39 Natural Birth Stories That Will Leave You Shook


Health

“It’s like trying to poop out a pineapple the size of a bowling
ball.”

Posted on May 20, 2017, 14:01 GMT

Giving birth is a pretty
incredible thing. But obviously, squeezing a tiny human out
of your body can get painful (to say the very
least).

Especially when it’s done without pain medication or an
epidural — a common method of
anesthesia used during labor, where the anesthetic is
inserted via a needle in the lower back and injected into
the epidural space near the spinal cord, decreasing
sensation to your lower body.

So we
asked members of the BuzzFeed Community
to tell us what it actually feels like to give birth without
any pain medication.

We heard from women all over the US and UK who’ve had natural
births — either by choice or because it was too late to
receive an epidural. This collection of submissions does not
speak to all natural births, but we hope it can illustrate
the wide range of experiences and feelings. Here are some of
the best responses:

1. “It feels like every bone in your
body is broken and they are all being pulled out of your
cooch at at the same time, sideways.”

—@SandiKShelby, Twitter

2. “It literally felt like my body was
ripping in half vertically, from the crotch up, followed by
the strongest euphoria I’ve ever experienced.”

“Unmedicated birth is intense all around: physically,
mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

—ciarrachristyneo

3. “I did it all: I pooped, I tore, I
cried, I screamed, I prayed for it to end. At one point, I
even threw up inside my oxygen mask from all the
pain.”

“My last was 12 years ago and I still remember the pain
clearly — it was like nothing I have ever felt! I became a
different person for those 10 hours. I did it all: I pooped,
I tore, I cried, I screamed, I prayed for it to end. At one
point, I even threw up inside my oxygen mask from all the
pain. I remember hitting my head against the bathroom wall of
the hospital at one point in a stupid effort to redirect the
pain. But what they say is true: once that little miracle is
out, there is so much relief and every minute of pain is
worth it when you hold your baby.”

—Nicole Erasmus, Facebook

4. “I felt like my daughter and I were
a team, working together to get her out.”

“The most amazing part of doing it med-free was being able to
feel my daughter twist around into position down the birth
canal. I felt like we were a team, working together to get
her out. All other feeling and pain was secondary to that
magical bonding moment that nobody, not even my birthing
class teachers, ever talked about.”

—Amanda Merrill Robison, Facebook

5. “You know those giant rubber bands
around broccoli or a lobster claw? If you stretch them over
and over, they get hot. Your vagina does that too! The ‘ring
of fire’ is the worst pain I’ve experienced.”

“The pressure and pushing was all very uncomfortable and it
did hurt, but it was nothing compared to that ring of fire
sensation.”

—juliastansbury

6. “It feels like your intestines are
swollen, on fire, and infested with tiny aliens and the whole
thing is going to shoot out of your ass.”

“I gave birth naturally both times, it feels like your
intestines are swollen, on fire, and infested with tiny
aliens and the whole thing is going to shoot out of your ass
dragging your spinal cord along with it.”

—Amy Christine Mackay, Facebook

7. “It was totally bearable and
honestly one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.”

“I had my son at home with no drugs or assistance at all.
Midwife only arrived right as my son popped out. It was
totally bearable and honestly one of the easiest things I’ve
ever done. People are taught to fear it and overthink it. I
took two Tylenol a few hours later and I was walking around
same day.”

—Ella Pace, Facebook

8. “It feels like you sat in hot sauce
after a night of rough fucking.”

“The ‘ring of fire’ is a REAL THING. Whoever coined that term
(Johnny Cash?) was a genius, because that is exactly what it
feels like — the stretching of your vagina feels like a
circular ring of pure fire. It feels like you sat in hot
sauce after a night of rough fucking. Luckily it didn’t last
long. Two major pushes and he was out!”

—Resa Leigh, Facebook

9. “Your lady garden is on fire. Your
butt is on fire. You will honestly believe that someone is
holding a lighter to your hoo-ha.”

