Kidney Stones vs. Pain of Childbirth: Is There Really a Comparison?

"Hee, Hee, Hoooooo"

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Royalty Free Photo

What is a kidney stone?


A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney out of substances in the urine.

A stone may stay in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all the way out of the body without causing too much pain.

A larger stone may get stuck in a ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. A problem stone can block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

Giving birth and raising a child of my own is something I’ve considered many times throughout my adult life. I remember thinking that I don’t even need a “husband.” I’ll just simply choose one of those non-traditional methods. As time has gone on, the courage to make this commitment has never truly been in my blood. I’ve also been extremely afraid of the pain. So, glimpses of motherhood I receive are through spending quality time being an “auntie” with my nieces and nephews.

My sisters have told me, “you’ll never r-e-a-l-l-y understand what you go through when delivering a baby.” And I would agree, “I’m sure you’re right. I really give you both a lot of credit. I honestly don’t know if I could do it.”

Then one day, simply out of nowhere, I was in excruciating pain and was rushed to the emergency room. My back and stomach felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly. The urge to urinate was incredible. I was so sick to my stomach, I held a bag near my chin. What was happening to me? I was afraid and thought I was going to die. Instead of screaming and ripping some sweet nurse’s head off, I tried deep breathing and then I began to take short, quick breaths like they teach expectant mothers on TV. I was doing the "hee-hee-hoooos."

It didn’t take the unknown doctor long to diagnose that I had kidney stones. It has been said over and over again that the pain of passing a kidney stone is comparable to delivering a baby and that re-occurrence of this event is common. So now I know what it’s like? I’m doing it! I’m gonna give birth (to a stone).

As crazy as it sounds, I am actually somewhat glad that I went through this experience. I can better relate to my sisters whom combined have a total of seven children. Their conscious choice of getting pregnant and going through that pain again and again amazes me!

I do have to remember that I am fortunate. My pain has only lasted a total of 15 hours or so over a period of a few weeks. Oh, I was extremely nauseated and somewhat disabled during these continued episodes. Yet, from what I understand, it still wasn’t morning sickness lasting for several months in a row.

It bothers me though that planning out my pain, through long-winded conversations and worries about the future, was not an option. The conception of my pain began in the middle of a crowded Super K-Mart. I didn’t get the chance to contemplate – now or later?

“Try to look on the bright side,” I would assure myself. My pain doesn’t make me gain lots of weight and won’t stretch my skin to its limits. I won’t end up with breasts that are so tender no one can come near me. I can sleep on my stomach whenever I want. My pain only needs the attention of a painkiller every so often. Not food and clothing, education and love. I’m not compelled to worry every minute of the day about my pain. It won’t be around for at least 18 years or longer. (At least I hope not!)

I sincerely love my nieces and nephews. They haven’t caused me any discomfort. I cherish every moment I spend with them and enjoy watching them grow. They are the wonderful, precious gifts my sisters have received for their pain. Miracles.

I am relieved that my “miracle” finally appeared. Although, I have wished I had a little more to show for my pain than an itty bitty stone in a bottle. Then . . . reality sets in again. If every time I went through one of these “stone” episodes, it’s supposed to be like having a baby, then I would be the proud mother of five.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly love children. But let’s be honest. This really isn’t a true comparison, is it?

The True Miracles!!!
The True Miracles!!!

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Comments 44 comments

Chris 5 years ago

Love you my sister ;-)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thank you seeester, love you too. Let me know what you think.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Welcome to hubpages Sharyn's Slant and I had a giggle at both your profile and this hub, thanks. Visit the learning center for more tips on how to get the best out of your hubbing experience and if you like a challenge join a weekly hubmob, http://hubpages.com/info/hubmob. Topics change weekly so choose one that interests you and enjoy. Cheers Marie, member of hubgreeters team.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thanks Marie -- I'm glad you giggled :)


rabrus 5 years ago

Your a natural. Your words and descriptions made me feel I was right there with you. Can't wait to read your next story!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thank you rabrus! Next lil story coming soon!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Buttons up! Great write. I've had kidney stones. They are awful. Women have told me that kidney stones are worse than giving birth. I'm sure they can be. They don't need to be rougher! God bless!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thanks Micky Dee! Appreciate your comments. FYI, got Cardinals on my mind :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Great! Haha and you don't have to take the kidney stone home to provide for it for the rest of your life:). I've got 3 daughters - they were, for sure, worth the pain:-)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thanks RH, really enjoying your hubs btw, I'm counting on you now for a good laugh every so often.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

We will both keep trying!


firedad 5 years ago from Kentucky

Loved it! I just gave birth to my first kidney stone last month and if that is what my wife went through with our children, then it is a good thing she had them.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hey Firedad -- ooohhhh, from what I understand it is more painful for men. Ouch! Drink lots of water all the time.

