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Noreen Claire

*UPDATE in post#1* anxiety over giving birth again...

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Right, I get that there are risks with an epidural.

 

I just don't think "not being able to bond with your baby because you are woozy" or "not being aware of the birth" are those risks; furthermore, I think the fact that some people think those are the risks, and tell other mothers that they are risks, is part of the shaming our culture sometimes does with regards to labor anesthesia.  

 

I also think that there is, in my experience, almost zero shaming with regards to "unnatural" surgery experiences, for people who have anesthesia with very painful procedures.  I have never heard of it.  Only with childbirth.

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And some of the members of my family who had all of their babies with no epidural (all of them but me, I think - but then, I've had a lot more babies!) said their pain at delivery was no higher than a 5.

 

5!

 

I could deliver 10 babies unmedicated with a max pain level of 5.  

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I think she meant as a urinary catheter, not in the cervix to induce labor.

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Ok, I looked it up, fearing I used the wrong term. Which, if that's the case, I've been using the wrong term for years. From the 5 or so websites I read, a Foley cath has a small inflatable balloon to hold it in place for a period of time. A urinary catheter is usually a straight cath (no balloon) used in an insert, drain, remove procedure.

 

I am sure mine was a Foley. I saw her test the balloon inflation before inserting it, which is what made my eyes pop out of my head. Then the tube just sat there in front of my business until I was ready to push. The nurse would come open the tube and drain urine into one of those kidney shapped bowls every hour. Horrifying!!

 

The thing for induction is a transcervical foley balloon/catheter. With a name like that I can see why it's shortened to "foley." I've never been induced so I didn't know this existed and I didn't mean to cause confusion. I learned something new today!

 

I hope all goes well with your home birth, I wish I was brave enough to have one!

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I remember my mom telling me that with each birth the fear of what's ahead gets worse... She has 7 girls.  She said that as the birth approached she would start to feel like an athlete all lined up at the beginning of the race, looking for a way to get out of the race, some way to escape - but there is no way out except to run when the gun goes off!

 

That image really stuck with me through my pregnancies.  I even enjoyed walking at a track near our home to sort of psych myself up for the big day.  

 

If I had another one, I would go with a definite plan to have an epidural.  

 

Is there a way to just not think about the delivery yet?  Maybe tell yourself you will allow yourself to think about the delivery at 8pm, but no other time.  And at 8pm, you pull out your journal and write about your fears and think about it for 15 minutes.  And then put the thought out of your head until the next evening.  Or tell yourself, I will think about the delivery when I get to week 38, but not before that.

 

Anyway, I just want to give you a virtual hug and tell you you are not alone!  It is scary. Big and scary and hard and awful and wonderful.  I hope you have a friend you can complain to who will listen really well and say nice things, and then distract you with cupcakes and funny stories. 

Edited by wendy not in HI
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I'm definitely of the just don't think about it variety. Probably not helpful :)

 

But really, there's not much I can do about it, and when it actually happens I'm sure I'll handle it fine, so might as well not think about it. I did that last time, and it worked fine. I actually had a much easier, happier labor than the previous birth, when I'd been trying hypnobabies. I think having no expectations, or even expecting it to hurt, was easier on me at the end than when I expected it to be easy and it wasn't. (my first labor was long but very easy until the end, and then I had a section. Second was shorter but much harder and I was angry the whole time about the pain. Third was 10 hours, second shortest, but I had zero expectations going in, and it was fine until pushing. I hate pushing. )

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I don't know if this will be comforting or not, but my first birth was very hard for me (vaginal, no pain meds except they pressured me into pitocin for the placenta which was a mistake) and coached pushing. My second birth was done on my terms (also vaginal, no pain meds). I chose when to push based on when my body felt ready and I confirmed with the dr it was safe. 2-3 pushes and she was out. It was a much easier birth overall and I luckily did not tear and require stitches the second delivery.

 

So my advice is that you skip coached pushing. My deliveries were night and day. There is hope.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by heartlikealion
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And some of the members of my family who had all of their babies with no epidural (all of them but me, I think - but then, I've had a lot more babies!) said their pain at delivery was no higher than a 5.

 

5!

 

I could deliver 10 babies unmedicated with a max pain level of 5.

