Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

Letting go of expectations, fear and anger… June 17, 2010

Filed under: Birth,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 3:00 pm
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So, I’m now 4 days overdue.  I know this is no great big deal, but it feels like it is to me as I was on time with number 1, so expected to be the same if not earlier with number 2! Expectations, huh?! The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for me, which is peculiar because I’d been so calm and positive up until then.  I accept that this is part of my journey, that because Erin’s birth was like clockwork doesn’t necessarily mean that this one will be although it has no reason not to be.

I went to see the midwife yesterday (saw a different one to usual) and came away feeling so angry and upset.  She did a Stretch & Sweep (where she just uses her fingers and does exactly as it says to my cervix).  It was slightly uncomfortable, but not painful, and caused a show (the mucous plug from the cervix to come away – often a sign of pre-labour, but not always!).  She then proceeded to tell me that my cervix was still high and thick and spoke about seeing me next wednesday again and about induction.  None of the positive stuff I normally get from my regular midwife, who is very motherly and gives me the confidence that my body is going to do it when I’m ready. In her defence she was probably just doing her job and doesn’t want to give me false hope, but I felt like she could have given me more encouragement.  If I felt more hopeful, I’m sure I may relax and things might happen quicker. After all the babies head is engaged, it is really low and I get plenty of twinges and Braxton Hicks contractions. Anyway, I shall try not to diss the midwife, as I have realised that I have my own issues that I need to deal with….the biggest one being my fear of ending up in hospital.

I see hospital as a place for sick people and know that pregnancy and childbirth is NOT a sickness.  However , after talking to my lovely friends, Andrew & Jerusha, who run birthing workshops and pregnancy yoga classes in Falmouth, I have been comforted by what I already know, that some do give birth naturally in hospital and that if it comes to that it is not the end of the world.  I do not WANT to be induced, but I am beginning to accept that this is a possibility, although much less likely if I work through my issues… I want the perfect home water birth, but if I don’t get it I will actually deal with it, even though I feel a bit like I can’t! At their suggestion I am going to contact a Doula, who will be able to give me a much better idea of what my options REALLY are. The medical profession do not always make all your options clear, and unfortunately sometimes we need to fight for our rights to birth the way we want to. Since I’m not really in a head space where I want to be fighting and I want Steven by my side I think it will be a good idea to get someone like a Doula, who knows all the ins and outs thoroughly to do the fighting for us if necessary.  And if fighting is not necessary (I don’t think it will be) then it will still be nice to have an extra pair of hands at the birth, wherever and however it may be.

Another thing I keep asking is whether I’m actually ready for another baby??? Physically, yes! Emotionally…are we ever ready? Can we be when we don’t know exactly what is to come? I’m sure I didn’t know if I was ready with Erin, yet I managed and enjoyed the magic of falling in love with her and watching her grow. It’s a constant learning curve and such a blessing to be a mother.  How will I cope with looking after a toddler and a newborn?? The answer:…my wonderful hubby. He is SUCH an amazing daddy and is very capable and, lucky for me, at home a lot. Since we live in a little community on the farm, we’re pretty much like extended family and I will have plenty of eager hands to help me should I need it when he is at work.  What a life we have here too…growing our own veg and doing odd jobs around the farm in such a beautiful place. It is wonderful to see Erin so free and happy!

I have tried plenty of walks, plenty of sex, plenty of just about every trick in the book (except curry or castor oil – the runs in the birthing pool would not be great!). Clary sage gives me some good contractions.  Reflexology (done at home by Steven from looking at a reflexology map) feels great and makes baby wriggle.  Homeopathy has not done much yet. And I still haven’t got my hands on the herbs. Yoga and bumpy roads I’m sure have helped get baby right down there. Another big walk this evening and then possibly a repeat of all of the above. I believe Acupuncture works very well..has anyone had experience with it?  I do not believe I will be seeing the midwife next Wednesday!

So this is my journey, my lesson. I need to relax and accept what is to come, but also know what my rights are when it comes to medical intervention (hence the Doula), and hopefully now that I’m not feeling so angry, fearful and emotional, my body will begin to do what it was designed to do…to give birth naturally!


