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  • "dizzyduck" started this thread

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Monday, December 21st 2009, 4:42pm

terror of giving birth

Well - here I am, in a place I never expected to be, 33 weeks pregnant and staring childbirth right in the face. I am so so grateful that this has finally happened for us but my fear of the actual birth itself is beginning to rear its ugly head. When I was younger, I thought I didn't want to have babies, largely due to the whole giving birth thing. I have been in denial all through this pregnancy, so pleased to have my baby inside me but refusing to think about how he is coming out. I know, I know - millions of women do it and live to tell the tale (and do it again!) but I have this awful irrational fear that won't go away and it is building up now I'm close to it. I think it is the loss of control, maybe its not having my mum around any more, maybe I'm just a big fat coward! I'm so worried that my fears are going to make it worse for me or even casue distress to the baby - has anyone got any suggestions that might help me with this? I feel so bad for feeling this way, especially when so many would give up everything to be in my place.
Me 42 DP 40
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May 08, Aug 08 and Oct 08 natural :BFP: m/c at 6, ,5 and 9 weeks :sadface:
May 09 another shock natural :BFP: Perfect little boy born 12 feb 2010.

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Monday, December 21st 2009, 5:59pm

Hi Dizzyduck,

I confess to feeling exactly the same way :O I too have always had an irrational fear of giving birth and grew up never wanting children (obviously that all changed when I met the love of my life and the old biological clock started ticking though!!!). My bestest coping mechanism is to bury my head completely in the sand, deny it's going to happen at all and try not to think about it until the day when I have no choice but to just get on with it! I'm coping by counting on the fact that I can choose a c-section as I'm expecting twins...and my bottom twin is breech and unlikely to move. If I do go into labour though, I will be utterly unprepared!!

However - I do know that what you're feeling is actually really common. I think most people feel fear of some degree - it's the unknown after all and an experience you know is not going to be painless! If you have a good midwife it would be worth talking to her about your fears, address what exactly it is that you're scared of and see if she can help you deal with those. In extreme cases I know people can be given c-sections if they do have a very bad fear, but this is something that needs to be talked about in detail with your care providers. My mum was exactly the same and she contacted the National Childbirth Trust who she found to be really supportive.

Whatever happens hun, you'll be fine. The adrenaline will kick in on the day and you'll find that you'll probably be so focussed on the matter in hand you won't actually have time to panic. If it's the pain you're most scared of then you can start putting together a birth plan which includes an epidural. I'm sure there are also plenty of relaxation techniques out there which people who've been there done that will be able to advise you on.

I just wanted to tell you that you're not alone :xxx3:

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Monday, December 21st 2009, 6:25pm

Hi Dizzyduck,

No you're definately not alone, i'm due any day now and i'm scared, although i've got to admit not as scared as I was. When I got to about 30 weeks it suddenly hit me like a dead weight that I had to give birth and I was absolutely terrified. I dont think I was necessarily burying my head in the sand before that, more that I was concentrating more on getting my baby through each part, first I was anxious about reaching 12 weeks, then the 20 week scan and then 28 weeks then after that it was countdown. Now though, i'm actually getting a bit narked about being pregnant as I'm so uncomfortable and just want to get the 'bad' part over with so I can meet my little one. I think all first time mums must be terrified to some degree because its the unknown but as Moonshine said you can sort of prepare yourself with a birthplan and mark down that you are open to all pain relief should you need it and if the terror really is consuming you, then speak to your midwife thats what she's there for. Hope you're feeling a bit happier/calmer soon xxx
1st ICSI blessed with Aiden Reece Parkin born 01.01.10

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Monday, December 21st 2009, 6:27pm

hi dizzy duck

i'm going to tell you what my mum told me, and she didnt lie. it is the most wonderful agonising pain you will ever go through. it is better than sex, and certainly better than toothache or migraine. it is the indescribable pain that you as a woman have the privelige and honour to go through. every pain and contraction brings you 1 step closer to holding that lovely most cherished baby in your arms. if you need pain relief during you are not letting yourself or anybody else down. if you dont well done. the other thing to remember is within 5 minutes of giving birth and youre holding your baby, i kid you not you literally forget everything you have just gone through. and that includes if you'd had an episotomy, and the m/w is stitching you up. you do not feel a thing.

i would go through childbirth, than any other pain in the world. just keep in mind you are 1 step closer to seeing and holding your little miracle. a positive outlook throughout is paramount. it is a wondrous and joyous pain.

good luck dizzy duck and enjoy it, it is fantastic.


