Anyone Else Scared of Labour? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-03-2007, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi March Mammas,
I've tried to convince myself that I am going to be fine this time after a horrendously difficult birth with DS#1, (planned unmedicated, but ended up w back labour, epidural, 36 hrs labour and foreceps delivery with many post-delivery complications = 8 week recovery). I've hired a doula for this birth, started reading books about natural birth, how to relax during birth, etc. I *thought* I was prepared up until this moment.

But I just sat here writing a note to my doula about how the labour will go and noted that I have only 7 weeks to go, and I realized that I am so scared of this birth. I didn't realize it, and it just hit me like a punch in the stomach. I am actually very scared. Of the pain, I guess. Of going through all that again. Of not being there for DS#1 who is now 3, of him being scared if I have a difficult recovery again...the whole thing I guess. It was just sooooo awful last time.

A secret small part of me almost wonders if I should just book a c-section and be done with it in 20 minutes like a friend of mine, (logically, I will not do that - I know the risks, etc.) but all my friend's who had c-sections had easier births and recoveries than I did so I feel like it's almost a way to guarantee it won't be "as bad" as last time! (Yes, the hormones are playing tricks with my mind some days!!!!) :

Anyone else scared of their upcoming labour? I know this fear is counter-productive to actually having a more successful unmedicated labour, but I'm quite honestly not sure what to do about it! :

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#2 of 8 Old 02-03-2007, 01:07 PM
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I thought it may help you out to share my good friend's story. Her first labor was non-medicated and was at a free-standing birth center. It was 36 hours long, 4 hours of pushing, severe tearing, lots of blood loss, two month recovery, etc. She tried afterwards to shift her fear towards a view of the experience and her success with a healthy baby and eventual recovery as a sign of her strength, rather than weakness. She ended up deciding to have her next babe at home, but definitely anticipated another long, ardous labor. Her second dd was born at home after 8 hours of labor, less than an hour of pushing, and no tearing or extensive bleeding whatsoever. Just try to keep in mind that your experience last time is not the experience you will have this time. Every birth is different and second births are by and large easier.

I think your planning and working with a doula and working towards a natural birth show a similar courage. Your birth will be what it is but I think that recognizing the courage and strength within you can help alleviate your fears and have a more peaceful final weeks of pregnancy and hopefully a deeper inner strength during your labor, whatever that labor may bring you. In the meantime, this quote from the play Birth has always proven helpful to me:

"Feel your strength. Imagine all the women who have birthed before you, holding hands, cheering you on, smiling at you and your baby. They know you can do it. Feel their strength...feel your strength."

I will be hoping for a peaceful birth experience for you this time around.

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif


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#3 of 8 Old 02-03-2007, 09:18 PM
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If you've hired a doula for this birth, I think you should definitely have a much better outcome than you did with your first birth. You're right in knowing that your first birth was a highly-medicalized one, and those typically aren't the most pleasant, I've heard and read.

Keep reading positive, inspiring things, and know that you can do it, that it is easier to manage the pain of labor and birth if you have support. And if you're being good to your body and trust the process, I'd think it would be a much shorter process this time around. My friends who have had back labor and then went on to have another baby with just regular labor marvel at how different their experiences are (for the better, of course).

I can say I'm surely not looking forward to the pain and physical toll of the birth of my baby, but there's only one way out, so...
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#4 of 8 Old 02-03-2007, 10:13 PM
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I went thru some fearful moments in this pregnancy and wondering if I can do it again. I had a great natural birth with my dd, but the first one you dont really know what to expect so you go with it, but now.....well, I started to get a bit panicked. I did have to bring myself back to trusting my body and knowing it would be over soon enough. Just move around a lot, do what your body feels like it needs to do. Water is an excellent labor stress/pain reducer. The body's natural "aquadural". Good luck. That first reply to your post was can def do this and have a better outcome, the doula will be there for you.
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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2007, 02:02 AM
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Thank you Kathy for starting this thread. Like Diane said, for me anticipation of the first wasn't so bad just because I had no idea what it was going to be like. While I did have a great first experience it was LONG, and hard, and yes, painful. I am definitely more worried/scared at moments now because I do have more knoweldge of what to expect. But thank you Nicole for the wonderful story of your friend and the reminder that I need to be open to this experience as new. And for the hope that labor the second time around won't take 3 days and pushing won't necessarily take 4 hours! Although given a five year span between births I'm wondering if it might take the benefits out of it being a second labor. That is, if the advantage comes in part from your body remembering birth, how long does it take for the body to forget???

