Birth Fears

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This is pregnancy #3 for me. I should be an old pro by now, right? Perhaps that is true in certain regards, but in other ways, I’m not sure any woman will ever feel like a pro when it comes to birth. Even after labor and delivery twice before, and having two pretty ideal experiences, I still have a few fears. What’s the biggest one? That my luck has run out.

I know they say the third time is the charm, but with kids, anything goes. Before even becoming pregnant with this one, I wondered if I would be pressing my luck with another delivery. I’ve experienced two natural births that have been quite low on interventions. And I’m very pleased with that fact. Still I can’t help but wonder how this one will go. Will I be able to once again avoid the interventions I fear? Will I make it through this delivery without a c-section?

Part of my fear comes from #2’s positioning. I had horrendous back labor because she was sunnyside up until minutes before crowning. Thankfully my midwife knew a move that corrected her position. Back labor ended and she was born. I know that once a woman labors with a baby in that position, her likelihood of that happening again increases. If so, I hope that same maneuver convinces this one to flip as well. But who knows; this one might never be in that position. This one might be ready for an even speedier exit than #2…an exit that nearly happened before my midwife made it to the hospital. Which brings me to fear #2.

What if this one comes too quickly? With #1, my labor stalled the minute I walked through the hospital doors. Now I have a better understanding of the progression of labor and the sphincter law (as Ina May Gaskin calls it), which is why I waited to go to the hospital with #2. I know the longer a woman labors in a hospital, the more likely interventions will be. So, when hard labor started, I got out the exercise ball and bounced through them in the comfort of my living room. When the breaks between contractions were becoming non-existent, we left for the hospital. It’s a good thing we didn’t wait any longer; she was born within an hour from the time we entered the hospital.

Having experienced back labor with both kids, my midwife says that if this one is in a good position, I might not have back labor. And then I might not even know I’m in actual labor. While I do enjoy the thought of not experiencing that horrible back pain, I’m not sure how I feel about an unexpected home…or car…birth. Perhaps my husband should start looking into birthing techniques.

So what do I do about these fears? The only thing I know to do. Read and research. Throughout the years I’ve taken in a plethora of birth stories, talked to doulas and midwives, listened to countless podcasts, read a fair amount of books and attended a birthing class. I’ve come up with my personal birth philosophy thanks to the knowledge I’ve collected, so perhaps the most important thing I’ve done was to find a care provider that will respect that. I have a midwife I know and admire. I have confidence in her abilities. But more important than her abilities are my own. I know I’ve done this twice before. I know things can always happen or go wrong. Twists in the journey can pop up unexpectedly, but I believe self-confidence goes a long ways.

So tell us, what birth fears do you (or did you) have?

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4 thoughts on “Birth Fears

  1. Time for a homebirth Meagan! There are two wonderful homebirth midwives in the area if you are interested in exploring that option. I can tell you about my experiences with them. Kate Shantz who I used with Aislinn does prenatal home visits which are wonderful, she is a CNM and can order meds, labs, ultrasounds, etc. Also, Emelia was posterior and was born face up, uggg! I learned (with the help of a midwife) how to tell what position my next two babies were in, plus I did optimal fetal positioning. With Aislinn I did hypnobirthing as well, it didn’t really help during my 3.5 hr crazy fast labor but I loved the relaxing meditations during my pregnancy and it helped me work through my fears of giving birth. Finally, I did some EMDR therapy to overcome my fears as well. Not trying to push home birth – I know it’s not for most women but it can be an amazing experience and can take a lot of the pressure of possible interventions out of the equation and the midwife comes to you when you need her so you don’t need to worry about an unplanned home birth. Are you having a doula?

    1. Thanks, Willow! Home birth has crossed my mind. It wasn’t a consideration with the first two, but I think I’ve learned a lot since then. If I weren’t so happy with my midwife, I might give it more consideration, but at this point I’m still planning on delivering at Memorial. I do have 20+ weeks to go and I suppose my mind could change in that time, but for a variety of reasons, I’m planning on a hospital birth again. As for a doula, it’s something I have contemplated. I’ve met and interviewed a few of our local doulas thanks to some articles I’ve written. I have considered it this time around, but honestly, my husband and I have always had a sync and rhythm that has worked well for us, and when you couple that with my midwife, I’m not sure a doula is necessary. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

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