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anyone terrified to have another baby?

(33 Posts)
desperatehousewife Wed 06-Apr-05 16:43:36

Loved being pregnant until the last couple of weeks of pre-eclampsia and bad experience in hospital for a week with induction, undiagnosed breech until last minute, tried to turn baby, baby in distress, culminating with an emergency c-section followed by all our stuff (wallet, mobile and camera) being nicked from our labour room. Then had PND I think for a long, long time, cried for months and felt hopeless a lot of the time.

Would love DS to have a sibling, but am really rather scared and not to say reluctant to go through it all again (I know I probaly would have a totally different experience - but can't be sure I wont' have pnd again and just hate those first few months). Am thinking seriously about trying to concieve in a couple of months time.

Anyone got any encouraging words of wisdom!!???

Roobedoo Wed 06-Apr-05 16:54:02

I had a horrendous birth experience and had flashbacks for ages, but feeling better and better and now can't wait to have another! Someone on here recommended looking at the Birth Trauma Association website - may be worth a look. I'm convincing myself the second one will just pop out as everything has been stretched!

SkiBunnyFlummy Wed 06-Apr-05 16:56:57


your story like mine

birthwise, we werent robbed and I didn't have PND

i'm scared too. pre-eclampsia unusual in second pregnancy

Merlin Wed 06-Apr-05 17:29:54

Well, can't say I had horrendous pregnancy or even birth with DS1 (breech, no labour, section). Did have PND though. But here I am with no2 due on Saturday and am PETRIFIED of labour!!!! Have everything I could think of in place to help me - doula, tens machine, drugs trolley at the ready at the hospital etc etc!!! Sorry to hear your bad experience, but reading other threads on here I think it's almost guaranteed that no 2 pregnancys/labours will be the same.

desperatehousewife Wed 06-Apr-05 17:51:06

skibf - are you thinking of having another?
For me it was coming up for 3 years ago and I don't want to have much bigger a gap than there already will be....feel like time is ticking away a bit and I need to be confident about our decision....yikes...

fuzzywuzzy Wed 06-Apr-05 17:51:59

Not me personally, but my neighbour (absolutely lovely lady), had a horrendous birth experience for her first baby, it was so bad she swore not to have another. She fell pregnant by accident last year (seven years after her first baby). This birth was completely different from the first, she said that had her first experience been like the second birth she wouldn't have been so frightened about having another.......hth

MaryP0p1 Wed 06-Apr-05 17:57:56

I had a relatively nice pregnancy the first time and a dreadful time the second. I think I was depressed throughout the pregnancy and ill most of it as well. For some reason at about 30 week decided I didn't want to birth and put the fear of god into myself for the rest of the pregnancy. My labour was incredibly straightward to the point where I had a hour labour and no stitches. The first time a slow long labour ending with a ventouse delivery. The only thing I can say is each pregnancy is as individual as the child and maybe second time lucky.

Goldfish Wed 06-Apr-05 17:59:51

Ds1s birth was awful. The midwife apologised afterwards because she said she had misjudged the situation and had never done that before. I went into labour 6 weeks early, never had the urge to push at all and ds1 was well and truly stuck. They said it was too late for a c-section so I had an episiotomy and forceps. Ds1 is 11 now and still has the mark on his forehead from the forceps. They said I lost twice as much blood as I should have done and I was badly bruised. To top it off as DS1 was so early and he was also ill he had to stay in SCBU for 2 weeks.
However 6 months on I was pregnant again. Ds 2 was only 2 weeks early and it was brilliant experience. Where ds1 was whisked away, I actually helped ds2 out and held him straight away. I was much more in control and it was fantastic. I acually got the same midwife and she remembered me and she was great. I wanted to do it all again afterwards although I never did.

