Can T Face The Birth Experience

14 Replies
scotch41 - August 19

Is it just me?? I'm 41 years old and 36 weeks preg. All going well including relationship. My issue is.. I cannot stand the thought of the actual birth experience especially with my partner being present. Not worried about the medical staff although don't feel they need to do so many internal checks etc. I just have an overwhelming sense of helplessness and will embarrassed if my partner is allowed to be there. Maybe I'm just old fashioned and think it's female only territory. I also HATE the thought of everyone including medical staff standing 'down there' staring and saying 'ooo aaaa...I can see the head' etc. I want to be as private as possible and want the whole thing over and done with asap. I feel sick to my stomach thinking of me lying there, legs astride, feeling awful, probably being paralysed from the waist down, being cut and no doubt having forceps (my sisters and Mum all needed this) and simply having no control over who does what or who decides to take a 'ring side' seat! It's driving me insane and I feel totally stressed out over this. I don't worry about the pain as I do this issue. I know I should focus on this so called 'beautiful' event but for me, I would prefer being knocked out cold and being handed the baby later without experiencing anything of the birth. I'm seriously considering an elective C-section since this seems the only way to control the situation. Anyone else feel the same way or am I alone here?


soph - August 20

I have a dd and before the actual birth felt very much the same as you did. When the time came however my friend who was supposed to help me had an emergency of her own and so it just left me and my dh, and at that time i was so focused of getting the baby out i didnt care who was there as long as the pain stopped!! Sorry to be abrupt but when the time comes you;ll know what is right for you talk to your partner and see what he thinks. C sections are very dangerous and the recovery period is about 6-8 weeks . Good luck in what you decide .xx


Cindy - August 20

Hi Scotch. I, too, was SO scared of delivering my babies but it was the pain I was afraid of...fear of the unknown. Oh and afraid I would poop in front of everyone while delivering! I think maybe part of the reason you have these worries is your hormones are still raging. I got weird when I was pregnant - did not want anyone to ask me when I was due because I thought they would want to follow me home to see where I lived and then steal my baby. The reality is that the people helping you deliver are your FRIENDS. I was SO in love with my anesthesiologist when he came to give me my epidural. Part of the beautiful experience is feeling so taken care of by these people who are helping you deliver. Your partner, if they want to be there, has every right to see their child come in to the world and it is something you and he will never forget. I think you will regret if you are "knocked out" or have an elective C-section. During your birth, you'll only be focused on your partner and on helping your baby come into the world. It really is the most beautiful experience in the world and even more wonderful sharing it with someone you love. It is private - with you and your partner. Remember that the others are only there to help! As far as my fear about "pooping" while delivering, I took a pregnancy-safe laxative and it was not a problem :) Best wishes to you. You'll be ok, you really will. Women have been giving birth forEVER and you really will get through it and will be a better woman for it :)


Scotch - August 20

Soph and Cindy...thank you for your kind words. I just hope it is just hormones and I somehow don't think about it all on the day. My dh can't understand why I feel like this and even suggested I'm spoiling the whole special event. This makes me feel even worse and acknowledge (Cindy) that he has a right to experience this but can't get over that it's me who is stressed out, me who has to do the whole thing and already feel out of control. Anyway, what can I do...I'll just need to resign myself to a horrible experience. Thanks again for your replies and sharing your thoughts - just hope you are right.


Gem - August 20

Some advice I can give that might help is do not run to the hospital at the first contraction. Labor can last 4-20hrs and the longer time you can stay home the less checks and hospital you have to deal with. Plus I found it so much more uncomfortable at the hospital. Much easier for me to deal with the pain at home. Start drinking raspberry leaf tea. You'll have to do a search on the internet to see how much you should drink. I started to drink it in my 6th month. It stregthens the uterus and will make it easier for you to push the baby out. I got to the hospital when I was 9cm, had 1 internal. Got an epidural waited 20 min and pushed the baby out in 5 pushes. Not to bad at all.


Scotch - August 20

Gem....brilliant. This is great advice. I do plan to stay home until it's absolutely critical to go to the hospital. Will try the the raspberry tea - never heard of it before, but if a fellow female with a birth experience behind her said 'stand on your head for 1 hr a day and it will help' then I'd do it! Thanks for your help and well done!