After a long hard infertility journey, i am now reluctantly done



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Monday, December 21st 2009, 7:36pm


The midwife at my antenatal class said to welcome it and try to think of it as positive, there is a positive outcome and you will hold your baby. The way I'm thinking is to breathe through the contractions and think 'yes, another step closer to baby.' She said don't worry about being scared because that's natural. Just let your body do its thing and she said that even though its hard, trust your body to do what its meant to (which is hard with all the ttc) but it will do it.

Good luck honey!

Our miracle was born on 25.02.2010!!

  • "dizzyduck" started this thread

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Monday, December 21st 2009, 8:17pm

Thanks for the replies. Cheryl, I wish you well and hope it all starts happening soon!
I haven't made a birth plan so maybe I should do that. Moonshine - I always thought I'd opt for a c section too if possible but that now I don't know any more. It is good to not feel alone with this - it feels like a guilty secret and I do feel ashamed for feeling like this as it has taken so much for us to get to this point and I know so many others who'd love to be in my position.
Thanks for your words Jade - you are so positive. And Flic, what you are saying does make sense - I know my fears are irrational but I'm just finding it hard to conquer!
I don't have a regular midwife - I think I've seen someone different nearly every time so I might go back to the miscarriage woman I saw at the start and speak to her. After reading your messages I've tried hard to think exactly what it is I'm so scared of. Pain, yes - but more than that I think the lack of control over what is happening - what if something goes wrong? What if I can't cope with it all? Tomorrow I am going to call my local NCT and see if there is someone I can chat to there as well.
It's good to know that people do understand and I'm not the only one who feels like this
Me 42 DP 40
TTC 3yrs
IVF Oct 07 and Jan 08 - both poor response & converted to IUI - BFN
May 08, Aug 08 and Oct 08 natural :BFP: m/c at 6, ,5 and 9 weeks :sadface:
May 09 another shock natural :BFP: Perfect little boy born 12 feb 2010.



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Monday, December 21st 2009, 8:35pm

Hiya Dizzyduck,

I think its perfectly rational to fear childbirth, for a start its a big unknown, secondly its a bit like trying to poo a basketball! However, its a natural process, its what your body was designed for and there are even some women who having done it once, willingly go through it again! The first thing to remember is that your body IS made for childbirth, and it will just get on with it regardless of how prepared you feel. Secondly, you don't have to deal with the pain all at once. Contractions start a bit like period pain which comes and goes, ok they get more painful but you only have to deal with one at once and each one you have is one less you have to go through and also one more closer to having your baby in your arms. Keep as mobile as you can and that helps make it easier. You can plan to increase your pain relief as you need it, so start with gas and air, progress to pethidine if you feel you want it and an epidural if you want that, sometimes just knowing the pain relief is available makes you feel a bit more relaxed and that in turn makes it less painful. Have you thought about trying a hypnobirthing CD? I wouldn't advise that you try watching any of those childbirth programmes on Sky, watching strangers go through does not convey the reality of what you will experience, the emotional side of giving birth to your own child is immense and you don't get that from watching someone you don't know do it.



