Childbirth is an amazing accomplishment, but it can often take a whole lot of pain, sweat and tears to have it over and done with.
A thread titled ‘What does childbirth feel like?’ posted on Quora, a question-and-answer site, has produced over 50 answers with hundreds of thousands of views, with users answering the brutal and honest truth.
Pain was, understandably, the most popular issue amongst the mothers on the thread, along with some boredom and anxiety, and even some hilarious comparisons to animals and Japanese seasoning.
Here are just some of our favourites. Warning: this isn’t for the faint-hearted!
‘It’s a lot like being at an airport waiting for my flight to take off. I was stuck in uncomfortable chairs, eating mediocre food, and feeling antsy.’
‘My whole body ached. I felt the most intense pain of my life. I was overcome with despair. I felt like I was dying…. Felt like I had just run two marathons, being chased by wild animals.’
‘The pain of contractions burns like wasabi, but also like wasabi, it clears immediately.’
‘When the people attending you tell you they can see the head, trust me. YOU ARE ALREADY VERY AWARE OF THE HEAD IN YOUR VAGINA. In your vagina. Fortunately this stage is very short, because while it’s very small, it’s still someone’s head.’
‘It’s like shitting a bowling ball.’
‘Each contraction was suddenly like being kicked by a horse just at the top of my tailbone. The whole experience was very primal, not driven by the usual rational part of my brain that writes code and so on, but by instinct and survival.’
‘Your hips literally feel like they are being yanked off of you to each side. You’ve nearly forgotten about the fact that your tummy is as tight as a cannonball’s surface, because the baby is so low that you’re a human wishbone.’
‘My pain was dulled by the exhaustion at this point, but I would equivocate it to breaking an appendage, then having someone stand on it full weight every 2 minutes.’
‘At one point I was breathing so hard and fast that I felt I was going to faint. The nurse gave me a bag to breath in to. That old brown paper bag got scrunched up pretty fast, but it was my best friend.I held the bag with my left hand and hubby’s hand with my right. Every time a contraction hit, I would squeeze his hand as hard as I could. It wasn’t long before he took off his ring because it was cutting into the skin of the finger next to it.’
‘Yes, there is pain. I would rather have a baby than ride a roller coaster at a theme park. That is painful. I was in labour for 17 hours before the C-section was done. No meds. Yes, it’s hard work. But I would rather do that again than have another kidney biopsy.’
‘I would describe it as what it must be like to ‘use the force’ and trust that whatever my mind was willing the muscles that I couldn’t feel to ‘do’, those muscles will somehow obey its command.’
‘You’re bleeding like a stuck pig, but you don’t care because your bliss is so big.’
A few mums added what it felt like after all of the turmoil was over, and they had their brand new baby to coo over.
‘You will be jacked up for a few days. So exciting! So much love! I could barely sleep because I just wanted to look at her. If you nurse, you will still have the contractions, along with oxytocin pumping through your veins. For me, I could honestly feel this happening, there was a weird tickle inside my head at the top of my brain, and I’d suddenly feel really good and happy, like taking a nice big pain pill.’
‘Your labia will swell like hotdogs (I didn’t look until 6 weeks later) There is a lot of bleeding, but it goes down to what seems like a normal period after a few days. You will be achy and sore, like you were in a bad car wreck. Your breasts will engorge and hurt, but that also quickly goes away.’
‘The baby comes out and they plop it on you, so you can cry at it while it cries back at you.’
Do any of these sound familiar to when you gave birth? Let us know in the comments below!