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"Forgetting the pain"? That's a JOKE - Page 3

post #41 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
It's been 4.5 years since I gave birth.

I remember the pain VIVIDLY.

I have never met any mother who doesn't remember exactly what the pain was like.
THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!

People like you make me happy

-Caitrin
post #42 of 90
I gave birth 363 days ago (sniff, sniff!), Pitocin induced. I know it hurt, I know it was extremely intense and very fast, I remember the feeling of dilating and readying and baby moving downt he birth canal, and I know my mind went to LaborLand to cope with the intensity and pain... but I don't remember each and every contraction or the exact pain.

I was ready to do it all over again by about 3 months. DD is high needs, so we'll be waiting at leat another year before actively TTC again!
post #43 of 90
I labored naturally at home for 48 hours. It was the worst experience of my life, but I can't recall the physical sensation, just my feelings, thoughts and behavior. Screaming, crying, thrashing, despair because I was not progressing (and ultimately had to transfer). At the time I was dead certain I would not be willing to do it again - I remember that much very strongly, and I'm not going to brush it off as I consider whether to have another.

I remember when it was happening, wondering how humanity could go on if this is what it took. I figure, not that they forgot, but they had no choice because they didn't know about contraception and if they didn't have offspring to help work the land, they would starve.

I am very glad I can't remember exactly what it felt like.
post #44 of 90
I've done all three... pit, c-section, and completely uninhibited vbac.

That said, I do remember the hysteria of pit contractions, but they didn't last long because I was given an epidural due to passing out with each contraction at only 2cm dilated because it was so out of control.

I remember the c-section pain so vividly that I don't even like to think about it. My body still recoils (3.5 years later) at the mere mention of it.

My vbac though... amnesia is definitely the word. It's been a year and by the next morning I was saying "omg, I could totally do that again tomorrow, just let me get some sleep first!" I had a 38 hour labor and 1.5 hour pushing stage, but the pain is such a distant memory. I was on cloud nine. I can remember being in pain and thinking it was really horrible, mostly thinking that I just wanted to sleep (I had been awake 54 hours by the time he was born), but I don't "feel" it today like I can the c/s pain.
post #45 of 90
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your replies, everyone.

I am discouraged, however. Looking at most of these posts, it seems that most of you really have "forgotten" the pain and quite frankly, I'm jealous.

-Caitrin
post #46 of 90
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post #47 of 90
Mentally I know it hurt especially dd's pitocin augmented labor. Mostly what I remember being out of control with dd. I dont remember the pain specifically tho.
post #48 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanno View Post
`
Great...

-Caitrin
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

I have never met any mother who doesn't remember exactly what the pain was like.
I think you've met quite a few actually by reading this thread...because.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therese's Mommy View Post
I think every woman is different.
<snip>
It hurt pretty bad at the time, but I have a high tolerance of pain, so I guess it just doesn't bother me that much.
: - I actually think discussions of pain are kind of futile as no two people will experience things the same. Those of us with higher pain tolerances aren't "better" or "stronger" than those with low pain tolerances, we're just....different, because we're built different. I did my Pit labor with just a small shot of Nubain at about 6 cm to take the edge off because I was becoming too distracted by the pain to manage the contractions, but didn't want an epidural to completely numb me. I know my limits, and I reached my limit and needed help. That does not make me weak, it makes me smart. I did my spontaneous labor unmedicated. I have a dear friend who had a spontaneous labor and had an epidural at 3 cm because she was in agony and couldn't take it anymore and was hysterical. Am I a "better" woman than her? Hardly. She was able to push her baby out vaginally; I wasn't able to get either of mine out vaginally. Is she a better woman than me because of that? I'll flatten anyone who claims she is :. It's the wonderful variety of life that makes us experience things differently. How boring if we all went through everything the same way as everyone else.

I want to HEARTILY endorse you getting a book or some therapy to process your birth, because while you feeling your pain your way is totally normal, I think that remembering it so vividly this long after means that you need to work through it, especially if you want to have more children. I know a couple women who went to therapists for birth trauma and it seems to have helped them quite a bit.

