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The Labor of Love

I posted this on the OWW mailing list, too, but someone on my friends list might be able to give me an answer, too:

I'm writing a birth scene and since gathering firsthand data on this would take several more months than I have, I would appreciate it if you mothers could answer a few questions for me about the joys involved. 

Do you feel pain (or another sensation) when your water breaks? Can you describe it? A little more subjective, perhaps, is how you would describe the contractions and ensuing pain leading up to and including the moment of birth. Has anyone had a natural pregnancy birth? (Thanks, Rabia. I blame fatigue.) What about the moment after the birth? What does your body feel like? Bruised and abused? Numb? "Empty"? Something else? How long does it take for the afterbirth to be expelled?

Share your pain. :) It's for a good cause.

Thanks

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
rabiagale
Mar. 18th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Ha! My favourite subject :D

First of all, I have to tell you that there's a large large variation on normal. My experiences were probably totally different from another mom's. So pick and choose how much pain and anguish you want your character to suffer *evil grin*

Do you feel pain (or another sensation) when your water breaks? Can you describe it? With Isaac, my labor began with my water breaking spectacularly--fluid guishing everywhere. I was lying awake in bed and I heard and felt this "pop" and knew instantly what it was. I had a big gush, other women experience more of a trickling type of water breaking.

On the other hand, with Mimi, my water did not break until I was scrambling back onto to the bed because she was literally on her way out. :P

A little more subjective, perhaps, is how you would describe the contractions and ensuing pain leading up to and including the moment of birth. Um... with Isaac, for the most part I didn't really feel the contractions until closer to the end. For me, labor is a lot of downward pressure, and erm... the most comfortable place for me to labor was on the toilet. My nurse said I was a perfect candidate for a birthing stool.

I find that laboring flat on one's back is probably the least helpful of all the laboring positions. Ad it doesn't let gravity help you any, either.

For me the contractions were worst right before I hit the pushing stage. Once you get to that point, it's such a relief to be able to push the baby out! And it is not helpful for anyone to suggest "don't push! The doctor's not here/not ready" (not that's ever happened to me of course. and even if it did, i wouldn't listen :P).

When the baby crowns, I felt this burning pain (they call it the "ring of fire" for a reason!), but that's over pretty quickly because the pressure of the baby bearing down will numb the pain.

Has anyone had a natural pregnancy? Do you mean natural *birth*? I had to have penicillin doses through IV both times, but I have never had an epidural. With Isaac, an hour before he was born, I gave in and got a narcotic which only made me sleepy and tired and then it was time to work and push him out! With Mimi I was wiser (and knew that the pain is worse and I am at my most self-doubting just as I'm transitioning to pushing) and I made it without pain medication.


What about the moment after the birth? What does your body feel like? Bruised and abused? Numb? "Empty"? Something else? How long does it take for the afterbirth to be expelled? I was really tired by the end of my labor, but as soon as the baby came out I was euphoric and on a high. I babbled and held the babies and wanted to call everyone. I was aching and sore and had to move slowly for a while (and after Isaac I got up to go to the bathroom and fainted, how embrarrassing!) and bleeding a lot. They gave me ice to numb my poor bottom.

The afterbirth comes pretty quickly after the baby is born. I wasn't paying too much attention to that part because a) it's gross and b) I had a baby to admire

I could go on and on. Let me know if you have further questions. :)
mnfaure
Mar. 23rd, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that, Rabia. It's going to help me make this a better scene. :D
(Deleted comment)
mnfaure
Mar. 19th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
Induced labor was sharp, stabbing contractions, very intense and hard to endure.

Ooh, great info, Jamie. I didn't think about asking that question, but this reminds me that the birth is "induced" after a fashion and it is premature.
hkneale
Mar. 19th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
Do you feel pain (or another sensation) when your water breaks?

Nope. #1 was induced and my water was broken for me. #2 I had what was known as a "hind leak" (aka my water broke at the top of the amniotic sac) and it simply trickled out.

It feels like wetting yourself, but no matter how hard you try to stop it, it doesn't.

A little more subjective, perhaps, is how you would describe the contractions and ensuing pain leading up to and including the moment of birth.

Contractions increase in strength until they positively hurt. But then you hit something called "transition". Then the pain seems to stop and it becomes more like running a marathon.

Has anyone had a natural birth? </i>

#2 was natural, though I was closely monitored because this was a VBAC.

What about the moment after the birth?

The contractions ease off and you forget all about your body as your whole consciousness focuses on the new little life you've brought into the world.

What does your body feel like? Bruised and abused?

Like overstretched muscles like I'd run too far than my body was used to. I could literally feel where my pubococcus muscle joined the back of my pelvis. On the inside.

Something else?

Actually, your center of gravity changes and it takes a little while to figure out your balance.

How long does it take for the afterbirth to be expelled? About half an hour, give or take. You'll have a few contractions to push that out. Breastfeeding helps move it along faster.
mnfaure
Mar. 23rd, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this info, Heidi.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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