Please help me feel better about giving birth!!(41 Posts)
I'm sure this is a feeling shared by many, many women. But, I'm 15 + 3 with my first, and I am already really feeling panicky about giving birth. I have a relatively high pain threshold and am not averse to drugs by any means but I have heard so many horror stories from friends about 'long and difficult' labours and emergency C-Sections, and long recoveries, and all the rest of it, that I can't help being terrified that it's going to be terrible and painful and it's already keeping me up at night.
I'm quite anxious a lot of the time at the moment anyway because the pregnancy wasn't planned, my ex isn't really interested and makes my life quite difficult, I'm scared of unplanned single motherhood and what that means for my life, my baby's life, my career, and the chance of me ever meeting anyone new, I feel like I'm grieving for the family I thought I was going to have with my ex, and everything's just a bit overwhelming. The thought of giving birth on top of all of that is...well, it's all getting a bit much.
Can anyone reassure me with less terrifiying labour stories? Is there anything I can do in advance to help make it easier, or prepare myself? How bad is it really?
Try not to be frightened, there are always horror stories. Go with the flow, have the drugs that you need and try to relax. My babies were born some years ago but I can honestly say I even enjoyed the second one. Have you got support within the family for when the baby is here? Good luck with your pregnancy and delivery.
I was in a mad spin panic at about 25 weeks after watching one and only one episode of OBEM. Huge mistake. Then, a friend of mine in Australia got in touch and sent me both her birth stories. Both positive. Both straight forward. She told me to surround myself with positive stories and trust my body. What do you know, I had a straight forward labour and my body did just great.
We always hear about the scary experiences, because they are just that - scary. You'll do great and luckily, we live in an age and a country where we have expert help to get a positive outcome.
Keep active throughout your pregnancy - that's the best advice I can give. Listen to your body and do gentle but regular exercise. Breathe deeply and (most importantly) do your pelvic floor exercises!!!!!!!!
My bubba shot out in 3 hours once I was 4cm....in a birthing pool....with Gas and air. Was both a relief and a surprise that it went well. But it's not a scary story, so I rarely get to tell it!! Best of luck xxx
I'm pregnant with my first too so don't have a story but I will say that people love to tell the 'bad' stories almost as a form of showing off sometimes not realising how worrying it can be for someone. No one tells you of the millions of straightforward births every year because it's not exciting.
I've always been pretty terrified of birth but I've found prenatal yoga is helping my mindset and also telling myself firmly that my body is built to do this and I can cope.
Apparently some people even orgasm when giving birth
This lady is a qualified midwife and she has some great stories and advice on her blog.
No matter your pregnancy and/or labour, you get a baby who will grow into a child and pretty much any experience is worth it to have this opportunity,
It can be easy to focus on the panicky bit and forget that you'll have a baby! I know everyone says this but it's honestly a blur and over before you know it (I had 5 days of contractions) so feel I can say this! If asked to describe the pain, I really couldn't I think women are amazing because it's all blocked out so we'll do it again!
I had a great labour. Planned home birth, so spent it at home with DH.
Started contractions on Friday. Not really painful, just uncomfortable. Overnight they were every 10 mins, bang on.
Saturday they got stronger but I had a TENS which was so effective I didn't even have it turned half way up as it was more painful than the contractions!
At 8pm MW checked me but said I was only 2cm dilated and that I'd probably we waiting til morning.
I took 2 paracetomol and by 11pm I was panicking that I was only 'halfway through'.
Waters went around 11.30.
Gave birth just after midnight.
Loads of women have had great experiences but don't like to tell unless asked, as it sounds smug. I try not to be, I was just lucky and have good genes.
Good luck, you can only do what you can do and that will be your very best.
I was pretty scared too with my first, but in all honesty it was fine.
I told the midwife of all my fears when I arrived at the hospital, and she was lovely and talked me through everything.
From start to finish it took about 7 hours, and once the baby's head was out the midwife sat back on her heels and said "right, you deliver the rest". This wasn't in my plan and had never been mentioned, but I reached down and delivered my girlie
It was a lovely thing to do.
