Scared Out of My MIND

Updated on September 09, 2010
D.M. asks from Fort Greely, AK
77 answers

I am 20wks pregnant with my first child and i'm petrified of having to go through the labor. I'm scared out of my mind. My sister-in-law just had a baby last december and she had to go through a C-section that almost killed her. I'm scared i might end up the same way. To be added onto this i've already had multiple complications with my pregnancy and my husband is in the Army and has spent more time gone then with me since we found out i was pregnant... I need some advice as to how to get through these next 4 months and my labor, and what do i do if he's away when the baby comes?

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So What Happened?

so, i had my little baby boy on Jan 3. a week late but it's ok. I found that the Epidural is the most wonderful thing that God helped man discover... I felt no pain what-so-ever until he crowned, then i thought i was going to die for all of 15 seconds. While i was pushing my mother had the nerve to make me laugh. She looked over as i was pushing and exclaimed "Oh My God, look at all that hair!" I couldnt help but laugh...

All in all, everything went great, THANKS

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L.H.

answers from Spokane on

It sounds like to me that you need to get a support group. Have you ever heard of a club called Mom's Club? Lok it up on line and it is nation wide so you should be able to find one close to you. It is a wonderful club that supports mothers that are stay at home mom's or that just need support. You sound like a strong person and I wish you that most luck.
L. H.

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S.C.

answers from Portland on

D.,

I found what calmed my fears was being very informed. My husband and I read and took classes. When the time came I had a short, complication free labor (despite a very complication filled pregnancy). Remember that knowledge is power. I also would not let people tell me their "horrible" birth stories. I would just ask if it was a positive experience for them. IF it was not, I asked if they could wait to share until after my delivery.

That helped me:-)

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T.R.

answers from Richland on

I did not have a c- section but I do know what it is like to be scared I was alone when I had my first son I had complication in the beginning and was afraid what to expect. I had bleeding and was hositalized repeatedly and many other things went wrong . Then you know what I did, it was pretty crazy I had a beautiful red headed baby boy and then after all that I was out of my mind enough to do it all over again. The fear is so normal I think when I was pregnant the first time I was more afraid of being a parent than any other decision I had ever made but it truly has been fun! My children have made me stronger not only emotional but phisically as well!!! Have fun with what may lye ahead.

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L.P.

answers from Portland on

It is absolutely normal to be worried about what labor will be like. Our society has done an excellent job brainwashing women into thinking that is a medical event, when it is far more sensible to think of it as a natural, physiological event. Your body has been designed to give birth! Much like other things in our modern lives, the sensational is over-emphasised, and the boring is de-emphasised. For every poor outcome, there are hundreds and hundreds of good outcomes, and that's very important to remember.

That being said, it is still very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of stories and information that you hear. I suggest that you look into hiring a doula to attend your birth. If you are unfamiliar with doulas and what they do a good place to start is the Doulas of North America website: http://www.dona.org/ Essentially, a birth doula is a person who is trained to assist you through your labor. She will consult with you before the birth, which would be great for when you want to talk with someone about these concerns and fears, and she will stay with you through the entire birth process.

I found that knowing that I would have my doula with me (even though my husband and I went through birthing classes together and I knew he would be there too) really helped me relax and that helped both during my pregnancy and during my labor too.

No matter what type of labor you are considering, (natural, epidural, etc.) A doula will help. She doesn't care what type of labor you choose to have, she will support you throughout.

There are many good doulas in this area. I will give you a link to the doula I used, Shari Saldana. http://preciousbirthdoula.com/ She is happy to talk to moms-to-be about what having a doula can do for you.

Best of Luck to you!
L.

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W.C.

answers from Seattle on

First, share with your doctor that you are scared about the pregnancy and labor. He/she is the one who can tell you about the"mechanics" of the process.

Second, your sister-in-law was only one woman out of many who deliver babies. Most of them are easy, successful, and even painless(!).

Third, see if you can find a support group for natural birth. (In my time they called it Lamaze.) Your doctor might be able to refer you or it might be available in the Army support system.

And just to give you a positive story of birthing--I had two ten pound babies (separately of course), the first in four hours and the second in two hours without medication. I was 125 pounds before pregnancy and 155 before delivering.

In fact some birth stories can be funny. My daughter's was.

She was born on an eclipse. When my water broke it gushed and gushed. Pretty soon I could hear it dripping on the floor. And then it was pouring on the floor. I could hear the doctor and my husband walking on it. I was so embarrassed because I couldn't stop it and I was still gushing. Then the doctor was splashing on the floor. He asked the nurse to get a mop, "Stat".

So, then he looked at me and said that I'd probably be in labor all night. Hah! I delivered in the next hour!

It did not hurt but it was work. I did not scream, but I was sweating. I needed my husband. I was thankful that I took the Lamaze class and educated myself about the process of pregnancy and birth. I was totally and completely in control.

If you can work for the Arm training guys for deployments, you can take control and educate yourself for process of birth.

It is a fascinating and wonderful journey process you have begun. Enjoy

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K.D.

answers from Eugene on

I had an extremely high risk pregnancy and at 23 weeks almost lost the baby, then again at 27, and 30 and 33 when my doctor finally said that next time, we can go ahead and deliver. She finally came at 35 weeks. Here's the point, after all 21 hours of labor and panic, it was okay. AND TOTALLY NOT THAT BAD. I had literally expected the worst because I had the worst pregnancy that I could have imagined. Stop listening to other people's horror stories, and remember that we are literally made to do this, and we CAN do this! It is not nearly as bad as people make you think, sure it hurts but you already knew that.

Refuse to hear the negative from people because you don't need it right now. In my opinion, I would rather give birth daily, than have to prepare someones husband, son, or father go to war. I promise you that what you are doing now for the Army is 10 times harder than child birth will be. Keep looking up, and I hope for you that your husband comes home soon, and safe.

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D.N.

answers from Portland on

D., I found a lot of support through a pre-natal yoga class. my advice is to find a group of women who are going through the same thing. it feels good to be able to share fears and concerns and see that they are common and find out how people are dealing with them. It would also be great to have the support group after the baby is born in case your husband is not with you. a birthing class is also a good way to meet people.

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B.F.

answers from Portland on

I think you should consider hiring a doula. I had a doula from www.renchildbirth.com at my birth. I think she was more indispensable than my husband.

Also please seriously consider your medical care provider. It sounds like your visits so far have not reduced your fears, so it may be good to try seeing someone else. Perhaps a midwife. I think generally midwifes have more education about how to reduce C-sections than MDs . I had midwives from www.pacificmidwifery.com at my birth. They were very helpful for reducing my fears and the risk of a C-section. And I could still have the option of an epidural and be at a hospital with an Obstitritian, since that is what helped me feel more comfortable.

What environment will help you feel most comfortable about giving birth?

Also, consider reading The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.

So I wish you the best in educating yourself and finding the right people to be with you when you give birth! You can find more strength within yourself to give birth than you ever imagined. Find the people to have with you who help you feel strong and good about facing the challenge. You can do it!

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

First of all, congratulations! Try to take time each day to just enjoy being pregnant. Yes, you have complications and a lot to prepare for, but this part of your life is so short and you really need to slow down and take it all in.

The best thing you can do to ease your fears is to learn everything you can about what's happening to your baby and your body. There are so many helpful books and websites out there. I've had three kids and enjoy receiving my weekly updates about how baby is growing and developing from www.babycenter.com.

As far as labor goes, I would be very scared to go have a baby at a hospital these days. They basically make it seem like at terrible illness you have that they need to protect and cure you of. IT IS NOT!!! You can have a wonderful, safe, most amazing experience with your husband and a caring midwife at a birth center that will be the most powerful and bonding experience for you. Look into it!

Take a childbirth course or two. Borrow the movie "The Business of Being Born" from the library. Take a Bradley Method childbirth class or hypnobirthing. All these things will teach you what's going on and how to handle it safely and calmly.

You can have a wonderful pregnancy and delivery!!

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C.C.

answers from Portland on

Seriously, it's not that bad. :) I've had one baby, and hope to have another someday!

Read some books to empower yourself. I recommend anything by Ina May Gaskin. You're body was made for this, truly it was.

Pick a provider (OB/GYN or Midwife) who listens to you and supports your decisions. Don't pick anyone who seems pushy or tries to scare you into making decisions you aren't ready to make.

Also, (above all else!) hire yourself a doula. A doula is a support person who will be there during the birth to help you. You can go to dona.org or just start googling. A doula is helpful to be there whether or not your husband is present (we can always use an extra pair of helping hands) or whether or not you will be having a natural labor. She will be able to rub your back, give you sips of liquid or feed you snacks, or to suggest other positions that might be more comfortable for you. She can help your husband keep a level head so HE can be more supportive, if he's able to be at the birth. She will also meet with you several times before the birth and will help allay your fears. If you can't afford a doula, find a doula in training! They will often attend your birth for free. Email around to current doulas to ask if they do a sliding scale or if they know anyone who will attend a birth for a reduced fee. Also, go to http://www.operationspecialdelivery.com/.

