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How bad is it-honestly?!

(50 Posts)
Natnat29 Fri 21-Sep-12 09:10:42

Hi I'm 21 wks pregnant and I really want honest opinions about how bad childbirth is please? The reason being everyone has said its not to bad or fine since I've been expecting -very sweet of them to try nit to scare me but I need to know really how bad is it ?

whatsoever Fri 21-Sep-12 09:13:58

How long is a piece of string?

Seriously - I'm 2 weeks off my first baby & would love there to be an answer to this but is you ask a woman who has successfully hypnobirthed and breathed her baby out and then am a woman whose baby got stuck and had an emergency C section, you'll get very different answers but they're both valid.

Hope for the best I reckon!

ValiumQueen Fri 21-Sep-12 09:17:06

It is impossible to say how it will be for you. Maybe the people you spoke to have had good birth experiences, maybe they are just trying to protect you. I was told similar things, and as a nurse had been at several births during my training, which were all pretty straightforward apart from one when the mum died due to a reaction to anaesthetic.

My first birth was very traumatic, and have since had an ELCS and am due another in 4 weeks. There will be good stories and bad, but the main thing is it is worth it when you get the baby. I am on no 3 so that is proof of that.

I think it is important to read up on delivery, and have a birth plan, but not to rely on it happening that way, as sometimes things do not go according to plan.

Good luck!

ValiumQueen Fri 21-Sep-12 09:19:55

My first birth was an induction due to pre-eclampsia, so it did not progress naturally. This can make a big difference.

Tanyaaah Fri 21-Sep-12 09:28:51

It was the biggest, most painful, happiest, most overwhelming, most amazing thing(s) that ever happened to me.

The 1st time was very very long, painful, confusing and at the end horrific! I still have happy memories though as I got a baby and although I was left bruised and (felt) battered, I got through it.

The 2nd time was amazing. Much shorter, a managable 12 hours start to finish. I did it all on my own in the birthing pool. I have never been so proud of myself!
Still painful mind, but I coped with breathing techniques and gas and air.
Best experience ever.

Don't worry!

lljkk Fri 21-Sep-12 09:30:44

Snurk. It's not the funnest day of your life. But it's only one day (or far less, even).
I don't think there's an easy way to have a baby.
I think it's important to be educated and open-minded about choices & options, so that you can feel okay about any decisions you need to make, and whatever happens as a consequence.

Tanyaaah Fri 21-Sep-12 09:30:50

I'm welling up now re-reading my post!
I am sleep deprived today though.

Marmiteisyummy Fri 21-Sep-12 09:39:46

I was at the "very easy" end of the spectrum. 48 hours of prelabour which was on and off period type pains, lasting for a few hours every 10-20 mins, then stopping for a few hours. Took paracetamol but never felt I needed anything more. Too uncomfortable to sleep when I got them but had breaks in between.

Actual labour was unmistakable and for me was less than 6 hours. natal hypnotherapy, tens and paracetamol at home for the first 3 hours. Felt a very strong pressure and yes, it did hurt, a good deal more than a period pain , but the thing is it comes as a wave, so you know it will end or at least reduce after it peaks. Was 7cm on arrival at hospital and by then I needed something else for the pain and gas and air worked really well for me. You get to a point that you think you can't cope, this is very often transition, it was for me. The contractions get stronger and closer giving you less of a break, which can be overwhelming and I seriously cannot recommend hypnotherapy enough for coping with this. Crowning is very stingy and a bit scary, I knew I was about to do myself some damage but I had a good midwife who helped me through this bit. As soon as the head is out the relief is phenomenal, and the moment you get to cuddle your baby is indescribable, beautiful and just the most amazing thing you'll ever do in your life. To say its worth it is such an understatement.

I was very lucky. I was also well prepared and had a big background knowledge of childbirth that goes wrong (medical profession). As sensibly said above, dont try to anticipate too much and have a birth plan that allows for all contingencies, rather than just the happy natural birth we all hope for. My birth aim was to come out with a healthy child and a healthy me, the rest didn't matter to me, cs, ventouse, whatever was needed.

