Labor - Pain or no Pain? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How many of you have had painless labors?

 

How many of you have had a painless surgery without chemicals? I know there are people out there who've done it. Obstetricians have been known to do it, as have dentists. I even read about painless hand surgery with cutting into bone.

 

Do you believe that your state of mind influences the length of time active labor takes?

 

I've found that my labors are faster and gentler each time. I've only had one painless labor all the way through. I'm talking about when active labor kicked in: in early labor I had a painful contraction when I was out trying to take a walk thinking that I wasn't ready to go into active labor yet - it was my first day birth - a treat. That labor went really fast and I became aware of being in an alternate state of consciousness as I came up to transition. It was so neat. That was baby #4. With baby #5 I found that it was hard for at least a half hour and there was pain, but then she came out posterior which helped me understand why it felt weird. With #6, my last, I didn't have a painless active labor but I also didn't work against myself and I was done 20 minutes after it set in. I would describe the pain as an annoying little bite to the peak that made me moan and writhe a little but then the whole affair was over so quickly that I really couldn't complain and I wasn't worn out by it. (delivering the placenta was a bit more taxing, taking 3 more hours of discomfort)

 

I basically had babe #1 - 12 hours, some real pain but easier than a lot of women

#2 - 5-7 hours - some more real pain after 7 centimeters dilation

#3 -  3 hours pain/vomiting painless pushing, biggest baby

#4 -  an hour or so active labor, no pain while in the tub in active labor, waterbirth, almost painless pushing again

#5 - 30 minutes, gentle, even painless up to that point then some real pain/swearing

#6 - 20 minutes, a few jokes about being happy to stay pregnant and stop the discomfort another month just before pushing (small breech)

 

Is the shortening labor phenomina that many mothers report just a result of an expectation that they can have a shorter labor? Does it get easier because we learn to believe in our bodies more and more as we go?

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#2 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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I had two awesome births that were not quite painless but were basically short, happy births.  Very spiritual and positive and the focus wasn't on the pain.  Then my third birth (just a few weeks ago) was anything but spiritual... yes, she was my biggest baby by far (8.5 lbs vs 5 lbs and 6 lbs) but it was just, something felt bad about the whole thing.  It was four hours long, just about, compared with five hours with my first and 1.5 hours with my second.  But it just felt immensely painful and scary throughout.  (It was also the only hospital birth, so go figure.)  Honestly, it sucked.  I had gone into it with a positive expectation that it would rock like my other two births.  It didn't.  I'm still trying to process it.  But yeah, in my case, expectation did not influence the outcome, nor did birth order, apparently.

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#3 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had two awesome births that were not quite painless but were basically short, happy births.  Very spiritual and positive and the focus wasn't on the pain.  Then my third birth (just a few weeks ago) was anything but spiritual... yes, she was my biggest baby by far (8.5 lbs vs 5 lbs and 6 lbs) but it was just, something felt bad about the whole thing.  It was four hours long, just about, compared with five hours with my first and 1.5 hours with my second.  But it just felt immensely painful and scary throughout.  (It was also the only hospital birth, so go figure.)  Honestly, it sucked.  I had gone into it with a positive expectation that it would rock like my other two births.  It didn't.  I'm still trying to process it.  But yeah, in my case, expectation did not influence the outcome, nor did birth order, apparently.

 

Do you feel like people set you up to be tense/worried this time around?

 

Do you believe your mental state has anything to do with the perception of pain?

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#4 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 04:46 PM
 
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No... I couldn't wait to go into labor, actually and was really gung ho about it.  But something felt off from the beginning and we ended up going to the hospital.  DD had some heavy meconium and her face was very bruised and due to heart rate stuff they were really pushing me to get her out very quickly, I'm not really sure if they were just being on the cautious side or if something was truly up.  I also had very bad back labor.  I had had back labor with my first, but it wasn't that bad... with this birth, it felt completely different, just pain everywhere, in my back but, really, all over.  The pushing wasn't too bad though, but the other parts were terrible.  Mentally, I wasn't THRILLED about being in the hospital but actually feeling rather OK.  DH was there, the nurse was awesome and acted pretty much like a doula and was very sweet and reassuring, everyone was very respectful.  But... I wasn't feeling good at all.

 

I'm generally very calm and turned inwards during labor and any other emergencies/pain/etc - but this time I couldn't focus very well at all, I just had a sense of "something is wrong" going through me the whole time.  I don't think anything was REALLY truly irrevocably wrong, but more so that babes was stressed and I was picking up on that, if that makes sense.  With DD1 (the UC) I was almost hypnotically connected to her and I felt she was calm and I was calm.  This DD just didn't seem calm.  If that makes sense.  Maybe it sounds flaky but that's what I chalk it up to.  She panicked and I felt it and panicked with her.

 

The other theory I have is that she was just positioned wrong.  I had a few episodes of false labor with her for about a month before the birth, where labor started, quickly became very painful, and then just stopped altogether.  I think there was something seriously wrong with her positioning from the start, and she was almost a month overdue... I think she was just having issues coming out.  (That's why we were in the hospital in the first place.)

