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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My biggest fear about delivering this baby, and even its growth in utero is that blessed umbilical cord. This vital nutrient delivery system is just a cord, and the movements of our babes are aplenty. My fear is that the cord will wrap itself around the neck, and its life will be over before it even begins.
I have been trying visualize its movement around the cord with ease and grace, and in the event that it does make its way around the neck during the delivery, that my husband gently unwinds it, and all is well.
Still this nagging fear ensues.
 

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Hmmm, how to move past them is an interesting question. For me, I find comfort in numbers. You could research how often cord problems result in poor birth outcomes. I think it is fairly infrequent, however the presence of a nuchal cord is fairly common. If you want, here is a midwifery link that has some reassuring info: http://midwifethinking.com/2010/07/29/nuchal-cords/

For what it's worth my first daughter had the cord wrapped 3 times around her neck and although she was a little slow to breath, her Apgars were all excellent.

As for me, I have a couple of labour and birth fears. The main one is hemorrhage. My mom hemorrhaged with me and had to have transfusions, which kind of scares the poop out of me. This is why I always choose to have the pitocin shot after delivery as it significantly reduces the risk. I'm also afraid that labour will be so quick that baby will arrive before the midwives. Working on telling myself that unassisted will probably be okay...
 

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Well, that is the million dollar question. Your timing is interesting-- I just had a chat with my doula on this very topic (fear, not the cord).

I had an unplanned, unassisted birth. And, it came out OK! Yea! But, I FOR SURE have some anxieties and fears for this birth, and for the overall health of my child. Will I spend the first 3 months of his life in and out of hospitals? How will THIS labor and delivery go? I don't know....

I'm a Christian, so for me, this boils down to trust. Do I believe that God is good, willing and able to care for me and my unborn? My answer is yes. Though MY trust in Him is wavering at best, He is always trustworthy. I'm not being preachy or shoving my views on people (intentionally). I am only sharing the only way I can slay fear in my life, which continually rears its head.

I'm very interested to hear other responses. Thanks for bringing up such a thought-provoking question, HappyDay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Duchess, trust is typically my mantra through life. And I do trust (or do I?), but that fear still comes in. I trust that what we are given is exactly what we need for our personal and spiritual development... but that doesn't mean that what we are given is what we WANT, and that's where fear finds its way in.

Murrelet, I have to read the article, both because you recommend it, but also it has my lucky numbers in the address - actually, it looks like it was written on my birthday. I listen to the signs I see, and they usually point me to where I need to be/look. I had never even heard of nuchal cord! One more thing to fear? lol
 

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This is THE question, isn't it?

With my first pregnancy, I don't think it literally crossed my mind one single time that anything would ever go wrong. I shared the news very early because miscarriage never crossed my mind, nothing about the birth scared me. I did hemorrhage rather badly, and passed out on the way back from the bathroom that first night. Recovery was prolonged because of that.

So this time, I am somewhat afraid of hemorrhaging again. I'm considering asking for prophylactic pit, just in case. After having two losses last year, it's in my mind that things can and do happen, so while I wouldn't say I'm exactly anxious or afraid, I'm jut hyper aware and not as carefree as before. I'm constantly checking my fundal height to make sure it's growing, I mentally keep track of how often I'm feeling movements. With DS I didn't get the anatomy scan, but I will this time.

I am still looking forward to the birth though, which is nice. I feel like I have better midwives this time, DH and I have a deeper connection, and I know myself better so I feel like I'll know what I need.


