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Natural birth experiences can be so different!?

(23 Posts)
lizzyttc2017 Fri 20-Jul-18 14:53:55

Hi ladies,

I had my daughter 8 weeks ago and had a natural 16 hour back to back labour (waters went first) I was pushing for 2 and a half hours. Although I can look back now and see the beauty in the experience and I am so grateful I had a straightforward labour and healthy baby the pain was SO intense. I remember feeling like I could possibly die and was screaming and gasping between pushes. Infact I felt quite traumatised afterwards if I'm honest. I have then heard some people say their natural birth experience was not that bad and felt no worse than 'hitting their elbow badly'. I don't even think I have a low pain threshold so how can experiences and pain differ SO much? grin (hoping it's like this for me next time haha!)

OP’s posts: |
PenguinJS Fri 20-Jul-18 18:36:35

I’m with you on this one. An evening and day at home with contractions which I barely coped with and then a relatively short established labour and delivery of 4 hours or so in hospital with no drugs (tried gas and air but gave me no pain relief).

Screaming the house down between contractions too. I’ve forgotten the intensity of pain now but still remember that it hurt 😬

PenguinJS Fri 20-Jul-18 18:37:44

Oh and think I could remember the pain up to about 4 weeks after but 16 weeks in I can remember it in detail but couldn’t describe the pain anymore

Wolfiefan Fri 20-Jul-18 18:40:40

Back to back labours are bloody painful. And anyone who compares labour to hitting their elbow must've had an epidural!!!
My first was a back to back and my second was very fast. So intense.

Shutupanddance1 Fri 20-Jul-18 18:42:34

Yep, 4 weeks on and I honestly have no idea why women do not warn other women.
My labour was 3 and half hours with zero pain relief.. fuck me I am never ever ever doing that again. One of my friends told me after ‘oh yeah I remember thinking it was painful’ angry

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 20-Jul-18 18:44:16

They differ because women are physically different, babies are physically different and get into different positions. So many different variables means even two pregnancies for the same woman may result in very different labours/births.

TheCag Fri 20-Jul-18 19:08:51

I had two very different labours but honestly wouldn’t call either agonising or even really painful. Absolutely full on, almost overwhelming and the most intense thing ever but not that painful. Dh said I cried out once in each labour just before the head emerged but I remember that being because the sensation was beyond my control and feeling on the verge of being overwhelmed.

The exhaustion of a long labour with dc1 was much much worse for me than any pain, that was what I struggled with most -the intensity of labour for 30+ hours. (Possible tmi but the pain of my first poo afterwards was probably worse than labour!!)

First childwas back to back with g&a, second no pain relief as he was a homebirth.

We are all so different. Bit more full on than hitting an elbow though confused

TimesNewRoman Fri 20-Jul-18 20:23:25

Mine was similar. It does take a while to get over those traumatic feelings . Even though we are obviously lucky and grateful.
Expect to hear some people tell you that to them it just felt like trapped wind (with just a hint of a suggestion that you must have a low pain threshold) It's different for everyone. thanks

WonderfullySunny Fri 20-Jul-18 20:33:27

Before sleeping for the first four weeks I couldn't stop thinking about my labour, I hated it truly.
I had my DS ten weeks ago after induction got me to 4cm then they broke my waters...dear god it was like being hit by a bus. All the contractions up to that point were registering high on the monitor but felt fine like bad period pains but definitely doable.
After my waters went it was another story entirely, I was sick from the pain around 4 times. My contractions were all at the bottom of my uterus so they didn't register on the monitor so the nurse was less than sympathetic even though they were coming every 1-2mins. I managed on gas and air after morphine did bugger all.
Interestingly though the contractions weren't as painful once I was pushing. I stated no epi in my birth plan but doctor did one, I remember screaming, the sound was like the elastic on your waistband pinging when he cut me was thinking I can't do anymore. Thankfully DS emerged after that push.
PP is right though, the memory of the pain is fading but I still don't want to experience that again and I have a pretty good pain threshold normally!

SickRose Fri 20-Jul-18 20:33:31

I had natural homebirth but was 43 hours and I felt a bit traumatised by it after. I felt like I shouldn't because it was technically a 'good' natural birth. It took some time but those feelings passed and now, almost a year later, I look back quite fondly and would struggle to describe the pain. Nature has a way of causing those memories to fade, otherwise why would anyone have more than one child! So take into account the length of time from birth that people are recalling their labour. In a years time you might be remembering yours differently too!

laurG Sat 21-Jul-18 00:07:17

Mine was short about 5h. No gradual build up straight to contractions every 3-5 mins. Only had gas and air for the last hour. No time for anything else. Needed episiotomy as he was struggling a bit. I had fully intended to have every drug going so this wasn’t really my plan!

It was sort of how I expected it to be but ten times more intense and completely overpowering. I could hardly move just paralysed by the pain. Once I got to pushing I was fine as the end was in sight.

Nature has a very clever way of making you forget. I gave birth 5 days ago and I can’t really recall the sensation but I know it was pretty damn awful. I think most that say it didn’t hurt just can’t remember. The weirdest thing was how normal I felt afterwards (apart from the stitches).

