Terrified of labour

(26 Posts)
AverageSnowflake01 Tue 22-Dec-15 11:24:25

I'm 39+6 with my first. Due tomorrow and I feel very unprepared, scared and anxious. I know I may not go in to labour tomorrow but I'm having symptoms like lower back pain, tightening on the sides of my stomach, nausea, feeling detached from the world, feeling run down and exhausted. I don't want to go through this sad

How can I feel better about my upcoming birth?

Lightbulbon Tue 22-Dec-15 11:27:10

Do you have a birth plan.

What specifically is it you are afraid of?

If you can narrow it down there are specific ways to tackle each issue eg
Pain
Loss of control
Injections
Ves
Injury
Death of you or baby

AverageSnowflake01 Tue 22-Dec-15 11:32:54

Yes, have a birth plan. I've planned a waterbirth.

Im afraid of the pain. Should have stated in my OP. I don't know what to expect.

goodnessgraciousgoudaoriginal Tue 22-Dec-15 11:33:41

Do you know why you are feeling so scared? The birth?

If it helps, I think it's really common to be scared and anxious before child birth, especially if it's your first, it's a huge unknown. Yes, okay, you can read books, but there's a massive difference between understanding the theory of something and actually physically experiencing it.

If it is the birth you're worried about, I think you really need to try and put it into perspective. You're (presumably) going to be in a hospital. You'll be surrounded by people who know what they're doing, EVEN IF they might be total arse hats (and they might be). The probability of anything genuinely awful happening to you is minute. They know what they are doing, so trust them.

If you are worried about the pain, then just get an epidural. There's absolutely no reason why you should be so worried about agonising child birth or whatnot when you live in an era of SAFE and effective pain relief.

AverageSnowflake01 Tue 22-Dec-15 11:33:51

And not knowing when it's going to happen. I feel like I need to stay indoors in case I start having contractions in public.

BossWitch Tue 22-Dec-15 11:37:33

I loved my labour. It was amazing, empowering, everything went right. The whole thing was done in less than 3 hours and there were no complications. I think we are sometimes so focused on expecting things to go wrong (i know I was) we don't even consider the possibility of it going right - but it can do! Also, you are lucky enough to be in a country with excellent medical care so if in doubt, call the hospital and trust that they will look after you. Trust your partner to support you. Trust your body to do what millions of years of evolution have prepared it to do. It will be ok! And at the end of it all you get to meet your baby - which will make every effort and worry seem so small.

BossWitch Tue 22-Dec-15 11:39:07

See it as a positive - its cold and wet and windy outside, snuggle up with some Christmas films and relax!

BossWitch Tue 22-Dec-15 11:44:06

Also - sorry, a bit of tough love here - it is just pain. It comes and goes, you've been in pain before and you didn't die. You will cope with this. Being in the water will help - I got in the bath as soon as my contractions started. Then just work your way through the different types of pain relief on offer so that you are able to cope. In the grand scheme of your entire life, this is just a few hours. You can do this!

BabyTheCaveLion Tue 22-Dec-15 11:47:25

Easier to say than do I know but......try to relax!

Your body is designed to do this, try to relax, focus on your breathing and go with the flow. Yes it will hurt but it's not unmanageable, especially with the different drugs available.

I was terrified before my first birth. I don't like not being in control. But I had a fantastic water birth with just gas and air, I was 'in the zone' for most of it and don't remember anything that went on around me. I just kind of turned inwards I guess.

You can do this!! Good luck

jamtartandcustard Tue 22-Dec-15 11:51:19

Hey I'm 41+1 with my 4th dc. The first i never went into labour (csection) but I have done the whole labour and birth twice before, and I'm still terrified about doing it again. I know once it starts a sort of primal instinct takes over, you just go into the zone, and yes it hurts, there is no denying it, but you cope and it's about 1 minute of gradually intensifying pain every 5 minutes, it's not constant so it's bearable. Last time I just had gas and air and I survived. You will be fine.
I'm still bloody terrified though

nearlyteatime101 Tue 22-Dec-15 11:54:57

You have my sympathies. It's really tough. If you haven't already done so, it could be well worth reading about the experience of birth. If that makes you more frightened (I'm guessing it would!) maybe try just reading about the biology aspect. Then at least you are armed with as much information as possible. Or perhaps try doing something you enjoy to distract yourself? Box set? I always read Harry Potter when I need distraction!

