If You've Ever Given Birth... - page 5

Okay, ladies...I have some questions here... I'm an OB nurse. I deliver babies for a living. I have never personally given birth or ever been pregnant. So here's my question....in all honesty,... Read More

  1. by   JillR
    Now that I have had a few days to think about it, and it's not so late and I am not so tired, yes you do forget, or I should say the pain does not mean much to you after you have that baby in your arms.

    With my first child, I was very prepared, had great nurses and an excellent doctor. The whole experience was great, even though the pain was comperable to my second child.

    With my second child, I did not have a choice to go back to that same hospital, different nurses, different doc and they were not as understanding, compassionate and in my opinion professional as the first, it was just a horrible experience and I will never go back there again, even if insurance won't pay for it, I don't care. So I think that I remember the pain so much with my second child because the experience was not good.

    It's funny though because with my first child I was single, pennyless, but I had a very supportive sister who went to birthing classes with me and was my rock during labor. With my second one I was married, and don't get me wrong my husband is great, but he saw no reason for classes and he was not prepared for what was to come. After the doc decided to start the pit (I was very unhappy about this), my hubby saw what labor was really all about and he did not expect what was to come, my sister arrived and helped me through the worst part and I will be forever greatful to her for that, again she was my rock. I cannot imagine what the second labor would have been like without her.

    When I was in nursing school, I was able to do the L&D part at the place I had my first child, and I found that they were still very excellent. Just find the place that is right for you, the way things are handled means more thatn the pain, at least to me.
  2. by   Shandy12
    It's fun reading everyone's L&D stories. Not good reading for a full-term primip though!<G>

    Mario, my advice is to not respond to a subject unless you are informed fully, and I've yet to meet a male who understood about labour pains! <G>

    We had three sons, and I elected to have an epidural with each one. I'm very glad I did. The labours were all over 8 hrs, and the last 3-4 were brutal.

    I'm one of these "fortunate" women who have very painful menstrual cramps, to the point of nausea. It's just the way it is, and I'm glad to have discovered Ibuprofen. Labour pains were so much more severe. However, once the epidural was in and effective, it was just intense pressure in the low pelvis and perineum. The awful pain was gone.

    Women have been delivering babies for eons, and without benefit of our technology and medical knowledge. I feel so fortunate to have been able to have a bed in a good teaching hospital, with a fully-staffed NICU(where I worked), and competent care. I didn't mind the residents there, because I knew the O.B. Chief of Staff was delivering my babies. It didn't bother me to have the student nurse either. She was cute as can be, excited as I was, and quite helpful and attentive.

    It mustn't have been too bad an experience, as I repeated it x 2. We had 3 sons in 4.5 yrs, and it was a wonderful time in our lives.

    Now, ask me about adolescence.............there's a different story!!!<G>

  3. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by shay
    Okay, ladies...I have some questions here...

    I'm an OB nurse. I deliver babies for a living. I have never personally given birth or ever been pregnant. So here's my question....in all honesty, what does labor really and truly FEEL like....other than painful?

    I mean, is it crushing, stabbing, ripping, aching, WHAT? I can't exactly ask my labor patients these kinds of questions...so I want to hear from you.

    Because I'm approaching 30, and although I want children very much, to be quite frank, labor scares the bejesus out of me...all of my friends, with the exception of ONE, had totally drug-free childbirth. I just want the lowdown....what does labor FEEL like???
    Oh Shay-it isn't a test to pass or fail...Every baby comes into this world in his or her own way....I do remember thinking"this is not as bad as I thought it would be" I hated L&D as a student and really had no plans to have children and because of 2 horrible childbirth stories in my family I was scared spitless,too.(my mom came very close to dying -my aunt suffered brain damage from an infection) Tune out your friends and their opinions-you have to do what is comfortable for you-but be flexible.If you have your heart set on a certain scenario I can guarantee that the baby will have another idea...Nothing wrong with taking advantage of the best medicine has to offer-pain meds and technology...especially since you are already freaked out and not even preggie....And when you are raising that child tune out your friends,family and don't read too many helpful books-each child is an individual.Don't let yourself get freaked by what it should or shouldn't be doing because a freind says so...trust your pediatrician-not Aunt Martha....
  4. by   micheledenisern
    hello, have you ever given birth,
    All I can say is that I personally had a great birthing experience at 20.
    I did the natural thing, without pain medication, or an episiotomy. I labored at home, for abou 6-7 hours before I realized I was in labor. It all started out as a back ache. By the time I finally did go to the hospital, because I realized I'd lost my mucous plug, I was having contractions about 5 mins apart, and was 5 cm dilated. I went into labor about 11pm, and delivered my daughter at 1130 am the next day. I arrived at the hospital at 1000am, and had her at 1130. I was only at the hospital for an hour and a half before I had her. At one point I asked if the pain would get worse, and they said no. I was able to handle it with good breathing techniques, and the fact that I knew these people in the hospital where I worked.

