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#1 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've not given birth vaginally and this question just came to mind (better ask now or I might forget!)
Does it hurt when the head is in the vagina or does it not hurt until its crowning?

Basically is the stretching pain from the moment it passes the cervix?

ETA:
Well, since I now have had a baby vaginally thought I might come back and answer my own question.

To me it was painful as his head was moving down through my pelvis. It felt like the bones were grinding or something. Part of the reason I didn't push, it seemed more painful when I pushed, so I just let my uterus do the work.

I didn't really have a ring of fire. It really only hurt on my left labia and in the front even though I was upright. I tried leaning back to take pressure off the front because I really didn't want to tear there.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#2 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:40 AM
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it burns a little bit when the head is at the perineum. *however its' spelled I'm about to go to bed LOL*

it just feels REAL cool when the baby makes it's journey down the birth canal. I was one of those rare ones who had an "orgasmic birth" so I think the "ring of fire" was clouded by the "Holy this ain't supposed to feel GOOOOOD"

lol
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#3 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:43 AM
 
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It's been quite a few years for me, I seem to recall the crowning being when I felt that.

I remember it being a very vague, burning sensation.

I'm curious to read what others have to post on this.
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#4 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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I didn't feel any burning but I felt my pelvis spread when they crown.....kinda funny feeling

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#5 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:47 AM
 
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I dont remember feeling the burn until the baby's head was right there at the opening. Being in the vaginal vault in and of itself did not hurt me, and pushing was not at all painful.

And to be totally honest, the burning i felt was minimal....i felt like my kids heads were emerging from my butt!
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#6 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
i felt like my kids heads were emerging from my butt!
:

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#7 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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For my ds' birth, I definitely felt a little burning. I actually said out loud "Now I know what they mean by the 'ring of fire'." My midwives and family got a kick out of that. But in all actuality, it didn't burn too much.

With dd, she was born underwater and there was no burning sensation.

I agree with SB3, both of my children's births felt a lot like a big poo.

Lisa ~ Homeschooling mama to 9yo ds and 7yo dd both born at home and expecting #3 in November!
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#8 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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I agree with SB3, both of my children's births felt a lot like a big poo. [/QUOTE] :LOL I completely agree...
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#9 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 01:03 AM
 
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Okay, I felt like it was extremely painful when they passed the cervix and came down through the birth canal. For me, that was the most painful part. I was extremely relaxed throughout the labor of my second child and did not feel any pain really until this part. When they crown, it's actually a nice feeling b/c you know it's almost over and it gives you the courage/desire/inspiration to push with all your might. It hurts like h***, but it's empowering.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#10 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 02:10 AM
 
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I also experienced intense pain... it wasn't so much burning as a ripping/tearing feeling (which I did). But I was NOT relaxed and was laying flat on my back in a hospital hooked up to an epidural that didn't work so it was crappy all around.

Mom to DD1 reading.gif (11) & DD2 shine.gif homebirth.jpg(7) & DS babyboy.gif  h20homebirth.gif (9/10/12)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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#11 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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The crowning part hurt the most for me, and was the most frightening part. I had a pretty painful labor, but I got through the contractions okay and wasn't freaked out or anything. Ring of fire, though, I was screaming. But it was pretty brief, and a few seconds later, there was dd, cute as the dickens, who is turning 2 on Sunday!
I guess it's a surface pain rather than internal, and for some of us it's harder to deal with. Just the head sitting inside the vagina wasn't painful.
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#12 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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all my births were different but the baby's head sitting in the vagina did not hurt. the contractions hurt. pushing was the worst for me, i hated it. it hurt so much. i remember a ring of fire with my son,it really burned, but it lasted so briefly and you knew it would be over so soon (okay, except with my daughter who had sticky shoulders ugh) and then it's over. the burning is from the baby's head on the perineum stretching it to it's fullest. you can get that sensation somewhat by stretching perineum with your fingers until it starts to hurt if you were ambitious (or if you and your hubby want to fool around together ).
just remember it can be completely different for you than what everyone wrote here.
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#13 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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Buring just as my dd crowned - no biggie - just some skin streching....
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#14 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 03:47 AM
 
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i got the Ring of Fire with both right as they were crowning ~ with my son, it felt like someone was slicing up my yoni with razorblades that were on fire. (also tore very badly with that birth)... with my daughter, i didn't feel the ring of fire until right before she emerged, and i *knew* she was coming... it was very painful, like, excrutiating, but it only lasted a couple of seconds.

really i think the pressure was more intense ~ i, too, felt like i was about to poop out a baby... although really i thought something along the lines of, "so THIS is what happens when you eat a watermelon seed..."
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#15 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 04:37 AM
 
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I honestly believe that the "ring of fire" is your body's way of slowing your pushing down - or stopping it altogether for just a while. This allows the skin to stretch all around the baby's head, then ease out.

