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The first twinge of anxiety about labor.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thus far I've been totally zen about having to go through labor again. I finally got my homebirth midwife set up and I love her!!! We're getting our things together for baby and I'll have my birth kit in 2 weeks!!! I'm beginning to visualize my labor and babies birth and I'm so excited about it. I had a natural birth with DD that was intense to say the least. It was in a hospital with a midwife I didn't like and who didn't respect me. There were a lot of emotions and anxieties that effected the course of labor. I'm so excited to have DP there with me this time. He's so wonderful and supportive and loving and I know he'll do great supporting me. I'm even more excited to do this in my own home with only people I trust and love.

I haven't had any anxieties about baby arriving. I'm feeling confident (maybe too much so) in what is to come. I'm excited to nurse and care for this little life and be a family of four.

I've been in a lot of pain this pregnancy and I'm happy to say that at 32 weeks pregnant we could very well have a baby in just 5 short weeks. But for the first time yesterday all of a sudden I got this overwhelming anxious feeling about labor, almost to the point of panic attack. I just realized that "OMG I have to do this again?!?!" I guess I've been so busy thinking about other stuff that it's only now hitting me that labor hurts, and it's hard work. That feeling has since subsided and I'm back to zen about it, but I remember this with DD coming and going a lot toward the end. Some days I was scared out of my mind and others I was egging labor on. I guess I'm getting closer than I thought and this is my way of emotionally preparing for what's to come.

Anyone else coming to the realization part of pregnancy? Whether that be "OMG I'm going to push a baby out!!!" or "OMG I'm going to have an infant to take care of!!!"
post #2 of 18
Uhh, I've been doing EMDR and NLP practices for months trying to deal with my anxiety about labor. Does that make me an overachiever? Yes. I have had tons of anxiety about this whole 'pushing another kid out of my vagina' thing. But! I am happy to report that after hundreds of dollars and many hours in therapy I'm feeling much more Zen.
post #3 of 18
I practically had a panic attack just reading the OP! You really brought it home and reminded me what's coming... and soon! I am scared, partly because of the pain/pressure/out of control feelings, and partly because I've never had a birth that went quite the way I wanted it to. I'm afraid of all the things that can go wrong. I am not in a zen place!
post #4 of 18
I'm starting to get a little anxious. With DD1 it didn't really happen until the day I went into labor, but this time I know what I'm getting into!

My biggest concern is with all the logistical stuff that needs to happen when labor begins. I have to get my mom down to our house from an hour away to watch DD, and I have to make sure to leave in enough time to get to the hospital that is 40 minutes away when there's no traffic. My first labor was slow and steady, so there was no panic, but I'm afraid this second one will be fast and furious, which would be ok if it were a homebirth, but just knowing that I have to GET there and then try to get into a relaxed state stresses me out. I keep hearing about people who, on their second or third labors, didn't even know it was really happening. That happened with my SIL who just had twins. She lost her mucous plug and called her doc. Doc said to come on in even though she wasn't feeling much in the way of contractions. She got to the hospital 2 hours later and was at 8 cm!

And I don't want to let that fear slow things down needlessly. I'm sure the fear about actually pushing the baby out will come later, but for now, it's all the other stuff that worries me. As long as I push for a shorter time than last time, it should be ok. That was 1.5 hours, though I really started too early because I was eager to be done with it all.
post #5 of 18
I think it's finally hitting me, as well.

This is our 6th, and will be my first homebirth, and my first completely hands off birth.

It's amazing (and humbling) for me to truly have to rely on my faith in God for birth the first time ever-that He has equipped me to handle this..I trust I can..but I fear I've been made weak by all my "medical experiences" of birth...if my body even recognizes truly hands-off pregnancy, L&D. No monitors, no hospital, no pressure to do this test or have this drug..

Yes, I have my first twinges, as well. I'm incredibly humbled and aware of the irony of feeling like a first time birther while expecting our 6th.
post #6 of 18
ooooh reality. Just finally starting to edge it's way into my consciousness... Since this is our first and I have no idea what to expect with labor, I'm actually really excited about it. despite the thought if it taking long, not going the way we planned, etc... BUt, I am a planner by nature, so I know that last minute changes could possibly stall labor for me. I shoudl probably start reading my hypnobirthing book, right?

the part that's starting to scare me or shock me into reality is the "OMGosh I will be caring for an infant in a few weeks." When I wake in the morning, I can feel the baby wake a few minutes later. we lay in bed and "hang out" together for a while. this morning i realized that I'd be rolling over to nurse, change a diaper, or possibly wake to <gasp> a crying baby, instead of just propping us up on a pillow, holding and talking to my belly that requires little more than love....

yeah. it's really happening. I might be in a little bit of denial now that it's getting closer. glad I'm not the only one.

