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Scared about giving birth!

(30 Posts)
pregnantmimi Tue 23-Aug-11 23:54:07

Hi Im 23 weeks up until last week or so been very calm about the whole giving birth situation looking into hypnobirthing and alternative therapies but this week I have become obsessed with it!

I feel quite scared and have thought about having a caesarian but tonight spoke to my sister in law who has had 2 and they sound even worse that giving birth.

I scared about the pain, if the babies going to be ok, what will happen, when it will happen!

I have heard so many horror stories about woman giving birth and being in lots of pain or baby getting stuck and starting to panic I have even started having trouble breathing when I think about it.

Saw midwife today she said that she doesnt deal with if Im having a caesarian or not.

I cant talk to husband about it cause hes in another country till november and hard to talk very often and my Mum has told me to stop obsessing and I will be fine cause she was.

Any advice or nice labour stories would be fabxx

hester Wed 24-Aug-11 00:05:21

Oh you poor thing, i do sympathise. I'm sure you'll get lots of reassuring responses on this thread, and here's my tuppence worth:

I had a long labour followed by an emergency caesarean. Not the birth I planned, but you know it was ok. I felt very well cared for throughout; labour hurt but not too much; the caesarean was no big deal.

I have been a birth partner for three friends. The first was a beautiful birth. My friend had no pain relief because she didn't need to. Throughout the labour she kept saying, "Oh, this isn't as bad as I expected". The baby was born into a quiet, darkened room, with his eyes open, staring around him calmly and curiously. Now, I don't think that was a typical birth, but I'm telling you so you know that you can get lucky with childbirth, as well as unlucky. Sometimes it really is ok!

Who have you got to talk to other than your mum or your dp? Have you joined the NCT?

pregnantmimi Wed 24-Aug-11 00:15:27

Thanks for your reply I havent joined the NCT but Im looking it up on the internet now. I really dont know why I have got in such a state about it recently.The experiances you talked about sound great. Im scared the baby will get stuck and all sorts of thoughts like that. I saw my chiropractor today and she said I have big hips so should be fine (dont know how true this is). Im seeing a consultant at the hospital Im giving birth in. Seeing them tomorrow so hope they can talk to me a bit and put my mind at rest.x

Sierra19 Wed 24-Aug-11 01:02:38

I felt like you. My baby is now nearly 6 months. Nothing anyone says will stop you worrying but I promise that you will get through it as you have to! Just a note about caesarians, unless there is a medical need you won't be able to just choose to have one (unless you are having a private hospital birth) as the NHS don't give you the choice in general. This seems to be a common misconception! If you have a true phobia then you might, but really, you don't want one unless you NEED one.

All I can say to help is that when the time comes, you will just want your baby out. You may not think that now but it's true. Xx

Pastabee Wed 24-Aug-11 07:57:52

I think everyone gets frightened to some degree. I have loved my Lazy Daisy classes and they've really helped me stay calm and convinced that I can do this and whatever happens I will cope.

My DH works abroad a lot so I love these classes for being women only so think they would be good for you for same reason and they include some hypnobirthing. I'm not the only one in the room with no partner!

I would highly recommend at least having a look on their website.

Really hope you feel a bit better soon and everything works out well for you.

scarlettlips Wed 24-Aug-11 09:15:24

You sound just like me...nearly 6 months ago...my godness I was so scared about giving birth, but it's 1 maybe 2 days out of your life..try to think of the bigger picture.....A BABY, YOUR BABY!

The midwifes during labor will be amazing and will support you and DH. For me...I couldn't of done it without them and DH of course smile

Trust me...you are much much tougher and stronger than you think...this is coming from a total chicken (used to cry at bloods test blush) I got to 9cm before I asked for pain relief. I would of never thought i could do it. I was gutted that I had to do all that hard work to only have an EMCS.

I was very worried and spoke to doctors about having a ELCS (twice in fact) but there was no reason for me to have one and i was told me. Sadly I had a EMCS in the end after getting to 10cm and 2 hours of pushing....DD was stuck sad They tried everything to get her out...not great to be honest but thank god for drugs! grin

After my NTC classes etc and meeting lots of soon to be new mummy, I felt much better about giving birth. after 41 weeks I was longing for it all to 'kick off..!"