Cindy - August 20

Oh my gosh if you stay at home TOO long you won't be able to have an epidural! Unless you are not planning on having one anyway. Everyone is so different. I did not mind getting to the hospital 10 and 8 hours before birth because I got a chance to get to know my nurses and I wanted to let their spoiling begin. heehee. Remember that sometimes we just can't help the way we feel. There is just no way your dear hubby could understand how you feel because he's not been pregnant before....hopefully he'll realize that this may just be a pa__sing phase so he (and you) can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy (and I know it seems the baby will never come, but he/she will). Once again, I hope you can come to an agreement that is good for both of you. I'm sure you will...and one last parting piece of advice - EPIDURAL :) (if you want one, that is - not trying to push it on you). OH HEY I just remembered...I was so "scared" and naive at the age of 20 of giving birth that (1) when my water broke I cried out of embara__sment when I called the nurse in and told her that I had peed the bed during a bad contraction and (2) When my babie's head was crowning, they offered me a mirror if I would like to see and I refused, and I did not peek untill the baby was almost all the way out. At 25 at my second baby's birth, I peeked a little bit. If I am blessed to get pregnant now at 38, I am going to watch the whole thing :) Take care of yourself!


Scotch - August 20

Cindy...thanks for the warning re too late for epidural. I have opted to have one if I need it and as I said earlier, would rather deal with pain than embarra__sment (silly as it sounds!) Re mirrors or graphic details..sorry that's just not for me. Just give me a nice clean baby and tell me when it's over is my feeling right now. My sister did the mirror thing but she's totally different from me. I'm very a tom-boy type and evidently very shy too! I had appendicitis 10 years ago and wouldn't sign a operation consent form because I didn't think it was painful enough. I did sign eventually and I suppose should have taken the doctor's advice. I was just so sure they were all making a big mistake. Anyway, good luck with your 3rd - your just a youngster compared to me :-), so it will surely happen soon. x


Confused - August 20

scotch41, I'm glad you had the guts to write about this. I'm pregnant for the sixth time (with my fifth child...I have four children from my first marriage and had a miscarriage between my first and second child). I'm in my 14th week, and thus far, things seem to be going well. My children range in age from 23 to almost 17. When I had them, it was common NOT to be given pain relief (except a paracervical block, IF you must). I found it didn't always work, either, and if it did, it wasn't for more than about 10-20 minutes, and it could only be given during certain parts of labor. The only time I had anything stronger than that was when I had my first child and he had to be taken by forceps. Otherwise, I did Lamaze breathing. While breathing helps, I remember the pain a little too well and don't want to go through it again...or, at least, not like I had to before. HOWEVER, it's come as a complete surprise to hear a lot of ladies, who have given birth over the past few years, using the word "epidural" rather loosely. It sounds as though the medical community has eased up considerably since I last gave birth. I'm hoping and praying that I'll have one, it won't slow down my labor, I won't have any bad reaction to it (nor the baby), I'll still be able to push the baby out without difficulty, and things will go just the point of being boring. I think it would help my nerves, too, as having to deal with the pain previously didn't exactly leave a great impression. I recently took a tour of the hospital's birthing area and even started to tremble at the thought of going through "that" again! In my heart, I know I shouldn't feel that way, but I think the medical community's tough-as-nails approach earlier on left a bad taste with many a mom who may have had a less stressful birthing experience had the medical community not been so weird about pain meds. There's got to be a reason they're changed their practice. I must've not been the only one that said it's ridiculous to only "breath" through the whole thing. Heck, who "breaths" through a root ca___l? I won't be embarrased to ask for pain meds, and don't think you should, either, scotch41! By the way, for those of you who have had an epidural, how have you found it worked? Does it numb you so much you couldn't stand up, if you had to? Can you monitor dosage? It doesn't make you nauseous or anything, does it? Please excuse my ignorance. Even after four children, there's SO much that's different this time around! Anyway, best of luck to you, scotch41!!


scotch41 - August 20

Dear are the 'pro' here and I am just a beginner. Sounds like you will be fine since you know how strong you are from previous experiences. Re epidurals, I've been told by childbirth cla__s instructor that if you have an epidural don't really expect to walk (despite the claims!) She also agreed that if given at the right time it shouldn't slow things down but if you are pain free then you presumably have more energy and less stress to manage all the pushing stuff when it comes around. I don't think it makes you feel nauseous it just numbs things from the waist down. My other sister advised that she felt more 'with it' and able to cope since her labor had been very long. Once she had the epidural, she said she could have sat eating chocolates in bed between contractions - if she'd been allowed to!! Thanks for your kind words and good luck to you to.