(and rightkindofme... perhaps I should re-up my sessions to 1x per week from bi weekly again now that I think of it!! I need to get to that zen place too.)
post #7 of 18
Im so sorry you all are facing some anxiety. With DD I never once felt anxious about labor or birth (probably because I hadn't done it before LOL). When they told me I was being induced within hours, I was SOOO excited. During labor I was totally stoked. I went through 45 hours of pretty intense labor but was still one of the happiest women in the world. Don't ask me how I did it, but I think it was the fact that at the beginning of my pregnancy I SWORE to myself that I would not be scared, that everything is normal and everything would be fine. I prepared myself for the best so well, that I never even let the negative in to prepare for the worst, in case it happened. I think that is why I had such a difficult time emotionally and mentally recovering from my c/s.

This time it is totally different for me. I am trying to be perfectly calm about everything but the fact of the matter is, I am going from having a toddler to having a toddler and a newborn in LESS than 8 weeks. I am also terrified of another section. The section itself isn't what scares me, its the spinal that is freaking me out. I remember it hurting last time but I can't remember how bad. I hated the fact that I was having a needle stuck in my back and the thought of it again, makes me shiver. I am also not looking forward to the recovery with a toddler, though I have heard that recovery after the second section is easier than the first. Also I never took pain meds last recovery so that is maybe why it was a bit difficult for me physically. Maybe its just the plain old fact that I.am.sick.of.having.surgery. After this, I will have had 3 major surgeries in 21 months. C/s with DD in Oct/08, old-school gall bladder surgery in Dec/09 and now another c/s in Aug/10.
post #8 of 18
I'm occassionally a little nervous about labor, but I'm terrified of caring for another baby! I just don't think I'm going to be good at being a mom of two. I also struggled quite a bit with baby blues after my DD was born and I was on my own with her after all my help left. I'm worried I'll have to struggle with that again.
post #9 of 18
lots of random anxiety about getting the baby out! i try not to freak out about it but sometimes just the idea of labor makes me nauseous. it is difficult to fully trust my body being raised with the american medical model and never witnessing a birth before. i try not to think about it too much b/c i don't know what to do to ease my mind. i'm less concerned with caring for an infant, than thinking about transition and crowning.
post #10 of 18
At this point I am completely unafraid (32 wks) - even a little excited about it. I had a great birth with my son 3.5 years ago and have faith that my body will do it again. I mean, it wasn't a walk in the park, but not even a couple of minutes after DS was born I said, "oh, that wasn't as hard as I though it was going to be" - DH said I sounded as if I was disappointed! I didn't have much fear with DS - I went into labour early and just went along with it; I never had the chance to build up anxiety.

I learned in my prenatal class that both adrenalin and endorphins are taken up by the same receptors. If you panic, your body will produce lots of adrenalin which will leave no place for endorphins to go. Key to getting the happy endorphin "high" is to stay relaxed. That mental image of endorphins taking up the receptors helped me. Another thing that really helped me was remembering to keep my mouth relaxed (as read in Spiritual Midwifery) because supposedly if you tighten your mouth your vaginal muscles also tighten which can stall labour and increase pain.

I had DS in the hospital - I was the only one in the ward at the time that had a natural birth and no interventions (except IV - I was SOOO dehydrated!!!). I was also the only mama walking the halls with a smile on my face after DS was born. I think the nurses thought I was nuts. I definitely got my fair share of endorphins! I'm looking forward to that wonderfullness again!
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmelanson View Post
At this point I am completely unafraid (32 wks) - even a little excited about it. I had a great birth with my son 3.5 years ago and have faith that my body will do it again. I mean, it wasn't a walk in the park, but not even a couple of minutes after DS was born I said, "oh, that wasn't as hard as I though it was going to be" - DH said I sounded as if I was disappointed! I didn't have much fear with DS - I went into labour early and just went along with it; I never had the chance to build up anxiety.

I learned in my prenatal class that both adrenalin and endorphins are taken up by the same receptors. If you panic, your body will produce lots of adrenalin which will leave no place for endorphins to go. Key to getting the happy endorphin "high" is to stay relaxed. That mental image of endorphins taking up the receptors helped me. Another thing that really helped me was remembering to keep my mouth relaxed (as read in Spiritual Midwifery) because supposedly if you tighten your mouth your vaginal muscles also tighten which can stall labour and increase pain.

I had DS in the hospital - I was the only one in the ward at the time that had a natural birth and no interventions (except IV - I was SOOO dehydrated!!!). I was also the only mama walking the halls with a smile on my face after DS was born. I think the nurses thought I was nuts. I definitely got my fair share of endorphins! I'm looking forward to that wonderfullness again!
I'm so glad you are relaxed and looking forward to labor and delivery once again! That's very reassuring, as many of us have not started in a "hands off" manner to birth, and therefore carry baggage from medical intervention-not birth persay, to give us fright!

I wish all of us would have started out on the more natural path, as then we'd have confidences in our bodies to deal with what may come naturally.

I've given my fears to God (my own coping and focus mechanism), and do plan on using the techniques in Ina May's books for relaxation. I'm feeling pretty good-just going into an unknown (and a welcome one!) with hands off birth!