 

My UC (with #2) I knew everything was going well and went swimmingly.  I think the pain this time was happening because things were not going as smoothly as they could have been.  I think this pain was the type that was a warning to me to not UC.. not just "normal" labor pain but "something is wrong" pain.  (We had been open to that option until labor started, but neither DH nor I felt right staying home this time.  Had we felt comfortable, we would have UC-d again, but it just didn't feel right.)

 

In the end, she DID end up OK, and I did as well, healthwise... but they did have to do some work on her due to the meconium.  She might have been just fine with a UC too but I guess in the end I'm glad we were around other people this time.  I'm all about trusting birth but I don't feel it would have turned out great this time had we been on our own.  I'm not generalizing for all births, but this one in particular.

 

ETA: If anything, the nurses and midwife and doctor were the ones telling me that everything was just fine and peachy, according to the monitors.  I was the one who kept saying "there's something wrong" over again.  I remember the mw saying, "I trust your instincts but there really doesn't seem to be anything wrong," etc.  It wasn't until I was almost at the end that they broke my water (I had a bulging bag and I begged them to do it) and then the heavy mec was visible and they then panicked, had me lay on my back and do purple pushing and call the pediatrician in and yell at me to get her out, don't stop pushing etc.  That part was the least painful.  It was everything leading up to it (when I was free to labor in any position etc) that sucked more.  They even offered me the tub which helped SO MUCH with DC1 for pain relief... but I was in too much pain to even hear of going across the hall to the tub.  I don't believe it was typical pain at all.  If I had started out with this labor instead of the other two that went well, I don't know if I would have had another child afterwards.  It was really that bad.

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#5 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm generally very calm and turned inwards during labor and any other emergencies/pain/etc - but this time I couldn't focus very well at all, I just had a sense of "something is wrong" going through me the whole time.  I don't think anything was REALLY truly irrevocably wrong, but more so that babes was stressed and I was picking up on that, if that makes sense.  With DD1 (the UC) I was almost hypnotically connected to her and I felt she was calm and I was calm.  This DD just didn't seem calm.  If that makes sense.  Maybe it sounds flaky but that's what I chalk it up to.  She panicked and I felt it and panicked with her.

 

.....

 

ETA: If anything, the nurses and midwife and doctor were the ones telling me that everything was just fine and peachy, according to the monitors.  I was the one who kept saying "there's something wrong" over again.  I remember the mw saying, "I trust your instincts but there really doesn't seem to be anything wrong," etc.  It wasn't until I was almost at the end that they broke my water (I had a bulging bag and I begged them to do it) and then the heavy mec was visible and they then panicked, had me lay on my back and do purple pushing and call the pediatrician in and yell at me to get her out, don't stop pushing etc.  That part was the least painful.  It was everything leading up to it (when I was free to labor in any position etc) that sucked more.  They even offered me the tub which helped SO MUCH with DC1 for pain relief... but I was in too much pain to even hear of going across the hall to the tub.  I don't believe it was typical pain at all.  If I had started out with this labor instead of the other two that went well, I don't know if I would have had another child afterwards.  It was really that bad.

 

Pain is a type of communication. I feel like you guys were really smart to recognize that. I personally also refuse to box myself in about where to birth for just such reasons. I do it at home because it's worked for me to do so, no other reason.

 

And I also think you said some very perceptive things here that I'm glad you included in your report. Intuition at its finest.

 

"This DD just didn't seem calm.  If that makes sense...  She panicked and I felt it and panicked with her."

 

Maybe she was tuned into your mind when you heard or thought that big babies have it harder and panicked like you said, causing you both to need more encouragement to get through the process safely. In the front of your mind you didn't know she was getting big, but you knew deep down. And if some expectations that bigger babies were harder was set up in the subconscious, well, there you go.

 

All those parts in there, including the baby, are slippery and mouldable, capable of moving and turning every which way. Logically then, without any tension things should just slide into place, rocking and twirling without bruising or damage.

 

I'm curious, did you ever try hanging upside down on a back board or any other methods to disengage the baby and let her reposition?

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#6 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 06:18 PM
 
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My labor was 8 hours (with my only lo) long and was virtually painless. It was extremely intense..I could not speak hardly but I honestly wouldnt call it painful. Ive had worse stomach aches and period cramps. When the urge to push took over it was intense, but in a different way. I was just scared I was going to rip myself where the sun dont shine lol. I had a tiny cut when her head came out (up the labia minora) that actually did hurt.

