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To be petrified at the thought of giving birth ever again.

(74 Posts)
Billygoats Thu 27-Mar-14 21:06:31

I had my dd 4 1/2 months ago and still feel haunted by the birth. I feel physically sick if I think back to any part of it including the recovery afterwards.

I had a relatively simple pregnancy with no complications so remained very positive about the whole experience and was very much at ease about child birth. Do not get Wrong I was not excited about delivery just not nervous at the same time. Both my DM and DGM had straight forward births so I think I expected a similar experience and didn't really pay attention to people I suspected of 'scaremongering'.

I had a loosely written birth plan as I was aware things don't always go to plan. My actual labour and birth were in my eyes awful, nothing was what I even imagined, I just felt like an inconvenience in the hospital. I went into labour 200 miles from home so gave birth in a totally different hospital to what I planned. Without going into every detail it was just truly horrible.

I feel I may have watched far too much obem where the ladies are settled into a room with their partners for their labour, whereas I was told to keep the noise down and tret like I was being a nuisance. They also don't show you how horrendous recovery is and what a miserable time it is, from sore stitches to piles to constipation . I truly feel like I will never be able to go through that experience again, I'm yet to pluck up the courage to even be intimate again let alone give birth.

Aibu to think I will never be able to psychologically get through 9 months knowing I could have a similar experience or face another dreaded episitomy. I'm panicking already and I have several years yet. How long did It take you all to feel at ease again after childbirth?

Ronmione Thu 27-Mar-14 21:12:54

I think over time the memories become a bit blurry, and you start to get broody again! and those feelings overtake the fear.

DarkVelvetySilkyShiraz Thu 27-Mar-14 21:14:22

Your reaction is very common, you have been through an ordeal and you need to be kind to yourself.

There are other options open to you when it comes to next time, I had an ELC and it was scary but so much better in terms of control, and knowing almost exactly what was coming, rather than the huge un known of natural child birth.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the first birth, a few years. A good second birth via ELC has helped me, although I do know of others with good second labours have also found them healing.

Try talking to Birth Trauma Assct and others like it, ask your doctor for help too, I think one of the problems is not giving feed back.

mygrandchildrenrock Thu 27-Mar-14 21:17:03

Try not to spoil the time you have with your little one now by worrying about what might happen next time. It sounds like you had a very rough time and you must feel very anxious, however you most likely would have a very different labour and delivery next time. You could probably have a C section if you still feel this anxious.
It can take a long time to get intimate again, don't feel rushed into doing so and take things slowly and gently. Have you talked to your HV about how you feel? It's still very early days but you're obviously worrying quite a bit.

catsdogsandbabies Thu 27-Mar-14 21:17:52

I felt like you. I couldn't open the letter with a copy of my labour notes as I would cry. I had a panic attack at an ultrasound appt 4 m out when I saw the stirrups.
I now have another DS (11m). What helped? CBT, facing it by talking through the experience (and crying a lot).
The second labour was very different. Unpleasant but ok. I actually yearn for a third now! It gets easier I promise.

catsdogsandbabies Thu 27-Mar-14 21:18:42

And I was set for an ELC privately to avoid it all second time but am glad I didn't.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Mar-14 21:21:05

I'm 32 weeks pregnant and it's been almost 3 years since I last have birth. I'm terrified. But there's no going back.

So sorry you had such a horrific experience, especially how you were treated. That is not normal and not ok.
If it's any consolation, I feel that if you had been at your chosen hospital you might have been treated differently but that is not your fault at all and I am really annoyed for you that you were treated as a nuisance.

Try to consider that every birth is different. I am consoling myself with the fact that most people tell me number 2 is much easier and quicker (I hope!!!)

Once again I am so sorry you had such a hard time.
Congrats on your bub x

breatheslowly Thu 27-Mar-14 21:25:43

I had a horrible birth experience and counselling really helped me to get past it. However both the birth and the damage I had mean that I will have an ELCS if we have another baby. You now have the right to insist on one.

TheWanderingUterus Thu 27-Mar-14 21:27:15

You really need to speak to someone love, GP perhaps. There is help available to get you over this. It's affecting your life and you deserve to be happy. What happened to you was horrible and shouldn't have happened, it's like a psychological wound and you need help to have it fixed.

