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I was reading an article about the birth process tonight. A part stood out to me, which said that some women, in the end stages of labor, will make intense connection with another person, or others will withdraw into themselves.
It got me thinking about the different ways I hear women describe themselves (or how others describe them) during labor. Some get very upset, some aggressive, some sensitive, some quiet, etc...

Personally, I became very sensitive and withdrawn. I didn't say much at all, and didn't want anyone to touch me. I didn't snap at my husband or my midwives, or get angry with people like I've heard other moms describe. I just was subdued. I tried to go to bed (ha ha) in the process, because I thought I just needed rest and I could pick it up after I slept some. Oh, the irrationality of labor. :) During transition (the very end of labor, right before you begin voluntarily pushing), I became intensely withdrawn, to the point of being completely unaware of my physical surroundings. I really only remember complete darkness (my eyes stayed closed the whole time, I think), and a loud, rhythmic pulsing my head. It was like I just receded into my own world. It was kind of cool, looking back on it.

I'm wondering how personality might play into the birth experience. Do you think that introverts in general are more likely to withdraw rather than to reach out for a connection? Do you think you might act like a more intensified version of your personality in labor, or maybe like an intense version of your personality under stress?

If you've had a birth experience (unmedicated, preferably, because I think the pain would drastically change your mental state), what how did you act? Did you withdraw? Did you connect? Did you get angry or sad? Did you find it intense, not painful?

Or if you were with someone during birth and know their personality, what did they act like?
 

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As a doula (birth support person), I believe I will gain tremendously from learning about different personality types. It will help me to better support different kind of mums during their journey of labour and birth.

If mom has effective pain medication, she can't fully travel into the state of mind and being of labour land.

I have had two unmedicated births myself. Two different experiences. One that was immensely painful and hard to cope with. I pushed for over an hour as my hormones were not optimal and the head of my baby was big for me. I went inside me, didn't reach out, but I were very vocal and cursed a lot. I practically chanted curse words very loudly. I were relieved about the fact that I gave birth in the UK, so neither the midwives nor the neighbours understood my words :D That was my second birth.

My third birth was euphoric. The endorphins worked wonders in my body and it was amazing. It was blissful. I rode the contractions vocalizing with calm sounds that increased in power according to the power of contractions. In between the contractions, I were floating in the best feeling of euphoria ever. The transition was the only hard part, but it was quick and I understood what it was about. I secreted a surge of adrenalin, felt a fear of not being able to cope, and had a powerful foetal ejection reflex. I knew before the labour that I needed to have space and as little talking or touching as possible to be able to dive deep into the labour and to cope. That was what happened and it was the best thing for me.

I think the need for assurance and active support from outside might do more with how much the mom fears the process and the pain and how strongly she believes in her ability to cope. The more fear the stronger need to get support from outside. Also people cope differently. For some it helps more if they can distract themselves from the feelings of their body to cope. It would be interesting to know if it has to do with personality type.

Overall the mother needs to be able to relax and go with the flow of labour in order to cope with it. How to achieve the relaxation differs from woman to woman.

One reason I have not reached out to make connection to someone in the birthing room might be that I have not had a trust in anyone in there during either of the births that they would be able to do it. I couldn't risk in seeking connection and finding none available. My husband were there. He were calm and supportive, but he is an ISTJ and there is no way he could tune in in such an intensive and intimate way. The midwives during both births were not familiar enough for me to know their willingness and ability to such an connection. I think I needed to make the journey alone. Well, with my baby but you know.

Intresting topic!
 

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Though my births were not unmedicated I can say I was the withdrawing type. Both were induced births, with artificial rupture of the membranes and oxytocin to increase contractions. The second birth was a doosey. I had an epidural. I did not feel cheated of an experience. More so relieved as the first one was so ridiculously painful (and I have a high pain tolerance).I had two epidurals given in my first birth as after the membranes were ruptured and I was given oxytocin the contractions would not ease up. During the last phase the two epidurals had worn off. I was in too much pain to use energy for yelling, except when the two midwives began bickering wether they should call the doctor to perform surgery. One was yelling "She can't make it! It's been over an hour!" and the other one "She's just doing it wrong" and then they decided to do an episiotomy at which point one was screaming "get the scissors quick" and the other one "These are dull. I can't cut with these!" and the other "Just cut it already!" That's when I had had it. I just screamed "Stop frigging bickering down there! You're making this worse!"Finally I did deliver my son and he was so beautiful! ...and then I fainted.
 

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Oh, induced and augmented labours can be so painful. My first was like that. The contractions were nothing like the ones I had in my later natural births. I had a spinal and it worked well, didn't take all the pain away but diminished it into a tolerable level. @Vanishing Point, not very professional from your midwives to argue there in front of you. The midwife in my first birth was rude to me and I doubt I'll ever forget it. I think it is great that you told them off! Not everyone is capable to do so in such a vulnerable state. I don't think I could.

How do you feel about that birth now?

Every birth experience is different and there is not any right way to give birth as the best depends so much on the individual situation of the mother, the baby and the supporters. I believe what matters most is how the mom feels about the birth afterwards no matter what actually happened. Some women can handle more than the others and that is ok.
 

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How do you feel about that birth now?

Every birth experience is different and there is not any right way to give birth as the best depends so much on the individual situation of the mother, the baby and the supporters. I believe what matters most is how the mom feels about the birth afterwards no matter what actually happened. Some women can handle more than the others and that is ok.
You know it's fine now. I was pretty angry at first and wrote a letter of complaint. I did chance hospitals for my second delivery and it was really easy, though also induced because of being over term. I think having delivered a healthy, happy child and no real permanent harm done to anyone it's just a mild feeling of :dry: I get when thinking back to it.
 

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@Vanishing Point - I agree, how horrible that they were making that experience so stressful for you :( I'm so sorry.
@Lumielisa - The fact that your second birth was much more effective hormonally gives me a lot of hope...my birth was so traumatic emotionally for me, despite the fact that things overall went well. I was really shocked by the intensity of the pain, and I tore very, very badly. I hope that next time, I can really get into "laborland" earlier and help myself along by not being paralyzed in fear. And hopefully the oxytocin will be a little more effective- I was in intense pain for about seven hours, and never did hit a resting point before pushing for over an hour...Which really sucked!
 

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My first labor was 8 days long. It started 5 weeks early, so my doctor put me on bedrest, had me take pills to try to stop the labor (they didn't work), and finally let me just have the baby. I had an epidural so I can't say it was unmedicated. It was wonderful to finally stop the pain. I was polite and pleasant to everybody that aided in the delivery.

My second labor, from the first twinge of labor to delivery, was exactly 3 hours and 41 minutes. Completely unmedicated because it went way too fast. I remember unimaginable pain and being curled up on my side on the gurney moaning as I was rushed from triage to the delivery room. I definitely went inside myself and was barely conscious of everything going on around me. However, I was still polite and pleasant. Even in the midst of groaning uncontrollably, I still remembered to say "thank you", "please", etc to the nurses and doctor. And I didn't cuss. As much as I dealt with the experience in my Ni-dom fashion, my Fe was still strong enough to make me aware of not being rude or difficult to the people trying to help me.
 

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I haven't given birth yet myself, but from an experience I had with an extremely painful procedure, I imagine I would be the withdrawing type.

I quite like the idea of having a home birth. The idea of being in my own space sounds much more enticing then being in those sterile white hospitals.
 

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If menstrual cramps without pain killer are a good indication of what it's like, can't say I'll be very quiet. At least with cramps, you can finally give up and go to sleep. I considered doing a home birth too but don't think it's for me. I do want to do a water birth though.
 
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