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Any second-timers nervous about labor?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if nervous is the right word for how I feel, but I know that I don't feel as laidback as the midwives describe for second-time moms. Labor is a funny thing. After my first, I've looked back on my 22-hour, pain-filled labor very fondly. Right after my dd was born, I'd replay the labor in my head, especially the part where I pushed her out into the world! But even though you're supposed to, I haven't forgotten the pain (I still remember how panicked I felt when transition set in). It's so weird that labor can be so wonderful and scary at the same time. This time around, I've had some painful bh contractions, and instead of like the midwife described ("oh yeah, I remember this, no biggie"), I was like "oh yeah, I remember this, and sh*t, it's going to get 20,000 times worse in actual labor!"). Am I alone in feeling this way? I'm looking forward to birthing my daughter unmedicated again, and I know that it will be as special as the first-time, but I can't help dreading the pain part. In fact, I think I dread it more this time around because I know what it means.

Maybe I'm worrying about it for nothing, though, and the reality will be like the midwives said. In a lot of ways, I know so much more of what to expect. I intentionally chose a birth center (instead of a hospital), so that I can use a hot tub (the hospital wouldn't allow it). I know warm water is supposed to help with the pain. And if a water birth feels natural, I plan to go for it and stay in the tub. I also will recognize transition this time around (the nurse told me to push when I was in transition, which was the main reason my labor ended up being so long; I pushed for two hours before my body was ready and was wiped out by the time I could push for real..and then I had to push for four hours!). Odds are that this labor will be much shorter (which would also make it easier to deal with the pain because I won't be so tired).

Anyone else feel similarly?
post #2 of 10
I did for a while but mainly the fear revolved around being tired more than the pain itself. But now that I've got my support team established I feel no fear whatsoever. Maybe just keep reminding yourself that you know for a fact that the pain won't last forever. That's what was tough for me first time around (was not left with the good feeligns you were), not knowing if and when it would ever end. I find that because I survived once I the fear isn't there anymore. I'm not looking forward to the pain, but it doesn't freak me out or anything.

When push comes to shove (no pun intended) you'll just have to take it, so maybe try to focus on other aspects of your impending birth?

IALNA
post #3 of 10
I hear ya, I'm a little nervous too. With my daughter's birth, I was petrified of giving birth and figured that an epidural was my ticket out. I was in labor for a total of 27 hours, 17 of which I did at home until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and wanted to go to the hospital for my epidural. When I got there I was 5 cm dilated, didn't get the epidural until 7 cm, then the damn epidural (which was excruciating in itself) didn't work. So when I was in transition, I felt like I was stepping off the proverbial cliff and completely unprepared for what was about to go down. I was so shocked by the experience that I was convinced that I would never have a child again. It took me about 2 years to get over my horror about my daughter's birth.

But...then I started doing my research. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth was a big eye opener for me, as was an introductory doula seminar I went to. I am determined to have a better birth experience this time around, and I know that my body will do what it needs to do and I am in control of things. I am planning a waterbirth, have been doing my squats and perineal massage, drinking my RRL tea, and doing the Hypbirth homestudy course. So I have been preparing way more this time around, and think I can handle things a lot better this time.

That aside, deep down I still feel a little apprehensive. My BH have been so strong lately that my first inclination is to tense up instead of trying to relax into them, which is the exact opposite of what I have been trying to get into my head with the hypnobirthing practice. I am worried that I will forget all of my convictions and lose my self-confidence and basically fall apart when things get tough. So, I know where you're at with the dread.
post #4 of 10
I'm nervous. But not about the pain, just about all the unknowns. The pain doesn't scare me. I was in active labor for 37 hours and spent 20 hours stuck at 8 cm (basically in transition for the entire 20 hours.). I know I can handle the pain. It'w weird, each strong contration that I've felt in the past few days has been exciting and empowering to me. Remembering how strong I was during my last labor. I might be the odd man out, but I look forward to that experience again.

The things that make me nervous are the baby's health, hoping that everything goes well during delivery, cord issues, etc.

But the pain, nope, definitely not afraid of that. Actually last time around when I was pushing it was almost orgasmic...? Like I said I might be a little odd.
post #5 of 10
i shouldnt even be reading this thread

but i loved this:

"It'w weird, each strong contration that I've felt in the past few days has been exciting and empowering to me. Remembering how strong I was during my last labor. I might be the odd man out, but I look forward to that experience again."

thank you!
post #6 of 10
i was definitely more nervous with my second. i have to say, though, that once everything started progressing, the fears just slipped away. i think it's because you know what's to come (or at least you think you do). and there's always the issue of worrying about your firstborn....where will they be? will they miss you? who will be caring for them? what if, what if, what if? for me, it all turned out better than i could've planned & dd2's birth was quick & beautiful!

now with #3.....!? :
post #7 of 10
I'm a bit nervous and sometimes do catch myself thinking "Oh, hell, I can't believe I have to go through that pain again!". But then I tell myself that because I had to be induced with Pitocin, the contractions were a million times worse than natural ones would have been if my body had been allowed to do what it needed to.

This time around I'm more terrified that I'll have to have another c-section. The idea of never being able to push out a child destroys me.
post #8 of 10
Not nervous about the labour itself, because I know I can go through with it. I"m kind of nervous that I woldn't know that I was in labour. I know I have been through with it, but DD's labour was so intense that you couldn't miss it. Now I'm having contractions and don't know if this is it or what.
post #9 of 10
I am sometimes nervous, sometimes calm, depends on the time of day and whether I've eaten.

I just tell myself what I told myself last time, which seemed to work pretty well -- no matter how bad it gets, it'll end. Just gotta wait it out somehow.

That said, I remember telling DH last time "We are NOT having any more kids!" LOL well lookit me now, not even 2 years later... doh!
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofelise View Post
This time around, I've had some painful bh contractions, and instead of like the midwife described ("oh yeah, I remember this, no biggie"), I was like "oh yeah, I remember this, and sh*t, it's going to get 20,000 times worse in actual labor!"). Am I alone in feeling this way?
No, not at all. As excited as I am to meet this little person who's growing in my tummy, I face labor with a resolved/determined sort of attitude...like I've got a marathon to run and I know it's going to require tremendous strength on my part. The braxton hicks contractions just serve to remind me of what a huge task my body is about to take on which I find overwhelming to think about at times. It's different than fear or nerves.
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