    Is it something I'd want to go thru everyday, NO, but I was able to handle it. And I was glad to go natural.

    As I write this, my daughter is beside me asking me what it felt like.

    well, it was like the biggest cramp I've ever had around my abdomen, that kept getting tighter and tighter, and there was nothing I could do to stop it, so I just breathed with it, and tried to keep my calm. Did I want to kill someone at this point---YES.

    The actual birthing, was like having the biggest bowel movement I'd ever had, and it felt great.

    Most women like to tell the horror story, But I can tell you, that I't was a good experience for me. I't truly was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I have the most beautiful daughter who is now 22 years old. I was only able to birth one child, but would have gone thru it again in a minute.

    I hope that if you decide to have a child, that you also, think about breast feeding, I't is the most wonderful thing ever. It causes such a bond with your child, and closeness that you could never imagine. I'm not saying that bottle fed babies don't benifit, because they do, they still have the love and nuturing from their mother, but breast feeding , if you can, just seems so special.

    I adopted my son at 10 weeks old, and bottle fed him, and felt just as close to him, but I will admit that I tried to breast feed him that first week we we're together, but he was just to used to the bottle.

    well, I hope this is helpful to you,

    not every birthing experience is hell. It can be quite beautiful.

  5. by   wildhoney
    I have no idea how that saying starts but that's ok.

    I am one of those women who have had only c-sections and never got to experience the beauty & wonder of a vaginal birth. Beauty & wonder? Did I over do that? ; )

    I had to get cut open twice and I didn't get to experience true childbirth. I remember that saying when I start thinking like this....it's not in the progress that counts, but in the result. The result = two wonderful children. Sometimes I get this nagging pull or sensation <whatever you want to call it > that tells me to have #3. Then I quickly remind myself how selfish I would be if I did that. To have another child because I want to experience the "firsts" again, to experience a VBAC, to have another child because I like those little babies... slap!!! I'm fine now.

    I think I'm just having one of those bad days of accepting that my child is now a teenager. Ugh! The letting go blues. It probably also doesn't help that I'm on my ::cough::....my friend is here for a short visit. : ) So that should explain things for ya.

    What can I say? I like to share. Ha. : )

    Back to birthin' babies....

    I am proud to say however, I was able to contribute a massive amount of signatures that aided in the stoppage of drive through deliveries. I have seen too many babies go home too early and end up having problems. I was able to stay longer in the hospital because of my c-sections. The last day of being there I experienced a major hormonal drop <I'm sure there's a name for it> and cried my eyes out. I was happy but yet in tears at the same time. ?? I'm just glad I was still there, in good care and told I was normal <well, I was normal in a just giving birth kinda way, but still mental everywhere else> Seriously, there are far more serious things going on with women just after they give birth. Maybe not just physically but mentally as well. Things are getting a bit weird out there lately <don't even get me started> so I feel women should be able to get a bit more rest after they give birth. Let the baby stay down in the nursery, call when you want him/her. Oops, did I say something wrong?

    Excuse my ramblin'

