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Scared of birth

(23 Posts)
ParsleyCake Thu 13-Nov-14 16:20:06

I'm sorry if this sounds silly or selfish, but I am scared of the pain of giving birth so much that I'd honestly prefer a c-section if it were possible to get one on the NHS. I know fear will make the birth harder and more painful, but I honestly can't even begin to think about it any other way, and trust me, I've tried. I'm only 10 weeks, so ages to go, but I know I really need to change my impression of how this is going to be, but I don't know how. I remember how painful it was to lose my virginity, and I dread to think how birth will be if I thought that was bad.

Does anyone else feel the same? I'm scared, and its silly because I know people give birth every day, but I can't help it and I could really do with some tips on how to get over this.

pippinleaf Thu 13-Nov-14 16:23:31

I posted something very similar when I was newish pregnant. I'm 28 weeks now and I'm still scared but I'm not terrified anymore. I've been doing hypnobirthing and I've hired a doula. Both these things have helped me to feel calmer. Why don't you look into them?

2014MrsH Thu 13-Nov-14 16:39:20

I'm just under 37 weeks and felt exactly like you for the majority of my pregnancy.

I found going on an antenatal course and taking up pregnancy yoga has really helped focus my mind and open my eyes to the fact that labour is a natural process which our bodies are made for. So much so I'm planning on a pain relief free birth.

Why not give yoga classes a go too? I found it a good way to talk to other women and share the same fears and help each other through

Shelduck Thu 13-Nov-14 17:34:25

It's a totally normal and natural fear. Giving birth is nothing at all like losing your virginity - it's like nothing else really. It's easy to focus on the pain and to think of it as some horrible traumatic event, but it helps to think of the pain not just as something your body undergoes like an illness or injury, but as your body taking control and doing what it needs to do and working hard to get your baby out into the world.

One of the strangely nice things about giving birth is that your mind just goes into this weird state where you totally concentrate on what you need to do, and there's a whole load of stuff you thought would bother you, that doesn't. Like what you should wear in labour, and will it be embarrassing to be nearly-naked in front of strangers - answer: nope, you won't give a shit and if you feel like it, you'll just rip your clothes off in front of complete strangers and what they think is of no concern to you, because all you're focussed on is doing what you need to do i.e. moving that baby gradually out of your body.

It's still early days for you. The best advice I can give is to just read plenty of information on birth (not Dr Google who is quite often a liar and scaremongerer!), go to antenatal classes, look into hypnobirthing. And the more you learn about the process, the more confident you'll feel that you can do it. And if you end up having a C-section either by choice or necessity, then you'll still have a lovely baby at the end of it, and that's all that matters. Take care. xxx

Picklesauage Thu 13-Nov-14 17:42:25

I would reiterate what others say. First - it is normal to fear pain and so of course you fear it.
Next - learn what you can about the process, NCT helped me with that, they can pressure natural birth a little too much, just ignore that though.
Finally - there are ways of coping from hypnobirthing to epidural. Learn about them and see what appeals.

I am a firm believer in knowLedge makes things more manageable.

The doula idea is another good one.

I am 7 weeks pregnant myself so I'm sure I will have a wobble too soon. Keep an eye out for my own worries posts! wink

bronya Thu 13-Nov-14 17:44:56

It does really hurt, but it's not for that long. I figured (both times) that it wasn't worth worrying about it until it happened, as worrying wouldn't change anything. It's not worth spending nine months worrying, it really isn't. Enjoy your pregnancy. We live in a developed country - there's pain relief, surgery if something goes wrong, and good medical care.

Notbythehaironmychinnychinchin Thu 13-Nov-14 17:49:37

The bulk of your labour will be contractions. These will vary in intensity but are manageable - either breathing techniques or pain relief. The pushing through your vagina bit is such a tiny part of the labour time wise. A water birth may help with the "sting" but honestly, once you've been through 40 weeks of pregnancy and a few hours of contractions all you will be thinking about is getting the baby out.

