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Super scared of pregnancy and childbirth

(39 Posts)
aleahnicole Thu 18-Jul-19 08:46:34

So I have a question that I think would really help me be at ease if I just knew it was somewhat normal. I am currently 24, I have a wonderful boyfriend who I've been with for a few years now, he's so supportive, and I am truly in a ideal situation, but still can't bring myself to be as excited as I thought I would be to be pregnant. I do suffer from anxiety and depression. We weren't really trying to prevent being pregnant, but I just didn't think I expected it to happen so quickly. You never know how you're going to feel even if you're trying until you see that positive sign. Lately i Have been wresting with my thoughts to an extreme degree, I'm about 7 weeks pregnant. One minute I'll think this isn't that bad and be happy. But I start compulsively thinking about child birth, my anxiety will kick in and my heart will race. I am so so scared of childbirth. Ethier of the pain, of something going wrong with the baby. Just being pregnant in general has made me feel like I have no control of my body and I am a control freak. It makes you feel so bad when you're significant other is happy, when you see many women who enjoy it, who don't fear it much. And you're sitting there stuck in your thoughts. Can anyone relate to what I'm feeling, does it pass, is it normal for some newly expecting moms to feel this way. I just need advice, it would b appreciate. hmm

Hellosunshine30 Thu 18-Jul-19 09:27:48

I think this is a totally normal feeling. I am absolutely panicking too and I'm due next week. A lot of people I have spoken too have said it's not that bad.

I think what you should think about is it is the most natural thing in the world. Women have done it for hundreds and hundreds of years. If it were that bad, we wouldn't. You are under the best care possible and will have support from your partner.

You should maybe try hypnobirthing? I couldn't give you any advice on it, but I've read a lot of articles on people who have read books and did classes about it.

I found that paying private for a labour class eased my anxiety. I feel I'm more worried about going into the actual labour than the labour itself.

Sicario Thu 18-Jul-19 09:32:29

Fear of childbirth is a very real thing that affects some women deeply. You can have an elective c-section on that basis (would you be less anxious if you had a section?). And don't let anyone fob you off. Women are coerced into accepting whatever they're told to do, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth.

aleahnicole Thu 18-Jul-19 09:34:50

Thank you for that. I think I will probably try hypnobirthing, I am big into things like meditation now. I know that mostly every fear in life is just mental. You're right we have been doing it since the dawn of time, it's just sooo hard to deal with the hormones on top of having anxiety. I'll be fine and then want to bawl my eyes out 6 times a day. And also, i hear you on that, that's what I fear the most too and I'm only 7 weeks. Just going into labor. It's hard not to sit around and think about it. Truly best of luck to you.. You're very close, I'm sure you will do a great job at childbirth. You're a woman after all ❤️ thanks for the advice, it's nice to know you arnt the only one who fears it.

aleahnicole Thu 18-Jul-19 09:39:49

I don't think a c section makes me feel better in my head because you know as soon as you get pregnant, you have other moms who have done it 4 times already telling you ethier great stories or terrible ones about everything. They all say that's sooooo terrible. You're right it already seems like everyone is trying to tell me the right or wrong thing to do.

UnapologeticallyUnsociable Thu 18-Jul-19 09:41:30

@aleahnicole you're not alone! I am not even pregnant yet and I'm already scared. DH and I are currently TTC our first. We really want to start a family and are excited to be parents but the thought of not being in control of my body and the possibility of complications scares me (I also suffer with anxiety). I have already decided that I want an elective C-Section when the time comes as I think this will give me some control. Knowing exactly when baby will arrive and knowing I won't be in any pain (at the time) makes me feel calmer about it. The thought of spontaneously going into labour really frightens me.
That said, my DM had 3 VBs and said 'if it was that bad I wouldn't have had more than one' which is a good point x

snowy0wl Thu 18-Jul-19 10:11:10

Hi @aleahnicole. Your thoughts and feelings are completely natural. I am half-way through my first pregnancy and still flip-flop between excitement and complete terror. It's great to hear that you have a supportive partner. I have relied on my husband a lot to help me through the rollercoaster of emotions that pregnancy brings. xx

snowy0wl Thu 18-Jul-19 10:18:25

Please look into the pros and cons of C-Sections before making a decision. A C-Section is a major surgical procedure and therefore should not be viewed as an easier option. The recovery time can be a lot longer (min 6 weeks before you can drive/lift, one friend is still experiencing severe back pain 7 months later and requires physiotherapy). I'm not anti c-section and recognise that it is medically necessary for the health of Mum and Baby in some cases. xx

Weathergirl1 Thu 18-Jul-19 10:26:59

I hear you OP! I'm a fair bit older than you and have put it off for a long time due to tokophobia (that's the actual term for it). I admit I'm not really enjoying my body changing (am 21 weeks) and I've been lucky enough to avoid sickness!

