Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
how did you overcome your fears? i have 2: that i will "fail to progress" (laboring under a 24-hour time limit, although i plan do to "early labor" at home and thus stop the clock) and be sectioned, and that i will wimp out from the pain and beg for an epidural. i would love to start a thread hearing how women successfully conquered their fears.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,022 Posts
Where are you birthing that you have a 24 hour time limit? Is that 24 hours after your water breaks or 24 hours total?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,772 Posts
I got a midwife. That way I didn't have to worry about time limits and the lure of epidurals (needle in my spine? NOT really much of a lure, actually), since I wasn't in the hospital. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I still had some fears, the normal ones that I would guess everyone has, that something would happen to the baby. But at least I didn't have to worry about doctors doing unnecessary things to me against my will. I dealt with the rest of my fears by doing research. I found out what my risks were, how to minimize them, why most things weren't worth worrying about... And by the time the baby came around, I knew I was doing my very best to have a safe, peaceful birth. That way, when the worrying little thoughts came up in my brain during transition, they didn't have any ammo behind them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
It will be okay. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
hapersmion
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
If you haven't read Ina May's books yet, run and get them! There are so many positive, inspiring birth stories in there, even some that took longer (well longer even) than 24 hours. There is also a lot of other good info too, it will help ease your fears.<br><br>
I think one of the things that can help you get over fear is education about how to change the thing you are worried about. If you are afraid about failure to progress, read up on things like changing positions and other things that can help with that. As for the pain relief side, the Ina May stories are helpful there also.<br><br>
I had back labor with my first and it hurt a lot, but I never felt like I was in a place where I couldn't deal with it (counterpressure during all ctxns was necessary!). With my second, no back labor and I wouldnt describe it as painful. It was intense and didn't feel 'good' necessarily, but it wasn't painful. One thing that really helped me was to be in a big birth tub. Relaxing your body lessens the pain. If you get in a tub, try to float. A tense body cannot float and will feel more pain, a relaxed body is going with the energy of ctxns more and feels less pain.<br><br>
HTH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,664 Posts
I read Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Natural Childbirth" twice! I was more aware of things that would hinder my progress after that and very protective of my desires before/during and after childbirth.<br><br>
Fear is one thing that will hold you up, so read, read, read, and get rid of that fear.<br><br>
I've birthed 4 babies and there's nothing to be very scared about. Yeah, it can hurt, you might scream, you might not think you can do it, but you'll do it, one way or another. Afterwards, you'll feel like superwoman! Look out people, you don't know how STRONG I am!<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
Lisa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,099 Posts
I have a mw.<br><br>
No way would I have a Dr/god telling what I shall and shall not do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I feel because I feel so comfortable and relaxed in my home that I have fast and for the most part very enjoyable labors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
I had three people enthusiastically telling me how great I was doing for the entire labor. It was amazing how it helped even after I stopped believing that it would soon be over. I labored pretty intensely for about 10 hours (contractions about 3 minutes apart) and pushed for 2.<br><br>
As far as avoiding the epidural/painkillers, the only thing that stopped me was 1) I really truly thought I wouldn't need it 2) so I didn't even allow myself the option. I was lucky. Because I believed so thoroughly that it wouldn't hurt, I was totally fearless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
I gotta agree with others on the Ina May books...great stories of natural birth (which is important to hear positive and real stories). My favorite book that helped me get over or through my fears was <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Birthing From Within</span></b>. I can't say enough about this book AND you gotta <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">get a doula</span></b>. Have a very strong support team throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.<br><br>
Birthing From Within has chapters specifically dealing with fears and how to deal with them/ overcome them.<br><br>
Failing to progress? Have you given birth before and that's what happened last time? Or is that what everyone around you said happened to them? Most of the time I feel like "failing to progress" is a doctor's WAY over used excuse....it's their way of saying "we've interfered too much, and we can't go any farther cause we've already pushed mom and baby to the limits.... we'll just call it FTP. If you are educated and arm yourself with positive and supportive people.... you won't hear that "failing to progress" diagnosis. Women don't give birth like most doctors think they should. Birth is normally a natural process and like other natural processes, it can vary somewhat between different mothers and pregnancies. Most of the time everything works well if everyone just leaves the mother and baby alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