Your body will do what it needs to. And the hospital staff will do so too. Do what you can to stay relaxed for now. good luck

DoctoraNova Tue 22-Dec-15 13:26:46

Hi OP,

I'm also 39+6, but this is my third. Like jam my first was a CS for failed induction. My second was incredible, I loved it.

Anyways, that's neither here nor there. If you're feeling detached from the world, and afraid to go out in public, maybe your body is telling you to slow down, stay home and keep to yourself. With every pregnancy my world shrinks coming up to labour, I stay closer to home, subconsciously, it's instinctive. If your anxiety is saying to stay at home, listen to it. Maybe you're about to start labour soon and need to rest, who knows.

A lot of labour is instinctive and if you can listen to your body, and learn to hear what it's telling you, you'll feel calmer and more proactive. Surrender to the signals you're getting from your body, and do what feels good. Lie down, make a little cave, shut the world out and listen to your body. Move into positions that feel good, even if you feel like you want to stick your arse in the air. Your body is wise and will guide you as the baby comes down, in a dance between you and your baby.
It's completely normal to feel anxious before anything new, and this is huge. It's primal and it's profound. Practice calming meditations: here's a simple one we use in Psychiatry for panic attacks. Visualize a flower in front of your nose. Breathe in deeply and fullyas you smell the rose. Now visuals or a small tea light or candle. Blow out really gently and slowly so you don't extinguish the flame. Focus on this alone until you feel calm and in control of your thoughts. This is particularly useful in labour because during contractions the baby really needs all the oxygen it can get, so it's important to breathe slowly and deeply, not short and shallow panicky breaths. This is why people bang on about "breathing" for labour, even though all women obviously know how to breathe.

Find the wild woman inside you and listen to your instincts, move as you need to and let go. The pain is so much worse if you fight it.

Every person was born to a woman. For every person out there, there's an amazing wild, warrior woman who gave birth. Personally, that blows my mind, and in labour I feel a massive connection to women all over the world, and all through time.
This beautiful video reminds me of that connection: www.filmsforaction.org/watch/today-i-rise/

Lastly, reading about beautiful positive birth stories with help you to see that there can be good experiences, no matter what the labour went like. I like the ones on the home birth uk page, but just google "positive birth" and related terms. Talk to your partner about your wishes, your fears, what you don't want. Explore all these issues, particularly your fear and anxiety and try to work through them because emotional blockages can make labour more difficult, more painful, harder to cope with.

Imo, being rested, feeling positive, being aware of your body is the best preparation you can do.

The miracle of birth is not that babies are born, but that mothers are born. You will be amazed by the strength and power you have within you, and you'll draw on the this experience for the rest of your life. It will give you the strength to cope with everything that comes after. You're going to do great, and you're going to love being a mother.
(FreeHugs)

lilac3033 Tue 22-Dec-15 13:58:29

I had my first in May and honestly it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I totally went into the zone. I had a TENS machine and also an app to time contractions in early labour. Faffing with those two things meant the contraction was done before I knew it.
The odds are the pain will slowly increase over time also the pain has a purpose. You will know exactly why it hurts. I find pain is much scarier when you don't know the cause. Just concentrate on each contraction, one at a time.
The hospital is the best place you could be if it doesn't go according to plan. I was wanting a water birth but was open to pain relief. Ended up asking for pethadine after a few hours in hospital as I thought "I can't manage hours more of this without a rest". When the midwife went to get it I realised I felt the need to push, I'd just been going through transition! It was shorter then I expected.
It was such a high after DD was born, I was so amazed with how I coped.
The main thing is keep your pain relief options open and just roll with the pain! Use what you need to get through!

Salmiak Tue 22-Dec-15 14:06:42

I was petrified of my first labour, but the week before my cousin explained her contractions to me - she said yes, when they are happening its painful but they only last a minute and then you have 5 mintes pain free where you are back to normal - so in a way its actually better Tha a headache or broken bone where the pain is continuous. And this was the case with me, the contractions felt like severe period pain for about 30 seconds and then it was over so I had a few minutes to regain my strength.

Plus gas and air is bloody wonderful stuff. I ended up giggling my way through labour and even the pushing stage.

