AS woman's childbirth labor - Pain or No Pain?

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faithfilly
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15 Feb 2007, 10:27 pm

Now that I know what's been odd about me my whole life, it has me wondering about the other odd things. For example, long before I knew about Asperger Syndrome, I knew there was no way I could tolerate a hospital environment to give birth. My children were born at home. Only those who were with me during the time I gave birth know that I didn't experience labor pains. Everyone else likes to say, "Oh, women forget about the pain during labor once the child is born."

Now that my daughter has gone through the experience of giving birth, she cannot understand how come her childbirth experience was so opposite from mine. For her, it was awful. For me, I joked and laughed during the experience (and no, I did not have any drugs or any childbirth class because I thought both were rediculous and unnecessary). As my daughter was arriving into the world, I saw my dad fearfully peeking into the bedroom door. I looked at him and jokingly (Aspie humor?) said, "Is it soup yet?" When my son was coming into the world, we got to play a joke on the midwife. As she pulled into our driveway, my husband told her she was too late. He was covered with blood. She didn't see the deer he shot that he was gutting that day (it was hunting season). Then she came in and we ate pizza before my son arrived.

My daughter weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. and my son weighed 9 lbs. 7 oz. Both of my children arrived at the same time of the day (6 years apart, almost to the day) as the full moon came up over the mountain. I'm glad I got to enjoy a walk outdoors and watch the moon before being told to come back inside. For me, birthing was all about being able to be left in peace to experience my great moments of life my way.

Now I know one difference between my daughter and me is that she is neurotypical and I'm an Aspie. Does anyone think that difference could be a major reason for us having such contrasting labor experiences? I'll never know from my other child, who is an Aspie, because he is never going to experience childbirth.

Another slightly interesting phenomenon is my menopause experience. If it wasn't for my cycle ending, I would never even have known I experienced menopause. All I can figure is that God has been merciful to me considering all the other suffering I endured emotionally from arrogant/ignorant people because of Asperger Syndrome.


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Mnemosyne
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15 Feb 2007, 11:40 pm

Seeing how a lot of us are hypersensitive, I would imagine childbirth would be MORE painful than it is to most normal people. I haven't had a child, but I've had a miscarriage and that hurt more than you can imagine.



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15 Feb 2007, 11:58 pm

I've gone through labor and delivery 5 times, 4 times with no pain meds, one time with pain meds for just the last hour, and 1 of the births was at home. Chances are that your births were painless because the baby was positioned well and you have a good pelvis. I experienced such pain with the 4th birth (homebirth) that I don't think I could ever feel worse pain, ever again in my life. She got stuck coming out because she put her fist up, and was trapped like that with me in transition for hours.

So the answer to your question is that AS women probably are going to more sensitive to the pain, but it is also painful to be around strangers in the hospital... it's a toss up. As far as the birth being easy or not, that has more to do with the baby's positioning and the woman's pelvis, and incidentals that might arise like the fist going up or a baby turning weird. I know women who had many easy births but then were hit with one that made them feel like they were being slowly killed. So I think it's a difference of some births being easier than others, not that certain women don't feel or can tolerate pain differently than others.


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faithfilly
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16 Feb 2007, 10:49 am

Here is an interesting article I just came across on the topic of sensitivity to pain:

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/3-11-2006-90955.asp

Please don't get me wrong and think that I never experience pain. I'm learning that there is such a thing as being both hypersensitve and hyposensitive with Asperger Syndrome. It seems logical that a person who rates high in Asperger traits would also be extreme in levels of hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.

Anyone else aware of this?

Side note about baby positions (for my birth experiences anyhow): Both of my children where positioned upright the day before they were born. As evening approached on the day they were born, they had both reversed position (on their own) and exited upside-down. I was upright both times also. I cannot imagine giving birth laying down. That never made sense to me. What also made no sense was not even noticing their change of position.

