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Anyone else scared sh'tless about the prospect of childbirth? And, for those who were but are now out the other side, how did it weigh up?

(49 Posts)
confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 22:17:48

This has probably come up 101 times before, but I think me and DH may TTC in the coming months - or at least think more seriously about it!
I am a diabetic (type 1) and so the likliehood of extra intervention is likely (as far as I an tell that seems to be the norm unfortuntely) and I am squeamish to say the least. Not to mention, due to being a bit of a control freak over my own body (although nothing else) worried about being 'told' I need things that, in fact, make things easier for the staff rather than myself and the baby. (I have also read some threads re Type 1's and their birth stories on MN which hasn't helped matters!)
So, anyone out there, pregnant or those already with children - what are your thoughts on the whole thing? Are you too squeamish, scared, denial, or gloriously positive? All stories and opinions would be helpful (I think hmm)

NumptyMum Sat 22-Aug-09 22:54:04

My own experience was that childbirth was painful (induced in my case, with only gas & air), but was over quickly and then life with a baby very rapidly banishes the memory of childbirth! I don't know what intervention you might have to face with your condition, so can't really offer advice re that.

I think if you are worried or not relaxed about it, it might be worth finding out about doulas, or have someone who's done it before as a birth partner - I'm pretty sure you can have more than one birth partner, so your DH can be there too. Although my DH was a great birth partner, being our first experience he did find it harder to express/enforce our wishes with the midwife. And I think doulas can support you beforehand too. The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) also have a helpline, so you can call them to ask about any issues.

Good luck!

LightningBolt Sat 22-Aug-09 23:01:02

it IS painful,but once you see the baby all pain is forgotten.

Had 2 natural births (Lucky) ds with G+A and dd very rapid no intervention.

Maybe worth getting a doula and gaining as much info as poss in your case?

wilkos Sat 22-Aug-09 23:03:24

painful, tiring, scary, wonderful and very empowering

that about sums it up for me

night all grin

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:05:50

Thanks for replying.

I have wondered about the doula option (but prob too expensive) and have also, admittedly drunkenly, asked a close friend - DH would be great but it would be pretty exhausting for him too and maybe nice to share the, erm, experience. (Another possible is my mum but mind changes on that daily.)Friend I asked is also mother of two (one plain sailing home birth, one high drama C sec) so would potentially be a good person to have.

I hear induction is far worse than letting things go their own way. However, I also hear that you forget relatively quickly. However, when i see a hugely pregnant woman all I can think is 'eek, that has to come out' and both exits are horrid!

PacificDogwood Sat 22-Aug-09 23:07:45

I have had 1 induced vaginal birth, 1 emergency CS at 31 weeks, spontaneous labour and vag deliver and am currently expecting DS4 grin.
All my birth experiences have been positive ones, my favorite being the third.
Whilst expecting DS1 it helped me to consider that whatever happened during labour and delivery, it was going to be finite and come to an end. Whereas the baby was forever and not just for Christmas, IYKWIM.

I am not diabetic, and have no specialist knowledge but work as a GP. As long as your DM is well controlled which during pregnancy may well mean a change of insulin regime, more frequent injections and blood tests, you should be as well and healthy as the next expecting mother, and so should your baby.

As fas as control over your own body goes, that can go out of the window v swiftly whether you are diabetic or not when pregnant. Would it help to see it all as a great adventure where what happens next is NOT entirely predictable? For instance, I had so braced myself for morning sickness and never had a bit of it until this pregnancy (my 8th shock, had 4 MMCs) when I was totally surgprised by it...

As far as reading other people's pregnancy, delivery and birth stories goes (and I am addicted to those) just bear in mind that sharing horror stories is always more exciting and interesting than "normal" experiences.

IME, it might be helpful if you find a way to feel able to reliquish a degree of control and just go with it. This does not mean you should not be well informed and know/express your preferences. However there just are no guarantees in regards to this baby making business.

Good luck to you smile.

Portofino Sat 22-Aug-09 23:09:15

At the end of the day it is ONE day in your life. I didn't hve a dream birth but it wasn't THAT bad. It is painful and undignified,yes. But the end result is worth it.

PacificDogwood Sat 22-Aug-09 23:11:24

1. I have not forgotten the pain.

2. Size of bump is NOT related to size of baby. Also size/wt of baby not as important as size of head [grin[

3. I reminded myself that women have been doing this since the dawn of time, so was there any reason why I should not manage??! This was always effective way to give myself a good slap.

Now off to bed, just had to add this in response to your post, OP. Night, night.

PacificDogwood Sat 22-Aug-09 23:12:16

grin obviously!

NumptyMum Sat 22-Aug-09 23:16:15

I think your friend would be the better birth partner, given her experience will be more recent than your mum's, and hospital procedures will probably have changed.

Yes, the baby does have to come out - but a woman's body is designed for that. And when you're hugely pregnant, it's all you want! Although contractions are painful/strong, when the contraction stops the pain lifts - so it's not continuous. Being tense means your muscles work against the contractions and make things more difficult. So the hard thing is to be relaxed and give birth... The amazing thing was, 3 days after giving birth I felt so great I couldn't believe I'd done it, so you can recover really quickly.

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:18:27

Thank you both PD and P (as above) All view points are welcome!

Re PD's point about 'bad' birth's making better stories than good, I think the same is true about going to the dentist! I mean, does anyone ever hear anything good about the dentist?!