Everyone is so different. Genuinely no one can tell you what your labour will be like.

Hth. Very best of luck.

Marmiteisyummy Fri 21-Sep-12 09:41:12

Sorry dodgy link. natal hypnotherapy.

issimma Fri 21-Sep-12 09:49:46

Depends on the positioning of your baby. If it's in a good position, it's more likely to pop out than if it's back to back, for example. Get a birthing ball and sit on that a lot to encourage it to move into the right place.

For me, labour was bearable. Transition and actual head coming out were the agonising bits, but they last seconds. I used a TENS machine, which was really helpful apart from DH almost electrocuting me with it.

If it gets too painful, take the drugs grin. And it's probably going to be only one day or night of pain until you get to meet your baby!

Oh, and prepare for AFTER labour too. For me, the stitches hurt more than any other part. And I couldn't sit down easily for weeks! You need comfy cushions and frozen condoms (filled with water) to ease the pain. Breastfeeding also hurt more than labour.

Sammyjayne489 Fri 21-Sep-12 10:25:49

Honestly do not worry about it, just go with it and enjoy the experience because before you know it, baby will be here and you will have almost forgotten about how bad the pain was.
I'm not going to lie the contractions are painful and you think how the hell are you going to cope but you do, the pushing part is certainly not the worse part, it's actually a relieve to start pushing, it's as if your pushing the pain away.

This is just my perception of labour, my baby is now a week old, my first.
I was induced but stayed at home right until my waters broke, got to hospital started pushing straight away and baby was born within 20mins. They recorded my labour as 1.5hrs no pain relief.

Good luck you will be absolutely fine smile

nomoreminibreaks Fri 21-Sep-12 10:33:43

Mine was a 'bad' one (induced, waters broken etc) and, while it hurt more than anything I'd experienced before, I still don't think it hurt as much as I'd imagined it would. Probably why I got to 9cm before it occurred to me to ask for gas and air...

That's not supposed to be a stealth boast, I'd just gone in thinking that I had a very low pain threshold so when the midwife told me I 'wasn't in established labour yet' I believed her thinking I was just being soft and that it was going to get much worse!

terilou87 Fri 21-Sep-12 10:37:26

its different for every woman and pain barriers can vary. for me it was the most painful thing i ever felt, with my first everyone was saying the contractions are painful but you dont feel much when your pushing baby out, how wrong they were i found both very very painful i was terrified of having to have stitches and i had to have them with the second and it hurt but it was bearable
but with all that pain i can honestly say it was soon forgot when i held my children for the first time. it was well worth the pain smile

pumpkinsweetie Fri 21-Sep-12 10:37:53

It is impossible to say as all births are completely different, some are easier, some are harder.
I have had 4 natural births and each one varied on a pain scale, if it is any help my inductions were the worst as i had to spend the entire labour in hospital whereas with my younger 2 i spent most of my labour at home in familiar surroundings so was much calmer.
I won't lie it hurts, but its one day and at the end of it you get your beautiful baby.
All i can say, is don't be a maytr to the pain take what drugs/epidural or as much gas& air as you like!
Fwiw i prefered gas & air as it has no affects on the baby and they couldn't get an epidural administered in time for any of themangry

But i would do it all again one day, you forget the pain after a whilegrin

SavoyCabbage Fri 21-Sep-12 10:41:18

Agony. I loved my epidural. My midwife said labour hurts, that's why it's called labour. Which I'm glad she did. My friend gave birth in the corridor on the way in the hospital and said it was no worse than a period pain. envy

You truly do forget all about it the second it is over.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Fri 21-Sep-12 10:42:32

Define 'bad' first.... smile smile

It's overwhelming at the time and I well remember being terrified in the lead up to DS (actually all 36 years of my life I reckon before he was born)

I couldn't comprehend what people meant when they said, you forget all about the pain but that it was really painful.

I had a suitably dramatic experience (emergency csection, very long labour, no pain relief) and some of if was really painful. But truthfully it didn't matter one bit once DS arrived. You really have to remember to trust your own body, it IS actually pretty well designed for this.

