What does giving birth feel like?

Erin - posted on 03/28/2011 ( 66 moms have responded )

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If you had to describe the sensations of contractions, rupture of membranes, pushing and crowning to a pregnant first time mumma, what would you say?



Here is how some other women describe it..



The closest I can come to describing what a contraction feels like is: a sharp, knifelike menstrual cramp that I feel right above my pubic bone, from hipbone to hipbone. It's funny that I use menstrual cramps as my analogy, because for me cramps are a dull, constant ache, whereas contractions are strong, sharp, and intermittent. But that's the closest sensation I can compare it to.



I had about an hour of "throwing down": abdominal pushiness/heaving that felt just like throwing up, only it was in a downward direction. No rectal pressure, very mild. I skipped this stage with Dio's labor. Next, I felt intense rectal pressure as the baby moved down, like my butt was going to split in two. I really didn't like this sensation. And finally, the rectal pressure subsided as the baby began crowning. In its place I felt intense stretching and stinging as the baby's head emerged more and more


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My contractions were always very low. I felt a distinct tightening and raising of my uterus. There was lots of pulling. My midwife manually dilated me the last two centimeters and that was the worst. It felt like muscles were being stretched beyond their capacity. By the time I began pushing I was in "labor land." It was very out of body. I could feel the baby moving down but I didn't feel much else. The contractions still hurt but I don't recall "the ring of fire" when she crowned. I had to be told to slow down when she was crowning because I was ready to blast that baby (and her nuchal hand) out! Pushing and the moment of birth were relatively pain-free compared to the contractions, but I had a definate feeling of wanting to get it over with.

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As for how did labor feel, it felt like my stomach got hard, like cramps, but not painful. That was early labor. When I got to active labor, they hurt like pretty bad menstrual cramps (although I also agree with a previous responder who compared them to stomach/bowel cramping. They come in waves and kinda make your toes curl a bit and your face break out in a sweat. But not running to the bathroom yet.)



Then transition is completely different. The pain level goes up, and the contractions spread from just the abdomen area to what feels like your neck to your knees. Well, it did for me anyway. You start feeling trapped and beat upon, like the rocks against a high tide. The contractions come faster than you feel like you can deal with, then you start thinking the craziest thoughts, like "Where's my epidural??" or "I could totally walk down to the hospital right now" or "Can I be unpregnant? I changed my mind, I don't want a baby anymore."



are going to die from the intensity, and you think there can't possibly be a way you will live through it, it changes again. All the force, rather than radiating throughout your whole body, all moves DOWN. Like Rixa was saying, "throwing down." It's like all the contractions gather their forces and start shimmying the baby down from your ribs to your butt. I think this part scares a lot of women because it is SO STRONG. And if you don't have a million people hovering over you, it will take you over.



You start heaving in reverse, like your body is ejecting something (it is!). And all you can do is hold on while it does its thing. You may or may not feel the baby actually moving down, but at some point, your vagina starts to feel stretched and burn-y. You might naturally feel the urge to grab your vagina to keep it from tearing. Then you just push until the baby is out.


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So what did birth feel like for you?

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Tara - posted on 03/28/2011

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I have too many births to describe them all, lol
But they were all natural so I will go with the first one since although I had read a lot I didn't know what labour would be like from experience.
The pains that started it all, on the morning of his due date were like bad period cramps, like mostly everyone has said, but for me they also felt like cramps from diarrhea. It wasn't bad at all just uncomfortable.
When I hit about 5 cm. dilated, the pain was more and more like indigestion in my bowels. It wasn't pleasant but completely different from what I thought it was going to be like so not bad to me at all, lol.
Transition is when I said " I want to go home and do this some other time, any other time but now." they told me to suck on ice chips and I spit them out across the room. I wanted water damn it, not ice cubes, so they gave me water, I threw it up all over the place. They stood back a little further after that.
They checked me and said "oh wow, you're fully dilated, hold on we'll move you to the delivery room"
Hold on??
"Do you want some demerol now?"
"NO I want to push my baby out. Where's the damn doctor?"
"He'll be along shortly, just pant for a few minutes, do you want some more ice?"
"I need to poo"
"No you don't, it's the baby, just pant, the doctor is on the floor now."
"I'm going to poo right here then"
"No you're not, you're going to have a baby in a few minutes, don't push just yet."
"UGGGGGGGGGGGGGG............"
"No, not yet"
"UGGGGGGGGGGGGG"
Doctor comes in "wait I need my gloves"
"UGGGGGGG......"
"It's a boy!!"
lol
I didn't feel the ring of fire, I didn't feel the tearing, (I had a small superficial tear that required no stitches)
I only remembered doing what my body told me to do.
And then I went and did it 5 more times, lol.
The last 3 at home with midwives, much different mentally and emotionally, but essentially the same physical sensations with all of them.
Quick and to the point. lol