Twiglett Wed 06-Apr-05 18:02:20

I went blind in my eye when pregnant with DS due to a retinal hemmorhage (thankfully only for 8 months)

Was worried about it happening again - but still got pregnant with DD - eyes were fine, but developed pregnancy-induced asthma which felt worse TBH

Thing is though, pregnancy can be pants or can be a breeze and you'll never know - what you do know is you'll come out the other side of it with a beautiful new baby so its kind of worth it, whatever happens

Just becuase you had PND before doesn't mean you'll get it again, and you will be able to recognise the signs for it if you do, so hopefully can be treated quicker


franch Wed 06-Apr-05 18:57:23

I've posted on this subject before but can't find my old threads. I had a traumatic birth in Jan last year and am expecting my second baby this Sept. I've had a lot of help from the Birth Trauma Association, from the ukmidwifery email group , and from the consultant midwife at the hosp I've chosen. The last of these actually came round to my house so that I could talk through my birth story, have a good cry and make plans for this time round. I'm going for a homebirth this time, hopefully a waterbirth, and am planning to do a hypnobirthing course to help me let go of some of the fear.

Your hosp may offer a similar 'debriefing' service either from a senior midwife or one of the hosp psychologists (it was someone from the Birth Trauma site who suggested I should ask for this).

Hope some of this helps - I've looked into this subject a lot lately so am happy to chat about it with you - was feeling terrified but now a lot more positive.

Good luck

pixel Wed 06-Apr-05 21:46:08

My first labour was hard and very frightening and I wasn't looking forward to going through it again. I was in shock and kept going over it in my mind for ages afterwards. My second labour was completely different, four hours in total with only 2 puffs of gas and air and no stitches. I couldn't believe how much more in control I felt. I was more in tune with what was happening to my body and more assertive about what I wanted.

And if that's not encouraging enough, I have an example like Fuzzywuzzy's, of a lady who had such a bad lst labour that she didn't have the courage to try again for 7 years. The second time around her waters broke and she had the baby while her husband was on the phone to the midwife!

NannyJo Wed 06-Apr-05 21:52:05

absolutley loved pregnancy and labour and can't wait to do it again however have been told there could be risks. That scares the hell out of me. Who do we put first our want for a sibling is huge and the thought of never experiencing it all again is terrifying but is it worth the risks to a baby/feotus and me???

Jodiesmum Thu 07-Apr-05 10:48:28

A good test is to try to imagine how you'll feel in 10 years time if you don't have another one - would that be OK or does it feel like a big loss? For me it became really clear by the time DD1 was a year old but I was really scared of doing it all again, especially without a toddler to look after. Luckily I didn't have time to think about it for long, being a bit of an old codge, and I'm SO glad - seeing my two little girlies laughing together I feel like having them is the best thing I'll ever do.

adrift Thu 07-Apr-05 11:00:17

DH, the fact that you now suspect you had PND (I gather from your post that you did not get a diagnosis?) will make you much more alert to it if it arises again. You will know to take action early this time if it strikes again (though it may not).

I only worked out in retrospect that I'd had PND and I was so scared about trying for another one. I remember thinking, I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing it for DH and, mostly, for my first child. When I felt myself slumping again soon after the birth of no2, I was onto my HV pretty quickly and to my astonishment, a few months later, everything is fine -- much much better than it ever was with my first baby. It seems mindboggling, but I'm having a lovely time. It seems almost miraculous.

Hope this is encouraging enough for you...

Lonelymum Thu 07-Apr-05 11:04:42

Well I have to say desperatehousewife that it sounds as though you had the most horrendous time giving birth to your ds. I am tempted to say that surely second time round could not be as bad as that, but then I have no experience of pre-eclampsia, undiagnosed breech presentation, emergency c-section or having all my things stolen from the labour room (dispicable!) I did, however, have a tough time with ds1 and cried for some time afterwards when I thought about the difficult birth - nothing as bad as you, I have to say. I went on to have three more children (!) and none of their births were anything like as bad as ds1's although I admit I spent each pregnancy worrying that they would be.

If I were you I would ask myself a couple of questions:

1) Despite the horror of the birth, would you say your ds was worth the suffering you went through? I know my ds1 is.

2) How likely is it that you will experience all the same problems a second time around? Perhaps you could discuss this with your doctor or midwife who may be able to reassure you. I can't think of anyone I know who had a worse time second time around but plenty of people with horrendous first time birth stories to tell such as you.

Toothache Thu 07-Apr-05 11:17:41

DH - I suffered from PND for 18mths at least after ds was born!

When he was 2yrs old I felt ready for another, although had exactly the same fears as you have (although i didn't have the scary birth experience you had).

I got pg a bit earlier than planned when ds was 2.3yrs old and spent most of the pregnancy in total terror at the prospect of hitting rock bottom again and not being able to remember the 1st year if my 2nd babies life either!

