It has been 4 solid years since we have had a newborn. Most families I know had children relatively close, within 1-3 years of each other, so I was not surprised when we realized that we had become the outlier. Trying for #2 came with a lot of anxiety. We didn’t have the easiest birth of our first son. To say the least, it was a total disaster.
I went into labor with high hopes of a vaginal birth and 15 hours later we were faced with dropping heart rates, internal monitoring and the need for an emergency c-section. After the birth, we were both faced with infection and my son had several instances of silent vomiting (yes, silent vomiting, so you cannot take your eyes off of him for 1 minute). Following the choking on amniotic fluid which made him a bluish grey for the first 24 hours, came days of struggling with nursing, trying to acclimate myself to motherhood, and caring for the baby and myself after surgery. My body was exhausted. My mind was exhausted.
Putting the scary labor story aside, the past 4 years has been the most life changing, wonderful adventure with our son. We have been able to care and grow together as a family, spending precious time with him. He has taught me to learn and grow with him. Wise beyond his years, my son has influenced my own personal goals to be the person I am today.
When we bought our new house in 2014, I thought it would be easy to try for #2. It took us 10 months and 1 chemical miscarriage to conceive. Now, 18 weeks into the pregnancy we are all getting really excited for the new addition to our family. My anxiety for the birth event this time around has not decreased
Some thoughts on overcoming my anxiety (or at least how I will try to get there…)
Breathing and mentally preparing for major surgery. Most yoga prenatal classes are all about how to open the pelvis, etc. for natural childbirth. I will be using this method for exercise and mental preparation. There is a class in my building starting next week that I am going to try.
I am not a devout religious person, but I do believe in the power of prayer (to your favorite idol). It is another way to mentally say what your fears are, acknowledge how you will face them/play out potential scenarios, and ask for good energy to come your way.
I trust my doctor 100%. We luckily signed up with a high risk specialist because he was referred to me by my NP. Thankfully, he was able to make the game day decision to move forward with the most safe way to deliver my son. This time around, we have discussed how my previous situation was basically the worst case scenario, and the risks of VBAC. Together, we decided to take the route of a C-Section.
This is one of the most important factors of easing my fears. I lean on my husband, parents and close friends to provide me with their real opinions and support with my situation. I talk regularly about how I am not very excited about having another C and they listen. It is a way to vent and work through fears.
Leaning back on my days as an athlete, mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation. This takes time and practice, and I hope to get there sooner than later. Visualizing the day, how your body/mind will react, potential factors/risks, and then again visualizing a positive outcome by crossing the finish line.
What other steps would you take/have you taken to overcome a fear of childbirth?