Fear Surrounding Second Child's Birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-24-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

I've been reading the forum for awhile, but just registered as a member. I wasn't sure where to put this post but I thought people in this forum could perhaps best relate...?

Some brief background on me: I had a homebirth in Ohio with my first daughter. The entire duration was around 14 hours with about 6 hours of pushing. I developed a cervical lip and took some time to work that out. I also had a lot of back labor - my dd came out with her fist by her head and turned sunny-side up. We had an aquadoula tub and that seemed to help a bit with that. It was long and took a lot of focus (obviously), but it felt/feels like the most empowering and amazing thing I have ever done.

About five years later I am 35 weeks pregnant with another daughter and am planning a homebirth again - this time in Minnesota. I have a great midwife, the pregnancy has been very uneventful and I have a wonderful, supportive partner. We are planning to have a tub again, etc. My "problem" this time around is that I KNOW what that pain feels like. I don't have the "ignorance is bliss" mentality and I can't convince myself that it will just feel like menstrual cramps (lol). The thing is that I KNOW I can do this once I get into the thick of it - last time it really helped me to just stay focused through each contraction and see each one as an individual pain (as opposed to thinking about the many contractions spreading out in front of me), but I'm really struggling with fear when I start to meditate on this upcoming labor & delivery. I really don't want to feel this fear because I know that just creates stress and it's sort of a cycle, but I'm not sure how to keep moving forward and see things in a different light.

Did anyone else go through this when thinking of subsequent labors after their first? How did you cope with it? Any thoughts for me?

Thanks so much!

Mama to Maia (12/04), Nora (9/09), Sam (8/12) and Step-mama to Aidan (3/02) and Luci (10/04).

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#2 of 7 Old 08-24-2009, 12:44 PM
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Congratulations to you!

I've had two home waterbirths.

My first labor was 21 hours, long and hard. Cervical lip 2.5 hours of pushing with that, etc. Wonderful in the end, but a lot of pain and work there for a little bit!

My second time around, I went to the chiro right up to the end, and even got adjusted during labor, and I think it made a huge difference.

My second labor was 8 hours, pushing was much easier and I had no direction from anyone, just felt my way through it and told them what was going on. All around it was much better, and much easier (if it can be called easy - it still hurt and it was still work!)

So, I just have encouragement for you! You've done it once, your body knows what to do, and you know what to expect more. That is a good thing! I would also highly recommend a good chiro who is knowledgeable with pregnant women if you don't already have one.

You'll do great!

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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#3 of 7 Old 08-24-2009, 09:20 PM
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having her fist up by her head and being sunny side up probably made it loads more painful! My first was sunny side up and I labored with her like that for 2 days before going to the hospital and having a c-section. a "non ideally" positioned baby hurts like transition! My 2nd baby was anterior (facing my spine) and labor was sooo much more gentle. I didn't start getting the "this is REALLY HARD" feeling until transition, and didn't start feeling like i wanted to die until well into pushing Its probably safe to say you had a more painful than average first birth, and there's no reason that this next one should be as difficult.

dd (9) ds (7), ds (4) & ds (1)
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#4 of 7 Old 08-24-2009, 09:41 PM
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I was thinking about posting something very similar today as well. Whenever I meditate on giving birth again I feel a good amount of fear. I didn't have any fear of the birthing process when I was pregnant with my first...ignorance is bliss, indeed

My son's birth wasn't terribly traumatic...I had it at home unassisted, it was a very empowering experience overall, but I can't get out of my head how painful it was when he came out of me. My body did all the work (I didn't consciously push), I just breathed and moaned through the contractions, I didn't tear at all...but I remember how it felt like I was being split in half. I was afraid to look down at the lower half of my body when this was happening because I seriously felt like I was being torn completely apart. Will this be any different the second time around? Is there any way to make this more enjoyable? I've thought about looking into hypnobabies...you may want to consider that yourself. I was already in a pretty meditative state, though...not sure what more I could have done.

I was just about to go search for empowering birth stories to help me deal with this...
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#5 of 7 Old 08-24-2009, 11:11 PM
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I haven't had a HB (yet), but I have had two natural waterbirths in a birth center. I just wanted to tell you not to be too stressed! My labor experiences for my two pregnancies were WORLDS apart. With my daughter, I was honestly convinced that I was not really in labor and was just having some gas pain, but when dh dragged me to the birthing center to be checked, i was already 7 cm. An hour and a half later, I had a baby girl. There was no point where the pain was bad enought hat it even occurred to me to think about it. It was so low-key. With my son, on the other hand, I had some back labor, and the pain was so different. It felt like the worst menstrual/intestinal cramps ever, all the way through my back and tailbone, sickening, excruciating. The contraction would end, but the pain stayed. I was in tears. At one point, i thought to myself that if it didn't pick up speed soon, i wasn't sure i could do it naturally again. I went from 4cm to pushing in about 10 minutes, and he was born in one push. Totally different experiences. So my point is... don't get too worried that it will feel the same, every labor is different! Especially if you're lucky enough to have better positioning this time, it should be much easier Good luck!!!
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#6 of 7 Old 08-25-2009, 09:55 AM
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FOr my first 2 births, I was lucky in having more or less painfree labors....intense, requiring concentration...but not painful. They were both relatively short as well (8hr and 4hr). So imagine my surprise when #3 was indeed painful! And my next 3 labors also hurt....and the labors were much longer. The longest, 24hrs, was due to malpositioning (undetected by my mw or me, so nothing was done to try to help that).

Anyway. Naturally after my first, and then after my 2nd, I thought, easy peasy! Then it got longer and more painful to have babies. But it never crossed my mind to actually be afraid of the impending pain...I mean, of course, once I knew I *could* have a painful labor, it made me look forward less pleasurefully to labor! Still--I got through it before, I would do so again, my attitude is "hey, it's only 1 day or so of my life--I can take most anything for that long". Plus of course, I valued the benefits of natural birth so greatly (for me and baby both), that I wasn't going to seek medical pain relief, it was out of the question.

For me, getting through the pain was just part of the feeling of victory and bliss in the end. I instantly forgot the pain, pretty much, once baby was born. OK, once the afterbirth pains were done! The only one where the memory of pain lingered was #4, the longest labor and malposition issue....so I do feel for you on that score. Still, it really didn't haunt my next pregnancy. In between, I learned more about baby-positioning, and ways to naturally manage labor pain--and the next baby was easier....not easy, not painfree, but easiER than #4....to birth.

I tell women sometimes...it's just pain...and it never lasts forever.
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#7 of 7 Old 08-25-2009, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post
having her fist up by her head and being sunny side up probably made it loads more painful!
I think this is a really good point and really made me think. It's possible that what I perceive as "normal" labor just wasn't because of her positioning, the cervical lip, back labor, etc. Everyone, midwife and chiro, included tell me that generally the second one is a lot easier. I guess I just don't remember getting "breaks" between contrax (perhaps because of the back labor) and it just wasn't what I *thought* it would be...but then, how could I possibly have known what it would be at the time.

Anyway, I'm writing in circles. I appreciate everyone's encouragement and thoughts. Keep em coming!

Mama to Maia (12/04), Nora (9/09), Sam (8/12) and Step-mama to Aidan (3/02) and Luci (10/04).

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