Fear of birth

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joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054
Fear of birth

So the first time around, I really wasn't scared of NCB. This time though, I'm starting to have a lot of fear about it...because now I know how much it hurts.

With my first birth, I ended up with an epi at 10cm because the nurse wouldn't measure me since I'd been measured 45 mins before and was only 3cm...after the epi she measured me (1 hour after the initial measurement), I was complete. I know that fast labors like that can be super intense, and this time I'm planning a water birth to help with that.

What did you do to allay your fears? I did hypbirth CDs last time, but was looking into hypnobabies this time. Would that help? Any other suggestions? I really would like to be in a less fearful place come August.

Thanks,
Joy

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Oh my... I'm about to have kid #3 and I know exactly what you are talking about... you are SO not alone. While both of my births were NCB, they were very different and I really don't want to repeat either of them... one was very long and drawn out the other was short and intense. I guess for me... I'm a) trying to ignore the fear for now... no use worrying over it b) surrounding myself with the right people during labor and delivery c) when it gets to me... read or watch positive stories to remind me why I continue to make this choice.
Anyways, good luck and I hope this helps... I'll be interested to see what others say since I get stuck in the boat too.
Jen

emommyof2's picture
Joined: 09/26/10
Posts: 310

Believe it or not, I'm on baby #4 and I -still- have moments of OMG can I do this again? The fear of the pain is normal and natural, we just have to channel it out of fear and into preparations. Knowing the pain is natural, and normal, and will end (that's the best part) will help when you are forced to deal with it again.

Hypnobabies, as well as other self hypnosis tracks have helped me greatly through this pregnancy in preparing for the birth, unfortunately like all births there is no way to know until your right down and dirty in it if all your prep will work. I think we put far too much pressure on ourselves to either be "natural" or say screw it dope me. I honestly don't consider my last birth a 'failure' because I ended up with an epidural, more that situations changed and so I had to roll with it.

That being said, I sort of have my own history to live up to, I've had two natural (ie: no drugs, #2 was induced) and one with an epidural... Believe it or not I didn't get the epidural with my first because I was -more- afraid of the epidural than the pain of birth LOL, the second well no time for decisions, and after my experience with the third... I really can say with all seriousness I'd rather be knocked out cold then go through an epidural again! (odd I know)

And I'm rambling now... stupid NBC news reporters are babbling at me and making me loose my train of thought!

MandyMommyto1's picture
Joined: 06/27/09
Posts: 534

I have moments of this too! I had a natural birth with my DD, but I had intense back labour and it was much more than I was prepared for - it took me completely by suprise. I found that in the moment, my hypnobabies prep didn't help me (but I plan to use it again!) because I had a hard time focusing. I found two things really helped:
- my DH has an EXTREMELY calm demeanor (I often joke if he was any more easygoing he'd be dead!) and even in the heat of the moment when I was in transition and really doubting myself, he kept me on track. Even if it's not your DH, having a calm person in the room with you can really help.
- I tried to approach it like a marathon. Every time I had a contraction, I'd just focus on that one, then focus on recovery when it was over. Thinking "one down, one to go" kept me from thinking "dear god how long can this continue?!" If I kept my focus on getting through one at a time, I was able to keep my morale up and my confidence.

I honestly am more scared of the after-part of the birth this time around than the actual birth. I remember how painful the recovery was from my tears, and the first 2 weeks of nursing!

I find the pregnancy affirmations track of the hypnobabies program really helpful. Anytime you're starting to fear a lot, and doubt yourself, stick that baby on and it puts you in a more positive frame of mind.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

I never did get pain meds, and i'm TERRIFIED the epidural... like i could EVER sit still, much less in labor! but i do assume that at some point i'm going to ask for them. usually right when they say "there's no point!"

With #2 i was personally a little behind the ball- i did let them break my water and knew that it would be quick after that, i did about an hour of walking feeling it get really intense and yes it was painful, but i got long breaks in between still- and once i really wanted to get into the tub to deal with it, i'm sure i was already at a 10 and ready to push and not going with that urge made it more painful. i had to get out, wait for the OB (wasnt long) and have them tell me to try pushing before i realized if felt SOOO much better to push! most of those really painful contractions would have been better if i went with them instead of tried to kinda coast through them.

I went in thinking i could make this a more zen, calm experience if i just let my body do the work, and i should have been assuming it was going to be a battle zone at some point and i was going to have to get into it.

i didn't have much fear going in but most the way through i was like "WTF WAS I THINKING!" but i DO NOT regret anything about Bubba's birth, i LOVED it! it took me a day to reconsile that i had an awesome birth even if it wasnt "pain free" or zen like i thought it could be.