And as for family members who are dismissive, I would say something very direct like, "It was very painful and vivid for me and still is, and it hurts me that you're dismissing my feelings. Please don't do it again."
post #50 of 90
I had a painful labor. I was blindsided by how much pain it was, honestly. (And, I had attended lots of births and seen lots of women in pain). I would rank my labor as being the most painful thing *ever* , in the whole world. I got an epidural, it didn't work well, blah, blah, and I ended up with a c-section. The whole works.

But, now, at a year later, I still know that I hurt, I remember crying "please tell me I won't die" throughout labor, and I remember thinking that it was horrible pain. But, the memory of the actual pain isn't as fresh. I'd do it again. Tomorrow. I can't close my eyes nad feel the pain again. It's more of a blur of pain all mushed together.
post #51 of 90
I just had this conversation with a neighbor a few days ago. I have 4 kids, 11, 8, 5, and almost 2. I never agreed with the statement that you forget the pain. It has definitely faded over time, but not forgotten. However, I never found the "memory" to be enough to keep me from doing it again, otherwise I wouldn't have four kids. I haven't had exceptionally difficult labor/deliveries, but they haven't been quick and easy either.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. It is definitely worth the reward!

~Staci
post #52 of 90
Yup, all different experiences. I had one natural home / water birth. It was definitely the most painful thing I ever experienced, but then again I've never really experienced that much pain before (no kidney stones, no broken bones, etc.). The pain faded 1 year after the birth. 8 months after the birth, I still thought of birth and said NO FREAKING WAY am I doing that again! And 4 months after that, I realized I could (or at least had enough amnesia to think I could, lol). My DH is amazed at that (he is still kind of traumatized, lol).

It's funny because when I think of contractions, I literally cannot remember how they felt. Literally.

But what's really funny is, that I had an unusual third stage - took 3 hours to birth the placenta. The third stage was really painful for me. The midwife eventually had me sit on a birthing stool to help things along, and as soon as I sat down (on a big tear, I might add) I had a contraction, very painful. She had me keep doing that to stimulate contractions. I remember how THAT felt!!!!!!! It's really odd.

So maybe there's something about unnatural contractions... because the contractions I had that were induced by the pain of purposely hurting my tear (I needed about 60 stitches) were just not natural!! Likewise with the pitocin contractions.
post #53 of 90
I have intense pain memories because the pain was really bad; surprisingly bad, and went on for many hours. I ended up with mild PTSD. It is not something that I can forget.

I no longer have body memories or visceral memories of the pain, but sometimes something will remind me and I'll remember what it felt like. At the very least, I still have deep conscious and intellectual recollection of the pain.

I believe this is at least in part because of the duration and excruciating, mind-bending level of pain I was experiencing for hours and hours. It was extremely painful and while I'm no stranger to physical pain (and have quite a high pain tolerance), I was surprised and I feel that surprise caused the traumatic elements of the pain to be more firmly lodged in my memory.

I also believe that if the really bad part (8 out of 21 hours of labor) had been shorter, say 1-2 hours, I wouldn't have a strong recollection of it. I dealt with it well, but it wore me down incredibly.
post #54 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I think you've met quite a few actually by reading this thread...because.....

: - I actually think discussions of pain are kind of futile as no two people will experience things the same. Those of us with higher pain tolerances aren't "better" or "stronger" than those with low pain tolerances, we're just....different, because we're built different. I did my Pit labor with just a small shot of Nubain at about 6 cm to take the edge off because I was becoming too distracted by the pain to manage the contractions, but didn't want an epidural to completely numb me. I know my limits, and I reached my limit and needed help. That does not make me weak, it makes me smart. I did my spontaneous labor unmedicated. I have a dear friend who had a spontaneous labor and had an epidural at 3 cm because she was in agony and couldn't take it anymore and was hysterical. Am I a "better" woman than her? Hardly. She was able to push her baby out vaginally; I wasn't able to get either of mine out vaginally. Is she a better woman than me because of that? I'll flatten anyone who claims she is :. It's the wonderful variety of life that makes us experience things differently. How boring if we all went through everything the same way as everyone else.

