(Closed) Labor: Expectations vs. Reality with first baby

posted 4 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee

Labor? Much, MUCH worse than I anticipated. I kept thinking, ‘how bad could it be?’ Shyyyyt..just being honest.

The pain was so bad to the point where I couldn’t even breathe through it.  The good thing is, as soon as I got that epidural, I was in la la land – absolutely no pain whatsoever and it was a breeze. It’s not the baby coming out that is painful, it is the gottdamn contractions.  But hey, we get through it and then there is a beautiful baby at the end of the tunnel and pain is forgotten and it is no more.

Post # 3
Member
933 posts
Busy bee

I think the labor was somewhat as expected. I  don’t think I realized how intense it would get though. I had planned on getting an intrathecal instead of an epidural. (I wanted to be able to get up and move instead of being stuck in my hospital bed.) Once I got the intrathcal I was better within moments. I was very thankful for the medince. 

I ended up having a c-section (LO was simply too big- after pushing for 1 1/2 hours I hadn’t progressed one bit.) I didn’t really know what to expect for that. I hadn’t read up on what to expect for that at all so I was more surprised by how I reacted to the medicine for that and the healing process from that. 

I was going to be induced so I was mostly anxious as to when LO would be born and how labor would be going. Obviously I was also very excited to meet LO.

Post # 4
Member
3009 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Stephville:  I wanted to have a natural birth at a birth center. We took a natural childbirth class as well as a hynobirth class- I found both to be very helpful. I was apprehensive about labor but I wouldn’t say I felt afraid. I knew I was in good hands and if I couldn’t do it or something went wrong it would be ok. I’ve been an athlete my whole life and I worked out a lot during pregnancy so I felt pretty confident that I could handle the pain and also the pushing. I hoped to have a calm, non-dramatic birth experience. 

Well, the pain wasn’t any worse than I imagined, but it did last longer and pushing was much harder than I thought. My labor stalled at 9 cm for several hours (I was still having contractions but didn’t dilate more) and I had to push for 3.5 hours because my son’s cord was wrapped around his shoulders and neck. He was totally fine, though. It was definitely way more intense than I imagined.  I was in the bathtub for a lot of labor, listening to music while my husband put a cool washcloth on my forehead. I never screamed or yelled or begged for drugs. I did say “Fuck this hurts” and things like that sometimes though! I did have a completely natural birth and while it was very hard and it was painful I want to have another one at the same birthing center for our second baby, when the time comes. Best of luck to you!

Post # 5
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I didn’t have any concrete expectations, but it was way intense!  They couldn’t give the epidural until I dialated to a certain amount, and that wasn’t happening very quickly.  I had to take pitocin, which I think made the labor more painful.  They gave the epidural and I was pain free for a few hours until push time.  They shut it off so I could feel when to push, which I didn’t think was optional at the time.  They were very matter of fact about it and I was too tired to argue.  Please argue!!!!  It was terribly painful.  I’m pretty sure I have some degree of PTSD from it all.  I felt so out of control of the whole experience, and they took the pain management away from me when I needed it most.  I am terrified of my next delivery, even at only 9wks along currently.  I know my husband will be extra pushy and advocate for me if I’m unable to do so myself.  Try to avoid Pitocin and don’t let them make decisions for you without having a good reason!

Post # 7
Member
6107 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

So I don’t have experience with labor and delivery but my friend just had her baby and told me a lot about her experience. She was pretty nervous (like most women) beforehand. She went into labor the night of her due date and gave birth the morning after. I’d say she in labor for around 24 hours. She said the contractions were pretty bad, as expected. They did get to the point where they were pretty unbearable and she got an epidural (about 3 hours after getting to the hospital). She said the pushing part was pretty simple and didn’t last very long. Obviously, she was pain free at this point so that helped. Overall she had a great labor and delivery. Probably one of the best labor and delivery stories I’ve ever heard actually. So just know that it’s not impossible to have a good one even though it seems like everyone around you tells you how awful it is.

