No one can predict what your own labor will be like, but hearing from those who have been there can help you get familiar with the possibilities.
Labor is like a box of chocolates
Our survey results made one thing clear: Labor is different for every woman, with pain ranging from mild to extreme. Even the epidural reactions varied widely. As one mom put it, "Labor is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." Here's a sampling of the different pain experiences reported.
- My pain was irritating but not unbearable.
- I had excruciating pain.
- My contractions felt like muscle spasms and weren't very painful.
- The pain was all-encompassing.
- At first I didn't know I was in labor and thought I needed to have a bowel movement. By the time we got to the hospital, I was at 10 centimeters. It hurt, but it wasn't that bad.
- I felt like I was being run over by a train.
- I begged my hubby to throw me out of the car on the way to the hospital, it hurt so bad.
- It was close to painless, thanks to all the training/prep work I did during pregnancy. Yay for Hypnobabies.
- I was induced and got my epidural early, so I only felt minor contractions. It was all fairly easy!
- The epidural didn't get rid of everything, like I had hoped. I felt the pressure of each contraction and the pain from the crowning.
- I had period-like cramps until I got an epidural. Then I just waited.
- Painful, until I got the epidural! It saved my life!
- I still felt most of the pain even after the epidural was in.
Many moms told us that their contractions felt like an extreme version of menstrual cramps, while others compared them to cramps from gas, the stomach flu, or a charley horse.
- My contractions were like menstrual cramps on steroids.
- The cramping went from the top of my stomach down to my pubic area.
- It was like gas pains times a thousand.
- A horrible cramp that started in my back and radiated into my stomach.
- Very painful cramping and tightening that started at the top of my uterus and spread downward and through my back.
- Strong menstrual cramps that came and went. They would start low and radiate up my belly and around into my lower back.
- Like the cramps you get with a really bad stomach flu — but they last longer!
- Labor feels like charley horses in your lower abdomen.
Several women described the contractions as a "tightening" rather than a cramping.
- It felt like my entire stomach was tightening down into a painful little ball. But the contractions were not unbearable at all.
- I literally felt my uterus muscles tightening.
- The contractions felt like my whole body was clenching up.
- It was like someone was grabbing all the skin in my back and pulling very slowly until it was tight, then holding it for a minute and releasing.
- I had tightening all over my belly, radiating into my lower back and rectum.
- It felt like someone was squeezing my belly every two or three minutes.
- It was like someone was squeezing my insides as hard as they could.
Source : Here.