Frances - posted on 04/02/2011

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Well, this thread is called debating moms and my answer is going to be different from most. Childbirth was not a sharp pain for me and it felt totally different from period cramps. Actually, I have had period cramps before that hurt worse than labor. My labor felt like a dull, aching, stretching feeling that came and went. It felt similar to the pain you get if you hold your mouth open very wide for a long time. It was not a severe pain, just a moderate dull ache. You may wonder why mine felt so different. I have had four natural births. I used the Bradley method. The crowning really hurts, but the severe pain only lasts a couple of minutes. The pushing contractions were painless. With the Bradley method or hypnobirthing, you learn to completely relax every muscle during a contraction. My husband took a picture of me during a contraction in transition. It looked just like I was sleeping. By completely relaxing, you eliminate the fight-flight response and the fear-tension-pain syndrome. You don't get uterine cramps during a contraction, so the pain is much less. In fact, thirty percent of women say their labor is painless, but I was not that lucky. Ninety percent of women who use the Bradley method do not need pain medication and only five percent of them have a c-sec.

I'm surprised that I got a positive response. Whenever I say something like this on yahoo answers, I get lots of thumbs down and sarcastic responses.

Tara - posted on 04/02/2011

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I know of the Bradley method, I didn't learn of it until after having my second child who was the closest to pain free I got. I just listened to my body, I learned to breathe with pain when I was a teen and had many knee injuries, I knew that Yoga masters can induce states of complete relaxation by breathing correctly.
I followed my animal instincts and let my body guide my breathing.
My first homebirth was nearly orgasmic, her labour was so peaceful and fun and her delivery was fast but gentle and I was not in pain but in a state of ecstasy without the climax of orgasm.
Different strokes for different folks.

Krista - posted on 03/28/2011

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After they induced me, but before my water broke, it felt like a lot of boredom. I had a contraction about every half-hour, and it just felt like a bad period cramp. I could talk through it and was doing all right. My ass was numb from sitting on that GD birthing ball trying to get things going, though.

Then, at 7:30, my water broke for real.

Pure hell. All the pitocin they'd pumped into me all day kicked in, and boy did it kick in.

You ever have a really bad Charley horse? I was having the worst Charley horse in the world, through my entire torso.

I felt like my entire midsection was being encircled and crushed by boulders, or by a merciless iron hand, and that there was an enormous ball of pure pain inside of me that kept growing and growing until there was just no room. It was like I was being crushed from the outside AND from the inside, and that my flesh would soon fly to pieces.

It would back off for half a second, and then peak again. Then back off for half a second, and then peak again, with the peaks lasting about 3-4 minutes each. I couldn't focus on my breathing -- the only thing that offered even a modicum of relief was shrieking into my pillow.

After two hours of this, and after finding out I was still only dilated 1cm, I cried "uncle" and asked for an epidural.

After the epi, I slept, and woke at 9cm. I then started feeling a lot of pressure. No pain, just pressure. Everything else was fantastic, because I was still numb enough to not feel pain, but it was mild enough that I could still feel the pressure and could still push effectively. I could feel the baby moving down, and pushing just felt really natural and great, and my body just seemed to know what to do. And yeah, that odd feeling once the shoulders are out and the baby slides out...it's a relief, and it's exciting, but it's also a little sad, because it's the end of being pregnant.

Rosie - posted on 03/28/2011

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labor did NOT feel like bad menstrual cramps for me. it was something completely different, more out of a horror story, lol!
contractions felt like my whole abdomen was tightening and getting rock hard, then trying to turn itself inside out, but it couldn't cause it was so hard, so it made it a thousand times worse.
when i was pushing i had an epidural, so i'm not sure what that feels like without an epi, but for me it was alot of pressure. the more my sons came down, the more pressure on my rectum and upper legs. once they were close to coming out the "ring of fire" happened, very painful burning sensation. i also felt like my vagina was going to tear to shreds...and it did. as soon as the head was out, it was a great release, and the slimy, slippery little sucker was out of there!! lol!
a few minutes later another slippery sensation and the placenta was out.

