Starting to Spiral

Hi all - i just wanted to ask your thoughts on my (probably highly irrational) fears. I have been committed to doing a non-medicated VBAC ever since discovering I was pregnant. I have been seeing a very supportive midwife practice and they assure me I'm a good candidate from all the information available. I have enlisted the help of a doula who herself had a c-section and VBAC and she's also my yoga teacher. So everything sounds good right? But now that I'm getting closer I'm starting to panic. (Anxiety is a known issue for me). Because my hospital is 20 mins from my house I'm starting to freak out about the whole "labor at home as long as possible" thing. That's what I want to do, but I dont' know if I'm going to be able to remain relaxed through my anxiety. Part of me really just wants to be able to go to a hospital as soon as i feel anything so I'm close in case of emergency. If you do have a rupture is it likely to happen early in labor or right at the end? Or is it just as likely to happen right now at 28 weeks as it is at 40 weeks?

So I know that this line of thinking is not going to be helpful when trying to work my way through labor. I can already feel myself quietly freaking out. So far the best advice I've heard is from a friend who suggested drinking 2 glasses of wine once you are pretty sure you're in active labor just to calm yourself down... pretty much the same thing i do before getting on an airplane :) Does anyone else have any advice on keeping calm during the home labor part?

thanks! and i hope i haven't spread my anxiety to anyone else!

Re: Starting to Spiral

  • I understand your anxiety.  Here's the thing, if there really were a high risk of rupture while you are laboring at home, I am certain they wouldn't ADVISE us to labor at home, right?  I was given the same instructions.  For me, I got to 41 weeks and opted for induction (over RCS).  So, I didn't labor at home for a long time. 

    Have your doula come over when you are in labor to ease your fears and help you through it.  I don't advise drinking two glasses of wine just because you don't want your head fuzzy while you are in labor so you have your wits about you if you feel like something isn't going right.  And if you are really concerned at some point, go to the hospital!  Or opt to labor somewhere closer to the hospital.  If it's a nice day, head to a local park.

    Definitely discuss with your midwife, though.  My midwife did a great job easing all of my fears.  She was so nonchalant and confident in me that it really helped.

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  • My best advise is to use the time you have between now and your due date to focus on bolstering  your confidence.  I would recommend reading as many positive birth stories as you can get your hands on.  Check out the birth without fear blog, read Ina May's guide to childbirth and birthing from within (the last half of the book...unless you are in to birth art) and confront your fears.  Talk through your concerns with your support team and figure out a plan.

    For me, my hospital was a 40 minute drive and I planned to labor at home as long as possible.  My water broke at 3:30 am (which woke me up) and contractions started right away.  By about 5:30 am we headed to the hospital and I was contracting every 2 minutes or so and I arrived already dilated to a 7.  I got in the water and labored until he was born at 8:33 am.  For some reason, the thing that got me through the car ride and most of my labor was to keep telling myself "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay".  Like I literally yelled this over and over through most of my contractions.  It was a positive message that helped me to stay calm and remember that things were going well.

    One piece of advice I heard was that if you are uncomfortable laboring so far away from the hospital but you don't want to be in the hospital you can check yourself into a nearby hotel and labor there until you are ready to go to the hospital.

    Birth is unpredictable.  You cannot prepare yourself for every possible contingency.  What you can do is educate yourself on what your body is going to do, find a way to have faith in your body, surround yourself with a reliable birth team and then hand it over to God or to whatever higher power you may believe in.  Best of luck!

  • Hypnobabies has wonderful relaxation techniques and fear clearing sessions to help you feel relaxed and at ease about giving birth naturally. They also have material specific to VBAC birthing. I would suggest going to their website and checking out the free download to see if is something you are interested in doing. I still use Hypnobabies "relax me" when I feel overwhelmed or stressed, its like "insta-calm" minus the addictive pharmaceutical help haha! It was that way for pain during labor as well. The medical grade hypno-anesthesia (same kind used in non-medicated dental surgery) made it possible for me to have an almost entirely painless birth while still being aware.

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  • If you would feel more comfortable at the hospital, then go to the hospital.  If you have supportive providers and a doula, you should be fine.  I had my whole VBAC labor at the hospital (induction) and it all turned out okay.  

    Does your Doula have a doppler?  If you choose to labor at home, have her come over right away and monitor you.  Hearing the baby's heartbeat will probably calm you down. 

    I don't like the idea of drinking wine.  A lot of people vomit during labor, so I wouldn't want to feel like a drunk.  It would probably ruin wine for me too and that's just unacceptable Stick out tongue.  Plus, it will complicate things if you do decide to get the epi or other pain relief.

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