    Have a wonderul and Happy Easter everyone. I'm heading to Vegas for a week of fun & frolic! Yahoo! :roll
  6. by   mamabear
    At last! A chance to unload my OB horror stories on an entirely new group.
    I've given birth to 4 kids, from 1968 to 1980, and each was a reflection of the prevailing wisdom (??) of the day.
    Baby 1 was born in 1968 in Chicago. As soon as I got settled onto a gurney in a dinky little room, a nurse came in, shaved off my pubic hair, and administered a 3H (high, hot, and hell of a lot) enema. About an hour later another nurse came in with 2 Seconals, which she said I "had" to take (I was only 22, and had yet to even consider nursing as a career). Good little patient that I was, I gulped down the reds. Every hour thereafter, I was given another Seconal, which I was also informed I "had" to take. Many, many hours later, the doctor finally came in and did a vag exam (RNs could only do rectal exams back then to check for dilation and effacement), pronouncing me "ready". I then received 100mg of Demerol and was wheeled into a freezing cold delivery room. Two nurses pulled me onto a delivery table, where leather restraints were fastened around my wrists, my legs were hoisted up into ice cold metal stirrups and also secured with leather straps, and some clown fastened a leather belt-like thing across my chest. Without any explanation, a rubber anesthesia mask was plopped over my mouth and nose, and that's all I remember until I woke up, feeling like I had just been on the losing end of a train wreck, to be informed that I had just given birth to a girl, 8lbs, 11oz, 22 inches long.
    Baby 2, born at the same place in 1971, was almost identical, except for being induced (pitocin from Hell) and no Seconal.
    With both births, I stayed on the postpartum unit for 5 days. Therre was no such thing as rooming in, and moms were encouraged to bottle-feed.
    Baby 3 was born in 1976 in a small-town hospital in northwest Indiana. No enema, no shave, no meds of any kind. This was at the height of the "natural" birth craze. I could have used a little something, but all I got was an IV of D5W.
    Baby 4 was born in 1980 at the same hospital as baby 3. I had a precipitous delivery and she was born in the hallway.
    With babies 3 and 4, I stayed on the postpartum unit for 3 days, had round-the-clock rooming in, and was urged to breast-feed.
    This was long before birthing suites were the norm, so there were separate rooms for labor, delivery, recovery and post partum.
  7. by   robinhallrn
    Okay - labor pains - her is my story!!

    I was in labor for 36-1/2 hours (yes and I am not exaggerating). My labor pains were bearable for the first 12-14 hours. I would describe this pain as a very, very strong menstrual cramp that was squeezing in nature.

    Now - for the rest of them......:imbar

    I had a tremendous amount of back labor - it felt like someone was actually putting a butcher knife in my back and twisting it right through my spine. This pain was constant throughout.

    I did have some Demerol, but it really did not help. When I failed to progress, they administered Pitocin. OH BOY!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine taking a razor blade and starting at your breast line and cutting all the way to your lower abdomen; now, multiple that by about 40 of them lined up across your tummy and that it how it felt to me. The pain was excruciating!!!!

    When they actually allowed me to push, THAT FELT WONDERFUL!!! I suppose the pressure from the pushing relieved the pain somewhat. But it was constant nonetheless.

    To sum it up - imagine that you have a pumpkin in your stomach and you are trying to 'poop' it out. That is what it feels like!! Poopin a pumpkin!!!
  8. by   blitz
    Hey, Shay -
    Have you thought about a nurse midwife? I don't know if you have them in your area, but I've heard some wonderful tales of beautiful deliveries in the patient's own home. You know, Mom, Dad there in their own digs, comfortable surroundings. Sounds beautiful to me. I think I would have done anything to have had that option when I had my two, 1973 and 1977. Of course, this assumes a normal, healthy gestation time but NM's can assess and determine if any other intervention is needed and plan accordingly.
    My own two were born in hospital. My first born, my son, was helped along with the MD rupturing the membranes as he wasn't too satisfied to let nature take it's course. I remember playing cards with my husband far into the day. Eventually, Dem did come along and I don't remember all that much pain. It seems that it was all focused mid abdomen and during the transition stage you just sort of become part of another plane. You're not aware of what is happening around you, you are that focused. Not only mentally, but physically. I've never experienced anything like it. My daughter, Devon, was born with the assistance of Pitocin, all 9 lbs, 4 oz of her. She came so quickly at that point, that the perineum ripped stem to stern, and no, I didn't even feel it. After that happens, the ice bag is your best friend! With the pitocin, your body takes over completely. You have no control, it's on autopilot. What an amazing experience! WOW!
    You know, if we remembered that pain all that well, the world would not be as well populated as it is. And as far as your fear of failing, as was stated before, this is one of the most natural, wonderful experiences a person can have. Enjoy your pregnancy, pamper yourself and make plenty of time for your loved one. Then get ready, hold on tight, for the rest of your life will be totally changed with a love like you've never experienced!
    Best wishes!
  9. by   Mary Dover
    2 pregnancies - 2 totally different experiences!

