Explain the "Ring of Fire" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With my first pregnancy, I was induced and got an epidural at 6 cm. I know what contractions are like--but have no clue what the "ring of fire" is. Please share your Fire stories!
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#2 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Some women never feel it anyway, but i did. It came on as the biggest part of DD's head was emerging and felt like a chinese burn on the whole area around my vagina (above, below and to both sides). Like a prickling, burning stretching. It passed immediately when she was out (she came ears to toes in one push). I have to admit, compared to the feeling of her rotation from OP to OA and descent in one contraction i'd had earlier it really wasn't very painful. I remarked quite calmly but a little breathlessly to the midwife "that stings like F-!" and she replied "yes, this is the stingy bit". Then she was born. I didn't scream or feel the desire to or anything.
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#3 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Never felt it.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#4 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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well for me the "ring" is just that an intense burning like sensation in my whole pubic region. I have gone natural with all my births so for me it felt like literally burning sensation, however, once the heads were out the pain goes down and once the whole body is delivered for me the intense-ness of the pain is as well. It still obviously hurts down there but not like that I have really fast labors so for me once I hit the "ring" I know that the baby will be out the next push. I really cant compare it to anything like it, well maybe you know when your urinate after a vaginal birth and it stings? well for me its kinda like that but in my whole pubic region and lasts for awhile not just the few seconds to pee
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#5 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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It is just like it sounds! I screamed because it burned BAD as her head was emerging. Then it burned again as her shoulders came out! Then it was all over, just like that. In fact, whoosh, my whole labor was over and *almost* forgotten the second she was out.

It's been 8 months since my labor, and I can't for the life of me remember what contractions felt like, but distinctly remember what the ring of fire felt like. Not that it was terrible pain or anything, but for some reason, it was a pain I can remember!
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#6 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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It was literally an extreme burning sensation like I could never have imagined. I felt like I was being lit on fire and ripped in half. I had a natural childbirth and that was the most painful part of it for me. Luckily, it didn`t last very long at all though, just when he was crowning and as his shoulders came out then the burning went away entirely. I had a 3rd degree tear and didn`t even notice that pain when I was holding my wet baby and being stitched up. I never would have believed that was possible before experiencing it, truly amazing!
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#7 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I also managed to escape that feeling with DD (home waterbirth). I'm hoping I'm as lucky this time too. Certainly sounds like no fun.
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#8 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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I never knew that was supposed to be the painful part! I had back labor and it was so intense (and, well, painful) that when I felt some burning, I was excited and knew labor was almost over. I did feel a burning sensation, but it wasn't a painful burn for me.
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#9 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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Just like it sounds. The skin is stretching to its maximum creating tiny micro-fissure in your skin all at once. It stings.

Head with my dd, shoulders with my son. Whatever part of the baby is biggest in circumference, might make the sting.
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#10 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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I didn't feel it with DS or DD1, but I did with DD2.

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#11 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Wow its so interesting to read everyones different experiences with this, they are all so different!

I had a natrual drug free birth too. My labor pains were much, much worse than the 'ring of fire'. To me, it felt like a strong stinging sensation, that only lasted for a few seconds. Once DS's head was out, I swear he shot out like a rocket... DH said he was scared he was going to drop him! The stinging went away immediately.

Pushing was the most memorable, and IMO enjoyable part of labor for me. That stage lasted about 15 min, and I was just so excited to see my newborn, the pain issue just got put on the backburner in my mind. I was way too focused on meeting my son to worry about it, or tearing, or anything else. I did not tear though.. I'm sure the 'ring' would have been much much worse if I had.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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#12 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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Take your finger and hook it on the side of your mouth and pull. As the skin streatches it sorta feels like it is burning. That is what it was like for me. I only felt it with my first.

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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#13 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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I'd say it was like baaad stinging. But honestly, for me, the worst part of pushing was the fear- it felt like I was going to push too hard and blow out my vagina, or something. The pressure was way worse than the burning, IME.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#14 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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what i felt wasnt anything close to what i would think of as a "ring of fire"... it was justed a stretched feeling. but i didnt tear with any of my kids.... so maybe its a burning with tearing? idk.

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#15 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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i didn't tear, but it did feel like i was being ripped from front to back. i kept asking if my clitoris was even still attached because it really felt like it was being ripped off. and then there is this amazing relief once the rest of the head is born.