I had a hideous birth with DD and ended up feeling as you do. A birth programme could have me in tears, hospitals I hyperventilated at. I was terrified of getting pregnant again. The feelings never really faded. In the end I got pregnant three and a half years later, I gave myself three months to get pregnant before I got back on contraception. That felt manageable.

I had a panic attack at every scan, wept outside the hospital and sobbed home. In the end DSs birth was the ultimate perfect birth, at home, pain free, very healing. My midwife who I confessed all to after the birth, was very upset that I had felt that way about birth for so long and told me that there were lots of places I could have got help from. She also said that I would have been given a CS had I asked for it in the circumstances. I never told anyone that was the problem.

Billygoats Thu 27-Mar-14 21:29:25

I won't allow it to spoil any of my time with my Dd she is an amazing little person , I only have to wake up to her beautiful smile to feel so lucky. I think my first two weeks with her were marred by the pain and recovery and reliance on my dh but my bonding with her I don't feel has been affected at all thankfully.

I will just have to learn to put it on the back burner for now and stop stressing myself out. But it's reassuring to know it hasn't put you ladies off . It feels cathartic to have actually typed out my thoughts.

Good luck chatty , wishing you a lovely happy birth.

SummerRain Thu 27-Mar-14 21:29:30

I'm the sort of person who imagines the worst case scenario for everything... If you expect the worst anything else is a pleasant surprise!

So despite a scary birth (pain and stuff was fine but we almost lost dd), shitty treatment on the maternity ward, botched stitches causing horrendous pain for weeks and the baby from hell who did not sleep and vomited everywhere 24/7 I was planning number two before we even got her home grin

I've known other women who needed a few years between births to get used to the idea, and one or two who decided never to do it again.

It's a very individual thing, the only thing I'd like to gently suggest based on your post is that it doesn't sound like you had a bad birth as such, but rather that your expectations were somewhat unrealistic. All births are painful, messy, undignified, somewhat gruesome affairs, and realistically hospitals are busy and understaffed... my midwife with ds2 actually missed most of his birth as she was trying to do stuff in other rooms at the same time. That's not her fault and it's not the worst thing that could have happened... I thought it was quite funny seeing her dashing in in a mad panic tbh!

I think if you do go for it again you should try and prepare yourself for the reality... blood, poo, sweat, loss of dignity, busy hospital staff, discomfort. Despite all the less than pleasant elements it can be a hugely positive experience if you're honest and realistic about the process from the start... you aren't going to stroll in, be waited on hand and foot and sneeze out a baby. It takes effort, a certain amount of pain, and things very rarely go to plan.

RayPurchase Thu 27-Mar-14 21:30:00

I felt like this, DS is 4 1/2 now and I'm starting to feel like I would like another baby, I'm going to do everything in my power to have an ELCS though. Sorry if that's not very helpful for you, but at least I can tell you you are not alone in feeling like this.

NearTheWindymill Thu 27-Mar-14 21:31:26

Can you ask for your notes to be sent to your local hospital and arrange to have a debriefing session there with a midwife who might be able to look after you next time round. I think you should also talk some of this through with your doctor.

Notcontent Thu 27-Mar-14 21:32:18

Have you thought about having an elective c-section? The NHS tries to bully people against having them, because of the cost - but they can be an extremely positive experience.

Billygoats Thu 27-Mar-14 21:34:09

summerain I think you have got me totally wrong. I was fully aware of the logistics of birth.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 27-Mar-14 21:35:06

YANBU. I know exactly how you feel. I had a third degree tear and lost a fair amount of blood with Dd1, but that was still a breeze compared with Dd2.

Please talk to your GP and/or your HV. You have obviously been through a horrific experience and it is absolutely OK to seek all the help you need to get through it.

Most of all, be very kind to yourself. If you had been in a nasty car crash, people wouldn't expect you to be a-ok for a a while afterwards, this is the same. And yes, you can request a c-section next time.

