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(20 Posts)
emilyreed86 Sat 20-Jun-09 13:23:30

Hi to all the mums! I need serious advice, me & my husband want children however I had resigned myself to not having any due to the fact I can't handle any pain & am petrified of needles.

When I was in my teens I decided to have my belly button pierced, tried to stand up after I'd had it done & went into shock, they sent out for chocolate to bring my sugar levels up & after an hour & a half they allowed me to leave.

I was on the contraceptive injection last year & had to stop as the last time I had it I passed out & hit my head on the sink in the room on the way down, I'd like to claim I was allergic or something but it was purely down to the injection & the fact I could feel the solution spreading through the muscle close to the injection, it wasn't even the first time i'd had it!

On the 8th may 09 (specifically remembered as it was our anniversary & we were having a party on the evening) he brought a cuppa to me in bed, I sat up to drink it & got cramp in the back of my leg (Calve). He told me to stand up but I was standing for long...I promptly passed out with no warning & woke to him shouting at me to wake up.

On this alone (which I think will right me off on it's own) is there any chance I could get through child birth or even the post operative pain of a caesarean? This is the only thing stopping us having a child.

Thanks for reading & any advice will be greatly recieved.


lechatnoir Sat 20-Jun-09 15:25:14

Childbirth and in particular pain of childbirth *in my opinion* bears absolutely no resemblance to any other sort of pain you will experience else and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad sense.

For some women labour is actually a pleasurable (or if not pleasurable then certainly positive) experience and I'd say for most yes it hurts but not so much we don't consider doing it again (& again) and I can assure you we all feel & fear pain.
I really don't mean to belittle your fears as they are obviously very real (and have you considered hypnotherapy or similar?), but you're focusing on one very small element of a much greater picture ie a lifetime reward as a parent vs a few hours of labour! .

I hope you can fulfill your dreams whatever they are.

HecatesTwopenceworth Sat 20-Jun-09 15:35:00

Labour hurts, there's no point saying it doesn't - but it hurts only until the child is born and it truly is forgotten. I can remember that it hurt, but I don't remember the feeling itself, iyswim. And it goes away with that last push. Over and done with.

A c-section hurts for weeks, I am told.

So if dealing with pain is a problem, then vaginal birth (if possible) would probably be easier for you, because the time you are in pain is far shorter.

The drugs are great! grin I had gas & air with number one and tried to pursuade them to let me take some home! grin I had to have an epidural with number 2 because there was a chance I might need a cs (I didn't) and I hated needles so much that they let me have gas & air while they did it!!!!

My needle phobia was so bad that it was preventing me from having a vital operation.

I had a few months of CBT. Not only did I have the operation in March of this year but I also injected myself in the stomach for 10 days afterwards!

I think you ought to see of cbt is available for you. It can work wonders.

And finally, if you really truly cannot bear the thought of the pain, is adoption a solution for you? There are many, many children who need a loving home.

BigTeuchLittleTeuch Sat 20-Jun-09 15:44:27

labour is definitely 'pain with purpose' as opposed to the pain you get when your body is warning you that something is not right.

I would second some sort of therapy for the anxiety you feel about needles and situations where you are likely to feel pain.

No-one can really tell you what level of pain you might feel during childbirth - god knows my MIL claims to have had nothing but a slightly sore knee!! - but millions of us do it and only some of us (you know who you are wink) actively seek other painful experiences! We don't do it because we are brave or hard, but because it tends to be a small part of the bigger picture...

Again, that is not meant to belittle your anxieties and fears at all, but I hope that it can help for you to get a handle on the perspective so that you can look at ways to try and put pain 'in its place', so to speak.

Hmmm...not very articulate, I know! For example, I am afraid of flying...if I got to the point where I couldn't take holidays or go on work trips because I couldn't fly, I would seek help with that fear rather than accept that I could only go places that I could drive or sail to.

