Labor "pains"??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Labor "pains"???

I just read some funky post on Facebook from Parents Magazine about how labor felt. The comments were crazy! Women were saying things like, "death" or period cramps times 100. What? I gave birth almost three years ago. Did I forget everything? I had back labor and I usually have bad menstrual cramps so I found my experience comparable to really bad menstrual cramps. After reading this post though, I'm now worried that I'm not remembering things accurately and it was much worse than all of that.

How would you describe labor "pains" or sensations?
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#2 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 02:19 PM
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Forms what I've gathered every woman has a different pain tolerance so labor can feel very different to each of us. Also, each labor Is different.

I have labored 6 times and have felt each labor was different. My first I labored up to 6cm and then received an epidural. 16 yrs old and it was all I could take to get that far. With my second labor came on quickly and there was no time for pain meds so I had no choice. I fought the pain and it won. But it was over so quicky that I decided after that I would choose natural birth from then on. My next birth was pitocin induced for my term stillborn son and that definitely qualified as near death pain. I did not get any pain meds. Then my next birth was so gentle I was shocked it was time to push bc I had waited for the intense pain I recalled from the other births. My 5th was as my 2nd - very fast and intense and yes, I felt overwhelmed and consumed with the contrax and it was far worse than periodcramps. As for the last it was a long, slow labor and the contrax never went any closer than 5 minutes apart so I felt very much in control.

My point is how very different the labor pains can be even for the same person. Just as every pregnancy is different so can be the labor. I don't know what to expect this time around. I feel I am due for another precipitous labor but I guess I shall have to wait and see.

So, I have experienced mild labor pains that just felt very tight but definitely bearable and I have also experienced very intense labor pains that took me from 3cm to 10cm in under 3 hours and those were no joke. I felt helpless and overwhelmed. Unable to catch my breath at moments and the contrax were so close together. End result - very short labor! But not without very hard work! The more gentle labor pains were my longer births and I never really noticed "transition" in these. Only in the rapid ones.

What abt u Christina? Was your labor fast? I wonder if slower labors always = less pain or if that is just me. And thanks for posting this thread! I am very interested to hear what other moms have to say
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#3 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 03:10 PM
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I agree- this is a great thread/ discussion! I'm on my third, and my first 2 were completely different. Both started with a day of "pre-labor" before hand, where things were very much rhythmic and the contractions were about ever 10 minutes or so, and felt very much like moderate period cramps. The first time, my labor altogether was about 22 hours, very intense contractions that felt like the most painful period contractions I'd ever had, I am also accustomed to very painful period cramps. At 5cm I decided to get an epidural, and baby was born 3hrs later. My second time, my full-blown labor contractions felt like the pre-labor contractions I had experienced with my first, and even though they were coming every 5 minutes, it never felt that powerful. In fact, it wasn't until I got to transition did I realize I was even in labor, my water never broke and I lost my mucous plug 10 minutes before baby was born!
So for me, my two labors and births were completely different, and I have no clue what to expect here for #3 ! My midwife says 3rd babies are the wildcard; they do their own thing all the way. So I'm anxious to see what this little guy does!
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#4 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 03:28 PM
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Same here with the 3rd. I am wondering what it will be like. My mw believes it will be quick and easy. I hope she is right.

My first I started it out with wild contractions at 10 minutes apart for maybe half an hour and then every 2 minutes. I was dilated up to 8 cm within the first our. I remember it to be quite painful, could not catch my breath and did the high-pitched scream when I should have went with the deep scream. Then it all stalled, contractions stopped, I got pitocin which did not do anything at all and after another 4 hours of basically bad leg cramps and not being able to get the stuck baby out, I got an episiotomy.

My second labor was great. It started out with mild contractions. At first I was not even sure whether it was real labor or not. So I took a bath and afterwards the contractions picked up. Within an hour I was having them every 5 minutes but I was breathing right through them. We went to the hospital and I was a little disappointed when told that I was only at 4 cm. Did some walking, got an enema and then things picked up really quickly from there. Baby was born within 3 hours after checking in and only at the very end during the pushing phase I found it a bit extreme. But I knew it would be over soon. I remember chatting with the mw and laughing a lot during the labor part.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

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#5 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I find the whole pregnancy and birth thing fascinating because of how it varies so greatly from experience to experience and woman to woman.