I believe first of all it didnt hurt because it was a blessing bestowed on me. Second because for the majority of my labor no one was staring at me (my husband was on call lol) so i wasnt even 'watching' myself either. I completely melted into dealing with the contractions. Hot water is awesome !!! There were no cervical checks to tell me how far along i was, or anyone else to say,"How long has it been?" Like I said I was just left to do my thing!!! And this allowed me to be relaxed, despite what I was going through, and not to panic. I was not tense, and this allowed everything in my body and my child to just work smoothly. At the end (after my husband had showed up) was the only time I tensed because it was the strangest thing to be stretched beyond belief and think I would tear- this is where my hubby asked me to breath, it was so helpful and the ONLY time I needed the reminder!
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#7 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 06:39 PM
 
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I've had one baby so far.  We planned a UC, and I totally believed that pain is caused by the media brainwashing women to believe it.  I read about women in other countries giving birth painlessly, about people having surgeries under hypnosis without anesthesia, even with just being told they were given an "awesome" drug to prevent pain when it was simply saline.

 

My labor started at 2:03am when I woke up to use the restroom.  I got up out of bed, took one step and fell to the ground.  My legs had buckled underneath me.  I had terrible pain in my back and hips and thought my back had gone out.  I couldn't move.  DH picked me up off the ground and just held me because it hurt to move.  When it stopped, it was like nothing had happened.  I felt nothing in my stomach.

 

It was similiar to getting a kink in your neck, and not being able to turn your head past that point.  Every contraction was like that, even the one right before I got an epidural 10 hours later. 

 

I tried different positions, moving during contractions, they even woke me from sleeping.  I was vomiting from the pain.  Scalding hot water on my back focused my attention on my skin, rather than the deeper pain (I had gotten in the pool within an hour, thinking the baby was coming fast).  At the hospital they started pushing on my hips during them as hard as they could, but it didn't work, even DH pushing as hard as he could didn't do anything.  The epidural took them all away though.

 

I never felt like anything was wrong.  Didn't feel anything between contractions.  Didn't feel anything but tightness in my stomach, no pain.  DD was in a good position, but still pretty high.  She didn't "engage" until after my water was broke, about 5 hours before she was born, and I'd been threatened with a c-section and forced to use pitocin...  She was born at 40W5D, after exactly 20 hours, 3 minutes of labor (~2hrs pushing), weighing 8lbs 7oz, and was 21 inches long.  After the epidural, the only pain I felt was when she was crowning (tore at the front), and the stitches.


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#8 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BlessedJess View Post

 

Pain is a type of communication. I feel like you guys were really smart to recognize that. I personally also refuse to box myself in about where to birth for just such reasons. I do it at home because it's worked for me to do so, no other reason.

 

And I also think you said some very perceptive things here that I'm glad you included in your report. Intuition at its finest.

 

"This DD just didn't seem calm.  If that makes sense...  She panicked and I felt it and panicked with her."

 

Maybe she was tuned into your mind when you heard or thought that big babies have it harder and panicked like you said, causing you both to need more encouragement to get through the process safely. In the front of your mind you didn't know she was getting big, but you knew deep down. And if some expectations that bigger babies were harder was set up in the subconscious, well, there you go.

 

All those parts in there, including the baby, are slippery and mouldable, capable of moving and turning every which way. Logically then, without any tension things should just slide into place, rocking and twirling without bruising or damage.

 

I'm curious, did you ever try hanging upside down on a back board or any other methods to disengage the baby and let her reposition?

 

It's certainly *possible* but I don't think very likely that I was setting her up as being more difficult due to size.  If we knew what lurked in our subconscious, it wouldn't be subconscious, after all.  ;)  But I don't think that's the case.  I had attended births with far bigger babies than I had had and had even been a little cynical when women told me that my two births were so easy because the kids were small.  My five lb-er had a nuchal hand and arm, for one, and for another, I just figured that if anything, bigger babies might stretch the vaginal area a bit more during pushing but the process of dilation etc was pretty much the same, what did a few oz or cm's matter in either direction?  A baby is coming through there!  And bigger babies tend to be stronger so they can help out more during their labors for when they have to move, etc.  (And yes, DD2 is super strong, she was holding her head up immediately after birth, we have a pic of her at 2 days old during tummy time looking straight up, and she even rolled over that day, from tummy to back, so, wow.)  The baby did indeed come out on her own, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that it was my tension that caused her difficulty in her coming out... if that's what you were saying.  (Not sure, didn't want to read something into it that you didn't mean to say!)

 

I did actually try the upside down technique to help her reposition, after a few bouts of that funny labor-nonlabor.  In fact, I did feel her shift the night before labor started, and I definitely spent time on the labor ball that night as well, to help with the positioning, pelvis, etc.  I think that's what got her started, but I still don't feel she was positioned perfectly.  She ended up coming out the "right" way, not sunny side up or anything, no nuchal anything, but I think she rotated right before she was born (I know they do that as part of the cardinal movements but my son, who was also posterior, did the same thing - that's the one I had the not-very-painful back labor with).