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I never felt very fearful about the birthing process. Nothing too severe anyway. I feared a breech baby and a c-section. I feared not having the natural, unmediated birth I wanted. But nothing really major until a beautiful pregnant yogi I follow on Instagram lost her baby. She was the picture of health and for some reason no one could explain, her baby's heart stopped during labor. That FREAKED me out. And now that my mom is working in the PICU, she shares these tragic birth stories with me. So I've dealt with that nervous fear a lot throughout my pregnancy. I just learned to surrender to the fear. I allow myself to worry and be nervous and then I tell myself that there isn't anymore I can do. I just need to ensure that I do my part to stay strong and healthy so that I can deliver a strong and healthy baby. I don't think it helps to ignore your fear. Just embrace it and then let it go a little at a time. I also try to think positive, reassuring thoughts when I'm done worrying. I think about all of the safe and healthy deliveries that happen every day and I tell myself that I will have that too in a few months. That really helps me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, it's a nuchal cord I'm concerned about, which, judging from that article and the (amazing!) video link isn't really that big of a deal.
Watching that video, I think I would have stressed had it been me. That baby looked BLUE!! And that cord was TIGHT! But without panic, the mom and caregivers handled it without worry. Good to know.
I liked the reminder that babies don't breath through their lungs in utero, so a cord around the neck isn't going to strangle them. They are getting oxygen from that cord! Such an important thing to remember.

Thank you, Murrelet, for that article. It helped to ease my worries, and give me a direction to continue to explore so that I'm well prepared. We are planning an unassisted birth... getting a grip of these fears is oh so important.

Duchess, was your unassisted birth a planned experience? And will you be doing it again?
 

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I had a friend who recently had a home birth with a nuchal cord x9!! It was a slower pushing process as the cord stretches itself out but it was all fine.

"My son had a nuchal cord x2, bandolier cordx2 with cord wrapped around both lower extremities"- he was fine until labor started. I ended up with a c-section. I think they will show signs in labor of distress and not being able to handle labor if they can't. Just make sure you do some monitoring and make sure the baby is doing good.

Daughter also had a nuchal cord and the doctor rubbed her head as she was coming out to help her heart rate come back up between contractions.

Both kids had 9 apgars and were totally fine :)

I don't think too much about something tragic happening . Just trust God's plan and know he is there with me in all times.

I'm more worried about who my baby will be and if he will be healthy and not struggle as much as my last one.
 

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I actually am not afraid of birth yet. I am afraid of something being seriously wrong with the baby since I haven't had my detailed mid way scan yet. I try to realize that so far this baby has looked and felt perfect to me so I shouldn't borrow worries that aren't mine. I was terrified of my cervix dilating but not really so much anymore. I am trying to trust that my body knows exactly what to do and that this little girl is meant to be here mostly. Maybe I will worry about birth when it gets closer... Lol
 
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When I first found out I was pregnant, my first thought - after the initial shock - was: I have to go through labor again! I got over that somewhat; I guess I am resigned to the idea. But every once in a while when I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I remember. And I worry that I will have to go through labor sleep deprived. I don't think anything can prepare you for that amount of pain, not even having been through that amount of pain.
 

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Happyday, it was unplanned.

I spent minimal time thinking about labor with my first. It allowed me to be really happy with the outcome-- I avoided a c-section, which was really all I thought about. For my second, I knew I wanted things to be different, so I sought out a doula and childbirth education (I did Bradley Method). I also read Childbirth Without Fear and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Although I feel fear now when I look back at the unplanned birth, I didn't feel an ounce of fear while it was happening. Part of it is because primal/animal instincts take over and beacuse I was unmedicated I was really free to act on that without thought. The other part was I had learned about, and come to respect, the beautiful, intricate, and fantastic design of the woman's body and I could picture explicitly what my uterus was doing. Because I was well-equipped with knowledge and relaxation techniques (plus a few other things that were encouraging to me on a personal level), I truly did have a less-than-ideal childbirth without fear.

