Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Labour anxiety part 1




I always thought that once I got pregnant I would straight away freak out about the fact that I had to somehow get the baby out. I'm really small so the thought of pushing a watermelon out a pin hole should be scary, if not terrifying. For some reason I've been completely ok with it. Until this past week.

My approach to labour has always been simple - why worry about something you cant avoid? And also I  remind myself that at some point it will be over. Even if I'm in labour for 12hrs or more (god I hope not), there will be an end point. It will stop. The pain will not continue forever and I'm not going to die. Oh and I get my baby at the end of it which is a nice bonus. This attitude has served me well so far. Well like I said until this past week.

Last week we had our labour antenatal class. To be honest I was actually looking forward to it because I've never done this before and I was really keen to learn about all the stages etc. Id deliberately avoided reading the labour part of any baby books until now. Didn't want to tempt fate and have a preemptive meltdown (I will save that for the big day). I also stopped watching birth shows on YouTube once I got pregnant. They were always interesting before, but seeing them from my current perspective might change that. So, in the labour class - we watched a video. Straight away I felt a bit woozy and anxious. Not really because of the contents just because the reality finally hit me 'oh my god I will have to do that soon'. Weird how you can know something for months but the reality still doesn't hit you until much later.

I got through the video part then a bit later my stomach started to really hurt. Like seriously hurt. I had joked on the way to the class about how funny it would be if I went into labour at the labour class (oh the irony). Then when I started feeling pain it kinda wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. I spoke to the midwife in the break about my pain. I didn't actually think I was in labour but I knew it wasn't normal. She touched my belly and said 'your tummy is very tight I think you should head up to the hospital. Call labour and delivery and see what they think'. To have a trained midwife tell you that you need to go to labour and delivery is quite concerning. So that's what we did.

I was kind of panicking on the inside and also trying to tell myself it wasn't really happening. I quite confidently declared to T in the car that I would be going home with my baby still in my belly. Theres no way I was giving birth at 32 and a half weeks. Even if I had to clamp my legs shut to avoid it. When I got checked out by the first midwife she told me I was measuring 37 weeks, the head was engaged and I was having contractions.  At that point I had a holy shit I might actually be in labour moment. Followed by shit I haven't even packed a hospital bag let alone brought it with me. Soon followed by nah shes only a student midwife she must be wrong I'm not actually in labour, am I?. Thankfully I was right. I was not in labour. The senior midwife confirmed I only measured 32 and a half weeks, her head is very low but not engaged and I was having some braxton hicks. The other contractions the machine was picking up were just the baby trying to kick the monitors off my belly. Thankgod for that.


My belly all hooked up being monitored


So after two hours I was sent home. Baby still safely tucked up in my belly like I said she would be. They concluded the pain is my ligaments being under too much strain from the weight of my uterus. A lovely side effect of my psd. Not exactly what I want to deal with on top of an already separating pelvis, but its worth it if I get to feel my baby kicking inside me for a few more weeks.

After all this my labour anxiety has definitely kicked in.


Toni xx

9 comments:

  1. Hi Toni! I agree with you that there is no point worrying about giving birth - it almost never happens the way you expect anyway. Though I can highly recommend an epidural! :-) Sending you all our best wishes during this exciting time. Shelley Marsh AKA Money Mummy.

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    1. Shelley I think im more scared of an epidural than I am of labour! I have a huge needle phobia. Mind you that may all change once im in pain.

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  2. Oh honey I'm so sorry to hear of your anxiety. You're right with your picture at the top though... feeding your fear is the worst you can do. With my first pregnancy I read Hypnobirthing and although I didn't consciously use the techniques in my labour I know that they were helpful. I would lay in bed each night, touching my belly and talking to my daughter. Then I would visualise her perfect birth, the perfect birth for us. I found this so helpful and never allowed myself to go to the what if's or the oh no's... my husband and I had brief talks about our options if those things came up but overall it was ALL positive thoughts/conversations surrounding the labour.
    I've now had two drug free water births (shared birth stories on my blog) and although I know some of labour/birthing is physiological I also believe that ALOT of it is mental... how we approach it and how we allow ourselves to think about it.
    Stick with what you said originally in your post, the essentials, it will be over soon and you won't die. And at the end (no matter the labour/birth) you will have your amazing little one... :-) All the best in your final weeks xx

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    1. Bekka I am a firm believer that my mental state will have a lot to do with it. Ive been thinking the whole time it will be fine, which I think is why I havent freaked out earlier. Even the other night at the hospital I was quite relaxed and handled the pain without anything until the dr gave me panadol when being discharged and that was constant pain. I think my anxiety was more because I felt unprepared.

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  3. Having had 3 completely different birth experiences I don't think there really is much you can prepare for. All I would recommend, is go in with an open mind and keep focused on the end result - a beautiful baby!

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    1. My gp did tell me the next day that all preparation goes out the window once the pain starts. I dont actually care how it pans out as long as she arrives safely.

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  4. Hi Toni!
    I have had 6 as you know! One was 'natural' and after that I went for 5 c-sections. The natural way you really won't remember anyway so don't stress too much! C-sections have your baby out in 10 mins. Everyone will take good care of you either way.
    The fact that mum's keep going back for more proves that it is an experience you will want to keep having -the arrival of your baby.

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    1. I definitely plan on going back for more if we are lucky enough to conceive again. I think its just first time nerves.

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  5. I don"t blame you for having anxiety. It can be a stressful time. But it's good that you're talking about it and letting people know your concerns. All the best for the rest of the journey. Hang in there, not long to go now! x

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