Blessings to you!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm glad I'm not the only one, although I didn't mean to make anyone scared.


Actually, it's funny because I do have quite a bit of confidence in my bodies ability to birth. Even though my last experience wasn't ideal, it was completely natural and I had all of the wonderful birth highs. Not to mention a speedy recovery. I'm not afraid of transfer or something going wrong. I'm pretty zen about that aspect of labor and birth. But IMHO (and not to scare any first timers) labor hurts no matter how calm, relaxed or zen you are and it's darn hard work!!! I'm super excited about a lot of things having to do with labor and birth. The part that makes me a bit "OMG" is transition and crowning. Last time it just went SOOOO fast. It was so intense and scary. I didn't feel supported for what was happening. When DD crowned I felt like I would literal split apart. For a brief moment there was honest panic and a fear that "this is NOT possible". I couldn't wrap my head around how she would get out. I know a lot of moms experience some relief when they're able to push, but for me it was the opposite. I didn't want to push (and I didn't really push at all). I didn't feel relief, it was the worst part of the whole labor. I tore, although I'm not sure how bad. In retrospect I'm pretty sure what I experienced was fetal ejection. I didn't ever make a conscious choice to push. DD literally flew out in 2 contractions.

This time my head keeps circling around about the final stage of labor. I keep thinking about how the last stage will most likely be slower this time around. That's comforting in a way because I may be able to handle it better emotionally. But it scares me too because I don't want that pain to last longer than it has to.

Anyway, I don't think I'll ever allow the panic/fear to overwhelm me. It's accompanied by so many good thoughts and hopes and anticipation to meet this little one. Actually, I think the fear is almost a necessary part of my preparation. It's like reality setting in and getting me ready for what's to come. I also think it's soooo important to vocalize those fears we have about labor before we get there. I like to be able to work these things out, it makes me feel more at ease when the time really does come.
post #13 of 18
This is the third time round for me and the second (planned) homebirth. DS was born in a hosptial and I ended up with Stadol and an out-of-control, panicky, 2 hour transition complete with double and triple peaking contractions. It was hell. I was soooooo scared of going back to that panicky, scary place with DD. It wasn't so much the pain that I remembered or even the work of it, just that sense of loss of self and inability to "ride" the labor (because it felt like an accelerating car with no brakes, thank you Stadol). Anyway, I was seriously worried about the second birth, even knowing that I could do this, was confident in my body/self, had completely changed the way I would be birthing, etc.

And you know, DD's birth was AWESOME! I was able to ride it the whole way, submitting to the process while never feeling like it had run away with me. I felt strong and powerful! And that feeling has really kept me going all the way to now. Yes, it's the third tri and I am beginning to actually face the reality of birth. But this time around it feels a lot more like "Oh, I'm so tired already, *how* amd I going to keep up?!" DD's birth and that sense of strength and power really had a very healing effect on me. So, for those of you who are anticipating your first intervention free births: it's pretty sweet on the other side
post #14 of 18
Thank you so much for that, MonP'titBoudain! I love the "other side" comment! I can't wait!
post #15 of 18
I should add to my previous post that I DO know how fortunate I was to have such a relatively easy birth experience (it was long and steady, not short and terribly intesnse) - I really don't want to diminish more difficult experiences that other women have had that may contribute to anxiety. I just wanted to post my experience for some balance so that first-time mamas looking in on this know that it can often be more relaxed as well.

Wishing you all bushels and bushels of endorphins!
post #16 of 18
I had my first wave of panic the other day while picking up items from my midwives' list of supplies. I was so overwhelmed that I just stopped shopping and went home. But I went back a few days later, and had no problem.

My first birth was long and ended in a hospital transfer, epidural, IV, pitocin, tearing, lots of blood loss, etc. The funny thing is that right after the birth I was so proud of myself. It was hard work, painful, and full of hard decisions. But I did it. Now that I am facing a new unknown birth experience I wonder if I could do it all over again. I've been doing fear-clearing sessions with hypnobabies, and lots of affirmations. Mostly I am excited for labor because there is no reason I can't have the birth I've dreamed of. I've come to grips with the idea that labor is my job alone, and that there is no way out but through. I know that my body has done this beofre, and should in theory be much more efficient this time. I know that this baby is already positioned well, and that leads to easier births. But sometimes that little bit of anxiety slips in. I think its normal...
post #17 of 18
I'm so afraid of labor this time. With DS I pushed it out of my head and didnt know what to expect. I was so relaxed about it. But now I know what it coming. I try to be cool, but I cant help but get a little nervous about all the pain. I know I can do it, I know it will all go well. I just hate the lump I feel as i rememebr the way my whole body felt at the end of labor when it was time to push. i have never been able to forrt it and that is what I am most afraid if. But, he only took a few minuted to push out, so it was over quick. That;s what i remind myself of.
post #18 of 18
I refuse to think anymore about it. I am in denial that she will EVER come out.

I spent the first 7 months thinking, planning, and preparing. Now, I'm relaxing and blocking it all out.
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