Terrified and need opinions / advice(59 Posts)
I feel a bit of a fraud using this site because I'm not yet a parent...
This is my question...
What is better a vaginal birth or a c section??
I ask this because I am absolutely terrified of giving birth vaginally (and I have been since I was about 14) I can't explain why the only reason I can think of is because I've heard so many horror stories.
Before somebody gets on the bandwagon and starts saying I'm too posh to push or anything like that it's not that at all. I'm not frightened of the pain involved because I've had several operations that are quite painful and dealt with them just fine.
I'm frightened of things going wrong, every mother you speak to loves to share their gruesome tales of what went wrong and the trauma they endured. No one is open to tell you that actually the birth was quite well controlled and a nice experience.
I'm really hoping there are some mothers out there that did have a good experience and aren't frightened to share that with me because I'm on the verge of not having a child at all because I'm so scared.
Sorry if this irritates people but you wouldn't stick a woman terrified of spiders in a room full of them and that's how it feels!!
Please help!! I really really want to get over this fear.
Also bit of background I'm 27, married and have been with my husband 7 years I'm an only child and only one of my friends has a baby (which she had a section due to medical reasons). So don't have much experience of labour (by being a birthing partner or anything like that)
I've had 4 normal births, which were as boring as hell, definitely no freaky tales to tell. Labour was less than 12 hours with each of them and the only pain relief was gas and air. Which made me feel very drunk, I was giving out recipes at one point, hubby there for last three, different dad for the first one. Hospital brilliant, nothing wrong with any of them, apart from the 2nd one being late. Please don't be scared, although I was but that was just for having a child in general. Just look forward and enjoy holding Dow hat jnr for the first time.
Have you considered counselling? Fear of giving birth (tokophobia) is fairly common and it sounds as though you could use some support.
There are pros and cons to both birth methods and it's hard for anyone else to guess which will be best for you. We all have our own experiences and there are good and bad with both methods.
One of the key things for many women is choice and feeling in control. With a vaginal birth you could enlist the help of a doula whose job is to understand what you want, support and advocate for you. You are also, under NICE guidance, allowed to have a CS on the grounds of maternal choice. Given your high anxiety levels you may well be offered support during pregnancy.
No one can guess in advance how things might go, but support and choices are out there for you
I've had 3 vaginal births. They were all different but managed well with pain relief (I'm also rubbish with pain!). Also know people who have had c sections for the same reasons as you and they were fine. Basically, I think you're best to get lots of info about different pain relief options and then make the decision that's right for you.
The NICE guidance on CS is here if you want to read it: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg132/chapter/1-Guidance
My first was an EMCS and I've requested an ELCS this time because, for me, it feels like the better option and I find the risks more acceptable. Some will agree with my choice, others won't, that's just life
Good experiences here too.
With first birth I was adamant that I didn't want an epidural as I have a huge fear of needles and faint when I have injections. However, changed my mind when I arrived at the hospital, easy epidural, even fell asleep for a couple of hours as pain completely gone and then had event free birth.
With second birth, no time for epidural as two and a half hours from first twinge to birth.
It would be a lie to say that giving birth isn't painful but your body kind of works up to it and can manage the pain. The more you let nature take its course, the more manageable it is I found. Before I got pregnant and was scared about it, my best friend who had two children told me that if childbirth was truly horrific and unmanageable women would only ever have one baby. When you hold your baby it is so totally worth it.
My birth experience with DD was amazing, I was nervous of having a vaginal birth but in the end it was absolutely fine, just had gas and air, no tears, labour was 19 hours from first twinges to delivery. A doula may be a good idea if you feel you will be very stressed when it comes to labour as they are not emotionally involved like the father will be.
2 straightforward vagina births here. That won't help though as no one has any idea how your birth will go. I think counselling would be a good idea.
It is better for you and the baby to give birth naturally if you can. Obviously sometimes it is safer for both of you to have a c-section, but if everything is normal, then a c-section is more risky.
I've had two c-sections and it took me far longer to recover than my friends who had straightforward vaginal deliveries. Sometimes birth goes awry, of course, but I have many friends who've had really easy deliveries. The whole process requires you to give up control to some degree, because birth is unpredictable, and things can change quickly. You really have to get your head round not being able to do much about really! I very much wanted a vaginal delivery with my second baby, having had a traumatic c-section with my first. Sadly ti didn't happen, but it was fine, and my baby was fine , and that really is all that matters. Do think about having some hypnotherapy or counselling if it gets truly overwhelming, but being scared of birth is pretty normal. Until very recently it carried a pretty high risk of death, so even though birth is now very safe, it is natural for us to be a bit fearful. And seeing a new person come out of your body is just the most incredible and beautiful experience .