“It feels like the worst period cramps ever. Then when you
feel the urge to push, it’s like when you’ve eaten some
seriously bad Chinese food and you need to poop *now*.
Pushing feels really good — it’s very primal and
almost instinctual. Then when the baby’s head is crowning,
all hell breaks loose. Your lady garden is on fire. Your butt
is on fire. You will honestly believe that someone is holding
a lighter to your hoo-ha. But once baby is out, all is well.”

—Ciara Morrison, Facebook

10. “It’s like your body knows what to
do, and it’s all quite raw and primal.”

“I had two drug- and intervention-free births — no shame or
judgement on those that choose or need otherwise — but I was
induced both times due to gestational diabetes. The
contractions feel like menstrual cramps, or for those that
have never experienced that, I would liken them to diarrhea
cramps that come and go and gradually build in intensity and
length until they become almost unbearable. The pain itself
isn’t a normal type of pain, it feels very natural. It’s like
your body knows what to do, and it’s all quite raw and
primal.”

—lb2326

11. “I was writhing around on the bed
like I was possessed by a demon, begging someone to get me
some drugs.”

“The contractions hurt so bad you feel like you’re dying,
then comes the pressure and need to push. I was writhing
around on the bed like I was possessed by a demon, begging
someone to get me some drugs. I know at one point I asked the
nurses if I was going to die and they just laughed, which
infuriated me. I was totally a cliche preggo from the movies
screaming my head off. But the feeling of euphoria that comes
over you when you’re holding your baby makes it all worth
it!”

—Allison Schultz, Facebook

12. “It was literally the worst
experience of my life. I went full on exorcist.”

“I went full on exorcist and sat up and shrieked at the
doctor ‘get this thing out of me now!’ I made sounds that I
had never heard myself make before. I know that a lot of
women think natural childbirth is a beautiful thing, but
there was nothing about it that was beautiful to me. Nothing
could have prepared me for that type of hell. I still have
nightmares and flashbacks. If I ever do decide to have
another baby, then I can assure you I will never do it
naturally again.”

—lyndleybarrasm

13. “My midwife fished my turds out of
the birthing tub with a little net.”

“I pooped but was too busy being in hideous pain to care. My
midwife fished my turds out of the birthing tub with a little
net. Every moment of labor was beautiful.”

—unituna

14. “It felt like a knife was ripping my
guts out through my stomach, while also being tugged from my
vagina at the same time — like a tug of war with my guts as a
rope.”

“The pain was so intense I thought I was truly going to faint
or vomit. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else except the
pain and the need to push it out of my body. That last push
was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but hearing her cry a
second later was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

—Samantha West, Facebook

15. “Childbirth without pain medication
is like having your lower body engulfed in lava that has
sprung forth from the bowels of hell.”

“Mine was unintentional, to be honest. I’d love to tell you
that I’m just THAT awesome and I thought I could power
through it. But no. Dope me up. All aboard the epidural
train. Childbirth without pain medication is like having your
lower body engulfed in lava that has sprung forth from the
bowels of hell and then being set on fire while an actual
human being comes out of your body.”

—aimeeelizabethv

16. “Have you watched the movie
Labyrinth? You know “the cleaners?” It feels like
that’s in your uterus.”

“The actual birthing part was not as painful for me as the
contractions. Birthing was more tiring.”

—Sheanna Caban, Facebook

17. “Have you ever been on question 4 of
20 on a final and already used all mental and physical power
you thought you had? That is childbirth.”

“Have you ever thought you were going to shit yourself? Have
you ever thought you broke a bone so bad it was going to poke
through the skin? Have you ever had a third degree burn? Have
you ever been on question 4 of 20 on a final and already used
all mental and physical power you thought you had? Have you
ever just not cared one bit about the way you looked, the
sounds you made, the image you portrayed nor the future?
Combine ALL of these and that is childbirth, the natural way.
Then three months later you tell everyone ‘it was not that
bad.'”