Gem - August 21

You should check with your hospital b/c at mine you could get an epidural at anytime. The baby's head was visable when I got there and I got the epidural and waited 20 min for it to kick in and then began to push. It depends on hospital policy. I live in the US, I know a lot people here are in Canada or the UK and it is probably different there.


mandy - August 22

Scotch,I am interested in what you said,and the comments.You may have read my post,scared of giving birth.I am frightened even to get pregnant,yet know if we are to have a child after 20yrs together,then I must fight over my fear.I would'nt be so worried about people looking at your privates,after all speaking with loads of mothers,they say at that point you could'nt care less if an army of men walked in,seems like rational thinking goes out the window.The thing with an epidural,I know people who have got to the hospital too late to have an epidural,of it has'nt taken properly,that said,the majority it works for them.I'd be worried how you deal with the pain before you get to the 4cms,or you might have to wait ages because the guy who administers it has other women before you,or a c-section.The c-section,yes a major operation,and like with a natural birth can have complications,but its not so much a rare operation these days.To me this appeals,because its straightforward you have to deal with the pain afterwards,for longer,than that of a v____al birth whose pain seems to be more intense,yet shorter time.Maybe you are in greater pain giving birth,but once the baby is there you forget,with a section the baby is there,but so is pain.I have'nt had a baby,but spent yrs reading!


Cindy - August 22

I'm not embara__sed that I had an epidural :) I was dilated to *I think* 6 when I got it with my first child and ...ummm...felt it plenty still enough to push out a 9 lb 2 oz baby. This was 17 years ago so maybe the procedure is different now. I also had to have pitocin (sp?) to help my labor along. I also still went through the transition period and I was shivering and shaking and crying quietly even though I was on the epidural....they just covered me with warm blankets and it helped. I was probably the most silent patient they have had because when I'm in pain I just go into myself and it seemed too much effort to talk or anything. BUT this is the way I remember it-I could have been a screamer and just blocked that out! I had NO nausea with the epidural and had all of my mental capacities (I did not feel drugged at all) and I still felt my feet in the stirrups. They put in the spinal ca___l that blocks out a certain point in your body. I think I even felt my upper legs...memory is fading I guess. Yes, the breathing I used helped before I got my pain relief. I had plenty of time at home and the hospital to use the breathing before I got the epidural...and after I got the epidural, I think they stayed in there a while with me to check and see if they needed to adjust the pain level. They don't want to numb you so that you are unable to push but they want to take off the hard edge of the pain. If anything I am saying is incorrect I apologize. This is just as I remember it.


Laura - August 22

Well, I am ready to give my 2 cents worth. I had my first baby 11 years ago with no drugs at all...AND he was 10 lbs. 22 1/4" long. Not that I was opposed to any form of pain relief, I just kept thinking that women have had babies for 1000's of years with out anything, and I bet I could too. Also, you have to keep in mind that the whold birthing process is a miracle and shouldn't be anything to be embara__sed by. I had a girlfriend that pooped all over the table and the nurses and staff simply cleaned it up and moved on. News are not the only one that has ever had a baby, and likely, the day you deliver, the nurses, staff and doctor will deliver more than one baby. Try to relax and remember that your body is an amazing vessel and is capable of fantastic things. Respect it!!


c - September 13

I just wrote on another list,the pain for me giving birth was beyond your wildest dreams of pain,I felt like two people were pulling my legs apart.I love my daughter,but did'nt know of her before she was born,to those who say its worth it,you forget it afterwards.I think,that yes I love her,but if I had'nt had her I would'nt know her to love,so there's no change.I will not have any more children,I remember being in so much pain and wishing my baby dead,then crying for thinking it,I wanted her to shrivel into soup and for it to be over.Maybe if I know now what I knew when pregnant I would pay to have a c-section and all the complications from that,just horrendous,how could people without pain med's have loads of kids.



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