Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.
Anyone else petrified of childbirth???(31 Posts)
My husband and I have decided we have been married long enough now to remember what life was like when it was just us and feel capable of our ability to unite against the common enemy of children so we have ramped up the naughtiness in hope of a delivery from the proverbial stork. We are trying for our first baby ;o)
The thing is, whenever I think of babies I think of child birth and I actually want to vomit it scares me that much. The thought of all that pain makes me want to cry and whenever my mum talks about being there for the birth (I don't particularly relish the idea of a birthing partner) I get visions of being on a bed I can't get off of, in a room where I can't leave and it's filled with people peering quite openly into my foofoo. But I have no idea whether my fears are justified and I want to know if a) it's acceptable to tell everyone who doesn't have a medical degree to piss off out of my space and b) does it really hurt that bad?
Oh and also is it ok nowadays for the husband not to be there at the birth? He doesn't like blood to the point where when I sliced my arm open on a tin can (quite badly actually) I had to administer my own first aid and call an ambulance for him as he cracked his head open on the coffee table when he fainted, he tends to try and hide his uncomfortable feelings with humour even though he is seriously NOT funny and gets really irritating when he can't control everything that's going on around him by trying to be useful (poor man). All of which are traits I can't imagine being very conducive to a peaceful(ish) labour.
What about reading a book on Hypnobirthing? It's not really hypnosis as such, just getting you into a calm and relaxed state so that you don't fear the birth.
Worth a try - I am pregnant with my 2nd and it's really helped so far. I read the Marie Mongan one but there are loads out there.
Sounds like you need a doula, or at least an independent person who won't freak out, who understands the process and who'll respect your wishes.
There is also a lot of help out there.
It might be worth a trip to your GP who might be able to refer you to someone who can help work things through.
If you do get pg then mention it at your first appointment and they will be able to help you.
And I know this isn't a solution but remember its only a day (or two). I say that as someone who is pg with dc2 and petrified of birth. The pregnancy hasn't been easy but I remind myself that labour is a means to an end and only a day.
It's perfectly acceptable not to have your partner there.
It's fine to tell your mum that she won't be your birth partner.
There is usually one midwife with you (and that's often between 2-3 women if the labour ward is busy) for labour and two at the actual birth.
No-one can examine you without your consent. Think about a water birth perhaps (good for pain and privacy) or a homebirth - found to be safe, and you're in your own space.
YY to the suggestion of a doula too.
I've also been cared for by a one to one midwife team so I will know the midwife who will come into hospital with Me. There are options out there, don't let it stop your dream
I agree that hypnobirthing could really help. I had a horrible first birth and am now 36 weeks with DC2 and have started a short course. I don't know if it will help during labour yet but it certainly is keeping me calm prior to the birth.
I also agree with the suggestion of doula or private midwife. I had a private midwife for my first birth and felt more comfortable with her because I had got to know her over a period of a month or two beforehand.
Its definitely fine for your husband not to be there and its more than fine for you to tell your mum you don't want her there!! Can't think of anything worse personally. Although don't write your husband off just yet. Mine is the same - incredibly squeamish - but was amazing when D Day arrived. My birth was long and traumatic and I couldn't have done it without him. He totally stepped up on the day and was really supportive. But plan on another birth partner just in case. Then you can both make a decision nearer the time.
It is your birth so you can call the shots. And write it all down in a birth plan so everyone around you knows what your wishes are. Obviously they don't all go to plan but its a starting point.
And yes of course it hurts, but it is worth it and you do forget the pain pretty much as soon as the baby is out!
It's hard to imagine what giving birth is like before it actually happens. Talking to a few people about it, it seems to be a common thing to sort of "tune out" when you're in labour so that things that would normally bother you, like being naked or having people look at your bits, don't even register. You're in a totally different frame of mind, partly due to the pain (which is bad, I won't lie) and partly due to the hormones and the fact that you're desperate to get the baby out. It is a tough process, definitely, but your body and mind sort of go into a different zone and just get on with it.
All the things you're hoping for are reasonable - it's perfectly ok not to have your DH there, although on the day you might find he steps up and surprises you. As for being strapped to a bed, there wasn't even a bed in the room I gave birth in! I did have a bed in the end as I was exhausted but up until that point I walked around, knelt by the birthing couch, sat on the floor etc.
Labour is scary, definitely, but it is beyond worth it. It's hard to focus on anything else when you're pregnant but most women find that once it's done and dusted it pales into insignificance - it's just one day in the start of a (hopefully) long journey of being a parent
I had a waterbirth in a midwifery led unit last week. We were left alone most of the time and i laboured at my own pace with no intervention, no examinations and no pressure to do anything. I felt 100% in control and had an amazing experience - really quite different to my first birth on a consultant led delivery suite. DP was with me, when you are in the thick of it you may just want his reassurance but its up to you who is there during your labour - its your experience.