—anastasiaw4f5d9afd3

18. “When the baby slip-slides out of
you, it’s the weirdest, slimiest feeling ever.”

“At first you think the contractions are the worst thing
you’ve ever felt, like period cramps on steroids. Then the
urge to push kicks in and it’s like a semi truck is
trying to plow through your vagina. But you can’t push if you
aren’t dilated.

Do you remember that time you ate chili cheese fries and
funnel cake at the county fair but couldn’t find a toilet and
you had to hold back a slew of diarrhea until you got home?
Now multiply that by 100 and you’ll understand what it’s like
to hold in a 9-lb. human trying to force its way into the
world. When the baby slip-slides out of you, it’s the
weirdest, slimiest feeling ever — and once you hear the
cry and see that little smooshed face and think, well that
wasn’t so bad.
Then your doctor has to sew up your
shredded vagina, so you’re like ‘nah fuck that. I’m good with
one kid.’ And for some reason I’ve done it twice and am
considering it again. Lord, be with me.”

—lexijuhasz

19. “Although the pain is
excruciating, you’re ready to punch some holes into walls
afterwards because of the adrenaline rush.”

“I felt empowered by the pain. Adrenaline plays a major
factor in the birthing process and although the pain
is excruciating, you’re ready to punch some holes into
walls afterwards because you’ve still got that rushing
sensation. I would definitely do it without the epidural
again. You are so present and in control of your body and the
little creature coming out of you.”

—evelyng4376fc7ce

20. “The second my baby was born, the
firey hell was gone and I felt like I could straight up run a
marathon for a few hours.”

“My second birth was as natural as it gets. I have never
screamed so loud and deep in my life, the pain is real. I
wanted to bite something from the pain. The second my baby
was born, the firey hell was gone and I felt like I could
straight up run a marathon for a few hours.”

—meressal

21. “Despite it being super painful, it
was also incredibly empowering and I felt like a freaking
champion.”

“I gave birth to all three of my kids vaginally with no pain
medication, and two of them were BIG (9 1/2 pounds and 10
pounds!) I would easily say it was the worst pain I’ve felt
to date in my life. But despite it being super painful, it
was also incredibly empowering and I felt like a freaking
champion.”

—torrielynn

Sports Illustrated / Australian Open / Via giphy.com

22. “It felt like the baby was going to
tear his way out of my body through my ass. I was like one of
those Oregon Trail women, writhing and moaning with wet
towels on my head.”

“I missed my chance for an epidural and it felt like the baby
was going to tear his way out of my body through my ass. I
was like one of those Oregon Trail women, writhing and
moaning with wet towels on my head.”

—allisonh4c6420dab

23. “When it started I thought, ‘I can
totally do this,’ but then it progressed to me bawling like a
cow during active labour.”

“I don’t like to say ‘pain’ because, to me, pain means
something is horribly wrong and the feeling of childbirth is
supposed to happen… but it ain’t a walk in the park.
When it first started, it was like bad cramps and I thought,
‘I can totally do this,’ but then it progressed to me bawling
like a cow during active labour. I also didn’t want my
husband touching me because I couldn’t deal with any more
sensations. I tolerated the midwives because, what else are
you going to do? But he wanted to do all the husband-y things
— stroke my back, rub my arms — but he learned quickly not to
touch me…speaking of pain.”

—julieb18

24. “I had a prolapse and needed over
100 stitches. Eight years later and I’m still struggling to
feel anything. My ‘area’ will never be the same
again.”

“It was agony but felt strangely productive. However once the
head was delivered things took a dangerous turn and she was
stuck by her shoulders. The midwife couldn’t pull her out, so
she hit the emergency buzzer and the room was filled with
doctors and nurses. Out of nowhere, it felt like boiling hot
water was being thrown over my vagina — they were performing
an episiotomy.