My PND was undiagnosed until ds was 18mths old, I felt better and went to the GP. By that point I was over the worst and didn't require any medication.

I spoke at length with my GP and one of the MW's about how I was terrified of PND again. They assured me that this time it would be spotted immediately, and as I was being honest and open about how I'd hidden it from everyone I wouldn't slip through the net again. That made me feel much better. At 32 wks pg I slumped to a low and the MW recommended doing the Postnatal Edinburgh Test where I scored 18 and was prescribed AD's. I didn't take them, but felt better again as I realised that if anything turned 'bad' after the baby was born I'd be taken seriously and not left alone to cope again.

Dd was born at 39 wks and I sat waiting for the PND to strike me down...... I waited and waited. When ds was 9 days old I can vividly remember that being my last day of being happy.... so when dd hit 9 days old without consequence I was so happy. Everything seemed easier, I couldn't believe how proud and happy I was with dd.....feelings I am ashamed to admit I just didn't feel with ds.

But now, 8mths on, I have not suffered from PND. Despite having some rough times, and going through a bad patch with DH I don't and haven't felt the deep sense of hopelessness that I felt back then.

My HV came around every week and spoke to me about my feelings, and taught me relaxation techniques to cope with anxiety and she really spent time with me which helped so much.

Just be honest with your health carers and push for support if it isn't offered (which I'm sure it will be).

I don't know if it was the mental preparation and support from the GP, HV and MW's that prevented PND striking again, or if I was just not unfortunate enough to suffer twice. Doesn't matter. I prepared myself for the worst, but kept up my optimism by knowing that if I did suffer again I would have lots of support and understanding.

When you have another baby, the reality is you are more likely to suffer PND as you have suffered previously. But just be prepared and realise that this time you will seek the help that would have perhaps got you through it quicker and easier.

Good luck! Go for it! Please don't live in fear of PND, you really can gain some control over it and fight it head on before it gets hold.

jabberwocky Thu 07-Apr-05 11:40:25

DH, very similar experience to yours as far as undiagnosed breech, horrible, experience all the way around and PN PTSD (the birth trauma website has great information on this btw). I also had Bell's Palsy and am at risk of having it again. I hate to say it, but the risk of having half of my face paralysed again, especially with at least a 20% risk of it being permanent definitely gives me pause. I have struggled with this since ds was a year old as that was when we had originally planned to start trying for a second child. As he gets older and I enjoy interacting with him more every day, I am starting to feel that I can be happy with an only child. I may always wonder, but even my OB said to me, "Sometimes it's best to stop while your ahead,". So, unless it happens by accident (and dh is very careful after a year of PTSD with me) I doubt we will be doing it again.

dot1 Thu 07-Apr-05 13:53:13

To be honest I don't think I'll be having another one as we already have 2 children, but every now and then I think about it. I had a horrible pregnancy - sick, tons of heartburn and I think was mildly depressed. Then awful labour ending in emergency c-section. So the only way I can think about going through it again is to plan ahead as much as possible - eg I would insist on an elective c-section... contentious I know, but it's the only way I'd consider doing it again and that would make all the difference to me. I'd also get Zantac (for heartburn) much quicker if that started to happen again. etc.etc.... So my advice would be to plan a strategy for how you'd cope - maybe elective, + plan to go to GP within the first couple of weeks after baby's birth to discuss PND. You could actually write an action plan and then you might feel better that you've got a bit of control?

desperatehousewife Thu 07-Apr-05 17:41:21

Thank you all so much - really appreciate your thoughts on this. Toothache, great to read your experience...

I absolutely didn't accept that it was PND until about 18 months on by which point it was all getting a lot better anyway. So I know that i would be better prepared to deal with it second time round and accept it to myself and to a HV.

But to be honest, what can be done about PND? All very well talking about it and being honest about it and getting 'support' (I had loads of support from friends and family first time round, but it didn't help), but is that enough?

