Anyone else petrified of childbirth???

(31 Posts)
monkeysocks83 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:10:48

My husband and I have decided we have been married long enough now to remember what life was like when it was just us and feel capable of our ability to unite against the common enemy of children so we have ramped up the naughtiness in hope of a delivery from the proverbial stork. We are trying for our first baby ;o)
The thing is, whenever I think of babies I think of child birth and I actually want to vomit it scares me that much. The thought of all that pain makes me want to cry and whenever my mum talks about being there for the birth (I don't particularly relish the idea of a birthing partner) I get visions of being on a bed I can't get off of, in a room where I can't leave and it's filled with people peering quite openly into my foofoo. But I have no idea whether my fears are justified and I want to know if a) it's acceptable to tell everyone who doesn't have a medical degree to piss off out of my space and b) does it really hurt that bad?
Oh and also is it ok nowadays for the husband not to be there at the birth? He doesn't like blood to the point where when I sliced my arm open on a tin can (quite badly actually) I had to administer my own first aid and call an ambulance for him as he cracked his head open on the coffee table when he fainted, he tends to try and hide his uncomfortable feelings with humour even though he is seriously NOT funny and gets really irritating when he can't control everything that's going on around him by trying to be useful (poor man). All of which are traits I can't imagine being very conducive to a peaceful(ish) labour.

berri Sun 03-Feb-13 19:14:09

What about reading a book on Hypnobirthing? It's not really hypnosis as such, just getting you into a calm and relaxed state so that you don't fear the birth.

Worth a try - I am pregnant with my 2nd and it's really helped so far. I read the Marie Mongan one but there are loads out there.

piprabbit Sun 03-Feb-13 19:19:08

Sounds like you need a doula, or at least an independent person who won't freak out, who understands the process and who'll respect your wishes.

DoodleAlley Sun 03-Feb-13 19:22:56

There is also a lot of help out there.

It might be worth a trip to your GP who might be able to refer you to someone who can help work things through.

If you do get pg then mention it at your first appointment and they will be able to help you.

And I know this isn't a solution but remember its only a day (or two). I say that as someone who is pg with dc2 and petrified of birth. The pregnancy hasn't been easy but I remind myself that labour is a means to an end and only a day.

Good luck

Flisspaps Sun 03-Feb-13 19:24:03

It's perfectly acceptable not to have your partner there.

It's fine to tell your mum that she won't be your birth partner.

There is usually one midwife with you (and that's often between 2-3 women if the labour ward is busy) for labour and two at the actual birth.

No-one can examine you without your consent. Think about a water birth perhaps (good for pain and privacy) or a homebirth - found to be safe, and you're in your own space.

YY to the suggestion of a doula too.

DoodleAlley Sun 03-Feb-13 19:27:43

I've also been cared for by a one to one midwife team so I will know the midwife who will come into hospital with Me. There are options out there, don't let it stop your dream

sw11mumofone Sun 03-Feb-13 19:39:40

I agree that hypnobirthing could really help. I had a horrible first birth and am now 36 weeks with DC2 and have started a short course. I don't know if it will help during labour yet but it certainly is keeping me calm prior to the birth.

I also agree with the suggestion of doula or private midwife. I had a private midwife for my first birth and felt more comfortable with her because I had got to know her over a period of a month or two beforehand.

Its definitely fine for your husband not to be there and its more than fine for you to tell your mum you don't want her there!! Can't think of anything worse personally. Although don't write your husband off just yet. Mine is the same - incredibly squeamish - but was amazing when D Day arrived. My birth was long and traumatic and I couldn't have done it without him. He totally stepped up on the day and was really supportive. But plan on another birth partner just in case. Then you can both make a decision nearer the time.

It is your birth so you can call the shots. And write it all down in a birth plan so everyone around you knows what your wishes are. Obviously they don't all go to plan but its a starting point.

And yes of course it hurts, but it is worth it and you do forget the pain pretty much as soon as the baby is out!

CailinDana Mon 04-Feb-13 08:00:57

It's hard to imagine what giving birth is like before it actually happens. Talking to a few people about it, it seems to be a common thing to sort of "tune out" when you're in labour so that things that would normally bother you, like being naked or having people look at your bits, don't even register. You're in a totally different frame of mind, partly due to the pain (which is bad, I won't lie) and partly due to the hormones and the fact that you're desperate to get the baby out. It is a tough process, definitely, but your body and mind sort of go into a different zone and just get on with it.

All the things you're hoping for are reasonable - it's perfectly ok not to have your DH there, although on the day you might find he steps up and surprises you. As for being strapped to a bed, there wasn't even a bed in the room I gave birth in! I did have a bed in the end as I was exhausted but up until that point I walked around, knelt by the birthing couch, sat on the floor etc.

Labour is scary, definitely, but it is beyond worth it. It's hard to focus on anything else when you're pregnant but most women find that once it's done and dusted it pales into insignificance - it's just one day in the start of a (hopefully) long journey of being a parent smile

Numbthumbs Mon 04-Feb-13 14:51:36

I had a waterbirth in a midwifery led unit last week. We were left alone most of the time and i laboured at my own pace with no intervention, no examinations and no pressure to do anything. I felt 100% in control and had an amazing experience - really quite different to my first birth on a consultant led delivery suite. DP was with me, when you are in the thick of it you may just want his reassurance but its up to you who is there during your labour - its your experience.