Usually they give an anesthetic, but there simply wasn’t time
— the baby’s head had been hanging out for too long and
turned purple. She was pulled out eventually, but wasn’t
breathing or moving. I remember lying there in silence,
covered in blood, exhausted and praying that she lived. After
an eternity, she cried and I collapsed with relief. I had a
prolapse and needed over 100 stitches. Eight years later and
I’m still struggling to feel anything. My ‘area’ will never
be the same again.”

—leannetillyk

[Episiotomy: a surgical incision of the perineum,
from the bottom of the vulva to the anus, which enlarges the
opening for the baby to pass through]

25. “I like to think of it as going to a
haunted house. You’re excited and scared and you might
accidentally soil yourself or punch someone but once it’s
over you think, wow, that wasn’t that bad!

“I chose to have a natural birth in a hospital. Was it the
most painful thing I’ve ever endured? Absolutely. Would I do
it again? Probably. It’s a really crazy kind of pain. I like
to think of it as going to a haunted house. You’re excited
and scared and you might accidentally soil yourself or punch
someone but once it’s over you think, wow, that wasn’t
that bad!

—kjells

26. “It was fun — the atmosphere was
light, we were laughing and singing and enjoying ourselves,
and then a baby was born.”

“I planned an unmedicated hospital birth, and it took under
two hours. It was fun — the atmosphere was light, we were
laughing and singing and enjoying ourselves, and then a baby
was born. There were about five really intense minutes, but
it was very tolerable. Everyone in the room — my midwife, one
nurse, my doula, and my husband — was so supportive and
encouraging. All in all, it was a really great experience,
and I have no regrets about choosing to have an unmedicated
birth experience.”

—jamiep4be30dae7

27. “It was painful, but I have had both
my feet tattooed and that was worse.”

“I had no pain relief, I remember thinking at the time,
this feels exactly like you would expect pushing a person
out of you to feel!
Yes, it was painful but I have had
both my feet tattooed and that was worse. So if you’re
pregnant now, don’t worry — it isn’t always like the
horror stories.”

—hayleys12091991

28. “Five of my six childbirth
experiences were natural…. but my last child, I had an
epidural. Get the epidural.”

“Five of my six childbirth experiences were natural.
Childbirth is insanely painful, and insanely rewarding. There
was almost a sadness when my daughters left my body
completely, it felt empty and lonely. But my last child, I
had an epidural. Get the epidural.”

—maggies4c6fd28ae

29. “It was the worst pain of my life,
and what can only be described as a cement block slowly
pushing its way through my vagina.”

“When I gave birth to my youngest daughter, she came so fast
that there was no time for an epidural. I did feel myself
poop on the table, but the nurse wiped it away like it was no
big deal. It was the worst pain of my life, and what can only
be described as a cement block slowly pushing its way through
my vagina. But the nurses were great and of course it was all
worth it.”

—alysonc4346869eb

30. “It’s like trying to poop out a
pineapple the size of a bowling ball.”

“I gave birth in February 2016. The hospital had done a
last-minute scan to check her weight since she was a week
late and [a vaginal birth] would be dangerous if she was over
4kg (8.8lbs). It said she was only 3.2kg, so I was given the
green light to have a natural birth.

But the scan was wrong… so very wrong. When I went into
labour, I screamed for an epidural but it was too late.
Harley Grace was born a whopping 4.55kg (10.03lbs)! I tore
and needed stitches. The best way to describe the pain is
like trying to poop out a pineapple the size of a bowling
ball. I even think there was a moment I asked the doctor to
kill me.”

—cyndileeh

31. “To be honest, the first two weeks
of breastfeeding hurt more.”

“I’m from the UK and gave birth in a midwife-led birthing
unit which can’t provide epidurals. I’m not going to lie and
say theres no pain, but it’s a strange pain. It’s not
like when you trap your hand in a door where your body
screams wrongness. It’s a very primal and almost natural
pain. To be honest, the first two weeks of breastfeeding hurt
more.”

—sibiohan

32. “I instantly regretted my decision.
It was unreal. Everything I had learned thus far to manage
the pain was useless.”