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

The thing I'm most afraid of with this 2nd birth is the fear itself. That is honestly what I remember most from my last experience - overwhelming fear during transition. The way I'm getting through it right now is remembering how absolutely wonderful I felt afterwards. I just try to concentrate on how excited I am to have another natural birth and maybe even have it be better this time since I'll be at the birth center, etc.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

3-10 cm in one hour is really fast! I can understand why that would be overwhelming! I really like Hypnobabies, and feel that it goes far beyond any other birth hypnosis program.

Joined: 03/06/09
Posts: 1054

I am there with you. My first birth was augmented with pit (high BP, etc) so I didn't really even try to go natural once it started. My 2nd birth I prepared and ended up getting the epidural 15 mins before she was born (after 12+ hours of active labor). Had I insisted on doing what my body was telling me to (sit up, stand up instead of staying on my side with head down like the OB wanted me to), I don't think I would've needed the epidural. But I am really struggling this time around because I remember how painful those last few minutes were and how intense things were. It seems like a common theme is women not really being allowed to listen to what their body is telling them during labor therefore they doubt their ability to give birth naturally.
I think much of my fear is related to that feeling of not knowing how things will go and if I will have the wits to listen to my body this time around. I don't have much advice. I try not to think about the birth at all right now. When I do, I try to visualize a "perfect" birth (i.e., not taking 13 hours to get from a 5-10 cm and being able to use the tub for relief if possible) and pray for the wisdom and the insticts to allow my body to work through the birth process.

Joined: 05/24/05
Posts: 944

My new little guy came via a fast labour. I went from 5-10cm in literally a moment so I know completely what you mean! It was soooo intense.

During pregnancy, whenever I'm having doubts about my ability to cope I like reading positive birth stories. I've read the ones in the beginning of Ina May's guide to childbirth more than a dozen times. It always makes me feel better.

Joined: 01/22/07
Posts: 170

The doula I had really helped me with any fear I had and help me feel confident etc. I actually kind of expected the midwives to help with all that but in the end it was her that helped me prenatally prepare mentally. The midwives just took care of the medical things.

heatherliz2002's picture
Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 2273

I love hearing what you ladies have to say about this. It helps me not to feel so alone in dealing with the fear. I went through 13 hours of augmented labor without pain meds, only to end up in an emergency c-section because DD's heart rate was around 50 bpm for an extended period of time and she was not responding to anything. I was under general anesthesia so I missed the whole thing. For me the biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. Both a vaginal birth and a c-section feel like the unknown to me since I was unconscious for the birth. Going through the pain of labor again is scary, as well as pushing/delivery which I obviously didn't do the first time, but for me, not knowing what is going to happen is the scariest. And how could anyone possibly know what's going to happen?! I know it's irrational, but I still feel that way!

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

"MandyMommyto1" wrote:

I find the pregnancy affirmations track of the hypnobabies program really helpful. Anytime you're starting to fear a lot, and doubt yourself, stick that baby on and it puts you in a more positive frame of mind.

Ditto to the pregnancy affirmations CD for hypnobabies.

A supportive person in the room (perhaps a doula?) and just telling yourself over and over that you CAN DO IT!

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

My biggest fear for DS2's birth was that DS1's birth went relatively well...there were some things I wish could have gone differently, but all things considered it was a good birth. So, I kept worrying that maybe I just "got lucky" with his birth and wouldn't be able to go natural again or some complication would happen, etc. (which if a complication had happened, that is out of my control anyway). I agree with the other ladies who have mentioned listening to some birth affirmations or reading them, reading positive birth stories, and having a good support system.

I don't know if I just have a stubborn will (my dad would probably shout YES!) or what, but with birth and with breastfeeding too I just made it something that I was going to do. Yes, with anything there are unpredictable things that can come up, but I put those out of my head and put my mind to making it happen by doing everything that was in my control to have the best shot...if that makes sense.

DunyaWolf's picture
Joined: 07/25/08
Posts: 223

My first birth was similar to yours OP (though not that fast! wow!) in that I couldn't handle the pain and got the epi really late. They didn't check me before hand, probably because I hadn't been there long s they didn't think I'd be that far along? Anyway, as soon as I got it I was pushing! I was sitting there waiting for it to kick in and started getting the strongest urges to push. After his birth I swore that next time I'd get to the hospital sooner so I could get the epi sooner!

But I knew I didn't really want that. What helped me overcome my fears the most with #2 was hypnobabies. It all went a long way towards keeping a positive outlook and approaching the coming birth in a peaceful mindset. I didn't feel like I used hypnobabies actively in labor, and I did experience the contractions as painful, but it was all very manageable and my mental state was so positive and confident. I knew I needed something in-depth and comprehensive to help me overcome my fear of the pain from #1 and hypnobabies definitely helped me do that!