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So scared of birth again :((14 Posts)
Sorry, it's just a ramble but my midwife doesn't listen to me
Nearly 25 weeks, have a DD who'll be 2 by the time this baby is here. My birth was traumatic and I swore never again. This wasn't planned at all and DH is the only one who knows really, I've had my head buried trying to deny the fact that I'm actually having another one, not told anyone. I'm terrified of birth again. I haemorrhaged first time and couldn't walk for a week, had to sleep in the living room as couldn't do stairs etc, DH had to bathe me etc. I'm terrified it'll happen again. I honestly thought I'd die last time after the blood loss, I felt so incredibly unwell. The problem is a C section scares me even more I've had nightmares at least once a week since finding out and it's horrible. Regarding the C section, I'm scared about: the recovery time as I already have DD, that somehow I'll feel it (epidural didn't work last time), and tbh that I'll die. I don't know what to do or what'll be worse and DH thinks it's just nerves, but it must be more considering I haven't even told people? Sorry for the rant ladies, just feeling so down and scared
oh, I'm so sorry. I had exactly this. It's not just nerves, is it, it's terrifying. Things that helped:
Counselling. Got it via my GP and was fast tracked because I was pregnant and it was about fear of birth
Going over my birth notes from last time with a midwife. Most areas do this now quite soon after birth, bit they are able to do it 2 or 3 years after when needed. It really helped me deal a bit with everything that happened first time round.
Birth options. I chose an elective c section in the end, which was much better for me. I also had the "but I might die" thoughts, and the counselling really helped with these. But the act of talking through options with people who got it helped.
A birth plan. The first point in mine read something like "I want all the medical professionals dealing with me to be aware that I have PTSD from my first birth and am terrified of giving birth again". I was pleasantly surprised that people read it and took it seriously. I couldn't have written it though without the counselling - she was so helpful in helping me acknowledge how I felt rather than just bursting into tears (I also couldn't talk about my first birth to anyone, and could hardly bear to think about it myself)
Do you have a good GP? I went to mine, burst into tears, and said I had birth trauma, it had been retriggered by this pregnancy, and i didn't think i could give birth. The response was really good, and quick (given the impending deadline)
There are also some good books.
This one helped me: www.amazon.co.uk/How-Heal-Bad-Birth-Making/dp/099235160X?tag=mumsnetforum-21
Honestly though, don't feel bad, don't let anyone tell you it's just nerves, and talk to the professionals - if your midwife isn't listening, try a different one. Im sorry, I do know how hard it is. I hope this makes you feel better: in the end, I had a wonderful birth second time round, the reason this message is poorly typed is cause of the baby I'm bouncing as I write and the only feelings I associate with her birth are complete joy. And I had some very dark days and night where I thought I literally couldn't give birth. So it can get better, I promise.
I'm somewhat worried that I'm developing pre-natal depression over this, I literally won't discuss anything about it when DH tries and I haven't told anyone else, no one else knows. I think it's because I'm so scared of birth that I don't want to acknowledge that one way or another, it'll happen. My midwife keeps saying that it's a new pregnancy, new birth and she's right but it's not much help when I can't breath when I think about giving birth
Yeah, my midwife said similar things and while she was technically right it didn't help at all.
Posting about it here is a step, though, and a good one. There are lots of people on munsnet who've had birth trauma/fear of giving birth/associated things. I found it really helpful reading threads even though I never managed to post when I was pregnant (that was actually a step too far for me, so you're doing better than I was!)
There's an advert on tv at the moment that shows a baby being born (I mean there's probably loads, but one I keep seeing cause it shows on the crappy channels I'm watching while feeding the baby on the sofa!) Before my second birth, I couldn't bear even to see it because of the horrible feelings it brought up. Now I see it and think with happiness of my second birth. So while I don't want to say a glib-sounding "you can do it!", you can, either by vaginal delivery or c section - BUT I needed help to do it. Could you write it down? Something like "this isn't just nerves I think I have tokophobia"? Or take this thread and show a GP/different midwife?
(By the way, when you write that you can't breathe at the thought of it, I had that. It's beyond-words horrible. You're doing so well to have got to week 25 feeling like this)
Sorry you are going through this - it is shit. I had an awful first birth and couldn't bring myself to even think of another until my Ds was nearly 6. I would avoid any and all conversations re pregnancy and birth. I had a debrief with a lovely midwife which did help and I also had some counselling which helped me hugely. I have since had 2 further babies, both by elective c-section. I am typing this with one hand as I had my youngest 3 weeks ago and am currently cuddling her.