Watching a woman birth undirected, she will often gasp when this sensation occurs - and not push. Then, with the next contraction, it's almost like she'll be hesitant to really push, so her body will push the baby out slowly.

This is not always the case, for sure, but I think it's designed perfectly for a reason.
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#16 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 08:09 AM
 
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With baby #1 I had the classic Ring Of Fire right as his head popped out. It's very obvious in the video, the primal yell and whatnot. With baby #2, I honestly don't recall any burning but do recall the neat feeling of him squirming in thebirth canal.
Namaste, Tara
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#17 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 08:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
i felt like my kids heads were emerging from my butt!
:

I had read so many times that pushing didn't really hurt, so I thought it would be a welcome relief for me. But pushing was painful for me, so your experience could be nearly anything. I do think it is best to prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised.

The thing that surprised me the most was how much the contractions spaced out in between pushes. I actually got a good 1-2 mn rest (seemed longer) in between contractions, where I felt mostly pressure. So for me, the pushing contractions and the pushing hurt, but during the rest periods, I didn't feel any pain, just pressure.
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#18 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
I honestly believe that the "ring of fire" is your body's way of slowing your pushing down - or stopping it altogether for just a while. This allows the skin to stretch all around the baby's head, then ease out.

Watching a woman birth undirected, she will often gasp when this sensation occurs - and not push. Then, with the next contraction, it's almost like she'll be hesitant to really push, so her body will push the baby out slowly.

This is not always the case, for sure, but I think it's designed perfectly for a reason.
Hmmm...interesting. That will help my thought process for the next one...

Dd's birth was rough for me but mostly because it was a speeding bullet that I was trying to hold onto and I had no clue what was going on. The ring of fire was very memorable for me but it was right at the very end seconds before she popped out. I just remember hollering "it burns, it burns..." But then it was gone soon as her head emerged.
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#19 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
I honestly believe that the "ring of fire" is your body's way of slowing your pushing down - or stopping it altogether for just a while. This allows the skin to stretch all around the baby's head, then ease out.

Watching a woman birth undirected, she will often gasp when this sensation occurs - and not push. Then, with the next contraction, it's almost like she'll be hesitant to really push, so her body will push the baby out slowly.

This is not always the case, for sure, but I think it's designed perfectly for a reason.
I totally agree with this. I remember when I first heard about the "ring of fire" and wondering what its purpose was. This makes perfect sense!
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#20 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
I honestly believe that the "ring of fire" is your body's way of slowing your pushing down - or stopping it altogether for just a while. This allows the skin to stretch all around the baby's head, then ease out.

Watching a woman birth undirected, she will often gasp when this sensation occurs - and not push. Then, with the next contraction, it's almost like she'll be hesitant to really push, so her body will push the baby out slowly.

This is not always the case, for sure, but I think it's designed perfectly for a reason.
I haven't been directed on how to push and I also haven't experienced that ring of fire that just sounds awful! What I have experienced is laughing as the baby crowns and then reaching a point, where I either ask for or perform perenial support. But, that lasts for about 2 secs and then the head is out. That's just been my experience. Oh, and I do hypnosis for childbirth, too.

Edited to add: I've never torn in the least. And, my son was born posterior with his hand beside his head, so that was a little tricky.

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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#21 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 10:20 AM
 
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during my vbac, I only felt the "ring of fire" as baby's head was passing through my cervix. Once her head passed my cervix, it quit burning so much and I quit holding back during pushing. All I can remember about it now is how I put my hands down there and felt her head come out of me. I remember very distinctly how her head felt, how it was all wrinkled up, how I felt it changing shape, how suprised I was that it didn't feel hard. But I don't remember any pain after her head got past my cervix (though I remember remembering pain the next day).
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#22 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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I did not have the ring of fire w/ my first, whose head was much bigger than my 2nd's (I think 37cm vs 35? not sure if I'm remember right). I did tear w/ him.