Like sarahknavy mentioned, I have anxiety about who this baby is, and what kind of health status he will have. I am practicing talking to him, telling him I'm glad he's coming, and I'm going to love him no matter what. He was wanted, and we're ready for what life throws at him/us. I also tell him, "Welcome to the team." I hope saying these true things out loud will keep my fears contained. :)
 

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I did a fabulous Birthing From Within workshop with a yoga instructor in Topanga Canyon with my first. We then did a refresher with my second (since BFW just worked soooo well for us). Weirdly though, it made me more afraid of the pain - like, I knew I could get thru it because of what we'd learned, BUT I realized it was going to hurt a lot more than I'd anticipated before the class. The exercises where you have to hold an ice cube for the length of a contraction were excrutiating - so then when I imagined (rightly) how bad a contraction was going to be, I realized I'd really under estimated it! Anyway, I'm with Valerie11 - that was one of my first thoughts too! With my other 3, they were all 3.5 yrs apart - PLENTY of time to forget how much it hurts! This time it will only be 2 yrs, and I still remember distinctly shouting "this hurts so much more than I remember!" during the last labor (which only lasted like 2 hours). So I"m afraid that I will be expecting that I know what will happen (I like to know) since all my births have been similar, they've just gotten faster, and that I'll be prepared for that, but then have a 30 hr labor and not be able to get thru it cuz I didn't pace myself. I'm also worried it will be faster and end up unassisted, which I'm scared of mostly for the nuchal chord, but also hemorrage, or anything else. I've "midwifed" at the births of my goats and ended up losing 3 babies over the last 2 years. That feeling of being the only one who can resuscitate or save that baby goat (and ultimately not being able to) is a LOT of stress and I don't want that on my husband or mom or any other lay-person at the human birth cuz the midwife didn't make it.
 

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I have the basic fears, I guess - something going wrong during birth, needing a c-section, etc. But in general I don't fear birth itself yet. Maybe after I do some serious reading and researching, that will change :) but for now I'm just trusting my body to get me through it. My greater fear is what happens after birth - labor and giving birth is just a blip on the radar of being a mother. I don't spend much time around kids and fear that I will have no idea what to do with my own. I fear not having enough patience or the ability to give up so much of myself and become selfless for my child. Kinda counting on mother's instinct to kick in at some point, along with research on how to parent.

By the way, I stopped by the library tonight as I'll be on flights for 5 hours tomorrow and need something to read. I picked up Childbirth Without Fear... but I don't think there's any way I can pull that out to read on a plane or anywhere in public without covering up the cover!
 

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By the way, I stopped by the library tonight as I'll be on flights for 5 hours tomorrow and need something to read. I picked up Childbirth Without Fear... but I don't think there's any way I can pull that out to read on a plane or anywhere in public without covering up the cover!

Ah, you must have the edition with the crowning photo! Mine just has a baby on the cover. Yeah, I'd have to figure out a way to cover that up somehow on a plane!

And I agree - the scary part comes after the birth!


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Oh my gosh I would love to whip that out on a plane and casually start reading it.
 

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I was never afraid of cord issues until a friend of mine lost her baby at 34 weeks due to a knot in the cord. So now it does cross my mind when I feel the baby flipping around in there. BUT... that's one of those things I cannot control at all, so I try to just trust God and dismiss the fear when it comes.

I've conquered my fear of a c-section for the most part. Knowing that my OB does VBA2C helps a lot, so I won't feel doomed if this one ends up in a c/s.

I'm dreading labor. Actually, just transition and pushing. However, I know when I hit 40 weeks, that fear will be GONE because I will be willing to endure anything to get the baby and have the pregnancy be over.

Honestly, I more afraid of the third trimester and how I will be physically feeling than anything else. I've actually had two complete breakdowns over this already. Totally unlike me because I tend to be a fairly passive and laid back person when it comes to things our of my control.

I think how we deal with fear has a lot to do with our temperaments and our belief systems. I like to look at worst-case scenarios and break them apart, bit by bit, using facts and numbers and whatnot. That's how I dealt with my fears planning the first VBAC. Any fear that still remains, I have to try to let go and let God.
 