Do you have a midwifery led unit available at a local hospital? You could go and have a look around and speak to the midwives about your concerns?
Labour is just a tiny bit about being a parent - i had DS 9 days ago and i can honestly say i have already forgotten the pain and only remember the twinkly lovely moments. The hardest bit is when they give you the baby and you have to leave the hospital
Thanks for the advice girls ;o)
I didn't even know you could have any of the things you guys have mentioned here. I am definitely going to be looking into visiting the local hospital.
I feel like such a wuss sometimes when I think about 'that day' but I know that it will be worth it afterwards.
I like the idea of walking around doing my own thing (I sound really anti social don't I lol) and will definitely explore home/water birth, yet another thing I had no idea was available to me as it will be my first.
I think employing a Doula and taking a hypnobirthing course would really help you, work through your fears and learn how to deal with labour and. Birth calmly and with no fear. X
"But I have no idea whether my fears are justified and I want to know if a) it's acceptable to tell everyone who doesn't have a medical degree to piss off out of my space and b) does it really hurt that bad? "
Yes to number one, and for a lot of women - unless they are incredibly lucky or don't have effective pain relief, yes to number 2.
Having given birth on a few occasions I don't think you are a wuss - exactly the opposite. You are being cautious and quite right.
It is natural for people who have had good experiences with homebirths or doulas or hypnobirthing to post positive messages and it is kind of them and well intentioned. I just have an uneasiness about it. You can't control childbirth and you can't be certain your experience will be the same.
Yes, plan for an 'active birth' but it might get horribly painful so don't be put off by the scaremongering about epidurals and caesareans. If you would rather they went for an earlier caesarean if things go pear shaped rather than hang on for several days in labour, make sure that's in your notes and it is good to have an advocate and pre plan what you want.
Personal tip - if you develop any complications during pregnancy and get jollied along with 'we've had thousands of women with xyz (12lb baby lying horizontally in a wooden deckchair) who gave birth with no problems' don't believe them. Go and have a consultation with a private obstetrician outside the NHS to get the full low down on exactly what your risks are. IMO the NHS is interested in getting its caesarean section rate down rather more than protecting your pelvic floor from serious injury.
As for partner, what about having him there for labour but pop out for the birth?
Good luck and I hope I haven't made you more worried. I just think it is better to go in thinking well, it might go wrong, but I have plan B. Hopefully it then shouldn't be traumatic. But remember, for over 60% of women it is perfectly straightforward.
I was before I had dd in Sep 2012. I actually enjoyed it. I found it very empowering.
Also look up Lazy Daisy Birthing Classes.
Using Breathing, Movement and Relaxation alongside self hypnosis and Birth education, you get to feel in control of your body during pregnancy and prepare for Birth.
Great classes and I have a lady in mine who was terrified of giving birth and honestly has relaxed so much and trusts in her bodies abilities.
Best of luck to you op. You are not alone in feeling this way. I wish you the calmest of journeys.
Your going into battle and you need to arm yourself with as much information as you can.
yes you get the baby at the end but womens labours CAN leave them scarred for years physically and emotionally and mentally.
If your the kind of person who doesnt want info or gory facts - then dont look into it or ask around. If you like to know what might happen - etc then arm yourself with info, this is down to - if you decide to have an epidural MAKE SURE the actual hospital will allow that and not put you off. etc etc etc etc...
Yes I too am terrified!!! Not even pregnant either so just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I started my own thread on this before finding yours so found some useful info here.
You don't have to have pain! Epidural, c section etc. No-one gives you a medal for bravery - take the drugs, it doesn't have to hurt!
Youll be terrified before, and feel like a complete warrior afterwards!
Maybe a ELCS might suit you and your DH better. No pain, no (visable) blood, nice and calm. Never really fancied the whole VB thing myself so opted to have both mine by ELCS fabulous experiences
The fear of it is the worst part. When it actually happens shut your brain down and go with it. It isn't that bad. Folks wouldn't have more than one if it was
And as for foofoo inspections you can either refuse them or suck on gas n air and pretend the outside world doesn't exist for a while. Its just you in your body getting on with the job in hand.
Yes and this is my second time. I actually think the fear can be worse second time round because you are less naive about the process - you know there really is something to fear! First time, I think my ignorance prevented me from worrying too much.
I may be wrong but aren't you entitled to elect for a C section if you have a genuine fear of childbirth? Might be worth chatting to your GP sooner rather than later about this. Don't let the fear get the better of you though. The end result is well worth it.
However awful you think it will be, it won't be that bad. And however bad it is on the day, you'll forget it straight away. It's hard work rather than awfully painful - have you ever walked up a mountain and really wanted to not carry on, but you did and you got to the top? It's the same - it tests you but you won't be sorry you did it. Another analogy is to think about your wedding day - is the day itself what you wanted or is it the marriage that came from it? If it's the latter, then childbirth will take its place in your life as a day that signalled the start if something wonderful and new.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.