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Anyone else already stressing about the birth?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

My first birth was an induction/baby-in-distress/forceps/separation-after-birth/long-recovery, but the labor itself wasn't long or rough. My second baby was an almost perfect and painless hypnobabies home birth. Of course the contrast in experiences has made me a little biased against the medical model, and I tend to speak up about empowered birthing and all that now.

 

My nursing experiences have been the opposite though. The first was the best nurser on the face of the planet, and with my second we had to battle a tongue-tie and permanent bad latch, failure to thrive, and food allergies. I was totally pro-nursing after my first, and although I'm still pro-nursing, I have a lot more empathy for mothers who give up now. Without the success of my first experience, I would have given up.

 

And somehow since I've had a super easy birth, in my mind the next one can't be as easy. I know this is probably seems ridiculous, but I've been stressing about this for over a year now. And now that I'm finally pregnant, it's becoming a serious worry. 

post #2 of 28

No.....

 

I'm just going to do everything in my power to prep for the birth. (birthing classes, exercise, diet, written birth plan..etc) I'll focus on prep instead of just stressing..stress is def not good for pregnancy or labor....time much better spent meditating..

 

That's my take on all of this stuff... I do whatever I can to prepare and get the support I need... and then I know I've done all I can do. Everything is new to me ..first pregnancy. No sense of worrying about things beyond my control...only prepare. I'm eager to accept any challenge that comes my way.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

I suppose preparations are where I am putting my nervous energy. I lent out my hypnobabies course, or else I would probably start that already! I've just checked out a few books from the library on assisting women in labor, so I can read them and take notes for my dh. And I've got the bradley book on hold at the library. My dh asked me the other night if I thought I might be over-doing the prep. Afterall, he has only seen one birth and I made it look really easy. In the end though, no matter how prepared I am, bad shit might happen.

 

Part of the issue is there have also been a couple of births (close friend and family member) since my daughter was born that shook me to the core and made me realize how naive I was when it comes to childbirth. I'm seriously rethinking the whole home birth thing, which feels crazy since I had such an awesome experience and I genuinely think babies are safer without interventions. I can't tell if my intuition is telling me something is going to happen and I need to be more prepared for it, or if I'm just shaken from all this.

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandy Lion View Post
 

I suppose preparations are where I am putting my nervous energy. I lent out my hypnobabies course, or else I would probably start that already! I've just checked out a few books from the library on assisting women in labor, so I can read them and take notes for my dh. And I've got the bradley book on hold at the library. My dh asked me the other night if I thought I might be over-doing the prep. Afterall, he has only seen one birth and I made it look really easy. In the end though, no matter how prepared I am, bad shit might happen.

 

Part of the issue is there have also been a couple of births (close friend and family member) since my daughter was born that shook me to the core and made me realize how naive I was when it comes to childbirth. I'm seriously rethinking the whole home birth thing, which feels crazy since I had such an awesome experience and I genuinely think babies are safer without interventions. I can't tell if my intuition is telling me something is going to happen and I need to be more prepared for it, or if I'm just shaken from all this.


Maybe you can find a birth center? Or make sure you talk to OBs at a nearby hospital so you have support in case a transfer is necessary?

 

Most things (although not all) that require intervention only were necessary because the intervention caused it in the first place ...from what I've seen and read anyways. There are also a lot of things midwives can do to help you in case of complications in your home.

 

Personally I've chosen a birth center that is affiliated with a hospital. The hospital is across the street (same campus)...and whilst you are primarily under midwife care there is an OB at the hospital who is also monitoring your progress (heart rate of baby and talks to the midwife for your progress on a regular interval).... if any complications arrive you are transferred across the street. It makes me feel better because it is very much a home birth situation (the rooms actually look like a home! with a very oversized tub for water births AND a living room AND kitchen) with the security of the hospital...only if needed... and NO interventions are "standard". Of course this only works if you are low risk...otherwise they won't let you deliver in the birth center but you'll still have a midwife assisted birth (same midwives) just in the hospital room instead but you should have a similar experience.