Good luck! Breathe deep. You can do this. :)

Also: I need to add a PS. STOP watching "A Baby Story" or any similar shows on TLC (unless it is the one about the birth center in Florida). Those shows are filmed and edited to be dramatic, and should only be taken as a "How NOT to Have a Baby Story." Most of the moms have way too many interventions, way to little emotional and physical support, and so things turn out badly way too often just for the Drama.

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M.E.

answers from Spokane on

My best advice is to throw away "What to expect when you're expecting" it will only scare you and borrow a copy of "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Ganskin from the library it is the most amazing and empowering book on childbirth. You need all the positive resources right now. Also start right now thinking about the most positive, supportive, you can do anything family member or friend who you trust and love who can support you through the rest of your pregnancy and who if need be you'd be comfortable supporting you through birthing as well. If possible look into hiring a duala to support both you and hopefully your husband through the birth process.

Remember this is an amazing and positive experience. I know how scary this can be though because I was suppose to be dead long before my 21st birthday, but at 25 I gave birth at Home, medication free to a 4 week late, 9 pound 7 ounce bouncing, smiling baby girl. The next day I was ready and wanted to do it all again because my birthing experience was so positive and wonderful. In the back of my mind all through my pregnancy I wondered if my body would survive, but it turned out my daughter saved my life. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! YOU ARE A STRONG BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!!!

On a side note thank you and your husband both for your service to and with our armed forces!!!!

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F.M.

answers from Portland on

Hi, D.-- I read the other responses and the one thing I would like to add is that I know there are some doulas out there that are specifically trained to work with military wives and I believe some of their services are free to military wives if you husbands are deployed right now. Please check into it. Mamas need all the support you can get.
Bless you.

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J.R.

answers from Eugene on

Hi!
Congratulations on your pregnancy! You must be so excited in spite of it all! : )
Your best bet to get the birth of your dreams is to start doing your research and taking charge of your birth experience. Some great books are Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (this is excellent!!) Also, Pushed is a good one. Hey! Who's Having this Baby Anyway? is also very informative. These books all explain how normal childbirth is and how it has been distorted and complicated by our medical system. Ina May's book has some beautiful birth stories to read over and over again to give you courage and confidence that your body rocks! and is designed to give birth without complication!
I would also urge you to get a doula. They are trained to help women to acheive their best birth and they are PRICELESS!!!
If you would like to chat, ask me questions, or are curious about my birth experiences, please feel free to call me! ###-###-#### or you can message me here as well!
hope this helps!

Love,
J.

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M.C.

answers from San Diego on

I agree with all the suggestions that you got about reading up on labor and childbirth. I also found the Bradley method book to be great. Some of the suggested relaxation exercised weren't my style, but the info in the book was the best that I read.

I too was really scared for my first birth (though more scared of the experience than complications). I elected to go with the epidural after 5-6 hours of induced labor and then had the most AMAZING birth experience. What a miracl to watch your child being born. I went natural with my second and had to focus a lot more on the birthing so didn't get the same thrill of watching the birth, but it was amazing to experience all the sensations of childbirth.

So...yes...it is totally normal to be scared! But educating yourself as much as possible helps A LOT.

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E.T.

answers from Portland on

I truly believe that it is mind over body with something like a pregnancy. I spent all of last summer reading, meditating and thinking about the birth, and how I wanted it to go. I can't say that it went exactly the way I had visualized it, but I can say that it all worked out fine. BUT, I was scared too...as many are. I had a homebirth and I was in labor for 26 hours, and pushing for 8 hours with no drugs whatsoever. My best fried, who is a prenatal nurse and lactation consultant said that if I would have had the baby in the hospital I would have surely had a C-section...because of the time factor. I had a hot tub, which was SUPER helpful for the pain. I think that everyone experiences pain in different ways, but I wanted my husband to pinch me (in between my thumb and pointer finger...which is a pressure point to relieve pain, like headaches) everytime I had a contraction. I would say, stop reading ANYTHING that talks about what kind of complications that you will have...and start surrounding yourself with books or people that will NOT instill fear in you. I read "The Ideal Birth" which is birth stories that are beautiful and wonderful....it helped me not to focus on what could go wrong...which hospitals and many mainstream books tend to do. Also, start spending time learning what helps you to relax, whether it be walking, breathing, or whatever works for you. If you don't have something, find it for yourself. I went to an acqupunturist to find out about the pressure point. So, find out all you can about what could be a tool for you to help you cope with your pain, then you will have a bunch of things which you can choose from when the time comes. You will do great....and remember WOMEN HAVE DONE THIS FOR BILLIONS OF YEARS! Also, remember that you can not die from the PAIN of birth. You can do it (AND DRUG FREE!)! I believe in you! Make a mantra for yourself - "I can do it!" Good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

We hired a doula and had a great experience. I wanted to deliver vaginally without medication and I was able to without much issue even though I had a couple complications and a previous miscarriage. I've put the link for the local doula org. below and really recommend calling them. Not super cheap, but they can definately be support for you and help with your fears. I'd also recommend checking meetup.com and finding a mom's group to join. There are many supportive women in them and they can offer encouragement that your delivery will be tough, but that you'll be okay.

http://www.pals-doulas.org/

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K.P.

answers from Spokane on

You have some very good advice here. I'll add that any kind of birthing class that you can get is a must. It is pretty scary if you don't have someone to explain why your body is doing all these strange things, but so fasinating when you understand. If you are near a military hospital they should have some classes. If not, your Drs. should be able to refer you to one. Get a girlfriend, if you are military you probably can't afford to hire someone, ( a whole other subject) to go with you and be your coach. Make friends with other pregnant women and it wouldn't hurt to talk to a gray hair or two. We have been through ours and our daughters. It is very important that you do something to calm your fears. All this stress is not good for the baby and you should be enjoying every minute of this.
Good luck,
K.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

Alright, you've gotten lots of responses and usually I read through them to make sure I'm not saying the same thing as everyone else, but you've gotten too many.

My advice is to educate yourself. Sign up for a birthing class, if your husband can't go ask a friend or family member to go with you that can go with you when you have the baby if your husband isn't available. All of my children have been high-risk pregnancies, but my doctors were always great about answering all of my questions and when they said they wanted to do a test I didn't really understand then I would go to the internet or books to find out more about the test, or we have a good friend who is a nurse and she would help me with what questions I should ask the doctor.

So, go to the library and check out any of the books about pregnancy that might help you or that seem interesting to you. One of my favorites is "The Girlfriend's Guide to pregnancy...or everything your doctor won't tell you" by Vicki Iovine.

Just relax and try to enjoy your pregnancy because it really is a beautiful time in your life.

Good Luck,
M.

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B.H.

answers from Portland on

It is important and good that you are wanting to deal with these issues now, as your attitude will affect your labor. I'd recommend reading the book "Birthing from Within" as a first step. It deals with both body and mind and has some great recommendations. It may seem a little new-agey, but it is worth a read...

Just remember that every woman's labor experience is different and that yours may be more positive than your sister-in-law's. It's not a party, but it is do-able. You can do this. You will be joining a long line of women who have all shared this experience. And medical support is better today than it has ever been. The other good news is that within about 48 hours it will be over.

I also recommend getting a doula right away. They are women who have given birth at least once who are there just to support you through your labor. Sometimes you can find one through your hospital or I think they have a list somewhere online. A doula will get to know you beforehand and can act as your personal advocate as well as support system. It's good to have even if your husband can be at the birth. A friend recommended this to me early in my pregnancy and my doula helped me through the pregnancy as well as labor. You should not have to do this alone.

Good luck!

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K.G.

answers from Seattle on

You have a lot of reading to do here so short and simple. Identify what you do and don't have control over. Ultimately, what you know (read/learn) and how you think (attitude). The rest you just have to be ready to go with the flow. Support of a true friend will help with that. The best laid plans can be disrupted but still have a plan. I am in the epidural camp but that will be something for you to decide after you educate yourself. I think that will be your key to stress reduction. Deep Breath - K.

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T.D.

answers from Portland on

You have gotten a lot of good advice here.

I just wanted to second the recommendation of getting a doula. They are wonderful support and I think knowing you have someone there for you will help ease your mind about your husband possibly not being at the birth.

I also second the advice to take a good childbirth education class. I recommend Hypnobabies:
www.hypnobabies.com. It is full of empowering information about childbirth, and the fact that your body was designed to give birth! It also teaches self-hypnosis techniques, including hypno-anesthesia which can minimize or even eliminate pain during labor and birth. It also includes Fear-Clearing sessions, which deal with those nagging anxieties and fears, and has lots of positive affirmations about pregnancy and birth. I used hypnosis for the birth of my second and it was a very positive experience.

No matter what, I feel that educating yourself can only help you. And as many others have already said, try to relax and BREATHE. You'll be fine!

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J.A.

answers from Seattle on

Knowledge is power my friend. Learn as much as you can about the birthing experience. Have all your questions answered, so you won't feel like there'll be a bunch of surprises. Most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You aren't the first woman to give birth and you won't be the last. It's what our bodies were made to do and even if you don't know a thing about labor and delivery, your body still knows what to do.

