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Terrified, no, PETRIFIED of giving birth

(39 Posts)
KLou111 Fri 20-May-11 17:51:04

Hi all, I am 28+1 with my first child and I am absolutely scared to death of giving birth!! My mum is a retired MW and haven't discussed it with her as I know what she'll say 'oh you'll be fine' etc etc as will my MW.
I am scared of the pain, the before's and after's, I am scared of tearing, baby getting stuck etc.
I could quite happily be put to sleep how I feel at the moment.
Am I just being silly?? I know it's different for everyone, but if I could skip from pregnancy to baby being here without the bit in between I would be quite happy!!
Have heard bad things about an epidural so am not too keen TBH.
I would like a water birth as I've heard they are the best for the pain.
Any advice greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance xxx

honeybunmum Fri 20-May-11 17:58:59

It's very normal to be terrified, it is different for everyone and because it's unpredictable and you've never done it before you have no idea how it will go. However, you can prepare yourself and acquire techniques to deal with your fear and your pain. Are you planning on attending any anti natal classes? It's a really good idea as you get loads of info and you can discuss your fears with people who are going through it all at the same time as you.
Why don't you tell your mum (starting with "please listen and don't just tell me I'll be fine...") She may surprise you. x

nannyl Fri 20-May-11 18:09:56

How about listening to some natal hypnotherapy CDs?
You dont have to do the whole hypnoborthing thing if you dont feel like it, but relaxing for an hour listening to the CD (regularly) May help? They help you to "not be scared" and "trust your body"

I must be very lucky as i have no fear at all about giving birth, and i dont think i ever have had.

Lots of people rate water births highly although you cant use them with an epidural, only with gas and air i think. Many many people manage that fine smile

Parietal Fri 20-May-11 19:16:35

Can you hone in a bit on what you are most worried about? If you really want to avoid pain during the birth (at the risk of more interventions), I'd say go straight for the epidural. That is the only thing short of general anaesthetic that really stops the pain, and there is no shame in wanting to avoid pain.

On the other hand, if your priority is to avoid interventions, then you might want to research the hypnobirth / waterbirth etc route. But those can never be sure to work (intervention may be essential), nor can they eliminate pain.

PipCarrier Fri 20-May-11 19:50:51

I'd recommend reading Juju Sundin's book - Birth Skills. I wish I'd read it first time round. I did natal hypnotherapy but I wouldn't rave over it.

Like you, I was terrified of giving birth but in the end it was the most amazing experience ever and nothing to be scared of!

I'm expecting DC2 any day now and have just reread Birth Skills and actually got really excited last night about having the experience all over again.

ib Fri 20-May-11 19:54:40

I would advise trying to see some positive births - honestly giving birth can be the most amazing experience. Maybe hypnobirthing can help deal with your fear? They really major on it and dealing with it.

I hope you find a way to get over it - I gave birth twice and can genuinely say I enjoyed both births enormously. Really.

BatFlattery Fri 20-May-11 21:11:45

I would second ib's advice and try to see some positive births on youtube or similar. It is totally natural to be fearful of the unknown, but you will probably find that when the time comes you will, if not enjoy it, at least get through it. Just try to remind yourself that your body is designed to do this thing. Try not to worry so much about after the birth (stitches, etc...), as you will have your gorgeous, wonderful new baby who will occupy your every waking moment!

Talking to your Mum may actually be a help, as she will have loads of experiance, and might be able to talk to you about the things you are scared of. Knowledge is a great thing when it comes to getting rid of or lessening fear IME.

I have no experience of a water birth, and was not planning on having any pain relief other than gas and air. When it came to it and DS got himself stuck (prob not what you want to hear, but it does happen, and the MWs are very good in these situations - mine was very calm about everything, and never once said anything to worry or panic me, just very reassuring), I had to have an epidural so that they could use forceps (with a view to CS if not successful), and it was instant and very welcome relief. I had no problems re the epidural at all, even though, like you, I didn't plan on having one or really want one.

Just try to be positive and address your fear now while you have time to do something about it. Try not to worry about the 'what ifs'. Good luck! smile

luluzulu Fri 20-May-11 23:30:58

i never let myself get too worried about the birth, i dont think it actually sunk in until i was in labour and thats when i felt petrified.and it wasnt all that bad. contractions were the scary part because you think how much worse is this going to get, but you just do it. it is scary when you've never done it before and dont know what to expect but dont ruin your pregnancy with worry because either way its got to happen. like others have said i think you should talk to your mum. good luck.

