Labour - worried I won't be able to cope :((24 Posts)
I am currently 40+3, having sweep tomorrow and booked in for induction (if nothing else happens in the meantime) for 3rd May.
Everyone around me is getting really impatient, especially hubby who is completely beside himself with excitement. Me on the other hand - I am relieved it hasn't happened yet. I do not feel ready for this.
I like to make lists....The following is my list of things I am dreading right now:
not being able to have the water birth I so badly want
the pain in general
c-section if needed
being alone in hospital (I may work in one, but I am the world's worst patient if I am alone. Hubby can stay if I get a home from home suite but if I need induced then that can't happen)
I vehemently do not want an epidural and also have a latex allergy so getting one will be tricky regardless as its a latex tube that is used. I also have a fear of cannulas (strange I know but it goes back to an incident when I was a child) so ideally I would like a water birth using gas and air only.
I am looking forward to my little baby boy arriving into the world, I just want to wake up tomorrow morning and he be here, with me having slept through it all....
Any words of wisdom? Hubby keeps telling me I can do it, but I really don't have any confidence in this. Last year I ran Belfast City Marathon without any training so he keeps saying I could do that, I could do anything but running has no bearing on pushing a baby out of your vajayjay!!!!
In the nicest possible way, your little boy is coming out one way or another and you WILL cope.
The birth might not go to plan so please try to be open minded and focus instead on the end result. Convey your fears to your midwife and DP and make sure your DP is very clear on your wishes in case you aren't in a position to get them across yourself.
Very few people enjoy labour but it's only a tiny part of becoming a parent and it honestly might not be as bad as you fear. My birth plan went right out of the window when I went two weeks overdue and had to be induced! - I was dreading so much and was devastated I didn't get to try a water birth but it did help to try and just accept what I had no control over. There is no right or wrong way to give birth and it's so easy to put pressure on yourself for it to go a certain way but what will be will be.
Being overdue is horrible and you have all my sympathy, it's like an anticlimactic moment going passed your due date and your pregnancy becomes even more of a spectator sport!
It's perfectly understandable to be feeling like you do though. Be kind to yourself. As for the marathon, sounds like you are a strong, healthy, motivated lady with great stamina which all put you in good stead.
Good luck and congratulations on your imminent son!
What is it that you're dreading about the things in your list?
Based on my experience only (obv everyone is different, 2 births, both gas & air, one induction):
waters breaking - this doesn't hurt. It's a weird popping sensation, and then obv waters...
contractions - yes, it's going to hurt, but you get a break between contractions and they don't hurt like hell for the whole contraction, and they tend to build up quite slowly at first. Gas & air really helped me deal with them, possibly mainly placebo as you've at least got something to do during them, not sure.
crowning - not going to lie. This is
fucking sore, but it's also the absolutely last bit and means that you're about to finish the whole thing. Nothing like as sore as running a marathon imo! You also are pretty much pain free after the baby is born. It's like some miracle
needing induced - results may vary, but my induction was a piece of piss. It can work out well. With ds2 I was resigned to being induced but went into labour naturally the night before, so it's not a done deal until it happens anyway.
tomorrow's sweep - you don't have to have one if you don't want to. There is pretty much no evidence that they work.
not being able to have the water birth I so badly want - sorry, I didn't get this either as the pool was in use both times. Still had 2 good births though.
the pain in general - it usually builds up. You're not in pain for the whole time.
c-section if needed - no experience, but know lots of people who had a good c-section.
being alone in hospital (I may work in one, but I am the world's worst patient if I am alone. Hubby can stay if I get a home from home suite but if I need induced then that can't happen) - hopefully you will get discharged quickly, potentially within 12 hours if all is well. I found things much easier to manage at home with dh's support.
the aftermath - well yes, the birth is just the start and postnatal stuff can be hard. Having a newborn is amazing though. Just Amazing. Take help where you can get it, tell people if you're finding it tough, don't suffer in silence because you think you should be coping.
Allstoppedup - thank you
I know I just need to keep it all in perspective, it's just so scary! I've been jokingly comparing pregnancy to getting your head caught between bars - there's only one way out now! Lol
Hopefully can pull on some well hidden reserves to get me through it all. It's just so daunting, and like you said, it's so anticlimatic now I've passed my due date. I just feel like I don't know anything and that it's just something I won't have to face now, iykwim!
Have you discussed these fears with your midwife? Fear is your enemy here, and could turn into a self fulfilling prophecy if you let it get to you too much.
For the record, I was induced with my first. I was terrified of having an epidural and wasn't having one. It was on my birth plan , no epidural. I had one. And it was fabulous! No pain at all!
Recently I had a cesarian with my fifth baby at. 30 weeks and again I was absolutely terrified. I was well prepared for having a prem baby (had been in hospital two weeks prior to delivery) and was sobbing as they took me down. Once I had seen her, and seen how well she was doing, I was fine.
