So what does labor feel like, exactly?

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So what does labor feel like, exactly?

bayosgirl bayosgirl
I've heard it's like menstrual cramps x 10. Is that accurate? Please be as descriptive as possible.
03/19/2013
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Noelle Noelle
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
I've heard it's like menstrual cramps x 10. Is that accurate? Please be as descriptive as possible.
Yes I'd say that's a pretty close description, but I had my second child and she was 10 lbs.(I am 5'4" and normally, when not pregnant 110 lbs).I would have to say it was like cramps X 1000! I actually had my tubes tied rather than go thru that kind of pain ever again!!
03/19/2013
bayosgirl bayosgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by Noelle
Yes I'd say that's a pretty close description, but I had my second child and she was 10 lbs.(I am 5'4" and normally, when not pregnant 110 lbs).I would have to say it was like cramps X 1000! I actually had my tubes tied rather than ...
Wow! Did you have a hospital birth? If so, I'm surprised they didn't do a C-section. I've heard of them ordering a C-section for babies in the 9-lb range. My little boy is measuring at 25-50% of the growth curve at 20 weeks, so hopefully the trend continues and he isn't very big when he's born. I'm a lot larger than you, but I still don't look forward to delivering a 10 pound baby (or heavier!)
03/19/2013
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
I've heard it's like menstrual cramps x 10. Is that accurate? Please be as descriptive as possible.
It feels..intense. It's more like cramps times 1000, to be honest. Not 10. It feels like what it is, your body doing very hard work and opening an area that isn't usually opened. I found it easier to deal with it if I kept my eye on the prize, and reminded myself that the worse it got, the closer I was to holding my baby!
03/19/2013
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
Wow! Did you have a hospital birth? If so, I'm surprised they didn't do a C-section. I've heard of them ordering a C-section for babies in the 9-lb range. My little boy is measuring at 25-50% of the growth curve at 20 weeks, so hopefully ...
Actually, that's dangerous thinking. I had two children, both of them over 9 lbs ( 9 lbs 1 oz and 9 lbs 11 oz) and both normal uncomplicated vaginal births with no drugs or interventions. My second child was born at a birth center, and they were both delivered by midwives. I'm sad when people assume that just because a baby is predicted to be larger a C-section should be done. Those estimates are often wrong, and even if they aren't the odds are good that if your body made the baby, it can support and birth the baby.
03/19/2013
epiphanyjayne epiphanyjayne
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
Wow! Did you have a hospital birth? If so, I'm surprised they didn't do a C-section. I've heard of them ordering a C-section for babies in the 9-lb range. My little boy is measuring at 25-50% of the growth curve at 20 weeks, so hopefully ...
C-sections are more dangerous then natural delivery. It's amazing what the female body can do. sucks that this is the info your being told. no wonder USA has the highest maternal morbidity rate in the Western world.
03/19/2013
epiphanyjayne epiphanyjayne
Labor feels extremely intense and powerful, Also you feel very heavy (overall and like you have a bowling ball between your hips).

I’ve had 3 babies first one in the hospital ended in epidural so I didn’t feel anything after 14 hours labor, second and third were similar, they were home births #2 was 3 hours and #3 was 2 1/2 hours.

Active labor contractions are hard to cope with they are a mental challenge, they feel like your uterus tightening(a muscle contracting extremely tight). Trying to explain it farther: A Rush of dull achy pain to a high pitched ache and then it flows out of you as a dull ache, and then relief until the next one.


Birthing is to me the best part, it is very uncomfortable having a baby stretch your Vagina but it’s rewording (to me) to get to push. I didn’t have ring of fire with #2 but did a little with #3 (which is strange since she #3 was the smallest).
The feeling of relief you get once the baby is out is great.

I’m really curious about my first birth and if I had done it at home if it would have worked out better(it probably would have) but it doesn’t matter now, it’s to late, just curious.
03/19/2013
ValerieRayne ValerieRayne
I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but definitely, my first two were the worst. I've had 4 in total.

The first one was a high risk pregnancy and labor was incredibly intense. I stopped dilating after the 2 cm mark and the doctors gave me Cervidel (not sure if that's how it's spelt). I ended up having hyper-contractions. Finally when I agreed to have an epidural, it wouldn't work and eventually I had to go for an emergency c-section. Definitely the scariest experience of my entire life.

During the c-section I felt nothing at all, but afterwards ended up getting a massive infection and couldn't breastfeed my baby because the infection ended up affecting my breast milk.

The second one was short, in terms of how long the labor was, but it was brutally intense. Every single one of my kids, I've had back labor, so the only place where I felt a lot of pain was in my back and hips and when I say a lot, I mean a freaking hell of a lot, more than I've ever experienced before. It literally felt like someone was punching me as hard as they could right above my hip and it just felt like that the entire contraction.

