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OK, I'll be honest I'm petrified about labour

(17 Posts)
Wills Thu 10-Sep-09 18:06:26

This is baby (hopefully) number 4 (even at 30 weeks I'm scared to hope having had 4 mcs so no laughing at me). DD1 was induced, I had 11 midwives, the last one being my domino midwife that I'd hoped would follow through the whole thing. I learnt first hand that if baby is not ready to come out and you induce that if feels like you're trying to "crow bar" baby out. DD2 was 2 weeks early, an abrupted placenta and I lost 2 litres of blood sad had to have a transfusion but was nevertheless (from my perspective and NOT from a medical perspective) an awful lot easier than the first as it was over in a couple of hours grin. DS1 was induced (against my better judgement but I kind of got emotionally cornered by the consultant) and not only did he NOT want to come out but he was back to back. I had epidural which failed on one side leaving me on my back in total agony pushing when I wasn't ready for sheer hell for 8 hours. Since baby number 4 wasn't planned I never bothered talking to anyone about ds's birth but thinking back to his labour leaves me absolutely shaking/sick with fear. I'm even considering an elective ceaserean (sp?) which is a shame given I pushed the other 3 out.

My perfect labour (aside of course from having little pain and wafting around grin would be to have little one at home with a known midwife that I trust implicitly. Given the drama of number 2 and sheer mess that number 3 turned into can anyone suggest ideas on how I could make this less fearful. I'm certain that going into hospital scares me. Not so much the medical aspect that's good more that I feel 100% out of control. With each new midwife I'm trying to ensure they like me and don't disapprove of any decision I need to make. Oddly labour number 2 I had a midwife that I really bonded with and I'm sure that's why of all the three labours I remember that one with almost joy. The lead midwife and the senior house doctor worked so brilliantly with me that at no point did I feel that anything was going to go wrong. Unfortunately I've moved house since then (100 miles) and am at a new hospital where the only person i've met and liked so far is the gp surgery's midwife.

Would a birth centre still be an option. Dare I say it would a home birth be an option?

carikube8 Thu 10-Sep-09 18:10:37

As long as you are classed as low-risk, you can decide to go to a birthing centre on the day itself - you don't have to 'book in' in advance or anything.

I went to one and loved the fact that it felt more homely and less clinical than hospital so it may well be a good way of making you feel more relaxed about it all.

Good luck!

violethill Thu 10-Sep-09 20:38:49

Birth centre is the way to go.

I am like you - I don't like hospitals unless I'm ill. Giving birth is a natural event unless you are unlucky enough to need medical interventions, and therefore many women feel happiest not having it medicalised.

Wills Thu 10-Sep-09 21:50:42

I agree that a brith centre sounds appealing just that it scares me at the same time. Through labours 2 and 3 an emergency cesarian loomed all the time. I'm worried that I'm needlessly putting little one's life at risk.

MrsHappy Thu 10-Sep-09 22:01:52

Is there a birth centre which is part of a local hospital? I am hoping to have a VBAC in a birth centre where the operating theatre is only a lift ride away but at which, providing all is well, it should be much less interventionist than a unit with doctors. I see it as a relatively low risk compromise.

Also have you considered hiring a doula for extra support? Or even an independent midwife to come with you and act as your doula in the hospital? She could help deal with hospital staff and afterwards, if things are not straightforward, might be able to help you if you need to talk about what has gone on. I just think it helps to have someone to share that stuff so you can concentrate on labouring.

rempy Thu 10-Sep-09 22:07:02

Got time for a bit of fat girls yoga? Very helpful I found. Lots of calming breathing. Lots of positive visualisation.

And find out exactly what your hospital offers. We have a low risk and a high risk end of the labour ward. Not exactly candles in the low risk, but opportunities for whale music.

MrsHappy Thu 10-Sep-09 22:08:03

grin @ "opportunities for whale music"

Wills Thu 10-Sep-09 22:21:42

So explain to me what a doula is then? I always thought they were equivalent to a fab "mums help" type person that comes into your home after the birth of your child knowing exactly how to help you cope with your newborn and other children.....

I ought to find out what the hospital offers according to them and not listen to the various helpful horror stories that have been told to me.

