(Closed) How painful is childbirth?

posted 8 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 46
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Ability to walk upright and run meant smaller pelvis and difficult childbearing

Post # 47
821 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

Oh man, I remember this thread and how messed up I thought it was that your coworker made it sound like manual placenta removal was normal. Well, I wanted to chime in now having gone through labor AND a manual placenta extraction (for failure to deliver a partially still-attached placenta) with no pain medication.

My water broke at 38w1d at 3pm with a slow leak. I had 1 hour of no labor during which I drove myself to and from the midwife. I then had 1 hour of early, minor labor. After that, I progressed really rapidly and had 2 hours of strong, active labor at home (planned). It was very intense and difficult with no more than 3 mins between ctx, rapidly decreasing to 30 sec, It hurt and it was a challenge to process because I couldn’t think, I could only labor. However, I never reached my limit or felt hopeless or ready to give up. After 1 hr 30 of active labor I got into the labor tub and was ready to push in 30 more mins. I pushed for about 45 mins which was less painful but more difficult to navigate because I had to DO it. She was born after 3 hours of labor and 45 mins of pushing, 2nd degree tear ( didnt feel that happen).

My placenta didn’t fully separate and still hadn’t delivered 45 mins after her birth even with 2 shots of pitocin, methergine, and angelica tincture. I had to choose between the midwife doing manual extraction at home or going to the hospital to have fentanyl and the same procedure with a likely overnight stay but better support if extraction caused more bleeding. I had only had a minor pp hemorrhage so far (750cc). We opted to try at home, no meds, even though midwife made it sound like it would hurt like hell. And it was bad, having someone’s hand up there taking a placenta out of my uterus. It hurt a lot but it mostly felt physiologically and psychologically WRONG. It took less than 30 seconds, during which I swore and held my husband’s hand, but I didn’t scream, which the midwife later told me often happens. Honestly, it seemed like it had to be done so I chose to deal with it. Next time, she’d better buy me a drink first…. something with lots of bourbon.

Anyhow, it didn’t make my tear worse and it worked… the placenta was extracted whole and I had no more bleeding. My tear was stitched with lidocaine and I was done. Honestly, I was more freaked by the idea that I would somehow feel the needle stitching me than by the idea of the extraction, but the stitches went fine too.

So, trust me, it’s possible to deal with pretty much anything when you have to. And for me, it was all manageable. I could deal mentally so I could cope physically. The first week of her life has been far more taxing mentally and filled with fear for me. So, its different for everyone!

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