As for being alone, I understand how you feel. My husband is in the military, too and I've given birth to two of our three children by myself. Naturally. No pain meds needed. My first was at the age of 16. Imagine how scared I was! But I did it! I gave myself all the power and believed that I could do it, becauase I'm a strong woman. Keep telling yourself that enough and you'll start to believe it :) Good luck to you and congratulations.

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M.A.

answers from Seattle on

First off you need to stop worrying or you can harm the baby...lol...but it will be ok, all pregnancies and delieveries are different, all c-section are not bad, i had two, one with my 10 yrs and with my 9 month. Being scared is normal but you are doing more harm than good. during most of my second pregnancy my hubby was in Korea, came home for the birth them left, i was home to do it by myself, taking care of a baby and taking care of my 9 yr (at the time) to school. It is going to be rough at that is part of being a mom and a mom/wife of a military. If he is not there you and him will get through, do you have good friends or family that can check in on? Do you attend church? having a hubby that has been in 14 plus yrs this is what comes with the territory, sorry to yes but true. This a time to rely on God, because he will get yo through. But as far the delievery some are bad and some are not. But worrying will not. What do you do during the day to keep your mind off things? if you would like email me if you need that extra encouragement to get through are we can talk. I know where you are coming from.....But it will be ok, you got to believe that. Stay strong.

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K.R.

answers from Portland on

First, find a friend with whom you can discuss your fears--because you need to know which things you fear in order to choose good help for yourself. Example--I feared the arbitrary authority of the hospital, so I needed to find reliable information and then a midwife I could trust and who would listen to me and my unique experience. Many women I know fear most not being taken care of, and choose the hospital because they perceive that the care there is more complete. My disagreement ( ;) ) has NOTHING to do with making their birth feel safer to them!!

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I totally agree with the doula advice. There are doulas in all flavors, from at-home-activists to in-hospital-activists, and some very flexible who can help you sort out your own feelings, since it sounds like you don't have strong opinions about type-of-birth yet ... please make sure you have the support _you_ need, not just the first doula you talk to who seems emotionally supportive. Emotional support is their _job_, so look for qualifications beyond that ;).

For my first birth, my younger sister was my doula, taking care of things (interacting with everyone else) during my labor. I asked her to run interference for me with the nurses and doctors ... then I ended up using a midwife. She came along anyhow, and ended up running interference with our worried families while I had a 38 hour labor (it's doable, albeit exhausting(!)).

Any woman who has had a positive birth experience in the environment you are choosing (hospital, home, clinic, tub in a forest, whatever) and is strong enough to support you (physically, emotionally, spiritually) would probably be a great doula for you ... if it's a friend who will do it for free, that lessens the financial stress that often surrounds and emotionally complicates a birth.

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The type of birthing class you choose to take can make a difference:

If you want to be familiar with the hospital and what to expect and all the best ways to make your hospital birth smooth, take a class at the hospital :).

If you want to know how birth works scientifically, the Bradley Method is great for that, although their emphasis on Husband-Coached might be emotionally difficult in your case (they often change their language to indicate a more general birth-friend, but the older terms pop up a lot)--and I frankly find irritating (now that I have birthed) the entire idea that anyone should be 'coaching' at all. But for my FIRST birth, I was ecstatic to KNOW, and to have my partner KNOW, what was going on! It certainly made the 38 hours less frightening. (Although ... I now agree with the people who irritatingly said at the time that probably the labor was long partly because I was trying to keep too much the control I thought I "should" have, and thinking I should have had more control was partly because I had made sure I 'knew' how it was supposed to go. But of course mostly it was that I didn't know how to trust ;). )

If you want to be 'out' of the experience, the breathing methods might work (although there is some research that suggests that they actually endanger the baby's oxygen supply, so I don't recommend this), or I hear there is at least one very successful hypnosis method now ...

If you want an intuitive experience, where you consciously prepare yourself to go with the flow and live in the moment, there are some very intuitive classes. I took one; it made me crazy ( ;) ) because I liked conctrete information and it was all about how I felt and etc. ... _now_, I can appreciate that, but _then_, not so much ... society teaches so much FEAR around birth, that I just can't imagine that most mothers are ready to just let go and let the experience wash over and through them, you know? ... but if you were ready to just hand over and trust the experience, it might be a really healing type of class. The other woman I went through the class with really came from tightly wound fear to relaxation. And it seemed to really help both dads in the class (probably because men have so few secure and supportive venues in which to discuss fears!).

----

I read a series of articles once on ecstatic birth, written from a variety of spiritual/non-overtly-spiritual perspectives. (I am Roman Catholic, but I read widely.) For me, even knowing that such a thing was possible was just mind-opening ... because it makes so much more _sense_, that birth should be this intensely spiritual amazing experience, where if you feel pain (some very few women _don't_! can you believe??!), the pain is part of such a beautiful process that it becomes part of the beauty ... this really helped me to re-conceptualize birth, to take out the rotting idea-foundation and build on a better one ...

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For maybe not having your husband there, I am so sorry :(.

Find out from him whether he wants to be there. Lots of men don't, and it's not at all about how much he loves you ... a man who loves you and isn't away from home will do it for you even if he doesn't want to, but who needs to have the 'support' of someone who is having to fight themselves to be supportive, in a situation as all-consuming as a birth? If he _wants_ to be there, that's fabulous :), and a man like that will to some extent "be with you" even if he isn't physically there. But it sounds like in either case you need a second attendant, as backup or primary.

Whoever looks like your best choice(s) for attendant(s), doula, husband, sister, friend, or mother, they need to be someone who listens to and knows YOU and will make you feel safe--physically, emotionally, spiritually. They need to attend your class(es) with you, and some of your prenatals, so you don't have to explain anything to them or introduce anyone during labor. This precious event deserves safety and protection, not least because the less you trust the process, the more it won't 'work' (let me tell you ;)!! ). For your sake and the sake of the child, find yourself a situation you can TRUST. Including, that you can trust that if something goes 'wrong,' the best choices will be made for you and your baby.

-----

One other thing, which convicted my heart when my mother confronted me during my first pregancy: babies begin learning about unconditional love from you. The womb is 'it'--if you don't get love there, where in the world is 'safe,' yeah? If you are living in fear (I was), you are holding yourself away from committing to the baby ... I didn't pull off the radical trust I needed to, and now being able to see the reasons why I didn't, doesn't change the fact that my oldest and I have attachment/bonding issues (which are a lot less intense with my second and third and are finally gone with my fourth). I am still forgiving myself for that, even though I did the best that I could see to do ... but I wouldn't have done even that well if my mom hadn't told me that Hard Thing (to hear) at about four months. So I am passing on to you this Hard Thing. However hard the work is to do now, it is much harder if you don't do it now.

On the other hand ... I don't know how you feel about the whole God-thing, and lacking that knowledge I will speak from my faith-tradition and trust you to translate: God can heal all things. So now I am learning a different radical trust, that the growth process my children and I face will bring us to the fullness of joy, even though I missed my chances the first few go-'rounds.

I will pray for you. God bless.

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C.R.

answers from Eugene on

My #1 advice is to hire a D-O-U-L-A. She will not only be great support in the delivery room, but she can also provide great support now! Doula assisted births are proven to result in better birth experiences and outcomes for both parents and baby.

Excessive stress is not really good for the fetus and relieving stress may actually result in a calmer baby. So do yourself and your baby a favor by getting all the support you can now. Mother's happiness is very important!! (Even after the birth.) :-)

You can find a doula in your area at www.DONA.org, and some hospitals even provide them for free!

For more information on doulas, read "The Doula Advantage" or google "doulas".

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K.B.

answers from Portland on

D.:

Please try not to compare yourself to others who have had complications. I realize that it is good to be aware of the complications that can arise, however, you will make yourself sick worrying (not good for the baby) about how your labor will go.

Food for thought: Have a plan on how you want your pregnancy and labor to go, then if things happen, count to 10 or 20, and breath through the change.

I don't know if you are in with a church group, or a mothers group on the Fort (or base for us AF people, but you may join a support group just to talk to other people and calm your nerves.

Birth is a beautiful gift. I'm not saying it won't hurt, but I just had one of my managers have a baby recently and she had kidney stones at the beginning of her pregnancy and had to have them removed. Birth for her was not hard.

My pregnancy and births with both my children were relatively easy, but I had epidurals and great nurses to coax me along.

I don't know if you have any family around, but if you know that your husband won't be there for your birth (talk to his commanding officer and your obgyn and see if you can get him home to see his baby born after you schedule your delivery), then try to get someone from your family that you are close to or a friend that you know will help you during pregnancy.

Keep being pregnant and the labor a positive thing. Keep thinking of that wonderful child you will have at the end, not what you have to go through necessarily. It's worth it in the end.

Also, I don't know if you have the book "What to Expect When Expecting" but the book is very straight forward and realistic about what your options are. Definitely talk with your obgyn and see if there are alternative options to a normal hospital room, as well as when he/she feels that you will need an epidural. If you're not into many drugs to help you along, at least review them to make sure you understand when you need them and whether you need them.

I personally got to a point with both of my labors where my children would not come out if I didn't relax, so they gave me the epidural. The first one was fine and I had him within 10 minutes of the epidural. They second child, I had 3 epidurals before one finally took (the last one), so there can be complications.