Side note about hospitals (for me anyhow): Because of some horrible things I experienced while happening to be in a hospital, I am permanently damaged emotionally from being able to deal with that environment. It goes way beyond such things as fluorescent lights, sterile smells, noise, etc.


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Mnemosyne
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17 Feb 2007, 11:00 pm

faithfilly wrote:
Please don't get me wrong and think that I never experience pain. I'm learning that there is such a thing as being both hypersensitve and hyposensitive with Asperger Syndrome. It seems logical that a person who rates high in Asperger traits would also be extreme in levels of hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.

Anyone else aware of this?


Yes but a person is generally either hyper or hypo sensitive across the board. People who are hyposensitive to pain are generally also hyposensitive to sound, light, taste, etc. My husband (while not an Aspie) is undersensitive.



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18 Feb 2007, 8:54 am

I usually have issues that are both hypo for some things and hyper for other things, I don't tend to go solely towards hyper or hypo-sensitive. It's usually a mix. Yes labor and the c-sections with the boys were painful, before I had kids I had a very high pain tolerance level.



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18 Feb 2007, 2:31 pm

Considering I plan in letting another woman go through the joy of labour for me (Adoption) when the time comes, I think it should be pretty pain-free :P


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faithfilly
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18 Feb 2007, 8:11 pm

After doing more research and reading, it appears that the issue of being hypersensitive and hyposensitive can go a miltiple of ways. There are some people who are hypersensitive or hyposensitive or both. Here is a quote from an article off the web page http://www.grasp.org/faq.htm :

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Sometimes, people with Sensory Integration dysfunction are hypersensitive and hyposensitive in the same sensory system, at the same time. In the tactile system, this might mean that a person startles and has an aversive reaction to light touch, but does not respond in the usual fashion to deep pressure, including that which would cause a pain reaction in a person with a typical tactile system.


Needless to say, this whole concept is quite interesting...full of oddities, just like Asperger's Syndrome is for Neurotypical people. :)


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MishLuvsHer2Boys
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19 Feb 2007, 8:34 am

faithfilly wrote:
After doing more research and reading, it appears that the issue of being hypersensitive and hyposensitive can go a miltiple of ways. There are some people who are hypersensitive or hyposensitive or both. Here is a quote from an article off the web page http://www.grasp.org/faq.htm :

Quote:
Sometimes, people with Sensory Integration dysfunction are hypersensitive and hyposensitive in the same sensory system, at the same time. In the tactile system, this might mean that a person startles and has an aversive reaction to light touch, but does not respond in the usual fashion to deep pressure, including that which would cause a pain reaction in a person with a typical tactile system.


Needless to say, this whole concept is quite interesting...full of oddities, just like Asperger's Syndrome is for Neurotypical people. :)


Me and my oldest son are this way... sensory system and issues with it change from day to weeks to months to years, it doesn't always remain constant.



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19 Feb 2007, 4:19 pm

Considering that when the time comes I plan on allowing someone else to do that whole labor and deliver thing for me, and adopting the kid...I figure it will be pretty physically painless ;)


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20 Feb 2007, 10:39 am

I have 3 kids. I had a natural birth, no drugs with the first and last. All 3 of my labors were painful, but I do think labor is definitely doable. And taking drugs for a normal birth is not worth the side effects to both myself and the baby, imo.

All 3 of mine were in strange positions, I have to admit. ds1 was posterior, ds2 was asynclitic, and ds3 was what my midwife calls an "exorcist" baby. His head was anterior, his body posterior. I had ds1 at a nice hospital w/ a wonderful doctor who encouraged me to go w/out drugs. She helped me try different positions, and I liked squatting best for my long pushing stage. He was 8lbs 8oz, head in the 98th percentile.