I really think that's part of it. With my first baby, I knew I wanted to avoid an epidural, so I did set myself up with midwives who supported that. My baby was almost 9 pounds, but posterior the whole time, so I got a lot of back pressure, but the whole thing was still manageable. I'm sure it helped that the midwives had me try all sorts of things -- jacuzzi, heating pad, walking, birth ball, counter pressure from DH, rocking, etc. -- but it wasn't excruciating by any means. At one point, I was dozing off between contractions during transition. I pushed for an hour and a half, and while it was no picnic, it was slow and largely gentle. Crowning hurt, like "wow, that burns," and then it didn't really hurt more. And then a couple of my labors were only four hours and a bit over one hour: the last three babies were two, one, and three pushes. I'm not even sure I felt crowning all of those times. It was just like a ton of pressure and "baby is coming NOW, oh, hello baby." I do recall during transition with my third and fourth babies complaining that it hurt and I wanted to be done (and with number four I thought I had several hours ahead of me still, which turned out to be more like twenty minutes), and I recall DH calmly saying, "Yep, it hurts, but you are doing it, and you'll be done soon." But I freely admit that fast and/or easy labors help a TON!! I have to walk and breathe through the contractions at some point, and I'm pretty sure I get to yelling through a few, but it's never been hours and hours of excruciating pain. Even my last one, where I had a day of casual warm up contractions before labor actually started, was annoying but not terribly painful.

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I would give anything to have crowning not be painful. It's really the only point I can't handle. I screamed last time to "GET HIM OUT!!" and my midwife, bless her, did. She pressed on my labia and popped him right out. Now of course, he did have a 15 inch head, so maybe that's why it hurts so much. Bergh. Hoping for a small head this time. Not likely though. DH has a huge head. 

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I would give anything to have crowning not be painful. It's really the only point I can't handle. I screamed last time to "GET HIM OUT!!" and my midwife, bless her, did. She pressed on my labia and popped him right out. Now of course, he did have a 15 inch head, so maybe that's why it hurts so much. Bergh. Hoping for a small head this time. Not likely though. DH has a huge head. 

Same here (although I find all of pushing painful) the emergence of the baby is excruciating. My first came out cocked sideways and my 3rd came w/ her hand beside her head, it took a LONG time to heal and feel normal w/ both of those. I swear my tailbone broke w/ my first too. 2nd was relatively easy all around and 4 was a weird long drawn out labor w/ only 1 active hr- which was so intense I couldn't even move. I was on my bed, trying to take a nap(it had been this mild business for 2 days going nowhere) and BAM and they were like don't you want to take off your skirt or change positions. UM NO, LEAVE me alone. We'll burn the mattress or the skirt for all I care but you aren't moving me. (I still wear that skirt around the house :) ) My mattress survived as well, I guess they managed to get a pad under me, I can't remember that part.

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I don't know if this will be comforting or not, but my first birth was very hard for me (vaginal, no pain meds except they pressured me into pitocin for the placenta which was a mistake) and coached pushing. My second birth was done on my terms (also vaginal, no pain meds). I chose when to push based on when my body felt ready and I confirmed with the dr it was safe. 2-3 pushes and she was out. It was a much easier birth overall and I luckily did not tear and require stitches the second delivery.

 

So my advice is that you skip coached pushing. My deliveries were night and day. There is hope.

 

:grouphug:

As always where birth its concerned--it depends.

 

I mentioned my lovely water birth upthread, pushing when I felt like it--that was a beautiful, easy birth.

 

My next after that was horrendous--no matter what I tried, pushing was complete, utter agony. Kid had a big head and was badly positioned and to top it off was not tolerating labor well.

 

My OB HAD to absolutely bully me through the pushing--I did not have the willpower to do it in my own. Without her yelling at me to keep pushing I would have ended up with an emergency c-section for sure.

Edited by maize
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Same here (although I find all of pushing painful) the emergence of the baby is excruciating. My first came out cocked sideways and my 3rd came w/ her hand beside her head, it took a LONG time to heal and feel normal w/ both of those. I swear my tailbone broke w/ my first too. 2nd was relatively easy all around and 4 was a weird long drawn out labor w/ only 1 active hr- which was so intense I couldn't even move. I was on my bed, trying to take a nap(it had been this mild business for 2 days going nowhere) and BAM and they were like don't you want to take off your skirt or change positions. UM NO, LEAVE me alone. We'll burn the mattress or the skirt for all I care but you aren't moving me. (I still wear that skirt around the house :) ) My mattress survived as well, I guess they managed to get a pad under me, I can't remember that part.

