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low pain tolerance and natural childbirth?


Forum: May 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
March 25th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Is anyone planning on having a natural childbirth? How would you "rate" your pain tolerance. Mine is really really low, but I am planning on doing it naturally this time. I really really want to. I had the epi with DD and I don't want to be drugged again. I have never in my life been able to get a successful pap smear to start with. Tried three times, all three I was kicked out b/c I wouldn't handle it. Also, it took my husband and I a lot of time to DTD without be screaming or being in so much pain (only after we had DD that we could actually/finally do it lol) but anyways, I am worried and scared. I don't want to end up having an emergency c section if I end up not being able to deliver naturally. I'd rather have the epi+vaginal than a c section.
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  #2  
March 25th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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I am scared to death of being forced into a natural birth. I have an extremely low pain tolerane (maybe a 3), I hope to make all my choices based on how things are feeling as they happen and would love to be able to go natural at my own choosing. My blood thinner needs to be out of my system from between 12-24 hours to make an epidural possible.
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  #3  
March 25th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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I am planning on a natural birth and I would say my tolerance for pain is fairly low. The worse pain I would say I have gone through was getting my tattoo.
But when I think about childbirth and not being drugged I feel soooo strong. So pumping myself up has really really worked
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  #4  
March 25th, 2013, 07:09 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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SunnyBunnyMama--
Have you ever heard of vulvodynia? Sounds like your pain tolerance may not be low, you might have a problem with pain in the lady parts. I have had problems with that myself in the past, and have read up on it...here's one good website. www.nva.org I'd be happy to talk more with you about that if you like.
As for me, I have a med-high pain tolerance, but some kinds of pain really cripple me, like when I have a UTI, I have no tolerance for that.
I did natural with my first, and I plan to go natural again. Your body does put out natural endorphins and oxytocin which can help you disconnect from the pain of childbirth. So you might be able to do it even if you have a low pain tolerance.
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  #5  
March 25th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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I think you should just go in with an open mind and see how things go. It might be great and you make it all the way though without any medication. Talk to your doctor in advance about what possible complications could result in a c-section so you can see if there is anything you can do to resolve any of those possibilities in advance.

I had my heart set on a particular delivery and nothing went as planned with DD. She got her safely and she is happy and healthy now. At the end of the day, that's the part that really matters rather than the specifics of each of our labors & deliveries. I would love it if we all get exactly the experience we want but I know that won't happen. Healthy babies is my goal!
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  #6  
March 25th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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Sounds like you definitely have some vaginal issues, given the stories about pap smears and sex =/ Glad the latter got better for you. If I were you, I'd definitely take some natural child birth classes and invest in some hypnobabies; if you really do want to do it naturally, you're gonna need a lot of tools in your kit. I've also heard great things about water birth, if that's an option for you? My hospital has birthing tubs, so I definitely plan to use one. It's possible you can rent a birthing pool even if the hospital doesn't have any on hand.

I'd say I have an average pain tolerance. I'm mostly still in disbelief that this pregnancy thing is happening, but I'm terrified of giving birth. I'm placing a lot of faith in my body's ability to help me out (i.e. via hormones)
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  #7  
March 25th, 2013, 07:35 PM
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Rhea--I was terrified too, and I ended up doing a Pitocin-induced labor with no pain meds. I wouldn't recommend that, but I guess I say it to say, you can do it! But, if you end up needing pain meds, there's nothing wrong with that. I know I was asking for drugs when I got to transition. Luckily my midwife suggested the tub instead, that helped a little with the pain and also made the rest of transition go by really fast. (45 minutes for 5 cm to 10). Anyway, whatever way you end up doing it, there's no wrong way, just like markswife was saying.
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  #8  
March 25th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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Joy,

Can you describe the contractions? I know it is different for everyone but it is hard to get a straight answer from anyone. Usually when I tell people I want to go natural and ask such questions they say "oh you say that now" or laugh in my face (which really pisses my pregnant hormones off) lol.

