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Am I insane to go on a birthing centre tour at 6 weeks?

(36 Posts)
bumbleumble Fri 20-Sep-13 20:12:57

Ok, please be gentle, as I'm worried about this!

I'm tocophobic and always planned to have an ELCS, maybe privately. Since getting my positive test I've started thinking about VB. A complete surprise to me. Basically I'm worrying about the negatives of several sections (planning 2-3 kids) and wondering if I'm foolish for letting my anxiety stop me from having an experience which many people describe as profound/ moving/ enjoyable/ emotional. I'm so worried about what to do that I wake up every night worrying. I know that's daft to worry about the delivery so early on. But if I want to have a private section it'd be better to book the surgeon by the time of my 1st scan, as some get booked up early, and if I want to seek an NHS section I should tell my midwife early on. So I feel like I need to make a decision about what I want in the next couple of months.

I worked on a hospital labour ward, and found it a really stressful environment, so I wanted to research midwife-led centres. I found a midwife-led centre nearby that sounds really calm and supportive. On the other hand I worried that it wasn't attached to a hospital if something goes wrong. They offer regular group tours, so I booked onto one to find out more. When I booked the tour the Receptionist cheerfully said that I was obviously keen to book a tour so early.

This tour is tomorrow, and this afternoon another Receptionist phones me, and says that I can't go on the tour, as you have to be 20 weeks first. I was upset, as I need to make an initial decision before then, and I think that this tour would help me decide. I panicked and was quite pushy, and I could hear a Midwife laughing in the background. The Receptionist reluctantly agreed that I can go on the tour anyway, but made it clear that she thought I was being unreasonable.

But now I'm really nervous about going. Will they think I'm insane? Will the other women on the tour think I'm odd, as I'm clearly not nearly as pregnant as them? I can be assertive over the phone but I'm shy in person, and I'm worried what to say if the midwife is rude to me for being pushy, or if they change their mind and turn me away. My partner said I should just go and not worry about what they think.

btw I know that pregnancies can commonly miscarry early, but we'd try to get pregnant again, so I still think it would be useful.

I just wanted to get some opinions about whether I'm being very crazy.

MummyJetsetter Sat 21-Sep-13 10:57:08

I say go for it!it might seem a bit nuts but if you've got this severe anxiety it will help. I had my ds at a birthing centre and found it really nice, it still hurt like hell but you just feel like you're in a nice environment so mentally in a better place. Once you've been there you'll be equipped with the knowledge of what will happen and if you don't like the idea of it then you book your c-section and don't have to worry about it for the rest of the time which is the whole point of what you're doing anyway. Who cares what people think!

Congratulations by the way! x

Julietee Sat 21-Sep-13 11:22:50

Bumble, I have anxiety and have also found it has come back with a vengeance too! The first trimester was REALLY hard for me - from someone who has been there, I'd avoid googling every little thing, it makes you crazy.

If you and your partner are lucky enough to afford private care, absolutely go for it, and good luck!

chocolatemartini Sat 21-Sep-13 11:23:59

Have you considered hypnotherapy? In your situation I'd get myself a very experienced and open minded independent midwife and book a personalised course of natal hypnotherapy. Remember that you can keep your options open re birth choices so if you explore the vb route and ultimately decide not to, then nothing's lost.

NomDeClavier Sat 21-Sep-13 12:35:39

I had horrific anxiety with DS, much better this time round.

Natal hypnotherapy is brilliant and although I didn't have DS in the UK an early appointment with a specialist MH midwife, finding the right consultant and knowing that my situation was being taken into account was massively reassuring. I've taken the same route this time - be upfront from the start, explain what accommodations in care you think you need and specifically ask to see the relevant people. Very few people IME actually ask for a referral to MH services so it's a bit of an eye opener for them that you take it seriously.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 21-Sep-13 13:20:38

I can't understand the advice you are getting here. If you think it would help you then go have a look. Whilst there is always the chance that things will go wrong with pregnancy, being prepared wont actually reduce its viability so what is the harm. Sounds like you think it will take you a bit longer to get your head round the birth and figure out what you can handle. If you think it will help make you feel less stressed (knowledge is power) then go and have a look. Yes the decision doesn't have to be made for ages but it sounds like you will be happier if you decide earlier and at the end of the day that's what's important.

ovenbun Sun 22-Sep-13 09:02:35

It must be really scary feeling like that. Waking every night in fear. Rather than going on a tour or paying for private care I think you may find some comfort in having a course of counselling or cbt. I wonder if you saw some very traumatic things on the Labour ward, or where this phobia came from. While you are feeling so very anxious and upset it would be a bit difficult for the other ladies on the tour if you become very distressed or have a panic attack. Your gp would definitely refer you for some help with this if you explain about waking every night. Alternatively you could see someone quicker privately. Going to the unit sadly will not solve this deep rooted and traumatic feeling, you really need to work through this with someone, and they will listen and help you. Thinking of you
Oven smile x x

quackojuliet Sun 22-Sep-13 09:55:02

Ahh sweetheart, you poor thing.

I'm also an anxious type and it has definitely gotten worse during pregnancy - most especially around the 7-13 week mark, so try and put it down to your hormones, and don't let yourself get too wound up about causing harm to your baby - this is highly unlikely. Pregnancy is full of risks (with a huge reward!), and you have to try and react in proportion to them, while keeping yourself mentally in control. Easier said than done, I know!!

When you go for booking, ask to be referred to perinatal mental health - they should be happy to do this. It's fast-tracked counselling for pregnant women (I think!). I have been doing CBT this pregnancy but resources are so stretched I've been dropped halfway through - hence the referral to PMH.

Don't forget, the birth is a loooooong way off now, and there are little milestones throughout pregnancy you could focus on first. positive things like seeing your baby for the first time in a scan, feeling the first flutters, hearing heartbeat, first proper kicks, etc.

Be kind to yourself in pregnancy - it sounds like you have a lovely supportive partner there. Lean on him and try and focus on getting through your current batch of hormones before making any big decisions - you are likely to change your mind regardless. Midwives will have seen it before and there IS a solution that'll work for you.

My advice - watch some crap mindless movies, go and do something fun, try and keep yourself mentally distracted while your body works hard xxxx

quackojuliet Sun 22-Sep-13 09:56:13

Oh and f**k what anyone else thinks about you going on the tour!

AngusAndElspethsThistleWhistle Sun 22-Sep-13 12:54:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeaAndANatter Sun 22-Sep-13 14:32:48

Tarka, good point that it doesn't reduce the viability, but as another of those who had the sad misfortune to find that miscarriage can happen to any of us, I'd agree that the more planning you do around the baby, the harder and more triggers there seem to be for coping afterwards. Not criticising your point, just offering a perspective that you may not have seen in those mc posts. It's a really tricky line between being able to bond in whatever way you find best, and finding ways t make the whole process easier on you if, god forbid, you become one of those 1 in 4/5. I definitely didn't think it would happen to me. Bummer, hey?

OP, whatever floats your boat, I say. In my region you are strongly told forced to go on the local birth tour before your first MW appt so you can tell them where you are booking in for midwife care, as different MWs take women from different birth centres, so here, six weekers are very common on the tours.

TarkaTheOtter Sun 22-Sep-13 14:45:59

You're preaching to the converted about not taking (early) pregnancy for granted. But I don't think this is about bonding. It's about overcoming a phobia. The OP has said she wants 2-3 children, if she thinks visiting a birth centre will help with her tokophobia generally then I can't see it really matters if she even is pregnant. Ie it's not necessarily about preparing for labour in this pregnancy, but more generally.

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