TALK BACK: How painful is childbirth - really?

We have a "Talk Back" topic submitted by MM reader, Skylark826:



Giving birth-is the pain really that bad? Will I want to shoot myself? I'm scared out of my mind!!

Okay, Mamas, share your thoughts on this one.  

15 comments:

  1. I have a rule that I will not break even here on your website. I will not discuss my child birth story with any woman who is not yet a mother, but wants to become a mother. Because each experience is unique and yours could be very easy or very NOT. As you can imagine, I was in the NOT category. That said, my advice to any first time pregnant woman is get informed - talk to your doctor. Take a class. Be prepared. Have a plan. Then when the time comes, make sure your coach/husband/whomever is there for you and knows how you'd like it to go re: medication/not/etc. Best of luck!

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  2. Firstly, DON'T be scared!If you're worried about something, find out as much information as you can.
    My advice is to hope and pray for the best, but educate yourself in case the worst happens (whatever that is for you).
    Childbirth is not predictable or (despite the medical professions' best attempts!) controllable! By that I mean that if you're planning a home birth, it's still worth doing a hospital tour, packing a hospital bag, etc. And if you're planning an elective c-section, it's still worthwhile finding out about home birth in case everything goes faster than you think!
    Be prepared for everything, but make sure your information is balanced. If you investigate emergency cesareans, balance it by looking into ecstatic/orgasmic birth.
    And remember, our first lesson of parenthood is often that our children don't always want for themselves the same things that we want for them! Best of luck!

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  3. Just remember as soon as that baby is wailing on your belly, the pain somehow disappears, and joy will overcome you. Not to say the recovery process is painless, but focusing on the baby as the best incentive imaginable, kept things in perspective for me.

    ps- why have I never heard of an ecstatic/orgasmic birth?? what did I miss out on?

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  4. I think these ladies have a lot of great advice.
    It will be painful, but I don't think you'll want to shoot yourself. The only thing I'd add, is to get some non pregnancy, non birth related, non child related books or movies, or hobbies. Try to take your mind off your anxiety and continue enjoying the things you already enjoy. There's not much you can do about the future (aside from educating yourself), and worrying makes everything worse. Get your mind off the idea that it will be awful, and try to focus on the positive things in life.
    The thing that comforted me was the knowlege that most women have more than one child, so it must be possible to get through the pain and be willing to do it again. Now that I have 2 kids I can say to you, that it is very possible, and well worth it.

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  5. I don't know how you feel about drugs, but GET THEM (if you want them that is)! I enjoyed almost every minute of my daughter's birth and am so thankful that my focus was on her birth and not the pain. I admire women who can give birth naturally, but I know that I'm just not one of them. GOOD LUCK!

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  6. It's not that bad. At least it wasn't for me. What was worse than the pain was the apprehension about not KNOWING how bad it was going to be. In hindsight I wish I hadn't gotten an epidural and trusted that I could do it on my own. Christy is right though, EVERY experience is different. (THANK YOU to her, by the way, for being one of the few mothers who had a difficult experience and chooses not to share it-- why do people feel the need to share horror stories with expectant moms???)

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  7. Yay! Great topic. I am expecting my first in early September and am hoping for a natural birth in a hospital. I definitely agree that not knowing how much pain to expect is what is most concerning. However, I just keep telling myself that the pain will not kill me. I think that knowing exactly what is causing the pain and exactly what I need to do to make it stop will be helpful. Good luck!

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  8. I will be giving birth in the next few days sometime and reading these is so great and encouraging! And I have to thank Christy as well - I don't think a horror story would do me much good at this point!

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  9. Let me start by saying, yes childbirth does hurt. You're passing a human through your vagina, that should put it in perspective. However, I tried to keep my focus off of the pain and just get through it. The more focus you put into screaming, crying, and agonizing about your discomfort, the more your pain increases. I kept the overhead lights off, and during a contraction I would calm my breathing and try to push through it with my mouth closed and kind of moaning. The actual delivery, forgive me for being so up front, felt like I was going to have a massive poop. So there you go.

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  10. There are women out there who wouldn't even describe labor as painful. And of course, there are those who would. One big difference could be the fear factor. Fear can easily translate the sensations of labor and birth as pain, but if you embrace what your body is doing and take fear out of the equation, you may experience something quite different. With my first child, I LOVED labor -- all the way up to 9 centimeters. But then I got stuck and got afraid. This wasn't in my plan. And yes, then I felt the pain. Really felt it. With number two (due in 6 weeks) I'm hoping to keep fear at bay by being open to whatever happens. We'll see how it goes!

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  11. You can do it! (SMILE) I had an emergency c-section the first time and a v-back the second. I am sure there was pain but I don't remember it at all. In fact my husband said I sang during the labor of my second. Never thought I would sing but I did. :) The joy of seeing my new baby girl each time made every ounce of pain I am sure I felt worth more than anything in this world. Talk with your doctor and look forward to the day your new son or daughter enters this world. There is nothing like being a mom. (SMILE - AGAIN)

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  12. Well this is a fun TALK BACK...

    Here's how it went for me: I birthed my baby at home, and therefore naturally and without any epidural, meds, etc. I was scared about the pain, and yes it was very painful. During labor I thought to myself "ouch--I am never doing this again (birthing a child)", but now I would totally do it again. Although childbirth can be painful, it is still totally do-able and worth every bit of pain. Think of all the women throughout the ages that have given birth...

    If you are looking for advice, here's mine: 1)get the support you need around you for your birth, like people you trust and will care for you as best they can during labor 2)there's a great book called Baby Catcher that has a ton of positive natural birth stories in it, which might help prepare you for the many different possibilities that you can experience during labor

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  13. I'm with Kristen (and Anonymous above her too--emergency c-section and later a VBAC), it hurt at the time, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle and once it was over, it quickly faded from memory.

    The only time it felt like I couldn't take it, I was in transition and that passed quickly.

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  14. I agree with BaronessBlack. Being prepared is key. All three of my labors and deliveries were different. With the last one (6 weeks ago)I didn't make it to the hospital. Everyone's ok, but we weren't prepared. If I could've done anything differently, I'd be prepared for anything, home/hospital, epidural/au natural, vaginal/c-section. You just never know.

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  15. The biggest thing that helped me is the idea that Pain is 90% fear (think about how painful a simple stubbed toe is when it is unexpected!) Understanding what was going on in my body and trying to process it as pressure or tension instead of pain, and then relaxing INTO that pressure really allowed me to take it as it came. In the moments that fear would grab me, I would lean on my husband or sister for the words of reassurance I needed. I've now birthed 3 babies without meds and although eventually I have to admit that it is painful, I would choose a million other ways to describe it first!

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