Is anyone having 2nd thoughts/fears about delivering naturally? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Is anyone having 2nd thoughts/fears about delivering naturally?

Is anyone having 2nd thoughts/fears about delivering naturally? I got an epi at 7 cm with my son and ended up with a C-section due to his shoulder being stuck and him being sunny side up. I think that might not have happened had I stuck it out the first time.. I still want to try for a V-bac and try for natural again this time (I have been way better at my affirmations and practicing my relaxation techniques this time), but I'm starting to wonder if I am 'strong' enough to do this. Just having sex last night hurt like he!! and it made me wonder how I'm supposed to push a 8+ pound baby out of there if I can't even handle sex! Anyone else with fears about this for any reason?

Re: Is anyone having 2nd thoughts/fears about delivering naturally?

  • I don't have fear of the pain in L&D, just a little anxiety as I don't know what to expect.  I try to think of contractions as something that is natural for the body to do.  And trying to work with the contractions and working on relaxing hopefully will make it not so bad.  GL in L&D.
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  • my fears are more about control issues, like i've prepared for going natural for a while now and "what if he ends up breech the day before i go into labor?" kind of thoughts.
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  • Keena80Keena80 member
    I plan to go completely natural and use massage, breathing, birthing balls, bars and whatever else necessary to get me through labor; however, I won't lie that from time to time I get so nervous about the thought. But, then I remember that epidurals and painkillers are fairly new, and my grandmother and many others before her managed without the advent of modern medicine. GL and stick to your guns!
  • I already went natural the first time, but because I know how it feels, I am scared for it.  But hey, I did it before I can do it again.
  • I honestly thought at this point I'd be freaking out but I really feel like "bring it on."  Of course I may not be saying that in the heat of the moment.  But for the most part I feel prepared and I feel like I've set myself up for success by doing a lot of research and by choosing a birth center over a hospital.  I'm looking forward to the experience and especially the end result.  
  • I'm in a similar sitch but to be honest I have never been afraid that it will be painful. Maybe because I know so many women who went natural? My worries were always about things going wrong w baby.

    This time (VBAC) I really don't know what to expect since nothing worked like it was supposed to last time, but my biggest concern is ending up w another CS. As far as labor, I've dealt w a lot of crap in my lifetime and I have complete faith that I can deal with anything for 1 day, especially if it means that Mama finally gets to have wine again when its done :)  

  • image UkieBabe:

     I have complete faith that I can deal with anything for 1 day, especially if it means that Mama finally gets to have wine again when its done :)  



  • I just want to add that it is perfectly natural to have these fears!  Our bodies were made for this, but you have no idea how long labor will last, or how intense it will get.  I was totally prepared for a 24hr+ labor with #1 after one of the girls in my Bradley class had a 32 hr labor (her cervix stopped opening so the midwife did it manually, it was a home birth) and the idea freaked me out a bit.  The best you can do is prepare, prepare, prepare.  And remember, at the end of it, you will have a beautiful baby.
  • I alternate between the "bring it on" mentality, and the "oh my god, can I actually do this?" mentality.

    I am delivering at a midwife-led unit that is 12 minutes from the large hospital. There is no option of epidural at the midwife-led unit, so that is kind of freaking me out. I have to do it, though. I know it will be worth it in the end. Every time I find myself wavering a bit, I read some Ina May or listen to birthing affirmations from the hypnobirthing CDs. It usually perks me up. 

  • iris427iris427
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Love Its

    I had a hellish labor (Pitocin + sunny side up baby) that ended in an awful cesarean, so I'm more afraid of my natural childbirth plans not working out and ending up with another induction and/or cesarean.  I'm pretty sure I can handle the pain of a normal labor after what I went through last time.  I am less afraid of pain than of having more unnecessary interventions and surgery, more PPD, etc.

    You are stronger than you think.  Labor hurts a lot but you can get through it. 

    Ladies in this thread who are hoping for VBAC, you should join our VBAC support group if you haven't already.  Send me an email at nest.iris427 at gmail if you are interested and I will send you the link.  :) 


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  • Would it help to think about the fact that you got all the way to 7cm with no drugs? That's impressive - my midwife likes to say that you "get credit" for how far you got on your first birth (I labored and pushed for 4+ hours with DS, he was posterior also, and had a c-section). If you did it once, you can definitely do it again, and 7cm isn't very far from transition at all.

    Maybe look into "Birthing From Within" by Pam England - she talks about working through past birth experiences. It sounds like you're already doing some sort of Hypnobirthing, which would be the other thing I was thinking might help...

    For me, I have a lot of trepidation even going to a damn hospital, but home birth options are really limited for VBACs here. If I can labor mostly at home (and not get stuck in the hospital in early labor like last time), I think it'll be a big help for me mentally. That, and not having this baby get pumped full of antibiotics like my DS was after he was born - but I feel like that's something DH can deal with also, you know? Labor and birth is my own thing alone to get can do it!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • No -- I would honestly have more fears about going medicated again, because I know that's what caused all of the issues with my first delivery. I am actually EXCITED to experience everything natural and at home this time :)
  • I'm not having 2nd thoughts, but I am apprehensive. 

    With DD, I was induced with Cytotec.  My MWs call it Cyto-blast because it ramps up your contrax like crazy.  I labored med-free for 5 hours and only dilated 3cms (to 5cm total).  I seriously felt like I was in transition and could not get on top of the pain.  The contrax were like 60s long with only 30s break.  I got the epi.