Do you have a midwifery led unit available at a local hospital? You could go and have a look around and speak to the midwives about your concerns?

Labour is just a tiny bit about being a parent - i had DS 9 days ago and i can honestly say i have already forgotten the pain and only remember the twinkly lovely moments. The hardest bit is when they give you the baby and you have to leave the hospital grin

monkeysocks83 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:52:47

Thanks for the advice girls ;o)
I didn't even know you could have any of the things you guys have mentioned here. I am definitely going to be looking into visiting the local hospital.
I feel like such a wuss sometimes when I think about 'that day' but I know that it will be worth it afterwards.
I like the idea of walking around doing my own thing (I sound really anti social don't I lol) and will definitely explore home/water birth, yet another thing I had no idea was available to me as it will be my first.

Tranquilitybaby Mon 04-Feb-13 23:38:22

I think employing a Doula and taking a hypnobirthing course would really help you, work through your fears and learn how to deal with labour and. Birth calmly and with no fear. X

Ushy Tue 05-Feb-13 18:46:31

"But I have no idea whether my fears are justified and I want to know if a) it's acceptable to tell everyone who doesn't have a medical degree to piss off out of my space and b) does it really hurt that bad? "

Yes to number one, and for a lot of women - unless they are incredibly lucky or don't have effective pain relief, yes to number 2.

Having given birth on a few occasions I don't think you are a wuss - exactly the opposite. You are being cautious and quite right.

It is natural for people who have had good experiences with homebirths or doulas or hypnobirthing to post positive messages and it is kind of them and well intentioned. I just have an uneasiness about it. You can't control childbirth and you can't be certain your experience will be the same.

Yes, plan for an 'active birth' but it might get horribly painful so don't be put off by the scaremongering about epidurals and caesareans. If you would rather they went for an earlier caesarean if things go pear shaped rather than hang on for several days in labour, make sure that's in your notes and it is good to have an advocate and pre plan what you want.

Personal tip - if you develop any complications during pregnancy and get jollied along with 'we've had thousands of women with xyz (12lb baby lying horizontally in a wooden deckchair) who gave birth with no problems' don't believe them. Go and have a consultation with a private obstetrician outside the NHS to get the full low down on exactly what your risks are. IMO the NHS is interested in getting its caesarean section rate down rather more than protecting your pelvic floor from serious injury.

As for partner, what about having him there for labour but pop out for the birth?

Good luck and I hope I haven't made you more worried. I just think it is better to go in thinking well, it might go wrong, but I have plan B. Hopefully it then shouldn't be traumatic. But remember, for over 60% of women it is perfectly straightforward.

stargirl1701 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:48:39

I was before I had dd in Sep 2012. I actually enjoyed it. I found it very empowering.

NoCarbsBeforeBarbs Tue 05-Feb-13 18:51:38

Also look up Lazy Daisy Birthing Classes.

Using Breathing, Movement and Relaxation alongside self hypnosis and Birth education, you get to feel in control of your body during pregnancy and prepare for Birth.

Great classes and I have a lady in mine who was terrified of giving birth and honestly has relaxed so much and trusts in her bodies abilities.

Best of luck to you op. You are not alone in feeling this way. I wish you the calmest of journeys.

elizaregina Tue 05-Feb-13 21:48:54

Your going into battle and you need to arm yourself with as much information as you can.

yes you get the baby at the end but womens labours CAN leave them scarred for years physically and emotionally and mentally.

If your the kind of person who doesnt want info or gory facts - then dont look into it or ask around. If you like to know what might happen - etc then arm yourself with info, this is down to - if you decide to have an epidural MAKE SURE the actual hospital will allow that and not put you off. etc etc etc etc...

zebra88 Mon 11-Feb-13 13:46:57

Hi
Yes I too am terrified!!! Not even pregnant either so just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I started my own thread on this before finding yours so found some useful info here.

givemeaclue Mon 11-Feb-13 13:50:13

You don't have to have pain! Epidural, c section etc. No-one gives you a medal for bravery - take the drugs, it doesn't have to hurt!

bishboschone Mon 11-Feb-13 13:51:35

Yep and I've done it twice .

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Mon 11-Feb-13 17:46:55

Youll be terrified before, and feel like a complete warrior afterwards!

LivingThings Mon 11-Feb-13 17:51:47

Maybe a ELCS might suit you and your DH better. No pain, no (visable) blood, nice and calm. Never really fancied the whole VB thing myself so opted to have both mine by ELCS fabulous experiencessmile

Purplecatti Tue 12-Feb-13 19:13:25

The fear of it is the worst part. When it actually happens shut your brain down and go with it. It isn't that bad. Folks wouldn't have more than one if it was

Purplecatti Tue 12-Feb-13 19:16:58

And as for foofoo inspections you can either refuse them or suck on gas n air and pretend the outside world doesn't exist for a while. Its just you in your body getting on with the job in hand.

