body and go with the flow. Guess like one person said here its something I shouldnt worry about right now. Gonna run before the power goes out again. A bunch of hugs here to all of you for answering my question and reassuring me! Thanks!
post #30 of 69
I've never given birth vaginally either and this was also a fear of mine. Hanging around here learning ways to prevent tears, repeating my "crowning mantra" from a post someone made here ("babies are squishy, vaginas are stretchy, there is no problem here!" lol) and going back to view the link below are getting me past this fear - I'm way more comfortable with the idea now.

post #31 of 69
Pushing didn't hurt for me, and I didn't get teh ring of fire either.
post #32 of 69
It hurt for me, but it's only pain. My mom said that to me when I expressed a similar worry to her a few weeks before the big day. And when that day came, it was just like she said. It was only pain. Pain can be handled, and now it's long gone, and I have a beautiful baby that I would do it all over again TEN times for.
post #33 of 69
Oh man.... I'm scared of this too.
post #34 of 69
It was different with each baby for me. I remember with #1 that I felt that "ring of fire" and was like, "Hallelujah! It's almost over!" It honestly didn't bother me. Second time around it did hurt a lot. I think it was largely positional (both of my position and the baby's position). Didn't last but a few seconds though and then she was out. Third time around (4 months ago) I don't even recall a ring of fire or any other pain during crowing. Same goes for 4th time (twin birth). I think it's b/c those babies shot out of my vagina like cannonballs so there wasn't really any noticeable moments of stretching. Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it. Like someone else said, it's only pain. And it's so brief and such a good moment really, b/c you know that it's the last few seconds before you finally meet your baby.
post #35 of 69
I haven't read the other posts but for me crowning was not at all bad. I remember thinking "so this is the ring of fire, cool". It burned just a tad, but nothing bad at all...it was such a cool feeling because I knew that meant he was coming out and it wouldn't be long. It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For me, pushing was not the most painful part at all, it felt really good to push. I won't say it was painless but it wasn't pain that really got to me, it was almost a good pain if that makes any sense! You can do it mama!!!! When you crown, you know you are about to meet your little one
post #36 of 69
there is no answer for that unfortunately. i had my only natural c/b this Jan. and that was the scariest part for me too. the GOOD part of that point, though, is that its almost over. others may disagree with me, but i had a long labor (more than 30 hours) and was exhausted. i made a mistake of trying to "hurry" that stage though and caused myself to tear. it wasnt that bad though (the tear). my baby, btw, was 8 lbs. 4 oz (my smallest thus far).
good luck!
post #37 of 69
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone. I'm feeling more and more at ease with this. I know theres going to be some pain and burning but i'm not as stressed about it now as I was. Ask me when i'm in labor and I might give you a different answer!! Lol!!! Hopefully i'll be relaxed when the time comes and i'll keep stretching and stretching. My husband has tried to reassure me but its hard to listen to him when hes never come through this before. It still blows my mind though of something that big coming out of something so small. I guess everyone of us has our concerns or fears or we wouldnt be here. Thanks again to all of you!!
post #38 of 69
just an fyi- my last baby, unassisted was 11 lbs. and I didn't tear. So just so you know- vaginas are very very very very stretchy!!!
my mantra this time around was "She's coming out, even if she is sideways, she's coming out."
post #39 of 69
Originally Posted by christygen
My close friend who birth about a year ago said that the whole birthing process was uncomfortable but that pushing the baby out is what really hurt the most. It just really worries me about something that big coming out of something that small.
Honestly? It is the worst part for a lot of women (assuming they've gone natural) because most birth attendants have them avoiding pushing when they have the urge, and pushing when they don't. This kind of direction interferes with the optimal hormonal release that will make your tissues stretchy. Think of it this way: how would it be to have sex if you weren't aroused, that is, if hormones weren't flooding your body? It would hurt. You might even have abrasions. Well magnify that times quite a bit bigger object passing through, and you can see how crucial it is to plan a birthing environment that facilitates hormonal release. Think about what you need to become sexually aroused; the same hormones are present in birth, and the same sort of conditions necessary in order for them to release fully. You can see how it will help to be unselfconscious, uninhibited, "in another world", confident, secure, not feeling observed, as little light as possible, comfortable temperature, and with no one trying to converse with you or direct you. It will also help if you allow your body to cue you as when to push or not and how much, rather than some arbitrary measurement. That means no vaginal exams (which are also mentally inhibiting and can the muscles in that area to tense, exactly what you don't want.)

These things will all help your vagina to open wide and not tear. 10 cm is *not* the limit. That's the average point at which your cervix has fully receded. It doesn't mean that's the diameter the baby has to pass through! In fact, even for the average disturbed birth the vagina opens much farther than that to admit the head. And the vagina is actually *not* small. The tissue is just usually extremely compressed.

I had a very difficult pushing phase with my first baby -- two hours, without an urge. This is considered normal. But once I removed all the inhibiting factors -- me with my legs wide open before the midwife, her with her hands up me and on me, telling me when and how to push -- I found I was capable of a quick, easy, truly normal second stage. And yes, it hurt -- I think that most modern-day women are really not in physical or mental shape to do this without some pain. But the painful part of it was incredibly short, and there was no trauma to the tissues. I felt great afterwards. And the best thing was that her coming down through me also felt good. So amazing, in fact, that I relived those sensations over and over in my mind until the memory faded several months later. (I wish I could still remember it.)

So, have hope! You can do this, and it can be wonderful!
post #40 of 69
You know, labor hurt more than crowning for me. Though I did have a small baby. The thing that stands out the most for me was that labor did NOT hurt as much as I imagined it would. I do remember her crowning, and I thought, "I don't like this, I think I'll push a lil to help it along." And before I could coordinate my pushing, she was out! Heehee. (Before that, I was totally surrendering to my body- I couldn't have stopped pushing if I wanted to, and trying to slow my body down would have only caused me unneccesary pain.) Don't be afraid. Fear is pain. Release your fear, trust your body, and your baby will come.
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