    I logically *know* that the pain that I endured was due to the Cytotec.  But there is a part of me that is very concerned that the pain I felt was what I will experience this time.  And to go through that without meds....I just don't think I could do it again.

    So I just keep trying to remind myself this time will be different.

  • You can maybe take comfort in the fact that second deliveries are usually much faster. 

    I was in labor 22 hours with my first baby.  But from start to finish it took less than four hours to deliver my second baby.  I went into labor spontaneously and had an unplanned "natural" birth, which was never my intention - I was just too far along to have an epidural.

    My natural birth was an amazing accident but I'm soooo grateful to have experienced it.  I don't know if I could have stuck it out but I had already experienced labor before and I knew that I didn't have much further to go - I was already 6 cm dilated when we arrived at the hospital.  I was scared and hated the pain but I had to suck it up, and knowing that it would be over quickly really helped me cope.



  • I had second thoughts- I think they're natural. When I first got PG, DH was nervous about natural birth and when we were taking hypnobirthing classes, I would leave saying, "I just don't know if I can do that." Meanwhile he was super gung ho.

    I also would have painful sex and painful perineal massage and think "no way I can get a baby out naturally." But I stuck with the hypnobirthing and by the time I went into labor, it happened so fast and progressed so well I wasn't scared at all. I just labored as I had prepared to with hypnobirthing, and when we arrived at the hospital I was 9cm. Well, I wasn't going to give up then. So I just looked at it like there was no other option- I was too far in.

    Just prepare as best you can, and as my doula told me when I was 40+ weeks and nervous, "at some point you have to give it over to God or whatever higher power or force of nature you believe in/the universe/whatever and just tell yourself that you have done your best and whatever will happen will happen." Great advice. 

  • Your fears are totally normal.  When I was at 39 weeks, I was feeling a combination of "lets get this show on the road" and "OMG I cannot believe I want a natural birth!"  I was anxious and fearful.  But I also knew that I had planned and practiced and studied and surrounded myself with supportive people.  A lot of folks will tell you to just, "go with the flow," but the "flow" usually leads straight to interventions and a c-section in this country because we're all told that we can't handle the pain and we can't birth our babies naturally.  You've already done half the work just by empowering yourself with knowledge about how birth actually works and that you CAN do it!  That's half the battle right there.  Be proud of yourself.  

    Even during my birth I was having a couple "OMG" thoughts.  When I arrived at the hospital, I was 7 cm. and the nurse asked if I wanted an epi.  I said, "no."  And then in my head, I thought, "Holy cow, I'm at a 7.  Next time she checks me, I could be at a 9 and it'll be too late for the epi.  OMG am I really doing this?"  But I did do it and it was the most amazing experience of my life. 

    And if I learned anything from my Bradley classes, it is that when you want to give up that is usually when you're close to the end.  Characteristics of transition include wanting to leave whatever location you're at (if you're home, you're begging for the hospital; if you're at a hospital, you're begging for home - because you just feel "done"), puking, contractions that are one on top of the other, etc.  But transition is the SHORTEST part of labor.  Once I was pushing, I felt more empowered and capable because I was getting to squeeze and tighten my muscles (which is what we naturally want to do when we have pain) rather than focusing on relaxing (which doesn't come naturally when we're in pain). 

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  • image desmerelda317:

    And if I learned anything from my Bradley classes, it is that when you want to give up that is usually when you're close to the end.  Characteristics of transition include wanting to leave whatever location you're at (if you're home, you're begging for the hospital; if you're at a hospital, you're begging for home - because you just feel "done"), puking, contractions that are one on top of the other, etc.  But transition is the SHORTEST part of labor.  

    This!  The "I can't do this anymore" is the third emotional signpost, and is usually when people ask for the epi even though they are so close to being done.  Our teacher said to our DHs that if we say, "I can't do this!" to say something like "You are doing it!  You have been all along and you're almost to the end now!"  And then to suggest things from the tricks (different position, going into the shower, etc.) to help as an alternative in case you would like ideas/support instead of the epi at that point.

    I'm excited for giving it a try.  All of our friends who have kids have gone with serious meds and/or c/s and think I'm crazy or trying to prove something for wanting to try it naturally.  (And I've never said a preachy word about it, just that it was what we wanted to do.)  I have no illusions that it won't be hard work, but I can do hard work and am grateful that there are options to accomodate this approach - including moving around to get the baby into better position, vs. being trapped in one position because of numbness/monitoring.

    GL!  I know you can do it if you want to.  :-)

  • Just adding some encouragement here. Having an OP baby last time probably made labor more painful, which led to the epi and possibly c-section. It will probably be much easier this time! Plus, you're likely to have a shorter labor, being a second timer.

    Also, about the painful sex, toward the end of my pregnancy I was quite sore and swollen down there (and sex hurt), but I pushed out my 8lbs., 12 oz. baby with very little pain and no tearing. So don't let that worry you--your body can do it, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Smile

  • Thanks so much for all the encouragement guys! It really helps!
  • I had second thoughts just as DS was crowning and I asked how bad its going to hurt lol my midwife laughed at me next second he was crowning. I yelled out once when his head popped through and again when his shoulder came through.
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