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Childbirth advice please

(26 Posts)
Confusedaboutbirth18 Wed 31-Jan-18 14:46:44

Pregnant with first baby and very very happy about it, however TERRIFIED about the birth and I can't decide what to do for the best.

When I was a child I tore somewhere down there (can't tell you where, I was about 2/3), all I remember is being pinned down to have stiches as I was scared and the same to have them taken out. It was awful and I think thats causing the issues

In an ideal world I would have a nice waterbirth at the MLU and the midwifes would be hands off etc. That I can cope with. If anything goes wrong and they want to intervene I can't, just typing this I'm getting scared of episiotomies, forceps, etc. I very much cannot cope with the finger up the bum some people have said might happen to check for stiches, or the stiches themselves to be honest.

Out of all my friends who have given birth over the last 5 years (about 10 of them), one had a natural birth I could have coped with.

I have a meeting to discuss an ELCS for tokophobia, I guess I just want some reassurance I'm doing the right thing. I need to be in control and the idea of them just doing what they want, yes I know it would be in both mine and the babys best interest but logic doesn't always win out, makes me feel physically sick

An ELCS doesn't scare me at all, I am more than aware that its not the easy route, actually the more I type the more I'm questioning why I would even consider trying naturally when it doesn't scare me but a natural one fills me with dread

What would you do if you were me?

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Wed 31-Jan-18 14:53:34

If you think that an elective cs is what will lead to the most stress free birth for you then do it.

I've had 5 vaginal births without issue. fairly crappy high risk pregnancies but the births have been great (tiny tiny tear needing 1 stitch with dc1 but that's it, I wasn't aware of it happening or of it being stitched)

The thing is though this thread could be filled with any number of stories about fabulous or awful births but NONE of us have been you giving birth.

Bananarama12 Wed 31-Jan-18 14:56:16

Is it just the stitches you are worried about? I had a natural birth with gas and air and diamorphine for pain relief. I got a 2nd degree tear which they stitched up very quickly afterwards and you won't even notice because you'll be looking at your beautiful baby I promise. Also my stitches came out by themselves so no need to worry about having them taken out.

LostMyBaubles Wed 31-Jan-18 14:58:08

I tore and needed surgery with my first
Because the midwife was horrible and kept telling I'm not in labour when I was labouring (local hosp)

My other 2 not 1 stitch needed.
Midwives fantastic.
Had other problems and having the midwives hands on helping me really helped.
After what happened with my first I was petrified of giving birth again but even more scared to have section. Glad I went with natural as it helped me realise what went wrong first time and got rid of that fear.

Currently pregnant with no.4!

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 31-Jan-18 15:00:55

The part of childbirth that scared me the most was the idea of tearing or episiotomy. I didn’t even notice and I didn’t notice the stitches afterwards. They weren’t painful or uncomfortable really. If it’s just that aspect that worries you so much I would personally avoid an elective c-sec.

Confusedaboutbirth18 Wed 31-Jan-18 15:05:05

My fears are not being in control, the unpredictability, my body being seriously damaged, all of it really

I know everyone says you won't care when the babys here, but I can't see that being true for me, I want 2 children so I don't want the first birth to mentally block me from any future ones should I be lucky enough to have 2

I've read the risks of a ELCS and they just don't worry me in the same way, its ever so strange

Wellthen Wed 31-Jan-18 15:11:15

There are countries in the world where practically everyone has a c section so don’t feel you have to justify your choice. Yes it’s major surgery but it’s well controlled and obviously your risk of testing, incontinence etc is zero. C sections are more ‘risky’ in that they’re more dangerous for the mother but vaginal birth has numerous ‘mild’ complications.

However, do discuss your options for vaginal birth - how staff can support you, how stitches/examinations would be done. It’s good to have options open especially if you want to have more than 1.

Most women aren’t dealing with the trauma that you’ve had so don’t compare yourself flowers

Confusedaboutbirth18 Wed 31-Jan-18 15:19:33

The only reason I'm doubting myself is the hospital have made it out to almost be a major mental health issue. Its a fear, yes, but some people are scared of spiders, dogs, bees, and none of these are seen as a mental health issue, just a normal fear even though for the most parts they're much less risk than giving birth

Its made me feel like a failure for even considering it becuase to be honest my mental health is perfect in my opinion

Well the only way I could cope with a natural birth would be no internals exams, water birth or being allowed to move around as I like, completely numb for any stiches, and to be honest I don't trust that this would happen. There are too many storeis of womens wishes being ignored in childbirth.