I want to HEARTILY endorse you getting a book or some therapy to process your birth, because while you feeling your pain your way is totally normal, I think that remembering it so vividly this long after means that you need to work through it, especially if you want to have more children. I know a couple women who went to therapists for birth trauma and it seems to have helped them quite a bit.

And as for family members who are dismissive, I would say something very direct like, "It was very painful and vivid for me and still is, and it hurts me that you're dismissing my feelings. Please don't do it again."
NAK

Thank you for your heart felt thoughts.

I think I do need trauma therapy. And PRAYER.

-Caitrin
post #55 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therese's Mommy View Post
It hurt pretty bad at the time, but I have a high tolerance of pain, so I guess it just doesn't bother me that much.
And then there's me that screams bloody murder yelling "help me" while sobbing uncontrollably...

From a broken wrist.

Great.

-Caitrin
post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!

People like you make me happy

-Caitrin
Caitrin,

you obviously had a very traumatic birth

and i think to some extent focusing on the pain and seeking confirmation that others were disturbed by the level of pain, is healthy and natural, and needed--for healing.

however it seems that you aren't happy to see stories of women who exprienced even very painful births differently, and who feel empowered.

every birth is different, and the chances are great that your next labour and birth will be very different--rewarding, empowering, even if still painful. but you need to let this happen. you need to embrace your experience, and the future pain, and see that it doesn't have to be all negative. i see so much negativity about your labour/birth in your posts. but what was beautiful about the birht? what do you remember fondly? how often do you think about this, rather than being in the cycle of bad memories only?

healing vibes
post #57 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana View Post
however it seems that you aren't happy to see stories of women who exprienced even very painful births differently, and who feel empowered.
Exactly. I'm quite jelous of them.

:

-Caitrin
post #58 of 90
I guess it depends on the person. After giving birth, I feel like nothing happened at all. I literally forget it. I can look back and say, yeah, that was painful, or ds' labor was the more horrendous, but my body forgets the pain.
post #59 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
And then there's me that screams bloody murder yelling "help me" while sobbing uncontrollably...

From a broken wrist.

Great.

-Caitrin
I "forgot" the pain of giving birth relatively quickly: within a few days. However, I don't think I have a particularly high pain tolerance. I fractured my pelvis in a car accident in 1996 (I gave birth in 2000) and my memories of these two very painful events are dramatically and qualitatively different. I can remember the fact that I was in pain giving birth, but not what it actually felt like. I can remember exactly what the pain of my fractured pelvis felt like. Also, there was no time-telescoping with the broken bone: I can remember every second of the struggle from the taxi I took home from the hospital to my house (and yes I was crying). Giving birth I labored for about 11 hours counting pushing, but I don't have memories of nearly that much time passing.

I gave birth at home with no pitocin and no pain-relief drugs. It sounds like pitocin does make contractions much harder to bear. I have heard that any sort of pharmaceutical pain-relief interferes with the "forgetting" that people talk about regarding childbirth pain. I am wondering if other medical interventions might interfere as well. This is not to say you shouldn't get pain-relief or other medical intervention - just something to be aware of.

Celticqueen: I don't think you should assume that you as an individual can't or don't "forget" the pain of childbirth. I would assume your experience was specific to that one particular birth. You might have a completely different experience the next time. Birthing from Within is a really good book for overcoming a previous traumatic birth experience and dealing with fears of giving birth including fears of pain. I really do believe our bodies are designed to be able to do this without excessive trauma, including yours. Good luck!
post #60 of 90
I'm with Adele.. I forgot the pain very quickly.. within a few days. Even now, 4 months pp, I can remember BEING in pain, I can remember the thoughts I had while I WAS in pain.. but if you were to ask me to describe what my contractions felt like, what crowning felt like, what my 2nd degree tear felt like.. I would be unable to tell you.

I've actually sat and tried to recall the exact sensation. All I come up with is menstrual cramp-feelings and tingling/itching near my peri.


My mother said the same thing; she had both my sister and I with no drugs. "As soon as you were out, and I heard your voice, it all melted away. I couldn't remember for the life of me what the experience felt like."

So maybe it isn't just me, it's what my mother had told me LONG before I got pregnant? That it's almost like.. I don't want to say brainwashing, but because it's what I expected and what I knew to be true, it became so?
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