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traumatized by natural birth pain

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I gave birth 2 and a half months ago, and I still feel hypersensitive to the idea of pain. I prepared well for natural childbirth - I read a lot of books, and discussions and birth stories here on MDC, I had a midwife and a doula. I was highly motivated to have a natural birth, and I'm proud of myself that I did it. But it was painful! I'm still not over it. Just the idea of pain is giving me a lot of anxiety. I'm terrified of ever getting pregnant again, and I know if it happens accidentally, I would want an epidural as soon as possible. I feel so broken.
post #2 of 54
I completely understand!!! I was you after my dd's birth. I had pretty much full-blown PTSD as a result of the pain. It was unimaginable. It took me about 18 months to really work through it to the point where I was even able to consider having another child. I was completely messed up psychologically for so long....I cried daily, because I wanted more kids, but felt I could NEVER go through that again. But....after 2 years, I was okay, and now am expecting number #2 in about 8 weeks, and am dealing with the thought of another labor....a concept which would had leveled me 3 years ago.
It hopefully will get better, give yourself time to work through it. And don't be afraid to feel what you feel.
post #3 of 54
I think what you are feeling is competly normal. I have given birth 7 times and you know what? I feel terrified to get pg, when I am pg I am terrified of giving birth. I think I drive dh nuts constantly asking him if I can do it. I say over and over and over, I can do this, I can do this. I have had 2 very painful births, where I forgot I was giving birth the pain was so bad. There is no one word to describe how painful it was. I wished for death. I have talked to other women who say the same thing. Its nothing you did wrong. No amount of preparing can help you deal with some pain. I will give you some encouragment and say not every birth is going to be that painful. I have had virtually pain free births before. But its those painful ones that make me crazy. I decided that I couldnt let fear make my decisions for me so I did go on to have more kids but it doesn't mean I am all confident. No, even when I realize I am in labor I get scared. This last time I nearly had a panic attack when my water broke. I calmed myself down, and then got down to the business at hand but omg the fear is almost as bad as the pain! It paralizes you, you can't think straight. You are not broken, you are a normal momma. And you are definetly not alone.
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Heart View Post
I think what you are feeling is competly normal. I have given birth 7 times and you know what? I feel terrified to get pg, when I am pg I am terrified of giving birth. I think I drive dh nuts constantly asking him if I can do it. I say over and over and over, I can do this, I can do this. I have had 2 very painful births, where I forgot I was giving birth the pain was so bad. There is no one word to describe how painful it was. I wished for death. I have talked to other women who say the same thing. Its nothing you did wrong. No amount of preparing can help you deal with some pain. I will give you some encouragment and say not every birth is going to be that painful. I have had virtually pain free births before. But its those painful ones that make me crazy. I decided that I couldnt let fear make my decisions for me so I did go on to have more kids but it doesn't mean I am all confident. No, even when I realize I am in labor I get scared. This last time I nearly had a panic attack when my water broke. I calmed myself down, and then got down to the business at hand but omg the fear is almost as bad as the pain! It paralizes you, you can't think straight. You are not broken, you are a normal momma. And you are definetly not alone.
I just want to say that this is the sweetest, most loving comment I've ever seen on this forum : Thank you for sharing that
post #5 of 54
I can also relate to being traumatized by natural childbirth pain. It took me almost 2 yrs to get over it and feel like I could have another child. I am also due in 8-10 wks and have arranged a doula, but spoke very frankly with her and my midwives that if I wanted to have an epidural, they by gosh, I need them on my side. The PTSD and PPD I had after the first one affected my whole family so badly, I don't want to go through that again if I can make it easier on myself somehow. To me the benefits outweigh the risks psychologically. You're not alone. Give yourself time, talk, get counselling, process the experience. It takes time to heal.
post #6 of 54
I also had an extremely painful birth that was traumatizing. I had mild PTSD for months afterwards. I was semi-obsessed with trying to "figure out" the birth and couldn't write my birth story until my baby was about 7 mos old. It was too frightening to try and relive it through getting it down on paper, but like any really traumatic experience, writing it out was also a healing experience. It just took time.

