Two of my fears going into my last birth, which was my first all natural one, was how it would feel to tear and how it would feel to be stitched up. I was so squeamish at the thought of both.
When the baby was crowning, my labia tore a bit, and I felt it. I remember thinking, "I'm tearing!" Followed by, "I don't care! I just need to get this baby out!" Lol It burned, but it wasn't bad at all. After he was born was when I felt intense stinging from the tear, but once I got out of the tub, it didn't sting as much. And I could ice the area then.
Being stitched wasn't bad. My midwife was so gentle that the numbing shots only hurt a little, and I did not feel my three stiches as she was putting them in AT ALL. I was amazed!
So tearing and stitching were both waaaay better than I expected.
Wife to my supportive DH
and SAHM to DD Bug (06/10) and DS Buddy (07/12)