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Thread: What is the pain exactly?

  1. #1

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    Default What is the pain exactly?

    OK, I know little to nothing about labour. All people seem to say is it hurts like hell. LOL. What I'd like to know is, what exactly is it that hurts? Is it the contractions? and is it painLESS inbeteween contractions? Is it the stretching at the end as bubs comes out?



    I just want to know, as I've now read a couple of articles regarding drug-free birth, and how drugs affect various hormone productions, which in turn can affect the bonding etc with the baby. I will be learning about the different types of pain relief etc at our classes I guess, but from what I've read there's not a huge range of drugs, and none of them really appeal to me.

    I so far don't really have a fear of the pain (but I feel like I should!) The pain just doesn't seem to worry me, I'm more worried about being too tired to continue with a natural birth. I picture myself flaked out saying "I just can't do any more". But the pain side of it just doesn't scare me. Am I completely naive to just how painful it is?

    I'm looking for detailed pain stories I guess.. not just people saying.. yup it hurts

  2. #2

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    I think that there are a few differant types of pain going on and its differant for all of us so what I'm saying here only really applies to me. We all have differant labours and differant pain thresholds. Early contractions felt alot like period pain - I geuss that its a similar thing going on in terms of the uterus cramping. I also got alot of lower back pain (which I think some people experience during periods) which was quite localised and sharp. After a while the contractions felt like a combination of those really nasty cramps you get with diahrroea and really really bad period pain - then it just got more full on along the same lines. After that I had an epi until it was time to push.
    Pushing felt like doing the world's biggest poo out the wrong hole (sorry for TMI). In a way it wasn't so painful as the contractions but then again it was way more uncomfortable (does that make sense?). Crowning was really intense - to the point that when they gave me an epi I hardly felt it. The final shock for me was getting a kick in the vagina from Yasin as he came out and then the stitches - they hurt!! Probably because I thought it would be over so it was something I wasn't mentally prepared to deal with.
    I think that if you aren't scared of the pain and can see it in a positive way then it will probably help you in labour. Fear can have a big effect on the way labour progresses (oops I hope my pain explanation hasn't scared you 8-[)

  3. #3

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    My first labour I don't remember so well, but my second was short and SO Intense. It was such a shock to me as I didn't remember it being like that. THe pain was very intense, but it did go away in between contractions and gave me time to breath, reposition, have a break etc. I also knew that because it was a different kind of pain, I'd be ok (as in not an injury pain) so that got me through. You know it will end so it's more bearable.
    Hope that was some help xox

  4. #4

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    Well i never get period pain, but the contractions, to me, felt like you've got extremely bad wind i suppose, but it comes in waves it isn't there constantly. Then as labor progressed the contractions didn't increase with severity but they became closer together and longer so it felt worse, but the actual pain wasn't iykwim? All my pain was just under my bump, no where else. Other people get it all over your bump, back or both etc. I was wacked out on gas for most of it, so to me, it wasn't that bad.

    Then came time to push(didn't even notice i went into transition) this was the hardest part. I actually felt like the contractions were less painful when i pushed. I was pushing for 1.5 hours and nothing was happening. I did actually say, i cant push any more, i was SO tired(labor was only 5 hours start to finish though) So had to have vacuum extraction, which i suppose makes the pain worse. But i can tell you, it felt like my pelvic bone was going to brake. The pressure from her head was so intense, worse than anything. Then her shoulder got stuck, so i had a midwife on either side of me lifting my feet up to my ears nearly and the doctor(sorry for TMI) had to literally reach in and grab her to get her shoulder unstuck. Mind you, DF says this only took less than 5 seconds but it felt an eternity. I had a 2nd degree tear(probably from the doctor grabbing DD) but i never felt myself tear nor did i ever feel the crowning, which most people do. I suppose the pain her head pushing my pubic bone was too much to notice any other pain at the time.(her head was stuck under it, which is why i couldnt push her out by myself)

    So there is my detailed sotry LOL. So if i've scared you, but i doubt you'll have as much trouble as i had, because normally they'd induce or c/section you if they knew what the outcome might be.

    I actually asked for an u/s because i was worried about her size and i have a small frame. (she ended up being 9lb 7oz and i was refused the u/s)

  5. #5

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    hehe... don't feel like you're scaring me girls I need to hear all this so I'm not going in there blindly saying 'I can handle it'. I appreciate each labour is different. I was told a horror story yesterday about a friend who ended up with 3rd degree tearing because her little girls arm came out with the head and the docs didnt realise until it had happened. :shock:

    I'm just a bit worried I have the 'it won't happen to me' syndrome, and that i'm in for a rude awakening. hehe.

    I'm wondering now tho.. coz I get period pain to the point of rolling around the floor in pain until I pop some naprogesics. LOL. So maybe I won't have the stamina to handle the contractions!

    Will be giving it all some serious thought. I like the article here on bellybelly tho talking about the pain being a 'good' pain and being a necessary part of giving birth, so if I can get my head around it the right way I might be able to handle it drug free

  6. #6
    Kirsty77 Guest

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    Gemma was a posterior bub so I had pain just about everywhere! Like Tegan said it comes in waves but is like the worst ever tummy bug you've ever experienced.My pain got worse as the contractions got closer together and the pain in my back felt like it was going to rip me apart!I must say the pain in my belly and lower belly was alot easier to handle then the back pain. But then again everyones different and everyones labour is so different.But I could handle the pain and am actually looking forward to it again!Crazy I know but the pain is so worth it when you know there is a baby coming soon!

  7. #7

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    Another modern day word change in the process... we don't have pain in labour we have 'intensities' or 'waves'! We have to change women's association with pain and labour

    We all have different levels of pain sensitivity, our uterus' will have it's own sensitivity to induction drugs - so it's hard to say. As long as you can get around the fact that you need to be working with your body and not against it, you will be fine. Have someone help you relax in contractions - when we are in pain we tense up - but this makes pain worse. I often remind women in labour to relax their sholders, relax their jaw, relax their fists etc - because we don't realise we're doing it, but it's a normal reaction to pain. I find giving them massage too really helps them to let go and the contractions seem to fire up more. Maybe co-incidence, but I dunno, when I get massaging I notice great contractions

    Embrace the intensity!!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  8. #8

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    My labour hurt - lots. I had a posterior baby, and was induced, and dilated fairly quickly, and had heaps of prelabour - blah blah blah.

    The most amazing thing I noticed though was that in between the contractions is the most amazing sense of relief. Its a type of pain that is blissful - they should bottle that drug and give it during all labours!!

    So the contractions hurt like hell, and if I moved they would course through my whole body, but the coming down feeling from one is like surfing on a wave. Just pure heaven. I had a couple of goes on the gas, but that was actually taking the edge of the relief, so I stopped and just laboured with heat and massage until they put the epi in. All up I guess I laboured heavily for about 3 hrs? And then the epi kicked in, and I had dilated, so it was all kinda over for me until she was delivered by forceps.

    The pain is like period pain, crossed with a tummy bug, crossed with wind, crossed with sheer exhaustion and exhiliration. Its completely insane - but I've already forgotten. I remember feeding off a cracked nipple far more. OUCH!!! Now that hurt!!!

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