 

FWIW I also had some pretty painful parts to the end of pregnancy that I *know* were in no way due to mental state.  I had these weird stabbing pains in my cervical area that I never had with my other two, at all, ever.  They were so freakishly painful, it felt like babes had a knife in there and was trying to stab her way out.  They would come out of absolutely nowhere and bring me to my knees in pain, literally.  I read up on them and other women have had them too.  They weren't just "uncomfortable", they were terrible.  I only had them with her.  Was it because she was a bigger baby?  Meh, I doubt it.  I dunno why I had it with her and not the others.  Just a mystery, I guess.  The cliche of "all pregnancies and labors are different" I guess has some truth to it.  ;)

 

ETA:  Just realized to say that I think that while in ideal situations babies do position themselves just right, clearly sometimes they, well, don't.  ;)  My son's nuchal hand I think was an example of that.  He had his hand up over his head all the time, even before birth, as evidenced in all his ultrasounds, and even sleeps like that now at age 6 and certainly slept like that as an infant.  My water broke with him first and I guess his hand just stuck up there by his head.  It was "wrong" of him biologically speaking to be positioned that way but it was what it was.  (And posterior to boot.) 

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#9 of 24 Old 02-10-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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My labors have definitely not been "painless", but they have been TOTALLY manageable.  My first one was not, it was augmented and that, combined with me being a first-timer who didn't realize the power *I* had over the process led me to fear moving around, causing horrid hip labor and eventually I got an epidural.

 

But my next two unassisted homebirths...well, I learned to LOVE birth.  I am a birth NUT.  I look forward to doing it again right after I get done with the process. ;) (even after my "big one" at almost 10lbs with a 15.5" head)  I think being excited about it has a huge impact on how I perceive the pain, and I think being in a place where I can listen to my body (unhindered) is a HUGE benefit, because I know when I have to move, HOW I have to move, what I need to do, etc, and it allows me to feel some control over the situation, which leads to less pain IMO because there's no fear.


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#10 of 24 Old 02-11-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My labor was 8 hours (with my only lo) long and was virtually painless. It was extremely intense..I could not speak hardly but I honestly wouldnt call it painful. Ive had worse stomach aches and period cramps. When the urge to push took over it was intense, but in a different way. I was just scared I was going to rip myself where the sun dont shine lol. I had a tiny cut when her head came out (up the labia minora) that actually did hurt.

I believe first of all it didnt hurt because it was a blessing bestowed on me. Second because for the majority of my labor no one was staring at me (my husband was on call lol) so i wasnt even 'watching' myself either. I completely melted into dealing with the contractions. Hot water is awesome !!! There were no cervical checks to tell me how far along i was, or anyone else to say,"How long has it been?" Like I said I was just left to do my thing!!! And this allowed me to be relaxed, despite what I was going through, and not to panic. I was not tense, and this allowed everything in my body and my child to just work smoothly. At the end (after my husband had showed up) was the only time I tensed because it was the strangest thing to be stretched beyond belief and think I would tear- this is where my hubby asked me to breath, it was so helpful and the ONLY time I needed the reminder!

 

I'm a water lover, too. I also found a neat trick that kept me from getting those dreaded first degree tears in the upper labia minora, I just held my front parts around the clitorus together as I pushed and only let go as much slack as I needed, keeping the sensitive parts from stretching (they burn like fire when overstretched!) - and when I did that I was able to relax my perinium sooo much easier and felt no pain with pushing the first time I tried it that way. In fact, I didn't even look like I needed to worry about stretching more, with plenty of good blood flow.

 

Moral of the story; the back of the vagina has the big muscles for stretching, let them do the work to save the front! ;-)

 

Also, if in water, bring a cloth or you won't be able to hold on down there. LOL (I learned that the hard way when I had my first waterbirth)

 

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Quote:
I've had one baby so far.  We planned a UC, and I totally believed that pain is caused by the media brainwashing women to believe it.  I read about women in other countries giving birth painlessly, about people having surgeries under hypnosis without anesthesia, even with just being told they were given an "awesome" drug to prevent pain when it was simply saline.

Question; how do you feel about hypnosis for pain control now?

 

 

Quote:
My labor started at 2:03am when I woke up to use the restroom.  I got up out of bed, took one step and fell to the ground.  My legs had buckled underneath me.  I had terrible pain in my back and hips and thought my back had gone out.  I couldn't move.  DH picked me up off the ground and just held me because it hurt to move.  When it stopped, it was like nothing had happened.  I felt nothing in my stomach.

Do you think something was misaligned in your spine? I would have to think that with the uterus pulling forward and connected to your insides with ligaments that if you weren't in a good spinal position you could get that terrible reaction. I certainly would be interested in using a chiropracter in subsequent pregnancies if that ever happened to me.

 

 

Quote:

I tried different positions, moving during contractions, they even woke me from sleeping.  I was vomiting from the pain.  Scalding hot water on my back focused my attention on my skin, rather than the deeper pain (I had gotten in the pool within an hour, thinking the baby was coming fast).  At the hospital they started pushing on my hips during them as hard as they could, but it didn't work, even DH pushing as hard as he could didn't do anything.  The epidural took them all away though.

