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Anybody recently given birth who was scared....

(21 Posts)
ReadyToPop77 Mon 06-May-13 15:49:53

...& found that it was nowhere near as bad as they thought it was going to be...??? I'm due in just over a week & starting to feel trapped!! I normally manage to get out of situations that scare/worry me (I am susceptible to anxiety & panic attacks) but there is no doubt that in the next three weeks I have to give birth & am basically shitting myself!! I keep visioning my waters breaking in the middle of the night & me going straight into panic mode sad I am so excited to become a mum but literally can't see beyond the birth xx thanks for reading if u got this far xx

catlady1 Mon 06-May-13 16:03:43

Yes smile I had been told to expect the worst pain of my life, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. My labour went on for four days, so I was fed up of it by the end, but I was always expecting it to keep getting worse. I was worried that I would want an epidural (huge fear of the big needle and possible after-effects) but ito never crossed my mind.

I had also convinced myself that I was too unfit and too much of a wuss to push her out and would end up needing forceps/c section etc and with permanent damage - I pushed her out in half an hour, and it felt more like five minutes. My contractions stopped when I was pushing too (although I'm not sure this is the norm) so, although I had to guess when the midwife was telling me to only push when I had a contraction, it was great because I could focus completely on pushing.

Oh and my waters didnt break until about eight hours before DD was born, I was well aware that I was labouring already. And I didn't poo smile that was something that worried me. Although I can honestly say that I wouldn't have cared at the time if I had.

Obviously there are no guarantees but I'm sure it will be fine. Whatever happens, it can't go on forever and you'll be holding your baby at the end of it.

ReadyToPop77 Mon 06-May-13 22:46:40

I've just had to come down from bed cus I can't stop crying. I'm getting myself in such a state & don't want to wake my hubby cus he'll only worry. I have no faith in myself that I can get thru this & worry that itll b so traumatic that it will stay with me forever & cause me anxiety. I've always worried about childbirth & now it's imminent I can't seem to see beyond it or think about anything else sad

MrsHuxtable Mon 06-May-13 23:19:25

Do you think you have enough time to get hold of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth? I found it immensely re-assuring and inspiring.

We are designed to give birth and in my case, even though labour was long and very painful, it was never more than I could cope with. Generally, you don't go from no pain to agony. It builds up slowly and you'll be able to find a rhythm.

What is it that scares you particularly?

ReadyToPop77 Mon 06-May-13 23:25:05

Mainly that I won't be able to handle the pain & start panicking. I think I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I could go into labour at any minute and there is no way out of it. I feel like I should be able to handle this as I'm 36yrs old but I feel like a scared little girl atm.

fanoftheinvisibleman Mon 06-May-13 23:31:06

My experience wasn't recent (ds is 7) but I felt just like you. I'd always been lead to believe I had a low pain threshold having numerous doctors tell me I was a wimp over period pains (I have now been diagnosed with endometriosis). I spent weeks only sleeping in the morning when utterly exhausted as I spent the small hours panicking.

In a strange way I think it made the reality easier. It could never have been as bad as what I imagined. I coped really well and even got all cave woman secretive on the day, knowing I was in labour but quietly keeping it to myself to usher dh off to work. I can't explain it now but my natural coping mechinisms just took over and I wanted space and quiet. I didn't tell him for 6 hours and still made him stay at work another 3 hours!

You'll be fine. There is no point in me telling you not to worry, but just go with the flow on the day. Good luck and enjoy your new born snuggles!

PattieOfurniture Mon 06-May-13 23:54:49

I could of wrote this before I had ds1.
Be prepared, if you fear that your waters will go in bed in the middle of the night (as mine did, twice!) Buy some bedmats to put under the sheet so it doesn't ruin the mattress, have a pair of knickers and super absorbant sanitary towels handy, there is lots and lots and it keeps trickling out after the initial pop too, you will also probably have a few more large gushes.
With labour, it was just like strong period pains that kept getting stronger and each time they did, I thought, this is it, I'm at my limit, I can't take anymore pain, then they did get stronger, and I thought the same, that I was at my limit, but my limit kept expanding iyswim. Before long, contractions eased to nothing as a poster above has said, and the pushing was more to do with effort than pain. Pushing your own baby into the world gives you an amazing feeling of empowerment and achievement and looking back it really isn't as bad as I'd feared it would be and I'm so glad I did it.
But. But if you are that scared then arrange painkillers/epidural op, you don't win any prizes or have a better baby for a drug free birth. They are there to be used if needed and if you feel you need them, then have them!
Good luck op.