    First son was born in 1978 - I was 17 yrs old. Had classic morning sickness, gained about 40#. Went into labor, 3 weeks past due date, on a hot August Sunday morning. Pain was worse than I had imagined it would be and my son wasn't born until about 5:30 Monday morning. The pain felt like I had to have a bowel movement, only much worse and my whole lower pelvic area was involved. That was the old days, and they knocked me out at last - don't know what with, coulda been with a hammer - I wouldn't have cared.

    Move forward to 1988, I'm 27 and just finishing prereqs for nursing school. This son born ON his due date in May. I had gained normal amount of weight and had experience no sickness or other problems. As I got ready to go to a scheduled weekly prenatal check that day, I started experiencing what felt like menstrual cramps. "This can't be labor" I thought, didn't hurt enough. Saw the MD right after lunch time. He did his exam and informed me I was dilated about 6 cm. Stupid me, I took time to go all the way home, get some things done, then went to the hospital and just popped him right out at about 5:30pm. Still had my makeup on. Hardly broke a sweat. NO DRUGS whatsoever. A wonderful nurse friend who worked with my mother on the skilled nursing unit of the same hospital, (didn't even work L&D) for some reason out of the goodness of her heart - stayed right with me during the labor AND delivery. I will never forget her. She helped me so much with the breathing and relaxation techniques. (I hadn't even taken Lamaze classes).
    I love BOTH my sons dearly, the completely different experiences had no bearing on anything to do with that. But I can honestly say that my 2nd pregancy and delivery was one of the most awesome experiences of my entire life. There was such a feeling of natural euphoria, that is almost impossible to accurately describe. Thank God I didn't let the first scenario tamper with my expectations of the second one.

    Now for a totally different experience is when I became a grandmother this past December. But that's another story and you didn't ask about that, YET.
  10. by   ageless
    close your eyes and picture a buick driving through your abdomen
  11. by   shay
    Originally posted by blitz
    Hey, Shay -
    Have you thought about a nurse midwife?
    Oh, yes. I absolutely want a midwife. No question about that. The burning question for me is do I suck it up and deliver at a hospital or do I go to the free-standing birthing center 5 min. away from the hospital?

    It's the whole 'DRUGS' question for me. BTW....just wanna reiterate, I AM NOT CURRENTLY NOR TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT.... in case any of you were thinking that was the case. Just, uh, thinking about it.

    Being a labor and delivery nurse, I'm naturally neurotic about this whole thing, but I just want to make my decision BEFORE I get pregnant, so I can have an established relationship with a practitioner that I trust and am comforable with. I decided to pick everyone's brains here about what labor actually FEELS like and to see how y'all handled it.

    Keep it up. And keep those graphic descriptions coming.
  12. by   CountrifiedRN
    Hi Shay

    I've browsed through some of the posts here, and probably can't tell you in any better detail what labor feels like. But I've had three kids, and all three were so different. First one in 86, two weeks late, fast hard labor (4 hours), with back pain, and demerol. I remember telling everyone before my labor started that I was going to have him "naturally", with no drugs. I quickly came to the conclusion that drugs are GOOD! Child birth is a natural process in itself, going drug free doesn't make it any less natural. But amazingly, I can't really remember the pain, just the amazement and wonder of holding that precious new life in my arms.

    The second one, my girl, was in 89. She was also 2 weeks late, and lying transverse. They admitted me with the intention of doing a CS in the am, but lo and behold, the little sneak had turned during the night (to my great relief), and they induced with pit. Took a long time, about 14 hours. But I got an epidural before my labor became too bad, and I slept through most of it. The short amount of time that I did feel my labor, it was not too bad, because I had taken the breathing class, and it really does work. Woke up because the little monitor wire thingy that they put on the babys head had fallen off , and the alarms were sounding, and when the nurse came in she discovered that the baby was crowning! She almost delivered her, the doc came just in the nick of time!

    The third one was in 2000, and I was induced early due to an irregularity in the babys heartbeat. 12 hours of back labor, with no meds. I wasn't feeling extreme pain as long as I was sitting in a chair. But I wasn't dilating, and the babys heartrate was decelerating with contractions, so the doc did a CS.

    I think I've pretty much had every labor experience that a woman could have! Thankfully they all came out just fine in the end! If you're really worried about the pain, an epidural is the way to go. But I felt a little weird after the birth of my daughter, like I hadn't worked to achieve the end result. It's hard to explain, most people would be happy about that, but I felt like I had missed out. The CS was by far the worst, because of the recovery time afterwards, but when I look into my baby boys little angel face, it was worth every bit of pain I went through.

