birth- more or less painful than expected? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: was birth more or less painful than expected?
More painful. 103 100.00%
Less painful. 100 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is in addition to the great thread i just read about *transition and pushing* just to get a better picture of your experiences thanks!
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#2 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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I voted "more painful"--what I meant was, birth was more painful the first time than I thought it would be.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#3 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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It was intense, and easily the hardest thing I've ever done, but less painful than the media led me to believe.

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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#4 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Just the pushing/birthing part? Not bad at all. The slight tearing/ring of fire? Very bad -- but that lasted seconds only.

I didn't vote because it was actually about as painful as I'd expected it to be.

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#5 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I voted more, but I hesitate to quantify it as "painful." Yes, it hurt. A LOT. But it was not "pain" in the sense of being like a broken leg or a punch in the face. It was more like the most intense sensations ever. Okay, I know this sounds fruity, but bear with me. I was definitely unprepared for how INTENSE it was going to be, and how HARD I would have to work. Does that make sense? And I'm not trying to rephrase it to make it sound all hippy-dippy and cutesy. That's honestly how it felt.

I knew in advance that the best way to deal with it would be to just surrender myself over to it, but I didn't know just how much I would have to do that. Labor is like being strapped to a rocket and getting shot into space at a thousand miles an hour.The weight of the atmosphere is crushing you, nd the wind is blowing so hard against you, but there's nothing you can do about it because you're strapped to that rocket. You just go along for the ride and wait till you land. There's no point in fighting it.

Now when the baby actually came out, I had no pain at all because I was in the pool. I didn't feel comfortable in it during labor, so I probably would have hurt a lot less had I been in the water more. But I had no ring of fire, no nothing. I didn't feel myself tear. I broke my tailbone and didn't even feel THAT until afterwards. Hell, I even stood up in the pool with the baby half hanging out of me because his shoulders got stuck, and I didn't feel that either. I guess it might have been because I was so thrilled to be in that moment that the last thing on my mind was how much it hurt.

Looking back, the feeling of a natural birth was so incredible and amazing, but for a few days afterwards I was just utterly flabbergasted at how overwhelming it had been. I couldn't believe I'd survived something that intense. So yes, for me, it was much more "painful" than I'd anticipated. But it was totally worth it, and I'll gladly do it again next time.
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#6 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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The first one was very painful, because I was very scared. The second one was virtually painless.
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#7 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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I didn't know what to vote.
With my 1st, it was more painful and intense than I had imagined. But with my 2nd, I kept saying "no, it gets worse than this... this isn't anything yet!" but it just wasn't as painful and intense as my 1st.
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#8 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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I don't know how to vote either because while it was painful near transition, it wasn't all that bad during most of labor. But I don't want to vote "less painful than expected" because it was about as painful has I was expecting. Kinda in the middle of this one.
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#9 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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I voted both! My first birth was LESS painful than I expected (overall). I was not well-prepared and expected to need drugs, and ended up not taking the drugs until I was 9cm -- and had I known better, maybe I would have waited and not taken the drugs.

My second birth, six years later and after reading a ton of natural birth stories, was MORE painful than I expected. By the second birth, I thought I was an expert and well-read and would relax and it wouldn't hurt. But it still hurt, so it was actually "more" painful than I expected.

Birth is simply not predictable! Every woman, every birth, is different!

Editing to add -- Also, before the first birth, I used to have horrible menstrual cramps. Horrible. Sometimes medications just flat-out wouldn't work. At all. I'd be in bed tapping my forehead against the wall for hours, to distract myself from waiting out the pain. Then, after the baby, my cramps were bearable! So perhaps part of the second birth being "more" painful was that I wasn't as accustomed to dealing with pain anymore.

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#10 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Also voted both. First time- much less painful than I thought. More like abdominal tightening and then intense pressure, and it was over so fast I never really had a chance to worry about it. All in all a very pleasant and do-able experience. 2nd time not very pleasantly surprised that it was quite excruciating, continual knifelike pains in my cervix. Thankfully over very quickly. Both were natural, no-intervention, out of hosp. births.
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#11 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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I voted less, b/c I really feel like it isn't that bad. I've had a temp crown fall off a tooth with a nerve and felt that was MUCH worse than childbirth.

That said - pushing sucks for me. Transition is just shaky and intense, not painful per se. Pushing SUCKS. You know it will hurt worse to push rather than to blow off the force of the contraction, but you know you have to do it to birth the babe. I did coached pushing with my first, and was bound and determined to let it all just flow out with my 2nd. Hell no! After 1 attempt to just ease it out - I had someone count out loud for me and pushed that babe completely down and out on the next contrax.

Much better for me to just push quickly, efficiently, and FAST.
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#12 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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#1 was what I expected it to be. #2 was worse than I expected it to be (I didn't expect it to get easier I just didn't think it could ever be that bad). So after #2 and knowing how bad it could be I always knew it could be that bad again. Thankfully I have only ever experienced that kind of pain once again but I always expect it to be terrible like those 2 times, just so I am not unprepared for the possibility. So I guess both lol.

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#13 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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It was much worse than I expected.

