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Tokophobia
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Childbeinganiggtmare · 07/08/2022 23:02

I have Tokophobia and have had children-natural births. AMA

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WhatIsModeration · 07/08/2022 23:25

How did you overcome your fear?

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 09:41

I haven’t overcome it completely to be honest. I’ve had 4 pregnancies and 3 births. After the 1st I was very ill with post natal depression and had years of seeing a psychiatrist, had a CPN visiting me daily etc and was on 23 tablets a day to try to control my anxiety. I was not diagnosed with Tokophobia at this point. I then fell pregnant again and was sedated during the birth as I was in such a state, even attending midwifery appointments would make me feel ill. Shortly after my 2nd I fell pregnant again and I had to have a termination, it literally was a case of mine or the babies life. My GP at the time was amazing and arranged for me to have the termination at the hospital rather than a clinic-unheard of pretty much then. It was only after that that I was diagnosed and it all made sense. I went on to have one last child and had EMDR for the trauma of the first birth and had the mental health team involved all through my pregnancy. This birth was ok, very quick, and I had my happy ending. I still can’t really talk about birth, pregnancy, I feel sick if I see a pregnant person knowing what they’ll have to go through and I avoid doctors for anything concerned with being touched in that area. I wrote a letter to my midwife after the birth of my last child that was then used for training midwives as they may help someone in my position. Thank you for asking. It can be managed but I don’t think ever cured.

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dehloh · 08/08/2022 09:41

What is it?

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 09:45

Tokophobia is a morbid fear of childbirth. You literally would rather kill yourself than have a baby. I honestly contemplated suicide many times. Thanks for asking.

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 09:56

I started this thread as I couldn’t find anything about it when I was diagnosed and what I could find no one had children or if they did they had ELCS. If I can help just one person if will be worth it. X

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SNkidMarriageCrisis · 08/08/2022 09:59

Wow op I take my hat off to you for going through birth 3 times! I also have tokophobia but had my children via ELCS.

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RagingWoke · 08/08/2022 10:04

Please forgive my poor wording here.
Is ELCS a preferable option? I too have seen it a lot in reference to tokophobia but as I see both as 'giving birth' I don't know how much difference it makes in terms of dealing with the phobia (i have an overwhelming phobia of snakes and the only way to deal with it is avoid them at all costs so that's my reference point on phobias).

Can you watch a show or movie with a pregnancy/birth? It's quite common so imagine that would be difficult.

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 10:06

It’s so nice to hear. Thank you. I know I am a rarity and so little is understood about the condition. For me a section was even worse, it meant (to me) I would lose even more control. Actually nice to hear someone else has the condition also, no one except partner/previous partners know I have it. Can I ask does it also still affect you daily? Seeing pregnant women etc? X

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 10:09

Just worked out how to rely to quotes. Sorry about that. So for many or most an ELCS is preferable, but for me it meant losing control more so. Funny how the head works sometimes.

No way could I ever watch anything with birth etc in, having friends that re pregnant is a nightmare and how can you explain that you have a fear of something that many see as natural and that you’ve had children? I don’t think people could understand and also, I’m ashamed of it. X

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Regularsizedrudy · 08/08/2022 10:09

Do you think there was something in your past that caused this phobia (I had never heard of it btw)

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CrunchyCarrot · 08/08/2022 10:16

I've always been terrified of childbirth - have never considered having a baby as a result. Not sure what it stemmed from - maybe the rather too graphic childbirth scenes in movies/TV series? Certainly my mother didn't trigger it, she said my birth was very quick and when I asked if it hurt she said 'just felt like a lot of pressure'. Not sure she was being honest looking back!

How did you even decide to have a baby?

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 10:20

Yes. So there’s some words I can’t even use with regards to body parts-so please forgive me. I was abused by my cousin when I was about 9. I never had to be looked at down there by anyone except partners (who I had taken time to know and trust) So I never knew that it was an issue until becoming pregnant and suddenly all these people need to touch you. I think that the childhood trauma caused it, yes. Thank you for asking. I appreciate people wanting to know as you may know someone that suffers also…

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SNkidMarriageCrisis · 08/08/2022 10:31

Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 10:06

It’s so nice to hear. Thank you. I know I am a rarity and so little is understood about the condition. For me a section was even worse, it meant (to me) I would lose even more control. Actually nice to hear someone else has the condition also, no one except partner/previous partners know I have it. Can I ask does it also still affect you daily? Seeing pregnant women etc? X

For me it is a personal thing, in the sense that watching birth on TV or knowing heavily pregnant women does not affect me, I just had a phobia of going through it myself if you see what I mean. Like many women I have experienced sexual assault but I don't think that's what triggered it. It's quite complex for me, I think it was the out of control aspect of labour and birth plus the thought of instruments eg forceps and resulting injuries. For me an ELCS felt much more controlled as I knew exactly what would happen and what recovery would entail.

