• my pregnancy story // birthing fears.

    07.13.2012 / personal, pregnancy

    erin loechner pregnancy video

    Deep breaths here, friends. I’ve got just a handful of days before Bee’s anticipated arrival, and it’s starting to get scary real! I’ve already written about how terrified I felt at 38 weeks, but I wanted to share my latest Mom.me episode- the final chapter in my pregnancy story: Birthing Fears. (Click above to watch.)

    Obviously, pain factors pretty high on my fear list, but I also talk about something larger…

    The potential that Bee (or myself) won’t come out of this 100% healthy. It’s sometimes scary giving up control and letting nature run its course, especially when I’ve been nurturing this tiny being for over nine months and feel so much love for her already!

    What did you guys fear most in preparation for your births? And how did you deal with the inevitable anxiety? I’d love your tips and can’t wait to introduce Bee to each of you! Thanks for watching my pregnancy story on Mom.me – we’ll have one heck of a baby book to show this little girl after all 10 episodes!

    Big hugs to you,
    e.

    • E – I’ve not done birthing at home, but I’ve had two natural births (the first one not by choice and the second one by choice) and I am telling you: YOU CAN DO THIS! :) Plus you’ll have people around you to support you. If you’re like most women, you’re probably even over-prepared for the birth part by now. Try to focus on the after-birth part, maybe that will get your mind off the things you are scared about? Your little girl is going to be be in your arms before you know it :) Good luck!

      • Ah, thank you so much, Audrey!!! Great advice! :)

    • I remember being so nervous before my first baby was born! I had tried to prepare in every way, with pre-natal yoga, and birth classes, and I guess it helped…? Kept my mind busy anyway! Wishing you the best – it’s all very exciting, and I’m sure you will do great. Can’t wait to meet her!

    • The best piece of wisdom I heard about dealing with birthing pain is to just keep in mind that it’s pain with a purpose… not like other kinds of pain that signal something is wrong. This is not a pain to be afraid of, just one of the final steps before meeting your new baby!

    • Pain is frightening. I found keeping on top of it (something I did by keeping calm inside and breathing, really truly breathing – with my 2nd I did this very well, my first not so well…) worked wonders. Listening to my body was key. And remembering that despite the pain it was all going to end very, very soon with the birth of this long-awaited baby – that helped too. You’re great for sharing these stories – I’m sure they help lots of others have conversations with themselves and others about their pregnancies and upcoming births. Yay!

      • I’m loving your advice, ladies – thank you so so so much!

    • Rosie

      My stepdaughter gave me some advice as my family left the delivery room before my son was born 10 weeks ago. Breath in the roses, blow out the candles. While this works on a very basic level of reminding you to breath, which you’ll discover is hugely important, but also a reminder of the beautiful things that brought you and your husband together and the many joyful years you will spend celebrating your daughter’s life. You’ll do fine, just remember to breath.

    • Shawna

      I’ve have two natural births with my girls; the pain is real and intense but you can do it! The hardest part for me was not knowing when it will end. Ava was 8 hours and Clara was only 3 hours (lucky I know). The best advice I have to manage the pain is to think that with every contraction you have you are bringing the baby that much closer down the birth canal. Stay hydrated! Make sure Kenneth knows to offer you stuff and suggest changing positions. As silly as this sounds, when you’re in labor you will sometimes not have the mindset or energy to ask for or suggest food/drinks/ice chips and or changing positions. Feel free to call if you want. I love talking about my births and offering help to those that want to hear it. Once again, best of luck! You’ll do great and Kenneth will be a great birthing coach.

      • @Shawna – Thank you so much! We have honey sticks on hand and he promises to offer them at the ready. :) Great advice!

    • Josephine

      Hi Erin
      When I was preparing for the birth of my son just over two years ago, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t get the birth experience I hoped for (I desperately wanted a drug-free water birth but feared it would all go pear-shaped and I’d end up having a caesarian). To over come this fear I read as much as I could about as many different birth experiences as possible so I could be mentally prepared for anything! I guess what I’m trying to say is that giving birth is such a moveable feast, it’s useful to be familiar with its many different permutations!
      Happily, I did get the birth I was hoping for and I wish the same for you! What got me through the pain was ‘letting go’ of the thinking part of my brain and allowing the primitive part take over – I was still aware of the pain but I lost track of time and the body was allowed to do what it needed to do without overanalysing the process!
      May the force be with you!

