First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

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Alltheletters
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First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Alltheletters » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:32 pm

Hi all,

I'm sure this is nothing new. I'm pregnant with my first baby, still in the first trimester. My husband and I have been trying for a while so it should be good news! I however, spend most of my time whirling from absolute terror to a low level anxiety.

I have come to the conclusion there are alot of things which have contributed to this (working on those), but the biggest one is the end game, the birth. My mother spent a good deal of time telling me that I almost killed her during birth, and I ended up being very premature at 24 weeks delivered by emergency c section. I am frightened of the same thing happening to me.

I see alot posts regarding elective c sections and I have known forever that I want to give birth this way. I have chosen to go with Kingston hospital as it is close by, and I would be so very grateful if anyone who has had the experience of an elective c section at this hospital, to share with me what the 'hoops' are and how they were treated by the staff when they asked for one.

I am very aware of the risks associated with a c section, that it is not a walk in the park, and the recovery can be longer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Vista321
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Vista321 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:48 pm

Hi Alltheletters

Firstly, I think what you're feeling is completely natural and normal. You need to talk to your midwife about how you're feeling and any background issues which might be contributing to this.
Bottom line is that on the NHS, you aren't really able to request a C section, or if you do, they are not obliged to offer you one.  The staff will balance out all of the clinical issues and risks as your pregnancy progresses - for both you and for the baby. If, for example your baby is in a breach position or is lying transverse just before your due date, then a C section will likely be offered, but at this stage, you just don't know how things will go.
Try and trust your midwife to support you and confide in him/her how you are feeling.
Best of luck
 
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HR2611
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby HR2611 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:42 pm

Congratulations! Pregnancy is a real rollercoaster of emotions! I know it’s not quite what you were asking, but if it’s not something you already know about, you might like to look at hypnobirthing to help with the general anxiety around pregnancy and birth. I found it really helped with mine. I know it’s probably more aimed at natural birth, but a friend of mine who had two c-sections still found it really useful generally during the pregnancy and keeping calm in the run up to the c-section which as you say is no walk in the park either. I saw Gemma Morriss at Happy Birthday Baby (it won’t let me post the link for some reason) and thought she was fab. Good luck x
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firsttimerSW11
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:59 pm

Read the NICE guidelines. You absolutely can have an elective c section on the NHS. Explain you have tokophobia (fear of childbirth), say the same to the peri-natal team. It’ll take a while, they’ll try to talk you round, stand your ground. All elective c sections are different obviously, but mine was a delightful experience. I’d never do it another way. They’re also statistically the safest way to give birth. Good luck.
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ccuser1829
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby ccuser1829 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:13 am

Hi there,
I had my second baby at Kingston as an elective section after a traumatic first ‘natural’ birth at St George’s.
The team there were all very supportive and whereas the circumstances were different to yours, everyone was supportive with my decision. They presented the facts to me but at the end of the day it was my decision and I didn’t have to push hard to get what I wanted. I remember reading some maternity stats and Kingston hospital has a higher than average planned section rate so you are probably in the right place to get what you would like.
It was the best decision I ever made having an elective section and while recovery was painful it was 10x better for me than first time round and allowed me to bond with my baby from the very beginning.
Best of luck!
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Balancing
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Balancing » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:00 am

I’m sorry your mum has led you to be so frightened of labour - because her experience is not yours. Echo the suggestions of hypno to help you manage the fear and enjoy the pregnancy. I hope Kingston supports you well.

I just need to respond to the person who said upthread that caesareans are statistically safer. That just isn’t proven (and can it be?) given that independent trials can’t be done. The circumstances depend. There are also increased risks with caesareans including to future fertility and breastfeeding success and to mother’s health. We don’t know yet the long term impact on microbiome of the baby.

I’ve had both caesarean and natural births and do not think either drum should be beaten too loudly.
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Nara
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Nara » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:02 am

Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I was also worried about birth at the beginning of my first pregnancy knowing my mother did not have an easy delivery. Remember that every pregnancy and birth is different. I don’t ofter (ever) hear that someone’s birth experience resembles that of their mother’s. I wanted to have a C section from well before I got pregnant because I was dreading the thought of vaginal delivery. Then I heard my friend’s C section story in detail and although it was not unpleasant for hear, I really didn’t like the idea anymore so leaned towards water birth - and I had a beautiful birth experience. I realised that what I was dreading most was the lack of control over what could happen and the uncertainty. Once I accepted that it’s out of my control and I have to rely in the professionals, I was fine.
I know this doesn’t address your question but I hope it helps.
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Samalawl243
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Samalawl243 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:05 am

Congratulations on your pregnancy, a whirlwind of emotions for you! Please message me if you’d like to meet for coffee and a socially distanced walk and we could talk. I’ve had 3 children and all diff experiences and would gladly walk and talk with you about your worries xx
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99pctpractice
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby 99pctpractice » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:26 am

Congratulations on your pregnancy!! I had an elective c-section for similar reasons (fear, rather than medical necessity).  I had it an UCLH, rather than Kingston, but I told them at a very early stage that it was something I wanted to consider, and I was booked into a specific midwife clinic to evaluate my situation, I think at around the 26 week stage.  They were very understanding and talked through the pros and cons of each option and were very clear that it was my decision.  The midwives were incredibly kind.  I think UCLH are quite progressive in this respect, I have friends who have given birth at other hospitals where an elective c-section (other than for medical necessity) was just not an option (despite the NICE guidelines).   

i agree with others about hypnobirthing too, I did a course as well. however you give birth, it's a scary thing and hopefully the techniques will come in useful. 

i hope that you are given the choice at kingston: it's not an easy decision to make and is very emotive for all involved, so really try to focus on what's right for you, your partner and your baby in your situation.  

good luck!! 
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ceecee12
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby ceecee12 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:50 am

I think you need to look at the bigger picture. This is your baby and these are your choices. Everywoman is birth is going to be different. If your pregnancy is normal and not high-risk then you are most likely going to have a healthy and happy baby. If your midwife notices things that require extra referral she will talk to you about your choices and options available. Please do not focus on what people are telling you. That is their experience and not yours.

