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fear/apprehention

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have had 4 babies. the last three have been all natural. My last birth was BEAUTIFUL. still I am starting to get frightened and anxious about the birth. I'm reading a hypnobirthing book and it helps but I keep having waves of severe anxiety. Is anyone else feeling this way?it seems like this pregnancy is flying by

post #2 of 26

Have you felt this way during your other pregnancies?

 

Are your fears specific to the birth, or are they about mothering another child, or....?

 

You might find it helpful to explore your fears through artwork. Birthing from Within by Pam England is a great resource. Probably hard to find time to sit down and do artwork with other children, but maybe your husband can give you an hour!

 

Asheya Hennessey

Mom of Elias (2006), Eowyn (2008), Amadeus (2009)

post #3 of 26

I hear you on this.  I've been hearing too many horror stories of something goes wrong right at the end and I just want to have a nice delivery like last time.  No need for drama or excitement.  It makes me nervous.  I had to go visit a friend on the post partum floor where I'll also be and I kept having thoughts about not wanting to be there.  I pushed it out of my head for a few weeks.  It took me a while to figure out what I was really feeling.  It was the stress of having to be up there and coordinating my family, DH's family, and getting my kids up there to see me.  Not to mention all of the stuff that needs to be lined up while I'm not there.

 

Maybe try to think about what might be the true underlying cause might help.

post #4 of 26

I'm with you.  All 3 of mine have been natural, but the last one was awful.  My second was a virtually painless waterbirth, 5 hours of labor, perfect -- I thought I had this birth thing all figured out.  The third one was 14 hours, had his hand by his face, nothing could relieve the pain (this birth made me see why people take drugs for labor, even though I was too stubborn to ask for anything) and I was stuck at 8 cm for over 6 hours.

 

While I *know* that the circumstances of that birth are not likely to happen again, I still worry about it.  I will try to do everything I can to get this babe into a good position (I know good position is part of what made my second birth so easy) and hope for the best. 

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

my last birth was only 2.5 hrs from the first contraction. before that it was 2 hrs for #3 and a 38 minute labor for number two. my first was one of those horror stories! 33 hours on my back tons of intervention and a face first delivery with a nuchal hand. OUCH

I'm worried about pain, not being able to handle it, having a 5th baby, something going wrong... hemorrhage (since I did almost die with number three after a massive hemorrhage )

 i fully trust in my midwife. I fully know my body can and will do what needs to be done. But sometimes just looking at babies makes my anxiety get worse. mostly I'm afraid I cant handle the pain, that this will be worse or something will go wrong that I cant control. that it will somehow make me a failure and somehow make me not "good enough" not in any ones eyes but my own... make any sense?

post #6 of 26

kittn:  totally makes sense.  Maybe not true logical sense, but in the perspective of things.  Labor can be so unpredictable and that is the wonder and beauty of it, but also the terror of it.

 

I had a hemorrhage after #5 and as much as I would like to think of myself delivering at home, I just can't take that risk.  It might not happen again or be that bad, but it is what it is.  I know I'm in good hands with my doc and I know they will let me do what I want.

 

post #7 of 26

I second the recommendation for Birthing from Within.  She talks a lot about dealing with fears, and how facing our fears is an important work that mothers need to do in pregnancy, and it sounds like you're starting to do that.  Reading birth stories can also help sometimes.

post #8 of 26

Kittn, I'm dealing with that too. My last birth was fast and furious with no epidural (my choice of course but wasn't anticipating it being so intense that time) and I am afraid it will be fast and intense again. I never did get a chance to relax, it felt like labor took over me and I was drowning in it. I still plan on a birth center birth again this time and I remind myself that I can decide to transfer for pain relief at any time. Just knowing that I do have that choice makes it a little less scary. I am going to do Hypnobabies also and hopefully this time around my labor/birth wont be so fast. Just saw that your last one was 2.5 hours, so was mine! I totally know how you feel. I'm trying to focus on the sweet little baby that I'll finally get to meet when it's all done and over with.

post #9 of 26

I third the suggestion of Birthing from Within. It really helped me prepare for the birth of #2. my first birth wasn't horrific, but it was not what I had wanted, and I was really worried going into my second birth. Another book that helped eme was And Easier Childbirth by  Gayle Peterson. Rather than art, this one leads you through some journaling, which can help uncover what's beneath your fears.

 

post #10 of 26

I've been thinking about the moment that I felt I 'couldn't do it' with my third baby (my last birth). It was when my waters released while I was pushing, and suddenly the sensations just became overwhelming. Before that I had felt I had some measure of control--I was singing during every contraction, and able to stay focused.