GibberingGinger Sat 21-May-11 00:18:58

It's very reasonable to be scared. Everyone is scared of the unknown. And everyones labour is different so it's bound to be unknown. Unfortunately you are on the pregnancy train and it's destination is set and there is nothing you can so about it now grin you are going to have a baby. The only thing you can so is prepare yourself. What is scaring you? Bizarrely enough you can cope with pain during childbirth that you would never have thought previously. You seem to be worked up for it. And I'm not someone who would ever have thought that! Just plan your stratagey, Pool first, and if that is not working, go for something more. I've not heard great things about pethidine as it makes you feel a bit spaced, which can be more worrying, but the epidural is great in my experience. I was really freaked out about someone playing about with my spine, but in reality it was great.

I think you whould try and talk to someone. Probably your mother. I know she is a MW but she will have seen lots of situations so will hopefully know where you are coming from. Otherwise, just chat to people on here. You still have a while to go, so hopefully will feel more positive soon

darleneoconnor Sat 21-May-11 01:11:15

focus on exactly what it is you are scared of- it isn't the same for everyone

eg is it the pain of birth or of medical interventions which you are more scared of?

if you are scared of the baby 'getting stuck' then talk to the midwife about what would happen in that situation.

stella1w Sat 21-May-11 01:40:00

I was scared during my first pg and ended up having a six hour labour and no pain relief except a tens machine, small tear and not much pain and I am not someone with a high pain threshold!

I'd recommend you read anything by Ina May Gaskin - an inspirational midwife in the US to give you confidence, hypnobirthing may help, and a supportive midwife should definitely help.. if the NHS are not being great (and they are not being great with me), if you can get an Independent midwife or go private, that might help.

Will your Mum be at the birth?

Rosduk Sat 21-May-11 05:34:11

I was so scared about giving birth and felt the best thing to do is make myself prepared for all eventualities. I did birth plans for a normal, induced and cs that way I prepared myself and felt more in control as I struggled with the unknown aspect if labour.

Turns out I went 0-10cm with gas and air and hypnobirthing breathing (which I didn't think would work) then ended up with forceps and episiotomy when she got stuck (My nightmare scenario.) I dreaded forceps but it was a positive experience for me as i knew the baby was in good hands, I was surprisingly relaxed as I wasn't feeling contractions and I knew my baby would be there quicker. Recovery has also been fine and although I wanted to slap anyone that said this to me when I was pregnant- it truly is worth it...

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sat 21-May-11 06:07:43

Please talk to your mw.

I was very scared but I found out everything I possibly could so I was prepared.

And think again about speaking to your mum too, she might just go into mw mode and be useful!

Stangirl Sat 21-May-11 11:04:31

Ask for an ELCS. I was exactly the same as you and asked and was given one. Never regretted it. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Dirtydiana Sat 21-May-11 15:40:38


I second buying one of Ina May Gaskins books.

I had my first baby in hospital and just went to nhs ante-natal classes to learn about giving birth and what to expect. Everything was straightforward with the birth but I was scared and felt a bit traumatised afterwards for various reasons.

Second time around I decided I wanted a home water birth. Because of this I did a lot of reading on the internet about giving birth, bought Ina Mays book 'Guide to childbirth', and a natal hypnotherapy cd. I found that having lots more knowledge about labour and birth really helped me to have a much more positive experience.

I spent a lot of time in the bath with my first labour, and had a water birth with my second, it really helped reduce the discomfort of contractions for me, would highly recommend it.

Would recommend for info too.

I also found when my labours started, the things I had worried about didn't enter my head, I was too focused on being in labour and the birth IYSWIM.

maxbear Sat 21-May-11 20:12:46

Talk to your mum, I bet she will help you a lot. Talk to your midwife, if she realises how scared you are then she might be able to refer you on to a counsellor who could help.

I wouldn't ask for an elective section unless it is a severe problem and you feel like it is affecting your life all the time. Definately try counselling first. If everyone who was scared of giving birth asked for a section then the section rate would be about 90%.

I have had 3 waterbirths and can definately recommend them.

