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33 weeks and terrified(41 Posts)
I am absolutely terrified of childbirth. It's my first baby and I've read so many bad things, words like 'horrific' 'traumatic' being used.
I've got myself worked up now about it and I'm so scared of what's to come. How do I overcome this, I've no women in my life who I can talk to. My partner is amazing but he's a man so can't really understand what I'm feeling properly. I've barely seen a midwife throughout pregnancy as I'm shared care so apart from a quick scan at 20 & 30 weeks I've been seeing Doctors and I just don't have enough time in app to talk to them about how I'm feeling.
Any advice welcome, so far pregnancy has been very smooth and trouble free.
I'm reading a great book called "birth skills" by Juju Sundin - it's full of great advice about childbirth and coping skills. Have a read of that and see if that helps?
There are some threads on here where people have asked for positive stories so look these up as there are loads! Also go to antenatal classes so you have a chance to ask questions about your worries.
My labour was boring for the first part as just sat at home with period type pains and then when it progressed the breathing techniques I had learnt helped, I remember being so excited going to the hospital and couldn't wait to meet my baby!
Overall labour wasn't too bad and much better then a gallbladder attack! Gas and air is great!
Oh OP please don't be scared. Like you, it hit me all at once that I would actually gave to give birth at some point! I just thought to myself , if it was that bad there'd be no people ......and most women have more than one , so it must be bearable :-)
I psyched myself up for the worst pain ever but at least I would get to meet my baby so that would cancel it out. In the end , maybe because I told myself it would really, really hurt - it wasn't half as bad as I imagined. Your body takes over and you just go with the flow , just do what the midwife tells you and forget about any birth plan you think you might have.
And I absolutely promise you that the excitement and joy of meeting your baby will make you forget all about the pain in less than a second
Good luck x
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering is also a lovely book, plus anything by Ina May Gaskin. If you have any money at all then see if there's a good independent Midwife in your area, most of them would be very happy to do just one ante-natal session with an expectant mother so they can go over specific concerns and queries you might have and give you a bit more time. How much this might cost is down to them, I would be surprised if it was more than about £70, but even if it is, and that's out of reach for you, do ask them as many allow you to pay by installments or will work out deals for women in financial difficulties - it is a vocation for them and they want to help.
I hope this gives you a little more confidence, but please try to remember that the best thing to keep you safe is information - so read all you can and inform yourself, relaxation - when you've read more you'll understand this better, maybe get a hypno CD to listen to to help you relax, confidence - when you're informed and relaxed you'll have this, I promise. Chin up - this is just one little bit to get through to have your baby in your arms - try to think beyond it and imagine holding your little one.
I have one antenatal class left. The classes are so big and don't feel comfortable asking in front of everyone or even pulling midwife aside because she is always running about after the class.
I'll look both these up;
I read The Good Birth Companion by Yehudi Gordon, and it did a lot to make me feel more in control.
No lies, it does hurt a bit - but it's nothing you can't manage. Maybe talk through any specific fears here, with women who might have some experience to share?
Please don't worry! If you have a bit of luck and the baby is in the right position, and you can just let your body go with the flow, it needn't be that bad, honestly.
I read up a lot on the primitive brain and childbirth, read Yehudi Gordon's book (good for early baby info too), and recommend Nicole Croft's book on childbirth (she was my ante-natal yoga instructor and fab she was too).
I listened to a hypnobirthing track a few times. It sounded a bit bonkers to me but funnily enough I used a lot of the breathing and visualisation techniques during my labour - it really helped. I also did yoga and Pilates to 40 weeks so was strong and fit - good as I stayed on hands and knees for the whole labour!
My labour was only 8 hours from first contraction to birth, and that was slowed considerably by an unexpected health issue with me. No drugs, just TENS, back massage, and hands and knees position. I honestly wouldn't say it was 'painful' but the contractions took over my whole body and mind - it was completely absorbing.
Your hormones and endorphins are designed to build gradually to give your body chance to cope. Go with the flow, use gravity to help, and get into whatever position that works for you (ideally not on your back with knees up as the coccyx then narrows the birth canal). With a bit of luck you might find it's not nearly as bad as you fear.
My best tip is hope for the best, plan for the worst (figure out what you will do if advised that intervention could be necessary), and coach your birth partner to be your advocate to speak for you while you're busy doing your thing.
