Anxiety about giving birth and labor has just hit me hard in the last few weeks now that it's actually a reality that it WILL happen in the next few weeks (or days!!).
I feel like during my first pregnancy, I was living in a blissful ignorant state. The anxiety I did have was more about the unknown, but I was confident and maybe even a little arrogant about my capacity to give birth.
Now I feel scared, stressed and nervous. Ironically, my first birth was fine in all regards; maybe faster and more intense than what I would've wanted (no time to really catch my breath or relax, so to speak) but all in all, it was fine. So really I should be feeling confident but I'm really not!
Anyone else feeling this way? How do you deal with giving birth again when you know what to expect this time around?
I miss the ignorance of my first birth too! LOL Those were days when I didn't know what to expect, but now that I know what happens and that each consecutive birth (for me) does not get "easier" like I had hoped- I am now nervous about having my fourth. And after every birth I always say something like: "that wasn't so bad, but this baby is my LAST!" lol
I also was not anxious, and might even go so far as to say excited about my first birth. Even though I had a long labor and almost no sleep, afterwards I thought "this isn't so bad!" I still wasn't nervous with my second, because I "knew what to expect" and didn't feel like it had been that bad the first time. With my second, everything was FAST and intense. I let the midwife know "this might be the day" at about 1:30 and he was born at 5. I didn't have any breaks between contractions at the end and was pushing for under 10 minutes. NOW I'm nervous about my third, and hoping it's not like my second birth was.
BUT I also know that if it is crazy intense and fast, at least it's over sooner.
I was also more excited than nervous about my first. I was nervous about taking baby home, not about going through labour!! I was excited to see what labor was, I trusted my body to be capable of handling it, and I was excited to go through this amazing right of passage.
I didn't have a record breaking labor or anything, but it was quick for a first timer (less than 6 hours active). For me, transition was tough and pushing was very intense to the point it felt like dry heaving (like you have no control and can't catch your breath). Overall, it was an amazing, challenging experience.
I was having more anxiety a few weeks ago than I am now. Anxiety about the "ring of fire", the pain of transition, of pushing...but I think for me I was most nervous about pushing again and I understand this is usually much shorter the second time than the first. I am also finding that now the anxiety is being replaced by excitement about meeting this baby, and that planning my first HB is also helping me feel I have some "control". Yes, the lack of "control" I think is what gives me the most anxiety about labor. You have so little control over so many factors, that can be hard to deal with. I am working on "surrender" but this is not my strong point in life in general!!
My fourth birth was very hard. When I found I was pregnant with #5, I experienced more anxiety than I had with all my previous babies combined. I did a lot of soul-searching, praying, talking with my MW (who was very very supportive), and took a hypnobirthing class. I also watched as many videos of quiet, peaceful births as I could find, because that is what I wanted to visualize instead of remembering my last birth. As it turned out, my fifth birth was actually much easier than my earlier births, I felt much calmer. I think it is normal to experience some anxiety in anticipation of birth. I think what you do with it is what matters. Do you let it overwhelm you, or do you acknowledge it, and then release it? It took a lot of work for me to be able to release the fear and anxiety. To be honest, I wasn't sure I had released it until I was in the middle of the birth, and then I realized that it really was ok.