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Was childbirth so bad you wanted to die?

(123 Posts)
HeartofSlices Mon 18-Aug-14 13:22:23

My DM and DSis had very easy births, think under 2 hrs, too quick for drugs. DM had four children, DSis expecting #2. I'm expecting DC3.

I also a similar sort of births and DM and DSis are SO negative about their births, even though they were completely quick and textbook, both saying that it was so bad they wanted to die. I was talking about a friend who is expecting her first DC and wants a waterbirth and they think I should warn her and keep scoffing that she has "no idea".

I have never had a waterbirth and haven't a clue whether it helps with pain. It's not something that appeals to me but I understand that it does appeal to her and I know quite a few friends who have loved theirs. When I was pregnant with my first I hated all that "you have no idea" crap, it's so rude. I'm not going to do it myself!

But DM and DSis think I am doing my friend a disservice talking about my experience honestly and saying that yes it was painful, but not as bad as I had imagined or as bad as it looks when you see it on TV. Obviously I have also said that this is just MY experience, and my friend isn't daft. But I don't want to lie to her. DM and DSis insist that I was "lucky" because I didn't feel like I wanted to die, and that is the experience of everyone else.

So is it? Did you think it was so bad you wished for death rather than continue?

Cerealaddict Mon 18-Aug-14 13:28:05

No idea why I even read this, do what u want, no one is forcing you to tell people things u have no experience about

KleineDracheKokosnuss Mon 18-Aug-14 13:28:08

I didn't think it was that bad. A bit painful, but not in a really bad way. I can imagine it would have been less pleasant without the water (I laboured in water but got out for the birth), but still not that bad.

First thing I said to DH afterwards was "we can do that again", and I always tell people (when asked - not just randomly) that I enjoyed it.

Just keep your friend away from your DM and DSis

noeyedeer Mon 18-Aug-14 13:29:29

No. And not one person has told me that the pain was so bad they wanted to die either. I've had stories of things going wrong etc etc but your mum and sister sound a bit melodramatic.

BeginnerSAHM Mon 18-Aug-14 13:30:11

Umm - afraid I thought I was going to die... Both times. Also very very fast and I found it horrific. But I know that most of my friends didn't feel like that. I also know there are obvious advantages to having super-fast labours/births. But I can see why your mum and sister might feel like that as the short fat labours are often more intense and cause more damage. I think water probably can help, especially at the beginning, and your only 'duty' is to try to persuade your friend to be open to considering an epidural or other pain relief if they feel they need it. (By the way, I'm obviously not too traumatised not to do it again - am 21 weeks pregnant with number 3... Quite frightened about having the baby on my own in a bus stop though but that's another matter...)

hollie84 Mon 18-Aug-14 13:30:41

I had moments in both my births that I was so demented with the pain I wanted to die grin

Not sure how hearing that beforehand would have helped though?

I think it's better to go into your first birth feeling positive and relaxed rather than expecting to want to die.

MrsMinton Mon 18-Aug-14 13:30:44

Not at all! My first DS was 7 hour labour. My second was 45 minutes (home birth). The only part I found painful was the crowning/burning part. I have friends who told me it was horrific but it's such a personal thing that you can only wait and see for yourself.

LynetteScavo Mon 18-Aug-14 13:32:36

Yep, I would have been quite happy to die when in labour with DC1.

DH and I were both bloody terrified when I was pregnant with DC2, but it was no where near as awful, even though I couldn't have an epidural.

With DC3, though it didn't hurt at all.

lotsoftoast Mon 18-Aug-14 13:34:49

No. It was fine. And I had forceps, pph and a third degree tear so could have thought it horrific, but it wasn't

flopsybunny45 Mon 18-Aug-14 13:37:34

Just found out I'm preggars with DC2. Had fast labour with DC1, felt like I WAS dying ... DC1 was back-to-back... not sure if made a difference, but I just feel every birth must be pretty unique. Here's hoping for a less painful one next time round!

FreckledLeopard Mon 18-Aug-14 13:39:20

Yes. In labour with DD, I absolutely, without doubt, wanted to die to escape the pain. If someone had have handed my a gun, then without any hesitation I would have pulled the trigger to end the pain. Thankfully, I had an epidural.

But I was very taken aback by the level of pain. I was somewhat traumatised by labour and it took me a good few months to get over the experience.

Thurlow Mon 18-Aug-14 13:40:13

No, it wasn't great by any means, but it certainly wasn't that bad. Though bad enough that I'm going to have an elcs for any future DC and I don't care if I have to handcuff myself to the theatre trolley to get it.

I think women should know quite a lot about childbirth and certainly be aware that while hopefully water and hypnobirthing and that will get them through, it can be bloody long and painful and not go to plan.

I'd never use the phrase "I wanted to die" to someone who hadn't given birth yet, though! Something more euphamistic like "it can be a bit overwhelming at times but you get through it", maybe.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 18-Aug-14 13:41:08

My first baby was a forceps delivery and I thought the baby must be dead by the time he was born because the labour had been so long drawn out (he was fine btw) but no, I didn't wish for death myself. I was a bit traumatised for a few days afterwards and the trauma must have stayed with me in a hidden form because I dreaded all 3 subsequent births (despite eg no 3 being very easy indeed, I still was panicking when in labour with no 4) but it wasn't so bad that I didn't want more.