Wellthisunexpected Sat 21-Jul-18 03:36:20

Mine was just pain, and it didn't feel like 'useful' pain either. I don't think it helped that the pain remained between contractions (I've heard some people say they didn't have constant pain and the relief between contractions was great) and that they didn't feel as though they were doing anything (most people say that they could handle the pain as it felt like it was moving baby, mine wasn't). It just felt like I was being ripped apart from my navel, the pain was downward but outward (which I've since been told isn't 'normal'). 2.5years on and I can still remember it despite counseling. I'm pregnant again, only 11 weeks but already arguing for a c section, if I don't get one approved soon I won't be having this baby.

hibeat Sat 21-Jul-18 03:46:26

I remember the pain, like I was going to die, then when it was finished and I had my baby on my stomach I said, well I could do that again ! My mum almost slapped me. ( I was 30). The pain you forget, there is so much joy afterwards that I can't even remember it now.

hibeat Sat 21-Jul-18 03:48:55

I had a full day of labour before going to hospital, I think the less time you spend in hospital, the less traumatic. The second time as I knew I was going to throw up anyway I had a full 500ml of strawberry ice cream in between contractions waiting at home. I was that reckless.

Levithecat Sat 21-Jul-18 17:53:50

Yes! Second labour three weeks ago, it was quick so no time for pain relief other than paracetamol (I didn’t like g&a).
I couldn’t believe how painful it was. I was trying to crawl up the bed and away from my own vagina. I was being monitored so couldn’t move much, think it would have helped to not be on my back.

mostdays Sat 21-Jul-18 17:58:04

All my births were very different in terms of pain. Ds2 was an absolute dream and ds3 was the most pain I have ever experienced in my life. Both natural home births lasting around the same amount of time, too, but one was lovely and one felt horrible.

Mybabystolemysanity Sat 21-Jul-18 18:03:01

By natural labour, do you mean vaginal birth or spontaneous labour as opposed to induced?

I've had two vaginal births but never a spontaneous labour, so I've nothing to compare against induction, but both births were great and very similar both times. Six hours, as PP said, the most intense physical experience I've ever had, but I would have described the pain as productive. I had excellent coaching in early labour this second time from a Student Midwife which I swear made me feel much more in control. I would not have liked to try to do it without gas and air and diamorphine either time though.

Probably won't have another and I am really sad I won't experience labour and birth again.

stargirl1701 Sat 21-Jul-18 18:06:29

I think it's about baby position. DD1's birth was not painful at all. Just a feeling of pressure. DD2's I had to ask for G&A. It was faster and my physical birth prep had been comprised by SPD.

MyBreadIsEggy Sat 21-Jul-18 18:06:41

I’m one of those people who has easy births.
First was an induction which took 3 hours start to finish (30 mins pushing), no pain relief.
Second was dry land home birth, 10 hours labour, literally a minute pushing, again no pain relief. After a pretty horrendous accident that nearly killed me and lots of rehabilitation, I kno I have a high pain threshold. I’m not saying childbirth didn’t hurt because it did, but it was a very different kind of pain that I knew would end - and that helped me I think.
I also did loads of research into the mechanics of birth. Knowing why it hurt definitely helped me too. I remember about 8 hours in with dc2, hitting that horrendous wall of “I can’t do this anymore”, contractions 30 seconds apart, and had little word with myself. Reminded myself that feeling that way means I’m most likely in the transition stage of labour and that some why it hurts so much.
I’ll probably pay for my easy births with the first two when we have a third!

Fucksakewhatatwat Sat 21-Jul-18 18:14:53

Had three very different labours.
Felt like I was going to die with first two.
Second was intense but pushing and birth not painful.

MrsMozart Sat 21-Jul-18 19:12:15

My first I screamed. A lot. Thought it inhumane. Was told by the midwife to be quiet (she'd never been through a labour).

Second one was less screaming.

Both quick.

LisaSimpsonsbff Sat 21-Jul-18 19:17:01

Yep, 4 weeks on and I honestly have no idea why women do not warn other women.

But what good would it do? I gave birth 11 days ago and it was agony (though already I can't quite remember how, just that it was) but I don't know what good knowing that in advance would have done. I took hypnobirthing classes and even though the pain was far too intense to use most of it and my plans all went to the wall (I gave birth on my back, having been told a hundred times not to - turned out it was what I wanted to do), but actually I'm still grateful that I didn't spend pregnancy terrified - it wouldn't have done me any good to know how bad it would be.

Bowlofbabelfish Sat 21-Jul-18 20:59:39

It’s nothing to do with your pain threshold or how tough you are. The amount of pain you feel is basically a combination of:

The positioning of the baby when everything starts.
Your own anatomy and how it interacts with the positioning of the baby
Any other complicating factors.

Some labours are just more painful than others. There are techniques you can use to help you cope with the milder end of the spectrum (hypno, positioning, water, breathing techniques etc) but some labours are just set up from the get go to hurt more than others. And no breathing technique on earth will help if you need certain interventions.

On average, second births are easier.

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