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April - posted on 09/12/2012

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I have no idea! I hope to find out next month!! I don't get period cramps, so I don't know what those feel like either. Since this is my second baby, I'd love to come back to this post a month from now and share my thoughts

Sally - posted on 09/11/2012

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My first birth I wasn't allowed to feel things properly. The doctors couldn't scare me into scheduling a c-section, so they scheduled an unnecessary induction when they'd be on call for the "failure to progress" section. The induction drugs made the contractions much stronger, much faster than normal ones would be. Then the nurse lied about how long it would take and how much worse it would get to scare me into an epidural because she thought I was a weenie when I was really in transition. My husband had been watching me, knew I was further along she thought I was, and begged her to check me before drugging me but she ignored him. I was at 8 centimeters and fully effaced when the catheter went in, but I'll admit it didn't occur to me to tell them to take it right back out. The epidural and not being allowed to breathe during pushes made her "non-responsive" from oxygen deprivation so they vacuumed her out to avoid distress. They turned the epidural off for that so I got to fully feel my episiotomy being cut and stitched. That hurt worse than the contractions.

My second I was determined to avoid that BS. I still had to go to the hospital (stupid insurance), but I had a midwife, would have refused induction if offered, and planned to stay home as long as was safe. Those contractions felt like every muscle from my armpits to my knees tensed up at the same time. It hurt, but I was able to breathe through it. Pointing a warm shower massage at my lower back made the intensity of the tensing stronger, but completely took the pain away. She cleared the hatch in two contractions and I never consciously helped push so I got to feel myself rip right up my episiotomy scar as she went through. I was on too much of an adrenaline rush at that point to really pay attention to the pain until it was over though.

Mom and baby both healed so much faster from the second birth than from the first that I have no intention of ever having a doctor assisted birth again. I'll go unassisted before I deliver at a hospital again too.

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i'd had food poisoning a year before my daughter was born, and that was much worse than labor with her. with my son, the contractions were much more intense but not really painful, just uncomfortable pressure. like really bad constipation, haha. then he literally popped out, felt a pop as my urethral opening tore in half. blood went everywhere, it was great.



i had awesome birthing experiences :) great stories to tell!

Sharon - posted on 04/04/2011

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It was a breeze. Seriously.

I never felt any pain as the contractions wound up. The nurses were spazzing and asking me repeatedly "did you feel that? You must have felt that?" all I ever felt was my ab muscles getting tight. After listening to a woman down the hall scream excruciatingly and beg people for?? and scream "NO" repeatedly, I decided I didn't need to wait for it to hurt and asked for the epidural. god bless that poor or stupid woman.

With my third it was the same scenario but there was a delay with my anesthesiologist. We went through the same questions, same amount of time, but it turned into back labor. One side of my back is WAY more powerful than the other. It was ripping me to one side forcing me arch awkwardly. I know that wasn't something EVER covered in any of the birthing classes. Yeah, they talked about back labor and how to deal with it. But not if one side is completely atrophied and the other looks like half of a professional bodybuilders.

I've talked to a couple of women who had labors like mine, it was nice to hear from someone who had pain free labors and had a good time during birth.

Birth felt like a tough day at the gym. My monthly cramps are worse than the early - mid labor and the episiotomy was no big deal either. A tampon in a semi dry vag was worse.

Kelli - posted on 04/04/2011

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my epidural didnt work for me and it felt like someone was ripping my vagina open and it burned

Angela - posted on 04/04/2011

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OK...I asked my mom the same question before I gave birth. Her exact words were "It feels like you haven't had a shit for the past 5 years, and now is your big opportunity!" When I woke at 3 in the morning after laboring for 37 hours, I realised that I had to go to the BATHROOM NOW!!! They checked me and I was fully dilated, ready to push. Guess Mom was right!

Jodi - posted on 04/04/2011

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Yeah, I figured the same thing Jen, and do I need to say that it was a MAN who started that poll?

But honestly, I personally do not remember enormous pain. Pain, yes, but I am very good at meditating my way through pain. I have suffered endometriosis all my life, and it has always been accompanied by extreme pain - at times I am bedridden with it. The majority of my labour was much easier than that, so in many ways, using my pain management techniques and breathing, I honestly wasn't feeling too bad. It was really only the last 1/2 hour it became incredibly tense, but breathing and focus got me through. I can't really describe the pain. In many ways, it was a positive pain, and then just as you think you can't stand it anymore, it is all over.....well, that's how it felt to me.

Stifler's - posted on 04/04/2011

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HAHA I've seen that poll. There's so many stupid ones on FB now like which Subway bread do you like best? and Which town is the most bogan in Wide Bay?

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LOL - not having any testicles nor do the vast majority of women on here, I'm wondering how they came to that conclusion.

Plus to all the women where who had lovely virtually pain free labors - I hate you! (j/k, i'm just intensely jealous)

Jodi - posted on 04/04/2011

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Well, if you believe the FB poll, getting kicked in the testicles hurts more......
Wanna kick them again?