BTW, did you get my email I sent to you last night?


firedad 5 years ago from Kentucky

No I didn't get any emails


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

FD, sorry you didn't get it. Will try to "recreate" what I sad and send it again.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

HAHA love it!..As a nurse and one who has worked in Urology..kidney stones may be worse than childbirth so you definitely had a taste of the real thing..Loved you hub! UP for sure!

Sunnie


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hey Sunnie, thanks for the up vote! Kidney stones are no fun. I had a pretty bad episode again this past year. Was literally ready to go the the ER is was so bad. I kept drinking water and walking around the house and yard. At one point, I started jumping up and down too . . . get this THING outta there! I was in a lot of pain and extremely nauseated. After about 3 hours of torture, I knew the stone moved when I all of a sudden couldn't stop peeing :) I believe I finally passed it a couple days later.


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

A friend who's had both tells me kidney stones are much worse. Having had 3 births with only hot water for pain relief (and two of those were at home), I am sure my friend is right.

Birth is surrounded by lots of hormones; I was not worried about things that normally worry me, nor was I thinking at all about the significance of giving birth. I said and thought things at odds with anything I would have said any other time.

So first of all you're not in a normal state of mind, so though there is pain, it doesn't necessarily strike you the same way.

Also, the pain isn't constant; it comes and goes, and there is this point called "transition" when the womb is fully open and the journey down the birth canal starts. For me and many women, that's almost the worst point not because it's painful then but because due to the hormones you suddenly feel scared, doubting whether you can do this or not, and wondering how bad it will be. If you just have someone with you to recognize the signs of transition and remind you that doesn't mean it's starting, it means you're almost done (in one case it meant I was 8 contractions from the end!), the actual pain after that is not such a big deal.

And with kidney stones I don't imagine you have the hormonal urge to "push" which in two of the births kind of overrode the thoughts of pain at the most painful part.

In any case, I highly recommend hot water as pain relief for labor and lots of things (next time you have a really bad cold, take a long hot shower; that's how great hot water feels in labor.)

Oh, yes, and I haven't heard that kidney stones look cute, or smile at you, or do any of the other things that make all the pain, and more, totally worth it!


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

One more thing; I was single for a long time and wondered about having a baby by "non-traditional" methods. Now I wonder how I could have considered it. A baby needs a father to have someone less hormonal than its mother. A mother needs the father to have someone who cares that much about the kids to watch them sometimes.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment aethelthryth. I believe that an individual's pain tolerance would make a big difference in how one feels about which may be worse. Because I have never given birth, I don't dare argue that my pain was worse. I give a lot of credit to all women who choose to have children.

And you are right, kidney stones are not cute. There is nothing attractive about any part of the process:)

Thanks so much for commenting!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA

I've had two children and a kidney stone. I think maybe the kidney stone was worse. At least with a birth you have something to look forward too.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Barbara Kay, thanks for reading. You are right, nothing good comes with a kidney stone :) I'm just praying I don't have another episode soon. I'm thinking it might be likely since I'm writing and talking about it. Better start drinking my water!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

It's different for everyone. I have a tilted uterus so for me it was very difficult and painful, both times, but I did opt for natural birth, I didn't want to introduce any drugs into the birth of my children. Twice was enough for me and convinced me I'M DONE!

Best wishes and welcome to HubPages, Katie :)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Katie,

Thanks for checking out my hubs and commenting and the fan mail . . . I very much appreciate your feedback!