      • Hi Josephine:

        That is EXCELLENT advice re: primitive pain! And as far as having an open mind, you’re so right – nothing’s guaranteed in birth, so I’ve definitely been reading up on the various routes and paths that could take shape!

    • my daughter’s birth was perfect – 2 hours drug free and the most amazing experience of my life! i completely get the primitive pain thing – i was extremely loud during contractions (too much information?) in a very rhythmic yelling kind of way and it helped so much. at the same time i was very insular – blocking out my partner and midwife. i read a great book while pregnant and from it took these 3 things (which i wrote down in case i needed reminding during labour) – #1: the pain is not bad pain, just a muscle working (that hasn’t been worked like this before!). #2: i’m not doing this alone. my baby is working just as hard as i am. we’re a team. #3: when not having a contraction i would say in my mind “baby down, baby turn, baby out” as a reminder of what needed to happen. these 3 things really helped me, particularly #2 (and fingers crossed they help again in december!!)

      • You guys — your advice is all so helpful!!!! :) Thank you!

    • Erin; Good luck to you in he final stretch, I stumbled upon your blog throughout the duration of my current pregnancy (we must be due within 2ish weeks of each other). Anyway, my coping tips/story is likely a bit different from the others, but wanted to share for your consideration. We tried for a home birth with Calvin in 2010, and laboured beautifully at home for 2.5 days with Husband and Midwives and Doula. It was an absolutely sublime experience. Because the labour was posterior it was long, and after long bouts of not sleeping/eating Cal and I got tired and started to succumb to some complications. In the end we did a hospital transfer (I live in rural Ontario, Canada) which was 20 minutes by car. Our hospital is a level 3 (if there is surgery required, anesthesiologists have 30 minutes to arrive) We ended up having to have an intervention which we felt totally unprepared for (c-section). It took nearly 1 full year to get over the experience and when I look back on it now, days from the arrival of 2, I cannot help but feel the same kind of lingering fear creeping up. The Midwive’s that we are using this time, as we attempt our VBAC, are totally supportive of our concerns and lingering fears to the point that some of the last couple of appointments have felt like therapy. My point is that through this experience, and perhaps through your own birthing experience, we should aim to keep ourselves open, present, and calm. Having a focus/desire for your birth is good, and so too is having the ability to let go of the things that may sway you from that plan. Best luck! Jennifer

      • Amazing advice, Jennifer — I completely agree! It’s one thing to PLAN for a home birth, but we can’t really plan how nature runs its course, yes? I’ll be thinking of you over the next 2 weeks as you welcome your baby, too — good luck and I wish you a healthy baby and healthy you. :)
        e.

    • Hi Erin! I’m so glad you’ve opened up dialog about your fears. I think women are scared to admit, or maybe it just feels too vulnerable, to talk about your baby coming to you anything less than perfect. It IS scary. I recently had twins, and all I could think about while pregnant was keeping them cooking for long enough. Shortly after giving birth to them at 32 weeks, I learned one of my boys, Tuck, was considered special needs. I wish I would have been more prepared mentally for that reality, and it took me a good six months to really talk about it. And I was MAD. At myself (what had I done to cause this?), at God, at the unfairness in it all. I found so much peace and clarity from a friend who also has a child who isn’t 100% healthy. She told me to be patient, that everything I was thinking, feeling was okay. She told me her son with special needs made her feel so proud, and so grateful, because she was entrusted with such a special soul. Now that my twins are over a year, I couldn’t agree more. I feel more blessed with him in my life than ever.
      So, I guess what I would say is it’s so good to have that fear, to think about it, and what ever your experience, it’s OKAY to feel, think what ever you are thinking. Have faith that who ever this sweet baby is, they were given to you for a reason.

      xo, Chelsea

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