I hope you can do that too smile

sheenaisapunkrocker Sat 20-Jun-09 15:47:17

Do you really want children, or is this a way of avoiding the issue?

If you do want to start a family but you are fearful, have you considered talking over your anxieties? Your GP might be a good place to start; either to allay your fears or refer you on to someone who can spend a bit of time with you talking this over and perhaps doing some phobia work or cognitive behaviour therapy if needed. This stuff is very effective for many people.

For what it's worth, my own personal view on childbirth is this: (and I have to admit that my views are somewhat theoretical as I am not due to give birth for 6 weeks!)

It seems to me that many women are scared to death of child birth and associated pain. We are fed with stories and images of birth being traumatic and something to endure. However, I believe that it does not always have to be this way. Some women do experience good births and the key seems to be information and preparation. Of course, sometimes it will not go to plan; the best laid plans and all that...

However, I think that there are lots of things you can do to put yourself in the best possible position for a good outcome. Good support is essential, and we have employed an independent midwife to this end (due to our local maternity services not offering the midwife-led care that I would like). The other main thing that I have done is to have some hypnobirthing classes to learn how to relax and keep calm. The midwives assure me that this is a good way to shorten and manage labour as effectively as possible. I wait to see...

I hope this is of some use to you. Good luck.

Mamulik Sat 20-Jun-09 19:22:56

you will be surprise how strong you are - when you need to push your baby you will be tiger!!!

StealthPolarBear Sun 21-Jun-09 07:12:47

sheena you are right, for a start you don't tend to hear the stories about "well it hurt but not unbearably and it all went fine" - they don't make such good storis!
For me pain is tied up with fear and panic - what is going on, why does that bit hurt, is it getting worse / better, do I have X, Y , Z dreadful disease, do I need to take the day off work / does DH need to take me to hospital. With labour you pretty much know what's happening, you know why you're in pain so the fear is mostly not there. Plus you know it's going to happen - you've been building up to it for 40 weeks! When it finally does happen it's a relief and you start getting on with it.

violethill Sun 21-Jun-09 11:52:19

I have known two women who have had a similar phobia about the pain of childbirth. They dealt with it in entirely different ways: one went down the hypnotherapy route and achieved a natural birth, and the other enlisted a lot of support from the hospital and they agreed to give her an epidural as soon as she arrived at the hospital in very early labour.

Both were happy with their births, which is the important thing, so it proves that there is no 'one answer', it's a case of investigating the options. Birth does hurt, there is no denying it, but it's about getting it in perspective and realising that there is a way through this.

Dalrymps Sun 21-Jun-09 12:11:23

I was really quite scared of giving birth. I just didn't like not knowing how painful it was going to be. I listened to natal hypnotherapy cd's throughout my pregnancy and read up as much as I could about labour etc. When I went to be induced (2 weeks overdue) I felt calm and capable. The labour was intense and quick and I coped with it. For me the early labour pains were a bit like the cramps you get before having the squits iyswim grin then it just got more intense till the pushing bit. The pushing bit felt really positive for me as I was just so excited to be about to meet my son smile. All the reading up i'd done helped me to make important decisions about the labour too as I felt fully informed and in control which in turn calmed me down.

I think as someone else sugested you would benefit from cbt or counselling or hypnotherapy, something to help you work through your fears.

Good luch whatever you decide smile

emilyreed86 Wed 24-Jun-09 11:40:43

Sheena thanks for the advice after the first question 'Do you really want children, or is this a way of avoiding the issue?'
If i was trying to avoid the issue, i really wouldn't bother to waste your time. I hope your birth & labour goes well.

I really appreciate all the posts on here & will go for therapy as i think it's a really good idea, along with hypnotherapy. I don't have fear over pregnancy or having children it's how my body will cope with possibly days of intense pain. hmm

HecatesTwopenceworth...think i will be with u on the gas & air whilst having the epidural.

