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Facing Fears

(21 Posts)
glitternanny Sat 24-Sep-11 22:43:20

i did my natal hypnotherapy cd tonight but didn't feel it worked too well so decided to do some cbt on my fears re: labour.

Thought I'd share cos I'm hoping I'm not the only one feeling scared.

My fears include:
Panic attack in labour
Not being able to cope
Not coping with the pain
Having unsympathetic mw
Lack of continuity of care in hospital
Hospital being over-stretched (being sent elsewhere) being left alone for ages
Something going wrong
Tearing/being cut

The list goes on... sad

I'm trying to work through them 1-by-1 and challenge them buy just found myself getting more scared and upset.

sigh I know I need to do this though to give myself a fighting chance of not falling apart.

RitaMorgan Sat 24-Sep-11 22:45:32

A lot of your fears seem to be around having a hospital birth - have you considered a home birth at all? You might feel better able to cope in your own space with 1:1 care.

reallytired Sat 24-Sep-11 22:48:09

How many weeks pregnant are you? I think the natal hypnotheraphy CD is a good idea, but you need to play it every day for a couple of weeks to get an effect. It might be worth you doing a course if you can afford it.

I found hynotheraphy very good for managing pain, although I think it sounds like you need more than the CDs.

carpwidow Sat 24-Sep-11 22:52:06

All your fears are perfectly natural - I was terrified the whole time I was pregnant. I was such a whoose I needed gas, air, pethadine and an epidural - and that was just for the 12 week scan grin. If I could do it girl, anyone can.

piprabbit Sat 24-Sep-11 22:57:32

Sorry to hear you are feeling scared and upset.

Can you talk to your birth partner about your concerns?

Can you ask yourself, what will happen if <your concern> comes true? And then try and work out the logical outcomes?

E.g. You are worried about not coping with pain. Have you researched alternative forms of pain relief and got your own ideas about what you would or would not like to try. You are allowed to change your mind about pain relief at any stage - and nobody will judge you for it.

E.g. You are worried about tearing/being cut. What is it about this that worries you? If you tear or are cut, then the baby will be arriving very very soon and the medical staff will soon be able to treat you if you need it. If you tear you may not even be aware of it until later.

E.g. Lack of continuity of care - this is definitely one to share with your birth partner. A birth partner who is prepared and able to be your voice and support you, will really help both you and the MWs handle any transition from one MW to another.

Sorry I can't be more specific - I do think that informing myself and planning what I would like to happen in different situations helped me feel prepared and gave me a degree of control.

pinkyp Sat 24-Sep-11 23:01:08

They were all my fears too but I had more (I'm not saying coz I don't want you ending up with more). Trust me you can do this, step by step. Right a birth plan make it clear what you do/don't want. This might help you feel better about things (it did me(

queenrollo Sat 24-Sep-11 23:17:09

i suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I was terrified that the minute i realised i was in labour i would have a panic attack and lose control. What actually happened was that i experienced the greatest calm i've ever felt. I can't explain it but of the 8 hours of established labour i can actually only remember and describe about an hour of it. It was like i went into some sort of trance.

I had to be cut too, and tearing/being cut was a fear of mine. I can remember that, and when they told me what they needed to do I was totally calm about that too.

Looking back, I think the fear and anticipation was all about the unknown. When it actually happened my body, brain and subconcious took over and just dealt with the reality that it was actually happening.

(i did the first four hours with no pain relief, the last four with just gas and air)

I hope this will give you some reassurance, that when the time comes your body and brain will help you to deal with it.

piprabbit Sun 25-Sep-11 00:22:57

Great post queenrollo - I've often mentioned that I felt a huge sense of serenity during my first birth (and it was quite medicalised, but I still felt serene). I also felt very powerful. I think it was connected with the realisation that my baby needed me <slightly fierce and very determined mummy tiger emoticon> and this wasn't primarily about me at all.

glitternanny Sun 25-Sep-11 09:04:24

Thank you everyone for your replies and support - its nice to know I've somewhere to go to find people to understand

rita we wouldn't feel comfortably with a home birth for bubba number one - maybe next time - but I totally get what you're saying - that would guaruntee 1-2-1 care and a midwife's attention.