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

The birth center here is basically just a place to have a home birth. I love my midwife, and I think talking with her about all of this next week will really help a lot. I just feel like I need to start wrapping my brain around what is even at the root of all of this so I know what to talk with her about. I know that for the most part my oldest dd's struggle was because of the cytotec, and my ob lied to me, so I don't feel like that's the right model of care for me. My youngest dd stopped breathing after she was born, and my midwife was awesome, so I trust my midwife to be able to manage any situations that might arise again. If I end up in a hospital, I'm down with whoever is on call, because I'm going to the hospital to receive interventions not have a lovely experience.

 

Perhaps it's all the risks and unknowns involved in the process. I might give birth to a child with severe disabilities, or my baby might die in my womb a week before my due date. Or I might find myself knocking on deaths door. Last time the worst case scenario was needing a c-section, and now that my eyes have been opened a bit, that seems so minor. 

post #6 of 28

Yes me! It's constantly a stress in the back of my mind already, trying not to focus on it as that isn't going to help. My last birth was a nightmare, I felt I was in shock for a few weeks afterwards. The labor itself from the first contractions to the birth lasted 41 painful hours! After the first 9 hours at home I went to the hospital, only to be sent home saying I hadn't progressed enough to stay in just yet. A couple of hours more at home and I returned to the hospital desperate for pain relief where I had the gas and air. I had two injections of pethidine between that point and the birth. I didn't think the hospital experience was very nice at all, they left me in a room for ages without checking on me, like I was pushed to one side while they dealt with other patients. I was also told to 'shut up' during the pushing stage because I was being too loud even though I was in obvious agony!

 

The worst parts were the fact it went on for so long, but my mom has long labors too so I guess that's normal for us :(  And the actual birth itself, pushing the baby out was extremely traumatic for me. I felt like my pelvic bones were being forced apart to get the baby out, I was screaming and shouting in agony. My bones down there hurt for weeks afterwards -which I'm sure isn't normal headscratch.gif The baby kept sliding back in as well so they gave me an episiotomy cut which also hurt a lot and all the stitches afterwards!

 

I was so exhausted and shocked by the end, after the baby was born I had no strength to hold him and actually had to vomit!

 

This time I want an epidural for sure :1praying  I was too scared to get one last time, but after that experience I want as much pain relief as I can get.

post #7 of 28

Wow, sorry to hear you had such an awful hospital experience snowydays.

 

I'm worried that like last time, I won't go into labor on my own and will have to be induced again. That SUCKED. My water broke and 24 hours later still nothing, so I had no choice but to be induced. I had some complications, though nothing major in the grand scheme of things, but it was a little scary.

 

My midwife feels pretty confident I could go for a birthing suite at the hospital. They have rooms that are specifically for women who want to labor naturally, and a couple of them even have Jacuzzi tubs. Although I think the hospital makes you get out of the tub to deliver. I'm honestly not sure I want to, but it really depends on how everything progresses. Last time I was in a normal room, and was pretty happy with the experience - only one nurse kept hounding me about when I wanted an epidural. I did eventually get one, but I can't help but think I wouldn't have needed it if they hadn't kept cranking up the pitocin.

 

I'm trying to just take it as it comes this time, rather than get any specific ideas about what will happen.

post #8 of 28

I really encourage everyone to watch The Birth Story. http://watch.birthstorymovie.com/

post #9 of 28

Activa, I just wanted to say that I think you have the best attitude towards your first baby! Childbirth is beautiful and not something I think we should fear--we were designed to endure the challenge (although I know some women have had interventionists that believe otherwise.) With my son, I prepared mentally and physically for a natural birth and never let fear come into my mind. I had a very trying 21 hour labor, but not once did I let the pain overcome me. I describe it as more of a mental exhaustion from the intense focus that is required to remain relaxed and in control of the physical task for so long. It was like I was studying for a final exam for 21 hours without looking up from my textbook for a break :) I knew what I wanted from the experience and knew that no matter how challenging, it was what I was made to do as a woman and as a mother. 

