Is childbirth the worst pain you have ever felt? and some other questions. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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I can't say I've felt worse pain but labor honestly wasn't that bad (I even told my sister it wasn't bad a couple of hours after the birth!). Some contractions were quite painful, especially during what was probably transition, but they were tolerable. I never wished for an epidural or any pain meds, although during one contraction that I took in a bad position I did think, "I know why people get epidurals!" I don't think contractions were any worse than menstrual cramps, just different--I don't get a break with menstrual cramps but there was always a break in between contractions. BUT...pushing sucked. It really did. I'd only heard that pushing was a relief, but it was not at all for me. I didn't feel the "ring of fire", just sooo much pressure I was sure I was going to have a fourth degree tear (only had a couple of small ones).

Afterpains also sucked big time--they were like very painful period cramps. If they get worse with each baby, I will have to find some natural remedy next time or I will end up taking ibuprofen. I could barely handle them last time.

So...I would honestly prefer to go through childbirth than to go to the dentist (but I hate dentists with a passion). There are things that happen/happened after the birth that I don't look forward to again (afterpains, very sore nipples, feeling like I was hit by a truck for 2 weeks afterward) and I don't really look forward to stage 2 labor, but I can't wait to go through birth again! It is awesome.
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#62 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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The worst pain I have ever felt in my whole life- and one I wish never ever ever ever ever to experience again, was throwing my back out and pinching my sciatic nerve.
I would gladly give birth 10 x over to my biggest baby (11 lbs) than ever go through that pain again.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#63 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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Totally no. Shattering my elbow was the worst pain I've ever felt. It lasted longer and it was a *very bad* pain. Labor is a good pain. I've done a narcotics-only birth, a c-section, and an all-natural birth. Birth was truly wonderful. Broken elbow sucked. You will do great. I haven't read the other responses so my apologies if I've duplicated - I'll go check later.

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#64 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 08:38 PM
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Childbirth was INTENSE, but at the same time it was incredibly empowering to give birth naturally.

OTOH, when I had a root-canal, the pain was unbearable (even with meds) especially because I felt out of control.

And childbirth was over in a day. My foot pain from surgery lasted several days.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#65 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 09:08 PM
 
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So,I have been pretty calm. But now I'm getting worried about the pain of childbirth.
I've only read the first page so far, but you are getting some great information. I would try to let go of the worry, and believe in your body's ability to do this. You just have to mentally get out of the way if you know what I mean. Relax both physically and emotionally and it will be absolutely fine. Really.

I have had three natural childbirths - only dd1 was born in a hospital. (Dd2 in a freestanding birth center, and dd3 at home.) I am a big wuss. Cry at a paper cut. Terrified of needles. Didn't play sports in high school for fear of getting hurt. And I've had natural childbirth three times - no problem. Could do it any day of the week. Really. After the first one was born, my first words were "I could do that again."

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I have been worried about what contractions,transition and crowning feel like.
Every feeling in labor is different than anything else I can really compare it to. It (like others have said) is pain with a purpose. It starts slow and builds so you have time to adjust. It has breaks in between. It isn't a sharp pain. It is a tightening. I closed my eyes and chanted "muscles working, muscles working" because that is what it is!

You know when you run a long ways (my only experience was in PE in high school... ) and your legs are sore? You can feel the muscles in your legs and they are tired and you would like to stop. It is a little like that. You can feel the sensation; it grows in intensity, but it isn't pain.

I think that hitting your funny bone (why do they call it that? Nothing funny about it....) is worse because it is a jeeb you out kind of feeling. Burning your hand on the stove is worse because it is SO sharp and intense and constant. Anytime you hurt yourself in almost any way is worse because it is constant and has no upside. You aren't getting anywhere. With labor, you are making progress towards seeing your baby.

