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What got YOU through that nasty contraction?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
This question is geared toward women on here who have already given birth naturally, and had a semi-good, or good experience getting through it.

Also, this is a specific question. I'm not talking about labor in general.

I MEAN, when you were having a nasty, painful contraction, whether it was at the beginning, or end of labor, what was your "focal point"? What was your inspiration? What did you think about? What got you through it BEYOND just "breathing" although breathing right is important.

Was it hypnosis? Was it the thought of your previous child and what a blessing he/she is? Was it thinking of your ansestors giving birth naturally and feeling empowered by it?

I ask because I unfortunately did not give birth naturally last time around and want to change that this next time so inspiration/motivation would be nice

I hope my question makes sense.

Thanks for reading and let the replies start!

-Caitrin
post #2 of 72
Thread Starter 
Toward the beginning of labor, when I was actually able to somewhat handle pitocin contractions, I found what was helping the most was what my doula suggested thinking about: A flower opening.

Cheesy or corny as it may sound, it really did help. That and having my husband play with my hair.

So, there's my example.

-Caitrin
post #3 of 72
Mostly I just zoned out and rode it through if that makes any sense.

-Angela
post #4 of 72
I think I get what you're saying...I did different things at different points of the labor for "nasty painful contractions" but the one imagry that I sort of made up at the beginning and used frequently for a while (corny too) was I would imagine one of those little games at the fair where you hit the base and try to make the ball hit the bell at the top. The first part of the contraction was working towards the bell...watching it go up and the climax was ringing the bell and then the downward slope of the contraction was the ball falling down to the base.

whatever works
post #5 of 72
Two things. For the nasty contractions during transition in particular, my mantra became "I can do anything for a minute" since more or less that's how long they were lasting and I'd get maybe a 30 second break (but still a break!).

For the really horrible pain right at the end when DS crowned but my contraction stopped--I actually had this conversation with myself (silently) that I had to stay calm, that screaming or otherwise freaking out would simply be a waste of energy and that if I just conserved my energy I could throw everything I had into that one last push because I wasn't going to spend another 5 minutes in that kind of pain again. Thankfully that worked well. He came out with the next push. DH and others who were there commented later that it seemed like this wave of calm came over me at that moment and they were shocked because it was clear I was hurting badly but I was very calm and quiet.
post #6 of 72
I liked thinking about floating in the ocean and each contraction was a rising wave that peaked and ebbed, then built up again.

But really, I think I mostly did like Angela said, just closed my eyes, zoned out and remembered to breath.
post #7 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by art_teachermommy View Post
I think I get what you're saying...I did different things at different points of the labor for "nasty painful contractions" but the one imagry that I sort of made up at the beginning and used frequently for a while (corny too) was I would imagine one of those little games at the fair where you hit the base and try to make the ball hit the bell at the top. The first part of the contraction was working towards the bell...watching it go up and the climax was ringing the bell and then the downward slope of the contraction was the ball falling down to the base.

whatever works
That's a really interesting idea...

Thanks for sharing! I don't think that's corny, actually.

-Caitrin
post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendy1221 View Post
I liked thinking about floating in the ocean and each contraction was a rising wave that peaked and ebbed, then built up again.

But really, I think I mostly did like Angela said, just closed my eyes, zoned out and remembered to breath.
Wow. I'm going to have to try that ocean imagery...

Sounds cool.

-Caitrin
post #9 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
Two things. For the nasty contractions during transition in particular, my mantra became "I can do anything for a minute" since more or less that's how long they were lasting and I'd get maybe a 30 second break (but still a break!).

For the really horrible pain right at the end when DS crowned but my contraction stopped--I actually had this conversation with myself (silently) that I had to stay calm, that screaming or otherwise freaking out would simply be a waste of energy and that if I just conserved my energy I could throw everything I had into that one last push because I wasn't going to spend another 5 minutes in that kind of pain again. Thankfully that worked well. He came out with the next push. DH and others who were there commented later that it seemed like this wave of calm came over me at that moment and they were shocked because it was clear I was hurting badly but I was very calm and quiet.
That's very inspirational. Wow.

And if you can have that kind of emotional control during LABOR, you must be a very emotionally stable person at all other times

Thank you for sharing this!

-Caitrin
post #10 of 72
I couldn't think about anything like the love of my older children or something I'd read in a book about birthing. It was all I could do to focus on the here and now- not think about what I'm going to do when the contraction is over or what I was doing a minute before.

I'd just ignore everything else around me and focus on my body and what I was feeling at that moment. There's no way I was capable of ocean imagery or anything outside of what was actually happening to my body! As alegna said, I just zoned out and rode through it.
post #11 of 72
Being left alone (completely) enabled me to work with my body through these times.I followed instincts as to positions, yelling, etc. and it helped immesurably. During my first birth I was not left alone and was coached (despite previous instructions for no coaching) and it made things much worse.
post #12 of 72
My best labor I had a dot on the patterned wall paper that I focused on. And I thought about all those women who had given birth before me. Women who were on wagon trains going out west, women who were in slavery, . . . .
I knew if these women could do it so could I.
post #13 of 72
Just.This.One

I would repeat to myself. Don't worry about how long it will last or if you can handle the next one or if it will get worse just focus on the ONE contraction you are having, get through it one at a time

When that doesn't work pray, when that doesn' work Pull out all your favorite 4 letter words
post #14 of 72
I couldn't even think of any four letter words during contractions! I was so focused on *here* and *now* and *inside my body* that I think I lost all language comprehension!
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I couldn't think about anything like the love of my older children or something I'd read in a book about birthing. It was all I could do to focus on the here and now- not think about what I'm going to do when the contraction is over or what I was doing a minute before.

I'd just ignore everything else around me and focus on my body and what I was feeling at that moment. There's no way I was capable of ocean imagery or anything outside of what was actually happening to my body! As alegna said, I just zoned out and rode through it.

Very well put! That was my experience as well. I couldn't have worded it any better.
post #16 of 72
For me, focusing on breathing slow and deeply was what helped me through. I always tell people that I don't know if the breathing techniques I used really helped, but it sure gave me something to do during the tough contractions.
--K
post #17 of 72
I would actually imagine my cervix opening- the more the pain, the further it opened. Only worked with my last birth, but it did work. Before that, I was able to just completely zone out.
post #18 of 72
Thread Starter 
Wow, these are some great responses, everyone!

Thanks!

-Caitrin
post #19 of 72
I just posted a similar question. Great responses to your question will help me out. Thanks!
post #20 of 72
Quote:
My best labor I had a dot on the patterned wall paper that I focused on.
LOL! I haven't been through labour (yet!), but my mother likes to tell me that when she was pushing with me, she was staring at the ceiling which had all these little randomised dots on it, counting them furiously. When I was about 15 we went into a clothes shop which had the exact same ceiling tiles, and she went all flashbacky and got the shudders...
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