Wellthen Wed 31-Jan-18 15:32:24

The trouble is, no one can guarantee that you won’t be examined or that you’ll be able to move around as an issue may present itself.

It’s a likely but the baby could turn mid labour, get their arm in a funny position or need their heart rate monitoring. You could have the most lovely labour but at the last minute a midwife has to get a bit hands on to help them come out safely.

The difference between your fear and a fear of spiders is a fear of examinations could put you or your baby in danger (obviously you would never do this intentionally).

It isn’t a case of women’s wishes being ignored, it’s just the unpredictability of childbirth.

FWIW I had read loads of stories on here and geared myself up for a fight and my midwives were amazing.

But it ended in a c section which is why I genuinely think you should do what’s right for you grin My c section and recovery were fabulous.

You are certainly not a failure - it sounds like your injury was dealt with very badly angry I have a nearly two year girl and it makes me sick to think of her pinned down to have an intimate examination.

Confusedaboutbirth18 Wed 31-Jan-18 15:44:29

Thanks @wellthen

I know a CS is right for me, they've just made me feel rubbish about it. The last thing I want is to put me or him in danger so I think a CS seems the safest option all round for us

stepbystepdoula Thu 01-Feb-18 13:40:06

Whatever you decide it's always your choice. NICE guidelines that they work to are just guidelines.
I'm glad you have spoken to medical staff, all births are dufferent and there are no guarantees with any. Staying calm and being in the moment help you to focus.
(You can refuse internal exams- there are other ways to assess progress of labour)
Have a look at doula uk website to see if there is anyone local to support you.
Good luck in whatever you chose 💟

FartnissEverbeans Sat 03-Feb-18 15:36:57

Your fears are the same as everyone's fears I think, and they're legitimate. Natural childbirth is fucking scary. I'm considering getting a CS if I ever have a second child because basically everything you're scared of happened to me. I have never felt less 'in control' in my life (although the episiotomy, stitches etc were actually not bad at all and certainly the easiest bit of the entire thing).

"They've made me feel rubbish about it" - not their body, not their business. Why should you feel rubbish about making a perfectly reasonable decision?

Also, welcome to motherhood - you're going to feel like a failure just about every day for the way of your life... and every Tom, Dick and Harry is about to start judging you for every piddly little decision you make (Boob or bottle? Swaddling? Your room or their own room? Cosleeping? What weaning method are you planning to use? - All of your answers are wrong btw).

Make your choice. Be confident in your ability, as an intelligent adult woman, to make sensible decisions about your own body. ELCS has the best outcomes for babies (look it up) so you're doing your child no wrong there.

Good luck

1stTimeRounder Mon 05-Feb-18 23:33:43

what @fartnisseverbeans said grin

Ilovemybaby91 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:45:48

confused
I, like you was absolutely petrified of giving birth. I would go as far as to say I had panic attacks when I even thought about it. I attended no classes, read no books because it all just terrified me! I was adamant I couldn't have a needle, or stich (down there) & guess what? I had both! The pain of labour was so intense I was begging for an epidural & by the time it was all over & they stitched me back up I really didn't give a toss because it was finally over! Basically for me, the apprehension was much worse than the reality. When people say 'you won't care who sees, sticks fingers in, up, over, under' it really is true contractions are something else all those anxietys/fears will have no room to enter your head whilst your breathing through the constractions! That being said if you're that worried about it absolutely book the bloody c section. It's your body, your baby so it's really your choice. Lots of women have c sections I don't see the difference in them being un/planned? Just calm down mama, what ever route you choose it will all be over soon & trust me that beautiful bubba will make you forget it all grin

Ilovemybaby91 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:49:05

Oh & 100% agree with fartiness get used to the judgment (because somehow becoming a mother invites everyone to have a friggin opinion)

