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34 wks & Having a little freak out
Getting a bit nervous about labour/birth


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#1 misse10

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

Hi guys. I've been pretty calm about birth until now but as its getting closer and I start reading more about birth I'm getting more nervous.  I'm a wus with pain so m plan has always been to get an epidural, but I don't know whether that will just make it not horrific, or whether it really will remove the pain.  Or will there still be lots of pain before I go to the hospital and get the Epi?
Any advice from mums much appreciated as this is #1 for me!Thanks

#2 Amber Spyglass

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:29 PM

The best thing you can do is let go of your fears. Fear makes you tense, which makes pain worse. Relax, your body is made for birthing babies, it's what you are meant to do for the species. You might even surprise yourself and have a wonderful experience.

Talk to your midwife or OB at your next hospital visit. I got shown all the options during my ante-natal classes, and learning about how they affected me made me much more confident about facing the pain (and, I know it's irrelevant to you, but my first birth experience was a 6hr, natural labour, drug free, vaginal birth).

The best thing you can do is let go of your fears. Fear makes you tense, which makes pain worse. Relax, your body is made for birthing babies, it's what you are meant to do for the species. You might even surprise yourself and have a wonderful experience.

Talk to your midwife or OB at your next hospital visit. I got shown all the options during my ante-natal classes, and learning about how they affected me made me much more confident about facing the pain (and, I know it's irrelevant to you, but my first birth experience was a 6hr, natural labour, drug free, vaginal birth).

#3 follies

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:31 PM

I am at 37 weeks and my plan is lots of gas (from the sound of it I wouldn't turn it down if I wasn't in labour) but want to avoid the epi as I have a horrible lower back and would rather have short term pain then potential long term problems.

Also epidurals prolong labour on average by 45 minutes, but ask me again after I give birth.

Also I have been convincing myself that my labour will be all rainbows and butterflies as denial is better than panic in my books.

#4 Charli73

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

Just go in with an open mind, I am a wuss when it comes to pain too and I knew I would have the pethidine and i thought it would be great but it only did so much....

I was a bit hesitant to have an epidural but was open to it  but when it got too much i couldnt wait any longer I needed it and it was heaven original.gif I was worried a little as I have a spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebrae) in my lower back but it wasnt a problem at all..

I am 25 weeks with number two and will welcome an epi again...  

I went in with an idea of how I wanted things to go and it didnt but I was calm and had a flexible approach.. whatever it took to make sure bubs was healthy..

best of luck biggrin.gif  It will all be worth it

#5 wickle pickle

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

Don't worry about it - easier said than done, I know but it's not that bad or nobody would ever do it more than once! You can't tell what it'll be like for you but if you can ask your mum what her experience was that might give you some idea of what you might be in for...

Also, the pain builds up slowly over a fair while, so you'll know when you are approaching your limit and can go to the gas or an epidural then. Also, as k how far along you are etc, because if it's a fast labour they might say you've only got another 15 minutes to go or something and then it seems quite bearable :-)

Good luck!

#6 lizb87

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

i can honestly say out of my group of friends 7/8 who had epidurals loved them. the one person who didnt get it working well had it placed too late (she was 10cm once it was in poor thing).

im not saying have one, but all im saying is dont stress about the pain when you have an 'out' in the form of an epidural at almost any stage (just dont leave it too late!). just have the attitude of "well ill see how i go and if i am not enjoying myself ill have an epidural, lie back & enjoy!). the most painful part of my entire birth was the IV cannula in my wrist!!!


#7 Nobody Cool

Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

Unfortunately everyone's experience of labour is different and so are their pain thresholds so it is hard to say.

I guess my advice would be to try not to go into it with too many preconceptions or expectations because the reality will always be very different. You may cope with the pain much better than you think. Just know that you will be in an environment where there are various forms of pain relief available to you if you should require them.

I had an epidural because I had a pretty awful induction with syntocin contractions that went from zero to a thousand straight away, highly intense and in quick succession with very little break in between. There was no gradual build up of labour pain to acclimatise to and no chance for the body to start releasing some of its own natural pain relief hormones.