ds2 was born in a horrible hospital. THey had bright fluorescent lights they refused to turn off (1st hospital turned off the fluorescents and had on a soft bedside table lamp.) They had me lying on my back flat strapped to the fetal monitor which I couldn't stand the feeling of. My labor stopped at 9cm and after several hours of have horrible transition like contractions without dialation (transition is the worst part that normally only lasts around 20 min, several hours of this is too much to bear), I finally got an epidural. THe epidural was horrible, I still have back pain where it was inserted. It only worked on one side. When ds was born, he had breathing difficulty they told me was due to the drugs in the epidural (but while you're in labor they tell you the epidural won't affect the baby???) ds2 was 9lbs 4oz, head in the 60th percentile. THe doctor gave me an episiotomy for him and I felt it was the biggest violation of my body I've ever had. He had the smallest head of my 3 sons being 2 weeks early, so I know I wouldn't have torn w/out it.

I had a wonderful homebirth with my 3rd son. During my labor, which btw was my longest at 8hours, I sat at the table drinking tea and laughing with my midwife and sister. The midwife told me that the reason my labor was so long (normal length for most people) was b/c the cord was wrapped around his neck and he couldn't turn the way he wanted to. He finally gave up turning that way, and I felt him turn completely around the other way, and my labor moved super fast after that. It went so fast that I actually got the freak out transition hormones AFTER I was finished dialating and was freaking out while pushing. In my previous 2 labors, pushing was my favorite part, a relief after all the pain and also being something ACTIVE, you have to push hard to get the baby out. I found it empowering and sastisfying. NOt sure if that makes sense. I only had to push 2-3 times though, despite freaking out and not wanting to push (btw, your body pushes FOR you, whether you want to push or not. ;)) He was 9lbs 6oz, head also in the 98th like ds1. Not a single tear or skid mark. He did need extra stimulation to get started breathing and needed oxygen for a few minutes b/c of the cord being around his neck, but was fine. It was only wrapped once. My midwife was experienced and knew he'd be ok b/c I'd be able to push him out quickly, plus she'd been monitoring his heartbeat and it had been ok. People often have a misconception that midwives are not prepared for things like this b/c they are not in a hospital, so I wanted to mention that they do carry suction tubes, oxygen, and other emergency supplies. ;)

ANyway, the contractions are definitely painful, but they are definitely doable b/c you get a rest to catch your breath between them. I have been told that my contractions are more intense and painful b/c I have such fast labors. I do know that until the end w/ my 3rd that were not nearly as intense and painful as they'd been with my first 2.



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20 Feb 2007, 11:56 am

wendytheweird wrote:
...and was freaking out while pushing. In my previous 2 labors, pushing was my favorite part, a relief after all the pain and also being something ACTIVE, you have to push hard to get the baby out. I found it empowering and sastisfying. NOt sure if that makes sense. I only had to push 2-3 times though, despite freaking out and not wanting to push (btw, your body pushes FOR you, whether you want to push or not. ;))


Wendytheweird, I feel safe to ask you a weird question. Is this pushing a conscious, deliberate act? I ask because this has always puzzled me since I never "pushed" (or did any alternative-styled breathing). The way I would describe both of my birthing experiences in regards to pushing is that it was like an automatic upside-down vomiting experience. Forgive my gross way of explaining a beautiful event, but I know no better way of putting it other than saying it felt like I was "heaving" the baby out (except without the nausea)...in a rhythmic pattern like waves approaching a beach.


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wendytheweird
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20 Feb 2007, 12:45 pm

That's a very good description, I think. But w/ my first 2, I consciously pushed along with that feeling. It felt right to push w/ all my might, so I did. W/ my 3rd, my body just pushed for me, which was a lot like you described it, heaving from the other end. ;)



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22 Feb 2007, 8:54 am

i have kids. did natural childbirth. and it hurt.

i highly recommend women opt for drugs if they can tolerate the hospital.


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faithfilly
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22 Feb 2007, 10:22 am

sun_rat wrote:
i have kids. did natural childbirth. and it hurt.

Why do women say that women forget their childbirth pain? Wait a minute...I'm beginning to remember which women they were who said such things to me. They're women who never had children now that I think about it. :lol:


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"Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." – Isaiah 66:2