[deleted account]

I HATED being pregnant and labor was traumatic in the psychiatric sense. I remember that the initial contractions were like very bad cramps. I began to get very tired early on. When I hit about hour 23 (at home), the contractions felt like I was being squeezed by a giant from my breasts down to my knees. That's the only way to describe it. A giagantic hot sweaty hand squeezing the life out of me. I learned why they refer to crowning as the ring of fire. If you want to know what it felt like, turn an electric stove on full blast then sit on it with no clothes on.



There are reasons I only have one child and my labor experience is the main one. It was life-altering in many ways. When I was married the 2nd time and we contemplated having children (before I realized he was dangerous), I fully intended to have a scheduled C-section because the thought of going through labor/delivery again put me into panic attacks.



ETA: I did go with a midwife and I went without drugs till about hour 30 when I was exhausted and hysterical from pain. That's when I got a shot of nubaine. It seriously saved our lives because I was irrational at that point. Had I not gotten the break from that drug, I would have put us both in danger.

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/02/2011

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My Labor was SO EASY i stressed for weeks worrying i couldnt handle the pain.try not to over think it,you can surprise yourself by how much pain you can tolerate. my "contractions" just felt like period like cramps.there was no tightning or anything. i didnt think i was in labor for almost a day,then i went to the hospital at 6 am and was 5-6 cm dilated. i dilated fast,Emt's and nurses were shocked i didn't shed a tear or even break a sweat i barely made a peep. and im not a pain person. i had more of a performance getting my nose peierced lol. Crowning, i felt maybe a bit of a burning feeling. Just have to breathe and focus on breathing. the worse part of my labor/delivery was i tore 4th degree so the aftermath was severly painful.with having to have surgery and all...but if i had to do labor again i definetly would!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/02/2011

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Just a note..I didn't read what the other moms described because I am having my 3rd daughter in 8 weeks and don't need to be reminded LOL

Honestly, I cannot remember what it was like the first 2 times...I don't really remember pain..I got epidurals with both and it was a breeze.

Joanna - posted on 03/29/2011

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With my first, I had back labor. But I'd been in a car accident a year prior which messed with my already scoliosis-ridden back, so I was used to the back pain.

My second, I clearly remember screaming at the nurse that it felt like a watermelon was trying to escape through my rear end. (though I screamed it in not-so-pleasant terminology).

My third, I had the "can I be unpregnant?!" phase. Though the most painful part for me was about 30 seconds of pure hell - when I got a dose of antibiotics in my IV. I was screaming bloody murder but no one knew why. I later told them it felt like I turned on my sinks garbage disposal and slowly inserted my entire lower arm. Yeah, that bad. After that, birth was nothing.

And i agree withthe nursing contractions. My parents came to visit afterward and my poor mother was horrified at my use of the f-bomb while nursing my innocent lil newborn.

Karla - posted on 03/29/2011

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I have to say I have blocked out much of it. I had a natural birth and as far as labor goes, I just remember leaning onto a cabinet and swaying my hips side to side while moaning, ALOT!! I absolutely could not lay down in that bed, I had to be up. When it comes to labor, I remember one time being too tired to push, I said to the midwife "Can I skip just one". She responded "You can try", which was funny because when the next contraction started, I absolutely physically HAD to push. It was amazing what my body was doing. I remember in the Bradley classes we took they talked about the "ring of fire".....HOLY SHIT they were right. I just knew I was going to rip upwards, in actuality I didn't hardly tear at all. Another thing I remember was cracking jokes between pushes about the "orgasmic birth" which was also discussed during Bradley Class....LOL!!!

Jenn - posted on 03/29/2011

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It started like period cramps - then suddenly I was almost blacking out from the pain and wanted to die. I was induced using pitocin though. My belly would get rock hard and my whole body ached. I ended up getting an epidural (wasn't planning on it) and then had some relief, but mostly only on one side of my body - it was still hurting on the left side but not quite so bad. As far as pushing and the baby coming out, it felt like relief! Getting stitched up after wasn't much fun because by that point the epidural was pretty much all gone. She could tell it was hurting so she gave me a shot of something to numb it a bit. When I started getting the after birth uterine contractions while nursing I didn't know what it was because it felt totally different - like the worst hunger pains ever - so I thought I needed to eat LOL! Finally I said something to my sister and she told me that's what it was.