 

For a few minutes I felt like I was drowning: I just couldn't breathe properly, didn't know if I was having a contraction and needed to push or not, and felt afraid that I didn't know how to cope.

 

When I think about it now I realize that perhaps one of the big misunderstandings when we talk about fears and coping is that we need to always be coping and always be in control or feel in control--dykwim? When in reality, a huge part of birth is just letting go, and accepting that at times we may feel totally out of control and this is okay.

 

Giving in to losing control to the process may be a key here. What do you think?

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

yes you are so on point!. I'm a HUGE control freak. it's that transition phase the last 10 minutes before the baby comes. I LOVE pushing, its a relief for me. my MW recognized this anxiety last time and was able to get me through it. I have to learn how to let go and allow myself to not be in control, or "on top of it" i feel like If I am not in control then I am weak. I can't be weak because that makes me vulnerable, and If I am vulnerable I can get hurt... 
it's a strange loop isn't it. I'm trying to work through this but I am seriously emotionally stunted, I'm just a mess lolblush.gifQuote: i spent a lot of time being strong and tough that I don't know how not to be anymore


Originally Posted by Asheya View Post

I've been thinking about the moment that I felt I 'couldn't do it' with my third baby (my last birth). It was when my waters released while I was pushing, and suddenly the sensations just became overwhelming. Before that I had felt I had some measure of control--I was singing during every contraction, and able to stay focused.

 

For a few minutes I felt like I was drowning: I just couldn't breathe properly, didn't know if I was having a contraction and needed to push or not, and felt afraid that I didn't know how to cope.

 

When I think about it now I realize that perhaps one of the big misunderstandings when we talk about fears and coping is that we need to always be coping and always be in control or feel in control--dykwim? When in reality, a huge part of birth is just letting go, and accepting that at times we may feel totally out of control and this is okay.

 

Giving in to losing control to the process may be a key here. What do you think?

post #12 of 26

Hi Kittn,

 

I am still trying to work through my birth fears too. It doesn't help that I have my medical notes from my last birth and the midwife wrote in there "Does not handle labor well." irked.gif

 

My labor started with my water breaking. I was snuggled up in bed with DH just getting ready to drift off to sleep and "pop!". I got out of bed and within a half hour my contractions were 3 minutes apart! I was in shock to say the least. There was no time to lay down and relax or get into the zone. I walked into the birth center 8 cm dilated and already in transition. So yeah, I definitely do feel like I lost control too. I cried and screamed. It hurt! Those contractions were one right after another with no break in between. When my brain finally registered "Hey! Push now!" I was so relieved and pushed that baby out in no time because by golly I was going to be DONE with that!

 

I guess the only thing to do is just surrender this time. In the long run, does it really matter if we "lose control"? Who gets to define what losing control is anyway? Animals often cry out in labor and no one accuses them of losing control.

 

 

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

do you have a different midwife? irked.gif it's hard when we feel like we start out behind the 8ball. with number 2 i felt like that. 

fortunatly my mw feels that I handle labor very well, I just dont feel like I do.

thank you for letting me know im not alone
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post

Hi Kittn,

 

I am still trying to work through my birth fears too. It doesn't help that I have my medical notes from my last birth and the midwife wrote in there "Does not handle labor well." irked.gif

 

My labor started with my water breaking. I was snuggled up in bed with DH just getting ready to drift off to sleep and "pop!". I got out of bed and within a half hour my contractions were 3 minutes apart! I was in shock to say the least. There was no time to lay down and relax or get into the zone. I walked into the birth center 8 cm dilated and already in transition. So yeah, I definitely do feel like I lost control too. I cried and screamed. It hurt! Those contractions were one right after another with no break in between. When my brain finally registered "Hey! Push now!" I was so relieved and pushed that baby out in no time because by golly I was going to be DONE with that!

 

I guess the only thing to do is just surrender this time. In the long run, does it really matter if we "lose control"? Who gets to define what losing control is anyway? Animals often cry out in labor and no one accuses them of losing control.

 

 

post #14 of 26

It will be a different midwife this time thankfully. A midwife should encourage a mama and tell her she did well. After all, is there really a right or wrong way to birth? When it comes down to it, I stuck with it and did not transfer for an epidural. So I guess since I cried, screamed and cursed, I fail?

 

greensad.gif

 

 

 

post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 


that just seems silly to me. you got the baby out, everyone is whole and happy... i think that means you did well! hug.gifQuote:I tend to internalize everything so on the outside I look like all is well and on the inside I want to rip my skin off.

I am glad you have a different midwife!


Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post

It will be a different midwife this time thankfully. A midwife should encourage a mama and tell her she did well. After all, is there really a right or wrong way to birth? When it comes down to it, I stuck with it and did not transfer for an epidural. So I guess since I cried, screamed and cursed, I fail?