Post # 8
Member
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Labor was much worse than I anticipated. I was actually quick to progress. I went from 100% effaced and 1cm dilated to ready to push in 4 hours. I did get an epidural (I hadn’t decided what I wanted to do ahead of time) at 7cm. It helped a ton but the contractions were not completely pain free as the pressure was still painful. I pushed for 5 hours which was very difficult. My whole labor was 10 hours total.

Post # 9
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee

Much easier! I had a lot of techniques to distract from the pain, thanks to a book called Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. Totally recommended, got me through two babies with no pain relief needed. 

Post # 10
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Delivery was easy peasy for #1.  No tearing, pushed twice. Was great!

#2 was a different story. If they want to do forceps or vacuum, just say c-section. My vag was destroyed. I had to have reconstructive surgery 10weeks after delivery to repair the damage. After pleading with the doctor and getting them to acknowledge that it’s not normal for tampons to fall out, I got a referral to a specialist. I was very lucky insurance paid for the repair. Most won’t and then you’ll be left with a mangled vag and nothing you can do about it. 

Post # 11
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Worse than I expected, but mostly because it definitely did not go as planned! My water broke well before my body was ready, so they ultimately had to give me Pitocin to get things going. I toughed it out without pain meds for as long as I could using the techniques from Lamaze class, but the pain was so great and my progress so slow that I ultimately got an epidural (which sped things way up and was a huge help). I have no way to know this for sure, but I think I might have been able to hang in there unmedicated if my body had been more cooperative. Also, contractions building up to transition are by far the worst part — pushing sounded scary but was mostly just tiring. Even though my epidural had largely worn off by the time pushing had started, it was a huge relief to push. 

As for what I was nervous about beforehand, apart from things not going according to “plan” (which they obviously did not), I was mostly very calm and not nervous. However, I reeeally did not want to puke. Welp. I puked 3 times. Not that big a deal. And I also really did not want a 3rd or 4th degree tear. No luck there either, but recovery has not been as bad as I feared. Really, the worst part for me was just the mental game of knowing that the pain of contractions would just keep escalating (with a vengeance thanks to the Pitocin) but not knowing how long I would have to endure it, especially when my progress was so horribly slow. 

Post # 12
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

peanuthead:  Aaaaahh. Scary, and how awful for you! They literally had the vacuum set up on the table after 2.5 hours of pushing, but I begged them to let me try a few more times. A change of position and a few more contractions got him out, albeit with some bad tearing. But would take that any day over what you describe! Glad you got it remedied.

Post # 13
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

Don’t be nervous! It’s different for everyone and every baby.

The most important thing is delivering a healthy baby so I urge folks to not be too married to birth plans. By doing so, you feel less guilty for not sticking to a plan.

I found it to be easier if you expect the worse in terms of pain bc then you won’t be as disappointed vs expecting a painless fast labor and delivery.

Post # 14
Member
3009 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Stephville:  I mean, don’t get me wrong. It was super, super hard! Afterwards I was like, “Fuck this nonsense. I’m seriously getting an epidural at 2 cm next time. If I even want to go through this bullshit again.” I was totally taken out. But that does wear off, and the memory fades. Call me crazy, but I’ actually looking forward to giving birth again because it is such an amazing thing and an incredible life experience!

Post # 15
Member
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

It was way more intense and painful than I anticipated and I got an epi after fifteen hours. In hindsight, I think I could have made it through if I hadn’t gotten scared. But at that point, I’d been having 1-1.5 long contractions every two minutes for several hours, back labor, double and triple peaking etc and was only at 5 cm (LO was sunny side up, naughty boy!). Plus, they were worried I was developing hellp syndrome and I just got overwhelmed. If I’d kept my cool and stayed relaxed, I think I might have gotten through without the epi. But hey, it all worked out in the end, and I’m going to try to go all natural for #2 😉

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