“I have given birth three times. My third one I decided to
try it completely free of all drugs. I instantly regretted my
decision. It was unreal. Everything I had learned thus far to
manage the pain was useless. Breathing techniques? I don’t
even know that I breathed at all. I am certain I started to
levitate towards the end, so clearly I was possessed in some
form. After the exorcism took place, I held that baby boy and
in a second, all was forgotten. But never to be repeated.”

—Meggan Meints, Facebook

33. “A nurse came in and asked if I
could keep it down because I was frightening the other
mothers in labor…I threw my ice chip cup at her.”

“The pain was harsh and the baby’s head coming out felt like
fire but the worst part was when a nurse came in and asked if
I could keep it down because I was frightening the other
mothers in labor. I told the nurse to have them say that to
my face and threw my ice chip cup at her. I may have been a
little possessed but the moment I saw my baby’s face I knew
it was nothing and I would do it all again. But seriously,
who asks a mother in labor to keep it down?”

—vartripe

34. “It was euphoric and felt like I had
climbed a mountain or something. Hands down best day of my
life.”

“My son’s birth was at my local birthing center. I had wanted
a natural birth so I could experience the whole thing and
also a way to see if I could do it. Natural births vs.
medicated births or C-sections do not make one mother tougher
than another. It was just a personal choice — one I was
very privileged to have. It was euphoric and felt like I had
climbed a mountain or something. Hands down best day of my
life.”

—katieg4ac114706

35. “I remember asking my husband,
between soul-shattering screams, if she was coming out of the
right hole.”

“Natural childbirth is the thing of nightmares. There is no
way that it could’ve hurt more, even if Daffy Duck had lit a
stick of dynamite and crammed it into my lady parts, than it
did to give birth without an epidural. I didn’t realize that
all of the pressure and pain would be in my rectum, and I
remember asking my husband, between soul-shattering screams,
if she was coming out of the right hole. She did. After that
experience, I got my glorious and highly recommended
epidural. Modern medicine is bae.”

—haleys4385f27e9

36. “The intensity of the pain makes you
look and feel like a wild animal.”

“Words could never accurately express the utter insanity of
childbirth without pain meds or epidural. The intensity of
the pain makes you look and feel like a wild animal, and the
pain exceeds what your brain can process. It seems impossible
that anything could be that excruciating. Despite all that,
it never feels wrong. Your body takes over and does what
needs to be done.”

—eriin209

37. “When the baby comes out… you feel
so empty and skinny!”

“I have twins who I gave birth to without pain medication. I
was in so much pain I couldn’t open my eyes. It felt like if
I let go of the arm rails on my bed, I would die. Pushing
snuck up on me. It was similar to the urge to throw up and
you cannot stop it. It feels like your are ripping open your
vagina and it is on hot fire. But, when the baby comes out it
feels so good. You are instantly un-sick. You feel so empty
and skinny and you have a baby!”

—nataliec4e923f3ce

38. “Imagine getting a Charlie Horse,
but it’s squeezing your abdomen, back, butt, and thighs all
at once for several minutes — over and over, and stronger
each time.”

“I have given birth to two babies without any medications. I
thought I was prepared for a natural birth, but nothing on
Earth can prepare you for that kind of pain. Imagine getting
a Charlie Horse, but it’s squeezing your abdomen, back, butt,
and thighs all at once for several minutes — over and
over, and stronger each time. Also, you’re throwing up and
shaking. You can’t think straight. You’re hot. Now you’re
cold. You’re scared. It hurts like a bitch. However, I am not
trying to scare anyone away from having a natural birth.
Overall, I’m glad I did it.”

—carolineelizabeth

39. “Delivering the placenta feels like
a beef liver sliding out.”

“No one ever really seems to talk about delivering the
placenta. My experience was that it didn’t hurt but there’s
something really disconcerting about having something that
feels like a beef liver come sliding out of the wide open
slip-and-slide that your vagina feels like right after
pushing out a small human.”

—jadefishes

In conclusion: any
person who gives birth is a superhero.

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