Every pregnant woman, every woman who plans on having children, and even every man has at some point questioned what childbirth really feels like. When one mama-to-be couldn't seem to get a straight answer beyond that "it hurts" from people she had asked, she took to the internet and asked Reddit users what it actually feels like to give birth.

She made it clear in her post that it was not meant to be a joke; she was due to have her first baby in 3 months and wanted to know exactly what she was in for. Well, let's just say that she might regret having asked the internet such a heavy question at such a vulnerable time. Perhaps there is a reason that women do not go into depth about their labor experiences when asked, as they are often traumatizing and humiliating events.

I know there are certain aspects of my deliveries that I've never revisited and it's an unspoken and sacred law that no one else shall ever bring them up either. Somethings are better left unsaid. But no, this expectant detective was on a mission to scare the crap out of herself three months early, along with every other pregnant woman who has googled the same question and stumbled upon her post. But she wanted to know and boy did she find out.

Protected by the internet's shield of anonymity, the women of Reddit did not hold back when it came time to deliver their answers. We have to give them credit for keeping it real... And graphic. And horrifying. But really, really real, nonetheless.

These 25 moms bared it all and gave this curious preggo exactly what she asked for, along with a massive anxiety attack.

"Like two knives impaled."

"For me it felt like really bad period cramps. It was an acute sharp pain; very localized though; almost like I had 2 knives impaled in each side of my pelvis." -lailah92

"It felt like she was stabbing me in the vagina."

"When I was pushing I yelled at the midwife that it felt like she was stabbing me in the vagina with a knife." -cupcakeandzombie

"Ripped in half would be my description."

 "One of my children was med free and not by choice. I was actually fine until I had to push. Ripped in half would be my description. I was screaming so loud I lost my voice." -duckinatruck

"Like running a marathon without the option to stop."

"Sort of like running a marathon without the option to stop. It's that same kind of sharp, localized muscle ache, the feeling of "What the fuck have I gotten myself into?!" Yeah, it hurts, but at the same time the pain is weirdly doable and something you can work through because you know it's going to end. To me it was nothing like an injury pain. I'd say that my gallbladder attack was much more painful, and I still cry a little when I step on a lego because that shit just plain hurts." -cordial_carbonara

Like a "ring of fire."

"Once I was allowed to push, ring of fire. I pushed so hard. It hurt so much I wanted him OUT I got him out in 45 minutes. Ring of fire is appropriate.

But your brain legit makes you forget the pain. It's been six months and I'm like 'meh I could do it again' while during I was like I'M NEVER EVER DOING THIS AGAIN, KILL ME, CUT HIM OUT, PLEASE haha." -kaywhaaat

"I was a flower opening and my muscles were on fire."

"I didn't have an epidural. The pain was bearable until transition, then I felt like I just couldn't do it anymore. It was like I was a flower opening, and my muscles were on fire. It felt like very very intense weight lifting/running but you can't stop your body keeps going and it keeps hurting more and more. Then the pushing started and the pain was even worse, but I think that was a good thing for me. I was very motivated to get the baby out, no matter how exhausted I was! That was all I could focus on "I can't do this" and "get the baby out now and make this stop!" -TinanotDina

"Holy shit that was in me?!"

"For me, labor started out like strong menstrual cramps, and progressed to just feeling like... I don't know. A giant band or weight on my back just squeezing the shit out of me.

The actual baby coming out felt like taking the most terrifyingly giant poop. It was a tremendous amount of pressure, and although it hurt like hell it was such a relief. As an aside, the actual reality of having a person come out of me was the weirdest moment of my life. My first words after my daughter was born were, "Holy shit that was in me?!" -prettywannapancake

"Gutting me with a dull knife from top to bottom."

"I have only had the one child. I was in labor for 14 hours.

At first, I wanted to try without the epidural. The contractions felt like intense a charlie-horse starting at my sternum and moving down to my thighs, at first. It kind of rolls down your body like the tides of an ocean, slowly up and then back down. Then, when it got to about hour 9 and I HAD to have the epidural (so they could start a pitocin drip and speed me along), it only worked on one side of my body. Half of me felt like someone put a 20lb barbell on my stomach, the other half felt as though someone was gutting me with a dull knife from top to bottom with every contraction. Once the epidural started to hit the other side it felt like my bottom half was completely disconnected from me...my ob had to give me the end of a towel to pull on to get the muscles to work, I lost all control of them to the numbness and since I utterly failed to go to birthing classes, I had no idea what I was doing. All in all, it was mostly just humiliating. The pain is intense, but it's no joke that mothers "forget" the pain shortly after birth." -r_matsuiya

"The worst ever diarrhea cramps anyone has ever experienced."