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ahh kate..i had contractions for a week too. pure hell, i kept going to the hospital and getting sent home. piss off

Janessa - posted on 03/29/2011

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I will never go in the hospital without a midwive again. Because doctors try and force things on patients that they do not need like having to cut people ect.My hospital experience was horrible for a firstt time mother My friend just had a baby all natural a home birth she said it was so peaceful.Next time I have another child I will go with a midwive and have the baby at a birth centre. I went as natural as I could at the hospital no drugs to help with the pain.But it was more painful then having my arm broken as a child. Its like someoen is cutting into your stomach with cramps getting worst every second.



Anyways Has anyone watched the Business Of Being Born? I love that movie if anyone excepting again go for a midwive that is if you do not have any medical problems. That movie was a very big wake up call for me. Plus knowing people who have gone the midwive way just love it.

Amy - posted on 03/29/2011

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my first was awful - induction ending in c section.

second - contractions started and steadily were 30 seconds long, 5 minute break. 6 hours total labor that I didn't think was that bad. I walked myself through parking lot, the lobby, down the hall...was almost to labor and delivery wing when someone insisted I take a wheelchair. eh, ok. pain.....when I was to the point i was htinking, dear Lord, I CANNOT stand this it hurts so bad, I was pushing and within 15 mins he was out. I had no after pains that I recall. Tightening on uterus when nursing felt like mild period cramps.

America3437 - posted on 03/29/2011

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I was one that God made for childbirth! I have been preganet 8 times and successfully delivered 3 beautiful kids. 12 hours of labor and 3 or 4 good pushes and I was done!!!! The worst part is after you deliver the baby! Not all women experience dredful pain durning childbirth. I had all three of mine naturally and encourage all first time mom's to do the same.Honestly ladies the "ring of fire" hurt the worst and then the recovery was second! Let's not scare the hell out of these poor women!

Sarah - posted on 03/29/2011

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I guess period pains are the closest thing to it, although labour was a million times worse, and it went all the way around me. Kinda like white hot band around my middle that was being squeezed tighter and tighter for longer and longer!

My eldest was back to back, which I've heard is more painful!

With my youngest, I had my waters broken and started having contractions, but then they discovered she was breech......so I went for my lovely C-section instead! :)

Sarah - posted on 03/29/2011

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I guess period pains are the closest thing to it, although labour was a million times worse, and it went all the way around me. Kinda like white hot band around my middle that was being squeezed tighter and tighter for longer and longer!

My eldest was back to back, which I've heard is more painful!

With my youngest, I had my waters broken and started having contractions, but then they discovered she was breech......so I went for my lovely C-section instead! :)

Kate CP - posted on 03/28/2011

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What did giving birth feel like for me? LIKE SIX DAYS OF HELL!!! >:P

Seriously though...bad cramps. A dull ache in the small of my back that would radiate to a burning sensation in my pelvis. I didn't have after pains with my daughter but with my son it was rather painful.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/28/2011

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I'm with the Commie Canadian on this one. I had a c-section, and when I was being rolled into the OR, some poor woman was doing it the natural way in the birthing suite next door. She was making sounds like someone was slowly peeling off her skin with a rusty potato peeler. 20 minutes later, when I was being rolled into recovery, she was still screaming. 45 Minutes after that, when I was on my way to my nice quiet hospital room, she was still screaming. I was happy to have passed on that particular experience. Of course, she was probably having back labor - which not everyone does - but we all know more than one or two who have. We also know plenty of women who have experienced wonderful labor and delivery experiences. I think it's a combination of genetics and luck of the draw.

April - posted on 03/28/2011

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i didn't feel anything during my first pregnancy. I had an epidural.



With my second, it was a natural birth no medicine whatsoever. Contractions felt like mild menstrual cramps, then they started getting sharper. From the time i woke up at around 3pm from a nap, i felt the cramps. An hour later and about 5 minutes of pushing, out he popped (I only felt slight pressure and a burning sensation in my vagina, when he came was the best part LOL). I didn't make a sound the entire time. It hurt but not as bad as i thought. Am i weird? LOL he was a pretty big baby so either i have wide WIDE wide hips or my pain tolerance is out the roof.

Mel - posted on 03/28/2011

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I never had any after pains either time. They told me about it and that it gets worse with each birth but I never experienced it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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I had after pains but they were nothing compared to the actual contractions. My water broke first and I got an anti-biotic IV 18 hours after to make sure I didn't get an infection and I remember it getting pulled around during the birth and labour. The annoyance of that is what I remember the most, it's true when they say you actually forget what the contractions even feel like.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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I agree with whoever said the after pain was much worse than the actual birth.