Anyway, I have heard that if you have had horrible menstrual cramps in the past, it can somewhat prepare you for the early contractions? Is that true?
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  #9  
March 25th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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I have a high pain tolerance, but out of fear I got the epi with my son. The worst pain outside of labor was wheni had appendicitis. I'd saying was an 8/10....much like my last UTI. If I can deliver vaginally, I plan to go natural this time.
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  #10  
March 25th, 2013, 08:44 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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TheMrs, it's been a long time (3 years), and honestly a lot of my memory has faded. I'll tell you what I remember though!
I found the early labor definitely doable, I can't remember the exact feeling of it, more like the pain level of it.
(Keep in mind my labor was augmented by Pitocin, which I hear makes contractions more intense and more painful.)
Early on, I would be fine in between contractions, not feeling like I was working too hard, but a contraction would come and I'd have to grip something really hard with my hands and I'd screw my face up. No whining or whimpering, just knowing it was coming, dealing with it in the moment, and then back to the relaxed state.
When transition hit, the contractions get stronger and closer together and I didn't feel so confident in my ability to handle them. My midwife suggested moving to the tub, and so I did. I had some pretty intense contractions there because the water seemed to speed things up. I normally am kind of a quiet person but I decided to just let out whatever noise I felt. At the time I felt like everyone on the floor was going to hear me. I wasn't screaming, more like really loud groans/moans. I mentioned the volume level to DH recently and he says he doesn't remember me being that loud, so maybe it was just my perception?
Anyway I sort of felt like I was in my own little world and I could get through the contractions if no one bothered me. I kept my eyes closed. No one touched me, or talked to me, and that was ok. After awhile (it was about 45 minutes to an hour) I started to feel some rectal pressure, which in the birthing class they had told us to look for, so I told my nurse and she got the midwife. I was dilated to 10 so they wheeled me back to my room for pushing.
Pushing for me took about 45 minutes as well. It didn't seem that long. My mom and sis both told me that the contractions feel better once you're pushing, that it's intense but you get to work with it and so you don't feel the pain like you did with transition.
That wasn't my experience! Pushing for me was the most painful part of the whole thing, and I remember it more than the rest. I remember thinking that it felt like the baby was going to have to break every bone in my pelvis to be able to get out. It was a bone-crushing sort of pain. Again, this is with Pitocin, and also I never got the urge to push, I was just told, ok here comes a contraction, so push! I am guessing that without Pitocin, the contractions would not have been as intense and I would also have felt better with pushing. Because pushing hurt like that, I never did feel the "ring of fire" when baby was crowning. I tore, but I didn't feel that either. He came out pretty fast. Then it was over, the midwife put him up on my chest, and I sort of slowly came out of my little mental cocoon or fog or whatever you want to call it--during labor and pushing I was in my own little world and disconnected from the outside somewhat. I could still interact with everyone, I just didn't want to. So after he was born it took me a minute for it to sink in that he was actually born and I was done.
Afterward they got me back up in the bed (I used a birthing stool, which I liked much better than pushing on my back). I got really shaky and cold (which I read is normal), so the nurses brought me hot blankets, a drink, and a sandwich while they weighed and measured DS. Soon I felt ok again and I was holding my baby. I was amazed how awake I felt, I thought I would be passed out after all that but I felt alert and just happy to have my little baby. He was alert and just looked at me for a long time.

Hope that's not TMI or that it doesn't scare you off. Everyone's experience is different, some women never get more than just severe menstrual cramp feelings, and others (say, if they have back labor) can have some pretty intense pain that needs medication to allow them to make it through to delivering.

I'm wondering what this time around is going to feel like, because I plan on not being induced this time! I hope that it's not as painful as last time. The memory of the pain made me afraid to do it again for a long time. I guess it's been long enough that I feel up to the challenge again
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  #11  
March 25th, 2013, 09:18 PM
Themrs0523's Avatar Super Mommy
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Not TMI at all! That is exactly what I was looking for I am hoping to not be induced either. My midwife will let me go to 42 weeks before discussing it unless something comes up that she feels makes it medically necessary. She also does not like to use Pitocin so I'm hoping to stay away from it and I have also come to grips with the fact that if I do have to have Pitocin, I may need an epidural. I have heard that it makes it soooo much worse. You are an inspiration to me that maybe I can do it with drugs if necessary after all. The plan is of course going into labor myself with no drugs but as you have said, it does not always go as planned. I am trying to stay as flexible as possible but I know it will upset me if I can't do it without drugs.
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  #12  
March 25th, 2013, 09:29 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Good for you! If you do need the epidural, there's no shame in that, especially if you have pitocin. Seems like with the pitocin my experience (and other friends I have that have had it) is that they always seem to turn it up too high. My SIL had her baby come out with his face bruised to where he couldn't nurse, because of the pitocin and he was born sooo fast. I think this next time I will make them turn it down if they have it up too high, maybe I'll threaten to pull my IV out if they don't do what I want. LOL. Who knows?
I think it's definitely unnatural, and I've heard that natural labor is better because the body produces those natural hormones that help change your perception of the pain somewhat. BUT--that said--I also want to be flexible, and take whatever comes, and do whatever is necessary to have a healthy baby. However I feel I am entitled to my opinion on how I *think* I want it to go! Hehe!
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  #13  
March 25th, 2013, 09:35 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Also I wouldn't define it as a sharp pain, so I think a cramps kind of feeling is maybe a good way to describe the early labor. As it went on it was like my belly was in a vice grip (thanks to my uterus). I remember thinking it wasn't like any other pain I had felt, and didn't seem to fit into any categories I knew...such as, stabbing pain, or an ache, or sharp or dull or...etc. But I wouldn't say it was a stabbing pain, just something from deep inside me. Sorry, that's not very helpful!