"My contractions felt like the worst ever diarrhea cramps anyone has ever experienced. I had a few throughout the day after my doc appt and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't get that rolling waves sensation at all... hum. All I know is I'm almost 12 months out and I still remember like it was yesterday! Very painful." -froggerlost

"Fuck. That. Shit."

"31 hours of Pitocin induced, unmedicated labor. Fuck. That. Shit. I also had nothing to hold on to while pushing, no bed railings, nothing. That was probably the worst part. I had to grab my husband. He complained about his back hurting after our son was born and I gave him the glare of death while they stitched me up." - Anonymous

Like being "masturbated by a glowing hot poker."

"Well, take a normal muscle cramp, and times that by about a 1000. The good news it comes in waves and builds (slowly if you go easy on the Pitocin). I personally felt as if I was being masturbated by a glowing hot poker, and being strapped to a bed on my back made it worse. Fetal position helped me a lot. The awesome news it as soon as the little one is out, the overwhelming pain is over and quickly forgotten. I call it momnesia. Don't be scared, a million women before you accomplished this very feat. Just about the time you can't take anymore it's over." -Delicatefukinflower

"Mercy, kill me."

"On a scale of 1-mercy kill me, definitely, mercy kill me. In my agony, I actually was legitimately wondering why they hadn't put me out of my misery yet. I was given an epidural, but I was not ordered a top up. I ended up giving birth naturally (actually, I had my son ripped from my body with large metal salad tongs that I could feel and hear grinding against my pelvic bones.) I ripped from hole to hole. I was in labor for 24 hours. He was 10lbs 10oz because he was 11 days overdue. He wouldn't budge so they induced me. 100 years ago, I'm sure I would have died in childbirth. People wonder why I refuse to have any more children. I can still remember what it felt like and a panic washes over me and my son is 4 years old now."  -Zozo-Binx

"Like pain that comes from physical work."

"The only pain it's like (talking analogy, not actually feeling or intensity) is pain that comes from physical work. It's called labor because it's pain with intention. It has a purpose, it's not anything like injury pain. I experienced my labor like climbing a steep hill while running. It was more and more and more until I hit the crest and it was okay because that hill was behind me. The hills get higher, steeper and closer together but you only ever do one at a time. The race is long, but it will not last forever." -TakverToo

"Like you're being split open and there is no way it will work but it does."

"I had all 3 of my children at home with no more than some gas and air (which is very nice but fairly useless for the last bit) the pain builds slowly and feels sort of more like work then pain, just something to get through. Then at the final pushing part, you feel like you're being split open and there is no way it will work but it does. And then you have a baby. And then the afterbirth." -Wrattie

"You must tear apart your genitals by sheer abdominal strength."

"You know when you've eaten a lot of something that isn't sitting well in your lower intestines? And you get those terrible cramping aches right before you're about to have explosive diarrhea? Imagine having to endure that for 36 hours. And you can't sleep because of the pain. You can only lay in one position. You can't have anything to drink. Then when your body is finally ready to evacuate the cause of the pain, you must now intentionally tear apart your genitals by sheer abdominal strength. Except it's not diarrhea. It's a fucking baby and shit's about to get much more difficult." -Serasha

"It's what I image hell is like."

"The contractions are worse than I can describe. It starts as you feel your uterus starting to tighten, and you're dreading it because you know how bad it's going to hurt, but there's nothing you can to do stop it. It continues to get tighter until your whole abdomen is as hard as concrete. Your hands have an involuntary death grip on anything within reach. Your feet clench, flexing and contorting as your body tries to find some way to deal with this immense pain.

People in the room with you can either be your best friend or the person you choose to scream at, based on the moment. And your reaction to those people can change minute to minute. You have to pee, but can't imagine trying to walk to the bathroom, so you get to pee in a bedpan in front of people. But by then, you don't care. As your uterus starts to relax, you start to think that maybe it wasn't that bad. You can definitely handle the next one without turning into a scene from the exorcist.