As for having a cesarean birth.... if you remember birth is natural and you work with your body, most likely you won't need a cesarean birth. I think most cesareans are a result of women making uneducated decisions and allowing doctors to make the calls. (Which unfortunately, many docs do not have the woman's or baby's best interest at heart. EX. my first birth.) But obviously, not all cesarean births are bad. Cesarean births can be very useful and life saving in some situations. (Yup, talking from experience here, too. Last 2 births...)<br><br>
So while you are learning to trust your body and learning birthis a beautiful natural process.... also have an idea about how you will handle a situation if something out of the ordinary does comes up. It's easier to think before you ever get in the middle of a situation....<br><br>
Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lisa49</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8139148"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've birthed 4 babies and there's nothing to be very scared about. Yeah, it can hurt, you might scream, you might not think you can do it, but you'll do it, one way or another. Afterwards, you'll feel like superwoman! Look out people, you don't know how STRONG I am!</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"> Believe in yourself and accept that you don't know exactly what it will be like. Each of my births were different, at points I felt like I didn't know how I was going to do it I just knew that I was. Think about the joy of holding your beautiful child.<br><br>
Also, surround yourself with people who are completely confident that you can do it. Subtle comments about pain medications or "other options" are powerful messages that you can't do it. I run a children's sleepaway camp and parents regularly tell their kids that they will come get them if they are homesick. The parent means well and is trying to reassure the child, but it also tells the child that the parent is already preparing for their failure. Having an epidural ready tells you that they don't believe in your strength.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,150 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PiePie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8138591"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">how did you overcome your fears? i have 2: that i will "fail to progress" (laboring under a 24-hour time limit, although i plan do to "early labor" at home and thus stop the clock) and be sectioned, and that i will wimp out from the pain and beg for an epidural. i would love to start a thread hearing how women successfully conquered their fears.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I didn't have a failure to progress fear as I went in for a scheduled induction. I never needed pit though my water broke at 7:00 am and DD was born at 12:05 pm. My midwife and I were laughing yesterday because my OB warned me that my next birth was likely going to be a HB because my labor was so fast. It will be because I am planning it though.<br><br>
As far as pain goes my sister delivered vaginal breech no meds so I figured it couldn't get any worse than that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. I have experienced some pretty bad pain so I wasn't too worried about it. I had good labor support from my mom so I was confident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
I think that I really psyched myself up for the challenge of birth. I feel that there are very few experiences in life that push us and test our strength and endurance. We can choose to acknowlege that we have the power within us to give birth to our babies and trust that it will all unfold as it should. It doesn't mean that we won't have moments of fear, but that despite these moments, we have faith. A couple of weeks before my birth I was starting to get anxious, especially because of some remarks people were making about the pain. I got out Spiritual Midwifery and just read all of the fabulous birth stories. I also read lots of stories about people in moments of triumph. I watched the Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark. ( I get teary over Sacajawea carring her infant on this expedition) Anything to get myself in the right frame of mind.<br>
You can do this. You will do it. And the end result is more fabulous than you can imagine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>olive&pimiento</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8142302"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that I really psyched myself up for the challenge of birth. I feel that there are very few experiences in life that push us and test our strength and endurance. We can choose to acknowlege that we have the power within us to give birth to our babies and trust that it will all unfold as it should. It doesn't mean that we won't have moments of fear, but that despite these moments, we have faith. A couple of weeks before my birth I was starting to get anxious, especially because of some remarks people were making about the pain. I got out Spiritual Midwifery and just read all of the fabulous birth stories. I also read lots of stories about people in moments of triumph. I watched the Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark. ( I get teary over Sacajawea carring her infant on this expedition) Anything to get myself in the right frame of mind.<br>
You can do this. You will do it. And the end result is more fabulous than you can imagine.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Wow. It can't be summed up any better than that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
BIRTH ART<br>
again, Birthing From Within<br><br>
I'd draw a picture w/o thought or judgment, then I looked at it and saw places where I was expressing fear and insecurity, then I deliberately drew the picture again "correcting" places where there were fears (for example, if I drew my hands protecting my belly, the second version would have my arms up in the air) This was in prep for my 1st VBAC and labor. It felt awkward, but I swear it helped.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,639 Posts
I spent most of early labor by myself (DF was trying to get some sleep in case things went long). I spent that time doing a lot of positive self-talk - telling myself that I could do it.<br><br>