 

Darn those epidurals. So handy in some situations, yet with so many strings attached. (Like the whole hospital)

 

 

I hope you don't give up on meditation for pain relief. I think God gifted us with an amazing spirit and body that can do those things, but the more I learn about hypnosis - and I've been studying books and reading online, as well as doing experiments on myself lately - it's a real science that has to be done properly to actually control pain. It's good if you are suggestible (I'm very much so) and use that to your advantage, but to really get the most of it, you need to use hypnosis with serious planning ahead of time. Imagine how much less motivated your husband would be to interfere next time if you didn't feel pain when contracting, only pleasure! :-D

 

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It's certainly *possible* but I don't think very likely that I was setting her up as being more difficult due to size.  If we knew what lurked in our subconscious, it wouldn't be subconscious, after all.  ;)  But I don't think that's the case. 

If there was fear in her or you there's a possibility that she settled in the wrong way and didn't move her body around enough to get into the right position. Sometimes it's not what you are doing or thinking - it's what you are not doing or thinking that gets you. Fear tends to freeze people up. And birth depends on lots of favorable movement.

 

 

 

Quote:
 I had attended births with far bigger babies than I had had and had even been a little cynical when women told me that my two births were so easy because the kids were small.  My five lb-er had a nuchal hand and arm, for one, and for another, I just figured that if anything, bigger babies might stretch the vaginal area a bit more during pushing but the process of dilation etc was pretty much the same, what did a few oz or cm's matter in either direction?

I haven't had very big babies ever but my biggest was my easiest to push out. Painless and even borderline pleasurable. For a second I wondered if I would get to orgasm when he came out like other women I'd heard of. Didn't happen though. I ended up being too engrossed in the process to delve into that experience. One of my littlest hurt me so bad I couldn't believe it. And when my half pound smaller wee 5 pound 37 week girl came out posterior I was fooled into thinking she was big while I pushed. She also gave me a miserable transition for a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
A baby is coming through there!  And bigger babies tend to be stronger so they can help out more during their labors for when they have to move, etc.  (And yes, DD2 is super strong, she was holding her head up immediately after birth, we have a pic of her at 2 days old during tummy time looking straight up, and she even rolled over that day, from tummy to back, so, wow.)  The baby did indeed come out on her own, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that it was my tension that caused her difficulty in her coming out...

 

I don't think she would have come out at all (without great trauma, that is) if you weren't making every effort within your state of mind to embrace the experience and allow her enough room to turn at last. But I also think you might have been able to reach a state where the pain would have been impossible to feel. Have you ever tried to numb out a part of your arm with your mind? You can change your state of mind so that you tune out of the pain and your brain builds another picture of you, one that is pain free, even if stuff is happening to you.

 

Think of the people who have been physically attacked and while defending themselves did not feel the pain. One guy I recently watched got stabbed in the face and head 3 times, down to bone, and not until he went into a trauma induced heavy trance in the subway and came out of it on a stretcher did he feel like his head was on fire. You can banish pain in the interests of survival, it's a built in mechanism that just needs to be triggered.

 

 

Quote:

I did actually try the upside down technique to help her reposition, after a few bouts of that funny labor-nonlabor.  In fact, I did feel her shift the night before labor started, and I definitely spent time on the labor ball that night as well, to help with the positioning, pelvis, etc.  I think that's what got her started, but I still don't feel she was positioned perfectly.  She ended up coming out the "right" way, not sunny side up or anything, no nuchal anything, but I think she rotated right before she was born (I know they do that as part of the cardinal movements but my son, who was also posterior, did the same thing - that's the one I had the not-very-painful back labor with).

 

 

I think you are probably describing exactly what happened. I really trust a woman's intuition when it comes to things like that.

 

 

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FWIW I also had some pretty painful parts to the end of pregnancy that I *know* were in no way due to mental state.  I had these weird stabbing pains in my cervical area that I never had with my other two, at all, ever.  They were so freakishly painful, it felt like babes had a knife in there and was trying to stab her way out.  They would come out of absolutely nowhere and bring me to my knees in pain, literally.  I read up on them and other women have had them too.  They weren't just "uncomfortable", they were terrible.  I only had them with her.  Was it because she was a bigger baby?  Meh, I doubt it.  I dunno why I had it with her and not the others.  Just a mystery, I guess.  The cliche of "all pregnancies and labors are different" I guess has some truth to it.  ;)

It's not impossible for pain to be caused by a state of mind but I don't think that's what you are describing. At any rate it does not matter now. What matters is that you find a way to cope with the future situations you might find yourself in.

 

 

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ETA:  Just realized to say that I think that while in ideal situations babies do position themselves just right, clearly sometimes they, well, don't.  ;)  My son's nuchal hand I think was an example of that.  He had his hand up over his head all the time, even before birth, as evidenced in all his ultrasounds, and even sleeps like that now at age 6 and certainly slept like that as an infant.  My water broke with him first and I guess his hand just stuck up there by his head.  It was "wrong" of him biologically speaking to be positioned that way but it was what it was.  (And posterior to boot.) 

