"Thought I was dying" question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

So, thoughts?

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#2 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Hmm. I don't know that I ever used that expression. But, with DD1, I had horrible back labor for hours. It was bad enough that I was worried there was something wrong, either with me or the baby. Of course, worse case scenario would be that one of us would die. But that was more my imagination than me actually believing it was happening.
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#3 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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I didn't think iI was dying actually, but part of me wished I was.

I had a pph with my first, and I thought I might die at the time because of how serious and worried everyone was.

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#4 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Actually yes I DID think I was dying...with DS2. 4 days jacked up on pit. and cytotec, an epi. that made NO difference...stadol making me feel like I was flying around and just total confusion & exhaustion - no figure of speach, I thought that was the end of me, and I wanted it to be.

Good thing I won't do that again!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#5 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I've said that before and for me it was just an expression of how bad the pain was. I don't have any pain tolerance at all and my last two labors started out with full on hard labor pains with no warning at all.

Yikes, I'm about 5 days from my edd as I type this...what was I thinking, lol!
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#6 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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my first birth was VERY intense. the pain was overwhelming.

i think it is just an expression.
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#7 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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I think most of the "I thought I was going to die" comes from women explaining why they got an epidural.

I never thought, felt or wished I was dying.

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#8 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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I never used that expression- I mean, I knew I wasn't dying, I knew I was in labor!

The pain WAS more intense than I'd anticipated (having read too many hippie-dippie birth stories while pg with DD1) but I never thought to use "death" terminology to describe it.

If I had pain as intense as labor pain at another time, when I didn't know there was a perfectly natural reason for the pain, I might think I was dying.

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#9 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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I wouldn't describe my experience as "feeling like I was dying" at all. As Ruthla said, I knew I was in labor and that yes it was intense, but no where near feeling like I was going to die from it. I looked at it as my body doing what it needed to do in order to give birth.

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#10 of 54 Old 02-17-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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I've never said that about having babies. For me, I always imagined my body giving my baby these oversized hugs that help them out of their inner world to be with me. I won't say it completely pain-free but it was no where near "dying", that some carry on about.
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#11 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I really did think something was terribly wrong, and I was dying.

I had attended many births before the birth of my ds, plus read lots and lots of birth stories. For the most part, women do pretty well in labor. They cope, they figure out a way to deal with the pain, they are okay.

I couldn't get a grip on any of those things. When I look at my labor, compared to the other labors I've seen, I dealt with it about as well as a woman high on crack. It was in the top 5 of women who can't handle labor well. Seriously. I was a terrible labor-er. I'm hopeful that my labor was very dysfunctional, and that it wasn't me, but I just don't know.
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#12 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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I had an intensely painful labor with an OP posterior baby and back pain. I labored for 24 hours and never felt like I was dying. I didn't get to push so I can't say about that.
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#13 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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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 also hemorrhaged post partum and felt really weak and shaky, and I know a woman who died from hemorrhage after giving birth, so I worried about that as a real possibility (my pph was minor but I couldn't tell and became half convinced everyone was lying to me).

There was also something too about being in such an extreme state, in pain, not having eaten or slept, in the altered state of labourland, and a person had just popped out of me... it was like I wasn't really there, wasn't in the reality I had known. Needles and stithes didnt hurt and I remember feeling very close to death, like I could die as easily as I could live and it was all okay, except that i needed to remain here for my child. It was like existing between the worlds, or as close as I've ever come anyway.
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#14 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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Yes, I thought I was dying. More specifically, I decided there could not exist a merciful God if He could allow a person to be in this much pain and not at least allow them the cooling salve of death.

It hurt.
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#15 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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I had a completely unmedicated birth and was free to do as I pleased, just doing this all in a hospital.

I never thought I was dying, death never crossed my mind and I never describe the pain as dying. I make sure I tell everyone that yes, it hurt but it was still such an amazing experience that I will do it just the same with any other kids I might have in the future. but dying? nah...

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#16 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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I had an epidural with dd and an unmedicated birth with ds (6 weeks ago). During my medicated birth, I did think I was dying. After the epi I felt weak and odd and completed freaked out and was in a sheer state of panic for the next 7 hours until dd was born.

With ds, I felt much more in control. It was painful, but I expected it to be. It was uncomfortable and at times I felt like I wished I could crawl out of my skin to escape the sensations of labor, but I never once thought I was dying. I thought that my body was in fact opening to allow a 7lb child to exit, but I accepted it as something that had to happen.

For me, meditation and deep relaxation really helped and everyone who was with me in labor insisted I appeared to be completely calm and comfortable....apparently I was managing it well despite myself!