 

I had very little issue once he was out...no serious damage. It's just during. And really, what is that, less than a minute? So that's what i tell myself now. Its so short a time, I've done it before, I can do it again. 

 

But, if I was the OP and that traumatized I'd figure something else out. Up to exploring EMDR for PTSD. 

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"Just get pain meds" is not an option for lots of reasons for lots of deliveries.

 

No laboring woman owes anyone an explaination for why they do or do not want (or can't) to use a medication or procedure.

 

I'm glad some have had pain free deliveries. I had a couple and hope the next one is too. It's mostly pure luck though.

 

I have had epidurals that did not work. Did absolutely nothing. I had one that worked, but with the worrisome side effect of not being able to walk for two DAYS afterwards because that's how long it took for me to get sensation back. And more often than not my labor went too fast to get an epidural at all anyways. And staydol classification of drugs actually makes it worse bc it didn't do much for the pain, but messed with my head so much I couldn't focus to cope very well at all.

 

I do not care one wit if some other woman gets an epidural, laughing gas, or staydol or what all else. I give them enough benefit of the doubt to presume they know their situation at that moment better than I do. It'd be a nifty courtesy if all women did the same for each other.

 

Also, what they do doesn't have squat to do with pain tolerance levels.

 

If the epidural or the staydol or whatever doesn't help enough or she doesn't get to have the option for whatever reason - it really doesn't matter what her pain tolerance is bc no woman in labor really has a choice to decide she will no longer go through labor.

 

I'm not any tougher or weaker than anyone else. I'm the same as any other woman in labor who just does what needs done to get through it. Whether I had pain relief or didn't need it has nothing to do with my pain tolerance ability.

Edited by Murphy101
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My births were all unmedicated with long, hard labors.  Honestly, the way I got through the last one (which we had decided would be our final kid) was to keep repeating to myself, "Once this is over, you never have to do this again!"  That was my mantra LOL.  I actually think it did make the pain more tolerable!

 

I'm going to write this down and repeat it often! Due to age (I'm 42), sheer exhaustion, and how uncomfortable I've been these last few months, I'm thinking that this is THE LAST (planned) BABY EVA.  

 

I had a "not allowed" water birth, that was my best birth ever. I didn't want them to make me get out of the tub so I started pushing when I felt ready without warning anyone first. Baby came right out, the nurse midwife barely managed to get to me in time to help.

 

I was mighty pleased with myself...

 

You are my hero!

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I think she meant as a urinary catheter, not in the cervix to induce labor.

 

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That's what I assumed upon rereading it too. Nobody loves being catheterized, but I never want to be induced any other way again if I need it. Love!

 

And word on Stadol, Martha - it makes me feel nauseous and high in the worst way possible, so I can actually cope *less* with pain because I have no control at all, not more. Once and never again for that stuff. My epidural went well when I had one, thankfully - the side effects can be awful but sometimes they're still the best choice. It's SO variable. Every mama and every baby is different.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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So my advice is that you skip coached pushing. 

 

I did coached pushing with my 1st, 21 years ago next month, and I ended up with a 4th degree laceration. DO NOT GOOGLE THAT TERM - you will have nightmares for days... I've pretty much run the show with the last 3 as to when I push.

 

Now of course, he did have a 15 inch head, so maybe that's why it hurts so much. Bergh. Hoping for a small head this time. Not likely though. DH has a huge head. 

 

My nurses were STUNNED at the size of baby #4's head size - they took it multiple times to make sure it was correct. He also weighed 10lbs 12oz, so... big babies!

 

 

My best friend has had 4 epidurals for 4 kids - she does it so that her husband won't freak and pass out again. I find it funny that she needs pain meds to keep HIM calm! :lol:

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I did coached pushing with my 1st, 21 years ago next month, and I ended up with a 4th degree laceration. DO NOT GOOGLE THAT TERM - you will have nightmares for days... I've pretty much run the show with the last 3 as to when I push.

 

 

My nurses were STUNNED at the size of baby #4's head size - they took it multiple times to make sure it was correct. He also weighed 10lbs 12oz, so... big babies!

 

 

My best friend has had 4 epidurals for 4 kids - she does it so that her husband won't freak and pass out again. I find it funny that she needs pain meds to keep HIM calm! :lol:

 

Ok, so how big was it, you have to say!

And yes, big babies. DS was 10 lbs 2 oz. So not quite as big at yours! Of course, I'm 5'1 with a short torso..I think the pregnancy was the hardest part. I couldn't bend over my belly was so big. 

