Aug 25, 2009

Week 15: Labor stories

lol - check out this cartoon:

So, I have been meaning to write about this for a bit; those who are following me on twitter may have also seen a few tweets about this.

I finally talked to my mom the other day for more details about how labor was for her. As in - how much does it actually hurt/what does it feel like? I still think that it's going to be one of those things that you have to experience for your own - I still don't feel like I know what it's going to be like too well. (of course, part of my problem may be that I always 'defined' my pain in categories due to sport injuries and so I probably have a different way of going about pain than other people! lol)

But, also - people don't often say too much about the pain. I mean, they say it does hurt (and open their eyes really big to get that point across), but at the same time, they then focus on the pushing and how tired you can get... So, the pain is not as bad as the exhaustion? And I would think that anyways you are super uncomfortable... the baby is in your pelvic area, your legs are wide apart when pushing, your breathing is off - it just seems very uncomfortable!!! ;)

Going back to my mom though - let me know share what her history was in birthing the 3 of us kids. Mind you, it's really sounding like the doctor didn't tell her much of what was going on... the last 2 births seem better, but she does say that the first doctor kept telling her during the entire pregnancy that she was doing everything wrong (don't eat ice cream, don't drive... ok, how do I get to your office? lol) and that the hospital was pretty industrial and not personal at all for delivery.

My older brother was the first one born and my mom says that she was in labor with him for 2 hours. That's it!!! He was also about 19 days early, although it sounds like the delivery estimates weren't as actuate in 1978 since they didn't use ultrasound that much. (my mom is LOVING my ultrasound pictures) Anyways, she said that they did the whole 'push, push!" thing, that they had her laying down (thank GOODNESS they don't do THAT anymore!), and that she got a pain shot (I'm unclear if it was an epi, she says it was) in her back. Now - she also says that the shot was given and about 5 minutes later she gave birth! She said if she knew that, she would have gone straight through with the delivery since it was only a bit longer. With it being her first birth, the main thing for her was that you don't really know what's going on and so it's kinda' scary.

... But, with births 2 and 3, she knew that she wasn't going to, well, die - and so that made it better for her. Also, my birth and my younger sister were also pretty quick: I was born in 45 minutes (15 minutes after she got to the hospital, 30 minutes after her water broke), and my sister was born in 3 hours or so. (my sister was the largest out of the 3 of us) The main thing that she says from us is that she really didn't need to 'push.' She says that if she pushed when they told her to, she felt that she would be going counter to what her body was telling her. She also says that the muscles were pretty much just doing the job... I guess if it's so short like that, they really do have a mind of their own!!!

I find her birthing stories really interesting (or course- it has me in them!), but I don't know if it's an indication of how my own labor will be. Other factors that I'm sure can contribute: 1. my grandma wasn't fast with her labor, although she was 38 and 40 when she had her 2 kids... apparently at some point the nurse told her that she just wasn't trying and needed to get serious - how rude! ;) 2. My mom was younger than me with her births, I think 23 with my brother 25 with me and 27 with my sister. I'm going to be 29 when I give birth to my first...

I get worried about her fast delivery because my delivery hospital is about 20 minutes away with no traffic, but there is a very good chance that I would hit traffic and/or ice/snow considering I'm expected to deliver in Feb!!! So, I'm probably going to be very paranoid about going into labor in case it's super fast! :) My mom joked that I should rent a room closer to the hospital.

I still have plenty of time to discuss delivery with my doctor (we haven't touched on it at all yet), but please share your birthing stories and if you think that family history does make a difference or not. Also, although I don't think this would help if it's super fast, I heard that having an epi can delay how long the labor is... any thoughts on this?


  1. Wow, your mom had super fast births. As another first time momma, I'm with you. I have about a gazillion questions about labor and delivery.

  2. lol - my mom just said the other day that she agreed with the posting from "his boys can swim" that having her tonsils taken out as an adult was MUCH worst than labor!

    I have another labor posting at:

  3. When I asked my mom what birth was like, she said "like pooping a basketball". Encouraging.

    My personal theory on epidurals is that they slow down labor because they force you to sit still and basically stay in bed for the rest of the labor. I don't want one because I want the freedom to walk, change positions, push while squatting (very effective, apparently), etc.

    Someone told me yesterday that she "pulled her groin muscle" and that it was way worse than the pain of childbirth. But, then, she had an epidural. Good thing, too; her kids were all 10 lbs! I think she tells me her stories just to freak me out sometimes :).

  4. lol - great quote from your mom! :)
    I agree, they seem to slow down labor which could be good I suppose in some cases and not in others. I'm sure that I'll decide when I get 'into' the whole thing, but right now I'm a bit more inclined not to have an epi. (as long as they are very clear with how things are coming along and how much further to go... in their opinion of course)
    In the blog "His boys can swim," there was a posting about 40 things about labor, etc that was good ( and Jane said how it was better than having your tonsils taken out. I asked my mom (she had hers taken out in her early 30s/late 20s) and she totally agreed! She said that she would go through labor again any time over having her tonsils taken out! (of course, us kids were 9, 7 and 5 at the time which probably didn't help)
    Well, keep up with what you hear and what you decide with your baby now and after you deliver! :)

  5. Wait until you are at least 7 centimeters to get the epidural to avoid it prolonging your labor. Stay upright and walk, move, sway your hips. Sit on a birthing ball (like an exercise ball), use a rocking chair, get in the labor tub, if available. Do everything you can to avoid the epidural as long as possible, to allow your baby to move down the birth canal and get in the optimal position before you are immobilized in bed. (Better yet, skip the epidural and all its risks to you and baby -- but I realize less than 20% of women give birth without the epidural, so I digress.)

    I don't think family history makes a difference. My grandmother had very fast labors, my moms were very long. I think the much more important factor is knowledge -- understanding what's happening -- which prevents fear. Fear creates tension which prevents your body from doing what it needs to do. Definitely try to learn as much as you can about the birth process, and stay at home as long as possible. If you can still talk during a contraction, it's too early to go the hospital (even considering the driving time). Going too early is one of the worst things you can do -- your labor will probably slow down or even stop, and then you'll have all kinds of painful and risky interventions.

    Labor will be the hardest day of your life, but then it will be over and you will be a MOM!

  6. I forgot to mention -- my labor was very long but I went to the hospital too early and my labor slowed down then stopped. I did not have the epidural and I'm very, very glad that I did not. I pushed my son out while sitting on a birthing stool (opens the pelvis like a squat, but I was too tired to support myself in a squat so that helped support me). Being upright is key!

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