The nurse, doc, everyone kept saying I would eventually feel this intense need to push. This never, ever happened. They kept asking and I kept saying, "Nope." Eventually I the cervix was so ready they just asked me to start and then I only pushed for round 15 minutes. The actual labour was over like 18 hours but the pushing was 15 minutes.

I sometimes wonder because I have a big history of dealing with chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, surgeries in the uterus and all that, if it didn't seem as bad by comparison. Everyone told me it would be the worst pain ever and I gotta tell you, a spinal tap was a lot more painful. My surgeries in post op were way more painful. At least after you give birth, you get a kid! The other stuff you get very little out of.

Pain is all relative though to experience, tolerance and perception.

Audrey - posted on 03/28/2011

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when my water broke with my 1st, i was just getting into the shower and didnt think anything of it til after i got out of the shower and dried off. then i noticed it running down my legs. the rest of the labor and delivery i dont remember b/c i let them give me too many drugs. with my second baby, i was in control of things much more. when my water broke, i was feeding my son supper. as soon as i stood up, it felt like i got my period, and i just knew right then my water had broke. my hubby was out by the barn weed-eating so i had to get on the tractor and drive to get him. it was a very bouncy ride, which surprisingly didnt give me any contractions at all. when we got to the hospital, i was finally gushing fluid(a horrible feeling, like you cant stop peeing). i wanted to do it natural this time but labor wasnt moving along so i let them give me just a little bit of pitocin. it helped so i went hours and hours longer without any more meds. finally, i decided i wanted some of this medicine that "takes the edge off"(cant remember the name of it). it didnt do much though. i screamed A LOT! my mom was there and she kept trying to tell me to be quiet b/c it wasnt going to help me to be loud, but i felt like it was my right and very helpful with pain. hubby says you could hear me in the waiting room! lol!(by the way, he didnt stay in the waiting room, just went out there for a few minutes to update famiy. he was there for everything). once i got to an 8, i was in so much horrible pain( 15 times worse than period cramps that move through your whole lower body and settle in your back)that i wanted my epidural. it took the anesthesiologist 3 tries to get the epidural in, the whole time i am leaning all my weight on my hubby's chest, trying to be perfectly still through all these exruciating contractions. my OB knew i didnt want to be all drugged up so she shut the epi off right before time to push. while i was pushing it didnt really hurt, just felt like a lot of streatching and pressure. it was actually pretty cool!
with my son, the doctor on call(not my OB) got tired of waiting and ripped me to get things over with quickly. hubby was MAD! i ended up with like 4 stitches that my hubby and i are sure i wouldnt have had if the doc had just let my body do its thing.
with my daughter(2nd), my OB was wonderful and did something with her hands so that when i pushed, the baby came out differently and i didnt tear at all. but she was so sweet that she stitched(just 1) a place that had ripped with the last birth that the other doctor did a bad job on. she did it so it would "look pretty". we loved her. she is the best OB ever!

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Labor= Strong sharp pains that shot up from in my uterus straight up my back to the base of my scull.
Rupturing membranes=Feels exactly like you would expect. Someone shoving a fish hook up your vagina and ripping the skin open, then feeling like you peed yourself.
Birth= only got halfway there, Gabby's head got lodged on the way out. A steady burn that felt like my insides were being torn apart. Even worse when the doctor decided to shove his hand up and pry my vagina open to try to dislodge her head.
not pushing during hard labor waiting for my section= Worst pain i have ever felt in my entire life. Every time a contraction hit it felt like my entire abdominal was on fire.

Charlie - posted on 03/28/2011

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Labor = the worst case of gastro in history .

Birth = the most epic burning , stretching , stabbing in the stomach , ripping apart of the hips I thought
I might not be able to make it but I wouldnt have had it any other way .

lets just say if I believed in hell I would be going straight there after the things that came out of my mouth , Jamie was trying to explain to the midwife that I come from a fisheing town but am more like a pirate LOL.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2011

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It was definitely the most painful experience in my life. I felt like my entire body was being wrung out repeatedly with every contraction. I am pretty sure I blacked out after the baby was born becaz I don't remember being mored from birthing room to recovery room. I wasnt able to hold my son for an hour becaz I was holding my legs while pushing and my arms were so worn out I physically could not hold my son. I tore in two spots while pushing and cussed out my husband. It was the most unladylike thing EVER lol. my MIL witnessed the whole thing and said later she had nightmares for months!

[deleted account]

For me early labour felt like my normal period pains along with this constant nagging back ache. After my waters broke the pain intensified ten fold, both in my stomach and in my back, it was a constant pain which had no gaps or breaks, and felt to me as though I had a bad case of diarrhea rather than being period like.