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Also I have heard many women say that when you are in transition you feel like you are gonna die. Is this is because the pain is so bad?
Never, ever felt like I was going to die. Never shed a tear. Never swore. It just is intense. If you know what to expect and are at peace with the process, it isn't scary or painful. Transition for me was the most "out of control" part of labor. The only part where I wasn't 100% calm and in control. But my dh and the midwives were with me and it only took a few minutes. Playing my favorite song helped A LOT. With dd3, that was "She's Like the Rain" by Tim McGraw. I am not a good singer but I closed my eyes and sang it over and over. I think that was the most painful part of labor for dh and the midwives!

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And crowning? I have heard about the ring of fire. Does it sting? Feel like your being riped open? how long does it last?
It does sting. I didn't feel like I was being ripped open (even though I did tear all three times... but couldn't feel it when it happened). It can last different amounts of time depending on how baby is positioned and how big the baby's head is. Not too long. A minute or two? It is fine as soon as baby is out.

I think afterpains were worse than childbirth. I didn't know they were coming though - and though they do have a purpose, it wasn't getting my baby out so a little harder to deal with.

Nursing when I had thrush was MUCH worse than anything related to childbirth. It was like someone stabbing me with knives. Can I say that I LOVE the person who invented Diflucan?

You can do it. I really recommend Bradley childbirth classes. I can tell you that they are the reason I had such great natural births. I think the website is www.bradleybirth.com.
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#66 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 09:21 PM
 
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I have birthed 3 babies naturally. The worst pain was the gallstones I had after my first. OMG, talk about painful! You can do it mama!
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#67 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 09:24 PM
 
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Wanted to add that I got through transition and pushing by looking in my doula's eyes. She was so awesome, though, when Ben was actually being born she told me to look at my husband!

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#68 of 124 Old 11-29-2006, 09:57 PM
 
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I have had 5 at home natural wonderful, amazing births. The last one was frank breech. Labor is not like the pain you imagine. It is work your body needs to do. And like others have said above you need to work with your body - close your eyes and go inward deeply. Remember you are women! Your body was made to do this work. It feels right if you give in and trust. I love giving birth!!!!! It is so amazing. Laboring to open your cervix is quiet work! Transisition is confusing as somehow self-doubt enters the mind for a few minutes, but remember that when this happens you will soon be in the active pushing stage! Pushing is rewarding - you are actually pushing your baby out. And it is exhilarating. Yes! I have felt the ring of fire at crowning! And yes it is intense! But, oh my God your baby is almost here. Oh, oh, oh, the love that flows in your every cell. That feeling is the very best of being a woman.
Trust in your womanliness. You will labor and deliver your baby beautifully!
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#69 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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This thread just makes me fear dental work!

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#70 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 12:12 AM
 
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I have a=had three natural childbirths. they were intense but not terrible by any means. I was exhausted by the end each time, but by then I had an aorable newborn baby to snuggle into bed with and I felt so proud of myself for what I had just done. Having supportive, gentle, positive people around me during labour made all the difference.

Nipple pain with thrush was excruciating. Strep throat made me want to die one time -and I almost did, it was that bad of an infection. Recovering from having my wisdom teeth removed when I was 36 - that was the worst pain ever. As far as I am concerned, dental pain IS to be feared. Not childbirth.
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#71 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 03:09 AM
 
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the worst pain i ever felt was having my placenta manually extracted. and it has happened twice. i'm due is march and i am determined to UC so i can avoid the doctor!
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#72 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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The worst pain for me was gallbladder attacks (passing stones). My first labor - not all that bad... very progressive and bearable. This last one - VERY hard and very painful - like the worst constipation pain I've ever felt in my life. But still bearable because I knew it was getting to a point - a silver-lining so to speak - and it would be over... and I'd have my beautiful baby.

