What got YOU through that nasty contraction? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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Mostly I just zoned out and rode it through if that makes any sense.

-Angela
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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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
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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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.

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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Old 01-31-2008, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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Old 01-31-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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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

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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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!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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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

Kim. My heart is full! Wife to Ray, Mama to 3 boys!  "Big C", our boy with designer genes, "Little C", and "Baby M" 11/2010.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, these are some great responses, everyone!

Thanks!

-Caitrin

Me whistling.gif Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas stork-boy.gif due January 2012!!  lactivist.gif femalesling.GIFwaterbirth.jpg dishes.gif

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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I just posted a similar question. Great responses to your question will help me out. Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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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...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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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...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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Old 01-31-2008, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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...


-Caitrin

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Old 01-31-2008, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just posted a similar question. Great responses to your question will help me out. Thanks!
You've got a message in your inbox!



-Caitrin

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Old 01-31-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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I, like so many other PP, had a hard time focusing on anything specific. My last labor (my only natural one) was very fast (about 3.25 hours from water breaking to baby completely born). At first I really enjoyed being in the birth tub and vocalizing during contrx. But once they got intense, I just felt like I was doing all I could to hold on. I vocalized a LOT and it helped. It occurred to me later that it's a shame I couldn't use any of that visualization stuff I learned at Bradley. While pushing him out, it really hit me how primal birth is. I reflected on all the women who've gone there before and realized, in the midst of all the I-wanna-die pain how women really have died in birth. It was the most primal feeling I've ever had.

Also : clitoral stimulation really helped while the pain was getting intense (mainly when I was pushing his head out - it took like an hour just to get his head out). My mom kept telling me, "Don't put your hands down there." And I was like, "But it makes the pain feel better!" Looking back now, it's rather embarrassing. Anyone else have any bloopers they're embarrassed about from labor??

 

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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I had the same experience as many of the other mamas. I focused on breathing very deeply (hypnobirthing style) and just getting through 'this' contraction. Not worrying about the one before or after. It's all about the here and now! Also I had to be moving! I was barely still at all except for when I was in the tub or on the toilet! Dancing with DH helped a lot too.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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Pretty much just knowing it would end in a short amount of time. And focusing on the present, not how much longer I had to go.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:29 AM
 
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In active labor, close to transition it really helped me to picture my cervix opening, the flower image & to just be really curious about the pain - to really experience the ctx & feel how it was helping me have my baby. I tend to have really long transitions (lucky me) & I don't know where I came up with this but during my 1st labor (& all that have come after) when I get to that "I can't do this anymore" part, I start counting. When I feel the rush coming one I take a couple of deep breaths & once it starts to become painful I start counting. I know by the time I make it to 40, I'll be coming down. I think this really helps me know that the pain really will end. I've always wanted to think about , "one ctx at a time" but for some reason this doesn't work for me. HTH!
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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Low-pitched moaning or shaking my legs like crazy...

also, warm water was great.

~*Have more than you show, speak less than you know*~

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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Well, I had read a lot of the Ina May stuff about orgasmic birth experiences... so, going into each one I thought "maybe this is going to be the one that feels good." I think that it did help me stay relaxed because I wasn't doing that tense up because you are expecting pain thing.

Ina May also suggested doing horse lips - so I did those in the water - basically blowing bubbles. It distracts from the pain if you are focusing on making your lips work. I also concentrated on trying to make my vocalizations sound exactly like a mama bear growl.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:43 AM
 
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Ooooooooo-pen. Oooooooooo-pen.
Horsey lips. Brrrrrrrr.
Ooooooo-pen. Oooooooo-pen.
Horsey lips. Brrrrrrrr.

You're gonna get This Big (imagining the opening of a fully-dialated cervix).

What helped most of all was moving around as I pleased and choosing the position the felt best. I remember some that I *hated* and the waves felt completely different in them.

Oh - here's a kind of embarrassing story. I didn't realize until later that during every. single. wave I'd relax my lower half as much as possible while pressing my head like hell into my partner's hands, chest, whatever. That's kinda freaky to realize after the fact. And yes, my partner's a dream.
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