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Please help me, so frightened about childbirth!(9 Posts)
I'm 32 weeks and had an appointment today with obstetrician about ELCS as I have ME and ongoing kidney problems. I was basically told to get on with it and that these were not serious conditions which would affect labour and childbirth. I was also told scare stories about ELCS and felt like I was being made out to e a fraud. I've spent most of the afternoon cuddled up to DD crying my eyes out as I am terrified about what will happen to me. I'm so scared that I can't do it and that i won't cope and then won't be taken seriously. Reassurance and advice desperately needed please...
I'm 38 weeks and was incredibly scared just a couple of weeks ago. What helped me was listening to natal hypnotherapy, and reading positive birth stories and books about natural childbirth. We are conditioned our whole lives (from everything people tell us) that childbirth is incredibly painful, and therefore it is bound to be frightening. But remember that it is not painful or everybody, there is a lot you can do to reduce the pain and the fear, (not least the range of pain relief available if you choose it), and that midwives help people on a daily basis who are just as frightened and they all get through it just fine. Have you been to antenatal classes?
Thank you for your advice, my antenatal class is not until I'm 36 weeks so another 4 weeks away yet. I am seeing my midwife again next week though. Will definitely try some of those books and go from there. I'm just so frightened of not coping and then not being taken seriously. DH is trying his best but he doesn't really understand.
Fact No 1: Whilst an ELCS IS major surgery, it is also generally regarded as 'safe'. In fact NICE looked at the evidence and said that maternal requests should be respected as comparatively a planned ELCS was no more risky than a planned VB (which includes the risks of a EMCS and an instrumental VB). There are slight flaws with their conclusions; namely this data was based on first time mothers only and does not reflect any additional risks from subsequent ELCS (the risks increase with each subsequent CS and decrease with subsequent VBs). It is therefore pretty morally reprehensible and unethical to try and talk you out of an ELCS by saying it is unsafe. There may be reasons why in the next few weeks you might be diagnosed with a physical complication which necessitates an ELCS. They should be giving you accurate information not scaremongering - there are plenty of other ways to talk to you about the benefits of a VB without doing this.
Fact No 2: Are your reasons for wanting an ELCS down to your physical problems or do you have an underlying anxiety about the whole process too? Mental Health concerns ARE a legitimate reason and medical reason to have an ELCS. The NICE guidance was updated in 2011 to reflect this, and to recognise support women suffering from anxiety and help them get an ELCS should they need one due to a disparity of care throughout the country with some NHS Trust being more proactive about mental health than other. This, however, is extremely controversial guidance and some Trusts are actively ignoring this and have policies in direct conflict with the guidance.
I don't know your circumstances, nor do I know if there is any medical reason with your complications which may mean an ELCS is more risky for you. I do however find the way you have been treated as pretty shameful. Maternal requests are generally not done because someone is being pathetic. They are made because a woman has very real concerns and needs reassurance and support. They should be treated with sensitivity and respect - even if the message is not to have an ELCS. Any concerns should be taken seriously not treated with contempt. In short, your consultant is a dick!
If treated right there are many women who will respond positivity to this support and feel able to go ahead and have a VB. Hopefully, you will have someone who can offer you some support. Otherwise, if you really do want an ELCS and your fears are somewhat deeper, I would take a good look at the NICE guidance on the subject. There is no 'right' way to deal with this - only to give support that is appropriate for each individual woman. There is a definite 'wrong' way to do this though. I think it was demonstrated perfectly by your consultant.
You are in no way being silly, so don't let this idiot get to you. Your fears are real to you, and that is actually the important thing to realise. You are more normal than people often realise. You just need to find the right way for you to progress through it.
Oh OP it's normal to feel fearful considering all the bad press child birth gets and everyone seems to want to tell you horror stories. But it's not too bad, I'm crap with pain and really found pregnancy hard going but my labour was only 4 hours with no pain killers. Don't get me wrong it did hurt but it's pain for purpose, I felt powerful and so proud afterwards. Your body made this baby and your body can get your baby out safely.
Try yoga, meditation and Hypnobirthing I'd also really recommend
Ina May Gaskin - Guide to child birth. It's full of positive stories.
Good luck and try to looks past the birth process. This baby will come out and you will be ok. Try to focus on the prize and how mazing it's going to be when you meet your little bundle.
Just wanted to add in my experience - I have ME (mild, work part time 0.8 as a teacher, condition manageable these days but did part time Uni etc when it was bad) and I was worried about giving birth with having ME and lack of energy etc. I was actually ok - it was a long initial stage of labour then things progressed quickly after 6cm but my body managed and coped pretty well. Hope this reassures you a bit - feel free to ask any other Qs you have xx
You need to speak to someone that you feel comfortable with that you let out all of your fears with and they will listen and hopefully work through the issues you're facing. Have you thought about hiring a doula of doing a hypno birthing course?
For what it's worth my last ELCS was a very calm and positive experience and I'd be happy to have another one if I fall pregnant with no. 3.
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