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to wish I had whatever it takes NOT to be childbirth phobic?

(60 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 14:55:11

Thinking about this more and more (am 22 wks pregnant) and thinking about it now after reading the thread on here about someone sympathising with a woman about having to have a c section.

I have never, ever been able to understand the desire to have a v-birth. It just doesn't make any sense to me at all why anyone would prefer to do it that way. I have always known, btw, that this is not a reasonable, sensible, logical thought!! I am phobic about childbirth, I think down to the fact that every day on my birthday since I can remember, I would be regaled with the merry tale of how my mum had haemorraghed and almost died giving birth to me.

Add in the fact that not a single female member of my family these past 5 years has managed to have a successful vaginal birth, including 2 truly horrendous emergency C-sections for my sister, and I can easily trace the roots of my phobia!

I put off the decision to try to conceive for many years because I just couldn't even begin to countenance the idea of childbirth.

The problem is such that I am in the process (I hope) of getting agreement for an elective C-section when my baby is due.

But - unexpectedly to myself, because I never thought I'd feel this way - I am starting to feel bad and guilty and almost slightly grubby about it.

Everywhere I go I seem to encounter pregnant women talking calmly about their birth plans, which all seem to involve nothing more than light reflexology and a lavender candle ( I jest, and I know they'll probably be yelling for epidurals when it actually comes to it, but I admire their plans all the same, even if I still can't understand how the hell they can possibly want that!)

I am starting to feel that something is wrong with me/missing in me, that I literally can't even think about what they are planning. sad

I am also coming to terms with the fact that an elective c-section will mean taking the baby out a week before due date and feeling awful about that - shouldn't it 'cook' right up until it is ready?!

FWIW I have never thought of this as the 'easy' option but now I am hearing people talk about major surgery and pulling faces at the talk of a c-section and I just feel pathetic and awful and ashamed and weak.

Never thought I'd be at all bothered by this!!

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 15-Nov-12 14:59:47

[flowers] for you, not sure that this is the best place for this topic.
Have you tried counselling/CBT or hypnotherapy before considering a section?
Fwiw I do know how you feel as suffer with hideous Tokophobia and delayed pregnancy

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:00:32

I should add that I can't tell anyone in RL about the planned section (except H obviously and best friend) as I am embarrassed and ashamed. My mum and MIL would have a thing or two to say, I'm quite sure!

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 15-Nov-12 15:00:58

You shouldn't feel pathetic, awful, ashamed or weak. Do what is right for you, your body and your baby and sod everyone else smile

Emsmaman Thu 15-Nov-12 15:01:10

Given your family's experiences it's no surprise that you would want to opt for an elective C-section. I guess though you really need to think through the practicalities of having such an operation - for example are you going to be able to get by without driving for 6 weeks? Will your DH be around to help you picking up the baby etc? One of my friends ruptured her stitches picking up the baby for a feed during the night about a month after birth and her husband works away so had to call an ambulance.

Also how many children do you plan on having? I believe there is a max number (3?) that it is safe to have by c-section. So if you plan on having a larger family that may be a consideration and a reason to try for a vaginal birth.

I wouldn't worry about having the baby out one week early btw, after 37 weeks they're generally considered "cooked". Mine was "overcooked" by 9 days and had meconium in the waters!

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:01:20

Fanjo - oops, sorry, I can move thread... scared to post it in Pregnancy section!!

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 15-Nov-12 15:01:35

d'oh pressed too soon! delayed pregnancy until well into my 30's because of the thought of giving birth. Feel free to pm me if I can help at all.

cleoismycat Thu 15-Nov-12 15:02:57

I had an elective c-section and didnt feel in the slightest bit guilty. In the end as long as all concerned are safe and well in the end you should do what you feel is best for yourself. I have had no bonding/health issues with my dd as a result and recovered very quickly. Its your body.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Thu 15-Nov-12 15:04:04

no it's your thread! I just don't want anyone giving you shit over it as I know how hideous you feel. squares up and stands in front of you protectively tapping fists together

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:05:18

Emsman - been asked about number of children by the doctor - I said 2 maximum!!! (in all honesty, may just be 1)

I'm lucky with support from DH so help afterwards should be OK, also am lucky with family support (though not about touchy feely topics like this, just practical stuff!) so will get help where needed and they are all nearby.

I htink I'd never really considered before that other women would feel about C-sections the way I feel about v-births and that there would be negativity associated with them. I always just felt there was no way in the world I would allow anything to come out of me that way!!

There can be a bit of judginess too, MWs have been quite difficult with me and a pregnant friend of a friend (before she knew I was pregnant) went on and on about evils of C-sections and what the hell was wrong with people who wanted one.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:07:45

Thanks Fanjo!
No, I do know that people can be very emotive about this (heard a lot of it myself, even while cowering in corner and not actually admitting I was one of the wimps who couldn't do the 'natural' thing!)
Sorry to hear you've had the same issue, it's quite a hard one to fess up to, and much more so I'm finding now that I'm pg. Feel like I should be floating around serenely with plans for a water birth like pretty much everyone else I meet at the mo seems to be.