 

Funny about the needing drugs for the husband. My mom wants me to give birth in a hospital because home births are too hard on her! Mind you, she isn't there, we call her afterwards, but still. 

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I had a fourth degree tear with coached pushing and my epidural :grouphug:

 

It beat the c-section I was headed toward but the combo of still being fairly numb, a poorly positioned baby, and a nurse who would rather I push out a baby who was misaligned than flip over and try to get the kid to rotate has given me major pelvic floor problems. Awful awful.

 

Noreen, we are praying for you. It may really be that laughing gas is a huge blessing, or even a planned epidural if you can get there with enough time to spare. This is YOUR birth and if you weigh out that you're likely to have a better outcome with pain management than trying to control your anxiety another way that's entirely fair. Obviously by the lot of us on here you can tell this isn't a rare occurrence and many of us do in fact use managed labors in later babies because of anxiety and fear and plain old fed up-ness with natural birth. It's not a good option for all, including me with my VBACs and a hospital that is dodgy on actually allowing them without major pressure. But for you? It may be just the thing you need.

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Also, i wonder if there is a way to try the gas and air before going into labor, to see how you react? Worth asking about. 

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I'm a minority in this thread. You all please do what you want with your births. Before I found out that I needed a c section with my first, I thought that I would try labor without meds. Having seen my DH in pain due to some medical problems that were said to be worse than labor, I was scared and wiling to consider meds. To the OP, I ended up with three scheduled c sections (first was footling breech and I had preeclampsia). I love all my children, I'm bonded to all of them, and everyone is safe and healthy. They are all developing normally. I had no complications from any anesthesia. If I were you, I would consider the idea of meds to help alleviate anxiety and pain. I was alert after the births, well at least second two--first I wasn't due to treatment for preeclampsia, magnesium sulfate. With the second, I was eating a sandwich a couple of hours later. With the last, I presume I was fine because they left me alone overnight in the room with a newborn. All night anxiety attacks are not good for anyone. Hugs to you! And again, please, everyone do what they want with their births. I just wanted to say that modern medical intervention does turn out okay many, most (at least in my situation) times.

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My births were all unmedicated with long, hard labors.  Honestly, the way I got through the last one (which we had decided would be our final kid) was to keep repeating to myself, "Once this is over, you never have to do this again!"  That was my mantra LOL.  I actually think it did make the pain more tolerable!

 

I love this. 

 

After 6 natural childbirths, this is the first time where I'm seriously feeling anxiety over an epidural not being an option (due to issues w/very low blood pressure). Regular meds make me woozy so maybe this will have to be my mantra in labor. I'm just tired at this point and having trouble picturing myself going through childbirth again. Though, my hospital does have laughing gas now. This thread is making me think that I should ask some questions about that. Or maybe I'll cope fine with labor, and I'm just experiencing post-traumatic birth anxiety.

 

It does make me feel better to hear how common the anxiety is for older moms who have been through multiple deliveries.

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fwiw, I didn't feel anxiety until after my 3rd (when I had the hemorrhage), and it wasn't PTSD-like (cold sweats, shaking, severe anxiety) until after my 5th.  Maybe the "tired of childbirth"  feelings are cumulative!

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It's not quite anxiety from pain or labor, but I developed emetophobia during my last pregnancy and right up until Push Time during a precipitous labor, I was in a panic that I was going to vomit. I was screaming for Zofran and a barf bucket as I walked in the door. The anesthesiologist showed up after it was all over; I was so worried about puking that I waited too long to ask for pain meds!

 

I didn't throw up, which was good. However my "morning sickness" nausea got worse after pregnancy. DS is three now, and I still have it daily. Ugh.

 

I'll be honest, when I actually stop and think about what birth actually is, it freaks me out. And I've done it three times! It kinda makes an alien body snatcher science fiction book look like a cozy romance novel.

 

I'm so sorry, I'm totally not helping. But I was surprised by how the anxiety got worse with subsequent pregnancies and now relieved that it's not uncommon.

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Also, i wonder if there is a way to try the gas and air before going into labor, to see how you react? Worth asking about.

I loved the gas...

 

So did dh! ;)

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Ok, so how big was it, you have to say!

 

 

I have it upstairs somewhere - I'll find it tomorrow. He was actually followed by a neurologist for 12 months because his head growth was so ridiculously off the charts... poor kid is still top heavy and falls down a lot!