Pushing was a strange almost painless sensation for me, I could feel my baby moving down and then back up my birthing canal, which I didn't expect. I was a lucky one who never experienced the ring of fire either, but that may be because my son was small and had a small head (fingers crossed number two has a smallish head too) and so I only tore a tiny bit and didn't require stitches to repair the tear.

Relief from the pressure didn't come though until I had delivered my placenta, that was like a little bit of heaven having the plcaenta come out :-)

I have been told my labour was so intense and painful because it was so quick (45 minutes from start to finish), as well as me having to be induced, so I don't think it is a 'normal' (I know there is no such thing really) delivery experience.

[deleted account]

I've never been in real labor.... unless you count 3 months of constant BH contractions that lasted anywhere from 20 seconds to 9 minutes.....

My most painful contractions ever were actually when I was hospitalized for my D&C during/after my second miscarriage.

Giving birth for me was just pressure and tugging (c-sections). Worse than the pain was being od'ed on pain meds during and after the birth of my girls.

Jenny - posted on 03/28/2011

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Hmmm I've had 2 Csections and never felt a contraction. I have to say natural childbirth sounds a wee bit overrated. I felt no pain and was on my feet hours later.

Karen - posted on 03/28/2011

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All I will say is that the word "pain" was redefined for me after giving birth. Birth freaking hurts and that is an understatement. My mom told me it would be "uncomfortable"...LIAR!!! And it never gets easier or less painful - faster, yes, but even more intense.

The worst pain was with #7 when I went through transition in one contraction. My abdomen felt like it was being ripped in two, I couldn't breathe, couldn't speak, thought I would lose my mind.

Full epidurals for the next two and plans for drugs from here on out...labor pain is not something I need to ever experience again.

I think every mom-to-be should read the responses posted so they know what they are in for.

Becky - posted on 03/28/2011

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My water never broke with either until I was pushing, and I had no bloody show with Zach, so really, other than the pain and pressure, it was hard to tell I was in labor, especially since I'd been having contractions since 32 weeks. My labor with him was 3 1/2 hours, we got to the hospital with 19 minutes to spare! With Cole (my 1st) ,it was 4 1/2. Next time around, I'm either having a home birth or just living in the hospital parking lot for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy! lol
I had the afterpains, but they weren't all that bad. I think the pushing part was the worst for me - not the pushing itself, but the burning down below, probably because I was tearing.

Tara - posted on 03/28/2011

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Funny, I thought the worst was over after the actual birth too, until I had number 4 and discovered the fact that the more kids you have the worse the afterpains are when nursing.

With each kid after her I feared them more than labour and delivery.

And with number 6 I had a weird long painless labour. It was the first time in all my births that my water broke before I was delivering, it actually broke before any labour started, so I spent a good deal of time trying to get labour going au naturel at home. It finally worked, but I went from 5 am on a Friday until about 3 am on the Saturday with these weird intermittent contractions that were doing the job, just really slowly. And finally it all picked up speed and he was born just 10 minutes after being fully dilated. I had no urge to push at all, until I got on the birthing stool, one big push and he came flying out of me into Steve's hands, with the midwives standing by in case he needed another pair of hands. lol

He was exactly 3 weeks early but healthy just tiny.

But it was a weird night, we had a lot of people here and it was festive, but finally I secluded us in our room, went to bed, fooled around a bit, went to sleep and woke up ready to go full out and finish the job.

All my other labours had been roughly from 4-9 hours in length from beginning to end and I've never pushed more than 3 times with any of them.

:) Just built for birthing. lol

Becky - posted on 03/28/2011

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With both of mine, contractions were like bad menstrual/bowel cramps. In fact, with my second, we almost didn't make it to the hospital on time because I couldn't decide whether I was in labor or just had to take a crap! Very low cramps, all the sensation was below my belly button, but it went all the way around my body, into my back as well - which my menstrual cramps also do. With Cole, I had diarreah and threw up once, and then had the bloody show, which totally freaked me out. I'd been induced though, so was already in the hospital and the nurses told me that's what it was. Right after that, I started feeling the urge to push. I wasn't quite fully dialated though, so I had to try not to push. Not fun! Crowning was awful for me. It felt like I was on fire! I tore a fair bit with both of them, because they came out really fast. A couple of contractions and they were out. The slippery feeling when they slide out was really cool! And that relief, knowing, ahhh, the worst is over!