 

Now that I am pregnant with my second, I do have some reservation about getting attached to this pregnancy too soon after hearing so many stories of mc'ing. I hope that after I am in the clear from that possibility, I will embrace your attitude again and enjoy the beauty of pregnancy and birth like I did before! Thank you for inspiring me!  :heartbeat 

post #10 of 28

I agree 100% Watermama. Fear itself it our biggest hurdle when it comes to childbirth. Even knowing that, after 3 uneventful, unmedicated births, I am feeling a little bit like I can't possibly be lucky enough for a 4th!! 

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Mama View Post
 

Activa, I just wanted to say that I think you have the best attitude towards your first baby! Childbirth is beautiful and not something I think we should fear--we were designed to endure the challenge (although I know some women have had interventionists that believe otherwise.) With my son, I prepared mentally and physically for a natural birth and never let fear come into my mind. I had a very trying 21 hour labor, but not once did I let the pain overcome me. I describe it as more of a mental exhaustion from the intense focus that is required to remain relaxed and in control of the physical task for so long. It was like I was studying for a final exam for 21 hours without looking up from my textbook for a break :) I knew what I wanted from the experience and knew that no matter how challenging, it was what I was made to do as a woman and as a mother. 

 

Now that I am pregnant with my second, I do have some reservation about getting attached to this pregnancy too soon after hearing so many stories of mc'ing. I hope that after I am in the clear from that possibility, I will embrace your attitude again and enjoy the beauty of pregnancy and birth like I did before! Thank you for inspiring me!  :heartbeat 

Thank you very much! 

 

Fear during birth will only be a detriment to the process. One of the interesting things is people that are sleeping or drunk in car accidents have less or less severe injuries then someone that is awake and alert. Fear makes us tense up... the more tense our body is the more prone to rips/tears..etc. The more relaxed we are the easier things can flow. Not only that but if we trust our bodies and work WITH our bodies instead of against it..we can help move along the process. Not only that but I've come to learn how powerful the mind is. The placebo affect is just the tip of the iceberg... the more I learn (and the scientific community) the more awed I am... by thinking positively and opening our mind up releasing our fear and our pain it can do amazing things. (Ina May frequently had partners kiss when they got stuck and instantly their cervix would open)

 

That is why I highly recommend reading Ina May's book and/or watching that movie I linked...there are so many important things about birth presented...discussing the whole mind/body.

 

Our culture very much perpetuates this fear of child birth. Everything from the media to our family members, friends, and acquaintances. The more fear we have the more problems there will be, which will then create more fear! It's an awful cycle. People around the world do not fear birth like we do. I remember as a child/teen/young adult thinking that I didnt even want to be pregnant have a baby because I was afraid. Afraid of the pain, afraid of problems...I really didnt want to go through that. That is so sad since birthing is such a primary function of a woman, it is part of who we are, it is in our nature. It is like we are losing our own identity's as women. We must not fight it, we must embrace it.

 

There will always be things in life that we can't control. If we constantly worry/fear about these things we are only doing a disservice to ourselves. We create more cortisal... which can be detrimental to our health and our minds...it can lead us into depression or general ill health (you can really make yourself sick with worry). We must acknowledge these fears, and use that to do what we can that is within our control and from there we must let it go, live on, and trust.... I think this is why faith is so important for so many...it allows them to let go of their fear. I know for example how dangerous it is to drive everyday. I cannot live in fear of driving. I can acknowledge that fear, take steps to lower my risk (wear a seatbelt and drive safely) and then drive calmly. Driving around in fear is going to cause me to make mistakes whilst driving and will cause me to get in an accident! (if you ever saw my mother drive around in a snow storm you'd understand what I mean..full blown panic attack) We must not let our fears own us.

 

I too fear a miscarriage. It is not something I focus on or let myself worry about on a day to day basis. There is nothing I can do. I can take some steps to prepare myself by not letting every single person I know know about this pregnancy, and by not getting too attached to the baby until the risk is significantly lower. Once this high risk time is over I do plan on fully embracing this pregnancy and begin bonding with this beautiful baby growing inside of me.. at almost 10 weeks I am starting to get to that place. Of course I could still end up with a late miscarriage/still birth etc... but the chances are low and the risks that would occur if I choose not to bond with the baby would be far higher. So I make that decision and then let go of the fear...free it from myself.