chattychattyboomba Tue 07-May-13 00:22:11

Oh OP sad
I feel for you. I am not just saying this but you CAN do it and it really isn't as bad as you might think.
It was 2 years ago for me and the memory is still fresh. To me what i found most scary is the unknown- no one could tell me what it would feel like. After reading mostly things on here it seems everyone's experiences are different but for me it went like this-
Waters broke around same time as first contraction. It was not a pleasant feeling i won't sugarcoat it, but it was manageable. It did not feel like intense period pain. different. To me it felt like - if you have ever woken up with a cramp in your leg? You know what i mean? But in your stomach and coming and going.
The thing that helped me (and this is without reading books etc) was my sister... She said keep your eye on the prize and try to visualise something... I scrapped the visualise part lol! Bit too 'zen' for me...But i got in the bath and laboured at home for about 5 hours and i got into a state where i didn't fight it. I just let the pain come in waves and visualised every contraction pushing my little girl further down into the world. One at a time.
There is always a very short time for everyone where you feel it might be getting too much. This is during transition and you will be reassured to know it means baby is literally about to meet the world. Apart from that moment i never felt i could not handle it. I did think - this sucks big time! But i also felt afterwards- 'wow! So that's what you are capable of?'
another 4 hours later she was here. No drugs no gas and air... All 10.5 lbs of her! This was a successful birth for a mother who was told by her own mother some yucky stories.
I realise it's not always straight forward for others so i don't want to sound insensitive- please other readers if you are reading and thinking I am being unfair, it is only to reassure the OP from a personal stance... but i believe that personally accepting what was happening did attribute to me not freaking out and things progressing smoother.
You will be fine thanks

CalamityJ Tue 07-May-13 01:19:59

I gave birth 10 weeks ago and was absolutely terrified at 3 weeks to go. Even though I knew I'd want pain relief during the actual labour I bought a hypnobirthiing CD to listen to to keep me calm whilst on maternity leave. Listened to it most afternoons when I wanted a nap and whilst I only listened to 2 minutes of it when I went into labour it kept me calm in the run up to it. Once my waters broke I became quite rational and calm; you just go into nature mode and get on with it. Yes it did hurt but here I am, here my DD is and there you go! It's a moment in time, a means to an end and you will get through it!

ChangeNameToday Tue 07-May-13 03:04:39

Catlady, I hope you're not suggesting that people who have instrumental deliveries (forceps etc) end up in that position because they were "a wuss".

forgetmenots Tue 07-May-13 07:15:27

She wasn't Changename. Certainly not how I read it. She was worried she would be too much of a wuss to push. That would be one reason for needing an intervention, please for the love of all that's good let's not derail this topic... I'm finding it very positive, thanks OP for starting it. Hope it is helping you.

Going to buy the Ina may book...

Salbertina Tue 07-May-13 07:19:00

Ready- how you feel is perfectly natural and understandable. Just trust in yr body and professional support to get you through, you will!

UnrequitedSkink Tue 07-May-13 07:30:02

I second both Ina May's book and getting hold of a hypnobirth cd asap. They convinced me that giving birth is what the female body is designed for. When I went into labour the fear disappeared and nature just took over iyswim. It was painful, but totally manageable. The hypnobirthing theory is that fear is what will make labour longer and more painful, so if you go into it feeling prepared and accepting then it will be quicker and easier.

AntsMarching Tue 07-May-13 07:34:21

Ready I was terrified before I had dd1. It's the unknown quantity that is so scary.

How much will it hurt? How much can I take? What will it feel like?

Everyone is different though. For me, it was a slow build of pain, that got intense about an hour before I started pushing. Until that hour, I felt very in control and was able to deal with the pain. When it got really intense, I started to panic. Luckily, I had a great midwife who got my attention and helped me not to succumb top the fear/panic.

It's very important to not let the panic take over. My midwife was stern and that snapped me back into focusing on what I was doing, e.g. Controlling my breath.

Controlling my breathing was how I kept the panic at bay. It made me feel in charge.

Think about who you are and how you deal with fear/handle pain. If you know that something works for you, then focus on doing that while you are in labour. I had always loved yoga, so I concentrated on breathing like I would when I was doing yoga and it really worked for me.

And take the drugs if you want them.

Good luck.