It may all go very well OP. I was scared of labour and birth and planned to have all the drugs including an epidural. In reality, I felt no pain just pressure. I was 8cm on arrival at the midwife unit and popped into the pool to have DD.
Have you tried ante-natal yoga or hypnobirthing?
Is there anything in particular you are scared about, you can ask us and hopefully someone can reassure you?
I was like you. I was absolutely dreading it. And while overall it wasn't the kind of birth I had in mind, I surprised myself by doing ok. Once it starts you really do just get on with it and I bet you surprise yourself too.
However it sounds like something like hypnobirthing might be hugely useful to teach yourself ways to manage any panic you have.
Yes what exactly are you scared of? The pain, the unknown, specific things going wrong?
Ina May Gaskin helped me embrace the idea of childbirth. Plus my mum was very relaxed about it - this meant that I was too. I was nervous as not sure what to expect but not scared.
Look, please don't be scared (easier said than done). Women have been giving birth for millennia, it's what we are designed to do. On top of which we live in a modern society where the best medical help is available in terms of pain relief and emergency procedures should you need them. I'm not saying it's easy, but it is worth it. I felt like it was a job that needed doing, and the pain was just about bearable, with gas and air! But other painkillers are there if you need them, and don't be afraid to ask for them, or for an epidural. I was terrified of all my births and i've had 3 kids, but i still have nostalgic memories of labour and birth, and would do it again if i had the energy and money for another baby! i think a good dose of fear before birth is normal...your body will take over , and failing that the midwives will be able to coach you though it; just keep in mind the end result and picture yourself holding your beautiful baby.
I know it sounds like a load of crap, but the one 'tool' i used in all my births was the 'picture your cervix opening like a beautiful flower' mantra. My DH nearly peed his pants laughing when i admitted it, but really, during each contraction i imagined the good that the pain was doing; each pain was opening my cervix a little more, and so in that sense i was able to get though each contraction. plus it was a really simple thing to focus on and visualise, and it became a focal point in each of my labours. the pain is good because it is doing a job for you! TBH once i got to the pushing stage the pain was not bad either, because i was able to do something about it by pushing. Crowning wasn't bad for me. it was the 1st stage that was hard and my mantra got me through it. Good luck and follow up the ideas suggested by pps.
Ive popped in to say that im terrified too. This is my 3rd.Dont want to go into details as you know things canhappen. With nboth of mine things happened and the hospital was brilliant with dealing with everything and although it was scart I got through it. Out of all the women I know (I know a lot lol) everyone has had a straightforward text book labour. My sis gave birth to her first and was up on her feet straight away even though shes can be quite lazy
the point of my post is please dont worry about anything happening. If it does your in the right place and they will take care of you let your mw know when your in labour and she will do her uttermost best to help good luck.
Im 32 weeks so both due around same time x
I am three weeks behind you OP!
I think it has really helped me reading lots of positive birth stories. The Ina May book others have mentioned has plenty of these. I think sometimes, people get so caught up with warning others not to get too attached to their birth plan etc. because it could all go haywire that we forget that something going wrong is less common than we fear. A book written by a midwife such as Ina May helps to remind you that it is a natural process which you are likely to be able to cope with.
I'm not doing a birth plan as I want to go with the flow. I'm scared of the pain and how I'll cope and also the unexpected. I've never needed to go to hospital for anything before or stay overnight. Also never had a smear test as I'm 24 and it cut off before I turned 24 so never had other people near my neither regions and also discuss them.
I get uncomfortable even talking about discharge if the doctor brings it up. But the fear of pain is what I'm worried most about, thanks for all the positivity
I definitely recommend hypnobirthing and a bit of research into what happens to your body during labour - what the hormones do etc.
I was scared before my labour, but found hypnobirthing really helped, for me labour did hurt, but was totally manageable and now I've been through it once I won't be nervous when I need to do it again for future children.
Fear of the unknown is scary for everyone. If you are anything like me when it happens you will not care who is rummaging around down there you will be focussed on meeting this incredible person you have grown inside you. The midwives and doctors are there to help. Do not be afraid to tell then how you feel and ask for help. For every awful story there is a positive one. My labour started with me being violently sick, it went on for around 14 hours and left me with stitches. I had ibuprofen/paracetamol and gas &air. Would I do it again? Absolutely! And am hoping to do so next March
Having had 2 each is different, but there are some things every mum says that are true - you forget it all remarkably quickly and whatever happens it is worth it when you meet your little one. They may not sound reassuring, but I was terrified first time round until it actually came to the event, and you are so caught up in it you kinda don't have time to overthink everything anymore!