Enjoy your pregnancy, eat well, sleep well and try and stay active. Take those moments to stare at your tummy and look at the movements of the baby concentrate on those positive beautiful moments.

You are doing a wonderful job of bringing life into the world. If you are anxious and nervous I would definitely speak to your midwife especially if you have reservations. The thing about midwifery is that it is women scented and you have choices. If you notice anything strange going on with your pregnancy then talk to your midwife about it there is always someone there to listen x
Nanny s
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Alltheletters
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby Alltheletters » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:22 pm

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all you lovely ladies for replying to me, and sharing your experiences in some cases.

Reading your replies has helped me greatly with some of the anxieties I've been having, and you have all given me some sound advice. Feeling stronger in the mind, and I'm also armed with my favorite thing, knowledge.

I'm just really grateful to you all, thank you x.
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LFG87
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby LFG87 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:00 am

I completely understand your anxiety, I found that my midwife team were wonderful and really emphasised with my worries.

A few things I tried were-

- I found a midwife which I clicked with in the team I was under and we discussed booking my appointments and telephone appointments on the days she worked. I then didn’t have to re explain at each appointment my worries.
- I saw one of the senior midwifes on the ward in my third trimester to discuss elective induction or csection, monitoring in all stages of labour etc
- ask to see the peri-natal midwife who can sign off your preference on birth. I’d suggest getting the ball rolling soon as it can take a bit amount of time to arrange.
- I was at st George’s and elective csection and inductions are allowed at 39+1 so I would check if Kingston is the same
- pregnancy yoga was a good thing for me to do as it taught me good calming techniques to use each day

Wishing you all the best
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby KatherineHepburn » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:15 am

Hi Alltheletters,

I am sorry to hear that you are having a tough time.
It is so difficult when a previous family trauma is handed down to younger family members. These remain with us and become our own blueprints and for pregnancy and birth this can be very unsettling indeed.

Obviously you are not your mother. Her experience is hers alone. We do not know how your pregnancy will be nor your labour and birth - but you can influence so much about how you will experience the remainder of this pregnancy and how prepared you feel going in the birth.

So, what do I recommend?
Read other stories about birth. Start with the Natalie Meddings book 'How To Have A Baby' and Milli Hill's 'Positive Birth Book'.
Then read more accounts of birth. You can find a good mix of experiences here: https://www.betterbirthstories.com/better-birth-stories

Then consider what antenatal course you would like to take. I wholeheartedly agree with the comments above for a Hypnobirthing course (I run Better Birth Stories so would do!!). You can take the online home learning version of our course here: https://www.betterbirthstories.com/hypn ... ine-course or book in for our popular One Day Group Hypnobirthing Course locally here: https://www.betterbirthstories.com/lond ... ng-classes

What else might you like?
Well, Dr Sara Wickham has a wonderful website choc full of birth information here: https://www.sarawickham.com/
Rachel Reed's - Midwife Thinking can be found here: https://midwifethinking.com/
And the NCT can be found here: https://www.nct.org.uk/

And lastly, if you still want a c-section after all of that reading then you are absolutely entitled to one. You will have considered all of the evidence and be making a decision that works best for you.

Best of luck with your pregnancy and birth and do feel free to dm me if you have any questions.

xx
 
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MorningTea
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby MorningTea » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:55 am

I felt just the same as you. Birth absolutely terrified me. The game changer for me was reading up and I suppose a previous poster was correct in that it felt like ‘taking back control’. It felt good to get prepared. I went on to Amazon and searched for help there. I got a few books and they were all great. The main one was Ina May’s guide to childbirth. I read the reviews (the sheer number of reviews is the first clue that it’s an interesting book) and decided to give it a go. The reviews there will give you an accurate feel of what the book is about. She’s very hippy and that’s offputting to some, but the one thing she gave me for which I will be forever grateful, is she resolved my anxiety. I had two good birth experiences riding high on that book.
I feel like I was in a similar place to you so thought it might be useful. Best of luck xx
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dudette
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Re: First pregnancy, completely overwhelmed

Postby dudette » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:01 pm

I also recommend hypnobirthing. Not only does it help hugely when you are in labour with breathing techniques and visualisation, but it also takes away the fear. I have always hated hospitals but genuinely didn't feel at all frightened going in to give birth to my first, even though I was induced. My second piece of advice would be to get a doula. These are ladies who while not medically qualified, know a lot about birth and are there to support you and advocate for you during your labour and birth. They will visit you beforehand so you get to know them. Also do recognise that not only will your childbirth be nothing like your mother's but that most women have different births each time. I certainly did. You are early in your pregnancy so you have plenty of time to find out more about giving birth. Educating yourself will take away a lot of the fear. Having a live human emerge from your body is one of the most amazing things you can experience. Don't lock yourself into a closed, fearful mindset - your body is designed to give birth!
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