There’s a great debate that’s raged for years. Are kidney stones more painful than giving birth?
Automatically men are excluded from weighing in on this debate but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t curious about if the pain they experienced from the kidney stone was worse than labor. Many younger women also wonder if the kidney stone they’re experiencing would be worse than any future labor pains.
So what’s the verdict?
YES. But the pain is different.
Many years ago when I was in college I had 5 kidney stones back to back. The first time it happened I truly thought it was a nightmare.
A weird pain began in my lower back and I crashed in the recliner in the living room hoping that it was just the beginning on a stomach bug or maybe even cramps. A few minutes later the pain skyrocketed to another level and I called my dad, whom I was living with, inside to help me. The only things I remember after that is rolling on the floor in pain while a neighbor stood over me proclaiming that my ovary must be exploding because her cousin had similar pains when her ovary had exploded followed by the most painful trip to the hospital I had ever experienced. Hours later I woke up from a narcotic induced sleep to learn that I had experienced my first kidney stone and that the fun was just beginning.
Nothing says fun like having to strain your urine and depending on pain pills to help roll yourself off the couch.
Yes, kidney stones hurt very badly. Truthfully the first one is the worst because there’s a heavy dose of fear involved that makes it worse.
After the first one the next 4 kidney stones became routine. Feel the pain, throw up (I always throw up with kidney stones), take a pain pill to help take the edge off and call my dad to take me to the ER where I would receive an IV of pain pills that would knock me out for the worst part of the pain.
Then I married Mr. Byrd and we moved to Houston with my dad giving him strict instructions on what to do if I had a kidney stone. But the kidney stones disappeared.
Instead of kidney stones, we got pregnant.
3 natural home births later with no happy IV of drugs and I can tell you that the pain of labor is not as bad as the pain of a kidney stone. Mainly it’s a different kind of pain.
Birth pains usually come and go. Even during the worst labor, which happens to be the birth of our most stubborn child, where the contractions came one after another there was always still a little break. There’s time to laugh or threaten to hurt your husband if he makes one more lame joke. The worst part of birth – the crowning – is also short and when you think you just can’t do it anymore – there’s a squishy pink baby to love.
No one loves a kidney stone.
The pain of a kidney stone is very pinpointed. It feels like there is a knife trying to cut it’s way out of a very specific point and there is no escaping it. There’s no breaks from the pain and definitely no time for laughing.
11 years and 3 kids later I finally experienced another kidney stone. This time things were different because I decided to try and tough out the pain rather than go to the ER. Someone had once told me that the first 4 hours of a kidney stone are the worst. In my head I thought that if I could make it past those 4 hours, it would be ok. Even with pain killers on top of ibuprofen, 4 and half hours later I could not make it any longer. The pain was so much worse than natural childbirth that Mr. Byrd woke our three natural birthed kids up and took them to the ER with us at 2am to get pain relief.
I made it through 3 home births without a single drop of pain relief but I couldn’t make it through one kidney stone.
There will never be another attempt to make it though a kidney stone in this house again. Without a doubt a kidney stone is the closest to birth that some people (cough, cough…. men) will come to feeling the pain of birth. But kidney stones are a very serious pain and not one to be messed around with.
If you feel like you’re dealing with a kidney stone, go immediately to the ER to get help.
Natural childbirth is very hard but wonderful and rewarding. Kidney stones are just evil.