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Monday, December 21st 2009, 8:41pm

Hello there hun.
I too never thought about labour until morning of my scheduled induction and i was shaking I was so scared, I too felt guilty and the thing I worried about the most id that I wouldnt be able to do it or cope with it.
When it came down to it I spoke to MW who was seeing me through all my labour and told her I was scared I couldnt do it and also that I would make an arse of myself :snigger: She made me feel lots better by saying to ask for any pain relief and not to worry as she's seen it all before.
Im not going to lie its painful but like others have said if its the pain your afraid of plan to get an epidural asap after labour starts and no its not being a chicken or a wimp cuz I wish I had asked for one earlier as I was too late by time I asked.
I wish you the easiest, fastest labour ever and like everyone says its totally worth it all and as everyone told me(didnt believe them to start with) its the easiest pain to forget Iv almost forgot already :snigger:
Good luck hun, I bet Il read your birth story and you will have had a drug free labour and you will be wondering what all the fuss was about :snigger:



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Monday, December 21st 2009, 8:43pm

I have a mouth ulcer at the moment and I would happily exchange it for labour. Sure it's painful and you have little control over how things will actually progress but like a white knuckle ride at the fair, it's exhilarating, scary, unknown and leaves you saying WOW!!!"

It's such an empowering thing to go through and you will be so proud when you have your baby in your arms, whichever way he or she gets there.



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Monday, December 21st 2009, 9:16pm

hello - I just wanted to say (intended to make you feel better, honest)! that it is a totally undescribable pain and straight afterwards i said to DH this is the only time i will ever give birth because it really bloody hurts. They say you forget the pain and you honestly do. and that is with sitting on a rubber ring for 3 weeks afterwards!!! My childbirth was very comical for everyone apart from me. I was induced and after my first contraction I asked for a Epidural and they just looked at me as if to say oh my god we have a baby with zero threshold! I kept asking the aneasathist (sp) if she was the TV presenter from homes under the hammer. They woudlnt measure my cervix because i quote " she will not emotionally cope if she is still 2 cm". I was only in labour for 7 hours and i cant remember any of the pain now at all and please God we would love another try of IVF after Christmas. You will be fine, if i can do it anyone can and my DD was 9 pound 2 ounces!! GOODLUCK XX

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Tuesday, December 22nd 2009, 9:47am

Just to be completely opposite... I'm actually looking forward to it. Honestly!!!

I can only assume I have my head buried so far in the sand that I am left with no rational thoughts. I cannot coprehend that it will hurt too much or go on for hours and hours. I'm not normally one for positive mental attitude but I do feel really ok about this. I'm sure this is down to it being my first baby and taking no notice of what other people tell me about labour... or sheer stupidity!

Saying that I bet you the minute the pains kick in I'll go from being zen like to hysterical!!! I am looking forward to a good swear during labour though... :rant:



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Tuesday, December 22nd 2009, 10:26am

sorry you are feeling so fearful DD!

I think it is perfectly natural to feel this way about something you have never done before. I am approaching it in the same way I do other things in life that scare me. That is, I am reminding myself that it will be for a finite amount of time. Even if I have a stressful, long labour it will still end at some point and will, in all reality, only have taken up a tiny fraction of my life in total. Try and thing back to other things you were afraid of before they happened and remember that they are over now.

Have you been to antenatal classes? gathering a lot of info and having a few thoughts on how you might react in some of the more common scenarios may help you to feel more 'familiar' with the process and so less scared.


me 38, DP 44, ttc since 2005
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BFP Dec 08 - HB & CRL ok @ 8 wks, but sac too small, m/c @ 9 wks
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Tuesday, December 22nd 2009, 10:40am

Having just recently gone through it with a baby who's head was in the 99th percentile I would like to say that although it was painful it certainly wasn't the most painful experience of my life (dislocated hip at 16 was far more painful and lasted longer). I was monitored constantly as my baby was premature so I couldn't move round or use a birthing pool, both of which would have helped with the contraction, I was managing the discomfort myself using hypnobirthing until they started to monitor me and I was put in a position that made the contractions more uncomfortable.