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As always where birth its concerned--it depends.

 

I mentioned my lovely water birth upthread, pushing when I felt like it--that was a beautiful, easy birth.

 

My next after that was horrendous--no matter what I tried, pushing was complete, utter agony. Kid had a big head and was badly positioned and to top it off was not tolerating labor well.

 

My OB HAD to absolutely bully me through the pushing--I did not have the willpower to do it in my own. Without her yelling at me to keep pushing I would have ended up with an emergency c-section for sure.

 

Sorry, I did not mean to imply that no one ever needs encouragement or help or intervention of some sorts. I know that part of the reason my second birth went smoother is because she came early and was a smaller baby than the first. But with the first, looking back, I feel like it wasn't time to push or something was off and the dr was just rushing me. He wasn't even my normal obgyn.

 

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Also, i wonder if there is a way to try the gas and air before going into labor, to see how you react? Worth asking about.

Laughing gas isn't available here, but I cannot stand the stuff even for the dentist so I wouldn't be very optimistic. I hate that stuff and won't use it at the dentist.

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Well, I've had a few with meds and a few without...the without ones came first.

 

Can I just say that after I experienced an epidural, the roses were redder, the sky was bluer and the world was a happy place again. I saw the anesthesiologist in the elevator when we were leaving the hospital with the epidural baby...and it took all I had to not literally leap into his arms, kiss his face, and tell him I loved him. :lol: Seriously! The only thing that held me back was thinking he MAY remember the screaming, crazy lady and the fact that yes, he saw my rear end as I was heaving over the side of the bed. 

 

God bless anesthesiologists!

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I think that it also gets harder with age and with experience.  There's a benefit to being young and naive when childbirth is concerned.

 

I kind of remember being a bit more anxious with the last one.  When I got to the hospital I was planning to go without meds.  When I told my OB, she just looked at me and said, "Do you remember last time?"  (Almost 9 pounds, large head, long labor) And I immediately decided that I wanted the epidural.  Ten years earlier I was much feistier and would never have given in so quickly.

 

OP, I hope that you find something that works for you.

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I'm convinced that age and number of births changes things significantly--I have more experience and less energy and gumption than I did when I was young!

 

I'm just glad there are lots of options out there.

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My best friend has had 4 epidurals for 4 kids - she does it so that her husband won't freak and pass out again. I find it funny that she needs pain meds to keep HIM calm! :lol:

 

I got an epidural with one of mine for my mom's sake.   :leaving: I was handling the labor just fine, tyvm, but I could not handle the contractions and my mother at the same time.  It was easier to get the epidural than to ask her to leave.   :lol:

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I like to read a new to me natural birth book with each pregnancy even though I've been there, done that. I find this encouraging and strengthening and try to find one new comfort measure to try during labor and/or birth too.

 

I'm usually fine and can find things to help until transition and pushing anyways, and by then it's probably too late for drugs anyway, you know?

 

If you're looking for a book recommendation, I really liked The  Birth Book by Dr. Sears. I practiced the breathing and relaxing exercises at night before drifting off to sleep during pregnancy, so when labor came with my second, relaxing was happening during it. 

 

When things get harder to relax but not quite transition, counting in my head 1,2,3,4 while slowly inhaling and again 1,2,3,4 while exhaling somehow helps distract me and keep me focused some. Another mom shared that tip with me during one of my pregnancies, and it helped. 

 

 

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Birthing From Within was helpful to me with my last birth (planned water birth at home). There are several good imagery suggestions that really helped me manage the pain or at least delude myself that I was somehow in control of it. 😜

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0965987302/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473481467&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=birthing+from+within&dpPl=1&dpID=51hko2NEznL&ref=plSrch

 

I'm really grateful for the four uncomplicated and unmedicated labor and delivery's I've had but I NEVER want to do that again! If I were to have a surprise happen in the next few years (I'm 38 and tired), I'd think long and hard about the meds!

Edited by Sara in AZ
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I just don't want to go through labor and delivery again.  :scared:  There, I said it.

 

I have four boys (20, 7, 4, and 2); each was delivered vaginally and without pain medication. All were post-dates, so three were induced; the youngest was the only one where I went into labor on my own. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the amount of time I spend, on average, in active labor is about an hour - with about 15 minutes of that pushing, at most. I'm 34+ weeks pregnant with baby #5, and the due date is suddenly coming very fast. 

