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"Thought I was dying" question

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I hear this quite a bit when people describe an unmedicated birth. They say the pain was so bad that they thought they were dying. Since I had a fairly pain-free birth, I'm curious...

Is it just an expression of how bad the pain was, or did you actually believe you were dying?

I've never felt pain that bad, and yet I do remember how it felt to think that I was dying (going under general anesthesia for my 'emergency' cesarean). It was terrifying.

So, thoughts?
post #2 of 54
Hmm. I don't know that I ever used that expression. But, with DD1, I had horrible back labor for hours. It was bad enough that I was worried there was something wrong, either with me or the baby. Of course, worse case scenario would be that one of us would die. But that was more my imagination than me actually believing it was happening.
post #3 of 54
I didn't think iI was dying actually, but part of me wished I was.

I had a pph with my first, and I thought I might die at the time because of how serious and worried everyone was.
post #4 of 54
Actually yes I DID think I was dying...with DS2. 4 days jacked up on pit. and cytotec, an epi. that made NO difference...stadol making me feel like I was flying around and just total confusion & exhaustion - no figure of speach, I thought that was the end of me, and I wanted it to be.

Good thing I won't do that again!
post #5 of 54
I've said that before and for me it was just an expression of how bad the pain was. I don't have any pain tolerance at all and my last two labors started out with full on hard labor pains with no warning at all.

Yikes, I'm about 5 days from my edd as I type this...what was I thinking, lol!
post #6 of 54
my first birth was VERY intense. the pain was overwhelming.

i think it is just an expression.
post #7 of 54
I think most of the "I thought I was going to die" comes from women explaining why they got an epidural.

I never thought, felt or wished I was dying.
post #8 of 54
I never used that expression- I mean, I knew I wasn't dying, I knew I was in labor!

The pain WAS more intense than I'd anticipated (having read too many hippie-dippie birth stories while pg with DD1) but I never thought to use "death" terminology to describe it.

If I had pain as intense as labor pain at another time, when I didn't know there was a perfectly natural reason for the pain, I might think I was dying.
post #9 of 54
I wouldn't describe my experience as "feeling like I was dying" at all. As Ruthla said, I knew I was in labor and that yes it was intense, but no where near feeling like I was going to die from it. I looked at it as my body doing what it needed to do in order to give birth.
post #10 of 54
I've never said that about having babies. For me, I always imagined my body giving my baby these oversized hugs that help them out of their inner world to be with me. I won't say it completely pain-free but it was no where near "dying", that some carry on about.
post #11 of 54
I really did think something was terribly wrong, and I was dying.

I had attended many births before the birth of my ds, plus read lots and lots of birth stories. For the most part, women do pretty well in labor. They cope, they figure out a way to deal with the pain, they are okay.

I couldn't get a grip on any of those things. When I look at my labor, compared to the other labors I've seen, I dealt with it about as well as a woman high on crack. It was in the top 5 of women who can't handle labor well. Seriously. I was a terrible labor-er. I'm hopeful that my labor was very dysfunctional, and that it wasn't me, but I just don't know.
post #12 of 54
I had an intensely painful labor with an OP posterior baby and back pain. I labored for 24 hours and never felt like I was dying. I didn't get to push so I can't say about that.
post #13 of 54
I get the 'felt like I was dying' stuff for sure. For me I worried about whether the intense level of pain I was experiencing, pain I couldn't have imagined before giving birth, was normal or if something was wrong. I remember asking the midwife incredulously, "Is this really how it's supposed to be?" I also hemorrhaged post partum and felt really weak and shaky, and I know a woman who died from hemorrhage after giving birth, so I worried about that as a real possibility (my pph was minor but I couldn't tell and became half convinced everyone was lying to me).

There was also something too about being in such an extreme state, in pain, not having eaten or slept, in the altered state of labourland, and a person had just popped out of me... it was like I wasn't really there, wasn't in the reality I had known. Needles and stithes didnt hurt and I remember feeling very close to death, like I could die as easily as I could live and it was all okay, except that i needed to remain here for my child. It was like existing between the worlds, or as close as I've ever come anyway.
post #14 of 54
Yes, I thought I was dying. More specifically, I decided there could not exist a merciful God if He could allow a person to be in this much pain and not at least allow them the cooling salve of death.

It hurt.
post #15 of 54
I had a completely unmedicated birth and was free to do as I pleased, just doing this all in a hospital.

I never thought I was dying, death never crossed my mind and I never describe the pain as dying. I make sure I tell everyone that yes, it hurt but it was still such an amazing experience that I will do it just the same with any other kids I might have in the future. but dying? nah...
post #16 of 54
I had an epidural with dd and an unmedicated birth with ds (6 weeks ago). During my medicated birth, I did think I was dying. After the epi I felt weak and odd and completed freaked out and was in a sheer state of panic for the next 7 hours until dd was born.

With ds, I felt much more in control. It was painful, but I expected it to be. It was uncomfortable and at times I felt like I wished I could crawl out of my skin to escape the sensations of labor, but I never once thought I was dying. I thought that my body was in fact opening to allow a 7lb child to exit, but I accepted it as something that had to happen.

For me, meditation and deep relaxation really helped and everyone who was with me in labor insisted I appeared to be completely calm and comfortable....apparently I was managing it well despite myself!
post #17 of 54
I wouldn't say I thought I was dying during labor but the pain was very, very intense. I could see why someone would say that. After labor and a 4th degree tear, more pain and because at first I felt the stitching....I still couldn't say I felt like I was dying... but the expression fits the amount of pain I was in.
post #18 of 54
I didn't feel like I was dying and never thought to describe it that way. It was only my last labor that was completely unmedicated pain-wise (I was induced with pit). I told my doula that I thought the baby was going to come out my butt and I think a part of me believed it at that time.
post #19 of 54
Very intense pain, worse than I have ever experienced before? Yes. Thought I was dying? Nope, never crossed my mind. Wished I was dying? Nope, I knew what was happening, it's not like labor was a surprise and I had no idea there'd be a baby coming ut eventually.
post #20 of 54
Never thought I was dying. I didn't cry, scream or shout, even when the contractions were very intense and with no breaks (I did a lot of moaning). It hurt, hurt, hurt, but I never, ever felt like I was dying. I did wish I could just black out, but I knew I was having a baby, not having my insides ripped out. It's just different.
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