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Donnaslayer · 08/08/2022 11:03

It's just not about giving birth. Women have it before getting pregnant and in the pregnancy too and end up aborting baby as they can't cope. Personally I didn't see it as a baby, it was a parasite like aliens growing inside me. This was a wanted baby but for me I'd rather have had someone hand me one than to go through the pregnancy. I really blame hearing about other women's horror stories in full gory details over the years, especially my mums. Im not going into them. Being older it took me many years to learn to walk away when women would start talking about them, like in the office etc instead of having these images planted in me. If this is you too walk away or ask them to stop. I know if I hadn't heard them all I wouldn't have felt the same. I explained to my partner how I felt, so he knew to give me alot of extra support. Being pregnant myself I hated it in the early days the feelings of the butterfly's (when your womb is expanding). I felt like I was mental and cried alot. But I persevered even in the most difficult of days, when I didn't want to and you know what. By the end id got use to it and my little parasite turned out to be the best thing I've ever done! I'm so proud of him, he's wonderful and I regret so much that I was sad and didn't enjoy our pregnancy. I didn't know it would be him and I do wish I could redo it as if I'd known it was going to be him, my feelings would have been very different. I would have been so excited to meet him. I don't know if we'll ever have another baby, that decision isn't entirely upto me because of my age but if we did I'm willing to and I dont think Id feel/act the same. All I can say to anyone suffering but wanting a baby. I can look back now and say why was I so scared? because you know what...the pregnancy wasn't actually that bad. Hope my words help someone who felt the way I used to xxx

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 11:14

I didn’t realise I had a problem until I actually got pregnant!. Might sound odd, but true. It can be genetic but sometimes trauma related from a previous birth etc. None of my pregnancies were planned. No 1 the condom failed on, no 2 the pill failed on, no 3 (I was so ill with PND, almost sectioned, I have no idea how I even got pregnant). No. 3 I had to have a termination, I’ll never get over it, but it really was them or me). I had a general anaesthetic for the termination and they implanted an iud so I couldn’t get pregnant again but they didn’t ask and I had to have that taken out under a general anaesthetic as I couldn’t be touched there. I’d absolutely explore counselling if having children is something you’d like to do? X

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 11:16

Absolutely, I should of said that also. It’s not just giving birth, I hated the feeling of someone inside me. I’m pleased you have a child as they obviously bring you such joy. X

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 11:18

It’s so nice to hear that I’m not alone and others have Tokophobia also. And I’m hoping for anyone reading this, it can happen. It takes a lot, for some it will sadly never happen. It’s so nice to talk to others, I’ve never admitted it to anyone really, couldn’t imagine it.

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gotelltheoldmandowntheroad · 08/08/2022 11:30

Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 09:56

I started this thread as I couldn’t find anything about it when I was diagnosed and what I could find no one had children or if they did they had ELCS. If I can help just one person if will be worth it. X

How is it diagnosed? I kept my legs closed during labour hoping the labour would stop. I was terrified of something coming out of my vagina. Is this takophobia?

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 11:38

Mine was diagnosed by a Psychiatrist. Obviously I only know what I do, but I’d say it sounds like you might have? I would definitely look at getting some counselling. X

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RedHelenB · 08/08/2022 11:38

Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 09:45

Tokophobia is a morbid fear of childbirth. You literally would rather kill yourself than have a baby. I honestly contemplated suicide many times. Thanks for asking.

What made you go on to have more children?

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RagingWoke · 08/08/2022 11:58

Does the same experience with the tokophobia affect your relationship with your dc now or have you separated the two?

How did your partner manage and support you during the pregnancy, birth and after? Do they understand tokophobia and your needs?

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 12:04

Ah. That’s almost difficult to answer. When I fell pregnant for the 2nd time I hadn’t been diagnosed and thought that was what being pregnant was like. I had a great midwife the 2nd time around and she really helped, though I did end up being sedated as I was trying to jump out the 3rd floor window to stop it all. I fell pregnant quickly after and had to have a termination, really, really difficult decision especially as I already had 2 but it genuinely was mine or the babies life. Even given my diagnosis it was and is one of the hardest decisions I had to make, I cried daily for ten years over what I had done. With 4th pregnancy it was an accident again (none of my pregnancies were planned) I went to GP who knew my circumstances and I had counselling throughout, weekly meetings with the peri natal team, had EMDR over previous birth trauma and had now been diagnosed (although the midwives initially didn’t seem to know what it was). So I felt in a better place, I was quite determined that I would run away and give birth so no one could touch me but it all happened so quickly (under 2 hours) that helped. I have to say I was still petrified of the birth and getting ill again but I felt I had a lot more support and knew what my rights were and my partner was a lot more supportive than the previous one. And amazing I had no PND, and that also helped as I feel like it was meant to be.

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 12:07

Initially it did. My first was very poorly when born and I remember them resuscitating them and I thought I don’t care if you die after what you’ve put me through. I then had PND so I don’t think we bonded for years-not properly. 2 no one I was on so many drugs while pregnant probably similar tbh, I just sort of went into autopilot as this is how you look after a baby. Number 3 baby was so different, I felt like any new mum I guess? Fell in love pretty much straight away. I cannot emphasis enough how your birth affects your mental health as well as your relationship with babies. I can’t actually hold a new one still , find it very hard as I know where they’ve come from and have never smelt the new baby smell. X

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Childbeinganiggtmare · 08/08/2022 12:16

Sorry I forgot to answer the part about partner. In terms of actually being in hospital while I had the baby he was great. I think it’s such an odd thing for anyone to get their head around (how can a woman be terrified of having kids when she already has 2) I don’t think he fully understood but he could see the genuine fear in my eyes even going to an appointment.

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RagingWoke · 08/08/2022 12:25

thank you for sharing @Childbeinganiggtmare this must be so painful for you but you're right in raising awareness being so important for anyone experiencing this.

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