eta: It was my first birth, but I was prepared to experience the pain. It was intense though! I survived w/out meds.
I said several times in labor that I was dying. I wasn't actually fearing for my life, just describing the pain. Also, I knew that once I said it I would be near the end (you know, like all the women in the birth videos) so I kept saying it hoping it would speed up the process. Turns out I lived.
Pitocin. I blame pitocin.
This next time around, there will be no pitocin. Mark my words.
Me Wife / SAHM / Musician/ Actress/ Queen of this castle. Progeny: William (January 2007), Tristan (November 2008) and expecting Lukas due January 2012!!
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 didn't have anywhere near that amount of fear or pain with my second and third births.
NCB felt more horrible, but it wasn't as pure-pain intensive and I knew we were both fine the whole time. I did not think I was dying during childbirth. I did hate it, though (the level of pain, duration, and physical sensations of transition and pushing).
I think it's different for everyone, as we can see by this thread.
I have had two babies since - one a homebirth and one a long labor with a malpositioned (military) baby ending in transfer and section, but niether of them involved that kind of torment..
Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
Thanks for all the perspectives. Hearing some of you describe that pain makes me weak in the knees! I can't imagine going through those painful labors.
I can only hope that my next goes as well as my last. Because hearing what you guys said makes me want to never open my legs again.
you don't feel the pain forever, but you always remember the experience. I wouldn't trade my birth or the pain for anything in the world. All part of the process and I was thankful to be an active part of it.
~*Have more than you show, speak less than you know*~
: Exactly. I knew I wasn't dying, but I was lying on the floor of hospital waiting room, sobbing and nearly unconscious, begging God to let me die. My DD was posterior, and I had 28 hours of hellish back labor that didn't dialate my cervix so much as a millimeter. It was so much worse then I ever could have imagined, and no meditation, massage, or bathtub made any difference. It felt like being stabbed with a burning knife over and over again.
Truly, I wanted to die. But I do believe that I had an unusually bad labor, and I know for sure that I have a VERY low pain threshold. And for what it's worth, I'm going to do it all over again in about six weeks! Hopefully this baby will be positioned right and labor will go better.
So, yes, unmedicated childbirth is painful. But no, I didn't feel like I was dying. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!
Looking back now I think it's hilarious. At the time it seemed like a totally logical back up plan. Announcing that sure rallied the troops though, everyone stopped panting on the floor and got back to work.
With my second birth (HBAC) the worst it got was announcing to DH "I am NOT having five kids!" during transition. Then about an hour after the birth, I reversed my decision and went back to wanting five kids.
The worst was when I had an epidural--little did I know I was in transition while it was being administered. It was horrible. When I got to push the pain was actually less. The epi never took effect, except it numbed my right leg below the knee. If I knew how soon it would have all been over, I just would have skipped the epi and dealt with the pain.
I can easily imagine how if the pain I was experiencing got out of control or went on for 36 hours, that I might feel like I was dying.
and remembering: little turtle 5/23/2006 and poppyseed 7/15/2009
AP Mom to 5
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.
"One can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." - Plato