I have an absolute fear of pills for depression (I accept I am very ignorant in this field - but my old fashioned perception is ADs=addiction and continued problems)

If someone said to me the experience will be as bad and I will feel as bad I definatley woulnd't go through it again - as much as I love my DS, nothing for me is worth feeling that out of control and unhappy and strange.

dot1 Thu 07-Apr-05 21:40:05

I'm very lucky and didn't get PND, but my dp did after having ds1 and all I can say is that the ADs were an absolute life-saver. I watched her almost disappear from life with depression and within a couple of weeks of starting the AD she came back! She had no problems getting off them - was only on them for about 6 -9 months. Recently her depression has re-occured, but the ADs have done wonders again - really helped lift the horrible cloud - and again, I should imagine she'll come off them in a few months. Nothing to be scared about - suffering PND for months and months is much more scary...

dot1 Thu 07-Apr-05 21:41:15

PS - maybe do some reseach on ADs so you feel more confident about what they might be able to offer you, should you ever need them?

sallycinnamon Thu 07-Apr-05 22:23:34

Toothache what an inspiring story. I too hid pnd- well at least how severe it was- fooled everyone into thinking I was improving. I also worry about having another child. I feel so terribly guilty as I have very few happy memories of dd's 1st year. Really don't think I can put myself or dp through it again. Desperatehousewife know exactly how you feel.

Toothache Fri 08-Apr-05 08:33:48

DH - I really believe that the mental preparation for it, rather than the fear of it can seriously reduce the severity. If AD's are needed then so be it. As so many people on MN have pointed out to me, if you have a headache - you take a pill, if you are epileptic - you take your pills, asthmatic - take your inhaler.... this is just another illness that nay need treated with medication.

My GP recommended homeopathic remedies which were amazing. SHe told me that she has no idea how it works, but in her experience as a GP it really works for many women. I took Sepia, but you can look into one that suits you better. You can buy them in Boots, they are not expensive (£4 for a tub that lasts maybe a month).

SO you are correct in that the chemical imbalance that may happen to cause PND can't be treated with support and talking, that may need medication. However I really believe that a large part of PND is emotional. Increased anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, fear of PND resurfacing, trying to breastfeed and 'failing', feelings of not being able to cope.... these can all be reduced with support, people believing that you are ill, not incompetent and you need understanding, talking to people on MN that have been there and can tell you on your lowest days that you are NORMAL and that you're not a terrible Mum and it's okay to feel ready to burst every now and then!

And most of all to help you put things into perspective. I lost all perspective when I was so depressed. I just thought the logical and most selfless thing to do would be to walk in front of a truck.... then (in my head) I thought everyone will just get on with their lives and be happier. It's frightening when these thoughts are screaming in your head louder than the noise of your baby screaming for a cuddle.
I couldn't even make a decision about what to cook for dinner without crumbling on the kitchen floor in tears!

But please don't think that if you have another baby that it has to be inevitable. You can do lots of things to help yourself and it's quite empowering when you see that can take some control of the future.

desperatehousewife Fri 08-Apr-05 08:46:37

Toothache - thank you soooo much for this - you are very motivational (do you do motivational speaking by any chance or councelling?!)

You are absolutely right - and I wish I had accepted I had PND and I wish I had known about Mumsnet 3 years ago - because as you say, it's full of people who know what you're going through.

And that's the bizarre thing I found when I was low, was that I was convinced that everyone else in my NCT group and all my other friends with kids were coping brilliantly and not getting stressed out and that it was only me who obsessively tidyed the flat before the HV came (because it was the only thing I had control over). And only me who felt like a crap mum and that I has assumed it was going to be my lifes vocation and that I was born to be an earth mother - and the reality was that I really wan't any of these things. I was terrified by the little bundle that did nothing but go red and scream in my ear for 12 hours a day, that projectile vomited all his milk up for 4 months and scream in agony after every time. God it was vile and I felt so robbed of those early months of bonding and love.

Anyway, sorry, gone off on a bit of a ramble/rant there - can't believe how fresh it all feels when I 'talk' about it - think about it so little now - it's just something that happened, and you have to think forwards don't you?

But thank you everyone who has told me their experiences. x

Toothache Fri 08-Apr-05 08:58:14

DH - I feel very passionately about how to treat PND and feel that is SOOO worsened by the womans need to hide it from people and the belief that its something to be ashamed of.
The last thing you feel like doing when you are in the black pit of depression is fighting.... you just want to curl up and die and hope it all goes away..... so the key is to try to build up your knowledge of the condition and try to be well prepared so that your are feeling strong and optimistic BEFORE the depression may strike.

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