MrsHappy Fri 11-Sep-09 07:12:55

There are post-natal doulas who come and help out after the birth, but you can also hire one who will come with you to the hospital and support you through the birth. They are not medically qualified but some will have attended a fair few births and I think (although am prepared to be corrected) that there are doula-ing courses where they study labour and birth. They are there just to offer you support and reassurance.

More info here.

Also, re the hospital, IME the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you have an idea of how you want your birth to be, start speaking to people at the hospital about it (consultant midwife, supervisor of midwives, labour ward manager, your consultant) and see if that helps.

carikube8 Fri 11-Sep-09 07:58:10

What I didn't say about my time at the birth centre is that when labour didn't progress as planned I got transferred in to hospital (though then went back out to the birth centre afterwards). We had been worried about what happened in such cases but it was pointed out to us that MWs have seen so many births that they can tell very early on if things aren't progressing the way that they would like and will always err on the side of caution. This means that any transfer to hospital can be done relatively calmly (albeit in an ambulance!) as it won't be left until the last minute when it becomes critical.

Even though I had to be transferred I still wouldn't change the fact that I went there in the first place and I'm going to try and go there again for dc#2.

Wills Fri 11-Sep-09 08:08:35

thanks carkube8 that's really positive.

I agree that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and normally that wouldn't be a problem for me (gift of the gab grin and all that) BUT this time I have been assigned to one of the consultants staff and she has had a personality bypass. She's one of those people where you seriously wonder whether they became a doctor because it was a good career rather than a passion to help people. She NEVER looks at me and rarely bothers to read my notes. The other day she wrote down that this was baby number 2 and pregnancy number 3 when actually this will hopefully be baby number 4 and is pregnancy number 8. I had to correct her and that immediately put her out! I went to get 'around' her but am not sure how.

lou4791 Fri 11-Sep-09 08:40:02

I think you're only barrier to being supported in planning a birth centre birth or home birth would be the placental abruption and heavy bleed, and I think most medical staff would have to advise a hospital birth because of this. Have you thought about an independent midwife? Great individualised care, proper informed choices for you, and although expensive the cost canbe spread out. Good luck x

childrenchildreneverywhere Fri 11-Sep-09 10:15:08

I think you will have problems using a birth centre as I don't think you will meet their acceptance criteria due to your PPH and abruption, though it's worth asking to meet with the HOM/your consultant to discuss the possibilities. Homebirth is still very definitely an option which cannot be refused due to your obstetric history.

I would also recommend the doula option (I would seeing as I am one wink). Doula's are all trained in basic obstetrics, but most importantly they are usually mothers themselves and trusting of the birth process (something that can't be said for all medical staff!). A birth doula will meet with you at least 3 times before the birth and will be available 24hrs a day from 38wks onwards as well as always open to emails and phone calls beforehand. They will then be by your side as soon as you want them during labour and afterwards (usually 2hrs) and then meet again after the birth. We can debrief your previous experience, help you to understand why it happened and how to prevent it happening again, help to build your confidence, help you to understand your options and understand the medical jargon thrown at you now and on the day, hold your hand if you need it, help your partner to be much more confident and much more involved on the day etc...etc...etc.. Research has shown that doulas dramatically reduce the need for C-Sections, epidurals and other intervention and can really help you to feel in control of the birth again. I've worked for many couples who have had traumatic experiences previously and without fail they have all (dads too) commented on how much help the extra doula support was. www.doula.org.uk covers more and will help you find a doula in your area. If finance is an issue they run a hardship fund where you could get help for free.

Also have a look into HypnoBirthing www.hypnobirthing.co.uk the class could really help to debrief and lose the negative emotions from your previous experiences and help to prepare you positively and boost your confidence to have an easy and enjoyable birth this time!

Good luck smile

Wills Fri 11-Sep-09 11:08:51

CCew, Would a doula be allowed into the delivery room as well as the partner? There appears to be a policy that I can only take one person in with me.

daxibaby Fri 11-Sep-09 18:01:44

Yes of course she should be.
Where abouts are you located?

JonAndHateTheDailyMail Sun 13-Sep-09 02:18:12

Have you considered an independent midwife?

That way you'll definetely know the person who'll be responsible for you at your birth and if s/he that has close links with your local hospital (ie used to work there or does extra shifts there now!) they might let s/he be your 'responsible' midwife during the birth.

Henry73 Thu 17-Sep-09 10:40:01

I am a Doula if you want to call and chat things through please do?

All the best

Ema xx

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