Thank you everyone and yeah I think I would definitely consider counselling and half of me feels that I would be so much more relaxed if I had a planned c section but my GP said I wasn't allowed to request one she said it's only if you medically need one??
I'll have a peek at those guidelines now thank you 😊👍 xx
Sorry for typos, I'm trying to glugg down coffee at the same time as typing!
Also my GP was concerned that my Mam had a terrible birth with me (she's rhesus negative and something happened with my blood where it seemed to clot really bad when they cut the UC to the point I needed a plasma transfusion and stopped breathing for 4mins they thought I would be brain damaged) My GP said I might be rhesus positive blood and is going to look into this for me but still said it's not grounds for an elective C section.
So all this in the back of my mind isn't helping my anxiety at all haha xx
Surgery is not an easier option though, things can go wrong, it limits the number of babies you can have and makes subsequent deliveries more risky (I had my second section as they thought my scar might rupture). I crashed after my first c-section and had to be pumped full of blood by the emergency team. All much more frightening than a straightforward natural delivery. As pps have said, you can have really great vaginal deliveries with no stitches. One of my friends gave birth in hospital, had a little nap with her baby, painted her nails and walked home. My doula gave birth early in the morning, and then pottered around making breakfast for the household. We tend to hear all about all the births that went wrong, but I know so many that went right. I would far rather have had a natural delivery than my c-sections, with my wrecked tummy and numb areas from cut nerves, not able to carry my new baby until weeks after the surgery. I had pre-eclampsia the first time and then risk of rupture the second, so there were good reasons for a c-section.
What is it you are most afraid of, if surgery seems less frightening?
I had an elective C section rather than be induced (I had my reasons). It was a brilliant experience, I would highly recommend it. I was discharged from hospital within 24 hours and was up and about walking and out for coffee within less than 72 hours. I only took pain relief a few times in hospital, didn't need it at home. C-sections are much derided but my experience was very positive.
And by the way, you should be able to argue for an elective section if you have severe anxiety around giving birth.
That's a good question the thing is I can't answer it haha!
I just feel that I've never heard one good story about a vaginal birth and I've never heard one bad about a c section birth so I was gravitating towards that.
The people I know have had babies have had issues like needing forceps or an apeseotomy (can't spell) which sound horrific
I'm hoping the more positive stories I hear the calmer it will make me xx
1212 Section 1.2.9 of the guidance is the most relevant. It also includes information on maternal anxiety and how women in this situation should be offered support before they need to make a decision either way. Take your time, get some counselling and see how you feel at that point.
I'm going to try the counselling first but if that doesn't work I might have to fight for a C section. As I said in the beginning I've had surgery before (yes it was painful and immobilised me for 8weeks) so I'm no stranger to pain. I just wish I could relax
Dowhat - you are much likely to hear bad stories than good stories ! It's like complaints against hotels / restaurants whatever - you rarely get positive feedback because people just forget.
I was terrified of giving birth - i thought the pain would be unbearable , i put it off until i was 38 for this reason !
Maybe because i was dreading the worst , i felt like it was fine . much easier and much less painful than I expected. I went into it like it was a medical emergency almost , just concentrating on my next task which would be whatever the midwife told me to do ( push / don't push/ whatever ).
I wasn't cut , i had a small tear but i did not feel it happening . And I had no pain relief either because I got to the hospital just in the nick of time . I did not realise i was in labour , i guess because i had watched too many tv movies where the woman drops to the floor screaming in pain ! I was sat at home watching the hairy bikers thinking i had a tummy upset ... until my waters broke haha
That would be heaven!! I would be so happy with a delivery like that.
You are so right though!
The thing is I can't bear to watch one born every minute because my anxiety was through the roof! People screaming red in the face sweating all over the place making it look like they are dying haha
Not really something you sit there and think "yeah that looks like
a piece of piss I could do that" ha ha
That's the plan Duggeehugs i'm not ruling out a vaginal birth all together because gods honest truth if I can get over my fear I would do it! Because at the end of the day that's what women were created for right?
Making babies haha 👶🏻
I really will give it a good go with the counselling first (if my useless GP can find me any) xx
People love to tell you the bad/scary stories.
I had to vagjnal deliveries - first one was ventouse because he was OP (facing up). Second kid shot out
I'd do labour and delivery a million times over before I'd do the first trimester again - constant relentless nausea.
100% agree that labour was far preferable to morning sickness!
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