 

The problem is that I'm scared to death of delivering again...  :crying:

 

A tv commercial last night, including maybe 5 seconds of a woman in labor, sent me into a total, all-night anxiety attack. I have always had a mild, undiagnosed/untreated level of anxiety and this is generally made worse during pregnancy. However, it's usually better towards the end, not worse!

 

I know that my fears are probably exacerbated by the fact that I am seriously sleep-deprived (2yr old still wakes every night and I get up at least 2 more times to pee), I have gotten exactly NO exercise the last 34 weeks (too tired - no sleep!), my entire midsection aches all day long, my sciatica is a mess and the usual treatments aren't helping, and my 7yr old has been going through some physical/mental/emotional issues all summer that we are still dealing with. It's been a tough year so far.

 

Logically, I can understand why I'm such a mess, but that doesn't change the fact that every time I think about labor and delivery I want to run away screaming or roll into a ball and weep. :crying:  Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did you manage?

 

Absolutely felt this way.

I loved my pain free births, especially DD 8 and DD10.  They were amazing births.

I also loved my pain medicated births.  Yes, I missed out on the same amount of control and how strong and capable I felt but, and here's the kicker, I ended up with beautiful, healthy babies.

 

I had five drug free births in a row.  And the moment I walked in the hospital with DS (2) I told them I was having an epidural.  I was over feeling like I *needed* to do it drug free.  I had been there, hopped on the boat, sailed it around the world, and now, journey complete, was totally confident in having drugs.

 

I am certain others will have better suggestions than mine.  I just wanted to add that pregnancies in your twenties and early thirties are very different than those pushing forty and beyond.  Or at least they have been for me.... I thought I'd feel guilty.  I don't. :P :D  He is a wonderful little guy and I'm glad we have him, but going through a delivery was more than I wanted to do in that moment and I had a very nice delivery.  It wasn't the same as the euphoric deliveries of the girls, the whole, "Yeah, I did this!" accomplishment.  But, at the same time, having been there and done that, it wasn't about that this time?  I was plenty happy with "good enough" and a healthy little boy, kwim?

 

Do what you need to do.  It's okay!

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I have had four unmedicated deliveries (and one had one of those huge heads -- 38cm).

 

I made it through my fourth delivery by telling myself and anyone in the room that this was the last time I would ever do this.  During each contraction, I would remind myself that I was counting down to never, ever having to feel another contraction again.  And then, the baby arrived and I was beyond happy!

 

All the best!

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I don't have a lot of "been there, done that" experience, but I did experience some anxiety in pregnancy over various things.  My anxiety in pregnancy really amps up, and later, I can realize that, but in the moment, NO.IT.IS.ALL.VERY.ANXIETY.PRODUCING.  :)

 

I lost a lot of sleep with my last baby because we had chosen to find out the gender (I didn't with my first 3).  I was convinced that I had ruined some sort of magical bonding moment, and it was going to forever mess up my relationship with her.  (It did not).  A lot of sleep was lost over that.  An embarrassing amount.  

 

For me, I find that focusing on positive stories helps.  Ina May is great for this.  I also like the guided walking through anxiety producing situations of Birthing from Within.  And, as a Christian, a lot of focusing on scripture.  With my last baby, I memorized scripture, and I'd repeat it to myself when I was feeling particularly anxious, then all through labor.  It helped.  A lot.  A lot lot.  I wish I had done this more with the earlier ones.  For me, this is the best interpretation of the Lamaze method's "focal point."  Instead of focusing on a place or picture, I'm repeating the scripture to myself over and over, to produce a focal point of truth.  I've used it in some painful situations since then, too, and it really works well for me.  Same scriptures, over and over.  Sort of like the fake-rosary for non-Catholics.  :)

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Oh yeah. I've been through it. 10 kids. 7 at home. The first 4 homebirths were great and while I'd get a little nervous every time leading up to birth, I felt like it was manageable. Number 7 baby, I used hypnobirth CDs and had a water birth and it was so easy that leading into number 8 I was chill and figured I just had this birth thing figured out. 😒

 

She was in a bad position (military) and had a nuchal arm that was born ahead of her head. Her labor was so hard. Nearly traumatic level,but no that was still to come.