Your baby has to come out. Your body will do what it has to do and you will soon forget the pain, the angst and the worry. Good luck
Sleepyhead - also thank you for taking me through that all!
re: crowning, a friend told me it's at that point when you think "no I can not do this anymore" that you are so very nearly there, and she wished someone had told her that at the time!
I have noticed this post-labour lack of pain miracle on One Born Every Minute. They all look as if they've just been sitting there the whole time and not in agony minutes before.... I thought it was just good editing!!!
It's terrifying, it's totally unknown!
I'm currently pregnant with number 2 and DS is just 15 months so it didn't put me off too much!
sleepy makes some great points! Especially about help in the aftermath. You CAN fe out of control and overwhelmed by it all- you don't have to be a superwoman at any point!
Oh, for what it's worth, my waters went during labour and it actually felt really nice, like a pressure went and everything felt really calm- for a few minutes!
I so understand where you are - I had all of this in my second trimester so stotted up on hypnobirthing to try and get in control of my fears. The one thing that stayed with me was learning that the muscles used in contractions are involuntary - ie you can do nothing about it but breathe to give them oxygen. Apparently a woman can give birth in a coma - and that helped me relax and stop fighting it and made everything hurt a lot less. The thing is you don't know what kind of labour you're going to get - so there's no point thinking worst case scenario. You will be fine and at the end of it you'll have such a sense of achievement and a little person to love and look after - it's the best. GOOD LUCK! Oh and don't worry about crowning - at that stage you're moments away and just do what you're told
Trapper - hahahahahah I properly laughed out loud at that one!!
Dreamingaboutcheese (great name btw!) I have been doing the same, lots of reading and I think I feel more qualified as a nurse (my day job) now I've learnt so much about midwifery!
I have had the same thoughts - it's going to happen so just breathe, which I use in my running anyway. Just wish I knew when and what was going to happen - it would help me relax!!
All your comments are helping me feel so much better
Thanks nicnac! The other 'interesting' thing to look out for is what happens at 'transition' (when it changes to the push bit). I remember someone telling me that women either go 'I've had enough of this malarky, I'm going home!' or get sweary. I wondered which way I would go and as it happens the midwife put Justin fucking Beiber on the stereo around then so I went for the sweary route.
My first baby was born four weeks ago today and it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. I think I was very lucky in terms of the baby's position and not having any complications and I realise that not all births go so smoothly but it was nothing like the horror stories people told me while I was pregnant. There was no point where I felt like I was going to die (but a few bits where I felt a bit overwhelmed and panicky) and it wasn't totally alien and unlike any pain I'd felt before. For me, contractions felt like really intense backache combined with the worst constipation ever but for the most part it wasn't frightening pain and it was manageable on just tens machine, gas and air and a birthing pool. I didn't feel like I needed an epidural (and I'm a total wuss when it comes to pain). My waters broke in the pool, about half an hour before my daughter was born, and it was just a weird popping feeling, as a previous poster said. I had been really scared of tearing and stitches but in the end I needed two stitches and it wasn't a big deal. I felt a bit bruised and tender for a couple of weeks but now feel entirely recovered. The pain can get a bit intense at some points but contractions don't last long and it doesn't hurt between contractions. I hope you get to use a pool because that bit was lovely and really helped me to relax between contractions but if things don't go exactly as you've planned then it will still be okay, and when you're holding your baby you won't care whether everything went according to your birthing plan. Also, I had a membrane sweep and found that it wasn't as bad as I expected either. I found it less uncomfortable than a smear test even though it wasn't entirely pleasant. It didn't work (I was pregnant for another week) but it was good to be examined and told that I'd started dilating already. Best of luck with your birth. It's normal to be frightened but hopefully you'll have the same experience that I did and find that it is all much more manageable and less scary than you're expecting.
I know this is going to sound airy fairy but what worked for me with my 3rd (yes 3rd so it can't be that bad ) was looking up breathing techniques - I didn't do this for my first two (god knows why not!?) and I felt a lot more prepared and confident. Also read on here tips about giving birth and a posters had said to focus on your role of getting the baby out rather than focusing on the pain and count how many puffs on the gas and air it takes to get you through a contraction. It worked for me and the actual painful bit was over in minutes - the crowning - she was out in 4 pushes. I'm not gloating and I'm thankful I had a quick birth but just wanted to say that it can happen! I was overdue as well (I was due a sweep and was going to decline it but DD made her arrival by then)
Congratulations and good luck! And if in doubt you always have MN (wished I'd known about it with my 1st)
You will cope. I understand about wanting a water birth. I did too and I am also really squeamish about cannulas (not other needles) after a badly sited one years ago.
Labour is hormone driven and unlikely to start if your body is pumping out adrenaline and telling itself you're in a dangerous situation. You need to relax and work the oxytocin. Tell yourself you're ready and in a safe place. Have a massage or acupuncture or reflexology. Anything you feel will be relaxing for you. Cuddle with your dh/dp and fingers crossed things will start naturally and you can use the pool.