    The hardest thing to cope with is the fear of something going wrong. Even though most people have an uneventful birth, the bad ones are the ones that stick out in our minds. When I had my third baby, I was working in a hospital on a med/surg floor (CNA/Unit secretary), and we often took the fetal demise patients from the L&D floor. I saw lots of devastated moms and even took some of their babies to them so that they could say goodbye. It was especially hard while I was pregnant. (Once I started showing, I asked not to take those patients, because I thought it would be hard for them to see me with my pregnant belly after all that they had been through.) Being a L&D nurse, you've probably seen the worst that can happen, and it's scary. But when you decide the time is right for you, you have to try to focus on all the positives you see every day. The pain will come and go, and you will most likely not even remember it vividly in the years that follow.

    I definately agree that having a baby in a hospital, or near one, with a NICU is the best choice. It is comforting to know that if anything should happen, there are experts right there to intervene. But it is a personal choice, and once you find a doc/midwife that you are comfortable with, you can both make that decision together. Don't worry, when you feel the time is right, everything will fall into place!
  13. by   Charisse
    Labor....hmm...good question. My first was 28 yrs. ago in a country hospital. I wasn't a nurse then, so don't yell at me when I tell you how it went, because there will be some gasps out there. I was mildly pre-eclamptic and the condition got better with bed rest at home and a change of diet, but when I was 5 days postdates the doc decided to AROM me.....in his office. He told me to go to the hospital..he didn't say when, so I went home, did my hair...all the female things and then got to the hospital at 5 PM--1.5 hrs later. (Thank God I was a sweet, young, ignorant thing back then!) I walked in with a set of orders knowing that I was to get IM meds at one point and a saddle block at another. I had no IV, prep, enema. I had only intermittent monitoring. I walked almost all the time during labor. I felt nothing till about 9 PM or so. It felt like I had an elephant tied to each pelvic bone having a tug of war. I had groin and upper thigh labor (it does happen!). If someone had amputated me at the thigh joint, I would have been happy. My daughter was posterior, I found afterwards. Very, very deep aching menstrual-like cramps. Very DEEP. At that point, I went so fast (had a 3.5 hr labor total) that I truly almost delivered her on the commode! My perineum was hard, round, numb and bloody! Even dummy me knew that the baby was coming. I told my husband to get the nurse now or I was going to have the baby in the bed with the next contraction..I didn't care if I had anyone else there or not! He ran, the nurses ran in, did the Oh, my God! thing and ran out!
    Telling me not to push was the most assinine thing I have ever heard, but I tried not too. The doc got there in the nick of time. It was a very tumultuous labor.

    Three years later, I did it again. No pre-eclampsia this time..Wonderful pregnancy! I SROM'd at home, called the doc, he told me to come in the office to be checked at 3:30 PM (I must like that time of day!)..I came in, he confirmed the SROM and told me to go to the hospital. Again, I was still ignorant...so I went to McDonald's, ate and then went to the hospital. Again, the doc (a different one) said, "Where were you?" angrily. I didn't know he meant right then and there that I was supposed to go to the hospital. I had no contractions at all when I got to the hospital at 5:30 PM (again... ). This time I had the prep, enema, IV..I was told that if I didn't have good contractions after the SSE, that I would have to have Pit. The doc forgot to tell the nurse this, so she did what he routinely ordered, which was Pit everyone. She barely got the IV when I felt my first contractions..and I told her that the Pit worked very fast! She told me she didn't even get it started yet! Here, as with all of my labors, my contractions first started out at 3 mins apart and within moments I had contractions 1-1.5 mins apart! My first labor was so hard, rough, tumultuous, that nothing could compare to it! Not even this 45 minute long labor. I don't remember how hard the contractions were at all. It was so fast. Add to that the heat I felt as I was getting Mag..that is ALL I felt during this labor. The heat of the Mag. Contractions were nothing. I wasn't pre-eclamptic, but my BP suddenly, immediately before birth went to 220/170 (!) for some still unknown reason. I wasn't pre-eclamptic. I didn't have HELLP. I had all sorts of tests done afterwards...it was decided that either I got Pitressin by mistake or got some out of date Pitocin! Lovely, huh? I, to this day, wonder which it was. Anyway, as soon as my IV was ripped out of my hand transferring from the delivery table to the stretcher, my BP snapped back to normal!

    So, I went from having elephants pulling at my pelvis to not feeling the contractions......one end of the spectrum to the next.