I thinking wishing for death in labour must be a minority experience.

AnaisB Mon 18-Aug-14 13:45:14

No, DD's labour/birth was easy (lasted about 8 hours). DS's was exceptionally quick (less than 20 mins from from the first contraction to delivery). DS's was more painful, but at no stage did I want to die or think I was dying.

I appreciate that I am lucky and that others' experiences are different.

MoreSnowPlease Mon 18-Aug-14 13:47:06

I thought I was going to die with both (40 hours and 15 hours) 2nd was waterbirth at home. ....but I certainly didn't want to.

Tell them that stress has a massive effect on labour (sent me 18 days overdue) and you don't see the point to worry her when you have no idea what hers will be like.

SavoyCabbage Mon 18-Aug-14 13:47:47

I can very definitely remember thinking to myself that if I died it would be a relief. I obviously can't remember the pain at all aims it seems absurd now but I know I thought that. I really think you forget the pain.

Fairylea Mon 18-Aug-14 13:48:48

I had two very traumatic births - one 67 hour long induction that went quite horribly wrong (epidural failed to work, ventouse went wrong, botched episiotomy) and one elective c section where they didn't realise I had grade 4 placenta previa until they literally began the operation... I lost nearly 3 litres of blood and had 2 transfusions. I opted for the c section because of my first birth being difficult.

I couldn't say I wanted to die - I wanted to live! - but both were horrific experiences and my first birth was terribly long and painful.

However my experiences are unusual. I clearly just don't do pregnancy and birth well! (So the consultant joked to me after the c section in the recovery room!)

I think most births are not too bad otherwise people wouldn't have more than one child. It took me 10 years to even consider another child. I had pnd and ptsd for years after my 1st.

I do think birth is a bit glammed up in the media though. I think people should be aware that it is painful and know the options about pain relief etc and there should be less pressure on women to attain the "perfect natural birth".

The most important thing is the baby is delivered safely and the mum has the least traumatic delivery possible.

Heatherbell1978 Mon 18-Aug-14 13:50:29

I'm confused - so you had a reasonably positive birth experience but you're wondering whether you should tell your friend that her birth experience could be 'so bad she might want to die?'. Erm, as someone who is 40+3 and waiting to give birth for the first time, ideally in the water, I can honestly say I wouldn't want my friend to tell me that!! I'm not naive about the pain and I'm sure your friend isn't either.

beccajoh Mon 18-Aug-14 13:51:27

I don't recall ever wanting to actually die but I did think that one or other of DH and I would die (DD nearly did - EMCS). The pain was horrific. Utterly indescribable. Hypno birthing was a fucking joke and I was begging for an epidural at 4cms.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 18-Aug-14 13:55:26

First time I would have seriously considered it as an option.

Second time, no, not at all, in fact I almost enjoyed it.

Everyone is different I reckon. A friend of mine did hypnobirthing for her first and refused to listen to any negative stories. Not that I would have told her any as I think it's really unhelpful.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 18-Aug-14 13:56:21

Your mum and sis is dismissing other people experience and that is what's wrong. You honestly didn't think you wanted to die, did you?

And you don't necessary have the same labour experience as your mum (or sister), just because you are genetically related. My mum said she wanted to die too. In her words, she wanted to throw herself out of the window of the hospital. OTOH I had a silent labour. I can feel the pain, I didn't sleep for 2 nights (3 day labour), but I coped with the pain without any pain relief. At no point I felt I was not in control of the pain. I didn't even look like i was in active labour according to the midwives and my hospital note. And this is a back to back labour with water broke, which they said is the most painful kind.

So I didn't feel I wanted to die despite my mum's experience to the contrary.

WaitingForMe Mon 18-Aug-14 13:57:14

No. My mantra was "this will not kill me." DH got a bit freaked out by my reciting of it. I maintain that I WAS being positive grin

MrsEricBana Mon 18-Aug-14 13:57:50

Of course I didn't want to die but ds birth was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I am still suffering the ill effects fourteen years later. Dd birth scary but quicker and different. I did NHS and NCT classes and all the talk of birthing pools, soft music, aromatherapy etc did not prepare me for the harsh medical reality of it all. BUT everyone's experience is individual so no point scaring someone due to give birth.

IsSpringSprangedYet Mon 18-Aug-14 14:06:31

I didn't want to die as such but thought I was as I've never ever felt any pain like it. After my waters broke and baby started to come, I was worried that everything else was going to come out as well, and was too scared to stand or move at all really. Silly when I look back now. No magazines, books, websites, people can tell you what childbirth is like as everyone is so different.

All of my babies came quickly, and always quicker than the previous one. I know one girl who says she orgasmed as her eldest was born confused, and another who didn't feel a thing as she had a water birth.

weeblueberry Mon 18-Aug-14 14:31:14

Jesus no. I never wanted or thought I was going to die at any point.

I had a slow, through the night, early labour which resulted in me being 4cm when I went into triage in the morning. Because my waters had gone 48hrs previous though they wanted to give me the drip and speed things up. And whoa, it did. It literally went from 0-60 within 2 hours and the pain was suddenly very very intense.

But I genuinely don't remember ever thinking I was going to die. I suppose even when I was at my worst I was able to be rational enough to think that women very rarely die from the pain of childbirth...

It all depends on how the birth actually is though. I think mine must have been fairly easy for me not to have wanted to die given some of the responses here.

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