You are not alone! Most women feel fearful about how labour and birth will turn out for them at some point during their pregnancy.
How are you going to deal with this fear? How will you prepare yourself and your partner to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your baby?
If you are planning the kind of birth that fits with your values then you need to look at all aspects of the experience. The ethos of "I'll wait and see" won't get you very far because - let's be honest - labour is a highly demanding experience, both physically and mentally. And it gets hard to stick to your guns and make decisions when you are in pain and you've had contractions for 10 hours. But you can still navigate through all that... as long as you have taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself.
For some women this means low-intervention and working through the pain. For some it means having an epidural as early as possible. For some it’s all about maximising the bonding time between mum and baby right after the birth. Whatever it is for you, invest some time in figuring it out.
And I mean the juicy stuff that the hospital won't tell you. For example, did you know that epidurals increase the chances of having an instrumental vaginal delivery or caesarean?
What are the caesarean rates at your chosen hospital? Are the midwives at your chosen institution willing to work with you during your labour to help you achieve your kind of birth? How many labouring women will your midwife attend to simultaneously?
Your midwife is unlikely to be in the room with you for your entire labour. Is your partner or mum going to be ok seeing you in pain? Or are they going to crumble? A doula can provide steady, continuous support thoughout labour and birth which can have long-lasting benefits for both you and your baby.
What is your relationship with normal, physiological pain? You know, the kind of muscle aching you get at the gym or during a good run. Is it your friend or your enemy? You can't fight it. So you need to find a way to work with it and work through it.
Labour is an extraordinarily physically demanding experience. For a moment, let's compare it to running a marathon. If you decided to run a marathon in 9 months, would you go in saying "Yeah, I'll see how I go. I can always stop when it gets too hard." Or would you train for it, educate yourself about your body and select a support team who will help you train and be there on the day?
Call me, text me, email me, send me a carrier pigeon if that's how you roll.
Let's have a chat about your beautiful baby and that awesome birth you are going to have.