It is totally normal to be scared of doing something that is likened to shitting a melon grin

KLou111 Sun 22-May-11 08:45:29

Thank you all sooooooo much for your advice.
I will definitely talk to my MW when I next see her (my mum's away for a few weeks now).
And I will def look into those books.

I can't really get to one conclusion of what is actually scaring me. I think it is just everything from being in pain, to not being able to push out the baby, and just generally cracking up in labour! I am scared if I am given an epi and it goes wrong, having a c-section and it doesn't heal or I won't be able to tend to baby afterwards etc.
DH has been great and said everything will be fine etc etc, and I am 'looking forward' in a way to the labour coming, but only because I want our beautiful baby here, and am so excited about that esp as we saw him/her on a 4d scan last Saturday smile

Some people say the whole experience is almost orgasmic, and I know I will be very proud of myself once it is over, I guess I am just thinking too much about it and should really just 'go with it' but I've never had pain if that makes sense ie I've never been in hospital or broken a bone or anything, and the thought that I know it's coming just fills me with dread!

TurtlesAreRetroRight Sun 22-May-11 09:00:20

There is a good chance that your body knows how to do this. And if this isn't the case, there are people who are trained to help you through it. They know what they are doing.

I found that a lot of my fear was to do with control. I just couldn't make any decisions about anything or think positively as I had no idea what was going to happen. In the end the only thing to do was to think what I'd like to happen and how I'd manage things and then spend some serious time thinking about what would happen if any eventuality arose. What I would/wouldn't want, which drugs were possibilities, what I wanted after dd was here and how to achieve that in each situation (even with a cs- which is what I ended up with- you can have skin to skin and your birth partner can cut the cord etc).

Knowledge is power. And I sometimes think that all this worry now brings about a strange sort of calm nearer the time. You do start to accept it is going to happen and a sort of determination comes out of it.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sun 22-May-11 09:27:12

Op everything you are saying is still exactly as I felt. It is the fear of the unknown. Turtles has used my favourite saying, especially with childbirth, knowledge is power! Make a list and find out about everything. Don't leave any stone unturned, be prepared and have choices by knowing what happens when and what could happen. Use and abuse mn, start a different thread each week and find out snout that thing completely.

you can do this

RumpelstiltskinsHat Sun 22-May-11 09:58:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mummy2bx Sun 22-May-11 21:39:21

Im 28 weeks and feel the same as you! My friend Ali made me laugh, although she was totally serious, when she discribed both her births as, and i quote, "Intense orgasms!" Heres hoping hey!

lynehamrose Mon 23-May-11 18:59:48

If you really are petrified of the pain, and your main concern is avoiding the pain, then why not go for epidural? I had an epidural with my dcs, and it really does take the pain away, and is instant. Personally I would have liked to have managed childbirth without one, so I did hang on as long as I could second time round, and got to 6 cm but then was really not coping so had one. But if experiencing a natural birth isn;t high on your list of priorities, then there's a lot to be said for just deciding on the epidural route

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Mon 23-May-11 22:17:39

Lune completly agree, you don't get any medalscfor going through pain. Even the top bloke said he'd have one if he were a woman when he did a web chat.

KLou111 Tue 24-May-11 18:39:46

Had 28 week appointment today (am 28+5), anaemia bloods done, measured, listened to HB, and felt for positioning. All OK but baby breech hmm
Had a right laugh with the MW and another lady who is MW training. Were talking about the birth as telling them am terrified, and she was telling DH and I some stories about some births recently, was hilarious! Actually made me feel so much better about it all. But she did say DO NOT WATCH OBEM!! She said a lot is all played up for the cameras, and everyone is different, so don't use it a guide.
Have 4 classes starting end of June although she said we can go to a place about 40 mins away that you can do the whole lot in a day so hopefully that will help a lot too.
Thanks everyone for their advice smile

Happypapa Sun 05-Jun-11 13:17:44

Poor thing! My wife was also terrified and we went on a private hypnobirthing course which was AMAZING. By the end of it, not only was my wife no longer scared, she couldn't wait to get started! She's naturally a real worrier and panicker and she ended up having the baby at home in a pool with no pain relief at all! It was a great victory! I HIGHLY recommend it. Part of the process is 'fear release' hypnosis which really works. You won't need it but, good luck. You'll Be AMAZING!! Remember that you're body is absolutely, perfectly equipped to birth a bubba in a way that is safe for both of you and stress free!

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