Holly34 Wed 23-Dec-15 12:08:17

First time mum 33+3

I find myself worry about going into labor and OH being at work. This means I have to arrange my own cab to hospital this takes 20 mins to get to. Not excited about this at all, being with a stranger and in pain. I don't like cabs I feel restricted in them. I think I will just call OH from work which could take up to an hour? That can't be a good idea can it?

I just don't know what to expect how must I react to the contractions when does one know they are actually going into labor? MY sister in law said she went to the hospital three times before labor actually started.

feeling confused

JellyBaby26 Wed 23-Dec-15 13:30:28

Don't worry about it - easier said that done. But childbirth is and has been done millions of times!

IMO you just need positive mental attitude towards it, and do not panic.

I was worried my heart would explode (how fucking ridiculous) but when it came round to it I was so calm and my blood pressure was lower than normal!

SparklyTinselTits Wed 23-Dec-15 13:41:08

I was massively anxious before I went into labour.
But when it happened, the idea I had in my head of what the pain would be like was so much worse than the reality!
I kept telling myself that pain was only pain. It's just weakness leaving the body in order for you to get your baby out safely smile
You'll do great!
And congrats in advance on the arrival of your baby fgrin

DangerMouth Wed 23-Dec-15 13:45:02

My second birth was great. I was able to talk calmly to dh when the contractions subsided and would say I'm having one SSSHHH when it came. Pp are right, try to listen to your body. I found thinking through how it would go (not through tinted rose coloured glasses) helped. I thought l would have to do it on my own as we have no one to mind dd1 so was mentally preparing for that.

Turns out dh and dd1 could both be there which just made it amazing for me.

Good luck. And stay close to home if you want to flowers

lilac3033 Wed 23-Dec-15 14:04:08

Holly don't worry too much about OH being at work. I had a sweep the morning I went into labour and was told by the midwife I'd give birth that day or the next. DP was at the appointment with me but I told him to go to work any ways. He was about 40 minutes away and went to work around 1000. I had contractions all day and didn't go to the hospital until 2230. We figured it was best to have his paternity leave start as late as possible.
I think that the odds of having a quick birth are smaller with the first. I think my labour was relatively quick for a first but it still took 12 hours to go from 1.5cm to 3cm. After my waters broke it was faster, but still a good 6 hours of active labour.

Holly34 Thu 24-Dec-15 03:42:42

Thank you lilac3033 and everyone else for sharing

Dixiechick17 Thu 24-Dec-15 04:38:42

I was so scared, but whilst painful you know there is an end. I am a total wimp and managed without pain relief, it's amazing what our bodies do when it happens. If at any point you are struggling there are plenty of paim relief options. My advice would be have your birth plan as a nice to have but don't completely rule out other options. I went in with a fairly open mind and knowing that I could get pain relief if I really wanted it helped me.

holly for me my contractions came on fast and strong straight away. Hospital advises to stay at home until two to three mins apart. You'll know when you're having a contraction, you should have time for your DH to get home from work. I had a fairly quick labour and headed to hospital about an hour and a half after my first contraction and my baby was born just over five hours after that first contraction smile

TheOddity Thu 24-Dec-15 04:56:08

Love DoctoraNova's advice and words of positivity, I wholeheartedly agree.

Course you're scared, it's your first baby, I remember crying too at the realisation that the massive thing in my stomach has to get out of that tiny place and that really at this stage there was no way out of the thing! grin

But they call it the miracle of birth for a reason, it's a daily occurring miracle. You're about to be a part of that miracle. Trust yourself that you have it in you to do this. The pain is not so bad that people don't have a second, third, fourth child. That should give you a clue that you will be able to manage it. Don't think about the scare stories, think of all the women you know who have more than one child. Bet you know a lot more people with multiple children than you do scare stories.

alltheworld Thu 24-Dec-15 06:20:54

Your body knows what to do...there is a rhythm of labour. Try not to go to hospital too early, keep upright and mobile as much as possible.

mumchkin Sat 26-Dec-15 10:07:13

I'm 39 weeks with the odd nervous wobble too about whether I can really do this. Reading these incredibly supportive and positive responses has renewed my faith in myself. Thank you all.

SunsetSinger Sat 02-Jan-16 10:57:49

You've probably had your baby by now! But if not I recommend reading 'Hypnobirthing' by Marie Mongan and listening to the CD. That helped me to feel calmer and more empowered before the birth. It has some lovely affirmations. I don't think it's ever too late to have a read.

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