And the thing which I was most scared about? The possibility of having stitches. And it didn't happen!
Best wishes. You'll be fine.
It's perfectly normal to be scared.
There's no skirting around the issue....childbirth is fucking painful - But it isn't always the horror story you read about.
My waters broke at 38 weeks but labour didn't start, so I was induced 24hrs later. I was expecting the induction process to take days and it would be horrific. Actually, the opposite happened! Within 20 mins of the first pessary, I was contracting. Things slowed down a little, so they started me on the hormone drip to speed things up. And boy did the contractions crank up then! I tried gas and air, but I didn't like it - it made me feel really sick. Within 3 hours of my first contraction, my perfect DD was born! I went from 2cm dilated to the full 10cm in the space of about 2 hours! It hurt. It hurt a lot. But it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting if that makes sense?!
Remember, you have all the pain relief options going - if you feel you need something, take it. There's no medal for doing it without drugs!
And what better prize is there at the end than your beautiful baby?!!
You'll do great
I am also terrified! I've heard of some terrible tearing and I'm contemplating c-section instead
Should probably add that I'm now 15 weeks pregnant with number 2....remember, if childbirth was so terrible everyone would only ever have one child
I'm 12+3 with DC1. Like you I've heard a lot of horror stories, but I've surprised myself with how calm I am at this stage. My attitude is kind of that if something happens and I need a c-section, I'll just have to go with it. I'm in no doubt that it will hurt a lot but I'll be in the best place for pain management if I need it.
Hopefully my HG will lift soon and I'll be able to do some exercise. I also had my 12 week scan yesterday and having seen the little one in there it suddenly feels real. I'm head over heels and just can't wait to meet him or her. You might find that the scan will give you something positive to focus on- it's certainly cheered me right up!
for you. Your personal situation sounds very tricky.
Ah Eggy we must be due around the same time. I'm due on Halloween...wooooo
Thanks for all the honest and reassuring responses. I am under no illusions that it will be painful, but it's great to hear it's manageable from so many of you. I definitely won't be trying to earn any kind of medals for lack of drugs, I'll definitely be in the 'ALLLLLLLL the drugs' camp.
I think it will help me to try and be specific about my actual fears and try to address them one by one. Tearing is a big one. Forceps is another. I've also heard of incidents where the baby has had to be 'turned' manually and that being fucking painful. I guess drilling down into the specifics and going through them with a midwife or someone will be really helpful. I don't think it helps that my mother had three children, all very late, and had long and difficult labours will all three of us.
Emptynest - actually no, I live abroad so my family won't be around. So I'll need to rope a friend in to be my birthing partner, I guess - don't think I can rely on my ex for that, or that it's necessarily the best idea. I think that's part of it...in my mind I always imagined that, however scary and painful it was, the man I loved would be by my side to help me through it. But now the man I love doesn't love me any more, so I feel very alone.
My first birth is one of the "scary" sounding ones, so I only go into the details if people really want to know. Having said that, despite all that happened, I was fine and my DC1 was fine. Nearly 4 years later I'm about to do it all again, so it really doesn't have to be terrifying even if things happen that you hadn't planned and didn't want.
Knowledge is power, and I found it helpful to read up about risks/statistics, pros and cons of various options etc etc.
I have had a few scans already and have another booked for the end of the month, when I'll be 18 weeks (they do a lot more scans where I live, so I have already had 4...). Every time it makes me feel so much better, and I am totally in love with this little guy/girl. I don't regret my decision to go through with the pregnancy at all...just feeling a bit more anxious than I'd like.
back to you for your HG, that must totally suck. I hope it subsides soon
People love sharing a good horror story - it's called reporting bias, so take things with a pinch of salt.
Fwiw, I have had 4 MMCs, 1 induction, 1 emCS and 2 VBACs and they were all good experiences (well, not the MCs, but the physical recovery was easy - I know I was lucky).
Here's what helped me:
- Be well informed. Ask all the questions you need to ask; write questions/answers down.