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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#17 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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I wouldn't say I thought I was dying during labor but the pain was very, very intense. I could see why someone would say that. After labor and a 4th degree tear, more pain and because at first I felt the stitching....I still couldn't say I felt like I was dying... but the expression fits the amount of pain I was in.

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#18 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 02:21 AM
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I didn't feel like I was dying and never thought to describe it that way. It was only my last labor that was completely unmedicated pain-wise (I was induced with pit). I told my doula that I thought the baby was going to come out my butt and I think a part of me believed it at that time.

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#19 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 03:30 AM
 
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Very intense pain, worse than I have ever experienced before? Yes. Thought I was dying? Nope, never crossed my mind. Wished I was dying? Nope, I knew what was happening, it's not like labor was a surprise and I had no idea there'd be a baby coming ut eventually.
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#20 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 03:46 AM
 
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Never thought I was dying. I didn't cry, scream or shout, even when the contractions were very intense and with no breaks (I did a lot of moaning). It hurt, hurt, hurt, but I never, ever felt like I was dying. I did wish I could just black out, but I knew I was having a baby, not having my insides ripped out. It's just different.
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#21 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
If I had pain as intense as labor pain at another time, when I didn't know there was a perfectly natural reason for the pain, I might think I was dying.
This.

I had a rather intense, FAST labor... I didn't think I was dying, or wanted to. And luckily, I just just as intense an adrenaline rush after (I was screaming how awesome I was at the top of my lungs).

But I didn't feel like I was dying. It actually felt more like I was incredibly constipated and was pooping a big one... that more adequately describes it. Like I was constipated for a month and then it all came and hit me at once.

Ok, that was totally TMI.
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#22 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Danell - Craft Savvy mama to Evan (3/31/06) and Andre (8/29/07)
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#23 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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I've had three natural births - and never thought I was dying, or described it as such.

DD1 was 20 hours with a midwife in a hospital.
DD2 was 9.5 hours with a midwife in a freestanding birth center.
DD3 was 14 hours with two midwives at home. 11 days late.

We used Bradley natural childbirth techniques for all three births. Totally fine, and I cry at a paper cut. No one thought I could have natural births. It was MUCH easier than I expected it to be - after listening to the horror stories.

Physically I consider myself to be a big wuss, but almost 44 hours of labor and birth and I never cried, swore, or said I couldn't do it. I did move around a lot. I did moan and make some really primal noises. After dd1 was born - right after - I said "I could do that again!"
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#24 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 04:54 AM
 
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Actually I never worried for myself or DS while I was in labor. Thinking back that does strike me as a bit odd since it was the most pain I've ever been in (the pushing and crowning part, not the labor itself) and yet, I never thought I was going to die or wished I was going to die. As a PP said, I knew I was in labor.

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#25 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 04:58 AM
 
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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.

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#26 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 05:21 AM
 
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The first time I was terrified that something was profoundly wrong, the pain was so awful. I'd read all this junk about how it was 'good pain', and it was bad bad bad agony.

The second time I knew I'd lived through it last time so I was less scared by it. Still would have wanted to die if it'd been much longer than it was.
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#27 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 05:36 AM
 
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No, but I sure WANTED to die. It was very very bad, there are really no words.
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#28 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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I never thought I was dying in labor, even in pitocin induced transition.

I did think I was going to die with m/s though. Seriously. With DS1 I was throwing up so much all I did was lift my head off the bathroom floor and threw up again. Til I got on obviously needed medication, I was sure I would die on the bathroom floor and my DH would find me when he got home from work.

Oh, and I was also worried about dying on the c/s table for my second c/s. I asked anyone who would listen how many people they had seen die during a c/s. I really should have listened to why my body was rejecting it so much....

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#29 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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Three out of my 4 natural births were totally manageable and great-never thought I was dying-totally great experiences, very fulfilling.
However, my second birth was hell. She was a malpresentation and I had back labor-stayed stuck at transition for over 8 hours-back to back contractions that would not stop, (this was after all day labor) could not get on top of the pain at all, and little to no support. (the midwife convinced dh that he needed rest and I'd be fine, she'd watch me-nope-she took a nap too, left me on the floor convinced labor would never end and that something was wrong.) I didn't really think I was dying-but I saw that something could go wrong very quickly and I was terrified. She was finally born and I promptly had a pph because of massive clots that wouldn't allow the cervix to close. Scary stuff. That's when I didn't CARE if I just went to sleep-the exhaustion was overwhelming.
But I really don't feel that this is in any way indicative of a well managed birth and looking back (being more educated) I do see where my labor was intensely mismanaged in many ways.
My other births were gentle and wonderful.

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#30 of 54 Old 02-18-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
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(I was screaming how awesome I was at the top of my lungs).
This totally made me smile!
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