Good luck xxxx

goodnightmoon Wed 24-Aug-11 09:27:23

well i'm not going to sugarcoat it! i was terrified and the pain was unbearable. I couldn't get an epidural for five hours, wasn't offered gas and air, and generally couldn't cope. i ended up having a 20 hour labour with lots of medical intervention, scares over the baby's status, and was totally exhausted by the time they wanted me to push. Baby finally came out via forceps and nothing to do with me - I felt nothing after being dosed up for a possible emergency c-section. Sadly my story isn't unusual but the bottom line is that baby is coming out somehow and as people say it is soon a distant memory!

Grumpla Wed 24-Aug-11 09:45:47

I would recommend the NCT classes. They deal with lots of possibilities (eg talk you through c sections, different positions for labour etc) and generally I found them ery helpful.

I had a home birth with my DS, with no pain relief (had gas and air for stitches, that was quite surreal!) and honestly it just wasn't as bad as I was expecting. There were a few moments (in transition) where I thought "oh no this is grim and there is worse to come!" but actually those WERE the worst moments.

It's totally normal to feel scared. You are going to do a really scary thing! But you can be brave.

There is a really good book called 'Stand and Deliver' which you might find helpful, basically loads of different birth stories from cool hippy chanty home births to crash sections etc - the great thing about this book is that it shows you there is no 'right or wrong' way to give birth.

A c section is usually quite a lot harder to recover from (according to friends of mine who have had them) and still pretty scary. If you really feel it is the only way for you then you need to talk more with your midwife or a consultant but it sounds as though you are just freaking out momentarily - perhaps this is what your midwife was picking up on?

It's tough not being able to talk to your OH about it all, do you have a friend who you could talk to? Or someone who could go to classes with you?

However scared you are, don't forget that every person you see was given birth to at some point and in some way by some brave woman. And the good thing about being scared beforehand is that afterwards you feel frickin INVINCIBLE!!! I spent ages looking at DS just thinking "I MADE YOU! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!" grin and I imagine that feeling is probably the same however you choose to give birth in the end.

TimothyClaypoleLover Wed 24-Aug-11 09:46:03

pregnantmimi, its only natural to be scared. The best you can do is make sure you know all the facts about childbirth (not the horror stories!) so you know what is happening rather than just shutting down because you are scared. I imagined the worst case scenario and it really wasn't that bad at all. I had gas and air and there was an hour or so where the contractions were painful but its amazing how you can cope with what is happening. I was told horror stories about the head coming out but that wasn't so bad. Just keep calm and let your body do what is natural.

I have run the London marathon and to be honest I thought that was harder than childbirth! But remember that every birth is different and every person deals with pain differently so its really hard to compare like with like.

Good luck. You will be absolutely fine and have a gorgeous baby at the end of it all.

Jill72 Wed 24-Aug-11 10:43:46

Read up about the hormone oxytocin - this hormone helps your body through the birthing process - the more calm and in control you feel the more oxytocin is released. I think that the more you have thought through the possibilities and have some ideas about what to expect you will feel more in control and less apprehensive. Thousands of women have straight forward experiences and we hear nothing about them as it is human nature to report loudly about anything that goes wrong in life!! I keep reminding myself of this!!!

TAcrazy Wed 24-Aug-11 11:14:32

I'm surprised there aren't more threads about this actually as the moment of realisation that we are going to have to go through labour and birth must happen to all of us. I had the same fears a few weeks back and I completely agree with what everyone else is saying. The following has worked for me:

-read up about the process - what will happen and when. I would recommend buying a book that is positive about birth - not just medical focussed. The one I bought is fantastic - by Nicole Croft - called 'The Good Birth Companion'. It includes loads of positive info about how our bodies work and how we are very well equipped to give birth naturally.
-once you feel you know enough, stop reading (I think you can over-prepare for this and might end up freaking yourself out more)
-don't listen to anyone who wants to tell you about their awful birth experiences - there is no reason to think that will happen to you and it is important to focus on the positive
-try pregnancy yoga as it is all about breathing which will help when you are in labour.

Overall I think it is about understanding what is happening and being confident in your own body.

smile smile

MrsCLH Wed 24-Aug-11 11:20:23

TimothyClaypoleLover you have just made my day! I'm 35 weeks and was probably in denial about giving birth until about 2 weeks ago and now its all I can think about! BUT, I ran the London Marathon in 2008 yay! Feeling much better now lol ;-)

Seriously though, this is a great thread, thanks for all your stories. x

Mrsgilbertgrape Wed 24-Aug-11 11:38:10

I had two normal fairly pleasant (if there is such a thing) births then dd3 who I expected to be a breeze after the first two got stuck!