Also, are you allowed to go to a civilian hospital? Does your insurance allow you? If so, check out the best methods and don't pick the closest because of convenience. I mean really check out the birthing areas. I just knew I was going to Stormont-Vail in Topeka, KS with my little girl because St. Francis was a junky hospital in Topeka. I have heard that Emmanuel here in Portland is one of the best. Definitely check if they have a NICU section (Neo Natal Care Unit) in case of complications with the baby before and after.

Now with my son, I had no idea where I was going and had to research the whole city of Oklahoma City to find the right hospital. It may also be determined by where your doctor practices. Keep that in mind. I went to SV ijn Topeka and Baptist Integris in OKC to have my kids due to the NICU option.

A little lighter note: You'll be a good mom. I can tell by your questions. I too am a military wife ( no longer active duty-Air Guard now), and there is always the possibility of this situation. Keep friends and family close to you toward the end of your pregnancy especially if you know your husband will be gone. Start packing your "Go to the hospital" bag right now. Get that book I mentioned to help you with that, and don't worry so much about the actual process. Most labors do not go like people plan. You just have to know your options and keep positive people around you to help you at your highest times of need and you'll be fine.

I wish you the best, if you need anything else, or would like to have a sit-down with me and my kids, feel free to contact me at [email protected]____.com or my home # ###-###-####.

Best wishes and keep your head up. You're already a great mom by asking for help.

Kim

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

Don't be scared! Women have been giving birth for ages, without the help we have these days. I wish I'd been more nervous the first time, instead I was too optimistic and ended up disappointed that things didn't go the way I'd planned or expected.

Just read a lot about what to expect during normal delivery, pain options, and cesarean sections. Get informed, have good stable people with you during labor and delivery, and know that what happens, happens!

I've had a vaginal delivery and a c-section and am glad I had both ways, although I preferred the c-section overall. You'll do fine no matter what, and shouldn't be stressed while pregnant. Do your research then relax!

For labor I had my husband, mother in law, sister, and a good friend who's a doula. People who've been there and/or who make you happy are the best! I'd always recommend hiring a doula, she will advocate for you from a neutral position, your friends and family members can be too worried about you to keep a calm demeanor, which you need. My doula saved me from a c-section the first time!

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C.J.

answers from Portland on

First off, ignore anyone (even your sister) who tells you a horror story. I don't know why, but people come out of the wood work to tell you their horrible stories - as if you really want to know. We are a morbid culture who seems to thrive on gory details. But when you’re in it (what ever the topic) you just don’t want, or need, to hear those kinds of details! As soon as they start - tell them you are not the right person to share their story with. Protect yourself. Then talk to your doctor (or midwife) about your fears so they can help you through them. It doesn’t matter if you said it before, or a hundred times before, if you are afraid share it and let them help you. They understand and won’t think badly of you (and if they do, find another doctor as soon as you can)! Your doctor cares and has seen it before – you are not alone.

Then, believe that labor is normal and natural - we've gone through it for thousands of years. Our bodies are meant to go through labor. We survive labor; there are millions and millions of us to prove it. It is extremely rare for complications to happen (but, because of our culture, complicated pregnancies are the ones we hear about, not the easy ones where nothing happened.) We have doctors and nurses who know what they are doing that stand by our side to help us through every problem. Yes it hurts, but it also passes - it does end! It always does. And we are very lucky to live in an era when we have great pain killers! They really help a lot too! Amazingly, many of us mothers get pregnant again in a relatively short time after giving birth.

I know it may not really help now, but you will be stronger and wiser after you have gone through labor. Things that annoy you or even bring you to tears now will seem so insignificant after you go through labor. It helps you grow up.

Then next important thing is to realize that we tend to obsess and worry when we are pregnant. But you have the ability to choose the subject of your worry and obsessions. I suggest you make the conscious choice to find a different topic to worry about. This one was your sister’s; it doesn't have to be yours too. It’s okay to worry - it normal and natural (and hormone driven), but scaring yourself half to death isn't necessary and is something you have control over.

Again, talk to you doctor and listen to what they say. Let the fear wash over you and focus on the good things about the baby. Find a positive reason and outcome that you know will happen from this birth (picture it and really know every detail about it). Then when those dark thoughts come – and they will – you will already have set of thoughts you can distract yourself with.

You are on a new journey and it will be amazing – if you let it.

I’ve had two babies. I understand and have been through this myself. These are just my own thoughts on the subject. I hope you find the answers you need. Take care of yourself.

C.

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D.J.

answers from Seattle on

D.,

Congradulations! First of all take a child birthing class and decide what type of birth you want. If you want more of a natural approach than don't take a class from the hosiptal, in fact, I wouldn't recommend it because they don't seem to teach how to cope and work with your body during labor as well as birthing classes from doulas or such.

Second, you need to look into Reliv as a prenatal. I started on Reliv half-way through my last pregnancy and it made a huge differnce. Leg cramps went away, digestion improved, was able to have a complication free delivery, no tearing, and an extremely healthy baby. I recovered 3x as fast and pretty much had less pain for a less duration of time. I find that other women have similar results -- terrific pregnancy, birth, and recovery. As a Reliv distributor I can help you find out more; feel free to contact me.

D. J.
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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S.S.

answers from Seattle on

Being scared of labour is totally normal. I really feel for you, what with your husband away a lot, though. Do you have any close relatives or friends nearby? I suggest you talk with other women (as you're doing on this site) about labour. What happened to your sister-in-law sounds very rare. Of all the women I know who have recently given birth (upwards of 30), I don't know anyone who had a life-threatening delivery. The odds of that happening are very slim, but I suggest you discuss it with your doctor to find out the statistics. For what it's worth, my labour wasn't nearly as horrible I thought it would be. I was induced so the pains came on a lot quicker and harder than they would, but I opted for the epidural and then it was smooth sailing. I was most afraid of the actual pushing, but there was nothing to it. It seemed like it was all over before I knew it. Just remember that childbirth is natural and that women have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years! Of all the people I know who have recently given birth, the worst-case scenario was a friend who went into labour quite suddenly and was in full-blown labour before she got to the hospital. She ended up riding in the back of the car on all fours as she couldn't even sit and then gave birth 45 minutes after she got to the hospital. She did it all naturally and was totally fine afterward.

I suggest you look into taking a pre-natal course so that you know what to expect, etc., although I found that the videos they show you scared me a bit more than I already was! However, just knowing that so many other people are going to go through it and so many people have been through it was comforting. Also, they really teach you to know what to expect, which is very comforting.

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K.R.

answers from Portland on

Hi D.,

I know exactly how you feel! I'd bet the biggest part of the fear is having to go through the pregnancy, and delivery alone. I'd like to suggest with all my heart, that you get a doula or midwife. In fact, I saw an ad for one on the bottom of this page!

A doula or midwife (some folks are certified as both), will be with you through out the pregnancy, and then right by your side for the entire birth. The are the one thing you can count on--for sure! They don't replace your doctor, but work with them. Your doula will massage your feet, bring music, etc, and really help you relax during birth. She'll know lots of ways to make labor easier, and she never leaves your side!

My husband is wonderful, but he was just as nervous, and in the dark as I was. Our doula allowed him to take breaks, naps, get a bite to eat, and showed him how to be helpful. She explained things to me during labor, more than the nurses had time to.

I didn't have any sisters, mom, aunts, friends or anyone to be with me during labor,and my doula was a life saver! Do a quick Google search for "doula" and see if it doesn't make you feel better right away! If it's not for you, then round up some coaches (1 or 2) to be with you now, they can go to classes with you, and just be there for support. I was a coach for 3 of my friends' births. Even though I don't have any training, the support of having a known hand to hold was priceless!

So, having someone on your side, like a doula, or a team of friend coaches; empowering yourself with info like making a "birth plan" and posting it in the delivery room; imagining and creating the way you want the birth to go and staying positive will all pay off.

And remember, strong women such as yourself have been giving birth for a long time--there are MANY, many more smooth, easy experiences than tough ones. Chances are in your favor that your little angel and you will have a wonderful birth experience!

I wish you all the very best!
Emmy's Mom ;-)

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R.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi D.,
I felt the same way as you, though my situation was different. I cried every time I read a description or saw a video of someone in labor, and to be honest, for all the birth stories I heard, maybe 1 out of 5 went well. What helped me was a prenatal yoga that was focused on preparing for birth (not the watered down hatha classes), an alternative birthing class (not the hospital/clinical version), and having a doula. I think in your case you would really feel better if you have a doula. She'll be there if your husband can't be, as well. You might think about getting one who says she does massage, or other relaxation techniques. Mine didn't, and she ended up not being as helpful as someone else could have been. Don't try to save $100 by going with someone who offers less, you'll be happy you spent the extra money. And I recommend interviewing at least 3. Best wishes, and take care.