Labour is never going to be fun, but my advice would be plan to have things that relax you, such as your favourite music etc, and consider all forms of pain relief (and don't be afraid to change your mind when your actually going through it, you may even find you don't need those drugs you thought you'd be screaming for!).
I spent ages worried about my modesty beforehand and ended up giving birth on a shift change with about 6 people in the room - and didn't care at all!
I was terrified too first and second time but I can honestly say hand on heart that as soon as I went into labour both times all of my fears and anxieties went away and I just went with the flow of labour. I think instincts just kicked in and so much was happening that I forgot to be scared any more.
Would you consider hypnobirthing to try and relax you?
Giving birth is scary as so much is at stake. First time round there are so many unknowns and after that we know too much! But seriously, it is the most natural thing in the world and if there are complications - and in most cases there are not - then hospitals are very well equipped to deal with them. I have had intervention in both labours but would not describe either of then as traumatic at all. I had an emergency section first time round. Despite this my whole experience was amazing.
Try and speak with your midwife. You shouldn't have to deal with this fear alone.
Don't worry! If it was that bad no one would do it more than once
The only thing I regret from the first time was having an epidural, I wouldn't recommend it because I found if hard to push but then again others may have had completely different experiences.
With my second I had a c-section, was really relaxed with Xmas music in the background (December baby).
I would definitely do either again though!
Is there an NCT group in your area? It sounds like the ante natal classes aren't doing their job if you are still feeling terrified.
When I was heavily pregnant I was feeling apprehensive, but I kept telling myself that I couldn't turn the clock back and not be pregnant and I had no choice but to have the baby.
And, in the end I had an easy textbook labour and delivery. My waters went after lunch and out popped my baby exactly 6 hours later.
I had an epidural second time and pushed for 10 minutes max before dd was born so it was fine for me.
I appreciate how you feel. I had my first baby 2 weeks ago.
In my opinion Knowledge is power; start educating and preparing yourself; it's going to happen so get pro-active. Your body takes over so it is hugely about how you cope mentally; I found hypnobirthing invaluable for this. If you can afford to attend a class it sounds like it would be a good investment for you, and will provide a like-minded support group (you are definitely not alone in your feelings!)
It is the Doctors/Midwives job to help you and they will; I promise you won't care about your modesty (lots of people said this to me and it is true!)
Like the first poster I also found Birth Skills by Juju Sundin excellent; detailed techniques for birthing I really found useful. Your body is built to birth, you just need to support it and you can do it. I hope you can post back here with a lovely birth story! Good luck
I am in the 3rd trimester with my 1st and have a lot of anxiety. Strategies I am finding that help are:
-Yoga (for the relaxation and just keeping myself feeling physically strong as one of my anxieties is that I'm "too weak" to do it)
-Looked into 'mindfulness' and listened to Natal Hypnotherapy for a Hospital/MLU birth
-Reading reputable books/websites from a range of sources so that I know what to expect and that in the UK, most likely it will be OK whether I have a waterbirth in a MLU or a CSection or whatever. I've read "Birth Skills", the labour part of "Your Pregnancy Week By Week" (Lesley Regan), NHS and Mumsnet websites.
-Attended NCT and also watched some videos on the NHS site.
-*Taken questions to MW and ObGyn appointments* to get straight answers from people at the sharp
or should that be squishy end of things.
I know this is contraversial but I didn't just look at so-called perfect home births etc' because I wanted to know what would happen if something medical happened - and not to go in thinking of that as 'failure' or something that needed 'answers', but more of mindful/factual (for example) "baby was back to back so I needed more pain relief" or "baby was late so they used a drip" knowing why.
I don't know if these will work on the day, but right now they are making me feel much calmer, like a mantra "I can do this naturally and if I can't, there are trained people to help me".
A quick positive story here:
a friend of mine recently give birth to a 10 pound baby. It was a quick labour (7 hours from first contraction), she needed no pain medication, no tearing, no stitches. She was running up the stairs the next day!
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