- Remind yourself that women have been doing this since the beginning of humankind. And that many women go back and do it all again
- Consider hypnobirthing or other methods of practicing relaxation techniques well before labour and delivery
- have a supportive birth partner, not somebody who'll panic or tell your to get on with things, but who is there for you. Consider a doula if you feel your partner/mother/best friend are not suited.
I can honestly say that my deliveries have been the most exciting things I have ever done and I'd happily be pregnant and deliver a baby again - just don't make me take it home with me!
Oh, and address your anxiety now, before the baby is here. Newborns are scary creatures and the hospital is going to expect you to take yours home and care for it all yourself - don't go in to that feeling anxious and anticipating disaster at every turn.
If you are prone to 'what if' thinking and catastrophising, consider accessing CBT or other forms of counselling now. Or practice Mindfulness.
Right, so to address your fears, DC3 is 2 weeks old and I'm a bit jealous of you having it all to come!
I had an ECV to try to turn DC1 and then an elective c section. It hurt but was fine.
Had two ultra quick vaginal births after that (VBACs) including a tear with my last. I got to fully dilated without knowing I was in labour and the tear was COMPLETELY fine. It's healed now at 2weeks pp. Giving birth isn't always a horror show, or ridiculously painful. I really recommend the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs, if only for relaxation, and coping with whatever is thrown at you.
I've had two very different birth experiences. One emcs (because of pre eclampsia so never went into labour) and one vbac. The Vbac was via induction and it was actually fine. I was nervous of being induced especially as the risks are higher with having had a previous section, but it really was fine. Very lucky because I had a fast labour but from the start I was fairly calm and focused. I went to some birthing classes second time round, I was determined to make my second experience of childbirth a positive one after having a shitty time with the first one. And yes luck played a part but I went into it with positive frame of mind and some useful breathing techniques to fall back on. Good luck!
Could you enrol on a hypnobirthing course? I wish I had done it first time around (I did second time and it made a huge difference both mentally and physically). Other antenatal courses just didn't give me the information I really could have used. It will make you feel more informed, more confident and less fearful about birth.
Jealous that you get to see the baby more often- if I could afford it I'd be having weekly private ones just to see mine
I guess then in that case it's like others have said- talk through your concerns and try and be in the best place physically if possible. The only thing I'm really concerned about is forceps, but I'll be mentioning that to the midwife.
Thanks for the HG wishes! It hasn't been the most pleasant experience so far, which is why yesterday was so lovely for me. At least I've got something to focus on now. I'm also really lucky in that the consultant who looked after me when I was admitted to hospital and my GP are really supportive and both advocate the use of medication to ease HG. A lot of women in my situation have to fight to get medication so it could be a lot worse!
Hypnobirthing would be good for you. Why don't you download a pregnancy relaxation hypnosis CD and if that works for you there are ones for labour too.
The ones from www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk are very good and inexpensive.
My best move was to get educated - I read up on birth (never paid attention in biology lessons!) so I genuinely understood the process, along with all the drug options and how they worked/impact to me and baby etc.
I read Ina May Gaskin and attended Daisy birthing classes, which were really helpful and informative and in the event got lucky twice - quick, relatively ok water births with no drugs at all just TENs and then the pool, home a few hours later (my choice, hate hospitals).
I found that for me, understanding took away a lot of the fear and really helped.
Good luck! You'll be ok 😀
I felt exactly the same, around this time last year - first pregnancy and labour petrified me! I'd highly recommend getting a hypnobirthing book and cd - I got the Maggie Howell ones and it totally changed my perception of labour and giving birth. Made me feel very calm and prepared for the whole thing.
The reality was that I did have a difficult birth (induced and back to back) but whilst it was very tiring, it wasn't un-manageable! I was coping for a long time (16 hrs of established labour) with a tens machine and breathing techniques. Then I had some gas and air, and eventually an epidural.
Going into birth I was petrified of an epidural - but it was the best thing ever!! I'd say hypnobirthing is fab and if all else fails an epidural is bloody excellent!!
Honestly I really did not have an easy birth, but I'm very happy to do it again. You'll be fine - it's what we're made to do
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