I actually found the pushing but quite "empowering" - that's not really the word I mean - as it was me actively doing something to get the baby born. The pushing gave me done thing to focus on if that makes sense?

Fifibluebell Thu 13-Nov-14 17:56:20

I felt a bit like this but by the end you are willing and ready to give birth. You don't really know what to expect its not like a pain you've felt before and not like losing your virginity and you don't know how you will deal with it in the moment. People told me horror stories about their experiences or "I know someone who" etc Just take them with a pinch of salt because everyone is different. I would recommend nct classes or nhs version, I felt like knowledge really helped me think I can do this but not knowledge from google!!! nct can come across like they are pushing for completely natural birth but there are plenty of pain relief options do your research about each and you decide what you want to have if you need it. My delivery was nothing like I expected, actually I enjoyed it and the more I relaxed, breathing the way they teach you at anti natal classes the less I felt the pain and if I tensed my body it would hurt more you've got a long way to go yet enjoy every moment because it all goes so fast in the grand scheme and if it was so awful people would only ever have one child wink whatever you choose you'll have a baby by the end of it!

muddylettuce Thu 13-Nov-14 17:57:23

I was scared too, scared of the pain not the process itself but I am a firm believer in knowledge is power so I read books, watched 'one born every minute' if you've seen it you'll know yes the women are in pain during labour but minutes if not seconds after birth they are fine! I had what I would describe as a difficult labour, not in the sense I couldn't cope with the pain but I ended up having an emergency c-section (cord wrapped round baby's neck twice). The pain was manageable with gas and air because I concentrated on my breathing, when it was time to push the pain almost evaporated. I had complications after my c-section and whilst pre-planned c-sections are a lot calmer you still have to remember you have a longer recovery period afterwards. I am pregnant again (see, couldn't have been that bad!) and am looking into a vbac. Anyway, learn about the birth process, look at hypnobirthing, speak to professionals and at the end of it make an informed decision. Xx

Fifibluebell Thu 13-Nov-14 18:01:42

I also loved watching one born every minute found it quite exciting and you realise everyone's delivery is different and most people get over their pain pretty much as soon as the baby is born

WhyOWhyWouldYou Thu 13-Nov-14 18:20:25

I agree with others, but wanted to add that if you are that frightened of labour/birth that you want a csection, then speak to your midwife because you should be offered specialised counselling/therapy to work through those fears (its part of the NICE guidelines on c sections).

Ihatechoosingausername Thu 13-Nov-14 18:26:47

You are woman, you are strong! smile

I'm due today so I'll say to you what everyone has been saying to me: You'll be fine flowers

Disneyfan1995 Thu 13-Nov-14 18:32:30

I was terrified of the pain of giving birth, to the extent I delayed getting pregnant. After lots of research I took a course in hypnobirthing which was empowering and meant that I felt had some control over the pain.

I have no idea if my labour would have been more difficult/painful if I hadn't done the course, but I went on to have more children! And I still use the techniques I learnt when in stressful situations smile smile

PeppermintInfusion Thu 13-Nov-14 19:22:40

I'm 26w, and I've been really scared too- honestly couldn't decide if I was more scared of pushing or a cs. I still get the wobbles, but I've been going to pg yoga and part of that is focusing on how to be in control, overcome your fear, etc I think it has really helped (probably quite similar to hypnobirthing).