I am hoping for a spontaneous labour this time and actively want to avoid an epidural. Not because it failed to work as pain relief (it was heaven) but because I want the freedom to actively labour without being restricted to the bed and monitored constantly.

Epidurals are great but they do come with downsides too. It completely removed the pain but it also removed all sense of feeling.

I ended up with a ventouse delivery and serious third degree tearing and wonder if some of that could have been avoided if I was able to move around freely during labour and allow gravity to facilitate the birthing process. It also meant for me that I could not feel any contractions and the urge to push was totally absent so I had to be prompted by the midwife. Who knows?

ETA I also recommend the book Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. It describes a number of simple, common sense techniques you can use to help cope with the pain of childbirth and has helped me feel more confident as I prepare to labour for the second time around.

Edited by Shady Lane, 10 April 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#8 suzy-c

Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

I was going to post longer, but Shady Lane said everything I was going to say! Especially the bit about being active. After getting induction stuff (I don't remember which) and after 5 successive epidurals, I had no feeling that my "pushing" was actually pushing, or me just straining my eyes.

I really want to avoid an epidural this time, but I hope there is a local for the outside bits. original.gif

Fear really does compound things, because generally, your fears are imaginative and limitless, whereas labour itself can be straightforward and positive. Personally, when it was over, I thought "Pain schmain, I have my baby! ....... can I eat and sleep now?"  biggrin.gif

#9 Paddlepop

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:39 AM

I had an induction for my daughter's birth and had an epidural. She was induced because I had pre-eclampsia.

It took hours and quite a high dose of syntocinon (drip) to get into labour properly. I was using the gas with good enough results but then the pain was too much once labour started properly and I requested an epidural. It was a great choice for me. The first epidural didn't work but the second one did. The anaethesist stayed in the room until he was satisfied with my level of pain relief.

Once the epidural was in place the midwife advised me to sleep to get some energy for the pushing that would come later. I slept for 3 hours, and so did my husband. I was monitored throughout, which can be a downside to an epidural. Initially they just used the belly monitor belt thing, then switched to a scalp electrode. This is a wire that is attached to the baby's scalp via your vagina then taped to your leg, and hooked up to a monitor. A catheter is also inserted into the urethra once an epidural is in place because you won't be able to feel when you need to pee.

Ultimately I had a forceps delivery because my blood pressure spiked dangerously and I wasn't allowed to push. Also, my baby had a large head and she took a long time to get into the right position for delivery. The Ob had to used quite a lot of force to deliver my daughter because I couldn't push and she had to pull during contractions. I didn't experience any pain but could sense the force that was being used. I did tear badly but again, I couldn't feel any pain.

My best advice for you would to be informed about the options available to you, have an idea about how you want labour and delivery to go, but be willing to adapt if the need arises based on what your health professionals advise you. And stop reading scary birth stories! You might be fortunate enough to have a birth that goes smoothly and doesn't require much pain relief or other invention.

Best wishes for your birth of your baby.

#10 Carmen02

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:31 AM

All labours are different original.gif Ive had 3 and they where all totally different, best thing is chatting to your midwife the next time you see one and truly going into the labour relaxed and ready for anything is the best way. I have quite a high pain threshold so Ive managed all drug free but dont make your mind up till you are going through it, Ive found a radio helped me heaps in my first labour took my mind off the pain! (had music but the radio was better lol) So try think of some distraction methods, my 2nd and 3rd labour werent long enough for anything lol

#11 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:25 AM

Yeah I agree that every birth experience can be different for different mums and even babies from the same mum. Having said that it is good that we share our experiences cos knowledge is power.

I only had one birth experience and that is my DS. I had epidural cos my OB decided that I needed one since my pain threshold is ridiculous. (So I think I must be very brave to go into 4 rounds of IVF for my current baby  biggrin.gif ) I definitely will take the epidural this time if I opt for natural delivery again, cos honestly (I salute all the women who go through birth wo pain-killers) when my contractions started to get a bit serious, it was unbearable for me! And I was already on epidural at that point, just that it wasnt distributed balancedly, so I was numb on one side but could feel contractions on the other side! I would always, unfortunately, remember that pain even though people say women will forget. It was like a super horrible throbbing tummy ache. It was until the nurse tip my body a bit and the epidural went to the other side that I finally had relief and did not feel a tinge of pain. Hooray for epidural!!!