The key to keeping it under control is to keep calm and as relaxed as possible I would recommend you try hypnobirthing, you should be able to find a practicioner near you, I found that it helped enormously until I started monitoring when I lost control of my breathing and concentration, however, I kept forgetting to practice in the run up and I'm sure if I'd put more effort into practicing then I would have coped better once I was being monitored. T :sadface: o be honest the most painful thing about the entire thing was when I was on my hands and knees delivering I agrivated a tendon problem I have in both hands and my arms were KILLING me.

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Tuesday, December 22nd 2009, 11:48am

Hi DD,

Sorry your feeling worried about labour, just remember that each contraction brings you closer to meeting your baby :D and that it wont last and that there will be an eand, and a wonderful end at that.

I think im one of the unusal ones who is looking forward to it, i just keep thinking about meeting my baby and it really does help to change that focus. i also think that your body really does help you to focus and forget pain, i was in so much pain when i had my ovarian cyst that it nearly knocked me out but now i dont remember it at all, just the events not the pain, so i do believe the body has ways of helping you cope with that part.

good luck and i hope you manage to relax

TTC 4 yrs
Me - 32 yrs, DH - 32 yrs
clomid then IVF

1st IVF Apr 09 :BFP: bab21



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Monday, December 28th 2009, 11:26pm

Hi Dizzyduck,

Please don't be worried about the guilt feelings you have about fearing labour. I'm just over 10 weeks off my 2nd labour and when I think about it again, I absolutely dread it. I am truly grateful for where I am but if I could do it without the labour, I would. I unfortunately didn't have a positive experience with my first labour because I was induced at almost 42 weeks but having learnt from that, it's given me a few ideas for what I would like next time. The only thing I would stress for me is to have as active and as upright a labour as possible. Putting aside the time that I was in labour before they broke my waters, I then spent 14 hours on my back lying down before Harry was born. For me, it made it more painful and I ideally would like to be walking around, standing up, bouncing on the gym ball etc next time as it's a distraction. I was able to do that for an hour before I was put on the bed with the trace last time. It really helped.

What I did learn from all my post-natal friends is that nobody got the labour that they had planned for. Nobody got the pool and most had wanted it, 3 got c/sections, a few had very quick "no time for anything" labours and a few had long ones with assisted delivery at the end including me. It taught me that planning for it doesn't always work as you never know what you'll be faced with or what your body or baby will do. My advice would be to go with the flow. If there's something you're completely against, then definitely say that in your plan. Likewise, if there's something that you absolutely want, include that too (such as skin-to-skin contact, partner cutting the cord if possible) but bear in mind that sometimes it's just out of your hands. I would read up on all sorts of deliveries and just have it in mind that you could have any one of these. I knew nothing about being induced and I wish now that I'd read up on it because I'd have been better prepared.

I really hope that my post isn't off-putting as I don't want to scare anyone at all. The thing to remember is that at the end of it, you get a very beautiful baby and it's all worth it. Yes it is painful, but the present at the end is the most amazing thing ever.


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Tuesday, December 29th 2009, 9:49pm

What you describe - I could have written it myself afew weeks ago before we went through it all.
I think we all go through fear to some extent or another. I know I was terrified but as time went on and I was overdue, I began to anticipate labour a bit more readily.
Having said that, I was still scared when they admitted me to be induced and scared some way through as the control had been taken away a bit (I had imagined my labour to start naturally and I had ideas of how to cope with it throughout if this had been the case).
What I will say is that the labour suite staff were nothing short of amazing and listened to me and worked with us to bring our little girl into the world safely.
I decided early on into the labour that I would have an epidural as I was having multiple contractions at the same time (I didn't think this would be possible). They acted quickly and I was in control of the pain which was great and helped a great deal towards alleviating my fears.
The epidural started to wear off towards the end of labour and I refused a top up as I wanted to be fully alert when my baby arrived and so just used gas and air. I found that there comes a point in labour where your sheer determination kicks in and you get through it to reach your goal.
You will be fine I'm 100% sure and although nobody can prepare you for what it is like, I promise you that you will have the biggest feeling of love and accomplishment than you will ever have had or ever will have again, in your life.
You have to acknowledge your fears and discuss them - that is how you can come to terms with them and be in control - good for you for in doing it here. Best of luck..... keep thinking of the glittering prize at the end of it all,xxxx