 

Leading into baby 9,I worried but kept telling myself it was because #8 was in a bad position and I didn't have water that time. #9, I had water but it did nothing. I labored for hours with ZERO change to be cervix. My contractions just kept getting getting stronger and longer and I felt I was being ripped in two and nothing was happening. I really can't say more than that as I'm starting to relive it. It was horrible 😢

 

Anyways, he was born and all was well but when I was pregnant with number 10, I kept having bad anxiety. I went over and over details of the births my midwives and I just couldn't sort out what had happened. He was born in the water and was in a good position etc. I remembered (suddenly while talking to a client) that I had used hypnosis with #7 even though I was annoyed by it and thought it bunk (I did it away ways as I was an apprentice midwife at the time and wanted to say I had tried it). Anyways, I realize that even though I didn't really believe it, it had to have still worked and so I tried it again with her. I use different tracks though. Ones that didn't tell me there would be no pain. I will try to attach the image of the one in iTunes I used.

 

Her birth was every bit as easy as #7. She just slid right out in the water after a totally manageable labor of 3ish hours. Nice and gentle and calm. It was amazing.

 

Even if her birth hadn't been so great, the calming aspect of listening to the tracks 1-2 times a day was worth it. I really needed it.

 

I have many other stories of similar outcomes from clients in the past few years but I don't have time to type them all. This is something that won't hurt and may well help. You do need to listen and practice daily.

 

Good luck mama. I feel for you 😊

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Edited by busymama7
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I'm definitely of the just don't think about it variety. Probably not helpful :)

 

But really, there's not much I can do about it, and when it actually happens I'm sure I'll handle it fine, so might as well not think about it. I did that last time, and it worked fine. I actually had a much easier, happier labor than the previous birth, when I'd been trying hypnobabies. I think having no expectations, or even expecting it to hurt, was easier on me at the end than when I expected it to be easy and it wasn't. (my first labor was long but very easy until the end, and then I had a section. Second was shorter but much harder and I was angry the whole time about the pain. Third was 10 hours, second shortest, but I had zero expectations going in, and it was fine until pushing. I hate pushing. )

This is the reason I don't suggest actual hypnobirth or hypnobabies. I have seen this over and over again. The tracks I show above are not like that. More positively affirming the power of your body to do what it needs to do and for you to be able to handle it.

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Busy mama thank you for that name of the track you used!!!!! I have the hypnobabies ones, but for me, being told it wouldn't hurt, and then having it hurt, made me ridiculously angry. But I like the hypnosis aspect, so I've been torn about using it. Going to get that one and give it a try!

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I'm convinced that age and number of births changes things significantly--I have more experience and less energy and gumption than I did when I was young!

 

I'm just glad there are lots of options out there.

My mom always told me growing up that yes it hurt but as soon as you hold the baby it is all gone and all is well 😊. You forget the pain. While I have found that to be true, I just think that labor amnesia weakens the more times your body does it. You just can't completely forget anymore. I was a midwife and had had 6 homebirths and I still seriously considered going in for an epidural. I was less afraid of the epidural (I've had three) then I was of actually being in the hospital. I was also wishing for gas and air to be available at home. I've already told my story up thread but it's ok to entertain other options. It's even ok to have an epidural if knowing you are choosing that helps you reduce your anxiety.

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I think also, after having several children, you know how your body responds to labor, and you are more confident of your ability to push the baby out, even with drugs so that may factor into women having medicated labors later on in life. 

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I just remembered this.  Dd12 was an unmedicated birth.  I was starting to lose control of the contractions until I noticed that I regained control every time someone washed his or her hands.  

 

It was the sound of the water that relaxed me.  

 

I told the nurse and she turned the water on and let it run until dd12 was born.  I almost started to worry about the waste of water until I told myself that it was less water than they would have put in a tub for me.

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Busy mama thank you for that name of the track you used!!!!! I have the hypnobabies ones, but for me, being told it wouldn't hurt, and then having it hurt, made me ridiculously angry. But I like the hypnosis aspect, so I've been torn about using it. Going to get that one and give it a try!

Yay! I hope you like it. I love it and so do many of my clients :)

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Busy mama thank you for that name of the track you used!!!!! I have the hypnobabies ones, but for me, being told it wouldn't hurt, and then having it hurt, made me ridiculously angry. But I like the hypnosis aspect, so I've been torn about using it. Going to get that one and give it a try!

I was so PO'd too, especially when the births I used them on were long and awful. Totally looking into the other tracks, thank you Busymama!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Right, I get that there are risks with an epidural.

 

I just don't think "not being able to bond with your baby because you are woozy" or "not being aware of the birth" are those risks; furthermore, I think the fact that some people think those are the risks, and tell other mothers that they are risks, is part of the shaming our culture sometimes does with regards to labor anesthesia.

