1. Just how much can it hurt?

Most of us know labour is painful but painful is it, precisely? Painful such as a scratched cornea, or debilitating like an allergic response to yeast infection medicine (do not ask)? I requested two mothers to place it in terms that us civilians may know. One said, “Labor seems like quite a big and wicked boa constrictor coiled around your stomach, squeezing increasing intensity and frequency.”

Another mom (who promised she was not offended by some of the other concerns ) stated that the pain is in a class alone and attempting to compare it with whatever else is an insult. Quite simply: “Tell me about your leg, and I want to laugh at you as it is nothing in comparison to labour.” Ouch.

2. Super-long labours: fantasy or dreadful reality?

A fast online search of”average labour time for initial kid” will provide you amounts between 8 and 12 hours per day. Nevertheless, the anecdotal evidence (by that I mean that any mom’s testimony after a glass of Chardonnay) tells another story. One woman I interviewed fought for two days ahead of the meddo gave up and gave her a C-section. Still, another clocked in 32 hours, even, however, she stated just 16 (!) Of these were debilitating.

And labour is not the one thing which may drag on. 1 mother got severely sick after her third kid overstayed her due date by three months. (Full disclosure: The mom was mine, and the kid was me. And I am so, so sorry, Mother.)

3. Does your vagina tear during labour?

I will allow you to recuperate from imagining (and sense ) the terror of the question before I break the terrible news. The solution is, “yes.” Studies state that 53–79% of women suffer harm to the perineum during delivery (the region between the anus and vulva). Damage occurs from ripping or by a surgical cut known as an episiotomy created by your meddo should they believe that it’s needed. The injury can take long retrieval times and may permanently alter the sense of intercourse and occasionally cause urinary or rectal incontinence.

Those details are enough to make me wish to keep my legs crossed eternally, and the mothers I talked to back them up with expertise. One mother experienced tearing throughout her very first delivery — that she blamed pushing when she had been advised to not — but prevented tearing on her succeeding births by massaging the region with olive oil.

Another mother I talked with had an episiotomy but endured third-degree ripping anyway. As she put it, “My child’s mind was 13 inches approximately. Something had to give, and it was my skin.”

Thus, yeah: Legs. Crossed. Forever.

4. To drug or not to drug?

Whether to take an epidural for shipping is just one of the most heated topics of debate about mommy blogs. Of the mothers I inquired, their responses ran the gamut. One said she got the epidural, but it was not very powerful, and she felt every stitch whenever they sewed her up episiotomy. She defended the decision, adding, “I’d take meds when I broke a bone why would not I for it, and it is a million times worse.”

Another mother I requested stated she went off for four (FOUR) deliveries, stating that the experience was a standard high. In any event, there does not appear to be a”right” response so much because there’s an”answer that is ideal for you.” And in real life, moms are not nearly into epidural-shaming since those on message boards. What is up with this, anyhow?

5. Can you blossom in front of everybody?

I know about labour pooping from seeing”edgy” romantic comedies, and that I was expecting it was a fantasy. No such luck, as it ends up. Medical professionals report that it is widespread, and one mother (who happens to be a meddo herself) describes, “If there are faeces on your sigmoid colon or anus, then it is going to be squeezed out as soon as the infant’s head comes down during that narrow space.”

Your very best choice is to attempt to alleviate yourself beforehand. But if this does not work out so nicely, you will only need to concentrate on one of those 100 other senses you are experiencing. And keep in mind that life will proceed.

6. Does some of those heavy breathing materials work?

The overall consensus about the efficacy of breathing techniques appears to be”not really.” However, some moms say that they function as a valuable distraction for at least a couple of hours.

7. Can you yell mean things in the meddo and nurses, and, in that case, do you feel terrible about it in retrospect?

That is another matter in which my comprehension mostly comes from films, but childbirth does look like one of those very few occasions in life when it is considered okay to vent your anger at everybody around you. Of course, not every single mother takes advantage of this chance. One girl said she wished to make a fantastic impression among the hospital’s earliest same-sex buddy, so she strove to be on her very best behaviour, despite the pain. But the other copped to raising some hell from the shipping room, yelling the midwife’s title”so loudly that the windows shook.” She states she’d feel awful about it, however. She felt so awful that she called her daughter then a midwife.