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L.Z.

answers from Anchorage on

Sorry, I dont' have time to read all of the responses, but I did see someone recommended a doula. If your husband is going to be deployed, sometimes there are doulas that are free of charge on base to provide support for those whose husbands are deployed. I would also check out this as a resource. I would also highly recommend hypnobabies and using hypnosis for labor. I did and went through a very long labor and no pain, just a lot of intense pressure. It was really great and you can do this largely on your own. Go to hypnobabies.com and look at the home study package. You can also get reduced cost ones if you call and ask for a used one.

It will be alright.

Best wishes and HTH

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A.E.

answers from Anchorage on

I am a mother of eight children and have had 1 emergency c-section. My husband is also in the army and I have had 2 of my children while he was away. You just need a friend or family member to be with you. If your husband is deployed the Rear detachment commander will work with you so that your husband can be on the phone or even web cam when you deliver. They also try and let your husband be one of the first to come home for his r & r after the baby has been born.

I hope that helps.

A.

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A.C.

answers from Eugene on

Ok first of all not everyone has the same labor stories. Just because it happened to your Sister in Law doesnt mean it will happen to you. You have a very real possibility of a natural birth. Now I dont know what that feels like as I had to have an emergency C-Section, but I am not going to lie to you, Labor hurts really bad. There are however, if you choose, pain relievers to help. Now while my C-Section hurt, my galbladder surgery actually hurt worse. If your husband is not able to be there, have someone you trust and want with you just in case. I had my mom and my husband. I would have been lost with out my mom. Your only 20 weeks right now, your only half way there, so right now I would concentrate on your pregnancy and being healthy. There will be birthin classes and they will help you with what ever your going to be going throuh. When you go through these birthing classes, I would have your husband, if possible, and who ever you choose to be there incase he cant be. This way if something comes up and he cant be there the next person in lilne can be and be prepared for what you need.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

First off I agree that is scary to think of your husband not being there for the birth. I'm dealing with the possibility for our second child.
A few suggestions, even if you don't want to go completely natural check out birth classes like bradley method. Knowing information, instead of people's horror stories, helps. YOu'll feel more prepared and comfortable with the process. Have you checked into the birthand parenting classes at Madigan?
Find good friends to keep you company. Another option if you don't want to go through labor alone is a doula. We are considering it. My husband was there for our first and we didn't consider the added cost or person of a doula, but the assurance of someone staying with you in the delivery room may be worth it.

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G.M.

answers from Seattle on

hey D.,
I also am a wife to a soldier and he missed the birth of our first kid cus he was gone to school and almost missed our second cus he was deployed and lol also almost missed our third too cus he was deployed.... Soo the aspect of him being gone i totally understand. What helped me was that I have taken bradley classes.. these are the best birthing classes EVER there prepare you for what is going to be come and how to deal with it all... See if you can find a teacher in the area and get into those classes... I was supposed to not be able to have my kids naturally because when i was 13 i was hit by a car and my pelvic was shattered, so my doctor had told me that mostly likely i would have to have a c-section on the fact that my pelvic wouldn't move.. WEll i had all three of my kids naturally and all vaginally... I owe it all to Bradley classes, i am pretty sure that if i had never taken those classes i would have had to have a c-section... I hope this helps you and helps you relax some... Good LUCK

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T.R.

answers from Portland on

D.,

I'm sorry you are dealing with such fear! I too was terribly scared to go through labor. I had witnessed a bad experience at an early age and it really stuck with me, not to mention the stories others tell and what we've heard through movies, media, etc.

I came to the conculsion that it's just not right. I thought, how could this be such an awful experience when it is the most natural thing a woman can do? Our bodies are built for it! It just didn't make sense, so I began researching and reading and slowly uncovered where these fears came from. I was very glad to learn that many, many women have wonderful, amazing experiences. Yes, labor is extremely hard work, but it doesn't have to be painful any more so than a REALLY hard workout would be. Likewise, we should do what we can to prepare our bodies and minds just as we would train for any other incredible physical event.

I recommend an old book that was the first thing to put my fears at rest. It's called "Childbirth Without Fear" by Grantley Dick Read. It's old school language is a little annoying at times, but the information is SO good and I hope you will read it. The most important thing I got from this book was the fear-tension-pain syndrome. It makes perfect sense. If we are afraid, we get tense (fight or flight), if we are tense our bodies cannot open properly and there is pain. If we can remain relaxed, the pain does not build and our bodies are allowed to do what they are meant to.

They key to reducing fear is knowing what to expect. Each stage of birth has different hormonal affects, etc. If you understand what phase you are in and what is coming, it can help reduce fear.

Read as much positive stuff as you can, and get really familiar with what happens in your body, learn ways to relax and be open to whatever comes. Your body will be in total control, but you've got to let your mind let go and go with the flow. That's why relaxation or meditation or self-hypnosis or something is so important! The mind is not used to not having control and it can be scary to let go like that if you are not used to it.

Visualization is a HUGE tool you can use. Professional athletes use it, successful business people use it and it can be used in birth as well. Imagine the birth you want and visualize it taking place, each step of the way. If you feel scared, don't push it away, but allow yourself to feel it and later delve into why it's there.

There are birthing classes you can take that are not fear based, as many hospital classes are. Hypnobirthing was very helpful for me in preparing myself to relax, and practice is very important. The idea is that you completely relax your body between contractions so tension doesn't build. Your husband or another coach can help you.

Other classes I know others used with great success are the Bradley Method and Birthing From Within. All of these classes have books you can read on your own (well maybe not the Bradley Method).

I know there are plenty of people who had truly painful birth experiences. I believe that most of these are caused by the fear-tension-pain. Be careful of the stories that others share with you. Anything fear based will only add to your own fears. You can always simply say to someone "if this isn't a happy story, I don't want to hear it." That's what I did! You have the right not to listen to things that won't help you in your own birth.

I wish you a wonderful birthing experience, free of fear, filled with the most amazing happiness you could imagine. Motherhood is amazing and once you hold that baby in your arms, everything else will melt away. :)

You mention your husband might be gone when the birth happens. See if you can have another birth partner just as prepared as your husband. AND it's helpful to have yet another person know what you want that can communicate with hospital staff. Someone who doesn't need to be by your side, but can advocate for what you want. Because like I said, your body will be in control and your mind can't be bothered with details and questions, so make sure someone else is there that knows what you want.

You will do great. Just remember your body was made for this...and keep in mind, we're just like other animals and other animals do this every day without a lot of hoopla and drama. There is no reason the human body is any different than other mammals!

I hope this wasn't too long-winded for you. This is a topic very close to my heart since I went through the same thing. I think it's so sad that birth was turned into this horrible ordeal rather than the beautiful, natural experience it is.

Congratulations and again, have a wonderful birth!

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S.M.

answers from Portland on

D., it is very normal to be scared about labor. You have much on your mind with your husband away (God bless you both!), but keep in mind that pregnancy and the birth of a child is the most natural thing in the world. Women do it every day...not to mention, many women in other countries do not have the luxury of prenatal care and they deliver healthy babies on their own!

I would suggest finding a support group or a church close by that can be a place for you to feel safe and talk about how you are feeling. If you live in the Gresham, Boring area, Good Shephard Community Church is amazing. If you would like to join me some Sunday, please email me at [email protected]____.com. I too am pregnant, due in October...not as scared, only b/c this is my second birth :) I was very scared the first time.....

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

your fear is very normal and i understand it well. i had a medicated delivery (epidural) and the birth of my daughter was the most incredible experience of my life. i really enjoyed it. same with my son. just remember to listen to your body when the time comes and make the docs listen to you. i really hope all goes well with you. just relax and look at it as the greatest adventure of your life. (corny i know, but true) -also my husband deployed when i was 12wks and missed everything.

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G.B.

answers from Portland on

Two words...EPIDURAL & relax! :D I have given birth to 2 beautiful children & the epidural was my friend both times. Giving birth is very scary, but not impossible.

Since there is the possibility that your husband might be away when the time comes, prepare yourself for it. It won't make it any easier, but if you've got family & friends...even his family...his mom to surround you & keep you supported...you will come out OK & everything will be fine.

Take lots & lots of pictures for him. Pray. Ask God for His Stregnth to get you through because He will not leave you alone.

If you've had multiple complications during your pregnancy, I'm sure adding the stress of worrying is not good for you or the baby.

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E.D.

answers from Portland on

Hi D.,

I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this without your husband with you. As a proud US Citizen, I want to personally thank you and your husband for your service and personal sacrifices. I'm not sure I have much advice. When it's your first child labor can sound very scary and everyone likes to tell you all the scary things that can happen. My first(and only) pregnancy was with twins and I had all kinds of complications too. I can tell you though even with all the problems my labor and delivery were textbook. I was only in labor for a few hours and I completely trusted my doctor so, when he recommended I have an epidural I did and it made the pain go away and the delivery was great. Even though my girls were premature, 8 years later they are completely healthy. So, if you haven't alreay, talk to your doctor about your fears and if you don't feel comfortable doing that, I would find another doctor. The other question I have is, do you have someone as a backup to be with you during childbirth if your husband can't be there? Having a family member or friend you trust is important. I would be happy to be an ear for you anytime, my email is [email protected]____.com and my cell phone number is ###-###-####. Good luck and God bless.