Thank YOU!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I've never experienced either but I can't imagine the pain you have to endure. This was very insightful. My first hub was nowhere near this good.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Alecia,

Well that was a super sweet comment. Not about the "pain" but about my first hub here. The "pain" I'd rather forget although recently, I've been having kidney stone symptoms, darn it :( Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sharyn


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Taht was so funny! I haven't had kids or kidney stones, so I don't know, but I've heard that kidney stones are pretty excruciating. Great hub! Well done!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hey Vicky,

Thanks for your feedback. I have had kidney stone episodes where, literally for me, the whole world stops. I am in so much pain I cannot concentrate on anything else (other than if I should go to the ER). I walk, move around and drink lots of water and eventually, relief comes. But usually after many hours of pain. Truly, it sucks being prone to stones :( Thank YOU for stopping by.

Sharyn


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

oops! Typo! My first word in my comment should be "That." haha Forever proofreading....


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Oh silly, be gentle with yourself . . . :)


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I’ve had two kids, no kidney stones, so no opinion!

Interesting comparison, and I agree with Alecia - this was a great first hub. I hope you get relief from your kidney stones.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

The funniest line I've ever read was the hee hee hoo hoo's! I imagined you doing that in the hospital :) I've never had kidney stones or gall stones or anything like that but I have heard such horror stories about them! On the other hand I have delivered three large babies...with minimal pain and complications. So...I will choose another baby any day over your stones - at least my pain and effort leave me with something worthwhile :D


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I've also had two kids but never experienced kidney stones BUT I've heard the horror stories regarding tha pain and agony!!! One friend was doubled over in pain on the ER floor for hours before she was tended to. The nurses told her...the stones will pass. It was her first experience with stones. OUCH!!!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Yvonne ~ I don't get episodes all that often, maybe 1-2 times a year if that, but that is enough! Now, from experience, I can tell when they are starting and immediately begin chugging more water. Thanks so much for your feedback.

Ardie ~ Sounds like you are lucky with no stones and three easy births. And you are so right, I have nothing to show for my pain! Are you trying to tell us that you are having another baby???

Linda ~ You are lucky too :) But your friend, well, sure they will pass eventually, but in the meantime, you go through hell. Being in the ER, they should have at least gave her some good drugs.

Thank you all for stopping by!!!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Hi Dear Girlfriend,

Just missed seeing this one, as you started one month before I did in March, 2011! Wowee...can't say that I've done 'labor OR stones'! What a relief (LOL)!

Even 'way back then', I love your slant, sharyn! Voted UP & ABI! Hugs, Maria


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Sharon, this is excellent!! Loved it!! I have a friend who has had children and kidney stones. She said she'd rather give birth. OUCH!!!! Sorry you had to go through that, but you sure do tell a great story! :-) Voted UP and across!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Oh, we finally get the real answer of which is worse. Thanks, sholland!!!!!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Maria ~ Thanks for the comment on liking my "slant" even way back then. It shows, huh :) Thank you my dear friend.

Susan ~ Ha, I believe your friend. Yet, I'm sure there are some births that are truly unbearable. Thanks for your feedback.

Vicki ~ Yup - a big vote for the baby!

THANK YOU GIRLS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 4 years ago from West Virginia

Great hub! I had 2 children, both were by C-Section and that pain makes all other pains seem small. I stopped having kids after the second one.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for stopping by! My lil sister had four boys, ALL C-sections. Ugh!

Have a great day!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Sharyn,

I like your writing style. I had four kids, three the old fashioned way and on c section. I agree with Lady Guinevere, there is not much worse than a c section. I have never had a kidney stone. They sound excrutiating! I really hope I don't find out which is more painful..lol. This is a really cute hub!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for your great comments. I hope you never have to find out if stones are worse or not. They aren't fun. But still, I really don't think they can be compared to giving birth and/or the pain of enduring a C-section. Thanks for stopping by!

Sharyn


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Sharyn...

My sisters had kids...nope...the pain never bothered me one bit. Let's see...nope...not one bit...

I'm gonna give birth (to a stone)! Hahaha...that has me chuckling and wondering if Keith Richards mom felt the same way?

I share your pain...with a tweet and a Facebook posting!

Thanks,

Thomas


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Thomas,

Keith Richards, LOL. I am thrilled that you will "share my pain" with me :) Thank you dear for stopping by - have a wonderful day!

Sharyn

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