My 3rd one wasn't painful really. I mean, a little bit when I began to push and I could really feel myself open up for him, but for the most part, it was a calm experience.

My 4th was easy as pie and I would give anything to experience that type of birth over again. It all happened really fast. One minute, I started contractions, the next minute we were up at the hospital, a minute later I was freaking out about the lady screaming bloody murder next to me and the last minute, I pushed him out standing in the door of the bathroom in the delivery room. It was the best birthing experience I could've possibly ever asked for!

But every woman is different in the ways that she'll experience child birth and labor and every single time is completely different...
03/19/2013
epiphanyjayne epiphanyjayne
Quote:
Originally posted by epiphanyjayne
Labor feels extremely intense and powerful, Also you feel very heavy (overall and like you have a bowling ball between your hips).

I’ve had 3 babies first one in the hospital ended in epidural so I didn’t feel anything after 14 hours labor, ...
Just wanted to add that most of the contraction (for me) was felt in the back and hips.
Early labor feels like intense period craps, active labor is beyond that.

Active labor takes your breath away, you have to remember to breath through them.
Labor is a natural pain, it's your body working your baby out, so don't fight it.
03/19/2013
bayosgirl bayosgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by epiphanyjayne
C-sections are more dangerous then natural delivery. It's amazing what the female body can do. sucks that this is the info your being told. no wonder USA has the highest maternal morbidity rate in the Western world.
No, no, I didn't mean it like that! I'm very *against* unnecessary C-sections. If you saw my post on how I'm considering home birth, you would get that drift. On the contrary, it seems to me that most babies, even "large" ones, could be delivered vaginally. That's what the female body is designed for, anyway, as you said.
03/19/2013
Aishiteru Aishiteru
Good question, I look forward to reading the replies, so I'll have a better idea of what it will be like if I ever have a kid.
03/19/2013
novanilla novanilla
My sisters told me that it felt like someone lit a fire under their ass.
03/19/2013
Zombirella Zombirella
OMG !! I want a child of my own but these description have me scared. Ugh . I'll do it anyway but man....I don't want that pain.
03/20/2013
bayosgirl bayosgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by Zombirella
OMG !! I want a child of my own but these description have me scared. Ugh . I'll do it anyway but man....I don't want that pain.
Trust me, I feel the same way! lol. But it's either go through the pain or have a C-section...and I don't want to be cut open (major surgery!) for no good reason.
03/21/2013
Allison.Wilder Allison.Wilder
Labor is intense. It's been pretty well described above, but I wanted to say that when done by a good doctor, c-sections aren't all bad.

My son was 11 pounds, 8 ounces and 25 inches long at birth. There was no way I was pushing him out of me safely. I opted for a c-section rather than run the risk of having to have an emergency c-section partway through childbirth, potentially after already being cut a little to make room.
03/24/2013
Munko Munko
Labor for me started out as menstrual type cramping, for about an hour after my water broke. After that, I had all back labor and irregular contractions - some of my contractions lasted 5 minutes, others 30 seconds but one after another, or not for 20 mins. It was a bizarre experience...to me, it felt like someone was trying to break my tail bone/lower back from the inside. A lot of pressure and pain, nothing like menstrual cramps (oddly, I get all my cramps in my back mostly, too, when I have my period)

The birth part...I really have no words for that. I had a forceps delivery, unmedicated. I felt like my pelvis was being broken in two. I've never felt anything like it, and I hope the "ring of fire" of an unassisted vaginal birth isn't quite so bad, because that's what I'm hoping for next time!

That said though...you just focus and get it done. Honestly, as bad as it hurt....wasn't as bad of an experience as I expected it to be. You're so in the zone and focused that you just do it. I found the anticipation and fear of labor 100x worse than the actual act of laboring and giving birth. And I had a lot of complications and scares, but still managed just fine!!
03/25/2013
Msmueller Msmueller
I had an epidural with each of mine so really it was mostly pressure. But when labor started it was just like cramps the only time they were ever really bad awas with my first when they gave me pitocin...
03/26/2013
PropertyOfPotter PropertyOfPotter
I've had three babies, all natural, vaginal births.

The pain is there, yes. But in my opinion, it's a huge mind game. If you focus on the pain, it seems to intensify. If you're focusing on how temporary the pain is and what the outcome brings, it's much easier to handle.

