Thursday, June 7, 2012

Child birth fears

Just want to warn you that this isn't a warm fuzzy post...


Last night we had our first child birth class. It included an overview of the third trimester and how your body prepares for labor, as well as the low down on the three stages of labor. I left the class feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I was hoping that going to the class would make me feel less anxious because knowledge is power, but everything that I've gone through over the last two years is haunting me again. I came home from the class and lost it. Like, ugly cried.

I have two specific fears. The first is that my body won't be normal during labor. One of the things the nurse discussed last night was that your body was made for child birth and you don't need to worry about it because it'll happen (or you'll be induced) and your baby will be born and you'll forget all the pain and blah blah blah. But, I am just not sure I believe that. Everyone says your body is made for pregnancy too, and I know that it isn't that simple. There are millions of women that struggle with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, but no one likes to talk about that stuff. What if my body doesn't know how to be in labor? What if something goes wrong? I have a great doctor and I am delivering at my dad's hospital so I know I will get great care, so if something does go wrong they will deal with it....but the crazy, hormonal, irrational part of me can't help but doubt my body after going through two miscarriages.

The second fear is the process of labor itself. I have been in (some degree of) labor before, and it did not end well. My first miscarriage was a missed miscarriage, so I had to choose between a D&C or taking medicine that would induce labor. I opted for the medicine because I didn't want a surgical procedure. I don't think I ever really blogged about that experience because it was so awful, but let me just say....if you are ever in that situation (which I hope you are not), go with the D&C. I took the medicine and some Tylenol PM around 9 o'clock that evening, because I was told that I would have the contractions while I slept, and would pass everything in the morning. That is not what happened.
I went to bed around 11 with some mild cramping. I tried falling asleep, but couldn't because the cramping turned into full on contractions. We tried a heating pad, different positions, massage, etc. but they kept getting stronger and stronger and nothing gave me relief. I was crying and screaming for AJ and my mom to take me to the hospital. They called the on-call OB, but they said it was all normal and that there really was nothing they could do at that point. Then came the chills and vomiting between contractions. Sometime around 3 in the morning, the contractions stopped. I fell asleep for about 30 minutes and then woke up because I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. That is when everything passed. It was so traumatic sitting there seeing all the tissue that included my first baby. I will never forget the devastation I felt in that moment.

My point in telling you this story is that this experience has scarred me. I am terrified of being in that kind of pain, and that pain is still associated with my first loss. It makes me cry just thinking about it. I know this experience will be different, but it is impossible not to have this memory creep up in my head every time I think of labor.

So...that is where my head is at right now. I have 6ish weeks to get my shit together so I am not a basketcase in the delivery room. Lord help me.

12 comments:

  1. I'm thinking about you, Jackie. I wish I had words that could help, but just know you're in many of our thoughts.

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  2. Go with the flow was always my motto for both boys.
    Both times I tried not to get too nervous (as best I could) and stay relaxed. I did get an epidural both times so I didn't feel anything and seriously...between pushes (1st) I was talking to the nurse about our wedding...just tried to carry on a conversation. With the 2nd...it was so much quicker.

    My advice...you'll be fine...just stay relaxed and listen to your heart. Also..if it makes it easier for just you and your husband to be in the room...don't feel bad about kicking everyone else out.

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  3. I haven't had a baby yet, so this is just my [uninformed] two cents- but I think that when you actually go into labor this time you're going to be overcome with excitement. It will not be like last time, at all, because even though the pain will be the same-- the result and your surroundings will be so different. If you get scared just visualize the excitement of you and AJ headed to the hospital, bag in tow, where you will leave with your baby.

    I'm thinking about you!!!!!

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  4. I will be prayinh for you as you approach your delivery that you will have peace. I truly believe that the mind and body work together in a huge way during labor and that fear and unease can have a negative impact. I also do believe that your body is made you give birth but that sometimes, we need a little help ... and that is what modern medicine is for. Regardless of how it goes down, at the end of the day, you'll be holding your most beautiful little girl and it will all be worth it.

    I do have some book suggestions if you are interested? Also, I have a list of scriptures that I meditated on as I approached labor with Evalyn and have been doing again this time. They really granted me peace and I even spoke one of them out loud over and over again during my labor with Evalyn, without even really realizing it.

    I could talk to you about this subject all day -- although for different reasons, I approached my first delivery with some fears and reservations, as well, and these things helped me.

    Email me if you want ... I'm not sure if you're looking for advice or suggestions or just needed to vent. I don't want to impose. Either way, though, I'm praying for you.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. From your past experiences, I think your fears are normal. I teared up just reading your post, and I'd feel exactly the same way. I am praying for you.

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  6. Praying for you sweet friend. I hope you find the comfort you are seeking. I hope that when you do go into labor this time, you remember the end result will be much different than before. Perhaps this will ease you mind during the process. I second Linds on the scriptures though. She gave me them before I had Natalie and they really helped. I intended to use them during labor at the hospital but someone came a little too quickly for that :)

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  7. sending lots of love your way.

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  8. You know I am here for you. And always thinking about you and praying for you. I hope that writing about your loss and what you are feeling now gave you some release and relief. It is very hard to feel those same feelings and not associate them with the pain you went through. And it is hard to trust your body when you feel as though it let you down before. But this time things are different. you are healthy and so is that baby. You are in good hands, and like someone very smart said to me, "That baby has to come out. Never in the history of the world has a baby not come out." that made a lot of sense to me as simple as it sounds. All that you are feeling is very natural and normal. This is a crazy thing that is happening to you. But is natural and beautiful and when it is over, WOW you will be blown away by love and happiness. I know you will get to that point. And the epidural helps. I swear it is the best kept secret in the world. Also, I didn't go to birthing classes, I chose to be blissfully ignorant. I know my personality , I would worry over every word. I let myself be surprised, and it was just fine... YOU will be ok. xoxo I love you xo

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  9. Oh my. You are processing all that stuff....so you will be ready for the next chapter. What a nightmare you have been through...thank goodness it is in you past and not present. Fondly.

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  10. After what you went through, it wouldn't be normal for you not to have these fears. God knows that if I ever by some miracle get pregnant again, I will feel the same way. I really think you're going to be fine though. Just focus on the fact that you will have a sweet little baby to take home with you. xoxo

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  11. After what has happened in the past I think it's normal to be anxious about labor and delivery. I would be sure that AJ knows these fears and can be your strongest advocate when the time comes.

    I'll be thinking about you and praying for things to go just as you hope them to.

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  12. You are going to be ok. You have a whole village of women around the blogosphere praying for you and you have the best family in your corner that will be the to support you through everything! Praying for you :)

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