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38 weeks and so worried!

(18 Posts)
haplesshippy Tue 13-Sep-11 14:37:22

Haven't been on here for a while, but I'm 38 +1 weeks with dc1 and I'm really starting to freak out, the birth centre where i was booked in to have little one was closed with zero notice a month or so ago, I'd also booked in to have my antenatal classes there and it was too late to book into any other classes. My midwife seems more interested in making me get a coil fitted than telling me anything that's going on with my baby- every time I've had an appointment I've had to read the notes she's made afterwards- turns out my baby/belly was normal size for 42 weeks at 37, so now I have an enormous bump, I have to give birth in a hospital which through working for the trust I know is stretched way beyond capacity (it's very worrying to be six months pregnant in your hospital's cafe with a group of managers at the next table discussing how bad their maternal death statistics are) and I have had no antenatal classes whatsoever.
I'm just so scared because there seems to be nothing I can do. Any advice? Is it normal to feel this out of control and scared?

metalelephant Tue 13-Sep-11 14:49:32

Expecting to give birth for the first time can be really scary, simply because you have no idea what it will be like! So, yes it's absolutely normal and don't beat yourself up about it!

But it really doesn't have to be a scary experience, try to trust your body that it will know what to do and take nice calm breaths whenever you start feeling stressed... I know that's easier said than done but maintaining your calm is the best way to cope with all the unknowns of labour.

Suggestions:

Can you talk to a different midwife?

It may be too late but could you get a doula? Perhaps if you explain how you feel they might be able to help even though it's a bit late in the day. From what I have read they can make a big difference to a mother's sense of being in control and thus ease labour.

Can you get your hands on some hypnobirthing cds / books etc?

I'm 37 +2 with my second so I really understand how you feel, I'm sure posters with more experience will soon offer advice, good luck happlesshippy!

haplesshippy Tue 13-Sep-11 15:33:20

Thanks, unfortunately with how things are set up in my area, I have no idea which midwife I'm going to see until I'm at the appointment, I don't have an allocated midwife and re doulas: rules within the hospital that I now have to go to are that only one person can be with me during labour and dh definitely wants to be present sad
might try and get my hands on a hypnobirthing cd, its not so much the birth bit that scares me though, I think it's just the overwhelming feeling of being dismissed and forgotten, Its this one midwife that has really got me upset - far more interested in ticking boxes than anything else- she point blank refused to go through my birth plan saying it wasn't her job to discuss it with me - who else's job is it!? angry

californiaburrito Tue 13-Sep-11 15:37:06

I think it's normal to feel scared and out of control, but it also sounds like you've have a bit of a shitty time.

I wouldn't really worry too much about the antenatal class, if you spend a bit more time on MN you see that not many people find them that useful. It is, however, important to know the options you have available to you and to be familiar with the potential interventions that could occur- instrumental delivery, CS that sort of things. You won't really be able to listen when they present you with the form to sign as they are waiting to roll you into theatre. Have you tried writing a birth plan? Not so much for the midwife, but more as an exercise for yourself.

I am a little surprised that 38 weeks the midwife hasn't talked to you about the birth yet and not discussing the fact that you are measuring large for your dates. Hopefully, when the big day comes you'll have a midwife who you have a better relationship with. If not, remember to give yourself time to make decisions- try "do I/we have 10 minutes to think about/discuss this?"

I'm 38w+2 with DC2. I'm hoping for a home birth but if I end up having to transfer to hospital I'll be feeling much like you.

Good luck with everything!

californiaburrito Tue 13-Sep-11 15:47:34

Just seen your last post- I can see why you are worried that you will be dismissed and forgotten, seeing as how you are being dismissed and ignored.

What about DH? Can he be an angry bastard? Sometimes this is just what a labouring woman needs. Do you think he'll be able to fight advocate for you?

Try the hypnobirthing CDs, you can use them to help remind yourself that this is YOUR birth and YOU are in control.

haplesshippy Tue 13-Sep-11 15:49:43

I had my birth plan in my hand at the appointment saying 'this is my birth plan, is it reasonable? Is it possible?' and she just refused to discuss it. I'm trying to put my fear down to me just being unlucky with respect to this particular rubbish midwife (i know that 99.9% of them are utterly amazing and work ridiculously hard) and that everything is actually going to be ok, but as shes not told me anything at all its quite tricky to be positive.

haplesshippy Tue 13-Sep-11 15:52:20

I've never seen my DH angry but hopefully if it comes to protecting me and little one he'll step up hmm

metalelephant Tue 13-Sep-11 16:29:14

I'm sure he will happlesshippy, meanwhile could he possibly come to your next appointment so he can see what you had dealt with?

Best of luck, and wishing you calm and joy - when you hold your baby it will be the best time ever smile

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Tue 13-Sep-11 17:06:28

How come you haven't had classes? Are there none available? I know someone said they are a waste of time but I found them really helpful, just with things like "do I go to hospital as soon as the pain starts or once my waters break? if either" and "can I have a bath after my waters have gone", and about the different types of pain relief.

What about phoning the hospital and saying you haven't had anyone talk to you about this and have so many questions. I am wondering if they might be able to arrange something for you, a chat with someone.

Also I would make a complaint about the midwife.

fruitybread Tue 13-Sep-11 18:06:54

haplesshippy, I'd say you've got 2 separate problems going on here -

One is a normal and reasonable anxiety about approaching birth - the other is scanty care and a bafflingly unsupportive MW.

Of course, the latter is going to make your general anxiety worse.