I have just started reading the Siobhan Miller hypnobirthing book and I would thoroughly recommend it as a starting point for hypnobirthing. I have no idea whether I'll be requesting an ELCS as I haven't got that far yet, but my main anxieties so far seem to have been centred on not being listened to by medical staff (I have GAD already).

maddieharrison Thu 18-Jul-19 10:47:50

Hi everyone. I gave birth to my first earlier this year. Honestly I spent the whole of my pregnancy feeling like you did but when I gave birth my body just did the hard work and whilst it was painful I still had control of what I was thinking and I just went with it. Trust me, you will do the same. I wish you all the very best x

ADogRocketShip Thu 18-Jul-19 10:49:39

I've got a 3yr old. Am a massive control freak and basically wasn't keen on the whole pregnancy thing - I felt out of control of my body and was scared that I couldn't "see" what was going on inside me 24/7! Childbirth did make me v anxious but I did nct classes and read a lot. Had totally prepared myself for an epidural to calm me and make things easier when I did go into labour. As it turns out I coped fine with just a birthing pool at hospital and some gas and air. It wasn't the most amazing 6hours of my life but it really wasn't as terrifying as people suggest, honestly. For every horror story there are several stories from people who've had uncomplicated births - you just don't hear of them as much! That being said, the choice is yours - if you feel a section would make you relax then go for it (be prepared to argue for it!).
I've since had some medical problems (somewhat unrelated to birth) and would be asking for a section if we decide to have another. I'm just as anxious this time when I think of pregnancy and childbirth as I was first time round though - perhaps more so as before I worried about the actual labour and now I'd panic about having a newborn again!

Mamabear12 Thu 18-Jul-19 10:59:37

You are not alone. I’m pregnant w baby 3 and still can’t believe how I managed to give birth twice already. My trick is just try not to think about the birth part too much. I had my birth plan (which they don’t even look at anyway!). And it usually goes out the window. But anyway, I made sure to pack music, snacks, drinks etc which helped. I just avoid thinking about it and I know in the end you will be excited to meet the baby and suddenly when you go into labour you just manage.

unicornsprinklesss Thu 18-Jul-19 11:27:28

Hiya, I have never experienced this feeling but I'd like to reassure you about the childbirth part. I've given birth twice (actually had DS2 in the early hours of yesterday!) and honestly, it's so worth it and really not that bad. There are so many options in this day and age -
Pain relief - epidural, gas and air, pethidine injections, water birth, TENS machine (for the early stages)
I'd recommend hypnobirthing (breathing, relaxation, visualisation)

Of course if even these methods seem too scary, you can request a C-Section smile

afternoontwee Thu 18-Jul-19 11:38:42

I think it’s probably a good idea to talk to your midwife and/or your GP about how you’re feeling. It is totally normal to feel scared, but if it’s taking over your thoughts to the degree you describe at 7 weeks you aren’t going to be able to enjoy your pregnancy. I’d definitely try the techniques PP’s have suggested, and you are entitled to a section if that is what you want, but there are perinatal mental health teams who can help you navigate the anxiety as well. Don’t feel like it’s your burden alone because that’s not the case.

mistermagpie Thu 18-Jul-19 12:01:59

I suffered incredible anxiety with my first pregnancy so I can totally relate. All I could do was get through one day at a time, so I would tell myself 'well I'm pregnant today and that's ok' and never look too far ahead. I would only buy one pack of pregnancy vitamins even when they were on 3 for 2 in case I jinxed something and refused to pack a hospital bag (my husband packed it while I was in labour!). It's a real thing and it's so hard to explain, I got so irritated by people breezily saying 'oh it will be fine!' because how did they know?!

What I will say is that childbirth was not as bad as I thought, I have had two babies with just gas and air, straightforward births and all was ok in the end. My anxiety also stopped as soon as the baby was born and I haven't gone on to be an anxious parent. I'm now pregnant with my third and the anxiety is back but I understand it better and have techniques for coping.