 

:grouphug 

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MakeItSew View Post
 

Wow, sorry to hear you had such an awful hospital experience snowydays.

 

I'm worried that like last time, I won't go into labor on my own and will have to be induced again. That SUCKED. My water broke and 24 hours later still nothing, so I had no choice but to be induced. I had some complications, though nothing major in the grand scheme of things, but it was a little scary.

 

My midwife feels pretty confident I could go for a birthing suite at the hospital. They have rooms that are specifically for women who want to labor naturally, and a couple of them even have Jacuzzi tubs. Although I think the hospital makes you get out of the tub to deliver. I'm honestly not sure I want to, but it really depends on how everything progresses. Last time I was in a normal room, and was pretty happy with the experience - only one nurse kept hounding me about when I wanted an epidural. I did eventually get one, but I can't help but think I wouldn't have needed it if they hadn't kept cranking up the pitocin.

 

I'm trying to just take it as it comes this time, rather than get any specific ideas about what will happen.

 

That was my biggest fear going into my last birth since I went two weeks overdue with my first and "had" (not really, but my dr. told me so) to be induced. I think that fear is part of what made my labor so easy! I was so excited about each contraction because they meant I was really in labor, that I didn't even notice when I went through transition. I totally thought I was in early labor still, so it's a good thing it was planned home birth. I wouldn't have left for the hospital yet, but my midwife was already on her way to help me evaluate if I was really in labor or not (I'm guessing she knew, but I was in denial). More than likely you won't have the same experience. My water broke with my first during my first contraction, and my second was almost born in the caul. Induced labors are a lot rougher than natural labors (in my experience anyway), and I'm sure you'll discover that too.

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowydays View Post
 

Yes me! It's constantly a stress in the back of my mind already, trying not to focus on it as that isn't going to help. My last birth was a nightmare, I felt I was in shock for a few weeks afterwards. The labor itself from the first contractions to the birth lasted 41 painful hours! After the first 9 hours at home I went to the hospital, only to be sent home saying I hadn't progressed enough to stay in just yet. A couple of hours more at home and I returned to the hospital desperate for pain relief where I had the gas and air. I had two injections of pethidine between that point and the birth. I didn't think the hospital experience was very nice at all, they left me in a room for ages without checking on me, like I was pushed to one side while they dealt with other patients. I was also told to 'shut up' during the pushing stage because I was being too loud even though I was in obvious agony!

 

The worst parts were the fact it went on for so long, but my mom has long labors too so I guess that's normal for us :(  And the actual birth itself, pushing the baby out was extremely traumatic for me. I felt like my pelvic bones were being forced apart to get the baby out, I was screaming and shouting in agony. My bones down there hurt for weeks afterwards -which I'm sure isn't normal headscratch.gif The baby kept sliding back in as well so they gave me an episiotomy cut which also hurt a lot and all the stitches afterwards!

 

I was so exhausted and shocked by the end, after the baby was born I had no strength to hold him and actually had to vomit!

 

This time I want an epidural for sure :1praying  I was too scared to get one last time, but after that experience I want as much pain relief as I can get.

Wow, it's one thing to have a rough experience, but another to be surrounded by people who aren't supportive of what you're going through. First births are generally the hardest, so I really hope your next birth is a lot quicker and easier. And I hope you've got a better team next time too. Epidurals can be amazing, so if you want one, go for it. Empowered birthing is all about making the best choices for you, and if an epidural will help you enjoy the birth more and bond better with your baby, then it's worth it!

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneluvmama View Post
 

I agree 100% Watermama. Fear itself it our biggest hurdle when it comes to childbirth. Even knowing that, after 3 uneventful, unmedicated births, I am feeling a little bit like I can't possibly be lucky enough for a 4th!! 

 

And why is that? It seems ridiculous, but birth is really a big deal. Luckily we've got time to process...

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Activia View Post
 

Thank you very much! 

