I’m sure you’ve heard it before – the debate of which is worse – birthing a child or passing a kidney stone. Now, no one in their right mind will ever contradict a woman on her assertions that child birth is one of the most painful experiences known to human beings, but when a woman stands up and says it’s worse than passing a kidney stone, is she right?
I’m not an expert in this area; I’ve given birth to a child – didn’t even make it an hour into the advanced stages of labor before I begged for an epidural – and can tell you it hurts! I have, however, never had a kidney stone in my life (knock on wood!), but I will never forget the Mother’s Day morning that I rushed my very tough husband to the emergency room, watching him experience such a high level of pain that I questioned whether he would make it through alive. I know, that may sound extreme, but really – I had never seen him like that and haven’t since.
So, with my lack of practical experience, I polled Facebook, hit up my friends for their wisdom, and talked to some of our onsite experts here at Lakeview Hospital and all of the answers I received were the same – kidney stones are worse. Yeah, I was surprised too – and hoping with all of the hope I have that I never experience them. After all, childbirth was hard enough!
You see, the thing is, you can actually block the pain of childbirth. For many women, epidurals are a beautiful thing! Even if you don’t choose an epidural, there are natural ways to dull the pain – changing positions, walking, breathing, etc. But, with kidney stones, you have medications that can slightly dull the pain and make it somewhat bearable, but you’re still going to have that throbbing pain until your stone either dissolves or passes, and no matter what you do, it won’t go away.
Also, labor pains come in waves. You have a rest between each contraction (though, those rests get shorter and shorter as you go), with kidney stones you don’t get those blessed reprieves from the pain. And, labor (if all goes well) should not last more than a day. Kidney stones, as I witnessed with my husband, can be with you for several days and all that you can do is wait.
But, the most important comparison is what you get out of all of it. After the hours and hours of agony experienced in childbirth, you have a beautiful little addition to your family – someone no one in the world will love more than you. After the days and days of agony of kidney stones, you have a stone. So, you tell me. Which one is worse?