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Pregnancy Diaries #6: Childbirth Fears


Disclaimer: this post may be triggering to those who have experienced child loss or a traumatic labour

Recently, we hit 30 weeks. That was about two weeks ago. I am now at 32 weeks. And it has kinda dawned on me that the baby is actually gonna have to come out very soon. I need to start thinking about real stuff like stockpiling nappies and preparing my hospital bag - and I am ever so slightly terrified!

I know that I have done all of this before and, for that reason, I am not as worried about the newborn stage as I was when I was pregnant with Ava. With the first, you go from having complete freedom in how you spend your time to having to shift your priorities to centre around someone else. With the second, you basically keep doing the same things you go with the first but you do them for two instead of one.

But what I am not prepared for is childbirth. With Ava, I had quite a calm mindset throughout my pregnancy. I knew I would have to give birth to her. I knew it would hurt. But I also went in without much of a plan (I just knew I didn't want an epidural but I left the rest for the midwives to decide) and I didn't really have much of an idea of what it would be like. This time, I know full well what childbirth is like. And part of me doesn't want it to be the same again.

With Ava, there were times during my labour that I had an acute sense of actual fear for my life and Ava's life. My waters broke before labour was established and, after 24 hours of 'dry labour', my contractions still weren't coming at a pace they needed to be. I was just about to be taken for an emergency C-section then I managed to birth her. There were times when I was told that I needed to get the child out else she wouldn't make it. That feeling of life and death in a situation where I couldn't really control the situation terrified me. I mean, I can't make contractions come quicker, can I?

This whole feeling of dread is something that I have been trying to push to the back of my mind for months now. I keep telling myself the same thing - 'it is just one day of pain then you get a whole lifetime of happiness with your bubba' - which is true and makes perfect sense but, after having such a chaotic first labour, I can't help but just feel scared. It's not that I am really fearing the pain - or even the actual labour itself. I am scared that it may go wrong. I am scared that I will be in a position where I am fearing for my own life and the life of my child again.

I haven't really spoken this openly about my first labour before - despite the fact that I wrote a whole blog post recalling the birth. I glazed over aspects that I didn't really want to remember. I felt ashamed to talk frankly about my experience and how it made me feel because I know that I am privileged - I was able to have my delivery free on the NHS and, more importantly, I am so lucky that Ava was delivered safely. But it doesn't deflect from the fact that my first labour had many negatives.

And I think people should be encouraged to talk about this and understand that labour can have lasting emotional and physical consequences long past the post-partum check-ups have been done.

What I'm wearing:
Shirt: Primark
Maternity jeans: ASOS

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries 1-5
My 24 Hour Labour Story
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
Things I Wish I Had Been Told About The Newborn Stage

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