I don't mean to sound all 'woooo' but try not to focus too much on the birth bit because after about the first week you really willhave too many other things on your mind.

Good luck

kilmuir Fri 21-Sep-12 10:45:53

bloody hurts, but soon forgotten about until next time!

KentuckyFriedChildren Fri 21-Sep-12 10:52:52

Well there's no point in worrying about it as that baby has to come out whether it hurts or not. And you will remember that it hurt (or didn't) but you won't remember the pain iyswim. Once you have a snuffly baby in your arms you won't care if it was torture or a sneeze-birth smile

LonelyCloud Fri 21-Sep-12 11:53:39

They're all different - how much it hurts can depend on so many things, like your pain threshold, baby's position, whether or not you've been induced, how long it takes.....

Personally, I found that it hurt a lot, but not so much that I felt panicky or unable to cope. I just had gas & air but my labour was relatively short, so that probably helped. The worst bit was shortly before I was ready to push, but once I started pushing, that took my mind off it a bit.

If you find it is too painful, there's pain relief available.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Fri 21-Sep-12 12:00:28

If You watch one born every minute, you'll know that each labour is different and how you react and perceive the pain will affect your labour.

There's no doubt in my mind, it's the worst possible pain imaginable. I don't like needles and was adamant on no needles, epidural or c section. Yet at 7 cm dilated with my first I was begging for a c section.

With 2nd I knew what to expect so it wasn't so bad.

Having 3rd in a few weeks, and I'm reading a book at the moment which helps with relaxation and distraction during labour, seeing the pain as positive. I'll obviously have to let you know how that goes wink

Keep an open mind of what you would like to happen and what will actually happen.

Make sure you have support from a dp or relative/friend.

And I can tell you for a fact, it will be agony, tiring, stressful at times.....but a lot of mums go on to have more children so it can't be that bad. Right?

Good luck x

TwelveLeggedWalk Fri 21-Sep-12 12:03:41

I didn't experience transition (well I didn't notice it!) or crowning (crash Cs) but honestly I would not describe my contractions as painful. Intense, yes, but a big breath of g&a was fine, I would do that bit again tmrw.
Recovery from a crash Cs, yeeouch!

marge2 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:04:46

1st time - Horrific to be honest. Thought I was going to die. It took days. I Was pretty shocked and traumatised and cried for a long long time. Couldn't sit for a few weeks.

2nd time - Miles better. A hard slog, and yes, painful until epidural kicked in, but not scary. Felt tired but fine afterwards.

javotte Fri 21-Sep-12 12:04:50

I gave birth without any pain relief (there wasn't even time for gas & air). The contractions were bearable until the very end. The pushing part was very painful but very short and has somehow been wiped from my memory (honestly : I remember screaming and thinking I had never been in such pain, but I cannot remember the actual pain).

Wowserz129 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:11:36

It was awful for me. I managed on just has and air but it was pretty awful. The pain is so intense.

Once it was all over I was black and blue downstairs, I actually found that worse. The pain after was immense plus I had a baby to attend too.

You will be fine though! When it all comes down to it, you will do it.

StrawberrytallCAKE Fri 21-Sep-12 12:15:37

My first was brilliant. I was induced but contractions started after first pessaries, my waters broke on first examination and i felt a huge relief it was really peaceful and the only time I felt out of control was in transition, that's how the mw knew the baby was about to appear, I asked for an epidural at that point but was told to push after being checked. Pushing didn't hurt and took 14 minutes. The placenta came out after injection and I didn't even feel it. I had gas an air and pethidine which made me sleep in between the contractions, it took 4 1/2 hours but felt like about half an hour. The contractions all lasted around a minute, I had music on and concentrated on the music whilst contracting knowing that it would be over before the song was which helped me. I lay on my side for my entire labour until pushing which is when I moved to an upright position which I think helped dd come out quickly.

I am now 30 weeks Monday and not as scared as I was the first time but still a bit anxious because I know every labour is different. My only advice would be just do what you instinctively feel like at the time, don't plan too much, take what helps you keep calm and have faith in your body.

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