Foreverblue Thu 13-Nov-14 23:42:58

Hi just adding to what everyone else has said..it's completely normal..I'm 38 weeks with baby number and I'm still scared smile but it's a very strange thing giving birth..your body knows exactly what it needs to do even if you don't! xx

bronya Fri 14-Nov-14 12:44:03

PeppermintInfusion - pushing hurts less than contractions, and as soon as it starts you think, 'Yay, nearly finished!'. Your body just takes over and before you know it, your baby is here. It's harder if you've had an epidural as your body can't respond properly for you, but then it doesn't hurt at all so a trade-off there!

babyblabber Fri 14-Nov-14 12:48:50

if it's just the pain that scares you why not just plan for an epidural? then you won't be in pain at all!!!

ameliarose2012 Fri 14-Nov-14 13:20:19

Another vote for an epidural here. I didn't want one initially, but was recommended one on medical grounds. My epidural was perfect - it took the pain, but not the sensation. I could feel everything as a kind of pressure, but it didn't hurt at all! Perfect!

worserevived Fri 14-Nov-14 13:34:22

I was absolutely terrified of child birth, to the point where I delayed motherhood until my 40s. The reality was so much better than I imagined. It sounds daft but your body really does take over, and once you relax and go with it everything becomes very natural. I had a normal delivery, and didn't when it came to it need or want an epidural, although I had originally thought there was no way I'd even consider birth without one.

Fear is healthy imo, it helps you manage expectations. Forget hypno-birthing babble like 'you'll breathe the baby out'. You won't! You will be fine though, it won't be horrific it will be manageable, and the midwives are there to help you, and give you whatever pain relief you might want. Pethidine in early labour is helpful if you are fearful, as it will make you very calm and sleepy so you will dose through the early stages.

I'm pregnant with my second, which I wouldn't be if I'd found birth even half as bad as I'd imagined it might be.

Oh, and don't watch things like one born every minute. It's TV, it's edited to give a certain impression.

PeppermintInfusion Fri 14-Nov-14 13:39:13

Bronya, ha it isn't the pushing per se, I just meant vaginal delivery in general smile

DayLillie Fri 14-Nov-14 13:53:57

I had a very painful time losing my virginity too! Sex was painful for years after and it did worry me about giving birth too.

I read up about all the methods of pain relief and they were a huge worry.

In the end, I had a very fast delivery with no time for pain relief and only got a bit of gas and air during the second stage, when it was no longer hurting!!

The worst bit was at the end of the first stage when I could no longer breathe through the contractions and there was almost no gap between them. It lasted 10 minutes (I think hmm). I had a kidney stone with this level of pain (or worse - I don't know) for 10 hours - if I had been in labour, I would have had pain relief. I would have much rather have been in labour.

I read Sheila Kitzinger who is massively reassuring, and my years of yoga breathing and relaxation were a great help. I also had TENS from the start but have no idea if it helped, but it may have stopped things getting too much.

Sex was much better after grin

ILiveOnABuildsite Fri 14-Nov-14 17:58:26

Perfectly normal fear. I was so scared with my first labour that I just took all pain relief offered to me, and I didn't feel a thing but labour itself was difficult because my body felt so detached from my mind that I couldn't respond to contractions and urge to push at all. In terms of pain it wasn't a bad labour because I didn't feel any during the labour and the recuperation afterwards was so quick, I was on my feet and showered less than 12 hours later which is good as it also takes a while for epidural to clear completely so you can actually stand up! This time I'm determined to have much less pain relief although not sure I could do completely without, I want to avoid epidural so I can feel what I'm doing even if it will hurt a bit more. My motivation is how quickly I recuperated last time, I would love that again and I don't think it would be possible with a csection.

Another thing to bear in mind, by the time you've been pregnant 40 weeks (give or take) you will be desperate to get that baby out by mostly any means so that might affect you perception of labour a bit. By the end of my pregnancy I was so fed up of being an enormous whale I would have given birth through my ear if I could.

Levismum Fri 14-Nov-14 22:15:10

You've been given loads of brilliant advice. I remember with my first baby I was totally terrified of giving birth, to the point I couldn't look at the sign for delivery suite when I attended the ante natel clinic!

I was 8 cm when I arrived at hospital. I gave birth an hour later with gas & air.

I've given birth 6 times. Each birth was totally different. I've never used more then gas & air for pain relief. I'm not brave or strong so if i can do it, so can u!

Good luck!

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