reallytired I'm 32 weeks at the moment, I will be having a scan at 34 weeks to see where the placenta is as there's a possibility it hasn't moved and I'll be up for a CS (another set of fears!) - so I've not booked a course or anything although did consider it firstly because we didn't have the money and now we could find the money I don't want to spend £200 on a course I wont use to full effect if I end up wiith a planned CS.

carpwidow thank you - you made me giggle on the inside!!

piprabbit I will talk to him - I thought it'd be best to do these thought charts while he was at work last night but maybe that wasn't right. I want him to know all my triggers and fears and look out for me - I don't want him to think I'm a complete nutcase though. I'm POSTIVIE it wont be as bad as my worst case scenario and you are completely right even if I do freak out its not the end of the world, I hadn't considered that. I wont see these people again!
I have looked into painrelief and I'm not ruling anything out and my plan (when I write it after my scan) will say that. I'd like to avoid an epidural (I don't think my local hospital offers the mobile ones and being trapped on a bed doesn't really work with the bigger picture) but if I need on I'll have it.
The tearing/cutting thing is down to recovery and stitches, my SIL got stitched up wrong TWICE and is having major problems.

I am fully aware (I think) of things that are in my control (pain relief plans) and out of my control (how busy the ward is, what actually happens in labour) I think that's something I need to remind myself of.

queenrollo thank you for sharing your story - did your midwife or care team do anything to help your fears? I kinda feel mine (i've not seen the same one yet) are being dismissive - I asked at my last appointment about sedative options - i.e. i'm prescribed valium but I know I can't take that in labour) and she said I don't know - we'd have to ask a doctor in the ward - well actually NO I'd like to find out NOW so its in my birth plan so these things are planned and on standby IF I want them rather than waiting to see a doctor and him check and sign the drugs out....
Your definately right - it is the fear of the unknown, and apart from my OH there isn't anyone else I feel I can really talk to about all this stuff...

THANK YOU all once again for taking the time to post - I really appreciate it so much.


I'd LOVE a really calm and serene birth and to come back here once its done and say - ladies I was stressing about nothing!

RitaMorgan Sun 25-Sep-11 09:19:54

I think beforehand, all you can see is the whole thing - once you're actually in labour, it's much easier just to concentrate on what is happening right now, getting through the current contraction, that I didn't have time to worry about the what ifs, will I tear, will I cope later etc.

Ushy Sun 25-Sep-11 10:12:40

gitternanny I had an epidural right at the beginning of labour for one baby and actually got a bit bored so DH went and got me a newspaper! ( I was not in any pain and just perched there waiting for the baby to pop out for several hours got a bit like waiting for a bus.) I had nearly finished the crossword when I had to sit upright for DS to fly down the exit chute! Have tried birth other ways but that one was the best despite the boredom because I was not in any pain at all and I actually could see the baby being born. Epidurals are slightly protective against severe tears which are the really dodgy ones - most women get minor tears but they are nothing much so it is good to keep an open mind about pain relief even if you plan to go without. Good luck!

cravingcake Sun 25-Sep-11 13:24:50

Hi Glitternanny

Your list of fears is almost identical to mine so I'm glad I found this thread. I too have a scan next week (34 weeks) to see if my placenta has moved and I am waiting for that before I start doing the hypnosis cd in case I end up with a planned c section.

I will defintely be following some of the above advice and I think if you can have as much information beforehand then this will help you feel in control.

CailinDana Sun 25-Sep-11 16:47:42

I agree with the others who said that you don't think very much when you're in labour - you just don't have the brain space for it! Your worries sound completely normal and I had all the same ones but when it came to it I don't think a single one entered my head. I was just completely focused on the contractions and getting the baby out safely. Good luck!

fraktious Sun 25-Sep-11 17:08:00

Glitter if they won't talk sedation options at your next appointment demand an appointment with perinatal psych. Your trust should have a consultant to deal with perinatal mental health. Alternatively if they still block you go via your GP.