 

Fear during birth will only be a detriment to the process. One of the interesting things is people that are sleeping or drunk in car accidents have less or less severe injuries then someone that is awake and alert. Fear makes us tense up... the more tense our body is the more prone to rips/tears..etc. The more relaxed we are the easier things can flow. Not only that but if we trust our bodies and work WITH our bodies instead of against it..we can help move along the process. Not only that but I've come to learn how powerful the mind is. The placebo affect is just the tip of the iceberg... the more I learn (and the scientific community) the more awed I am... by thinking positively and opening our mind up releasing our fear and our pain it can do amazing things. (Ina May frequently had partners kiss when they got stuck and instantly their cervix would open)

 

That is why I highly recommend reading Ina May's book and/or watching that movie I linked...there are so many important things about birth presented...discussing the whole mind/body.

 

Our culture very much perpetuates this fear of child birth. Everything from the media to our family members, friends, and acquaintances. The more fear we have the more problems there will be, which will then create more fear! It's an awful cycle. People around the world do not fear birth like we do. I remember as a child/teen/young adult thinking that I didnt even want to be pregnant have a baby because I was afraid. Afraid of the pain, afraid of problems...I really didnt want to go through that. That is so sad since birthing is such a primary function of a woman, it is part of who we are, it is in our nature. It is like we are losing our own identity's as women. We must not fight it, we must embrace it.

 

There will always be things in life that we can't control. If we constantly worry/fear about these things we are only doing a disservice to ourselves. We create more cortisal... which can be detrimental to our health and our minds...it can lead us into depression or general ill health (you can really make yourself sick with worry). We must acknowledge these fears, and use that to do what we can that is within our control and from there we must let it go, live on, and trust.... I think this is why faith is so important for so many...it allows them to let go of their fear. I know for example how dangerous it is to drive everyday. I cannot live in fear of driving. I can acknowledge that fear, take steps to lower my risk (wear a seatbelt and drive safely) and then drive calmly. Driving around in fear is going to cause me to make mistakes whilst driving and will cause me to get in an accident! (if you ever saw my mother drive around in a snow storm you'd understand what I mean..full blown panic attack) We must not let our fears own us.

 

I too fear a miscarriage. It is not something I focus on or let myself worry about on a day to day basis. There is nothing I can do. I can take some steps to prepare myself by not letting every single person I know know about this pregnancy, and by not getting too attached to the baby until the risk is significantly lower. Once this high risk time is over I do plan on fully embracing this pregnancy and begin bonding with this beautiful baby growing inside of me.. at almost 10 weeks I am starting to get to that place. Of course I could still end up with a late miscarriage/still birth etc... but the chances are low and the risks that would occur if I choose not to bond with the baby would be far higher. So I make that decision and then let go of the fear...free it from myself.

 

:grouphug 

 

While I agree with you 100%, the fact of the matter is, I'm a real person with real experiences. And I have real fears, and I'm not alone in having fears. But acknowledging our fears and talking about them can be therapeutic I think. I went to a blessingway where the mother was asked to write down her fears on slips of paper, and then we started a fire and she burned them. At this point, I don't even know specifically what my fears are, but even this discussion has helped me figure a few things out. Like I'm not that worried about labor, even though there's where I'm focusing my energy. I think that we're early enough in our pregnancies that a good discussion about our fears and letting them come out in the open can be a good thing. And hopefully by the time we're ready to give birth, we've let go of them or found away to help ourselves process the fear in a way that's helpful. It's easy to say don't be afraid, but quite another thing to actually not be.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandy Lion View Post
 

 

While I agree with you 100%, the fact of the matter is, I'm a real person with real experiences. And I have real fears, and I'm not alone in having fears. But acknowledging our fears and talking about them can be therapeutic I think. I went to a blessingway where the mother was asked to write down her fears on slips of paper, and then we started a fire and she burned them. At this point, I don't even know specifically what my fears are, but even this discussion has helped me figure a few things out. Like I'm not that worried about labor, even though there's where I'm focusing my energy. I think that we're early enough in our pregnancies that a good discussion about our fears and letting them come out in the open can be a good thing. And hopefully by the time we're ready to give birth, we've let go of them or found away to help ourselves process the fear in a way that's helpful. It's easy to say don't be afraid, but quite another thing to actually not be.