Blessed#7 - hmm, maybe there's something to your long labor theory. I did have a very long labor. I was a home birth to hospital transfer. I wasn't having many cervical checks during labor. Once I was fully dilated, we discovered that I had a pesky lip that we couldn't push back so we tried to push past it - no luck. My cervix swelled closed and we couldn't slow my contractions or do anything that was beneficial to reduce the swelling. Finally it was conceded that I should go to the hospital, get an epidural to intentionally stall labor so my cervix would hopefully open up again, which it did - thankfully. I've always been adamant that I don't want a c-section. Anyhow, it was well over 24 hours since my water had broke.

I didn't experience the "ring of fire" because I did have an epidural at the hospital, but my midwives and doulas all said that I went through everything but so I'm thinking that I felt the majority of the pain part. I am still currently a bit worried about how much the ring of fire will hurt, will be as it will be either way so????

I will be 40 on my EDD. I have decided, along with my OB team, not to go past 39 weeks because recent studies have indicated that induction at 39 weeks significantly lowers the rate of still birth, which is of great concern to me. I also decided not to even try a home birth this time due to my age and the fact that I now live quite a distance from a hospital that I feel is competent.

I am not exactly thrilled to learn that each birth, like each pregnancy is different, lol. I like to know what to expect so I can prepare for it. I'm a planner

This pregnancy certainly has been different than my with my son so...I guess that's how this all goes!
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#6 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 04:15 PM
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I've done it twice. The first time was awful back labour that felt like thunder tearing my tummy apart, made worse later by beastly care providers who refused me pain medication while refusing to stop pitocin. Second one was unassisted (planned hb but mw didn't make it on time), lasted about 12 hours, was so mild compared to first that I was in denial for about 10 hours of it. It just felt like sharp cramping. It got super intense at one point and I really wanted to run away bit I was in a birth tub so all I could do was thrash about a bit. Bit that super intense part only lasted like 10 minutes. I drank a ton of rrl tea so I didn't even have to push, body pushed baby out on its own. The pain with the second really wasn't that bad, especially for the first 11+ hours
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#7 of 9 Old 06-21-2014, 08:10 PM
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This is my 4th. And I can say, it is aweful. I remember. I have a high tolerance for pain, and I want to cry thinking about it!

#1- 23 hours, pitocin, epidural, 4 pushes and had a 5 lb.5 oz boy. 37 weeks.
#2- 6 hours from "hmmm, these Braxton hicks are pretty close together" to holding my baby girl. 39 weeks. I was bleeding so bad from dilating so quickly I thought my water had broken. Started that labor at 3 cm and went from 4cm- 10 in an hour. Scary! I think I just panicked on that one that's why it hurt so bad.
#3- woke up to "oh! That contraction was a little painful" and hour later, crying, hospital, epidural. 4 hours from waking up to holding baby. The pain was aweful, but manageable because it was such a short time frame. Didn't have time to wrap my head around it! Lol

Pretty sure this baby will be born in the shower. 23 hours, 6 hours, 4 hours..... I'm planning on 2 this time.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-22-2014, 06:51 PM
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I amazes me to hear all the differences in labor experiences from child to child. I have only had one experience, so nothing to compare, but my experience of labor was that it was a manageable 16 hour home birth. Ctx were mostly 5 minutes apart for the first 12 hours which gave plenty of time in between to relax and be ready for the next. They got closer toward the end and more powerful, but I was pumping an incredible amount of love hormones and remember expressing my love a lot to everyone in the room. I too had a swollen cervical lip and had to labor on my side through what seemed like a bazillion ctx and that was the most painful part, but it finally went down and I pushed for an hour. I remember the ring of fire, but only in the sense that i started singing Johnny Cash and my whole labor team chorused with me and the humor was what i remember most...funny how we can forget the pain and remember the good parts, love and Johnny Cash!

I have definitely heard that the quicker the labor, the more intense...makes sense, as you have less time between ctx and feel less in control.

I am sensing that this may be a quick one, we'll soon find out! 38+4

Mama to 4yo dd Piper, loving wife to Dave and preggo for the second time...due in Early July!  Hurray!
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#9 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 07:20 AM
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So much of mine was a blur, but what I remember most is the feeling of being "off." Like a combination of upset stomach/nerves that just wouldn't go away. I decided if I could sleep through it there wasn't anything to get excited about just yet, and I did, but that feeling is what I remember most. It wasn't even contractions, just a "not right" feeling.
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