PM me if you want. You know I'm here smile

queenrollo Mon 26-Sep-11 09:30:12

glitter - no they didn't. I only saw the same midwife twice because I presented at A&E at 5 months in pain (was fine, but first time mum so i was worried) I was stunned at how little ante-natal care I actually got. Any fears expressed were dealt with by a metaphorical pat on the head hmm

As for the cutting/stitching - it really was fine. I can actually remember it vividly, and it's not putting me off TTC no2. Afterwards it was uncomfortable for a few weeks - but certainly not painful, and didn't impact my daily life. I was stitched by a consultant and not a midwife though. Maybe you should include this request in your birth plan and talk it through with them.

Milliebow Mon 26-Sep-11 09:43:30

Hi glitter. Just a pointer from another angle on the diazepam/sedation. Are you midwife or consultant lead? Not sure midwife would be aware of what to do with your request. Could be better to ask for consultant obstetrician appointment to discuss/document management of your anxiety whilst in hospital. Ward doc could then px as per agreed with consultant when you actually go in. If no go then as fraktious says perinatal psych.

Your fears sound a lot like mine. It's more the fear of the fear with me. I know really I'll just get on with it when it comes. Panic attack is a big fear. Been reading natal hypnotherapy book and listening to cd by Maggie Howell. Doing the fear release stuff in the book helped and also talking about it with my DH and working through cbt approach with him has helped a lot. Knowing that he knows my fears and will be looking out for me helps as we do have techniques he knows to help me with a panic attack.

Good luck.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Mon 26-Sep-11 13:44:22

reading ina may gaskin's guide to childbirth might help reassure you about your (and your body's) capabilities. smile

Tempingmaniac Mon 26-Sep-11 13:54:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maggiebhowell Mon 26-Sep-11 22:35:26

Glitternanny- I so completely understand your fears and hope to reassure you that so many women have similar fears. On our workshops we do an excercise to identify fears and the ones you have come up so many times.

As reallytired mentions, the cd is designed to be listened to several times for the fears to begin to diminish - to talk it a step further there are more active "fear letting go" excercies you can do as Milliebow mentioned.

Simply by putting this post up you have taken an active step to overcome those fears. As with everything in life - if there is something you can do to change the fear NOW then do it and if there is nothing you can do it about it now then just "Let it go"

BeautifulBirths Mon 26-Sep-11 23:30:29

Some of those fears can be alleviated by continuity of carer from a midwife youtrust. HAve you thought of an independent midwife? WHich area are you in and i can point you in the right direction. Or look at independnet midwives uk site. Please dont be put off by price. We all aork payment plans to suit you to ensure you get the care you need. Good luck

glitternanny Sat 01-Oct-11 13:07:04

sorry i've had a busy week at work

fraktious - I've found out about one drug my friend had on standby if she needed it so hopefully I can mention that

its really starting to freak me out now - I was a complete state several times this week over it - maybe if I remind my MW this they MAY refer me onwards... but I doubt it.

Milliebow i'm MW led - there's never been any talk of anything else which I find surprising given my history of mental health (rather than physical) but its still a big journey

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh thank you - i'm hunting for the book on eBay and hopefully will be lucky before long - might try my local library in the meantime.

Tempingmaniac thank you - I know they're rare - just again the unknown and I think like someone else suggested I'll request a DR to do the stitching not a MW.

maggiebhowell thank you - I do enjoy the CDs - the first time I did this on I was like WOW - I can have this baby now and it'll be magically but I haven't managed to get 'there' on subsequent tries. Though I do go into it with an open mind maybe subconcious doubts are clouding my reception to it. Im sure i'm not alone in my fears but I do feel like a fruit cake and the only one to take it this far at times sad

I will do the letting go exercises, I'm going to do CBT on my fears too, and have been writing the fear on post-stick notes to enjoy throwing away/burning!

BeautifulBirths thank you - yes I did until I saw the cost - likewise with a homebirth or Doula - just not in our finances unfortunately sad

I'm sure like everyone says once the time comes I'll be so consumed with what's going on I wont get into the state I am at the moment when looking at the bigger picture....

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