 

I also think that there is, in my experience, almost zero shaming with regards to "unnatural" surgery experiences, for people who have anesthesia with very painful procedures. I have never heard of it. Only with childbirth.

That's definitely true. If you were having an extremely minor procedure or surgery, you'd have anesthesia without a thought.
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That's definitely true. If you were having an extremely minor procedure or surgery, you'd have anesthesia without a thought.

 

I don't know that that is true at all. I mean, sure, a local injection of lidocaine. i'd do that for birth too, if I thought it would help. But epidural anesthesia is a much bigger deal. And the injectable drugs, although not a problem for an adult, can have serious effects on the baby if given too close to birth. (FYI, I learned that in the UK they give freaking heroin by IV to women in labor! I can't decide if I'm totally jealous or totally appalled)

 

I can't think of a minor procedure where you'd get general anesthesia or an epidural, similar to labor. Surgery, yes, and anesthetic risks are discussed and taken seriously. 

Edited by ktgrok
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I think the idea is that with a minor procedure most people have at least enough anaesthesia to reduce the pain to say a 4 or below, right?  Depending on the procedure you might use more or less pain meds, or different kinds, but the goal is generally the same - little or no pain, or at least a manageable level.

 

I can't think of another medical situation where people are encouraged (and often pressured with "better/worse mom" or "stronger person" or whatever) to endure level 10 pain for an extended period.  If you came in for a finger amputation and wanted to do it without pain meds that would be exceptional.

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I think the idea is that with a minor procedure most people have at least enough anaesthesia to reduce the pain to say a 4 or below, right?  Depending on the procedure you might use more or less pain meds, or different kinds, but the goal is generally the same - little or no pain, or at least a manageable level.

 

I can't think of another medical situation where people are encouraged (and often pressured with "better/worse mom" or "stronger person" or whatever) to endure level 10 pain for an extended period.  If you came in for a finger amputation and wanted to do it without pain meds that would be exceptional.

 

Yes, but if you wanted general anesthesia for a filling, they'd look at you oddly. 

 

General anesthesia is very safe for an adult, if done properly, but even then there are significant risks. Which is why so many things are done with local if possible. It is much riskier the smaller you get, with an unborn baby certainly being small. Drugs can cause complications with the baby, and for many women that risk isn't worth it, even if they would risk the normal adult side effects for themselves. 

 

Edited to add: An amputation of a finger wouldn't be a minor procedure in my mind. It would be major. A mole removal would be minor. 

Edited by ktgrok
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I think you're missing the reason why some of us don't use pain meds - it's not because we want to experience pain, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages for us. I cannot use many pain meds even in surgery and aftercare because of nausea, itching, dizziness, depression, and other fun side effects. And in birth, with a medicated labor I am at higher risk for complications with my VBACs and a possible c-section, especially in my local hospital with how they treat laboring women. Going at home and doing a hospital birth without pain meds were both things chosen not because experience pain was awesome, but for the quality of the outcome for both me and the babies.

 

It's really okay for you to choose differently. It's okay for a mom to go both ways and decide she prefer ones or the other. I've had pretty much every birth except a vacuum extraction at this point, and while I would love to go to the hospital for an epidural and have a great experience in my case my very best and safest births we no pain meds with my midwifery team at home. If I could have that same level of physical comfort and security, as well as respect for my choices in birthing, at the hospital? I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I can't.

 

Do I try to find some workable pain management when I go in for a surgery? Yes. There isn't a safe analog for me in birth because the way the hospital staff approaches my births makes them less safe for me and baby and with questionable results on much of the pain management in regards to the later stages of labor, especially. It's really kind of apples to oranges.

 

Every woman needs to choose what is best for her. It's really not an easy up or down answer and there are trade offs. Sometimes those trade offs make sense and sometimes they don't. For my first three the hospital birth trade offs were our only legal option. Now we have homebirth options and have two babies with superior outcomes and a healthier mom after the fact, all pain aside. Those are my choices and as much as I wish it weren't so, the one involving more pain has worked out much better for me, my baby, and my lady bits!

 

Your mileage (and Noreen and all the other mamas on here) may vary. Assuming things about the motivations or even path or reasoning for anyone else is foolish - we each have our own bodies and stories that lead us to these points and it's not a matter of one form being more morally pure or courageous. At all.

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