E. Davis

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

It will all be fine you can make it through! I also had a c section and was up walking around a few hours later so not all of then are like your sister in laws. When I was pg with my 2nd I had a lot of complications and had a 6 4 year old and my husband ws away so you can do it!!! Stay positive!!!! If you need to talk you can email me!! Good Luck!!!

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S.C.

answers from Seattle on

I can relate as I was scared too and lived in a remote town. I was older and hard deliveries run in my family but...everyone is different and I had a pretty easy time of it. I had a few problems along the way but nothing that didn't turn out ok. When it got time for delivery, my labor was short and not too bad at all. I had a second baby 14 months later and it was the same! I think more pregnancies end the way mine did than otherwise so don't worry. Know God will take good care of you! As soon as it's over you are so incredibly happy with that little bundle of joy you don't really think about it. I hope you live on base as there are lots of young moms on base to help when your husband is away! Everyone kind of takes care of each other. Base living is wonderful and a good safe environment to raise your kids! I love it!

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K.L.

answers from Seattle on

Hi. I know that you are scared and that is perfectly normal. I was scared too. It is fear of the unknown. Educate yourself, like the others have said. Also, you are stronger than you know. You don't know what labor will be like and how you will react. You are imagining the worst. Usually reality is not as bad as what you imagine it to be. A wise woman once said that a woman is like a tea bag and she shows her strength when in hot water! You CAN do this. You ARE strong. I am not trying to minimize what you are feeling but you are not the first person to labor and give birth. You CAN do this.
You WILL do it and you will have a beautiful baby to show for it. Good luck and be strong!

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

D.,

try to find someone to talk with daily who can just let you vent.

Also, find a close friend or family member who can come stay with you...even just at the end.

I had a C-section, and it was not bad. It all depends on the situation. Talk with your doctor concerning your fears. Also join lamaze or local group for support.

Even if your husband is away, you will be okay. As a wife and Mom YOU ARE STRONG. You can do this.

Call if you want to talk...write me individual for the number if you want.

T.

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C.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi D.,

I had my first child a few years ago. In the hostpital I had an epidural and there was no pain! They had VCR's in the rooms so we brought movies and watched movies until it was time to push. Then the nurse was with me the whole time. I ended up needing an emergency C-section and they had me in and out and the baby OK and healthy very quickly. Everything worked out just fine. This was at Everett Clinic. It makes me feel better if I know what is happening. If you are like that, take the chidbirth classes that the hostpital offers, get a tour so you know what the rooms look like, and connect with the other mom's in your area. Make sure you have a good friend or relative to come with you whether or not your husband is home. I had a doula supporting me and someone else supporting my husband. You can also have the friends go through childbirth classes with you and your husband. Having a big support group is wonderful. If you don't have relatives in the area look up midwifes or doula's on the web. They are guaranteed support for you in the hostpital and will make sure you are cared for in every situation.

Take Care,
C.

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

D.,
Oh my, I can understand how you are feeling.
Take a deep breath and focus on the baby and your health right now. Child birth will be hard, no doubt, but it is so amazing.
I worried a lot too but people kept telling me to "stop and enjoy my pregnancy" so I will do the same for you. Keep yourself busy and keep your mind on the prize!
Everything will be ok:)

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J.W.

answers from Spokane on

Dear D., First of all, you need to stop dwelling on what your sister-in-law went through. Everyone is different and cases like hers are pretty rare. Secondly, I would recommend finding a Doula. If you don't know what that is, a Doula is someone who gets to know you and aids you in childbirth regardless of where you have your baby. She is trained and knowledgable about childbirth and can be your advocate for you while you are having your baby. I had a Doula for my third pregnancy and wished I had had one for all three. She was a HUGE blessing and support. You should look into childbirth classes in your area and take someone with you. If your mom or a close friend are here, then ask them to be your back-up coach since your husband may or may not be there. I found it was a great way to bond with my mom, and she was there with my husband and our Doula. What a wonderful experience. I'll be praying for you!

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi D.,
Isn't there someone who can come and stay with you during that last bit of pregnancy? Your Mom, sister, aunt, grandma, cousin,niece,friend,? After the delivery to have someone there, is almost essential. I do not know what I would have done, without my mother. With my first child (had 3 now), I felt the same way that you do, but having someone there was really important. And again, afterwards having someone for a least a week, is so helpful, because there are so many more questions and fears. Take a birthing class, and get some books. Others are saying to get a doula.....(never even heard of one)that sounds like maybe a good idea, if you can afford one. I think a friend, relative, etc would be more enjoyable. This is a great time to share this wonderful time with someone special to you. Try to find anyone who can to come and stay with you....even if your husband is there, you will enjoy anothers company during this time. Take Care, and I wish you well.
M. Holm

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K.L.

answers from Spokane on

Don't be scared, women have been having babies since the beginning of time, working in the rice fields even and then putting their baby on their back and going right back to work lol........granted i could never imagine myself doing that! Anyway I am wheelchair bound with Muscular Dystrophy and my husband was in the service when I had my son 20 yrs ago! He was set to deploy right after I had him. I wasn't sure I could take care of him let alone taking care of myself after having him. Considering it was a days chore just to get myself out of bed and I couldn't lift more than 5 lbs. Well I came home and hubby went away for 2 weeks. And I did just fine. Never really having to much trouble getting in and out of a water bed just having gone thru a C-section! and as far as lifting him.....didn't have a problem.....no one would have ever known I couldn't lift more than 5lbs before he was born and I lifted him like he weighed a lb no problem at all..I found the strength. Don't make it harder on your self worrying about wether or not hubby will be there and dont stress him either. You will find the strength on your own. the worst thing you can do is harp that he isnt there. You knew he was in the service when you got pregnant so you just have to deal with it. my sister who's hubby is a navy seal and gone all the time was hardly there and she is "normal" and would complain how hard it was and as far as I was concerned she was barking up the wrong tree. If i can do it anyone can and to be honest military life can be good as long as you dont stress yourself or your hubby about being gone. It really is just as hard on him, worrying about you and not being there and missing out on things the baby will learn to do but what will make him a good father and hubby is doing what he has to do to provide for both of you. Hey I looked at it like this........He went away just as he was getting on my nerves and he came back just as I was missing him. lol I am in a wheelchair and never had family around to help me as my family is all military too for the most part and we all lived all over....you will be fine and you will be so proud of yourself when you realize just how strong you can be! Good luck to both of you.

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

Listen, sweetheart-- you need to chose a friend to be your '''other support''' for this. A girlfriend- older woman relative, someone who HAS had babies and WONT scare the socks off you ( yes, labor really hurts- AND you can tell your doctor '''I want ALL pain relief that is safe for my baby --ALL-- and if your doctor doesn't seem to listen- you have plenty of time to find one that will -- good doctor- good friend- it'll work -- I promise. ) Chose for your friend someone who can drop everything and show up for your labor/delivery-- cause you know that your husband could be in Twisp --( well, somewhere the military sent him) and you need to choose a ''second string'' NOW - so you and that person can start planning--

Blessings -

J.

P.s. -- if you cant think of a single soul for your second string- list me- I'm 63 - 3 adult children-helped with the birth of all 3 of my grandchildren - am impossible to fluster and tell a funny story or keep my mouth shut- as the occasion requires)

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R.A.

answers from Portland on

Everyone has provided great advice. The only thing I would add is that you are stronger than you probably think.

I am a single mom by choice. I just had my second baby. For both deliveries (induced past the due date both times) I drove myself to the hospital and drove myself and the new baby home. The only thing that I really needed help with was someone to watch the older child while I was at the hospital.

Find people to support you and realize that even if your husband, family and friends can't be there YOU ARE CAPABLE.

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J.B.

answers from Seattle on

I second Melissa. It's hard being a military wife, but if you build up your connections in the community and rely on God, you'll get through. Lots of people are only too glad to be of service to a new mother, especially if her husband is gone. And the hospital (I'm assuming a military hospital.) has programs to help you out with planning the birth, preparing your body, and dealing with your emotions. Planning what you want and finding practical solutions for potential problems will also help allay some of your fears. Sometimes strong emotions come from the hormone fluxuations of pregnancy. You might want to talk to your doctor about means of relaxations, just in case.

I can understand some of your fears. I just gave birth to my first. My husband was out to sea when she came. Two weeks before she was due, I learned she was breech and had to have an emergency c-section, even though I'd planned to birth naturally. All my dreams and expectations went out the window, and I had to cope with major surgery for the first time in my life. My parents came out to support me. There were a few hitches in the surgery. It took the doctors a while to get my daughter out. I lost quite a bit of blood. The doctors were getting a little worried, but they were up to the job. I now have a healthy baby girl, I'm back to my previous level of activity(5 mo. later), and everything turned out okay. I'm sure it will for you too.