PS--
I have heard that a lot of whether you can handle it or not is your mindset. So if you go into it thinking you can't do it, you might have a hard time coping with it. At the time for me, I wasn't as afraid of it, because my mom and my sis had both told me, oh it's not too bad except for a couple of "peel me off the ceiling" contractions in transition. My experience didn't turn out that way, but I had a midwife who suggested the tub when I asked for drugs, instead of going and calling the anesthesiologist. And my DH was on board with no drugs so he never suggested them at any time. This time around I'm going to have a doula and she will support me too in my endeavor to not use meds this time. So for your hospital room, I would plan on only having people in it that are going to support you in going med-free, if that's the way you want to go. Because you will hit transition and with transition comes the feeling that you can't do this anymore, you can't take it, and a feeling that you're not in control anymore. That's when you need someone rooting for you, to tell you that you can do this, and encourage you and not freak out and tell you that you should take some drugs. Also I've heard that not getting too frequent of cervical checks can be good, because if you feel you should be farther along but then they tell you you're only a 4, you might collapse and ask for drugs, when if you didn't know, you'd just be working through it.

BUT--I do want to reiterate that there's no shame in mediating the pain with medication. I'm just trying to give you some tips for having the kind of labor you're hoping to have.
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  #14  
March 25th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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So more like extreme tightness? Just like your insides were being squeezed super hard?
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  #15  
March 25th, 2013, 10:02 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yes I think that would be more like it.

Maybe some of the other ladies can chime in with their experiences too, maybe the pain feels different to different people!
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  #16  
March 26th, 2013, 01:21 AM
misty3281's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I planned on going natural, but I have a very high pain tolerance. The worst pain I've had is a kidney stone I couldn't take pain meds for because I was on call for work and my boss was out of town and couldn't cover me. I figure if I can survive that I can survive anything. I was told I now have a 75% chance of having to have a c-section so my plans flew out the window, but I still want as few meds as possible. My sister in law delivered by c-section at 28 weeks under general anesthesia and I would gate to do that. No matter how she comes into the world I want to be awake and alert when it happens.
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  #17  
March 26th, 2013, 06:11 AM
jcperez's Avatar 1 Busy Momma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themrs0523 View Post
So more like extreme tightness? Just like your insides were being squeezed super hard?
Kinda like how Bill Cosby explains it...lol. "Pull your bottom lip over your head." Im just kidding. I remember people telling me it was like severe menstral cramps. When I had my first, I remember thinking, "this feels NOTHING like severe cramps." I think giving birth is in a completley different catagory all by itself. You wont know until you are actually giving birth. In the begininng, it is tolerable and you think it wont get worse, but it does.
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  #18  
March 26th, 2013, 06:39 AM
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I thought contractions in the early part of labor (before 5 cm) were not as bad as my menstrual cramps. I have notoriously bad periods. The reason being you get a break in between the contractions where you feel absolutely fine. With a period, my cramps were continuous. But when I hit 4-5 cm, they started coming harder and closer together and that's when I asked for the epidural. I was really glad to have that option. I was induced with pitocin, so maybe that made the contractions harder. All I know is I want an epidural again this time around.
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  #19  
March 26th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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Good advice ladies. I don't have a high pain tolerance and have had 9 natural births and they have all been different . But mentally preparing yourself, making sure hubby is supportive, can do amazing things. For me, I always try and remember that I will be alert, and be able to hold my baby asap and nurse and that's a good motivator

No matter how baby comes, it's a miracle and I'm so thankful we live in a time when we have options!
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  #20  
March 26th, 2013, 07:29 AM
JandJC's Avatar #2 due in April!
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I agree with Annette.... My plan is to try natural labor but if it gets too painful then I will get the epi. Since it's my first I have nothing to relate it to and can't say for sure exactly what I'll do. I would really like to go all natural and always though of myself as having a high pain tolerence...but with childbirth there are SO many factors. The most impactful thing I've heard so far is that it really depends on the LENGTH of your labor. If you go quick, a natural chidbirth might be easier, however if it's hours and hours pain intervention might be needed!
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