I agree. Which is why I said the first step was to acknowledge our fears. ;) Then to take steps to give us piece of mind (like wearing our seat belts) and educating ourselves and preparing ourselves (mentally and physically), meditating, talking to others, and for those that have a strong faith sharing those fears with your higher being. Support from our friends/family/partners/church (faith) and each other is important in creating a sense of security and minimizing that fear. Fear in itself is not a bad thing...if we weren't afraid then we'd just be ignorant and ill-prepared for what lies ahead. Pregnancy and birth is both challenging and life changing. It's not something I take lightly at all... which is why I will take that fear energy and turn it into motivation to learn and prepare.

 

That is why I love the bead trading idea. We are all thinking about each other and giving each other strength. This is represented in the beads that we share with each other...something that we can physically hold onto and feel the support and give us strength.

:grouphug

I also love the idea of taking our fears and burning them symbolically like that ...sounds very cleansing and releasing.

 

I hope everyone has the birth experience that you wish to seek for yourselves. I am sorry for some of the births that did not go the way you would have hoped. They sound like very difficult experiences.

post #17 of 28

The birthing is my favourite part! I have never had any fears associated with childbirth (guess I am lucky) I know my body better than anyone and feel completely confident in my ability to handle whatever gets thrown at me. My last birth was hard not as hard as my second (she died before birth, you would not believe how much a live baby helps to get itself out) but I was definitely challenged I pushed for over an hour and I kept having to ask myself "is this normal?" I usually push for about 3-5 min. in the end all was well but you really have to trust yourself.

but I was birthing unassisted. Are you planning to have an attendant? it is not clear from your post.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektraofMars View Post
 

The birthing is my favourite part! I have never had any fears associated with childbirth (guess I am lucky) I know my body better than anyone and feel completely confident in my ability to handle whatever gets thrown at me. My last birth was hard not as hard as my second (she died before birth, you would not believe how much a live baby helps to get itself out) but I was definitely challenged I pushed for over an hour and I kept having to ask myself "is this normal?" I usually push for about 3-5 min. in the end all was well but you really have to trust yourself.

but I was birthing unassisted. Are you planning to have an attendant? it is not clear from your post.

I love birthing too, and that's why I'm so weirded out by all my fear! My last birth was seriously magical. I'm planning on having the same midwife that I had at my last birth, but I've got some issues there too. I'm sure they'll be resolved. 

 

I'm sorry to hear you had a stillborn baby :( That's one of my fears. And not just me loosing a baby, but anyone. My SIL and I were due a couple of weeks apart, and she lost her baby a week after mine was born. I had terrible ppd, and I think a lot of it was triggered by that experience. I think we tend to feel things with a lot more intensity when we're postpartum. She barely had a baby last week, and I think a lot of those emotions have been brought back to the surface. Although she's got a beautiful baby in her arms, it makes it really hard not to think about the son she lost. Especially with my dd (who would have been the same age) running around the hospital room.

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandy Lion View Post
 

 

And why is that? It seems ridiculous, but birth is really a big deal. Luckily we've got time to process...

Dandy Lion, I wanted to add that it is obviously easier to avoid worry and/or fear if you have never had a traumatic experience. Although my first birth was long and exhausting, I wouldn't dare say I have any experience with a traumatic, scary, difficult birth. If I had, I have no idea how I might feel at this point in my pregnancy. I can imagine how apprehensive one might be with the fear of the looming unknown birth experience. We all want to prepare and be stress-free, obviously, but I can totally see how overwhelming it might be having been through what you went through with your first birth. Hopefully, since your second birth was so peaceful, the next will follow the same? I have heard that each pregnancy gets easier and easier--or is that a myth? I don't know. I hope my last post didn't come off as insensitive--I can see how it would now, and I'm sorry. This forum is totally meant to be a therapeutic place to get out all our concerns and worries in a safe environment, like you said. I'm sure if you are already preparing for what is to come you will be in the right head-space come June.

post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 

Water Mama, I totally understood what you meant and didn't take it as insensitive at all. :) It's good to know that I'm not the only one stressing out thinking that another good birth is just too much to ask for.

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