Is all a bit if a haze now but her head was out and her shoulder had got stuck behind my pelvic bone, the two midwives in the room hit the emergency button at which point 4 midwives came running into the room and started pushing on my stomach. They were getting ready to cut me when dd popped out and was taken right away to be checked.

The experience was not nice but the midwives were completely in control and knew exactly what to do, I was so tired from the birth that I dud not even care they were going to cut me (something I had panicked about)

Now we are ttc #4 so as much as I hate to use the cliche it really is worth it.

TimothyClaypoleLover Wed 24-Aug-11 11:48:47

MrsCLH - I did the 2008 marathon as well! Glad to oblige.

I'd second the comment about a c-section not being an easy option. I had a EMCS in 2008 and it was so traumatic I intend to have a homebirth for No2 due in Nov.

The actual surgery was not that bad, it's the recovery that's hard. You have had major abdominal surgery and for anything else, bed rest, painkillers and gentle recovery would be advised. But with a newborn you have to get on with it - I was in the shower 12 hours after the section and got no real sleep for days.

Birth can be scary but try to trust your body - you can do it! Don't watch too many videow of birth - yours will be and feel different.

I found reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth incredibly helpful and helped me to understand the processes of birth (she's a midwife based in the USA and has helped birth hundreds of babies).

IWishIWasAFrog Wed 24-Aug-11 12:10:07

Hi Mimi,

If you're arywhere near London I can higly recommend a weekend course at the Active Birth Centre in north London, just google them. DH and I did a one-day session and I thought it was brilliant. Need to book early though, and iirc you can attend after 35 weeks, but just double check the website. Really worth it.

I don't think fear is a bad thing, educate yourself as much as you can and remeber to enjoy it and have an amazing little baby at the end is sooooooooooo worth it!

pregnantmimi Wed 24-Aug-11 18:23:26

Grumpla I going to get the book "stand and deliver" looking for it now thanks!
Your birth sounds lovely.

TA crazy Nicole Croft - called 'The Good Birth Companion' will give that a read. I love reading so think that will help.

I wish I was a frog. I dont live near london but there is a fast train there from where I live I go there sometimes for work so I wouldnt mind travelling that far so thanks will look up the course.

mrsarchchancellor I saw the consultant today at the hospital who turned out to be the mental health midwife and I asked about having a caesarian and she said it would be more stressful for me and I would be more likely to have some sort of psychosis after and it would be harder to breastfeed.

I suffered with mental illness 14 years ago but have been told theres a high risk of it coming back 70% the week after giving birth even thou I have been fine for years and worked got married etc and that I might be better staying in a mother and baby unit for a week after which I dont fancy.

The midwife was quite patronizing and unkind about the situation unlike my normal one whos lovely and been upset all day. My friend has been around and going to a friends house tonight so Im ok. My sister pointed out most midwifes are patronizing even thou I havent come across this yet.

Decided to try to go for natural birth with poss of a epidural but will have to see what happens on the day.XX

Grumpla Wed 24-Aug-11 18:56:14

Go for it! The drugs your body produces ARE really amazing - you are designed for this after all and midwives on the whole are pretty cool. That slightly patronizing tone can actually be quite reassuring when you get stuck into labour!

pregnantmimi Thu 25-Aug-11 00:47:54

thanks grumpla I have been with friends tonight and feel a lot better thanks for comments just having a moment I thinkxx

EJCH Thu 25-Aug-11 09:34:43

I had a very easy homebirth with my first son, all over in about 7 hours with no pain relief and the midwife only arriving about 20 minutes before he was born!

My own internal pep talk prior to the big event was , if there's 6 billion people in the world, childbirth must work. Secondly, it is only a day of your life - 2 if you are slow in labour and it really is worth it to become a mummy!

Researching childbirth and pain relief etc was really good in helping me deal with any areas where I was feeling stressed about the process. If you are worried about the pain, then look into the sorts of pain relief you could use. Water and even just breathing can really help as well as gas and air or the epidural/opiates option.

