It was not an easy pregnancy. While the pregnancies of our older son (8) and of our daughter (2) were harder on me emotionally, this time it was the opposite – emotionally I seemed to be at my best, but physically not so much. I won’t go into detail, but I will give an example to illustrate.
When I was about three months pregnant I woke up in the middle of the night bleeding heavily, and when I got to the bathroom the entire floor was soon covered with blood. We rushed to the hospital thinking I was having a miscarriage, but the ultrasound showed the baby was (thank God!) 100% fine. I had been having excruciating abdominal pain for the previous three days – first suspected to be appendicitis and then a plethora of other maladies – and to this day I have no idea what caused the pain or the bleeding.
And so it went. Every week there was a different problem, the fortunate constant being that the baby was always fine. I tried alternative and allopathic doctors and treatments and spent a small fortune on professionals that were not covered by our health insurance. In the end nothing really worked, and I just prayed I would be feeling well at least on the day I went into labor.
I also began to seek out psychological and spiritual help and finally, after a family constellation and a few sessions of acupuncture (or perhaps because of the sum of everything I had tried before), I had about three weeks of peace before the baby was born, where all I felt was extreme fatigue.
I don’t know if it was because of all of the health problems I underwent or for some other secret emotional reason, but even though this was the third time I was having a baby, it was also the time I was feeling most scared.
Scared, in fact, is an understatement. I was absolutely terrified. As the delivery date approached, I would wake up in the middle of the night afraid to get up and go to the bathroom thinking my water would break, which is how all of my labor processes began.
The funny thing was that the fear was of the pain. That had not been a major issue in the past. Of course there is always fear of the pain, but in my other pregnancies my greatest fears were of tearing, having to go to the hospital, being put on stirrups, etc. (our son was born of an emergency C-section after an attempted homebirth, while our daughter was born at home, in a wonderful water birth).
In practice, this is what happened. I was at home one Friday afternoon with our two kids when I realized I was probably losing my mucous plug. I called my husband and the midwife, but I didn’t really think it would be that day.
Several days before I had decided to set up an altar of sorts next to our bathtub, where I expected to labor. Everyone contributed with something, and in the end there was a panel with our names, prayers and other texts of several origins – from catholic to shamanic, inspiring images , a figurine of Our Lady of Good Birth and so on. The most interesting contribution was that of our son – after a lot of thought he brought me a rune (Thurisaz) that he had received during a special activity at school.
Our son, who knows quite a bit about birthing for his age, overhead me talking to my husband about the mucous plug and became ecstatic with the possibility of his awaited baby brother being born soon (he has been asking for a baby brother since he was three!). That night our daughter didn’t give me much trouble to sleep, and shortly after our son and I were reading together. Our reading session, however, didn’t last long. The girl woke up crying and asking to breastfeed –she rarely woke up like that anymore, especially so early in the night.
It’s funny how kids often give us little signs. This happened very often with our son when I was pregnant with our daughter. First it seemed like he knew I was pregnant before I myself did and on the day I ended up going into labor he (who is not the kind of kid who makes me drawings) handed me a drawing of myself naked with my arms and legs stretched as if about to give someone a huge hug.
This time, earlier that day our daughter had poked me several times in the afternoon to show me how she was scrunching up her face, closing her fists and making an “umpf!!!” sound, as if pushing. However, differently from our son, she is only two and had never seen or knew much about babies being born.
Breastfeeding her had become more and more uncomfortable over the past three months because of the increasingly painful contractions it caused. Fortunately she fed two or three times at night, at most, and once during the day before her nap. This time I felt no contractions, but something else happened. While I was lying with her in bed my water broke. I looked at the clock – 8:52 p.m.
I don’t remember another time in my life when I had felt so much panic. A fear so irrational took over me it felt like I had become another person.
Can you recall how you dealt with fear while pregnant? And, look out for the next part of my Brazilian birth story on World Moms Blog!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our contributor in Brazil, Ecoziva.
Photo credit to Digital Dei. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
I read a book called “Hypnobirthing”. Although I didn’t wind up hypnobirthing, it was fantastic for calming my nerves up to both births. A lot of deep breathing and meditation.
I’m looking forward to reading the next parts of your birth story from South America!
My sister is a great fan of self-hypnosis and has used it sucessfully in birthing and in other health situations. I confess I don’t know much about it. For some reason it never really appealled to me.
I’m not sure if “fear” is the right word… I knew exactly how everything was going to happen – or so I thought! I had a planned c-section for both of my kids, and both of them decided to laugh at my planning, and show up early (my daughter was born when I was at 36 weeks). I was determined to breastfeeding, exclusively, except no one told me about the excruciating pain, or about mastitis. So I learned from my first time around, that it will most certainly not turn out the way I plan. And that’s ok. I can’t wait to read the rest! Congrats!
Yes, after my first son was born I was surprised at how painful it was to nurse and how no one had ever told me about it!! 🙂
From the day I found out I am pregnant with my first I was scared of the labor like of anything else in my entire life.
and I think, my fears came to life because of those thoughts – the labor was awfully painful. it was the worst nightmare comes true.
But the second time I was the most relaxed pregnant woman on earth, just because from the start I knew I am going to have a c-section. My entire pregnancy was just amazingly calm and with no stress.
The labor of my first son was the worst. The other two were much better, but I think in my case it also had to do with several background emotional issues (my first pregnancy was unplanned and I felt sorry for myself all the time). Before having kids I did not want to be a mother and I used to have a nightmare when I would wake up 9 months prengnant! After my son I really fell in love with motherhood and I think that really made a difference in the other two labors (despite the fear during labor no. 3 – although the labor itself turned out great – oops part 3 spoiler 🙂 )
I’m on the edge of my seat, ready for your part 2!
I have 2 children, and I was scared in my first pregnancy, but not my second. I think this was because, luckily for me, both pregnancies were routine and without drama.
I hope you are all settling in nicely together 😉
Thank you, Tara! 🙂
I was not exactly experiencing fear. I was in labor pain and nothing else was pretty much in my mind. But hey, your post brought back memories of my birth story. And I look fondly at that stage of my life which altered my life like nothing else.
I am looking forward to your part 2.
Thank you ladies for your great comments and sorry for the delay in responding!