W/ my second, I felt the ring of fire and started huffing instead of pushing. And my doctor gave me an episotomy. I REALLY don't think I needed it.

I didn't think the ring of fire was all that bad. It burned like heck and made me stop pushing, but it didn't last long. Oh, and I only felt it when his head was crowning. It felt neat when his head was descending the vagina, I could feel that. I also didn't think pushing or the contractions that make you feel like pushing hurt at all. It feels more like having to take a big poop really bad. So it actually feels good to push, imo.
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#23 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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I didn't experience any pain from my son being in the birth canal, but when he crowned I felt like my vagina was ripping in two. It did hurt and I screamed really loudly, but once his head was out the pain was over. And actually, I didn't tear at all
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#24 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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I never felt the ring of fire. #1 was pulled out with forceps and I felt like I was being turned inside out. I remember saying "It feels like you're pulling my uterus out!" #2's head just popped out but all I could feel was the immense relief that it was finally OVER! All the pain was still in the belly and hips, though.
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#25 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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I felt the ring of fire as he was crowning, not before.

That was when I remembered that I had made a CD of music for the birth, and forgotten about it. I didn't want anyone going to put it on, though, and I starting singing for a bit - I have a weird sense of humor - 'I went down, down, down in a burnin' ring of fire...' :LOL

Re: what Pam said, he crowned at the end of a contraction, so I was just standing there, waiting for the next contraction (they were 2-3 minutes apart, I think), so I think that makes a lot of sense - my skin had lots of time to stretch and I didn't tear at all, not even a 'skid mark' - which I did have w/ dd, who was a smaller baby w/ a smaller head!

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#26 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 01:22 PM
 
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The moving through the birth canal was much more painful for me than crowning. There was burning, but all of pushing was pretty much painful, so it didn't much matter. I was glad to be doing something and pushed through the pain, like a champion. Of course, I tore a little bit, but didn't require anything at all for it and didn't feel it at all.

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#27 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 01:29 PM
 
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I was TERRIFIED of crowning when I was pregnant. I just thought my yoni was too small to push a baby thru, and it would hurt like hell.

But it didn't hurt at all for me.

I tore, 3 stitches outside and dunno how many inside, but my yoni was stretched so much it felt numb. I felt the ripping, but no pain.

I agree that it felt like taking a big crap. I was overwhelmed by the concept of vaginal delivery, so I just pretended I was going to the bathroom. My midwife and doula were saying, "oh there you go, you're pushing your baby down" and I was like "shut up! I'm just having a big ."
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#28 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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I had a VBAC with an epidural and they turned it down so I could feel to push. I don't remember feeling anything when she crowned. It was probably due to the epidural, but I could feel to push so I wondered about that. I think I was so shocked that I was actually pushing and concentrating so hard on getting her out (they helped me with a vac extractor cuz her heart rate was low and they wanted to get her out fast) that I'm not sure I would have felt what the epi was letting through. I do remember feeling enormous relief after she came out and just fell back on the bed, crying happy tears. What a moment that is when your precious child has just entered the world
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#29 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
I honestly believe that the "ring of fire" is your body's way of slowing your pushing down - or stopping it altogether for just a while. This allows the skin to stretch all around the baby's head, then ease out.

Watching a woman birth undirected, she will often gasp when this sensation occurs - and not push. Then, with the next contraction, it's almost like she'll be hesitant to really push, so her body will push the baby out slowly.

This is not always the case, for sure, but I think it's designed perfectly for a reason.
Wow this describes my 2nd DD's birth perfectly! No tearing either!

with my first DD, I never felt the "ring of fire" - lots of pressure as she was moving down the birth canal but very little pain and no pain when I pushed her out, really it didn't hurt at all. I tore a little that time though!
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#30 of 56 Old 05-27-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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My 4 DDs flew out of me so fast I'm not sure when exactly I felt the burning. It's really not that bad, and it only lasted (for me) for a few seconds.

P.S. They all had moderately large to large heads, and I'm little...
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