You're gonna do great, mama!!!!
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#73 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 03:26 AM
 
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Most painful experiences:

1. Major kidney infection
2. Novacaine shot in my toe
3. Novacaine wearing off after foot surgery
4. Trying to walk on foot after being released from surgery with no crutches.:
5. Childbirth

Childbirth is not #1 and I even had back labor. With contractions you get breaks in between while with an injury or illness, you don't.
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#74 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 07:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aliciahorsley View Post
the worst pain i ever felt was having my placenta manually extracted. and it has happened twice. i'm due is march and i am determined to UC so i can avoid the doctor!
:

a thousand times over.

I wasn't going to mention it as it's childbirth related and I didn't want to freak OP out, but yeah. That is the perfect example of "something is wrong" pain.

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#75 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post
also, (imo) afterpains are more wicked than any contraction could ever be. I learned my lesson the first time--motrin on hand is essential for me after the birth.
Totally agree, the afterpains suck. Lucky for you, they tend to get worse with each pg and this is only your first.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#76 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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i dont think the pain is that bad its bearable, my water broke at home with my first and i had intense contractions. not enough to make ya cry but they are up there but if u do the breathing its ok. i also had a 45 min drive to the hospital and my contractions were really close prob less then 5 min apart im sure. but i did have an epidural with my first so the actual pushing and stuff i only felt the pressure. i was 4cm when i got to the hospital at around 4am got the epi near 6 and dilated to a 10 pretty fast. my sister had an epi but i dunno how good it worked she said it feels like a burning when the shoulders come through.
this time around im scared but excited cuz i will be doing it with no epidural, not my choice though, they just hate to give epidurals here or meds of any sort if they dont have to. im just hoping for a short labor lol. after a while the pain just drives ya crazy
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#77 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 02:06 PM
 
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This thread just makes me fear dental work!
Me too!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#78 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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To be completely honest then yes. If messured only in physical pain then transition labor and crowning are by far the most extreme, excrutiating pain I have ever felt. And funny that you mention charley-horses cause that is how I used to describe laborpains to DP. It felt just like that - a muscle-cramp in my tummy. My first labor was a marathon 50 hour ordeal so it was not a "normal" labor and that is probably why the pain was so bad.
I remember thinking that I never knew a person could feel so much physical pain and still be conscious. I also wondered - seriously - whether it would be more or less painful if they cut me open and pulled out the baby without anesthesia (sp?) To this day I am not quite sure about the answer to that last question to be honest.
I once saw a documentary about people who woke up during surgery, and one of them woke up in the middle of a c-section. The way she described her pain completely resembled my experience of transition labor (that in my case lasted 4-5 hours)

I have read some of the other answers to this thread and most of the women dont seem to have that experience of laborpain. But at least recently there has been a thread here with a lady who felt "betrayed" because she felt the natural birth community in general had led her to believe laborpains were manegable and that she would be able to deal with them if she stayed relaxed and did as her body told her etc.

So if you want my part of the truth about labor and birth-pain then yes, it can be more painful than you can even imagine. It wont necessarily be so - you may have a painless birth for all I know, (my mom still describes her laborpains like bad menstrual cramps..) but I think it is better to be "armed" than to be taken with your pants down kwim?

But before leaving you with a horrible picture of what labor can be like then I would also like to add that I am expecting my third baby in february, and I am looking forward to labor like a kid to christmas. The pain I described above is the physical part. There is also the "mind-part" that you know laborpain is there for a purpose. - Plus you get to rest between contractions, so it is not constant.
Even though for me laborpain is the worst physical pain I have ever felt, then I still value my memories of labor and birth more than almost any other memories in my life. I cannot tell you why, except nothing else compares to it.. I think I have never felt as alive, as fully into something as I did while having my babies.

I think my best advice is prepare for anything. Expect to reach the point where you just want to quit the whole thing because you dont feel you can do it anymore - and if you come to this point during labor - recognize it for what it is..

(oh - and just want to add, that even though laborpain is the most intense physical pain I have ever felt, then I would still rather go through labor and birth, than have dental work.. I havent been to the dentist in the past 4 years because I am terrified of having my teeth drilled..)

