Terrified of Childbirth?

by Julie

Stork with a new baby

If you are pregnant, or planning to be one day, you may find this article reassuring: Terrified of Childbirth? 10 Ways to Cope. The author, Julie Revelant talks about fear, which many pregnant women experience because of the media’s exaggerated portrayal of childbirth. I was warned early on, “Do not google a YouTube video of a woman giving birth, trust me”. Our baby class at the hospital showed a short clip of a woman giving birth and Billy and I immediately covered our eyes. We both agreed, it was best to go in blindly.

You know what my biggest fear was? The IV, and of course the epidural.  Needles have always given me the heebie-jeebies.When the big day arrived, the epidural was a breeze (probably because I built it up so much), but the IV still got to me. I’m such a baby-I couldn’t even look at the needle in my hand, but the huge one in my spine, didn’t even cross my mind.

Another section of the article, talked about an important coping mechanism, which is to “understand the purpose of pain”.

Julie Revelant writes, Unlike any other type of pain, pain during labor and delivery doesn’t need to be fixed and it actually serves a purpose—to bring your baby into the world. If you recognize why it’s there and know ways you can cope with it, you’ll feel more confident in dealing with it.

When my contractions started to really kick in, my first reaction was: I’m sick, I’m hurt, something is wrong with me and I need to be cured! This was the wrong mentality-you can’t fix labor, it’s supposed to feel like someone is stabbing you in the stomach. Just kidding! It’s more like a sledge-hammer. In my experience, the contractions were more painful than the actual labor (Thank you, epidural).

For some reason, Billy and I had the impression that the epidural slows down the labor process, so when they asked me my pain level, I grinned and bared it, “I’m about…a five”. Billy chimed in with, “Yeah, she’s tough”. Dumb move on my part. Next thing I knew, we were headed back home…and one hour later, we were headed right back to the hospital in serious pain. This time I wasn’t messing around, “I’m a ten! Let me in!” It was smooth sailing once I got the epidural, and 9 hours later, little William was born.

How did you cope with your fears of childbirth? Was labor as scary as it was made out to be?