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A.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi D.! First of all....Relax, and breathe. Try not to think about the labor, but of the little one growing inside you, and maybe you can focus on the pregnancy, instead for now. One day at a time! Not to downplay your fears, because I had them too! But...after two children, I can truly say that those fears subside, if you let them. This is why God gave us 9 months of pregnancy...to prepare us for the birth and parenthood! Yes labor is hard, but it isn't aboslute horror for everyone. It is a different experience for each woman, and you will have your very own. So don't worry about other women's stories...they are not your stories! I was always told labor for me would be like labor was for my mom, and that was not true either. Giving birth to your child will be the greatest gift you will ever recieve...pain and all. Remember to talk to your doctor about birthing options that can ease pain, with drugs, and without drugs. Do you have someone to go through all this with you, if your husband is going to be away? If you need some support, I'm happy to help. Send me an e-mail. Remember that things do not go wrong for every woman in labor. And you WILL get through it! I will pray for you and your anxiety, that you will rest for the next 4 months. Good luck to you!

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K.W.

answers from Portland on

Dearest D.,

Nobody gets through a pregnancy without any fears. Give yourself a break! You are facing several kinds of life changes; your body is doing its own thing; your husband is not always around to stabilize you.

No matter what you think will happen in labor and delivery, good or bad, I can guarantee it will happen differently in reality.

I really, really can relate to your fears, and all I can offer you is perspective. You can always find individuals who can tell you horror stories, or "I just sailed through it" stories. So don't listen.

Do know that millions of women through time have been very fearful through pregnancy, and it generally works out just fine--in short order you'll be moving on to the next 20 years of parenthood and you'll forget all about that short period of pregnancy!

In the meantime do yourself a favor and get yourself a doula. It is absolutely worth it. If you don't have the money, tell all your friends and relatives that this is all you want--no showers, nothing else: just please contribute to my doula fund!

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H.D.

answers from Portland on

I always wanted there to be a pin or tee-shirt that said "Only Happy Birth Stories, Please".

There are a lot of people out there more than happy to share their birth experience. Sadly, some mothers feel that because you are pregnant, you are the ideal person to help them process any unmet expectations they had in regard to birthing.

I too found Birthing From Within helpful. My midwives also led us in a great course that emphasized letting go of expectations and just being an active participant in whatever happened. That helped me immensely.

No one can plan their birth. (Well, unless you are scheduling an elective Cesarean birth.) Each birth is completely individual unto itself.

Most importantly, there is no RIGHT WAY TO BIRTH. We just birth our babies. Our attitude is what carries us through. Our births are ours, no one can take that away from us.

My best wishes. I truly hope you find a space to nurture yourself with positive thoughts and positive people. Choose someone to be with you that accepts you for you and isn't going to criticize your decisions, whatever they are. And do your best to create a support net for after the baby is born, either by hiring a doula or scheduling to have one or two (not a party!) of close, caring women to come in and help you when you get home.

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A.H.

answers from Yakima on

D., my advice to you is to just calm down. Everybody has different experiences when it comes to labor. I, myself, lucked out with my first two and had relatively easy pregnancies and very quick labor and delivery. But I now understand where you are coming from because this 3rd pregnancy has been hard on me. I've had weird test results and difficulty just carrying him. I suggest going to Lamaze classes. Sometimes the more you know, the less frightening things start to look. Also, the breathing techniques they teach you can help not just with labor but to calm yourself as well. Do you have any family or close friends nearby that can go with you to classes when your husband is not available? Having a back-up support person is reassuring as well. I hope that this helps.

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

Hi Dianielle,
Try joining a local prenatal yoga class. The classes will probably help you relax and will help prepare you for the labor and birth. Perhaps even more important, you will be with a group of women who are all experiencing pregnancy. Many have probably been through it before. Having this support and the support of a good teacher can be so helpful and reassuring. I like Poise Yoga Studio on 185th. (near Beaverton). They have a Wed. night prenatal class. Best wishes to you!

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A.H.

answers from Seattle on

I was also scared of labor, but found the closer I got to the due date, the less afraid I felt and the more I just wanted the baby "out". :-)
Also, I ended up with a c-section due to complications with my pregnancy (severe preeclampsia) but had an absolutely wonderful experience - with the surgery, not the preeclampsia, I mean. I'm sorry your sister-in-law had such a rough time with her surgery, but I promise you not all c-sections end up that way! I'm pregnant with our second, and actually happy that I'll be having another c-section.
Good luck!

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

I had 2 c-sections. The first was an emergency because he wasn't coming out and the second was planned. I was fine both times with no complications.

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S.L.

answers from Portland on

Hi darlin',

Forgive me if I give some repetitive advice (I haven't read the other responses), but I hate for anyone to be scared out of their mind about labor and delivery! That's not what you need when you're pregnant and you're husband is often gone. So I'd like to recommend a book for you. It's called Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. It's $10 or $15 in paperback or your local library might have it also. It's not boring. The first third of it is birth stories. The next two-thirds of it are Ina May Gaskin's gleanings about birth from being a midwife since the 1970s. I swear there are things in that book that I have not read in any other pregnancy/childbirth book--and I have read lots! Most of all it's overwhelmingly positive about our ability to give birth. The fact that 1/3 of women who give birth in this country have C-sections says more about the medical maternity system and less about our bodies. Of course it's prudent to pay attention to complications and keep tabs on them, but sometimes we're made to be more scared about certain complications than we need to be. Another good book I read recently is called "Pushed," by Jennifer Block. It's eye-opening, but can make you a little scared of hospitals. I think hospitals are fine as long as you know what to expect and know how to assert your rights--rights to refuse procedures as well as to consent to them.

You're so vulnerable right now, I know, but when you're armed with knowledge I think you'll feel better. The sooner you start reading up the better! Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Seattle on

Hi D.,

I read an amazing book called "Birthing From Within". It really helped me to understand what labor would be like and helped me to work through some of the fears I had when I was worried about labor with my first child. I hope it helps you too.

A.

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S.W.

answers from Seattle on

Very good chance you will be giving a natural birth, even with some complications. If your OB/GYN tells you that you need a C-section, I'm sure the decision has its benefits that way outweighs its risks. It's ok to be scared but try to focus on keeping healthy and think about great thing a beautiful baby brings to your life.

The most important thing is to have a support system. Things may not go exactly how you want it in the birthing room, but if you have someone you trust and love who holds your hands, you get through the tough moments pretty easily. I had a day long labor and ended up with an emergency C-section. Nothing I had planned for but with all the support around me(doctors, nurses, my husband), the whole thing went by really fast and it was ok. Now I think of the experience, the labor pain was blurred by all the wonderful time with the baby.

That said, please arrange someone be there with you during your birth and hospital stay if your husband can't be around. Take a birthing class with that person. You will do fine.

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T.B.

answers from Seattle on

Hi D.,

This may sound a bit Polly Anna, but, my two cents is that you should, first and foremost, find a way to relax.

First, it's good to have the understanding that you're not your sister-in-law (so whatever happened to her is something you can put on a shelf - it's HER experience to own). Worrying about such thing in your case, unless told to do so by your doctor, is, in my view, a negative use of your personal power.

Second, trust that your body is going to take you through this - beginning, middle and end - regardless of how you choose to respond (scared out of your mind or calm and trusting as a floating leaf). Our bodies know what to do in this creation-of-life endeavor, without our dictation. So focus on what you can control - eat well, exercise, sleep well and do positive things to help your body.

Third, when you're stressed, you release "stress toxins" (from my understanding) and this cannot be good for a developing fetus. Instead, focus on activities and thoughts that are fruitful - not worrying about things you cannot hope to direct or change. There are so many things we simply don't control in life. Plain and simple. By my own experience, I can tell you that no amount of worry in the world will prevent the loss of anything.

As for the labor itself - it's a one-way street! It's humorous now but, I remember a point, when in labor with my first, where it hit me that I was terrified to go through it - and I told my husband, straight out, "if this is what having a baby is like, I'll hold this baby in for the REST OF MY LIFE!!!" (and I was of a mind to think that it was entirely possible, believe me!). In the end, the baby came. And the pain has all but been forgotten.

D., life goes on, whether or not you worry and stress - so give yourself permission to "float" and trust that things - GOOD THINGS - will happen for you and your pregnancy. And surround yourself with those who are supportive of this kind of focus / thought (not those supportive of your worrying side). My take is, some people get addicted to negative thoughts / behaviors and it's never helpful - it's not healthy and it's not productive. So, I say, go focus on projects you can do and feel good about, for yourself, your husband, your home, your baby to come. Perhaps it will ease your mind to occupy it otherwise. :-)

I wish you the best, most relaxing and positive experience.

T. B.

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L.S.

answers from Seattle on

I think that you need to educate yourself as much as you can about child birth. You should read books, go to childbirth class and watch videos (I got some at the library). This will show you that in most cases childbirth is a normal, natural proess. I also suggest finding a midwife that is very nurturing to help you through all of this. If you are birthing near Seattle, I would recommend some midwives that I used.