In all honesty, I don't know that you should be thinking about hypnotherapy at this stage as a way of compensating for the poor care you've had so far. If you want to try it because you think you might find some of it useful at this stage, then fine - but calming breathing isn't something to suggest a substitute for a MW refusing to discuss a birth plan with you.

It depends on what kind of a person you are, and how you like to approach things in general. But at this stage, given you are 38 weeks, you might draw up a plan of action, with your partner, to make sure you get the care and info you want.

I would ring your local hospital, find out who the Consultant or Head MW is, and ask for a meeting or a scheduled phone conversation with her. Tell her through no fault of your own, you have missed antenatal classes - that you want to discuss a birth plan, and your community MW has refused to do this - that you want someone to go through your notes with you, as there is info in them that you find worrying, and no one has discussed it with you. Think about any other info you would like to be talked through, that you haven't had the chance to do so far. As others have said, at 38 weeks, you might well want to ask about pain relief options, when to call the labour ward - even what to pack in an overnight bag.

If your partner can help you be assertive, or be assertive themselves, then great. Assertive doesn't mean rude or stressy! It just means being clear and straightforward, and feeling you are entitled to ask questions that are important to you.

You might ask for a tour of the labour ward (some hospitals do them, I think).

I'd say by all means explore anything you might find personally relaxing - but do this alongside addressing the gaps in your care. You shouldn't be in this position at 38 weeks, but as you are, then you can very reasonably ask for help by going 'up' a level to Head MW.

architien Tue 13-Sep-11 18:17:25

haplesshippy You are not too late to tell them that you do not want a over medicalised birth and want to birth at home. You would get a dedicated qualified midwife throughout active labour who has to listen to you. There have been numerous studies done (one had a sample size of 530,000 women) done which show that for a normal pregnancy it is as safe if not safer (in certain circumstances) to give birth at home with a qualified midwife as long as you are not more than 30 minutes sedate drive to the hospital. I've had both a hospital birth and a home birth so if you would like to chat to me about either experience then PM me. I'm not particularly bias either way I just think each birth and pregnancy needs a different approach and sometimes you can get lost in a system and not get your needs addressed. The most important thing you could do right now is listen to your instincts. If your instincts are that you feel pushed through a process and not at all listened to by your care providers then do what is going to give you the highest chance of being respected as a person and insist that you get your questions answered. If you have to email your Head of Midwifery to get answers. Childbirth is a rite of passage. You come from a long line of ancestors who have birthed successfully, the chances are you've absolutely nothing to worry about. Do you know what position your baby is in on your notes. It helps to know this because you can then make sure you know positions that will help you specifically in birth. I know midwives in hospital often dont have the time. If you want to chat through your birth plan then I'll be happy to be a listening ear.

haplesshippy Tue 13-Sep-11 18:47:52

I haven't had an antenatal class because the birth centre where my antenatal classes were booked in for was shut down with no notice so by that time all the other courses were full and the MW said that as I had read up about birth etc that I didn't need it. I think ringing the hospital would be a good idea as I really don't know when i'm meant to be going in etc, thanks everyone so much you've all been really helpful smile

What a shame for you, this should be such an exciting time!

Its normal of course to have some anxities but your care does not come up to standard. Contact the Supervisor of Midwifes at your hospital, you should be able to get her at the maternity unit during normal working hours. Explain your concerns and tell her that you would like to discuss your birth plan with someone.

You could also try NCT classes or similar for antenatal if you can afford them - am not sure how much these cost though?

Good luck for when your DC arrives smile

woollyjo Tue 13-Sep-11 20:24:38

Your local NCT may run bumps and babes sessions if you can't get on classes and their support workers facillitate them so there will be folk to talk to.

Round us sure start run groups/courses for pg parents I think they are more on parenting than the delivery but not sure.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 14-Sep-11 10:44:02

I would ring your local hospital, find out who the Consultant or Head MW is, and ask for a meeting or a scheduled phone conversation with her. Tell her through no fault of your own, you have missed antenatal classes - that you want to discuss a birth plan, and your community MW has refused to do this - that you want someone to go through your notes with you, as there is info in them that you find worrying, and no one has discussed it with you. Think about any other info you would like to be talked through, that you haven't had the chance to do so far. As others have said, at 38 weeks, you might well want to ask about pain relief options, when to call the labour ward - even what to pack in an overnight bag.

If your partner can help you be assertive, or be assertive themselves, then great. Assertive doesn't mean rude or stressy! It just means being clear and straightforward, and feeling you are entitled to ask questions that are important to you.

You might ask for a tour of the labour ward (some hospitals do them, I think).

I really think she is a good idea.

porcamiseria Wed 14-Sep-11 15:34:40

read CHILDBIRTH WITHOUT FEAR, if you can buy it PM me and I will post you my copy

I cannot tell you how much it helped me with DS2

Its really reassures you that childbirth is a natural procees and it really made me calm down

I am so sorry you have had hospital issues, really. But do read this book as it helped me no end

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

porcamiseria Wed 14-Sep-11 15:35:47

also the midwife you see now very likely wont be the one you have at birth! all mine were lovely and hope yours will be too

whizzyrocket Wed 14-Sep-11 18:11:41

I'm going to be disloyal to the site here and suggest you visit netmums. I've not been to any antenatal classes yet either (will be 33 weeks this week) and haven't been able to book anything before my move but have been recommended the netmums site which lists all antenatal stuff local to you. It seems there's plenty going on beyond NCT that will let you book last minute and is far cheaper than the NCT.

But in any case, your body is an amazing thing and will cope. ...Or at least that's what I keep hearing, so I suppose we both need to learn to trust that.

Good luck!

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