We left for the hospital really late - I never asked but I am not sure an epidural would have even been an option. I delivered two hours after arriving at the hospital.<br><br>
I had birth support (the woman who was supposed to be my homebirth mw acted as my doula). Between her and DF, I felt that they could do the worrying for me and I could just focus on laboring. I remember very little other than my own thoughts. I didn't want to talk to anyone, be touched by anyone. I felt very alone, but a good kind of alone - like I was using everything I had to labor, and no one else could do it or anything for me,<br><br>
The bottom line for me was to believe that I was a strong mama. It worked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
The first step would be to dump the practice that puts a time limit on a normal labor. Read a lot, take a good natural childbirth class (ask others who've had positive natural births what they did in your are). You can do it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
I also recommend the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Birthing From Within</span> Not only does it have a great chapter on overcoming fears, but it has another one on techniques for dealing with the pain of contractions. With my first, I got to the hospital at 4cm, my water broke on its own right away, and I stupidly asked for an epidural because then things got way more intense. The thing I hated was that they stuck a urine catheter in me BEFORE the epidural as they wanted to put IV fluids in me for an hour first. By the time that hour was up, I was 10 cm and ready to push, so no time for epidural anyway. In hindsight, if I had known I was hitting transition then (which for me lasts about an hour), I would have avoided the pain of getting that catheter in and out. They had to put it back in after he was born because I had mag sulfate for 24 hours then due to high blood pressure/preeclampsia. NOT fun!<br><br>
With my second, I was much calmer about the whole thing because a) I had done this before, b) no preeclampsia this time, and c) I read Birthing from Within again and remastered the techniques so I KNEW I could do it. For me, just psyching myself up knowing I COULD do it made a big difference. With her, I babysat the kid I was watching all day (with contractions that started that morning), went out to dinner for pizza, then came home, put my son to bed, got myself ready for bed, and then realized that these suckers were coming about 7 minutes apart regularly now, so maybe I should tell DH and call the doctor. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Got to the hospital at 11:30/3-4 cm, she was born at 1:30 in the morning.<br><br>
You CAN do it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
Wanted to add this article: <a href="http://www.compleatmother.com/articles2/childbirth/pain_free.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.compleatmother.com/articl...ain_free.shtml</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,966 Posts
Hello!<br><br>
Without reading all the other responses, I want to suggest to you, OP, that your best foundation for confidence and antidote to fear, is knowledge.<br><br>
"Knowledge is Power" sounds so cliche, but in my experience it is one cliche that really bears repeating and is so very true and applicable in many kinds of situations. Most fear is just about the "unknown" and certainly in reality, you cannot know exactly what will happen, but most all the statistics are always on your side in with regard to birthing.<br><br>
Most all birth is normal. Keep that in mind.<br><br>
Beyond that, learning about the truly perfect way in which your body's systems work together to prepare for and facilitate normal birthing, including such "miracles" how Oxytocin works and so on, can help you to value and appreciate your body, first of all, and then also help you to work WITH the process instead of judging, resisting or trying to control that process as it unfolds.<br><br>
Your body rocks!!!<br><br>
So again...knowledge is power. Knowing how things normally work, seeing how your own body is working normally (seeing is believing), knowing that "normal" is a continuum, and remembering that most birth is normal, can help you to trust in your body and in the process itself.<br><br>
Having a birth attendant who is on the same page with knowledge about and trust in normal birthing, whom you trust with no question- that is, a knowledgeable someone who is going to project trust and therefore reinforce your own trust in the process and your body, is also a good thing anywhere you might birth. This could be your partner, doula, midwife, even your OB if you found that rare specimen... or other birth facilitator in any setting.<br><br>
When we say "trust birth" I feel that "knowledge is power" (and perhaps even "seeing is believing") is implicit within that concept/idea. So as I now see others have suggested... read, read, read. Communicate fearlessly, clearly and honestly with your birth attendant/facilitator and make sure you and your partner are knowledgeable about the process and are all on the same page.<br><br>
Make sure you feel harmonious and safe wherever you birth...and then...if all these things are in place, when the time comes and everything is in alignment, you can let go in the unfolding of the process, go to that primal knowing space of birthing within yourself and feel completely in tune with each stage of things, because you know what it's about well enough that you are not thinking and evaluating anymore.<br><br>
Knowledge is power.<br><br>
All best... J.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts
I never had to deal with those fears while pregnant, I dealt with them ahead of time with my provider choice.<br><br>
I chose a midwife for a homebirth who had no random cut-offs. No random rules. No access to an epidural. etc.<br><br>
I think this is a big problem with our birth system.<br><br>
Homebirth should be the default choice IMO.<br><br>
-Anglea
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top