Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Fear of damage downstairs(14 Posts)
My DH wants to TTC but I am very scared about the childbirth aspect. Apologies if this is the wrong place I couldn't think where else to post.
Essentially, I'm terrified about childbirth causing serious damage downstairs it sounds really ridiculous, and I feel so stupid.
I was sexually abused over a period of four years when I was a child, and I think this contributes. An episiotomy probably comes near the top of the list, the thought of someone cutting me there brings tears to my eyes. Or tearing badly and someone making a mistake stitching me up...you hear about stories of women saying they've never been the same and are in near constant pain, can't have sex etc. It has taken years for me to have a relatively normal sex life and I can't bear the thought of anyone but DH near me there.
I feel as though I might never be able to have a baby. I thought I was being really vain ie. immature and wasn't ready for a baby, but with DH being really keen to TTC I've been thinking about it more and it all revolves around control and that single part of my anatomy.
Has anyone ever felt similar? I don't think I could open up to a counsellor about it, there are some things I just can't talk about, I can only write them down. I feel so stupid, can't even tell DH still it haunts me, it's been over 10 years now. He got out of prison some time in the last year and everything has ramped up again since then. I wish I was normal.
I'm so sorry you had to go through that. And I think that given your history you're having an understandable reaction. Can you ask for a c-section on the grounds of previous abuse without going into detail?
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and that it's still so recent in your mind. You're far from vain or irrational to feel worried, and you've nailed it when you talk about needing to have some control over your body - you deserve that.
There's probably two routes to consider. Firstly, going through counselling (not only about this physical thing, but how this might affect other parts of your life too), and perhaps thinking about how you can retain control of a birth. Secondly, there's a discussion to consider about an elective c-section. I wonder if you might be able to talk to a midwife or similar now, just to consider your options? (without the pressure of already being pregnant).
I hope you find a way of making this work for you, it sounds like you've come a long way, and I wish you all the very best.
Your fears are based on something very real and possible, however they are stopping you getting on with life, so in that respect I think you should seek some help. I hear you can get counselling for that.
I had the same fears, and unfortunately my fears have been realised, and it has put me off further children, HOWEVER, that is due to the risk of further and permenant damage.
In your circumstances you could definitely argue for a c section, however that doesn't guarantee no damage to your nethers.
I would write down what you've said here in brief bullet points and take to your GP (I have done this before when I knew I wouldn't be able to say something out loud and it worked really well.) They will be able to advise you on any therapies available and/or tell you the procedure for requesting an elective c-section in your area.
I'm really sorry about what happened to you and I hope everything works out
You ARE normal. I also think you are very brave to open up about this.
I'm sorry I can't offer more practical advice but I hope bing able to speak about this on an anonymous forum will give you a nudge to open up to your dh.
There's a charity called "my body back" which I think helps survivors of abuse access gynaecology services. They have a maternity clinic I think in London.
So sorry to hear this op.
Second what the Indiana says - take what you have written to your GP. If you go down the route of deciding to go for it, your history would be a reason for having a C section, if you wanted to go down that route. I work in the NHS and have seen them performed for this reason.
Gosh, so many replies so quickly. Thank you, everyone. Lots to think about. So sorry for anyone else who has felt similarly or had their fears realised.
My DH also has white coat syndrome, he doesn't do well in clinical environments. Goes all lightheaded, so I have no faith he could speak up for me or push back on my behalf. I'm very funny about people being close to me like my own Mum, I find it overbearing so it's not like I feel I could trust anybody to keep me safe I know c sections aren't without risk either, and I daresay I would struggle hugely even with changes to my body if I got pregnant.
I feel like I would be a fraud to talk to a professional before I'm even pregnant, maybe I can't even have kids..! I am convinced I'll get cervical cancer etc from being exposed to HPV yada yada. Nice case of anxiety goes along with all of it. I have been seeing a counsellor recently, I really like her but sometimes if I tell someone too much I've let them in too far and then push them back out, not sure if this could go that way too. I like the idea of writing it down. I feel very focused on my appearance in the last couple of years I think that's a control thing too, I've always been funny with food.
It really never does let up. No words can describe the impact of what happened on the rest of my life, it manages to eek into all the crevices despite trying so hard not to let it
You do have a very clear view on how your behaviour and feelings have been shaped by what happened - and that's impressive. One small thing to add, don't worry about wanting to push the counsellor away, they're used to it - and as long as you keep going to sessions, you can sit and talk about the weather if you want - it's all progress, and they will understand and wait for you, and work it through.
Scared85 it's so much better to get a plan in place before you get pregnant, I think, in your circumstances. A GP should be able to help you with this, and I think an elective section, although not without risk, is so much more of a controlled environment.
Regardless of the type of birth you choose, you can write a birth plan which might help you feel more in control. You write down in advance want you do/don't want, in terms of examinations, interventions, pain relief, what happens immediately after the birth etc. Obviously many births don't go exactly to plan but you can decide in advance what will happen if certain scenarios occur.
Could you perhaps discuss things the next time you see your councillor?
How about a doula? You could find someone you can come to trust who will speak up for you when you are in labour.
Also have you considered an elective c section? Mental health issues are considered as a reason for is, with regards to anxiety and previous trauma.
For what it's worth I was severely abused and I have had two natural births and am pregnant again. The midwives were lovely and I didn't have to explain much. Birth centres tend to be better vs a hospital in my experience.
While an elective section is something to consider (and I don't think you'd have any trouble it being granted) I'd hate for you to feel at any point in the future that your abuser robbed you of a natural birth. Knowledge is key whichever you decide making sure you are well informed to consent or decline anything offered.
Please login first.