If you can identify your contractions at the early stage and get to hospital and get the epidural in on time, that will certainly help. You wont feel any pain thereafter if done properly. If you are late and are already shivering in pain, it is hard to get the epidural in as you need to be very still for that spinal injection. I was lucky to get my epidural in early, just not balanced distribution so I felt a bit of the labour pain. And if your labour is going to be long (which you will never be able to predict till it happens), epidural certainly is God-sent.

With my current pregnancy, I think my labour will be very short cos DS took only 6 hours to arrive from mild contraction to delivery. And I do dislike false alarms and rushing to hospital. I may opt to have this baby induced as OB says it is highly likely to work for 2nd pregnancies. With induction, everything is scheduled, at least i know exactly when baby is coming and get my epidural in etc etc...Talk to your OB regarding the various options. He is the best person to help you decide. original.gif

Having shared this, I know there are many women who are so amazing to go through labour pains. I wish I can be like that but each of us are different.

#12 Nut

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

Personally I think the best approach is to just go in and take it as it comes. Rather than worrying about the epidural and whether or not it will work/how it will work, perhaps go in thinking "I will give this a go and if it gets too much, then I will look at my options".

Many women are really surprised at just how much they cope with during labour. It's not like the normal kind of pain you have and you are working toward something wonderful.

Birth is different for everyone and for every pregnancy so no matter what plan you go in with, it can always be totally different to anything you expected.

Talk to your care provider about your options. Usually the recommendation is to stay home as long as possible, only going in when the pain gets to the point that you can't talk through it. You can discuss it with them and perhaps decide on a different time to go in. Or at the time you may find you can cope with it better than you thought and hang out for longer.

Ultimately though you may be stressing yourself our more by worrying about the pain control at this point in time.

#13 mayahlb

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

Nut has given some very good advice. Labor is different for everyone and pretty much for every child. I had epis for both my children but for different reasons. DS1 I had been going for hours and hadn't slept in 3 days because of pre-labor and I was handling it until they broke my waters to "speed" things up and the next contraction went from being an 8 and bearable to what felt like 1000. DS2 well he was posterior and I wasn't handling the pain and again they wanted to break my waters but I wouldn't allow it until I had some pain relief.

I will say though that both times the EPI has made my contractions start to stall and I have needed the drip to get them going again. Also ask your caregiver what epi options they have. Our hospital has a self administering one where you can have it as light or heavy as you wish. I kept mine light with DS2 because I wanted to be able to know when I would need to push (not that I had any issues with that with DS2 despite being completely numb. But pushing for me has been the easiest part of both labors, just getting that far is hard as it takes my body 20+ hours to dilate to 10)

#14 HANI

Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:55 PM

I have a low pain threshold too. I cry right through getting eyebrows waxed so having to go through labour completely freaked me out. Of course it helped knowing that his baby had to come out somehow and by the time I hit 42 weeks I was desperate to get him out.

I hired a TENS unit from the hospital to use at home so when my contractions started I had both painkillers and my TENS unit. Unfortunately due to my son being large and stuck in my pelvis my contractions kept stopping and starting for 4 days. When I was induced I used a mixture of gas and my TENS unit. Within 4 hours of being induced I needed my epidural and oh was that the best. Even internal exams didn't bother me anymore. My epidural and I were the best of friends hheart.gif

I know some of the ladies who have commented we're concerned about pushing during labour after an epidural. In my case I had been told right after I had been induced that I was very likely going to have a CS. However having that epidural made me a lot less nervous  and stressed about it all. I would suggest you put together a birth plan so they know what your choices are in regards to pain relief.

#15 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

Yes  I agree with Hani. I personally wont wait and see or take it as it comes cos I know myself the best. I want to add that having the epidural did not affect me pushing properly. I just listen carefully to my mid-wife's instructions and pushed though I couldnt feel a thing. My DS came out in just a few pushes. I was able to concentrate on pushing rather than enduring/crying in  pain and misery. Having said that everyone's labour experience is still different depending on so many factors.




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