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#79 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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I wrote a post on my blog about pain and labor: http://rixarixa.blogspot.com

Read the post called "Some thoughts about a four-letter word." You can also read my birth story for a description of what labor felt like to me.

Five minutes after the birth, I told my husband, "That was hard, but definitely doable."
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#80 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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This thread just makes me fear dental work!
This is exactly what I was thinking!:
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#81 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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I've had labors with no pain and one that was so extremely painful it's difficult to describe. The only time I ever thought "I don't want to do that again" was after my first birth, which was a managed hospital birth (not the most painful of my births, but darn close). For me, it was because everything was so totally out of my control. I was just along for the ride, but it wasn't my body that was birthing, it was the nurses and doctors and their timetables and expectations. It felt so wrong~ so artificial.

My most painful birth was my most recent one. The pain was completely tied to emotion, and as much as it hurt~ a true, raw, indescribable, intense pain~ it felt right; like it needed to be that way, and it was OK.

When labor starts and those endorphins start flowing, you won't worry about it anymore. You just do it. You get through this moment, then the next one, and then the next. It will be fine. It will even be wonderful. You can do it.
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#82 of 124 Old 11-30-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aliciahorsley View Post
the worst pain i ever felt was having my placenta manually extracted. and it has happened twice. i'm due is march and i am determined to UC so i can avoid the doctor!
Oh yeah, I had this too. After my 4th baby. Not pleasant. Nope, not at all.
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#83 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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The worst pain I have ever felt was having an open wound flushed with water. I almost fainted. Childbirth came in pretty close to that but was a different kind of pain. I'd rather give birth than go to the dentist, though. Childbirth is intense, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'pain.'

Contractions for me feel like this: menstrual cramps that were sent from Hell, then menstraul cramps that a deceased person menstruating in Hell would have, followed by Hell cramps that occur while you take the biggest dump of your life. I say all of this assuming Hell exists, whch I don't believe it does

I'm sorry for bieng so negative but that is the best way to describe it. I had a hospital birth though, epidural, tons of interventions. You don't even wanna go there. If you give birth in warm water or find ways to manage the pain, I really don't think you'll ever get to a place where you feel like you are going to die.

And to be honest, it really isn't THAT bad. Usually within days you forget about it and are ready to have another go at it.

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#84 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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Have to admit I am not very brave when it comes to pain, I reckon really bad toothache sort of ties in with the intensity that can be felt when birthing but completely different. I am a wimp and it was the worst physical pain I've felt but mainly with my first 36 hour mucked up labour. I think how you feel has a lot to do with it, like scared and stuff.I was terrified, my partner( now ex) was being a selfish idiot, I had no real friend at my first birth. My first was a hosp birth and it went on and on and to me was unbearable but I still didn't want drugs.All the midwives did was shout push push like a drill they seemed to have no real concept of birthing womens bodies.I was pushing against my body cos some ***** was screaming at me to do so, for hours.I uc'ed my 2nd and 3rd dc to escape from the bs control zone of other peoples take on birth and had much shorter, less painful times. Still very intense lower back pain tho( I had a slipped disc not long ago and have just wrecked my back over the years from not looking after it and carrying heavy wood and stuff).Contractions can be very intense and you need to adopt your own way of dealing with these,position,breathing, meditation maybe.I seem to feel more stable during these by pressing squeezing something really tight, stone tree someones arm etcThe ring of fire, well by the time you get there you kinda gone through the worst and it's intense but short lived,your perenium is stretched to it's near limit so it does hurt somewhat but it's a new kinda feeling thats intensity can make you feel like you are about to tear or indeed have torn, this is where I reckon slow release if poss would really help prevent this I'm wondering if pushing intensifies this, with my 3rd the crowning actually felt really good!I was calm and euphoric and started planning a new take on actual delivery like a slow release rather than a fast, forced exit,so often forced on us by the push brigade and our bodies efforts to birth after labour, and I was only shoved back down the path to pain by my partner who started blackmailing me into pushing otherwise I think I was really making progress with less painful births and starting to find out what it can be like when you are in control and confident. All I can say is try not to be scared as this seems to make pain far worse, I personally would not take drugs no matter how painful it was and after its all done you kinda think well yes I would do it again. The most pain I had with my first was when the midwife fisted me during a contraction then promptly packed her bag and transferred me from my homebirth cos she wanted to get home. I would love to birth again completely on my own with my own thoughts and bodily functions, also water births sound really good as I'd imagine a lot of pressure could be taken off you by the water.I never had any massages at all which I reckon would really help, just applying pressure to the lower back in my case would have been a relief but nobody cared enough to do that simple act of love. It was like a huge deal when I asked, they just didnt want to help, hopeless fools to have around when you are birthing, takers not givers imo. Giving birth is such an important life experience, it should be a happy one not just something we strive to get through, I am so happy some women have much less painful births that is encouraging,I wish you all the best and that love and respect are shown you during your births and beyond.
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#85 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much Attila the Honey!! You just made my day! What you said Is how I have been feeling too. It makes me feel better that someone else feels that way. It's posts like your's that help me be calm and not as scared.
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#86 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your great posts. I feel better the more information I have. You Momma's are great!
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#87 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post