Thanks again for all the advice it is much appreciated. grin

Zuzi Wed 24-Jun-09 14:15:53

Emily, I'm glad you talked about fear of needles. My complete phobia of any sort of medical intervention lead to a beautiful calm water birth (in the hospital) without any sort of pain relief. With loads of reading about what actually happens during birth.

This time however I am being pushed to having to have IV antibiotics during labour and I am absolutely terrified. The birth pains just don't compare to any other pain. After reading the thread I'll seriously consider CBT or hypnotherapy to help me deal with my needle phobia (I get palpitations, sweats, shakes when it comes to only stupid blood samples, just thinking about it makes me feel all clammy.)

I hope you will manage to overcome your fears as it is well worth it.

countrylover Wed 24-Jun-09 19:23:06

I know this is a slightly different phobia but I hate hate hate being sick, feeling sick, being close to anyone being sick. So being pregnant with the possibility of morning sickness and the thought of going to hospital where invariably there are people being sick or you're given drugs that make you feel sick really was facing my worst fears.

Somehow though I've done it twice, had babies that is. I'm not saying I'm a hero or anything but that it is possible to confront your fears and that honestly you'll feel so much stronger for doing so.

I was an absolute wreck for the first 12-14 weeks of each pregnancy, petrified of being sick. I nearly was several times and I won't pretend it was easy or pleasant but the end result is so worth it. I found concentrating on the baby and the pleasure they bring helped.

I did have some CBT for my second pregnancy and I thought it hadn't worked as I was still on the edge of panic attack for the first trimester for fear of vomiting. However when I went to hospital and ended up with another emergency C-section I really wasn't scared of all the drugs they were giving me and I wasn't asking if they would make me sick unlike the time before.

So, IMO CBT does work for phobias and incidentally I've had two c-sections and I'm not lying when I say it really didn't hurt after. Uncomfortable yes but painful no.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Dalrymps Wed 24-Jun-09 22:28:01

Search here for an official therapist who can do CBT in your area smile

Hope it all goes ok!

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 25-Jun-09 10:00:35

emily I know exactly how you feel, I went to get my ingrowing toenail sorted and the lady ended up having to look after me and get me a drink as I went white as a sheet when she brought out the blade!

I also was very scared and didn't think i would be able to cope. I attended two lots of classes both with different styles. And bascially resigened myself to the fact that it was going to be the worst pain and would feel like i was dying. In fact was I had a low placenta I was glad it would mean a csection, I was GUTTED when my last scan said I didn't need a csection and my fears returned.

I decided there is no medal for being in pain and would have an epidural as soon as i got to hospital. And tried to remember that my body is designed to get the baby out.

As it happens my labour was quite quick and I arrived at hospital after just over 4 hours from my first contraction to be told I was 9cm, hence no epidural! Must admit by then I was too focused on the contractions however did ask the midwife how much worse is it gonna get, she replied its not that I'd only have the pain of the bab y coming out and that the peidural didn't hell with that anyway (which i knew).

My experience was that of ocurse yes it hurt, you can't say it desn't BUT it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be. I coped very well. Like another poster said it is a different pain. stubbing your toe is soo painful its without warning, or warm up. Birth is diffrent, the contractions increase your ability to cope with the pain almoost and I can honestly say I would do it again.....if I could get my head around looking after too children but hey thats a different thread!

EyeballsandherSunburntNorks Thu 25-Jun-09 10:11:55

It's not the same thing but I put off having children for years because I was terrified of doctors, hospitals and being pregnant. I was married 7 years before I even felt I could discuss it. The weekend before I went in to be induced I locked myself in the bedroom and cried solid for two days, and I mean solid. I didn't eat a thing, I wouldn't speak to anyone, I was so terrified and just wanted to be dead. The night I went into labour I had spent three hours sobbing to a mw.

But, now I have a nightmare gorgeous 17 month old dd and, although I remember that feeling of terror, it was absolutely worth it and I'm even thinking of doing it again. I'm 38 in September and time is running out for me. I wish I'd conquered my fears sooner.