I do lots of tests anyway (lots of exercise so need to both before and after working out - just done a triathlon and also have a border collie so I am certainly not a slob!) so am hoping it wouldn't be too hard to keep an handle on although I guess the diabetes team or whoever would hopefully be there if any queries or probs. Am a slowish healer though (or at least I seem to be in comparison to non diabetic DH) which worries me with both kinds of delivery. Guess there is only so much control you can have, so maybe I need to lighten up a bit (although once had doc in Dubai, aged 14, saying they needed to amputate whole leg due to injection site infection so control freakery understandable...)

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:21:44

Numptymum - thanks. Good point to consider re my mum or my friend being at any birth. My mum had shortish labours with all 3 and no stitches or problems with any of us.
I am seriously hoping there is something in this 'birthing in the same way your mother did' business.

furrymonster Sat 22-Aug-09 23:23:24

I had a very long labour, 31 hours and ended up with emergency c-section because of failier to progress, but I had a really positive birth experience and came away feeling really empowered. I recommend natal hypnotherepy cd's or hypnobirthing if you can afford it. Preparation is the key. I was the calmest one there! I had two birth partners which helped as they could take shifts!

size of bump def not indication to size of baby.

Just make sure you stay in control of what happens to you, your body and your baby. Don't let anyone talk you into anything you don't want and don't be afraid to say you need them to go away for a bit so you can think. Maybe have someone with you who knows your wishes so they can back you up.

Most of the staff at my birth were really lovely.

good luck.

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:25:53

furrymonster - your advice makes sense, but is it realistic for your wishes / plans to stay in the pipeline once you're in the throes, so to speak. Or, if the whole thing goes out the window, do you care?!

furrymonster Sat 22-Aug-09 23:25:55

Also TENS machine a must!!!!! could't have done it without mine. The best place we found to hire was "tensmachine direct" was cheap and you get it for quite a long time.

furrymonster Sat 22-Aug-09 23:31:28

definately. The key is to be flexible. I had a kind of scale that I wanted things done. eg. pain relief, first try tens, then paracetamol, then water pool, then morphine and so on, c-section being last resort. I had a definite idea of the atmosphere I wanted in the room with the lighting, music, lowered voices etc and everyone respected that. I had done yoga and learned some positions that I wanted to try and massage that my partners could do. Just keep communicating and if something you thought would work isn't, change it!

minnietheminx007 Sat 22-Aug-09 23:34:15

i found that just zoned out when it was bad, which for about an hour/two hours it was unbearable but still bearable enough for me to get through with no drugs even though i was begging my boyf for them....thats the odd thing about childbirth, you think you cant cope but you know inside you can! remember throughout that this time tomorrow it will all be over, we've all been through nasty things in our lives and this is just another day x

furrymonster Sat 22-Aug-09 23:36:13

This is something that your body was made to do, your body has the ability to give birth to your baby, you have to trust it. You can't give birth with your mind but keeping it in a calm, relaxed state will help your body do its most important job.

you will be fine, have faith in yourself, and if there is any need for assistance, you will simply adjust to the new challenge.

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:41:55

This is what I am hoping! I guess some nerves (and, to get things in perspective, I'm not even bloody pregnant yet!) are natural but it's still good to hear from others.
I think one of the things that really scares me is lots of docs etc taking over as I am diabetic. I have always been well informed and made a choice and, frankly, want to keep it that way!

NumptyMum Sat 22-Aug-09 23:43:25

oh yes, that reminds me - toward the end of labour I had this really weird feeling of knowing what people were going to say before they said it. It was only later I realised I was only taking in what people said a second or two after they'd spoken blush. At the time I felt really powerful because of it!

So there are funny ways that you may find to manage the experience, completely outwith your plan!

confuseddoiordonti Sat 22-Aug-09 23:46:26

Good to hear!

shell96 Sun 23-Aug-09 00:01:57

I had a 26 hour labour (induction) followed by emergancy c-section as babe had his head tilted back and irregular contractions meant he just wasnt coming out!!

The only time i felt scared about giving birth was in the labour suite when i heard the woman in the next room being told to push - it suddenly hit me that i would have to do that too (bit stupid as i'd been in labour for about 20 hours by then. lol)

Just be open to all forms of pain relief - diamorphine was fab (a lovely slightly drunk feeling but still retaining all ability to think) and the epidural was a great relief too and gave both me and my partner a bit of a rest. Tens machine helped by distracting me and giving something to concentrate on but i didnt like the gas and air at all. Still worth a try though.

furrymonster Sun 23-Aug-09 00:02:03

You seem like a pretty strong person, I'm sue it will soon become clear to staff that you want to remain in control. Maybe put it on your plan or even tell them!

furrymonster Sun 23-Aug-09 00:02:58

mmmmmm gas and air! wink

Boobz Sun 23-Aug-09 11:43:21

This may sounds perverse, but I actually enjoyed my labour. I was actively looking forward to it as well, and was excited rather than scared of the whole thing - I wonder if this made a difference to the end result?

It went on for rather a long time (4 days) and I'm sure there were times when I thought "I'm knackered, I'm not sure how much more of these contractions I can do" but in the end, the pushing stage was quite quick vs. the contractions (80 hours vs 35 mins) and then DD popped out and I was so so happy.

Look forward to it, don't dread it.

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