The thing is, it's a vicious cycle. When people would tell me not to be scared because it would make it worse it made me more scared because I knew I couldn't not be scared (it's only natural to be scared of new situations!) and I was convinced that because I couldn't just get all zen about the birth and wipe away my fear that I was doomed to be in utter and complete agony. It was alot of pressure!
That is how I feel. That is so true.
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#88 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 02:37 AM
 
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No. Childbirth wasn't the worst pain I've ever had. It was bad, I won't lie...but two things that happened as a result of childbirth were worse. I hesitate to say because I don't want to scare anybody, but the doctor..umm...put her hand...err...inside my womb after DD was born to retrieve some big clots that she said would not pass. That hurt like a cuss word. I mean, I didn't have an epidural for childbirth, but I'm pretty sure I would have liked one for that. Also, I broke my tailbone in labor and while that pain isn't necessarily as bad, it has been ongoing for almost 14 months...so the mere length of time makes it worse than childbirth.
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#89 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No. Childbirth wasn't the worst pain I've ever had. It was bad, I won't lie...but two things that happened as a result of childbirth were worse. I hesitate to say because I don't want to scare anybody, but the doctor..umm...put her hand...err...inside my womb after DD was born to retrieve some big clots that she said would not pass. That hurt like a cuss word. I mean, I didn't have an epidural for childbirth, but I'm pretty sure I would have liked one for that. Also, I broke my tailbone in labor and while that pain isn't necessarily as bad, it has been ongoing for almost 14 months...so the mere length of time makes it worse than childbirth.
I'm so sorry about your tailbone. If I'm being too nosey please let me know. I was wondering. What do you think caused it to break? I hope it heals soon.
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#90 of 124 Old 12-01-2006, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
For me labor pain was like intense menstrual cramping except instead of being constant it came and went. It does hurt -- I really get annoyed by this nonsense about "Oh, I just didn't regard it as painful therefore it wasn't." It either hurts or it doesn't. This hurt. Working through it, though, I felt powerful, and I felt a mounting sense of expectancy because I knew I was getting closer to seeing the baby. State of mind and perspective does matter. If you're freaked out about it, it's going to be worse than if you're accepting it and powering your way through it.
My Mom told me something like that. That she just did not think of it as pain. Later she said ya it was painful. That made me feel better because when she said it wasnt painful she had this pained look on her face! Not helping Mom! : Then later when she said yes it was painful but not unbearable. She was relaxed and I could tell she was telling the truth. She said she had not wanted to scare me. I told her hearing how it could be would'nt scare me just help me be ready if it happened.

My sister did not even know she was in labor till the baby started coming out. She thought she just had a little heart burn from eating ice cream. I hope I take after my sis.
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