I think at this point I'm resigned to the idea of another painful birth. I'm hoping it isn't like that, but I recognize that it could be as painful or more painful than when I gave birth to dd. Sometimes I still have moments of panic. I'm 21 weeks right now. Planning a homebirth and hoping for a better experience, but I also understand completely why someone would have an epidural. Last time, when we went to the hospital, I was so exhausted and in so much pain that I told dh if I had a long ways to go I was getting an epidural. I had already been in excruciating pain for about 7 hours at that point and couldn't manage another 6 or 7 hours. (All I had to do was push, so no epi.)

You're only two months from the experience now. It will get better. It won't fade into nothing, the way a lot of women say it does - because I think when you have an exceptionally painful birth it's seared in your memory. It's not going to go away. You'll always remember that it was very painful.

But I think there's also no guarantee for future births. They may be the same . . . they may be better. For me, despite the pain, I still feel NCB is worth it, and more dc are worth it. I'm perfectly willing to say that I hate NCB. I do it for the other benefits - less risk of injury, less risk of epidural-related or other complications, etc. I do not do it because I find anything appealing about the experience itself.

Give yourself time to work through this. It's not an easy thing, especially when you're well-prepared and expect pain or acknowledge the possibility of pain but not unmanageable or unbearable pain. I felt like my body had betrayed me in many ways, and that many of the NCB books I'd read had also lied to me/betrayed me. That level of pain was simply not manageable. And it wasn't short-lived, either - the extremely painful part of my birth was 8 hours long.

Health and healing to you. Time and reflection will help.
post #7 of 54
is pain relief in the next labor out of the question for you? i had an epidural with DD because the pain was so intense, and it was a wonderful experience. i know there's a lot of debate about the safety of an epidural, but i have researched it thoroughly, and i fully believe that all of the risks are to the mom, not the baby. and, risks to the mom are very small. i'm absolutely not afraid of labor pain with #2, because i know if it's really bad again, i have the option of pain relief.
post #8 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for commisserating! LOL It helps to read about and think about it.
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
is pain relief in the next labor out of the question for you? i had an epidural with DD because the pain was so intense, and it was a wonderful experience. i know there's a lot of debate about the safety of an epidural, but i have researched it thoroughly, and i fully believe that all of the risks are to the mom, not the baby. and, risks to the mom are very small. i'm absolutely not afraid of labor pain with #2, because i know if it's really bad again, i have the option of pain relief.
If I would have had an epidural with this birth, it would have been bad. Baby had a knot in the cord where it was wrapped around his neck so it was pinched off when he entered the birth canal. He went into distress and I had to push him out as hard and fast as possible. If I had an epidural, I would have ended up with a C-section or instrument delivery, maybe a big episiotomy, and quite possibly a damaged or dead baby.
post #10 of 54
I don't know if this will help or not, but while my 2nd birth was as painful as my first, it was far less traumatic. I think, in my case, it was being at home. I was so much more in control that I felt able to stay on top of the pain much more than I could with my first. I think the self-hypnosis programs can be really helpful too. Hypnobabies seems to be the preferred method.
post #11 of 54
The pain from my first labor was traumatizing. I worked through my paralyzing fear of it the next time by doing hypnosis using the HypnoBabies program and by scripting my anxieties with the book "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die". Bach flower therapies helped, too. I also read the book "Back Labor No More" to help prepare on a practical level in the case of another back labor scenario.

My second labor was completely pain-free until I got to transition-- way different than the first time. The whole thing was relatively short and easy. I would DEFINITELY use HypnoBabies again.
post #12 of 54
Same here, and I'm also at 2.5 months.

I've felt so disconnected from my body, and traumatized. I wasn't afraid going into it and was very confident, but yes, it was 'ing painful!

Yesterday I took out an old self-hypnosis CD "Get more joy out of Sex-female" and it helped immediately in me feeling warm and more connected to my body and vagina again.