Youcantscaremeihavechildren Thu 08-Feb-18 22:57:13

I had a vbac water birth at home. I had no internals other than one, which I asked for early on tp see how things were going, with a midwife I trusted and had seen from 8 weeks. I didnt get out of the water after that, I was active and if they asked me to stand (they forgot the waterproof doppler so wamted me out of the water) so they could check heartbeat etc I told then get stuffed as I was happily labouring away without any interventions.
It was my first labour, first baby breech section and it was fine, I stil had an internal I didn't give consent for and a not great time on the ward after, but it was ok. VBAC was by miles the better experience, I tore a bit but really was totally numb being stitched, no pain at all.
Big difference was I did hypnobirthing and had a doula present, that gave me the confidence to feel I could do it and on my terms. I was lucky too of course but I realy did get to the end and think I could easily do that again! I felt like superwoman! Good luck OP, whatever you decide enjoy your baby!

sycamore54321 Thu 08-Feb-18 23:01:56

Based on what you have said, I'd absolutely have a c-section. This is assuming you don't have any specific reason that would make a section more risky for you than the norm - so you aren't planning to have a very large family, you don't have a blood clotting disorder or other health issues. As a straight-up decision, I think you have excellent well-thought-through reasons to choose section. And if you do have risk factors, well then just do a little more thinking and make whatever fully informed choice you think best.

Protecting the health of your previously injured pelvic floor is important. Protecting your mental health is important. A section is a safe, controlled way to deliver a baby. Best wishes.

Confusedaboutbirth18 Tue 13-Feb-18 17:43:24

I think the thread at the moment discussing consent during labour shows it all really

FrozenMargarita17 Tue 13-Feb-18 17:45:02

Have you looked in to hypnobirthing? It might help with your fears.

I had a home birth because of my fear of hospitals and I did hypnobirthing so was entirely calm the whole time and survived only on paracetamol. I didn't need any stitches.

Confusedaboutbirth18 Tue 13-Feb-18 17:45:53

I'm more sure than ever it's the right thing for me. It's incredible how many people in real life have an opinion on It, luckily DP is amazing and would support me whatever i said I want

Confusedaboutbirth18 Tue 13-Feb-18 17:48:31

@frozenmargarita17 I did consider a homebirth but if I were to be transferred in I'd end up at a terrible hospital. The statistics are obviously not too bad for a first birth but I worry if things were to go wrong then I'd lose control of the situation

McGintyii Tue 13-Feb-18 17:57:05

I had very similar fears to you OP, because of a seriously botched colposcopy a few years ago I was utterly terrified of anyone going anywhere near me down there. I can barely tolerate a smear test even with a tiny speculum. I insisted on a semi ELCS (waters had broke but no sign of labour) - I absolutely didn't want forceps near me or any intervention down there. It was the best decision, I was in control and my daughter was born in a calm environment. In my case recovery was fine, I was up and about within a week or so. They tried to talk me out of it but I stuck to my guns!

Situp Tue 13-Feb-18 17:58:32

OP the worst state for you to be in during labour is suffering panic and stress. Labour is just about getting the baby out safely, nothing more. People will have a view on it because everybody judges mums. I had elcs with dc2 because she was breech following foreceps, epesiotomy and retained placenta with dc1. My mum expressed the view that it was a bit sad and I felt I had to constantly tell people why to justify myself.

I then had emcs 3 weeks ago with dc3 because my uterus was at risk of rupture and a falling foetal heartrate.
Having genuinely thought I or my child might die, I now firmly don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about my birthing choices. Your body, your choice.

Don't tell people unless they are judgment free. Nobody else's business xx

FrozenMargarita17 Tue 13-Feb-18 18:27:17

I do understand. That was one of my fears - being transferred.

It's funny because they said they were thinking of catheterising me and I was so opposed to the idea that I got out of the pool, and then got on the sofa and pushed her out. Amazing what the threat of a catheter did!!

Honestly screw what anyone else thinks or says, you should have a choice.

If it helps for context, I refused induction at 40+12 (due to fears etc etc) and I had to have a huge lecture by my midwife and the senior midwife at the hospital but I didn't budge. I ended up going in to labour 40+12 and having her eventually at 40+14. I was pleased I stood my ground. I spent months worrying and crying to my husband about the what-ifs.

FrozenMargarita17 Tue 13-Feb-18 18:28:25

Oh and people kept saying 'oh but don't you just want her out?' Err, yes but if she's healthy and I'm healthy there's no reason to force it.

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