Lady Heather - posted on 03/28/2011

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So then who are these women who need to be told? And why do they think we can wait? It's such a bizarre thing to me. I'm glad I had my midwife with me, because I bet the nurses would have wanted me to wait for the doctor otherwise. Not bloody likely.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/28/2011

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The first hour felt like braxton hicks, but they sort of winded me. The next half hour they got pretty intense but I went into this weird trance-like state so I don't remember much. I remember smiling as I was wheeled to the delivery room and then I asked for a cheeseburger. The last hour and a half things got really crazy because that was pushing time. My contractions were almost non-stop, coming in waves. It's like your whole body just takes over and makes it happen and you can't do anything to stop it. I wanted a break so bad, but uterus was like "no way". Definitely got the ol' stretch and burn when she was coming out. I remember wondering to myself about all those labour shows I'd seen where the women had to be told they were ready to push. There was no need to be told. It was completely out of my control. I guess for me it was a sort of out-of-body experience. Maybe that's because it was so fast? Apparently when she popped out, my husband said I threw my hands down to grab her right away, but I don't remember that at all.

Jessica - posted on 03/28/2011

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OMG Lisa, I thought the after-birth contractions while nursing were as bad as my worst labor contractions! Maybe worse, wince with labor you at least know the end result is a baby in your arms.

Minnie - posted on 03/28/2011

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My birthing contractions are pretty intense- my labors were both four hours from start to finish. Mostly like a sharp knife being driven right above my pubic bone. The tensing of the uterus didn't bother me, just that sharp knife pain at my cervix. With my second I never noticed going into transition, I think I was just reaaaally relaxed. But then again, my contractions were two minutes apart within the first hour.



Pushing out my daughters, like everyone else has said, feels like taking the world's biggest crap. But it felt really good (don't know with my first, as I had an epidural)- and I totally believe the stories of 'orgasmic birth.' Mine wasn't at that level, but I could see where it could get there for someone else. Made me want to shoot through the roof. And WOW the contractions while nursing afterwards! Much more intense with my second.

Jessica - posted on 03/28/2011

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With my first, the first 12 or so hours were so mild I didn't even know I was in labor! I woke up early to pee and felt like I was going to start my period. I was crampy way down low near/around my pubic bone, and in my lower back. Nothing coming and going- it was constant, just very mild. I hung out all day like that, my family trying to convince me I was in labor and I kept denying it because it wasn't that bad, and I couldn't time anything.

Then I noticed the pain intensifying, and it started coming and going so I timed them. They felt like much stronger menstrual cramps. They kept getting more painful and were all over my belly. Walking or even standing were incredilby painful- I wanted to be completely still. I also had to lean forward a lot; leaning back even a little was agony. I later learned he was posterior! Transition was a blur- the pains were all-emcompassing and on top of each other. I got an epi so I didn't feel so much of the pushing- it was intense pressure and kind of hurt but that was it. Didn't feel crowning.

With my second, who was just born 8 weeks ago today, labor was a breeze. Ok not exactly, but it really wasn't that bad. I went to a freestanding birth center this time so no epi. The contractions started in the evening as strong BH- so just tightening/pressure. Then they started to have a bit of cramp to them, down low from my belly button to my pubic bone. Soon the cramp was more painful, and would start in front and spread to my back for the duration of the contraction. I was trying to sleep and could not get comfortable to save my life. There was constant pressure on my bladder so I was peeing every 40 minutes or so. The contractions stayed like that- painful, in my back, but they stayed spaced out every 3-5 minutes the entire time, so with the break in between it was all quite manageable. Even in transition they never got worse or closer together. I could tell transition started when I felt like I had to poop, so I sat on the toilet for a while. Realized it was the baby and not poop so moved to the bed.

Pushing was the worst part. At first I was on my hands and knees, but soon realized I was picking that position because it made everything ease up and nothing was happening. So I pushed on my side. It kind of felt like I was splitting in two. I was so afraid to push because it hurt so bad, but I knew the baby had to come out! All my hypnobabies training went out the window. The ring of fire was the worst. It felt just like that- a ring of intense burning. Then I pushed with all my might and he was out! They told me I only pushed for 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour.

Mel - posted on 03/28/2011

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lol Emma you make me laugh. It so feels like you need to use the bathroom when giving birth I kept telling them they kept saying it wanst that it was the baby lol and they were right

Nikki - posted on 03/28/2011

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I didn't talk or yell, it used too much energy. When I first got to hospital the woman in the next room was screaming as if someone was attacking her with a chainsaw. I looked at the nurse terrified and asked if we could add the epi option back on my birth plan.

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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I thought I was yelling at people but my husband reckons I didn't yell at anyone. Maybe I was just yelling in my head and thought I yelled "I DON'T WANT TO FUCKING BREATHE" and i WANT TO DIE and WHEN CAN I HAVE GAS!! out loud :S

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