Don't let anyone fob you off or tell you that you're being silly, ask the midwife for help if you need it.

mistermagpie Thu 18-Jul-19 12:03:25

Oh and hypnobirthing really helped with my second labour, it was honestly a lovely calm experience.

helandy Thu 18-Jul-19 12:10:34

I can’t recommend The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill enough. That alongside the Positive Birth Co digital pack have really helped get me in a calm yet realistic frame of mind (currently 40 + 6) x

mistermagpie Thu 18-Jul-19 15:04:21

It's also worth making a list (in your head even) of specifically what it is you are afraid of. For me, it was something that resulted in the baby dying - so miscarriage, stillbirth, complications in labour etc, then I thought about the likelihood of those things and how I would feel if they happened. It's a bit of a 'head on' approach but it helped me pin things down rather than just having a vague anxiety and fear swimming around in my head.

For you, if it's the pain of labour then think about how you can manage that (there are loads of options that don't include a c-section).

newmomof1 Thu 18-Jul-19 15:09:10

Honestly the birth (if you go for a vaginal birth) isn't as bad as people will tell you it is.

Yes it's not nice, and yes it painful, but once you're holding your baby you'll forget it.

The support available is amazing -
Don't be scared to ask your midwife for help.

It's so tough being pregnant even if you don't struggle with MH so I understand why you're struggling, but honestly it's the most incredible thing.

Once you've had your 12 week scan and seen that little baby you'll feel much better,
I'm sure

FairyDust92 Thu 18-Jul-19 15:35:47

Just had my first baby and I myself like to be in control of certain situations in my life. It's normal to fear childbirth especially with your first because it's the unexpected and you don't know what to expect. My attitude through out my pregnancy was pretty chilled about the birth plan. My way of thinking was this baby has to come out one way or another 😂. Of course I had preferences but I never ruled anything out. I wanted a vaginal birth which lucky me I ended up with. But when asked my thoughts on c section if needed I just said they can do what they need to do to keep my baby safe. Don't spend your pregnancy worrying about childbirth it actually isn't all that bad! ☺️ try and keep an open mind, that helped me. I know it's easy to say but hopefully it will work for you to x

Bol87 Thu 18-Jul-19 21:38:27

You quickly forget about the birth. Weirdly, when you think about it, you can’t envisage pain unless you are actually hurting. I had a not very pleasant birth and I’m here again having another one all being well grin I know full well it hurt a lot but I can’t imagine it anymore if that makes sense?! Also, by the time your 40 weeks pregnant, you’ll take the pain just to get baby out & stop all the aches & pains! I just kept reminding myself that it just 24/48 hours at the very most and no way is that all in intense pain. Once it’s over, it’s done!

I’ve got a huge fear of vomiting & was very anxious about pregnancy for that reason. Typically, I got horrible morning sickness sad BUT I got through it one day & a fair bit of crying at a time! It hit me at 6 weeks last time, so I’m starting to feel very anxious again as I’m headed to 6 weeks shortly! But I have my coping strategies, friends & family ready to help with toddler care & a very supportive doctor as well!

You’ll be OK OP smile , day at a time and make sure you have a good support system around you!

Staysexyanddontgetmurdered Fri 19-Jul-19 14:40:54

I agree your feelings are completely natural and that everybody probably feels anxious about their baby's health and their labour, obviously some worry more than others. You have a long time ahead of you to research and learn about all the options open to you though, something I'd really recommend! Knowledge is power and whilst you can never be 100% certain how the birth will go, you can educate yourself about the different paths your labour could possibly take. This might help give you a feeling of control back?
I am currently about to give birth for the second time...my first labour was relatively straightforward and whilst it wasn't a walk in the park I was able to remain calm and concentrate. Obviously I'm not looking forward to the pain but I know I can get through it (as will you!) And that it's over so quickly!
I'd say don't sell yourself short, your instinct will kick in and your body will take over.

PurpleFlower1983 Fri 19-Jul-19 14:45:08

I had a fair bit of anxiety during pregnancy, mainly worrying if my baby would be ok. It’s perfectly normal to worry. For me, the birth itself was very straightforward and not as bad as I was expecting at all. I know other women who have had worse experiences but it really is true that you forget the pain when your baby is in your arms. Congratulations!

PurpleFlower1983 Fri 19-Jul-19 14:46:38

I would recommend doing NCT or something similar. I was much calmer because I was informed. A midwife friend of mine said mums who have done NCT tend to be calmer about it all.

boredpanda84 Fri 19-Jul-19 14:53:10

Can I just second what a pp said about the Positive Birth book by Milli Hill. It is great for giving you knowledge about what is normal in labour and why your body does certain things. I'm a midwife and still found it hugely reassuring to reinforce my own knowledge and build confidence in myself. I gave birth just over 3 months ago and I found it a really positive experience and found that my birth prep gave me the confidence to go along with my instinct.

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