Giving birth is beautiful, yet painful.
As much as mothers remember how adorable their bundle of joy was after pushing for eighteen long hours, they never quite forget how painful the process was. You've heard the beautiful stories, but it's not too often that we hear the semi-horror stories.
Giving birth is no walk in the park and if someone tells you different, don't believe them. To make sure that you aren't in for a surprise once your day comes, keep scrolling to hear what giving birth really feels like according to six brave women who have endured the pain.
"When I was pushing out my first son, who was born at home, I was certain that the pain I was experiencing would never leave my body, that this feeling was permanent. I thought that a bunch of hippies had duped me into thinking the work would be worth it. But sure enough, it left in an instant and I'd do it a thousand times over." —Kacie, 34
"With my second child, I had an epidural, so giving birth felt like a lot of pressure and almost like you're giving the biggest B.M. of your life. They say you don't feel pain, but I almost think your body can't tell the difference when it's intense at the end. And afterward, the biggest relief ever. Once that baby is out, phew. You can breathe." —Katie, 26
"Giving birth to me physically felt similar to breaking my tailbone. When I broke my tailbone, that's how I knew it was broken, because it felt the same as when I felt the urge to push. So much pressure on my pelvis and tailbone!" —Amanda, 28
"Both my labors were purely back labor, so when people describe contractions as bad menstrual cramps, it never made sense to me. 'Early' labor for me feels almost like having intestinal cramping like you get with the stomach flu. When they broke my water, I had flashbacks to my first labor (where my water had broken right away). Those contractions are 100 times worse. Each contraction took all my focus. I arched my back with each one just trying to physically get away from the pain. It felt like someone was pushing forcefully from the inside against my spine and twisting it at the same time. It just made me want to crawl out of my skin. It's pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It's by this point in labor that I usually break down in tears and say that I can't do it anymore. Pushing at this point is a relief in some ways. The pain is still miserable, but pushing seems to ease it. As weird as it sounds, it's the same physical relief as pooping after you really needed to. By the time you get to the 'ring of fire' (which does burn, but mentally made it easier because it signifies the end), it really does feel exactly like pooping, which is weird." —Melanie, 29
"The whole birthing experience felt really out of control and like someone else had taken over my body. Actually pushing my child out felt like someone was ripping my vagina apart using long, sharp nails that are also on fire. I actually yelled at my midwife to stop using her nails to pull my vagina apart and she told me she wasn't even touching me!" —Kristen, 34
"Natural childbirth felt like fire. Literal fire in my nether regions. I honestly left my body for most of it. I felt like I was looking down on myself from above." —Lori, 39
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