Another thing that helped me was watching a DVD called 'Orgasmic Birth'. Yes, I borrowed it from my NCT tutor because of the name. It gives a really alternative view to birth which showed it as natural and not traumatic - none of this high drama 'One born every Minute' stuff. Why don't you ask around to see if there's others that people have watched? Just seeing it helped me understand a bit more about how things work.

Good luck and I hope you are feeling a bit more calm about it! It's really a daunting prospect when you haven't had experience of it but you will be amazed at your capacity to do what you need to do and get that baby out. Trust your body - look at how clever it is making the baby in the first place!

OptomisticBiscuit Thu 25-Aug-11 15:09:16

I've been doing Hypnobirthing classes because I was afraid of labour and birth, I have suffered from anxiety in the past, I know how debilitating it can be and I didn't want it to happen again. Plus I knew that fear can cause problems in labour in itself.

I'm half way through now and I have to say they have been great - I'm no longer afraid at all, I'm actually looking forward to it. I've also done the NHS classes, which is a nice balance, and the midwife giving the NHS class reccomended Hypnobirthing too. If you can, I would suggest giving it a try as it really can change the way you think and feel about the day you will give birth, start as soon as you can if you are feeling scared, hopefully you will start feeling better and you will have loads of time to practice the breathing and other techniques that will help you when the time comes.

aliceliddell Thu 25-Aug-11 15:24:01

I had TENS machine, gas&air, epidural. My friend had a 10-pounder with just TENS. It didn't really hurt, more really unpleasant like jumping into a freezing cold swimming pool. Did a fair bit of cattlish lowing, but no real pain until the hideously uncomfortable folding delivery couch - that feckin bed thing was honestly the most painful thing of all. Take advantage of all pain relief and go home asap
Good luck!

OptomisticBiscuit Thu 25-Aug-11 15:48:20

Forgot to add, if you are feeling dreadful at the thought of things now you can try working through the 'Feeling Good Handbook' by David Burns. It's pretty cheap on Amazon at the mo, and it has some really good and recognised CBT techniques you can do for yourself at home for working through fears and anxiety, whatever the cause. It might give you some immediate relief from those feelings, and is certainly applicable to lots of other situations in life.

Ilovekittyelise Thu 25-Aug-11 16:37:43

Hi there

I know how you feel, it's very daunting! i don't know if this might help you or not but I'm going to add my experience of how my feelings have changed and evolved.

So, from early on in the pregnancy i have know that the recommendation would be for an early induction around 39 weeks due to an underlying medical condition (me not baby). I have never liked this idea as I know this type of labour/birth can be highly medicalised and painful and i also hate hospitals etc too and have never spent a night in one, and I have been very fearful of the birth process, wanting to find out ways of guaranteeing a C etc....

At about your stage of pregnancy I found out that you could have acupuncture to induce labour, or at least to encourage it's onset, so i have kind of clung onto this as a way of feeling like i have a little control over the process.

Anyway, this Monday I had my first session at 37+2 (having two due to it being £40 a pop). I didnt go in expecting for a miracle having had one of my NCT friends already have several sessions closer to term than I did and no signs. Anyway. I came out feeling very relaxed and nice and it set me up nicely to cope with what turned out to be a very stressful day (nothing baby related).

When I woke up on Tuesday I had really bad pelvic pain due to the baby having obviously dropped. it was so visible that several people commented how different i looked. I have also been having menstrual cramps type feelings with growing frequency and intensity over the past couple of days, making me think that my body is preparing itself for labour.

The most intersting thing, is a total shift in how I feel. For the past couple of days my terror and horror at the thought of induced labour, has been replaced by an absolute conviction that i will have a straightforward, uncomplicated birth, whether this comes about naturally or as a result of the induction. I feel that my body is naturally preparing itself for what is about to come, and I no longer fear it. I have no idea whether this is linked to the acupuncture or not, or whether you simply get to a stage where your body begins to prepare itself and sends appropriate signals to the brain to get you calm and relaxed?

Anyhow, this has turned into a long and rambling post, I just wanted to know that when you get closer to the day you might experience a shift from fear to serenity and acceptance. has anyone else experienced this type of thing in the weeks leading up to birth?

bigeyes Thu 25-Aug-11 18:25:45

I have this though I am much earlier than you. I have to go ot now, but will be back to read the thread with interest and shre more of my anxiety which I never realised I had until any MW/consultant mentioned the birth.

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