I hope you do get the help you need to come to terms with it. flowers

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Thu 27-Mar-14 21:39:58

YANBU at all. This is something I have to say makes me irrationally angry - the whole "what do you want, a medal - thousands of women do this every day" approach to giving birth.

I mean look at it this way - it is the most painful thing you'll ever go through, you're practically split in half in the process, and the pushing part for me felt like someone had asked me to shift a 50-storey building from one end of town to the other - it was such hard work.

Afterwards I could barely walk, I wet myself for days and stitches took weeks to heal. But I was basically sent on my way with barely a "well done" from anyone except DH.

I mean could you imagine if men gave birth - they'd be off work on full pay at 12 weeks, with a 2 week recovery and bags of sympathy. Sadly in this world men still run so many things and I believe if more women were in power we'd have a better maternity system. It's a joke that were seen as the "weaker sex".

I'm not ashamed to say that, whilst I didn't want a medal for giving birth, I felt I at least deserved a great big fat "well done" from everyone who crossed my path, and for people to tell me what a great job I did. Because I believe I (and everyone who gives birth) did do a great job!

The way you describe your experience OP (being told to keep the noise down et ) is disgusting and I would complain if I were you. The only thing I can suggest is don't be afraid to have another baby and talk your concerns through with your midwife next time, push for a c-section. My SIL had nightmares in her second pregnancy to the point they worried about her mental health and gave her a c-section, if they believe you will be stressed and afraid for 9 months they should help you along the way.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 27-Mar-14 21:40:39

Summerrain I was writing out my post and quite frankly, trying not to cry, while you were posting yours.

Newsflash - you can be fully aware of the "logistics of birth" and still experience birth trauma. I have witnessed several births and given birth myself. Dd2's birth was still an horrendous experience and I feel so gutted about that.

Saying someone had a bad birth because they had "the wrong attitude" is victim-blaming and deeply unhelpful.

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Thu 27-Mar-14 21:41:34

PS go to your GP and ask to speak to someone as I think it sounds like you have PTSD - hope you can move in from this OP thanks

fifi669 Thu 27-Mar-14 21:41:54

I had a horrible labour with DS. My birth partners had been sent home earlier, I was the only woman in my bat of the ward, the midwives were too busy to attend to me, I was in a lot of pain suddenly (no build up), they gave me paracetamol (wtf?) then diamorphine,it was horrible. Ended in an emergency c section and beautiful gas and sir whilst I waited to go in. They only rang my sisters to come in at the last minute so was being wheeled in when they arrived.

Currently 25 weeks. The idea of a natural birth terrifies me. My chest gets tight, heart pounds.... I've stated I'm electing for a section this time and they've been fine with it.

mrsbug Thu 27-Mar-14 21:45:07

Hi, some of what you have written is very familiar to me as I didn't find the actual physical process of birth too awful but hated the experience of being in hospital. Like you I gave birth in a different hospital than planned (my local one was full) and mostly laboured on a ward - not what I expected after watching obem where thewomen women seem to labour in private rooms with their own bathroom!

I'm not pg but have decided that if andwhen when I do it again I will aim for a home birth if possible - would this be an option for you?

mrsbug Thu 27-Mar-14 21:45:50

Sorry for typos - stupid phone!

Fairylea Thu 27-Mar-14 21:48:40

It's perfectly reasonable to feel that way and even to never have more babies because of it if you find the thought that scary.

I had a truly horrific first labour with dd - so much so the birth trauma association used my story to lobby the hospital I had dd at. It took me 11 years to consider having another baby - and that was only due to speaking with a consultant and agreeing that I would have an elective section even before I attempted pregnancy.

My section was wonderful and ds is now 20 months old and the whole thing has been a healing process for me.

A bad birth experience can affect a woman for the rest of their lives.

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Thu 27-Mar-14 21:49:43

Summerrain I did not at all get, from the OP, that she had different expectations - I think you'd have to have lived under a rock all your life to not know that giving birth is painful, messy and traumatic. I'm pleased you had a good experience but please don't play down hers. If she'd fallen and broken all her bones and found the recovery hard no one would say "well I don't know what you expected it to be like" would they?

MrsDeVere Thu 27-Mar-14 21:51:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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