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V.T.

answers from Portland on

How terrible that you have to deal with such a mental trauma thru your sis in law. Sweetness, you have nothing to fear. Childbirth is as natural to a woman as taking a breath. But not all pregnancies are the same. Each one is as unique as each woman. Some are difficult, but for the most part, we women take it in stride, as we've done for thousands of years and will continue to do so for thousands more. I had an extremely complicated 2nd preg. My son was O+ and I'm O-. That was for starters and went on from there. But I and the baby were just fine when it was all over. Concentrate positively. You need to put all these negative thoughts from your mind. I know, easier said than done sometimes. But dwelling on this will create more stress for you and the baby and darlin', keep in mind that miscarriages have happened because of stress. Not trying to scare you more, just giving facts. So what you need to do now, is look at baby and sis in law. It's been 8 or so months now. I'll bet you a dollar that things are fine, she's doing well and the baby is blessed. That should be what you look at now. Put the past behind you where it belongs at this point, and go forwards with a positive attitude that you and baby are fine, will continue to be fine and you will both get through labor and delivery with flying colors. Another healthy baby and momma added to the long and beautiful history pages of life! V.

PS My momma was a wife of a career military man. 3 of her 4 children were welcomed into this world, overseas no less, while daddy was TDY somewhere else. YOU CAN DO IT! A little more faith in yourself and a little less worry. Women have been birthing babies without menfolk around alot longer than we have with them underfoot. TC GB and stay POSITIVE IN THOUGHTS!!! It will be ok, I promise.

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T.C.

answers from Eugene on

Hello -
It sounds like you have gotten some great advice. Easy to say and so hard to do, but try and minimize your stress. Yes, there is the possibility that there could be some complications, but there is also the possibility that absolutely nothing could go wrong. It sounds like you are worried that what happened with your sister in law really scared you and that you have had a lot of changes to your live all at once -- so it is completely understandable to be scared. This is the time to reach out to family friends, neighbors, co-workers and ask for help. There is also a great book that really helped me, it is a little new-agey but it did help me in addressing my fears -- it is called Birthing from Within. One thing that it said that really stuck with me is that women have been having (healthy) babies for thousands of years and it is a very normal and natural process. Also this helped me, but when your are in labor there are hundreds of other women around the world also giving birth at the same time -- so even if you don't feel you have support know that you have all those women doing the same thing at the same time with you. I hope that helps and you can get though it just fine. T.

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B.A.

answers from Seattle on

First of all, congratulations! I also highly recommend reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" because there are wonderful, inspiring birth stories in there to counter the fear and worries. I also really enjoyed "Birthing From Within" for the pain management techniques and reassurance that I could DO IT! I've now had two children, both at home and all natural, and I did it and was just fine :)

You can do it! Best wishes to you!
~B.

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T.N.

answers from Portland on

Hi D.,

1st let me congratulate you n the upcoming birth of your child. Second, may I suggest you take a deep breath:-) Now then, an extreme fear of childbirth is called tokophobia, but as this is your 1st child and you have only experienced a fearful unempowered birth, it is natural to cue in on the negatives. I would of course suggest that knowledge is power! You could read, learn, practice, and above all, I would hire a doula as a good doula can assist you in assuaging those fears, and even using those current fears to your benefit in the end. A doula will also be with you in the event that your husband cannot be there. If your husband is available she will only enhance your husbands role and memory of the birth of your 1st baby. much like your job training people for their deployments, so much can be done in advance of your due date to train you for your personal deployment in to parenthood. You can find doulas in your area at www.DONA.org
You might start with the book "Hey! Who's having this baby anyway?"

Best of luck, and please keep us informed!

T. Nelson CD

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L.R.

answers from Portland on

Watch the movie "The Business of Being Born". It's a documentary about childbirth. It definitely has an anti-hospital, pro-homebirth slant, but the main thing I'd like you to take from it is the wonderful, natural process of birth. I have a child, and don't plan on having more, but after watching this film I was so excited about birth and the whole birth process that I seriously considered having another baby just so I could go through labor and birth again! As a woman, it's the most amazing thing your body will ever do, and it's made to do it!

Please watch this movie...I'd be amazed if it didn't make you feel better about your upcoming labor and birth.

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T.C.

answers from Yakima on

Just Breath, relax & pray. You will be just fine. If you have no family in the Yakima Valley. You can email me at anytime. Sometimes, just being able to talk to someone helps. My cousin is a nurse at Memorial Maternity ward. She loves her job. She is a very calm & relaxed type. I've been told that she has helped plenty of women through their birthing process, by helping them to de-stress. Stress is not good for you or your baby. Have a great day. And stop worrying :)
T. C.

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K.Z.

answers from Portland on

You will do fine! Do not worry! Women have been giving birth for millions of years, LOL! :) The human body is amazing. It can even deliver a baby if the mother is in a coma!

Take a child birthing class at a local hospital. If you are in the Portland area, you might be able to get one taught by Cindy Foster, she is the best! Don't worry too much about your husband being gone when you give birth. Not much you can do about it. Either he is there or he's not, you still have a lot of work to do. My dad was in Vietnam when I was born.

Get a doula. That is someone who is trained to aid women giving birth. She will speak up for you when the doctors are trying to get you to do something you don't want to do. There are SO many places to find one, email me if you need some suggestions. Cindy Foster is one and will know of others.

Enjoy your pregnancy!!! It goes by so fast and before you know it you'll be a mother and then your worries really begin. It is the most wonderful experience in the world, I hope you find peace and are able to enjoy givin birth.

I liked the book, Birthing From Within.

Best of luck!!!

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J.O.

answers from Corvallis on

Hi D.,

I don't have time to read all the posts to see if anyone has suggested it, but I recommend the book Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan. It really helped me feel that my baby and I were a team in the birth process and made it seem less scary. I also spent some time talking to my child while in utero about the birth and that we would work together. I know it sounds kind of stupid, but it worked for me. Also I HIGHLY recommend hiring a Doula which is someone who attends births and coaches you through it. They can suggest different ways to labor to make you feel the most comfortable etc. Also I recommend you have a birth plan written out, that you provide to your OB before you are admitted as well as give a copy to the nurse to put in your chart when you are admitted. A birth plan really lets you relax some because your desires are already laid out for the staff to know about. Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine. Don't compare your labor to anyone else's, they are all different. And remember, women have been giving birth since the beginning of time and it usually goes just fine. =)

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J.B.

answers from Portland on

Try to remember that people have babies everyday. Everyone's bodies, level of fitness and tolerance for pain are all different and no birth stories are the same...that said, during my birthing class, we saw a video or a C section and a video of a vaginal birth. I started to cry on the way home because there was not an option number 3...and I wanted another option. But that is the beauty of the uncomfortable part of pregnancy. By the time your due date arrives, you will be ready to have that baby come out in the fastest means possible. Call it God's way of preparing you to do what you need to do when you need to do it. I was fascinated by the way it all happened so naturally. So don't fret over things you aren't yet ready for and that you can not ultimately control. The best piece of advice I got was "the looser you are, the faster it goes." So even though it is counterintuitive, relax during the contractions and let your body do it's work...it knows what to do. Whether you have a doula, a mid-wife or a doctor, c-section or vaginal, drugs or no drugs, is entirely up to you...that is within your control and should help you feel a little empowered.

M.B.

answers from Seattle on

D.,

Take a deep breath, now let it out. Take a few more deep breaths and let them out too. The first thing you need to do is relax and enjoy the feelings of being pregnant and the anticipation of brining a new life into the world.

Just because your friend had complications during labor/c-section doesn't mean that you will too. Stress management while pregnant is something we **All** could do more of. Spend some time everyday walking in the woods (safely), or listening to birds chirp, or a rushing river/babbling brook, whatever noise you find most relaxing. Try for an hour every day where you turn off the phone, the TV, the computer and just breathe and relax.

Do you have family nearby that can come stay with you while your hubby is away? Or maybe go stay with them? Having a support team nearby is the best thing for you right now.

My son will be 5 in October. We moved into a house on Monday, Tuesday I woke up about 2 am feeling like I was having super bad cramps all around my abdomen and back. I wasn't due for another week so it didn't even dawn on me that I was in labor. Long story short I had dilated to 6cm at home and by the time I got the the doctor's office at 10am this Tuesday they told me I had to be checked into the hospital within the hour. More long story short he was basically an emergency c-section because I failed to progress. Everything went fine, unless you ask the anesthesiologist that was there. I had really bad heartburn and hadn't been able to take the meds I was using at the time. I puked all over his shoes.

My daughter is 17 months old and was a planned c-section when we were given 50/50 odds of being able to deliver her naturally. Good thing she was a C, her head was the same size as her brother's at birth. That one I had a reaction to the spinal they gave me which resulted in a super debilitating headache if I was anything but laying down flat. Other than that everything is fine.

If you're afraid of the pain, there are drugs that make things reeeaaaalll nice and pain free. Talk with your doctor about all your delivery options. This should not be a scary time for you. If you need someone to talk to send me a message and I'll share some personal info with you.

Supportively,
Melissa

(Sorry about the length)

N.S.

answers from Portland on

D.,

Hello. I have one word for you: EPIDERAL. I know a lot of people don't agree with them, but I had them for each of my births (2) and had no complications. It helps with the pain so much. Also I agree with the other responces to get someone you love and trust to be in there with you. Also, educate yourself on what happens durring labor. During my second birth six weeks ago, I started bleeding and I about freaked out, because I didn't know that could happen, nothing was wrong, they did do an ultrasound to make sure everything was o.k.. So just make sure you educate yourself, and try to relax. The birth of your child will be one of the most amazing moments of your life. Good luck.

N.

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