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  • "dizzyduck" started this thread

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Wednesday, December 30th 2009, 10:19pm

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts - you wouldn't believe how much it helps. I have now had my 34 week scan and baby is doing fine, measuring v slightly on the small side but within normal range. Also placenta has moved up so I won't have to have a planned csection now. I've been doing a lot of thinking and I came to the same conclusion as Addy described - I don't want to plan rigidly because I'll be more upset if it doesn't go according to plan (which, chances are, it won't!).
I have decided that I definitely want to be open to pain relief, preferably epidural and I have booked us on a preparing for the birth wrkshop that goes over relaxation and breathing techniques in detail and lets you practice some good positions. This was really whizzed over in the hospital antenatal sessions so I think it will help in a smaller group just focusing on this - I think I'll panic when the time comes so if I can get the breathing right it will help. I'm on mat leave now so can begin preparing myself a bit more. Your stories help so much and I KNOW it will be worth it in the end - I can't believe it#s only 5 or 6 weeks away! Having watched some of you through the 3rd tri and now with your beautiful babies in your arms, I just need to think, that'll be ME soon!
love to all
Me 42 DP 40
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IVF Oct 07 and Jan 08 - both poor response & converted to IUI - BFN
May 08, Aug 08 and Oct 08 natural :BFP: m/c at 6, ,5 and 9 weeks :sadface:
May 09 another shock natural :BFP: Perfect little boy born 12 feb 2010.

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Saturday, January 2nd 2010, 9:58am

Giving birth was the best experience of my life and I still cry with happiness thinking about it and am also upset and jealous that I may never experience it again. I am a wuss and had said from the moment I got pregnant I AM having an epidural, all the other mums to be at the classes I went to looked in disgust as they were all going on and on about having it natural. The pain in childbirth for me was easier than the pain I experienced in egg collection, but it obviously lasts a bit longer!

I didn't ask for an epidural as I thought I would just last a bit longer, I thought it's my first child it will last for ages. After 3 hours I asked for an epidural, the midwife messed about and was insisting I gave a wee sample which I couldn't give. She finally asked me to get on the bed to examine me after I had drunk LOADS of water trying to give a sample, she was really suprised that I was fully diallated and ready to push. I asked again for an epidural and she said I was ready and the baby was coming and it was too late, I said it wasn't and I was having an epidural! My husband backed me up and said I am stubborn and I wanted it and there is no changing my mind. This resulted in me having an epidural and baby came 10 mins later.

So what all that was getting at is make it clear from the start when you go in what your intentions are, they started offering me a paracetamol which I turned down and went straight to gas and air, they don't even work for me with period pains. You know your body better than anyone and you know how much pain you are in so let them know and tell them what pain releif you want. My midwife was shocked when she examined me and said I must have a high pain threshold as I didn't sound like I was ready to push. I'm not one that shouts and screams, I get my head down and get on with the pain myself (even though I was making some strange undescribeable noises which still make me laugh now when I think of me doing that.) My husband was fantastic and without him they probably would of got me to do whatever they wanted but he kept standing up for me. We sound like we were horrible and really difficult and nasty but we really weren't like that, we are both quiet and polite. One tip that worked for me was I used the bath loads it really helped but check if you use the birthing pool as in my hospital you couldn't have an epidural in that room so I stuck with the bath as I knew I wanted one at some point.

Finally one of my regrets is that I had the epidural as I think I did most of it without I was quite dissapointed after I had given birth that I had given in which if I think back to when I first got pregnant I would of never imagined I would of said that as I was adamant I was having it straight away, so just go with it you may be totally different when the time comes. It was the best day of my life, the feeling is AMAZING and I am jealous, wish I could do it for you. Good luck!


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