I had a nuchal hand once, too, if I remember correctly. With my first. I had a few skid marks then, as well. Babies do what they want. LOL

 

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My labors have definitely not been "painless", but they have been TOTALLY manageable.  My first one was not, it was augmented and that, combined with me being a first-timer who didn't realize the power *I* had over the process led me to fear moving around, causing horrid hip labor and eventually I got an epidural.

 

But my next two unassisted homebirths...well, I learned to LOVE birth.  I am a birth NUT.  I look forward to doing it again right after I get done with the process. ;) (even after my "big one" at almost 10lbs with a 15.5" head)  I think being excited about it has a huge impact on how I perceive the pain, and I think being in a place where I can listen to my body (unhindered) is a HUGE benefit, because I know when I have to move, HOW I have to move, what I need to do, etc, and it allows me to feel some control over the situation, which leads to less pain IMO because there's no fear.

 

I'm with you, I love birth. I'm not going to say I've had painless labors when I haven't, but with my #4 I did, basically have just that. I had 2 since then that were not that way, just proving that there are so many factors it's not a sure thing to happen again just because it happens once.

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I'm a water lover, too. I also found a neat trick that kept me from getting those dreaded first degree tears in the upper labia minora, I just held my front parts around the clitorus together as I pushed and only let go as much slack as I needed, keeping the sensitive parts from stretching (they burn like fire when overstretched!) - and when I did that I was able to relax my perinium sooo much easier and felt no pain with pushing the first time I tried it that way. In fact, I didn't even look like I needed to worry about stretching more, with plenty of good blood flow.

Moral of the story; the back of the vagina has the big muscles for stretching, let them do the work to save the front! ;-)

Also, if in water, bring a cloth or you won't be able to hold on down there. LOL (I learned that the hard way when I had my first waterbirth)




When you say hold together, you mean literally trying to pinch everything together, or to just keep your hand down pressing for support? I read about this before i gave birth but hought i wouldnt need to do it. Haha oh wellll i'm planning to next time!!!
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I didn't have pain during my labor, it was certainly uncomfortable, and I felt claustrophobic at times riding through contractions, but there was no pain. Towards the end I got pretty panicky, I think because she was posterior and wasn't moving much, and I was getting tired. After 31 hours of labor and some position changes, I pushed her out in 20 minutes over the nurse's explanation that I still had a centimeter to dilate. I think both she and I were just done. She came out very purple, with a burst blood vessel in her eye, and a very misshapen head, but was just fine. Her birth was in a hospital, but on a midwife service. They were very chill and left me alone completely.
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I think birth can go either way. I believe it can be painless and I believe it can be painful, naturally, without fear or tension. Each labor, body and baby are different and no two people feel sensation the same. I've had 2 births so far, I didn't have fear or anything, yet they were still painful. My second was very manageable though. I think it can be very harmful to say that birth is inherently painless unless you're scared. That reads as "If you did it right it wouldn't hurt" and that's just not always true. It's like saying "If I can do xyz, everyone can".


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#14 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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I think birth can go either way. I believe it can be painless and I believe it can be painful, naturally, without fear or tension. Each labor, body and baby are different and no two people feel sensation the same. I've had 2 births so far, I didn't have fear or anything, yet they were still painful. My second was very manageable though. I think it can be very harmful to say that birth is inherently painless unless you're scared. That reads as "If you did it right it wouldn't hurt" and that's just not always true. It's like saying "If I can do xyz, everyone can".

I hope I am not the quote you're referring to because I didn't mean to come across that way and was actually just referring to my OWN experiences....I actually mostly agree with you. I DO think that not being afraid of birth CAN help because fear generally causes the body to tense up and we all know that can prolong and worsen pain. That's just how it is for anything. But there are some forma of pain that are a different ballgame all together!! And I also believe that labor is going to be painful no matter what...the Bible says it is going to be! But the way we choose to respond to it can make a huge difference, and I think most of it comes down to how we perceive it. Like the whole "oh my gosh this hurts, I can't do it!!" versus "Oooow, this hurts but I know it won't last and I am this much closer to holding my baby!" Silly example, but I am having trouble explaining myself. LOL

I never foresee myself having a "painless" birth (and I LOVE birth, I wish it could be my hobby!! LOL), because I don't think it's realistic. However, I do look at each birth as an opportunity to learn to respond to my body's needs, and I have found that makes a huge difference in how painful it feels (I say that because I think in many cases it's going to be the same pain no matter what, but it can feel less or moreso depending on my physical and mental response).

But I also think it's a package deal, the whole mindset before and during labor. I mean, confidence is more likely to come through knowledge, experience, and preparation, and with those things generally come better coping techniques or methods, which in turn is goingt to have an effect on how the mother deals with and perceives the pain.

That's my opinion anyway!

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When you say hold together, you mean literally trying to pinch everything together, or to just keep your hand down pressing for support? I read about this before i gave birth but hought i wouldnt need to do it. Haha oh wellll i'm planning to next time!!!

I mean pinch together and release slowly while pushing to allow the perineum to do all the expanding. And don't feel obligated to release everything, just as much as you feel comfortable with as you go.