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#14 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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About what I expected, just a little more painful with #1 cause pushing sucked.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#15 of 75 Old 10-24-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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I had two hospital births with an epidural and one natural, at home birth. I expected the home birth (the last one) to be more painful, contraction wise, but it wasn't, I got in the tub and I was fine. I did feel that "ring of fire" for about 10 seconds that I never felt before, so that sorta blew me the eff away. I voted "more painful". But, I don;t mean to scare anyone. It only lasted a few seconds while my daughter's head passed through, from there, she was out and the burn was gone almost before I could recognize what I was feeling
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#16 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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I don't like the word pain either. I agree with "intense", "uncomfortable/discomfort", "hard/hard work", and even "hurts", but pain just doesn't fit with my experience. I voted less painful than I expected because I didn't feel pain. But I didn't really expect to, either. I was prepared for and believed in the possibility of a pain-free birth.

ETA: Afterpains and sore nipples...that's another story!

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#17 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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Neither... I had a pretty accurate preconception.
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#18 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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The actual birth part was less painful then I'd expected. The labour was more painful than I'd imagined.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#19 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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voted "more" but didn't know how to vote.

I found early labor more painful than I exepected, mainly since I was trying to use Hypnobabies and was aiming for a painless birth, which it wasn't

BUT I found transition very manageable and was almost in a trance-like state and I could feel the "ring of fire" very mildly and had a 2nd degree tear, but it was painless and quick. I was very surprised by that, as I imagined pushing the baby out would be the worst part, and it definitely was not (it was painful in the hours/days/weeks after though!)
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#20 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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i've given birth three times and each time i've been surprised at how painful it is. one would think that after the first time, i'd be prepared for the experience, but so far i've ended up whiningly indignant at how much pain i'm in.

(eta: for the record, it didn't stop me from birthing unassisted the last two times. the first time was a hospital birth with morphine at 4cm and demerol at 7cm.)

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#21 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:38 AM
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I didn't vote because both answers are true for me.

With my first dd, real contractions began shortly after SROM and I labored for about 7 hours. It was intense and uncomfortable, but I wouldn't describe it as painful.

With my second dd, my water broke at midnight, contractions were few and far between until 7:30 am, and dd was born at 10 on the dot. It felt a little like being hit by a truck. I had a wonderful and supportive doula, and she helped a ton, but the only thing that kept me from screaming a lot of profanities and demanding drugs was my desire not to hurt her feelings. I'm pretty sure I was going through transition when I felt that way, so I'm glad now that she inhibited that urge (and since she was EXTREMELY helpful with comfort measures, I don't feel like I was unduly constrained.)
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#22 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post
I didn't vote because both answers are true for me.
: Less painful the first time, more painful the second.
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#23 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 07:25 AM
 
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i was shocked at how fast & easy labor was, both times. and the pushing, too.
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#24 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 07:49 AM
 
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I just voted less painful, and it tied the vote! haha.

I wasn't expecting to have pain to begin with because i planned on using a hypnotherapist. My dad was my mother's hypnotherapist when i was born and she didn't have any pain, but i did expect to have to fight it more.

After it was all over i thought, that was it?? It wasn't that hard to keep my mind focused on relaxing. It was also much faster (7 hours of labor) than i expected it to be so i think that had something to do with it. When it came time to push i thought, oh... already? Great! lol
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#25 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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I voted less. The mainstream media wants us to believe that death would almost be a preferable option to pain of giving birth.

I agree with PPs who said it was very intense. It hurt, but the second I laid hands on my baby, any pain I had was gone. In fact, I ended up on such an emotional high afterwards, that I had a hard time getting to sleep. Any discomfort afterward was minimal as a result.

I had a much tougher time with the roller coaster of post-partum emotions/baby blues/raging hormones that kicked in several days later.

Jackie, Catholic mama to Elijah (6/07) & Gabriel (2/10) and our angel baby, m/c 7/29/12. Expecting someone new in October 2014!
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#26 of 75 Old 10-25-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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I voted less, but it was about what I expected. It wasn't as bad as the media makes it out to be.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#27 of 75 Old 10-26-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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It was about as painful as I expected, but no one can really prepare you for the ring of fire. I was fighting it every step of the way, though. LOL Maybe if they had let me stay in the water I would have coped better, or if it had been a wee bit slower. I went from 5cm to done in 3 hours. I didn't know I would be so swollen! And sore, as if I had run a marathon or had a personal trainer kick my butt. I would totally recommend being in good shape - walking alot, doing cardio, lunges, squats, strength training all over, etc.

I had no pain after she came out. The afterpains/them pressing on my abdomen to slow my bleeding wasn't fun, and neither were the stitches (I felt every one even though she used a local), but nothing compared to the birth. I wasn't tired/sleepy - just sore, and physically drained.

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#28 of 75 Old 10-26-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I chose both! My first birth was less painful than I had expected. (More exhausting, though!) My second birth was more painful than I had expected... I thought it would be like my first, only easier.

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#29 of 75 Old 10-26-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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i didn't vote, b/c my answer is neither. i didn't have any expectations about labor other than it would be a lot of work, intense and it would be big. i never speculated how big or intense, though. it was big and a lot of work, but i loved pretty much every minute of labor, and i think not placing any expectations on it helped me to accept and release more to it.
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#30 of 75 Old 10-26-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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Well, with my first, it was more painful than I could have imagined for quite a long time. However, I never once thought like "give me pain meds" or even "I can't do this anymore".. I went completely silent and pushed through and it was amazing.
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