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#6 of 8 Old 02-04-2007, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
how to relax during birth
I have not gone through what you have, so this may not apply, but I think the whole idea of trying to relax during labor puts way too much pressure on the mother. I read in Birthing from Within that some women think they have failed if they were loud, for example, during labor . . .but that women who are outspoken usually ARE loud when they are in labor. I prefer to think of being open vs. being relaxed-- open to the signals of my body. I think you should have zero preconceptions of what it will be like or what you will do, except to tell yourself (over and over again) that you, unquestionably, WILL get through it.

My best advice is to not think about it, to trust that WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MOMENT you will know what to do (and you have your doula as support when in doubt). You will go into yourself, you will feel, you will act as your body instructs you to. You will take it one moment at a time yet know that there will be an end. You WILL do it!

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#7 of 8 Old 02-04-2007, 11:21 PM
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I had an upward tear with my last birth that required surgery later on. I'm scared that it will happen again and that we won't be able to fix it. I'm scared of more nerve damage. I am also terrified of a c-section and feeling antsy about nursing again. With my first I was more scared of nursing than I was of labor, mainly because I knew it would crush me if something went wrong. I try not to worry about it.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-06-2007, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies mammas!!!

Nicole, THANK YOU for your post:

"Feel your strength. Imagine all the women who have birthed before you, holding hands, cheering you on, smiling at you and your baby. They know you can do it. Feel their strength...feel your strength."

Since reading this, it has helped me already. When I feel that anxiety in my stomache, I remember the above and it makes me feel like I can do it!! I know it will help me in labour. I am going to give that phrase to my doula to remind me of when I want to give up. Just reading it makes me feel like "I am woman and I am strong!"

I guess it comes down to my fear of whether I really am strong enough to do this, to get through the pain. My real fear is that I'm not, which would mean heading to the hospital for the epidural, which could mean the horrible birth I had last time! So really I'm afraid of not being strong enough to avoid an intervention laiden birth. I just don't want to give up too, I don't want to feel like a failure. I took hypnobirthing classes last time, and DH (though he came with me) continued to tell me it "wasn't going to work", (like it was some magic pill...). He didn't take any role with the hynobirthing during my last labour, which I really needed him to, (I don't know that he knew how or what to do as he didn't believe in it). He constantly reminds me what a waste of $300 that was and says he hopes I'm not going to try that again this time...So yeah, not a great support there but I digress...

There are so many skeptics among my family, friends and coworkers, who say things like "why would you have a home birth?" and "why are you trying to be a hero and have no meds?" and "WHAT?? You're NOT having an epidural?? Are you CRAZY?" and "Just schedule a c-section like I did, my birth was soooo much easier than yours, why go through all that?" : (These are also the people who I avoid telling that our family co-sleeps, that my 3 year old still nurses, that we don't vax and that no, we don't have the crib ready! ).

But I guess I feel like here I am "trying to be the hero" and if it doesn't "work" (i.e. I "fail") I am afraid of feeling... I dunno...silly? Embarassed? Like they were right all along? Is that dumb?

So I guess "my question" for myself is am I really strong enough to do this? I am going to have to dig deep and figure out my answer. My doula is great, I mentioned my fears to her and she told me that worrying is her job, that I will do great and that I am a strong woman who can do this!!

We can do this mammas!
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