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I didn't have pain during my labor, it was certainly uncomfortable, and I felt claustrophobic at times riding through contractions, but there was no pain. Towards the end I got pretty panicky, I think because she was posterior and wasn't moving much, and I was getting tired. After 31 hours of labor and some position changes, I pushed her out in 20 minutes over the nurse's explanation that I still had a centimeter to dilate. I think both she and I were just done. She came out very purple, with a burst blood vessel in her eye, and a very misshapen head, but was just fine. Her birth was in a hospital, but on a midwife service. They were very chill and left me alone completely.

It's pretty much normal to feel "panicky" or an adrenaline rush as the ejection reflex sets in. It's not a mistake, it's purposeful on the part of your body to stimulate the pushing reflex and make you alert for the baby's arrival. And I think knowing that helps you deal with it. You can think "yikes" or "weee" there's no wrong way but I prefer to think of it as a rush of excitement. Just like with a roller coaster or water slide. I always feel that way a little bit and hope it is over quickly so I don't start resisting the birth.

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I think birth can go either way. I believe it can be painless and I believe it can be painful, naturally, without fear or tension. Each labor, body and baby are different and no two people feel sensation the same. I've had 2 births so far, I didn't have fear or anything, yet they were still painful. My second was very manageable though. I think it can be very harmful to say that birth is inherently painless unless you're scared. That reads as "If you did it right it wouldn't hurt" and that's just not always true. It's like saying "If I can do xyz, everyone can".

I think so too. Birth can be painless, even inherently painless that way for some women. But there are actual things that can happen that hurt outside of our control. Low mineral levels, for one thing. But I also think that there is a mental state where natural birth or even mortal wounds can be pain free. We naturally are forced into that state during life or death crisis and trauma but I think we can willingly enter that state if we precondition ourselves well in advance of the event. It's not an issue of right or wrong but whether or not you want to access that state to help the process.

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And I also believe that labor is going to be painful no matter what...the Bible says it is going to be! But the way we choose to respond to it can make a huge difference, and I think most of it comes down to how we perceive it. Like the whole "oh my gosh this hurts, I can't do it!!" versus "Oooow, this hurts but I know it won't last and I am this much closer to holding my baby!" Silly example, but I am having trouble explaining myself. LOL

I think perception can be on that level but I also think that people are telling the truth when they say they dilated without feeling it. Without preconditioning. But with it I really think they can feel as little as the best epidural.



 

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I never foresee myself having a "painless" birth (and I LOVE birth, I wish it could be my hobby!! LOL), because I don't think it's realistic.

Maybe not. It depends on your brainwave state. I don't think I fooled myself or that others.

 


Quote:
 However, I do look at each birth as an opportunity to learn to respond to my body's needs, and I have found that makes a huge difference in how painful it feels (I say that because I think in many cases it's going to be the same pain no matter what, but it can feel less or moreso depending on my physical and mental response).

But I also think it's a package deal, the whole mindset before and during labor. I mean, confidence is more likely to come through knowledge, experience, and preparation, and with those things generally come better coping techniques or methods, which in turn is goingt to have an effect on how the mother deals with and perceives the pain.

That's my opinion anyway!

 

I like your over all perspective and I know a lot of us have just that attitude. It makes the whole experience very rewarding to think this way. If we are too tense or afraid we might not even contract at all and even reverse our dilation. Since birth will come no matter what, better to be totally open to the experience and let it happen the way it wants to with surrender and peace than to fight and delay progress until we are desperate to be finally done.

 

There's no failure in birth. Pain is not failure. There's only feedback from the experience to show us the results of our perspective.

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#16 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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I think perception can be on that level but I also think that people are telling the truth when they say they dilated without feeling it. Without preconditioning. But with it I really think they can feel as little as the best epidural.

 

 

I won't argue with that...I have been at 6cm before I even start labor with each baby.  So...yeah..  And when I refer to it being unrealistic, I'm speaking for myself (not trying to debate anyone else's experience...I HATE it when people do that to me when they have no idea how I handle things.  So I don't do it to others!)...I definitely approach labor in a very positive manner, but I don't expect it to be painless, or even HOPE for it to be.  That's just me. :)

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I won't argue with that...I have been at 6cm before I even start labor with each baby.  So...yeah..  And when I refer to it being unrealistic, I'm speaking for myself (not trying to debate anyone else's experience))...I definitely approach labor in a very positive manner, but I don't expect it to be painless, or even HOPE for it to be.  That's just me. :)

 I hear ya.