But then, about 3 minutes later, it all starts again. It's what I imagine hell is like... Then, if you're like me, you BEG for an epidural. And you don't forget the pain, you never do. And you swear you'll never do it again. But you do...

And then you don't sleep for the next 3 years." - Anonymous

"Like getting kicked in the stomach."

"I didn't have a natural birth, didn't even have contractions on my own, so they induced me with Pitocin. I had the full amount of Pitocin allowed and my contractions started coming in. It felt like getting kicked in the stomach, literally. I wouldn't call it cramping or even similar to my period. No chills. Just a physical pain of getting kicked in the stomach. I soon after got an epidural and c-section, which numbed me right up." -futuremamabear

"Painful and nasty."

"It is painful and nasty. Amniotic fluid everywhere, it squirts out in gushes not all at once. An epidural is a MUST! 2 kids, contractions hurt bad like the worst stomach cramps you have ever had xs 10. Then when you are ready for an epidural, the majority of the pain stops.

The epidural was like a shot, 2 seconds of pain. Then when you go to push you feel pain again but it's almost over at that point and every cell in your body is telling you to bear down and get that baby out of you.

Then the baby is here, you deliver after birth, get sewn up and wait 30 min/hr to stand and 99% of the pain is already gone. You will be sore and prob have hemorrhoid a for a few weeks but the female body is amazing and heals quickly. Breastfeeding is also painful at first, being a mom is tough work..."  -urple_lassy

"Like the worst food poisoning ever."

"Pushing feels like the baby is going to come out of your ass. It's not, but it feels like your whole ass/vagina area is going to explode. If your lucky, it won't. It did with my first daughter. Second-degree tear, ouch!" -drugiye

"Nothing exists except you and this terrible pain."

"It's the kind of pain where the rest of the world disappears and nothing exists except you and this terrible pain. Your sphere of attention devolves which is why they give you breathing exercises. The pain is so bad, you can barely focus on BREATHING. *And I say this having suffered from dysmenorrhea. Bad cramps were nothing compared to birthing. "  -CastInSteel

"Mounting, relentless, endless pain."

"I had an epidural but things didn't progress and suddenly the doctor said, "I have to do a C-section, the baby's heart rate dropped." Epidural is stopped and for the half hour it takes to prep, the pain mounts and mounts until I am writhing on the table as I wait to find out if either of us will survive. I had begged him for a c-section due to my age and overdue status and the asshole later said to me, "I told you you should have had a c-section." So, extremely painful. I have had brief bursts of pain that I think were worse, but the mounting, relentless, endless pain of labor was really, really bad. Glad I only had to endure it for a short time." -irednwired

"It is like the biggest poop ever."

"The sensation of labor before pushing feels like wicked cramps in waves and waves that get more intense. When you feel ready to push it feels like pooping. Yes, pooping. It is like the biggest poop ever. Your body is doing its thing while going through all this. You are no longer in charge. Your body is focused on doing one thing. It is amazing." -deedee25252

"Like I was being turned inside out starting with my butthole."

"Actually pushing the baby out felt like I was being turned inside out starting with my butthole. But it also felt really, really slippery and good and there was an enormous rush of energy that happened when I pushed her out. What I didn't expect was how physically intense recovery felt. I only had a very small tear, and I was up and walking around immediately, but I felt very raw, wet, and, ugh, open. I found that almost harder to deal with than childbirth." -FoxenTheSnow

"I won't be having any more babies."

"Well, I made it to six centimeters until I got the epidural, contractions were about a minute and a half apart. In total, I was in labor for 38 hours. It felt like my stomach was trying to squish the holy living hell out of me and daggers going into my back. The one percent of relief I could get up until we got to the hospital was taking boiling hot baths. Take into account I had back labor. To me it was all traumatizing. Best of luck to you though!"


"Hurt like hell."

"Hurt like hell. The contractions were intense and felt like I was being ripped apart with each one. It was about 36 hours of that, with each one getting progressively more painful. Then I started pushing which was oddly somewhat of a relief. It made the pain from the contractions less painful... The weirdest part is that while it's all pain, it's different from the pain that comes with an injury like a broken bone or surgery. The 36 hours I was in labor and the 35 minutes I spent pushing were the most painful, exhilarating, happy moments of my life." -Wdc331