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I have a question for you if you've given birth without an epidural!!!

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What was the most painful part of labor for you? Was the pushing worse than contractions or vice versa?

I went through most of the contractions without an epidural so I know what that pain is like, but I had an epidural for the pushing. I'm just wondering if I can make it this time without an epidural at all. The reason I had one before was because my coccyx was going to break again when he came down the birth canal and I did NOT want to feel that, lol. 

I've heard from some women that the pushing came as a relief after the contractions... sort of like it was relieving pressure? But then others have said the pushing was worse. I don't know. What was your experience like?

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by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM
Replies (31-40):
by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM

 Contractions were way worse for me.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 6:32 PM
For sure!

Quoting Radellia:

Is it just me... Or does the Johnny Cash song "The Ring of Fire" come to mind?

"And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire. The ring of fire"

Quoting kmqw229:

The ring of fire hurt the worst!
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by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 6:34 PM
The transition contractions when he dropped were the worst. :'( I only pushed three times, five minutes and he was out. Phew!!!
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by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Coping through contractions was most challenging and if I lost focus, most painful too.

by Emerald Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Transition was the hardest part of the labor, but it only last for a little bit.  Pushing was nice, but it was also exhausting too.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM
Transitioning from 8-10cm within two minutes of time. Feeling him in my pelvic was awful!! The pain was beyond horrific!!!!! My other two kiddos I had epidurals because I was induced.
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by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 7:39 AM

If you learn to work with the rhythms of your body, you can see that every stage has its purpose.  Some women just can't tolerate pain. Period.  Every stage of delivery seemed to have different feelings ("pain").  This is what the female body was designed for, so with complete trust in my self , and keeping that goal of meeting and holding my baby front and center in my mind,  I just worked through it all. 

The only unnecessary pain I felt was when my midwife tried to "help " me along with stretching me.  If I could have reached over my belly , I would have punched her.  It was my second child and I don't think I needed any "helping"  UGH....people create obstacles for laboring women.  This time around, my rule is: no one in the room but the daddy, until the baby is coming out.  Seriously considering homebirth because of the last experience...

Anyhoo...sorry for the rant.

Bottom line: contractions and pushing are two different types of "pain".  Just work through it.  BUT if you know you have a low tolerance, then why put yourself through it...just get the epi.

Good luck!

by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I had my 3rd child with a Doula, completely naturally.  It was hard work, but with her help, I was able to stay focused when transition came- which was very difficult.  But for me the hardest part was the ring of fire as the baby decended through the canal.  Pushing was a natural urge and came easy after all of that and even though I had broken my coccyx with my previous birth 3 yrs earlier, there was pressure, but no re-breakage.  I wish I had also had a midwife as well, like I had on my previous birth, but they were not allowed in Alabama at the time.  Get a Midwife if you can.  If not find an OB or OB group who is very natural friendly.  Their attitude makes all the difference in the world.  Make a very polite birth plan and stick to your guns.  :)

And most of all - Hire a doula to help you with childbirth education and calming measures.  It will make all the difference in the world.  She will be able to give you more information on anything you may have questions about as well as teach you the in-depth process of what your body is going through and how to work with your body instead of against it. The more you can get in tune with your body, the easier labor can become.  It often takes training from a good labor coach.  search your area for an experienced Doula.  There are a lot of websites to start searching for one on.    are the 2 biggest certifying organizations of Doulas.  CAPPA also certifies all types of Childbirth professionals, such as Childbirth Educators as well.  You may find one who is both a Doula and a Childbirth Educator, like me!  There are several other organizations that certify that have been around for a long time, such as Childbirth International .  Here are some other National organizations -    

There are many Doula searching sites as well, just google "find a doula" and use all the site that come up.  But checking with the sites above would be best, in my humble opinion, as you will be sure you are getting someone well trained and backed by an organization with integrity and an avenue of recourse should you be unhappy with their services.  These people have a code of conduct and a scope of practice to follow to keep their certifications, so you typically find a lot of integrity there.  That is not to say that you might not find someone who has been doing this for many many years and still has all the same knowledge and experience, but doesn't have the official certifications.  This is just the route I would take, unless I knew the person personally or had close friends or family who could vouch for them.  Just my opinion, please don't hate me for it. :)  Good luck to you!

Doula Ginny Mills
~CAPPA Trained Labor Doula
& Childbirth/Parenting Educator
~B.A. Psychology-Child/Adolecsent Psych & Development
w/ Early Childhood Education/Marriage & Fam Counseling 
(Former Single Mom-ages 19-27 thru college)

by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The last push before baby's head came out had always been the most painful for me. I have had three without an epidural.
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by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM
The transition contractions were the worst for me too. The pain from the contractions made it so I could barely feel anything when pushing. I did feel myself tear a little, but it wasn't horrible.
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