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I hope I am not the quote you're referring to because I didn't mean to come across that way and was actually just referring to my OWN experiences....I actually mostly agree with you. I DO think that not being afraid of birth CAN help because fear generally causes the body to tense up and we all know that can prolong and worsen pain. That's just how it is for anything. But there are some forma of pain that are a different ballgame all together!! And I also believe that labor is going to be painful no matter what...the Bible says it is going to be! But the way we choose to respond to it can make a huge difference, and I think most of it comes down to how we perceive it. Like the whole "oh my gosh this hurts, I can't do it!!" versus "Oooow, this hurts but I know it won't last and I am this much closer to holding my baby!" Silly example, but I am having trouble explaining myself. LOL

I never foresee myself having a "painless" birth (and I LOVE birth, I wish it could be my hobby!! LOL), because I don't think it's realistic. However, I do look at each birth as an opportunity to learn to respond to my body's needs, and I have found that makes a huge difference in how painful it feels (I say that because I think in many cases it's going to be the same pain no matter what, but it can feel less or moreso depending on my physical and mental response).

But I also think it's a package deal, the whole mindset before and during labor. I mean, confidence is more likely to come through knowledge, experience, and preparation, and with those things generally come better coping techniques or methods, which in turn is goingt to have an effect on how the mother deals with and perceives the pain.

That's my opinion anyway!

 

Wasn't referring to anyone specific, just a common theme I've seen. I've had someone argue with me that I must  have been scared during my birth with my first in order for it to be so painful, as if she knew my mind and thoughts better than I did? Lol

 

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I won't argue with that...I have been at 6cm before I even start labor with each baby.  So...yeah..  And when I refer to it being unrealistic, I'm speaking for myself (not trying to debate anyone else's experience...I HATE it when people do that to me when they have no idea how I handle things.  So I don't do it to others!)...I definitely approach labor in a very positive manner, but I don't expect it to be painless, or even HOPE for it to be.  That's just me. :)

I also start labor at least 5-6 cm dilated. ;)


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I think birth can go either way. I believe it can be painless and I believe it can be painful, naturally, without fear or tension. Each labor, body and baby are different and no two people feel sensation the same. I've had 2 births so far, I didn't have fear or anything, yet they were still painful. My second was very manageable though. I think it can be very harmful to say that birth is inherently painless unless you're scared. That reads as "If you did it right it wouldn't hurt" and that's just not always true. It's like saying "If I can do xyz, everyone can".

I agree with this. Birth can be painful whether scared or not. I do believe being frightened (among other things) can still be a cause of pain. Just doesn't mean it was.
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#20 of 24 Old 02-13-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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I hope no one minds me posting here. I saw this in New Posts, and was curious.


Pain is personal. We all experience pain differently. I think you can get a better idea of your personal pain tolerance by looking at how you felt pain in the past.
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#21 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 03:22 PM
 
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Lets recall the Bible threatens the pain to in creas for woman as punishmente and this. Sounds like also a punishment between the union of man and wife. My husband was the only one to catch my third which was his job from the start but was ursurped by fear based care by the hospital industry
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Lets recall the Bible threatens the pain to in creas for woman as punishmente and this. Sounds like also a punishment between the union of man and wife. My husband was the only one to catch my third which was his job from the start but was ursurped by fear based care by the hospital industry


http://knittedinthewomb.com/wp/?p=926

 

I think you will find the link I gave to be useful in determining what that verse means. I think that Gen 3:16 is about how women will have to work hard and have many children to get through life - something that may not have been needed before then.

 

Just as the man is told he will have to work hard and fight with weeds. I also think God is leading us back to a lifestyle more like the garden where we came from and  we don't have to use industrial agriculture and toil the same way as we used to. Permaculture and other such methods eliminate the back breaking work while balancing nature back into a garden of plenty.

 

Much in the same way women are being put in touch with their nature, with the way we were created which helps to eliminate the burden of being mothers. (all the artificial costs of parenting people put on themselves, for example)

 

But even still, I see in my own life that with toil I bring forth children. As a working mother bringing children into the world I don't get to do it in a state of retirement from my labors, rather the children increase my responsibilities as they come. The only way to change that is for society to live in a more balanced way and putting families above business. Right now and as it has been since the garden many mothers work extra hard and must deal with their domestic burdens without much help.

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#23 of 24 Old 02-18-2013, 11:14 PM
 
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Not for me.

 

My mother reports she had painless labors so based on that, although I was prepared for the idea that childbirth might be painful, I was hopeful that it wouldn't be or at least not terribly so.

 

Big fat no to that one, my first was painful beyond words (13 h at home mostly in the tub, drove to hospital while pushing gahh) and my second only slightly less so but luckily it was over very soon (90 minute unplanned UC at home under shower).

 

If anything my mental state was more stressed with my second because I remembered with dread exactly how horrific the first one was (vs blissful naivete prior), also because my 2 y/o was climbing all over me and screaming while I was contracting (so awful) until DH finally got her out of there.

 

I think labor and delivery often get easier with experience (not monotonically of course as pointed out by several other posters) mostly because the body does get physically better at it with practice.  Not necessarily because of the mental state, though that of course could play a role.


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#24 of 24 Old 03-08-2013, 01:26 PM
 
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Depends on how you define "pain." My 2nd and 3rd labors were intense, but I don't think "painful" is the word I'd use to describe them - until pushing.  Any way around it, that ring of fire hurts.  But the contractions - I'd call them "intense" more than "painful."

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