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#16 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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I didn't feel it at all. I remember the phrase "ring of fire" flashing through my head right as DS was crowning, and I steeled myself for it to hurt, but it really didn't.
Transition kind of sucked for me, and there was some pain there, but the pushing stage was great. It really didn't hurt at all. I think it helped that it was a waterbirth, I was in a modified hands and knees position leaning against the side of the tub, and I could really control how I was pushing. As his head was coming out it felt like I was stretching too much, so I stopped pushing for that contraction and let his head slide back in and waited until the next contraction. You want to hear god's honest TMI truth? It was really kind of like taking an enormous poop. There. I said it.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#17 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
I never knew that was supposed to be the painful part! I had back labor and it was so intense (and, well, painful) that when I felt some burning, I was excited and knew labor was almost over. I did feel a burning sensation, but it wasn't a painful burn for me.


I'm sure it would have felt worse if I hadn't been suffering from back labor and been pushing for 2 hours, but the burning was a relief to know that the back pain was almost over.
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#18 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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i didn't tear, but it did feel like i was being ripped from front to back. i kept asking if my clitoris was even still attached because it really felt like it was being ripped off. and then there is this amazing relief once the rest of the head is born.

And let me tell you, this is NOT the time to STOP pushing no matter how bad it hurts!!
My kiddo had the biggest head ever!

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#19 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 05:28 PM
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I felt it. It was just as her head was starting to come out. It felt like a moderate to strong burning sensation combined with a ton of pressure (as if a bowling ball was coming out of there!). I had a fast birth though, so I felt this for all of ten seconds, tops. When I felt it, I pushed even harder (I couldn't have stopped pushing like some women can, my body had totally taken over at that point).
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#20 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
I never knew that was supposed to be the painful part! I had back labor and it was so intense (and, well, painful) that when I felt some burning, I was excited and knew labor was almost over. I did feel a burning sensation, but it wasn't a painful burn for me.
I had back labor too and it was extremely hard, but pushing pain was harmless and I never felt a ring of fire. DS had a small head, but a nuchal hand and I tore in two places. Still no ring of fire.
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#21 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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so its kind of like a snake bite (or a really bad snake bite) you did on your arm as a kid?

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#22 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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I don't recall feeling it with either of my births either (first one was hospital birth, DS1 finally came out when I was on the bed but I did push in the water for quite awhile, DS2 was home waterbirth). Hearing others' responses, I'm wondering if laboring/birthing in water makes a difference? Like maybe the water loosens up that area so it doesn't burn? or maybe it's just related to head size - neither of my DS's had particularly large heads. who knows...

I did feel quite a bit of pressure when their heads came out, but no additional pain.
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#23 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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The homebirthing doctor I had with DD told me that the ring of fire is how your body tells you to take a break and give it more time to stretch.
She told me to push until it burned, then lay off for a second, then push again. With each push, I could push farther before the burning started again. I did have a skid mark, and I felt it as it happened, it was when I pushed through the burning because her head was almost all the way out and I was too excited to stop.

ETA: I was in water, and still felt it, but DD's head was pretty big.

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#24 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I didn't feel it. It was a very quick and painless pushing stage though (eight minutes).

Hospital birth and I birthed in an upright on my knees position. If that makes any difference at all.
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#25 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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I felt it. It hurt like a demon, but paradoxically, it was the best part of my birthing experience. It meant that it was almost over and my baby was about to be in my arms. The positive psychology of it seemed to numb the pain somewhat.

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#26 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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i didn't tear, but it did feel like i was being ripped from front to back. i kept asking if my clitoris was even still attached because it really felt like it was being ripped off. and then there is this amazing relief once the rest of the head is born.
Omg... I felt this too actually... but I was so scared to know if anything WAS actually wrong with it that I didnt ask, I didnt want to know what kind of damage happened to it until after my son was out, turns out there wasnt any.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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#27 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 09:05 PM
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I felt it. It hurt like a demon, but paradoxically, it was the best part of my birthing experience. It meant that it was almost over and my baby was about to be in my arms. The positive psychology of it seemed to numb the pain somewhat.
Totally. I was excited to feel it! It made me want to push even harder because it meant I was just seconds from meeting my baby.
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#28 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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Take your finger and hook it on the side of your mouth and pull. As the skin streatches it sorta feels like it is burning. That is what it was like for me. I only felt it with my first.
Yes yes yes! Whenever my friends who haven't had kids yet ask me what it felt like this is exactly what I tell them. It was horrible with dd1 but for dd2 I had a waterbirth and it was a non-issue.
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#29 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Take your finger and hook it on the side of your mouth and pull. As the skin streatches it sorta feels like it is burning. That is what it was like for me. I only felt it with my first.
Good description.

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#30 of 52 Old 01-12-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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i never felt it. the pushing pain really just felt like i had to poo really bad, but nothing would come... only, it did come... lol.... i would have never known the head was out if someone didnt tell me.

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