 

greensad.gif

 

 

 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheya View Post
When I think about it now I realize that perhaps one of the big misunderstandings when we talk about fears and coping is that we need to always be coping and always be in control or feel in control--dykwim? When in reality, a huge part of birth is just letting go, and accepting that at times we may feel totally out of control and this is okay.

 

Giving in to losing control to the process may be a key here. What do you think?


 

I think you're on to something. But I think perhaps rather than giving in to losing control, it's giving into not being in control. Losing control to me implies flailing around in a panic. Not being in control implies that control is there, it's just not coming from me. With birth, the body can be the one in control, and can do it amazingly well if we're able to release the idea of the MIND needing to be in control. So while we might go through a period where our minds lose control (that is, are in a panic), as you described from your birth, I think from there the goal is not to achieve control with our minds, but to help our minds accept that our bodies are in control.

 

This is more or less what I experienced with my second birth. I was at home, in the birth pool, and ctx were HARD. I was sure I was close to the end, even had a couple times where I felt a little pushy. The MW checked me (first dilation check the entire pregnancy and labor) and I was devastated when she said I was at 6. I lost control. I panicked. I knew I couldn't go on with the ctx feeling the way they were, esp when they weren't even transition ctx yet. I was there, debating whether to transfer to the hospital for drugs. Then something shifted. I didn't decide it, not that I remember, but suddenly my mind was out of the way, and what was left was my body. I was in my body, not my mind, and my body did its work effortlessly. Hard to explain exactly what it was like.. but I definitely moved through the panic and loss of control and surrendered to not being the one in control.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post
I am still trying to work through my birth fears too. It doesn't help that I have my medical notes from my last birth and the midwife wrote in there "Does not handle labor well." irked.gif


af.gif Seriously?! What an awful thing to write! That does nothing but set you up for difficulties this time, with preconceived ideas that you suck at laboring. From what you describe, it sounds like you did awesome in labor. Transition is HARD, no two ways about it. Have you talked about that with your new MW? That's something she should probably know about, because that idea floating in your head during labor could really impact how it goes.

post #17 of 26

With my other births I was mostly quiet other than some moans here and there. It's interesting how we do the opposite of each other yet we have the same fears. hug.gif

post #18 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleumoose View Post



af.gif Seriously?! What an awful thing to write! That does nothing but set you up for difficulties this time, with preconceived ideas that you suck at laboring. From what you describe, it sounds like you did awesome in labor. Transition is HARD, no two ways about it. Have you talked about that with your new MW? That's something she should probably know about, because that idea floating in your head during labor could really impact how it goes.

 

I have not talked to the midwives about it yet. There are 4 at the birth center so I wont know who will be on call when I go into labor. The midwife I had before is no longer there. I have hired a doula this time around and probably should get to talking to her about it at least. Honestly I have been considering an "oops" UC because I am worrying about how I'll do and figure I would rather just be alone.
 

post #19 of 26

I feel very fearful but neither of my births were easy.  I had a failed induction and unnecessary cesarean with #1 and #2 was a vbac 44 hours past PROM but very medicalized.  I'm not sure I can handle labor without an epidural.  I'm scared of feeling judged if I do get one.  I don't want pitocin but I've never gone into labor on my own before.  I really don't feel ready for labor and birth AT ALL.  Hopefully I get to that point before April.  I don't even feel ready to try to get ready.  If that makes any sense.

post #20 of 26

Yes, exactly! Letting go into our instinctual brains rather than having our thinking brains be in control. The instinctual brain is the part of the body that controls breathing, menstruation, and allows your baby to grow. We can trust these processes, even if we are not always consciously aware of how they are all happening or in 'control' with our thoughts of what is happening (i.e. wishing to ovulate or not get your period will not usually make it happen!).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleumoose View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheya View Post
When I think about it now I realize that perhaps one of the big misunderstandings when we talk about fears and coping is that we need to always be coping and always be in control or feel in control--dykwim? When in reality, a huge part of birth is just letting go, and accepting that at times we may feel totally out of control and this is okay.

 

Giving in to losing control to the process may be a key here. What do you think?


 

I think you're on to something. But I think perhaps rather than giving in to losing control, it's giving into not being in control. Losing control to me implies flailing around in a panic. Not being in control implies that control is there, it's just not coming from me. With birth, the body can be the one in control, and can do it amazingly well if we're able to release the idea of the MIND needing to be in control. So while we might go through a period where our minds lose control (that is, are in a panic), as you described from your birth, I think from there the goal is not to achieve control with our minds, but to help our minds accept that our bodies are in control.

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