It seems like a big deal when you look at it as a whole but things happen bit by bit in pg. I had never had blood taken and was scared of that too, but now I'm registered to give blood. You can do this if it's what you really want. You just need to be upfront with everyone you encounter about your fears so they are all aware and can help you s much as possible.

Good luck

rupertsabear Thu 25-Jun-09 10:15:14

My favourite thing ever was having an epidural, because the pain of the contractions was so great that feeling the spreading solution going down and eliminating the pain was pure, pure bliss. So maybe it would even help you get over your fear of needles!

Rebeccaj Thu 25-Jun-09 14:26:22

I was exactly the same - I remember being in tears to my DH some years ago telling him he should find someone else as I was never going to have children as I was so petrified of the process.

Anyway. I ended up with 2 elective sections; first because my DD was breech, second I requested. I was thrilled about it. I had pretty much no pain from the C-sections and actually stopped taking the painkillers after the first couple of days. It's not like that for everyone, but it's certainly not a ticket to weeks of pain either.

I had the decision taken out of my hands at 36 weeks when DD was scanned as breech, but tbh I think deep down I never really believed I would have to give birth so never faced the fear - silly really.

Part of it is the unknown. Maybe if you got a good understanding of what actually happens (and no more watching Casualty or ER wink) maybe that would help? Or as someone else suggested, CBT or hypnotherapy?

PolarMummy Thu 25-Jun-09 21:48:50

Emily I completely understand your feelings and can completely sympathise with you. I am really really bad with pain too and not just my own but other peoples too! To explain how bad I am in school I friend fell and hurt her finger, I took her to the school nurse and I passed out (hitting my head on the bed on the way down) because she was in pain. Then in Uni a friend was in hospital after being beaten up I went to see her and again passed out!!

Even the smell of hospitals can make me feel sick and I sometimes have to convince myself that I am not going to pass out (which is hilarious as I now work in a hospital) I don't really have a fear of needles but if I have to have blood taken or anything I have to lie down so I don't pass out and even with this I have almost passed out a few times.

Now that I have set the sceen for you I can also say that I have a 20 month old DD and I am currently pregnant again with number 2 The whole hospital experience wasn't any where near as bad as I had imagined. I ended up having an emergency section due to complications and even this wasn't as bad as I had thought and it isn't just time dulling the memories because I clearly remember lying on our bed with my DH and our 1 week old DD lying in her cary cot beside us talking about next time and how I would manage things and the fact that if I had to have another section it wouldn't bother me!

If you really want a family then you can do it, you will be amazed at how you can cope. As others have said here look into coping mechanisms to prepare yourself and make you feel more confident.

Also remember that people only tend to share their horror stories about birth with you, if you do a search on here for positive birth stories you will find loads of then and try sticking to reading about these Good luck!

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 26-Jun-09 08:39:00

BTW Dh said to be afterwards that he was so proud of how I'd coped and that secretly he had been worried for me due to my low pain threshold!

monkeyfacegrace Fri 26-Jun-09 08:50:54

Well heres my story. Phobia (not just scared-full on phobia) of hospitals started when I was about 9. I couldnt walk past one or Id panic and faint. I had a phonecall telling me my mum was going to die (she didnt btw) Xmas eve one year, and I still couldn't go through the main door. Needles made me sick at the sight, didnt even have to touch me, Id vomit intantly I saw one, even a picture on TV.
Sooooo...I went and got pregant, and didnt have a choice!
My midwife took me on 4 seperate tours of the birth unit (seperate building to hosp thank god), cuz for the first 3 I took one step inside, got to reception and fainted.
My advice is probably silly, but it worked for me. Just go for it. Its amazing what you will do when you dont have a choice. Get preganant, and that baby is coming whether you like it or not!
And now, second child later, I even have the contraceptive injection!
Good luck x

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