PuffPants Tue 12-Feb-13 19:22:46

Yes and this is my second time. I actually think the fear can be worse second time round because you are less naive about the process - you know there really is something to fear! First time, I think my ignorance prevented me from worrying too much.

SaigonSaigon Tue 12-Feb-13 19:29:24

I may be wrong but aren't you entitled to elect for a C section if you have a genuine fear of childbirth? Might be worth chatting to your GP sooner rather than later about this. Don't let the fear get the better of you though. The end result is well worth it.

33goingon64 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:30:47

However awful you think it will be, it won't be that bad. And however bad it is on the day, you'll forget it straight away. It's hard work rather than awfully painful - have you ever walked up a mountain and really wanted to not carry on, but you did and you got to the top? It's the same - it tests you but you won't be sorry you did it. Another analogy is to think about your wedding day - is the day itself what you wanted or is it the marriage that came from it? If it's the latter, then childbirth will take its place in your life as a day that signalled the start if something wonderful and new.

PuffPants Tue 12-Feb-13 20:58:13

33, I thought it was awfully painful rather than hard work.

Ushy Tue 12-Feb-13 21:21:16

33 you said "However awful you think it will be, it won't be that bad. And however bad it is on the day, you'll forget it straight away. It's hard work rather than awfully painful"

I know you mean well but those of us who have experienced horrific birth (and there are a lot of us) know this isn't true. You live with the memory forever - and it scars you permanently.

I think the OP is doing exactly the right thing. She is going in with her eyes open.

Horrific birth experiences can be avoided but this is the NHS and they do happen - midwives and doctors may well try to talk you out of pain relief or deny you caesarean or leave you in labour too long. Equally, you may meet great staff who respect your wishes and you may have a perfectly straightforward and painless birth.

Go in being polite but have no illusions you may need to be prepared to fight your corner.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 12-Feb-13 21:23:10

Some people don't forget a difficult birth straightaway. They get PTSD.

And the 'tough walk up a mountain' analogy doesn't work for me. A 'good' birth is not solely a matter of personal effort and determination.

You can ask for a cs on the nhs for fear of birth (NICE guidelines) but attitudes vary so much from place to place, some women may get their request for a cs granted easily - others refused or have a big battle on their hands. So the idea of being entitled or guaranteed a cs doesn't actually work in practice.

I had a cs for my 1st and will have for my 2nd dc (for birth phobia). I had no specific fear at all of surgery/hospitals etc, and no health reasons that were risk factors for a cs. It was a very positive experience for me. Not a solution for everyone of course, but it was for me.

Ridersofthestorm Tue 12-Feb-13 22:14:15

Foofoogrin, haha love it!! you honestly won't give a stuff about your foofoo getting looked at when you are giving birth.
I think everyone feels like this about childbirth, I certainly did. I was so scared even going for my first midwife appointment, I was literally shaking. I had nothing to worry about of course I am just a bit of a wimp, and I had a baby! I still can't get over it!
Honestly it is the most life changing experience you'll ever have, and you get a beautiful baby at the end of all that hard work. The way you are feeling is completely normal you not the first and you won't be the last.
Yes it hurts and yes it's hard (ain't called labour or nothing) but it's not the dark ages you can opt for a cs if you are that daunted. Plus there are lots of options for pain relief which work very well for most women in labour.
You will be fine, your midwife will explain all the options available to you and you can discuss any worries you may have about childbirth and random people looking at your foofoo. But if your still not reassured just request an elective cs.
X good luck x

lalalonglegs Tue 12-Feb-13 22:20:07

Hi monkeysocks - I was like you, the thought of birth just terrified me. I remember listening to someone giving birth on a radio play once while I was driving and having to pull over as I was shaking so much plus I shared your fear of being trapped in a room unable to get away.

The thing that helped me was finding out that some people that I consider quite wimpy had had drug-free births and, although this isn't very noble, I came to the conclusion that if they could do it, then I probably could manage as well. You should try talking to people who you trust will be sympathetic - there are a lot of women who take a certain delight in going on about how they didn't know they could scream that loud, the hospital ran out of drugs they were taking so many etc etc. My experience was (a) I really didn't want an epidural because of my fear of being stuck unable to move (b) although it is definitely very painful during contractions, the contractions come and go and the rest was more like very hard work.

I also didn't particularly want my husband to be there, although he was in the end - I'm glad he was for his sake because he wanted to see his children born but it never made much of a difference to me in terms of support or anything so if it really bothers you, just tell your husband. To be honest, I was just in the zone, thinking about getting them out.

It was nine years ago last week that I had my first child and it is still the most intense experience of my life - mostly in good ways. I can remember it all so clearly and, although I remember feeling fearful and it hurting, I'm really glad that I went through it, not just because I got a lovely baby at the end of it but because it made me realise how amazing my body is and the things that it is capable of smile.

Tranquilitybaby Tue 12-Feb-13 22:59:07

I'd recommend you hire a doula and look at hypnobirthing too. NCT, Lazy Daisy classes etc won't be enough to help with your strong fears, you need to face and deal with those fears you both have. Good luck x

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