Labour & panic attacks....need some reassurance pls

(12 Posts)
ReadyToPop77 Thu 02-May-13 16:15:19

I'm a 36yr old FTM to be & due in two wks & really starting to freak out! I've suffered with anxiety & PA in the past but have a good hold on it now & have for a few years. But now the thought of imminent labour is starting to worry me. I feel like I won't be able to handle the pain & will panic & totally lose control. I've been told so many horror stories (why people feel the need to tell FTM's these I have no idea angry even ones that say the pain is akin to being burned alive FFS!!)
So basically, I suppose what I'm looking for is someone similar to me who has given birth & not had a complete meltdown! I'm so excited to meet my little boy but literally cannot see past the labour & how I'm going to react.
Thanks for reading thanks

FishCalledWonder Thu 02-May-13 16:24:43

I struggle with anxiety too and spent my pregnancy in a bit of a panic. Once labour started, I was too busy actually dealing with it to think about how I was dealing with it, if you see what I mean.

I found a nice epidural calmed things down a treat! wink

I've suffered with anxiety on and off for my entire adult life. Labour is the very last place Ive ever felt anxious, your hormones are too strong and you're too focussed on what's happening. Honestly.
Plus gas and air is lovely stuff

cantreachmytoes Thu 02-May-13 16:30:02

Check out www.tellmeagoodbirthstory.com for some positive stories.

I have friends who read Ina May Gaskin before giving birth because there are loads of positive stories there too, even though they were choosing the epidural, rather than home birth route.

Luckily we give birth with our bodies, not our brains. Whatever happens once labour starts, the baby will be with you soon, one way or another and there is NO FAILURE in birth. It's certainly scary and bad things sometimes happen (as with anything in life), but it logically can't be that bad all the time, because if it were, we wouldn't be living in an over-populated world!

cantreachmytoes Thu 02-May-13 16:31:12

Sorry, forgot to say I had a complete meltdown before (have a phobia of hospitals), but had a really good experience.

ReadyToPop77 Thu 02-May-13 16:57:48

So do u think that my mind will be too focused on what I'm doing to panic..?? I do usually find that I worry myself silly about situations & they tend not to be as bad as I've built them in my head but labour seems to be something that I will have no control over so feel like my life will be in the lap of the gods! If I've ever had a panic attack in the past, I leave the situation & go home or to somewhere I feel safe but that's obvs not going to be possible.

MrsDeVere Thu 02-May-13 17:05:20

I have 5 dcs.

I had my last two since I lost my DD. Losing DD gave me a terrible anxiety disorder related to anything medical.

So I was very anxious in the lead up to the labours. Particularly DC4's.

I decided to try and take some control and did hypnobirthing (on CD, couldn't afford the course) and yoga.

Both really helped me.

I think you will be fine but I understand your fears. You do get in the zone during labour and you will very probably amaze yourself with your strength.

Its a really good idea to come up with some strategies to help with panic though. I really recommend the hypnobirthing stuff. I still use it now

ReadyToPop77 Thu 02-May-13 17:26:28

Sorry about the loss of ur DD sad

I have moments where I think "yeah, I can handle this", then I completely lose all confidence in myself. In some ways, I just want it to happen & get it over & done with cus I'm sick of thinking the same thoughts over & over but then I have my little freak outs!
I have the natal therapy cd & have listened to it a couple of times but the last time I listened to it, I came round feeling agitated & it's put me off a little but maybe I should try it again & stick with it. Probably half my trouble is I don't like things taking me by surprise & I like to be in control of everything & this is the one thing where I guess it's totally uncontrollable!

MrsDeVere Thu 02-May-13 17:32:27

It is uncontrollable but that doesn't mean you can't be in control (if that makes sense).

You cannot predict what happens in labour but you can still prepare yourself.

Try the cd again and this time try and concentrate on it rather than your anxieties. Let yourself believe you can do this!

And don't listen to those bloody people telling you their horror stories.

There is a time and a place for sharing stories of difficult births.

But terrifying a new mum to be is bloody horrible.

cupcake78 Thu 02-May-13 17:38:34

Labour is one of the best things to focus you! You will be so occupied with managing contractions and timing etc that honestly your anxiety and panic energy will be taken up.

The saving grace of labour is how exhausting it is. My experience is simply you get on with it because you have to! Their is very little mental space left wink. The run up to it is terrifying but like alot of things the what if factor is so much worse than the reality.

ReadyToPop77 Thu 02-May-13 18:34:02

I can't tell u all what a difference all ur comments r making to me already smile I know that that giving birth is pretty imminent for me but reading ur positive comments make me think I'm not on my own & other people have felt this scared too & not been traumatised by it! Thanku flowers

Tweet2tweet Fri 03-May-13 17:18:40

I am same age as you and gave birth a few weeks ago. I was anxious too and heard so many horror stories. However I can try to reassure you with the following:

No one talks about all the good births as they are not as interesting- people prefer telling goring details IMO
I was not given any pain killers and although painful I would say if you have ever had bad period cramps it is comparable to extreme period cramps and exhaustion
Only push when midwife says push, don't try at other times. This will prevent/ minimise tears
You will be so absorbed in giving birth a lot of anxiety will go
Try to relax as much as possible, will make everything go more quickly.
I also tried to 'visualise' baby coming out which helped with focus

All the best with your birth and you will love having your little boy in your arms

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