ReadyToPop77 Tue 07-May-13 08:35:06

Thanks for all ur comments smile it's so reassuring to know that there are people out there who have felt the same. I managed to at least get some sleep & feel a bit better this morning. For some strange reason, everything always seems worse at night sad
I have the Effective Birth Prep cd & book so I think I'll get some intensive studying in & try to take control of my panicking.
Once again, thanku all for taking the time to read & comment. U don't know how much I appreciate it thanks xx

marshkat Tue 07-May-13 08:54:30

My little one is 5 weeks old, so all still very fresh in my mind!! I felt that the contractions were not too bad pain wise as there is a build up, then big pain then a come down all in small space of time, they hurt but were bareable. The pushing for me was the worst bit as im sure it is for many, but by this stage you are so excited to meet you baby that its not that bad!!! You will be amazed at your self and very proud, but all this rubbish about forgetting the pain and discomfort after is not true!! I planned to listen to nice calm music but ended up putting late night love on and 80s classics and this made me laugth alot of the time, labour is actually quite a funny experience so enjoy the funny moments and just be brave through the pain and you will meet your beautiful baby!! xxx

RooneyMara Tue 07-May-13 09:09:11

I think what really helped me was having an epidural. I had to insist, they kept fobbing me off, but I got one in the end and it massively took away the fear.

I've done it three times now, wasn't afraid the first time (no precedent!) and had an epi for that, it was fine - and the second time I did it at home with nothing, which really hurt - and so I was actually afraid the third time. But I went into hospital and asked for an epidural.

I think they were a bit wierded out that I'd already had a home birth and wanted the drugs again smile

Good luck x

codswallopandchips Tue 07-May-13 09:11:29

Thing is, if it's your first, you've never experienced it and all you know is what people tell you - which is it's going to hurt like nothing on earth. Such a bad message to give, and actually, not really true.

Your body knows what to do, and I'm also a big fan of the medical profession - they're there to help you. If you need an epidural, so what? Main thing is that you get a baby at the end of it. Two hours after that baby's in your arms, the pain will be the last thing on your mind smile

It does hurt a bit, but not in the same way that, toothache, for example hurts - it's a good pain, iyswim? You know that each contraction is bringing you closer to your baby, and your body is pumping out all sorts of happy hormones to get you through. It doesn't last forever. You can do this! You really can. And when you do, you'll be amazed at what you've done.

Surfybridge Tue 07-May-13 09:19:55

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better this morning smile It's totally normal to be worried about something you've never done & which is often portrayed as being horrendous!

I always thought I would spent the entire pregnancy panicking about the birth so DH and I did a hypnobirthing course which helped massively so I would definitely recommend the cd. If you can get it cheap (?eBay?) Marie Mongan's hypnobirthing book has some really nice comforting chapters as well as relaxation techniques.

On the day your body will take over - it's quite incredible! You are not being a wuss to use as much pain relief as you think you need, that's what it's there for after all. Every woman and baby are different so will find they need different things to help them. I just decided I would ramp up the pain relief as I needed it - started with TENS & paracetamol, then went to gas & air. Did ask for epidural at one point but when they examined me I was 10cm so decided not to bother at that point! I actually found the end of the first stage more uncomfortable than the pushing - the pushing was just bloody hard work!
Good luck with it all and just try to look forward to meeting your beautiful baby - that really does make it all worth it!

catlady1 Tue 07-May-13 12:37:41

Sorry I've only just seen your comment Changename - not at all, I just worried that pushing my baby out would hurt too much and I wouldnt be able to push through the pain, and therefore would need intervention. Of course nobody wants or deserves an instrumental delivery, they become necessary for all kinds of reasons and, having given birth now I can't imagine that anyone would sooner have one than push their baby out if it's possible for them to.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 07-May-13 13:13:20

Bless you OP. It's easier said than done but please try not to worry. The more anxious you are the worse it will be.

It really isn't that bad, I've had two and would do any number of labours over again (its the 9 months slog of pregnancy I can't stand!)

The trick is to go with the flow and let it happen. "You" don't have to do it. Your body does it. Sit back and let it unfold.

If it gets too painful to handle there are very very good drugs. So there is nothing to be scared of.

The really daunting bit is what happens once the baby is here for the next 18 years, but that's another story, ha ha!

Best of luck. It's a big unknown so bound to be nervewracking, but you'll be fine and it will be the biggest experience of your life and one that you are most proud of.

grin flowers

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