If you would like to chat more then pm me, esp for info re c-sections. Both of my electives were positive experiences and helped me heal emotionally from the first birth.
Contact the Birth Trauma Association. I found them to be great. They also have resources on counsellors who specialise in birth trauma.
I think you need to talk to a new Midwife and tell her how you are feeling and get her to refer you to a Consultant. My midwife said pretty much the same to me, basically dismissing how you feel. She said, they wouldn't let me have a caesarian, said it will be different second time. I think you probably need to speak to a Consultant tell them all your fears and hopefully they will help to reassure you and help you have a better birth.
This may not help but I had a terrible first birth, I was terrified at first when I was pregnant with my second . I had an 8 year gap because I was so traumatised.
When I actually went into labour, I went to hospital and they were brilliant, I had an epidural they didn't let it wear off and they assured me that I would have a caesarian if it was necessary. I had the same problems as the first time, but, and this is the main thing, I felt listened to, they did everything they could to make it as easy as possibly. The birth was not great in the end same problems as the previous time, but the way I was treated was the difference between being completely traumatised and a positive experience.
Ask your midwife to refer you to a consultant to discuss your concerns, preferably one with a specialism in perinatal mental health if there is one at your unit. They should be able to help address your concerns and refer you for counselling if needed. Sometimes all it takes is to have your concerns taken seriously and a plan put in place to address them and you’ll start to feel more in control of the situation
You really need to talk to a consultant as soon as possible.
How would you feel about a c section. Sadly they are presented by medics, nct etc as they the worst case scenario when actually.. A planned elc can be fabulous.
I was very similar. I spent most of last year pregnant and paralysed by fear. I ended up having a lot of counselling and realised that the loss of control was my main anxiety trigger. I ended up having a planned c section even though the idea scared me I knew it was the best way for me to gain any control over the situation. It was a frankly wonderful experience. The recovery for me was fine, and much easier than my tear, episiotomy etc healing from last time. Having had further counselling since my most recent birth the PTSD and subsequent postnatal depression with my first has all but dissolved.
You need a midwife who will listen to you and a referral to your perinatal mental health team. Speak to your GP if your midwife won't assist. Don't suffer in silence.
I realise it’s probably not particularly reassuring for you but if it helps at ALL, I had a crap first birth and second was a c section and it was BRILLIANT. 1) Recovery was way better. Less pain. Quicker. Was worried as I had a toddler but it was much less bad than I thought and was up and about after a few days. 2) Thought I might be able to feel stuff even with the epidural. I couldn’t feel anything gruesome at all, only a light brushing against my skin every so often. 3) I literally promise you, you won’t die. I could not believe how many people there were in that room with the sole purpose of making sure me and my baby were fine. Every single thing was monitored and they made sure I was ok constantly. 4) The atmosphere was lovely. Not remotely scary but lighthearted and kind and warm and so so positive. Because I wasn’t in pain, I enjoyed welcoming my baby into the world!
I really hope things go well for you this time round and that your midwife and doctors take your concerns on board x
Have you looked at a hypobirthing course? My friend was petrified due to 1st being a v v premmie and was essentially getting panic attacks about labour again. It just helped her concentrate and regulate her breaths as when you panic labour slows down etc.
It really calmed her and got her in a good head space for her 2nd. Might be worth a go?
I sympathise. I too have severe PTSD but mine was caused by a c section. It went terribly wrong and was given against my will. I think people underplay how debilitating c sections are and how you are scarred for life sometimes because of them. The damage is not just on the outside-your insides are damaged forever. I'd give anything to have not been ripped apart and have my insides torn up.
Worst thing is, I found out that it wasn't 'necessary' after all. Merely a precaution-I believe they said 'prevention rather than cure'.
I had 6 months of counselling-did absolutely nothing for me. If anything it made me even angrier and upset me even more. 14 months later and I'm no better. It's led to bonding issues and severe body dysmorphia due to the fact I'm now deformed because of the scar (I hate it). I'm not trying to put you off, just be very carful what you do if you're already fragile. I'd have loved another but no way now as I'm sure I will die if I did it again. I imagine my insides bursting out and bleeding to death. Yes, this is what the wonderful staff at Durham did to me. My life is completely ruined because of them.
Please take care and I hope you find your way through this.
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