Emsmaman Thu 15-Nov-12 15:10:05

the judginess won't stop when the baby's born, it will just be over other things. noone asked me anything about the birth since DD was about a month old. It took me nearly a year to realise I was going to get unwelcome advice and opinions on my parenting and that I needed to grow a thick skin and trust my instincts!

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:12:33

Emsmaman - what fun! I think other judginess wouldn't get to me quite as much (though I say that NOW...) wink I'm just ridiculously sensitised to this particular thing, I think, as I so desperately wish I were different. It hits a nerve therefore when I hear people saying C-sections are a 'shame' or whatever, because I feel that I am letting people (the baby/myself) down.

Mousefunk Thu 15-Nov-12 15:13:05

I don't wish to scare you but there's also a chance of hemorrhage with a c-section..

Putting that aside I couldn't have a c-section unless it was an emergency one because one of our lives were in danger. I'm petrified of any kind of surgery, I hope a day never comes where I have to have any. I'd just get so anxious and scared... I don't know what it is, the immense fear of death I have I think (I know theres a small risk with a natural birth too but I just link surgery with risk). So I think you are braver for having a section imo because i'd take a vag birth any day.

CailinDana Thu 15-Nov-12 15:13:16

Don't be fooled by the calm birth plans, everyone agonises over the birth they're going to have - why wouldn't you? It's a big deal. They're pulling faces at your decision because secretly they'd like to have the certainty that you have - of knowing the date and the exact method of delivery. It is absolutely none of anyone else's business how your baby comes into the world.

It sounds like, given your fears, you are making absolutely the right decision for you. There's no point in putting yourself through a possibly traumatic vb just for other people -what on earth would that achieve? People seem to feel mentally-based reasons such as phobias are not as "worthy" as physical reasons for c-sections, because that's the sort of ridiculous society we live in. If the baby were breech and you had to have a c no one would bat an eyelid. But because you have a phobia people are acting like it's a choice, and a bad one at that. Phobias are not choices, and they're not something you can just decide to overcome. And you don't have to justify them either.

I am impressed that you became pregnant despite your phobia, given that you didn't know beforehand if a c-section was possible. That shows great determination and strength on your part, and I'm glad you're getting the birth that is best for you.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:14:48

Mousefunk it actually heartens me to think someone thinks I am brave for having a section smile
I suppose everyone has their phobias and fears and there's no getting around that.

Mousefunk Thu 15-Nov-12 15:15:03

Oh and I haven't heard of a max number of c-sections. A family friend has had four in space of 5 years and planning on a fifth! Also famous example- Victoria Beckham, shes had four.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:16:28

Thanks Cailin that's really nice of you to say. I think in the end with ttc-ing I realised I couldn't leave it any longer and went for a la-la-la, hands over ears approach!! Not so much brave as ostrich-like smile

CailinDana Thu 15-Nov-12 15:16:37

Mouse = they prefer you not to have more than 3 because the risk of uterine rupture during pregnancy increases each time. That said, my gran had 9 and she's still around!

MoomieAndFreddie Thu 15-Nov-12 15:18:54

i am the same as you OP

have no real advice - but i am unlike you as i have no desire to WANT to want a vaginal birth. and have had planned sections with both DC that were brilliant experiences.

but you are not alone in feeling like this. talk to your midwife, she will refer you to an obstetrician who can arrange a c/s for you if its agreed its the best, safest option for you and your baby.

CailinDana Thu 15-Nov-12 15:18:58

Remember too that when you're pregnant the birth is the be-all and end-all understandably but once the baby's here that all becomes a bit irrelevant. Yes the memories of birth stay with you but real life takes over and the birth just becomes the first big day in a long road of parenthood!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Nov-12 15:20:42

You never know, emerald. I was terrified of giving birth, absolutely terrified. I put it off for years. When it came to it, I was a bloody star. I am a wimp about pain, hate hospitals, don't like doctors, hate needles, am scared of being in a situation I can't get out of, and on and on. My birth was hardly routine but I was zen, DH was more impressed with me than he has ever been and I am very proud of myself. Sometimes you have reserves you don't know you had.

LibrarianAli Thu 15-Nov-12 15:20:49

I think the response 'it's a shame' depends on the attitude of the person having a baby. If they really don't want a CS then it is a bit of a shame that they don't get the birth they want (although the outcome of a healthy baby is obvs not a shame at all)

So, if you a really frightened of VB, then perhaps you could look at it as being a 'shame' that you would have to go through those feelings and fears when they are avoidable through having a ECS.

Either way, I agree w Emsmaman that once the baby is a month old, nobody will care how they came out and they'll find other things to hoik their judgeypants up on.

We women really don't help each other do we!?

BellaTheGymnast Thu 15-Nov-12 15:21:08

Huge sympathy here too, I was very frightened of giving birth and can honestly say it was one of the very worst experiences of my life. I struggled to bond with my baby, suffered badly with PND and really wish I had asked for an elective section.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:21:11

Thanks Moomie and Cailin
Moomie, before getting pg I thought I'd have the same view you have, that planned section was just the way I wanted to do it and sod everyone else. IT's crept up on me, feeling this way, and I'm surprised by it.

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