Many women have totally natural childbirth without any pain relief- are those that say it is horrendous exaggerating or do you think there is just a massive range of labour and birthing experiences?
I think it's a matter of that range you mentioned, but also two others things: a) some people have a higher pain threshold than others, and b) some people have more skill at dealing with pain (even the pain that goes over their own threshold). Another factor can be how long pain lasts. People can often tolerate it fairly well for x amount of time, but if it goes on and on for too long they start to run out steam when it comes to being able to "graciously" experience it.
I imagine there are some who exaggerate and know they're doing it, but I don't think that's women in general. In fact, I think those who seem to exaggerate (or may even be technically exaggerating) do it because they can't find the right words to describe it, so they use words that aren't quite accurate. BUT, whether its childbirth or something else, or men or women, there will always be the occasional "drama queen".
I say, never let the truth limit a great story...
but I was induced and it hurt!
I definitely agree with you about the amount of time- no matter how painful something is if it's over pretty quickly you can usually deal with it.
I think the time factor has a lot to do with it. Epidurals don't work for me (found that out with my first born) so I took nubain. My second baby was born without anything, because I walked into the hospital at 10:40 and he was out by 12:20! There was hardly time to get settled, lol!
I clicked on this thread wondering what it was about. I had no clue it was about childbearing. Actually, my first thought it was something about a bad job.
Sorry to interrupt ladies. I'll go find some sports thread to post on.
Oh, but as long as I'm here I'll mention one thing.
Now, I have witnessed this "bad labour."
So what is the first thing you ladies said when this "bad labour" is all over? "You know, like, "I'll never go through that again!"
The first thing my ex-wife said immediately after the birth of our first child was, "What's wrong with his head?" He had a cone head. I guess that's not really uncommon in the case of a first birth.
I think so, although I am sure there are some real horror or extreme labor stories out there. I keep it short and not so descriptive when asked by mothers to be, not a good idea to fuel their fear of child labor with some horrific battle labor story.
I usually say, "they don't call it labor for nothing." And no matter how difficult the actual labor and delivery is, all that strenuous mind blowing work is quickly forgotten when the bliss of your new born is staring at you for the first time.
I was one of the lucky one, quick labor and quick recovery, although I was determined to get it over with as fast as possible, mind over matter per say.
I tell my girls its not too bad!
Lying through my teeth I am afraid-
I guess its like a badge of honour like the russian ladies used to get who had lots of children-
The problem is that you are often not at your best in the run up period to labour- you are fat, short of breath, uncomfortable and moving is a major problem and then some fool comes and tells you to breathe-
It is a lot easier and natural for some and I really applaud them, but for those of us who had 36 hour labours, emergency operations etc
Of course there is a massive range, but extreme pain is certainly not uncommon.
Do you think extreme pain is more common than people who have normal child birth experience- by normal I suppose I mean not a walk in the park but nor unbearable/extreme pain?
I think moderate to severe pain *is* normal during parturition. The brain even has a system that dulls the memory of the pain after birth--suggesting it has always been a bit on the rough side for most women (evolutionarily speaking). Until modern times it was also not infrequently fatal.
I went through labor twice without any pain medicine. It definitely hurt!! I was ok without the meds myself, but I have a higher pain threshold. I think many things effect the pain that women feel in labor. If it is the first child, how big the child is, how her birth canal is, how high her pain threshold is and probably so much more. I do not know all the factors. Just like no pregnancy is the same, I don't think any labor is the same either. I am sure it is possible that some women may exaggerate, people exaggerate about many things.
Four time without anesthesia, each experience unique; each labor somehow predicted something about the child's personality, but I realize that idea also comes from projecting observations backwards into those events.
I agree with the posts regarding the time factor. When my second child was not quite two, I was hospitalized for an infection (unrelated to childbirth!); the pain was so intense that I kept asking myself, "I have delivered two children without anesthesia, why can't I tolerate this?" I realized that there were two reasons: one was that with the infection, there was no let-up (during labor, there are peaks and valleys of pain); and the other was that in labor, there was a predictable end to the pain, and that knowledge helped to make it more bearable. With the infection, I had no clue about how long it could last.
Most of those times, there was a point during labor when I told myself, "I'm never doing this again" - and yet, the joy of those children and the dulling of memory (see psycheskinner's post) convinced me otherwise. There was also a point during each labor when I thought, "I can't go through with this now, but I know that I have to - there's no going back."
I wouldn't trade any of those experiences for anything. The children, now grown, were and are absolutely worth every bit of it. And I believe that the pain itself contributed to making me a stronger person.
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