During the active stages when contractions are consistent, I would say that they feel sort of like having a charlie horse in your midsection. It gets really tight, really uncomfortable, but it happens in a roller coaster way. It's fine...getting harder....getting worse.....OUCH...OUCH. ..OUCH....easing up....getting easier....*phew*. Once the contraction is finished, you feel like your muscles are sore (and they are) like you've done a 1000 crunches/sit ups.

I have problems with my hips and felt a lot of my discomfort there. It felt like loads of pressure and they almost felt like they were out of place as they were preparing for birth. My best advice, get comfortable and forget about just staying on your back. Laboring on your back is the hardest! My last baby was born in a birthing tub and I started pushing her out when I was on my knees. It was SO MUCH easier than birthing my first two daughters were I felt like I had to be on my back thanks to the doctors.

It's a temporary discomfort, and one that any woman can handle, it's all about where your focus in, tuning in your breathing, and doing the best you can to relax.
03/26/2013
raffi raffi
Hmm. I had emergency c-sections with both of my pregnancies because my babies were just simply too big to deliver safely. I'm 4'10" - my first was 9 lb 11 oz & 22" long - my second was 10 lb 6 oz & 22" long.

I really wanted to have all natural deliveries, no medications, no inducing, no nothing ... it's what I wanted, but not what happened. So while I didn't deliver vaginally I did go into labor naturally, and it felt like sit-ups (about a 45 degree incline and hold it ... that's the feeling I experienced)
03/26/2013
Munko Munko
I forgot to add, too, that for me what I found most helpful while preparing for birth, was reading a hypnobirthing book. I delivered almost 4 weeks early, so I didn't really have a chance to get the methods down pat to use during labor, but the book it's self was so different from a lot of my other pregnancy books. It was a lot more positive and "you can do this!" type thing, and focused not at all on medical interventions but on how women are meant to do this, how it's natural for us, etc, etc. I appreciate the medical standpoint, but reaffirming that it doesn't NEED to be a medical procedure, and is a natural thing to do, really helped ease my fears and helped me through labor.

And, I also agree - laboring/pushing on my back was horrendous! I did most of my pushing on my sides (I was hooked up to too many things to really maneuver into any other position at that point, due to baby being in some major distress)....I delivered on my back though because of the forceps, and it was infinitely more painful the second the made me roll on to my back and stay there!
03/26/2013
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
I'll say that every woman and every birth is completely different. Really, really bad cramps is pretty accurate, but how much it hurts and how difficult the labor is depends on a lot of factors. If you are terrified, not allowed to stand, or kept on your back for the duration of your labor, it will be a little harder.

Honestly, my first birth with an epidural and not being allowed to even sit up for most of it was horrendous. Worst pain ever. My second without any drugs and being allowed to move around and come and go as I pleased was much, much easier.
03/26/2013
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Also, the drug Cytotec, often used to induce labor (although the safety of doing so is hotly debated), makes labor more painful. Avoid it if possible.

Find a doctor or midwife that you trust and that listens to you and you should be fine.
03/26/2013
bayosgirl bayosgirl
Thanks for the input ladies. Sounds like it is intense, but definitely doable. I plan on having a natural water birth, so hopefully the warm water helps ease the pain.
03/26/2013
Munko Munko
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
Thanks for the input ladies. Sounds like it is intense, but definitely doable. I plan on having a natural water birth, so hopefully the warm water helps ease the pain.
I wasn't able to birth in the tub, but I LOVED laboring in it. Getting in and out damn near killed me though . My hospital doesn't allow birthing in the tub unless you have a certified midwife, and I had an OB. But last I heard OB's around here were working on getting certified in water birthing, so I'm hopeful for next time as I'm not a candidate for home birth this time around.

Are you currently expecting? If so good luck with your birth!!
03/27/2013
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by Munko
I forgot to add, too, that for me what I found most helpful while preparing for birth, was reading a hypnobirthing book. I delivered almost 4 weeks early, so I didn't really have a chance to get the methods down pat to use during labor, but the ...
I loved Hypnobirthing! It's the only way I made the long car ride to the birthing center! (hugging my pillow, eyes closed and silently listening to my ipod with the birth track playing!)
03/27/2013
charmedtomeetyou charmedtomeetyou
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
Thanks for the input ladies. Sounds like it is intense, but definitely doable. I plan on having a natural water birth, so hopefully the warm water helps ease the pain.
Try things and see what works! I loved the shower with both of mine, but couldn't stand the tub. Go figure!
03/27/2013
SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
I have threw up and fainted a few times because of my period cramps. If labour is 10X worse, than I would die from it.
05/07/2013
Deeder Deeder
For the most part both of mine felt like I had to take a major dump. I'd also say that the contractions were less like menstrual cramps and more like built up gas.
05/07/2013
Total posts: 28
Unique posters: 16