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Fear of birth

 
The second birth can be scary when you know how traumatic the first one was.
By Shannon Richards

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
My second pregnancy was planned, I always knew that I wanted a second baby; I wanted my little girl to have a sibling. I am thrilled and excited to be carrying my second child and I can’t wait to meet this little being, to experience pregnancy and birth and newborn mothering.

But I’m absolutely terrified. That terror that paralyses you as you lay awake at night, tossing and turning and wondering how you can possibly get out of it. Could I just decide NOT to have the baby? Could it just stay in there, while I live in denial? Or could I just live in hope that, within the next few months, technology will catch up and my baby will just magically appear next to me, with no discomfort or blood? No? I didn’t think so.

The chilling reality of birth

You see, I had a very difficult first birth. Immediately after I was on a post-birth high and I didn’t think it had been that bad, it was just a little bit of pain, I could handle it again no problem. When we discussed having another baby I relished the thought of labour, I was excited at the prospect of proving that I could survive it again and come out the other side stronger than before.

However, now that I am faced with the actual situation, I feel slightly differently. I can’t stop thinking of the helpless feeling of not being able to move, except for the spasms ripping through my body as I was hit by contraction after contraction. The only release being able to scream, which let me tell you, doesn’t help much! Not being able to make myself heard, begging my husband and multiple nurses and midwives to CUT THIS BABY OUT or call my doctor or just do something other than stare at me. This is keeping me up at night and causing my blood pressure to rise from the stress.

Armed with information and experience

I have discussed my fears with the doctor, I have quizzed him extensively on the anaesthetist he uses and what his success rate with epidurals is, I have told him repeatedly how I do not want to be induced and how I want to be heard in labour, listened to and consulted. Still I worry, how can I not? No one can understand unless you have experienced it, so how can I be sure that he is taking me seriously? How can I be sure that I don’t sound like a paranoid hormone filled pregnant lady who is scared of a bit of pain?

My plan is as follows: to arm myself with what I learnt from my first birth. To go into this whole process wiser and more powerful and not allow myself to be bullied by medical professionals. I plan on going in with the attitude that I have seen the worst, so how bad can it be? 

Did your first birth experience put you off doing it again?

Read more on: birth  |  pregnancy  |  fear
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