But if you need induction you'll be fine too. You can ask to have the cannula covered up with a bandage like they do for children (that was my plan).
It sounds like it's really important to you to have someone with you to advocate for you when you can't be an advocate for yourself.
I'm sure I am teaching you to suck eggs here, but please remember that nobody can make you do anything, and this includes being induced and having a sweep.
Unfortunately you can't do anything about contractions, crowning or your water breaking...I am afraid these are all inevitable, but I've never heard of waters hurting, so I'm sure you'll be ok. We live in a wonderful modern world where you can have all the pain relief you want, so please don't worry about not being able to cope with it. Make sure your birth plan includes a strong preference for your type of pain relief to help hammer the message home. The only thing to remember is that an epidural will mean you can't get in the water.
To be honest, calm is your friend here. It's well documented that women don't labour well when in fear, so do all you can to stop yourself feeling scared. Make sure your DH is fully briefed in what you need from him, talk everything through with the midwife and explain your fears (don't let anyone minimise how you're feeling) and take any things from home that you think will help you relax. Ensure the lights are dimmed, you've got some music on and that you feel loved
As regards the aftermath- don't worry! That's what midwives and DH are for- you get to cuddle and sleep
Good luck, thinking of you
hi everyone and thank you for your comments. They really have put my mind at ease.
I had my antenatal appointment today but she couldn't do the sweep - she tried though! Cervix is still to high so she tried to bring it forward unsuccessfully. It is ripe and soft though and she got (tmi) one finger in and felt baby's head. Basically baby is right there and ready to go, but just doesn't quite fancy it just yet!
After meeting with a new midwife today, who was so super lovely, I am starting to feel a lot better and very much ready to take this head on. I know I am going to have to try to complete labour on gas and air only (latex allergy = complications with epidurals due to latex tubing) and hubby (medical soldier) got me some of the numbing cream from his work for my hand prior to any cannulas - he has also offered to give me the cannula but I can't see the hospital allowing it! ha!!
Thanks again for all your helpful and supportive comments. I will update once little baby decides he wants to come out!!
As a midwife I had a woman recently who had run a marathon, she got on really well and I'm sure that many of the coping mechanisms are similar. Having given birth 3 times myself and never run more than 5 miles in one go I would definitely without question rather give birth than run a marathon!!!
nicnac1603, don't forget that there are other pain relief options to G&A and epidural.
I had pethadine for 1 of mine and it was brilliant.
It is very normal to feel helpless,out of control, unable to cope during labour. In my opinion the hardest part is getting to 10 cm. It is very hard to just take the pain, you feel you'll never get there and can't go on.
But if you can get to 10, then you can start doing something.
And that is pushing. I found pushing much easier as you can push against the pain, and each push brings baby nearer.
Crowing is quick, the last hurdle. Don't forget to stop pushing when midwife tells you.
When I was panicked, feeling I was going to die and out of control (drama queen!) I always thought about the thread. I had to grab the thread, which was reality and focus. I would grab that thread in my mind, and that was reality. This is happening and you have to do this.
Then focus! My friend who was my birth partner said I actually said "come on 123, focus, just focus!" And then I calmed down and did the job.
I had a sweep with first DC and none ever again. It hurt and did bugger all.
It sounds like you still need time, watch movies, eat, relax. It'll happen when baby is ready.
Just to reassure you on one other point - am an anaesthetist and have sited several hundred epidurals ( a lot in labouring women who swore blind they wouldn't have one until the reality of labour hit) and had two myself. The epidural kit has NO LATEX anywhere near it (at least not in any of the several UK hospitals I have worked at). I also have a latex allergy and have had two epidurals quite happily.
Most labour wards in UK are as latex free as possible, occasionally sterile gloves may be latex but as so many healthcare staff have latex sensitivity there are always latex free gloves, catheters etc around.
So if you do decide you want an epidural you can be assured there is no latex involved.
Good luck - newborn snuggles are amazing ( watching DD1 who is now a long legged 9 year old but still snuggly!)
About the epidural, please make sure you are happy there is a non-latex alternative should you need it.
Hopefully you will not need one. But there is a possibility you may feel you need one in the moment. Be nice to yourself, if you do experience pain that means you need an epidural, when you are in pain is not the time to be negotiating with the hospital about latex!
Please, even if this is not something you want, talk to the hospital so you have a back up plan and can make informed decisions.
I didn't want an epidural on either of my labours. On one of then I did fine without it, with the other one I needed one, no question, and was glad the option was available.
Any news yet? Just read your thread and feel so excited for you!!
Good luck with it all, just wanted to say that I had an epidural for my second labour, and it was wonderful, so don't worry if you decide to change your mind part way through. (I would have with the first if I hadn't been in a midwife-only unit that couldn't offer them)
Have you had your baby op? I'm feeling the same as you were and would love to hear from you x
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