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I am glad I didn't answer this right away, because I didn't realize that you are planning an unassisted birth. :)

I think it is super important for pregnant women to confront all their fears, "break them apart," like cagnew said, and analyse them. Look into the statistics of a situation and grapple with various possibilities as they come to mind. As much as I think that is true for all pregnant women, I think it is ESPECIALLY true for an unassisted birther. You have no "professional" to rely on or consult during labor. So, in addition to looking into statistics, it is also important to look into yourself and examine how you would handle the various scenarios that come to your mind. Confronting worry with research and "game plans" is what I do. It was actually really helpful with my last pregnancy. At around 12 weeks or so, I started freaking out about a breech baby. Oh, my gosh. What if I have one of those? What are the statistics of breech birth? Would it change my plans? What would I do? Is there anything special I need to know about *how* to deliver a breech baby? I went through all the fear, researched, answered all those questions for myself, came to terms with my PLAN (ha!). I put the concern aside after I did all that... And then REALLY put it aside when babe was consistently head down from 20 weeks on. Well, turns out all that planning and research came in handy... Cuz baby flipped DURING labor (he was head down the day before), wasn't discovered until I was fully dilated and I delivered a footling breech... at home! :D

Now, sometimes, fears come up that we can't research... or the research doesn't help us move beyond the fear. That is when I ask myself, "Do I have control over this situation?" The answer more often than not is "NO!" That alone doesn't help me. The fear sits there and refuses to budge. (Warning-- I am about to share some very personal information about my faith.***) This is where my faith comes into play. I am a Christian and truly trust that my all-powerful, all-knowing God has my best interests at heart. He has a great track record of faithfulness to His people and I count on that and my personal experience with Him... He can and will rescue me in the way that is best for me. "OK, Jodie, but sometimes bad things still happen...death, suffering, pain..." I know this, of course. And I have experienced loss and have been carried through the grief and pain and death with great gentleness and love, leaning on God because I am not strong enough to get through it alone. There is a great verse in Psalm 56 (verse 8) that gives me great comfort, "You keep track of all of my sorrows./You have collected all my tears in your bottle./You have recorded each one in your book." So, no matter what happens, I know I am seen and loved and God cares about what I am going through. So, when the research doesn't take care of the fear and control is out of my hands, I can let it go knowing that someone bigger has it covered.

ok... Now onto childbirth...

There has been some talk about fear of going through childbirth (totally valid fear some have to process). However, I really wanted to let any first-timers out there reading know that childbirth is my favorite thing in the whole world. It is hard and challenging and totally manageable (for me!) and worth it. I actually come out of every birth more in love with birth. Last time, my baby was born about 3 weeks early (with the previous ones, I had gotten to 40/41 weeks). And I sobbed to my husband the next day that I was so sad that I wouldn't be giving birth in March like I had wanted and wished that I could do it again, wished I could relive it... Just wanted to share. I am sure you will hear more about my unique attitude and feelings about childbirth in the months to come. ;)
 

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There has been some talk about fear of going through childbirth (totally valid fear some have to process). However, I really wanted to let any first-timers out there reading know that childbirth is my favorite thing in the whole world. It is hard and challenging and totally manageable (for me!) and worth it. I actually come out of every birth more in love with birth. Last time, my baby was born about 3 weeks early (with the previous ones, I had gotten to 40/41 weeks). And I sobbed to my husband the next day that I was so sad that I wouldn't be giving birth in March like I had wanted and wished that I could do it again, wished I could relive it... Just wanted to share. I am sure you will hear more about my unique attitude and feelings about childbirth in the months to come. ;)
This totally! I can't agree more. After my other labours I got so pumped and really hoped for a chance to do it again. I even considered being a surrogate so I could experience labour again. I guess I'm a birth junkie. And I say all this even though I have very intense back labour (even though babies are positioned properly). Labour is hard, but you can do it!
 

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I'm SO excited to give birth! I'm not really fearful and feel really confident about my ability to do it without medication. I'm not sure why I feel so at peace with it but I do. It's just such a beautiful, physically challenging act that our bodies were literally built for and I can't wait to do it.
 

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I'm SO excited to give birth! I'm not really fearful and feel really confident about my ability to do it without medication. I'm not sure why I feel so at peace with it but I do. It's just such a beautiful, physically challenging act that our bodies were literally built for and I can't wait to do it.
I think this is a great attitude to have! I am definitely going to try to incorporate this into my daily homework once I start up my hypnosis CDs next month. :)
 
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