I've had issues with sex since giving birth because of the trauma.. I just hadn't felt the same on many levels, but its getting better the more I try and work through it.

Anyways, I'm committed to doing this CD again for a week or month,however long, but it really helped. I just plugged this guy yesterday on this forum, he's awesome! There might be other CD's of his that are more appropriate for you, but I'm broke (even though they're only $20) and this one has already gotten me to feel good again. I think he might have some for PTSD.

DH and I only want to have one child, he's getting a vasectomy next month, so I'm actually relieved that I won't go through it again. Its the most amazing expereince, but once is good for me

http://thepotentialsunlimited.com/
post #13 of 54
Just want to chime in and say, I feel you! My birth BLEW MY MIND with how painful it was. I had done Hypnobabies and prepared myself for a pain free birth. HA! Although to be fair I will say... NOTHING on this earth could have "helped" when I was in so much pain I literally wanted to crawl through the walls, anything to get away from it.

Luckily I was home, or you bet I would've had an epi! I will never judge a woman who gets an epi after my birth.

post #14 of 54
I am all for natural birth - but I'm not in any of your shoes and plus I can tell you are all for natural birth too. There are other things that can be given that are not as intense as an epidural but will help deaden some pain. Ask your midwife... I remember my midwife saying they could give a shot of something - or maybe they couldn't but you could transfer to the hsptl and they could. Also, I'd look into some homeopathic as well as herbal stuff too. You could always try that stuff first. Herbal for the Childbearing Year I remember had something for intense labor pain in it.

Good luck!!
post #15 of 54
Yeah, hypnosis can be so healing. I highly recommend it.
post #16 of 54
I was traumatized by my 4th birth. My first 3 had been unmedicated so I knew what it felt like. But I had a prolonged pushing stage and it was devastating emotionally and physically.

I had an epidural for my 5th and make no apologies. I knew the chances of a brutal birth happening again probably weren't high, but I needed it psychologically, to calm down. I had a beautiful birth.

Not sure what I'll do this time around, but I will respect my emotional needs as well as my physical.
post #17 of 54
I always found this poll very interesting:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=334426

While it looks like those in a hospital had a much higher rate of horribly painful births, if you take each section (homebirth, birth center, hospital) in isolation the rates of horrible pain are 32% 33% and 40% respectively. So there is not tremendous discrepancy, and the average is 35%.

I think this is probably what the chances of being hit with a horribly painful birth are (35%). Some births are just more painful than others... otherwise there's no explanation for why the same woman could handle some of her births but not others. Same woman, same pain threshold.
post #18 of 54
I don' think it's just a random thing-- I don't know if that's what meowee was saying, though. There's a reason my second birth was so much shorter and easier. I had studied a lot about the effects of deep relaxation, emotional calm-- the kind that takes months of practice, you can't just think "oh I need ot be calm" which is how I went into my first birth-- and possibly most importantly, positioning of the baby. I worked on positioning of the baby a LOT the second time. The baby's head needs to be evenly lined up over mama's cervix to ensure a quick, less painful or painless, and efficient labor. And yet, most women don't know much about fetal positioning-- I was clueless about it the first time around. If you don't know much about fetal positioning, then labor could be a crap shoot.
post #19 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
Luckily I was home, or you bet I would've had an epi! I will never judge a woman who gets an epi after my birth.

Heck, I would have taken a hit of crack if someone had offered it to me during transition!
post #20 of 54
i had 4 births. first was a traumatic c/section, next were homebirths. 3rd was an especially painful birth, much more so than i remembered my VBAC. by the time i was pregnant with my 4th, i dreaded the thought of going through birth again. i often secretly thought of going to the hospital for an epidural. i sure felt reassured when i read a birth story by a woman having her 6th baby who said she felt the same way.

i never did go to the hospital although i was a really huge baby when i was in labor. i just kept reminding myself a million times over that the amount of time i would be in labor to birth my baby was such a small amount of time compared to the amount of time i would live that i could get through it. and i did

i just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your fear.
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