Terrified of Labour

I couldn’t wait to have children – just couldn’t wait.  We had a bit of trouble getting pregnant – seems to happen more and more these days.  Finally we got the two little blue lines – hip hip hooray!!  We’re having a baby.  As soon as those lines appeared, very very slowly, the thought of how this baby was going to come OUT started to creep in.  My Mum assured me that I had nine months to think about it, and by the time I got close I’d be glad he or she was out.  But that wasn’t the case.  The bigger I got (and for a small girl – my belly was ENORMOUS), the more scared I became.

I began asking all my friends with kids what labour was like.  BIG MISTAKE!!  All I got were horror stories that made me panic even more.  It sounded like the absolute worst thing in the world.  I told my husband I wanted a cesarean.  He told me I was being silly as I was in good shape, healthy and had no family history of anything going wrong.  He wasn’t being mean, just couldn’t understand my fear. I knew he was right.  I wanted to recover as quickly as I could – and there was no medical reason to do it.  I asked my Gyno and he totally sided with my husband!  In the end they said to give it my best shot – and if things don’t go to plan – we can look into a Cesarean.

It was then I realised I was more frightened of the birth, than I was looking forward to meeting my new baby.

I confided in a friend who actually had a really positive birthing experience.  She took the time to go through all the stages with me, and explained how her experience went, what happened, how it felt.  She told me how ’empowered’ she felt by giving birth, and that although it really did hurt – it was a pain you could really deal with.  I must have spent hours going over her story – but it did make me feel a bit better, to turn it into an empowerment rather than an ordeal.

Two weeks before my due date, I suddenly needed to paint.  I’d been renovating a house for six months before – and hadn’t done anything because I looked and felt like a whale.  But that day – that wall NEEDED to be painted – NOW.  So all day I was up and down ladders, I no-more-gapped, I sanded, I scraped and I painted.  I didn’t stop for eight hours (every time hubby rang to check I was ‘lying on the couch with my feet up’).  The painting got finished, I had dinner and went to bed.

First thing in the morning I felt period pain type pains.  It came and went all day – I didn’t worry as it didn’t hurt.  Just for ‘shits and giggles’ I decided to time them.  Five minutes, five minutes, five minutes – like clockwork.  I timed them for a few hours – but as it didn’t hurt – I didn’t really worry. I had a sleep and when I woke up it started to hurt – the pain was very much like I had an upset belly – not too bad.  I called hubby and we thought we’d go get things checked.  I was very calm and collected – I was sure I wasn’t yet in labour.  When we got there the Doc did a quick ‘internal’ (didn’t hurt) and told me I was five centimeters and not going home. I was a bit shocked because my water hadn’t broken, there was no show – and it didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as I thought.

We went into the birthing suite and I had some gas (yuk – I just wanted to try it).  The contractions were pretty strong by now.  I heard a big SNAP and my waters broke – it was actually pretty funny – just like in the movies!!!   I must admit the worry was not on my mind at all – I was just trusting that my body knew what to do – and I was hiding out at the back of my brain somewhere whilst it did it’s job.  I jumped in the shower and let the water run over my back during the contractions – it helped sooo much – the relief was simply amazing.  I’d heard about it in birthing classes but thought it was crap – I was wrong.

Soon it was time to push, I didn’t want to lie on a bed, I wanted to stand up (which I was mortified about pre-labour!!) – two pushes – (the crowning really stung!!!) and out she came – a beautiful baby girl!  The midwife caught her in a towel.  I was only in ‘heavy labour’ for two hours.

Looking back – I really don’t know why I was so worried- it was no big deal at all!  I make a point now of telling other Mums that ask positive experiences – because I remember how totally frightened I was.  I do feel really empowered by my experience – and since then I’ve had another baby girl – who was even quicker than that!  I joke with my husband that sometimes I’d prefer to give birth than to renovate!

Thank you to Nadine P for sharing her story.

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