6 Responses to “Letting go of expectations, fear and anger…”

  1. Jenny Says:

    Hi Sharon

    As you know I am a midwife who works in a consultant led delivery unit. So I guess I am the person that you DONT want to see at the end of this amazing journey. Your writing made me feel a bit miffed, as it seems like you are so against hospital midwives, but then I thought…. but this is HER birth not mine, and we are there to support you in your choices. In defense of midwives, the one you saw yesterday was – in my opinion – doing her job and forewarning you about the possible course if labour does not start on its own. It is always difficult to see a different midwife as you get used to your own one, and hopefully have got a good relationship with her.

    Where I work on CDU we have many deliveries where there is only the midwife, the labouring woman and her birthing partners present, and women are able to mobilise, labour using water, birthing stools, gym balls etc. It is so important not to interfer with the normal process where at all possible.

    However when a pregnancy gets to term + 14 the placenta will start to degenereate and the babies life line can then be affected. I truely hope that you do not have to be induced into labour, but I know that it is offered in the best interests of the baby.

    My hope will be that the stretch and sweep will work – even though things were not favourable for labour yesterday. You may beed to have anothere attenpt at it.

    There will always be bad midwives the same as bad cops and bad drivers etc etc. However 99% of midwives will want you to have choices and will support you in them and have your best interests at heart and.

    Wishing you a safe and happy home delivery of you little treasure

    Love and Huggz Jenny x

    • Hi Jenny

      I’m so sorry I made you feel miffed. I must say that I am not at all against hospital midwives, I am simply afraid of the interventions that seem to happen more readily in a hospital environment…some of them life saving, I’m sure, but many of them unnecessary. These are normally (from the stories I hear) interventions that are offered by doctors, or perhaps midwives who are so understaffed and have so much on their plate that they really don’t have a choice. It all boils down to my phobia of hospitals really and my hope that I will have a home birth and is not meant to be a criticism. The midwife I saw yesterday was not bad, she was just not as friendly, positive and encouraging as the one I am used to, who is wonderful. I have no problems with midwives and had two wonderful ones help to deliver Erin.

      I would like to have another stretch and sweep if nothing happens soon. Obviously I have baby’s best interests at heart too and would take advice given and if necessary be monitored beyond term +14 if this is what I decide to make sure placenta and baby are ok. I’m hoping there are other options available to me, so this is what I am looking into. How accurate are due dates in your opinion? Is term +14 definitely term +14, or is it a guestimate as many people believe?

      Thanks for your message and wishes and I’m sorry I upset you…

      Much love

  2. Jenny Says:

    Hi again

    Thanks for your message. I certainly understand your phobia of hospitals…. I love working there, but put me in a hospital bed and I become a child again, scared and feeling out of control…. actually the out of comtrol is the bit that most of us hate in any situation. I did see your delivery photos and messages when Erin was born and her birth looked like an amazing experience. So glad that it was and that your supporters were good.

    As to the dates….. if you had an early scan within the first 10 weeks or so, they should be pretty much accurate. This is the reason why the extra earlier scan was introduced in UK – to be more accurate than the 20 week scan. The 20 week scan is looking for abnormalities, lol not as many think… to see the babies sex!

    Anyhow, I hope all goes well for you, and baby puts in an appearance soon.

    Huggz Jenny… not at all miffed now x

  3. Christina Says:

    Hi Sharon-
    I know how disapointing it can be to end up not having the birthing experience you had hoped for. My first baby had to be delivered by c-section because she was breech. We tried every trick out there to get her to flip but it just didn’t happen. i was devastated, because I had hoped for a completly natural birth. The 2nd time around I switched to a midwife (at the very end of my pregnancy…long story) hired a doula.
    With Nathan my water broke first and I didn’t give birth to him within 24 hours so they had to use Pitocin to speed things up. I think that is what they use to induce?? Anyway, I was so upset because I didn’t want any medical interventions, but they said I didn’t have a choice because it wasn’t safe for the baby. I was so upset because I thought from there on out it would be one intervention after another and how could I possibly give birth naturally when the contractions would be more intense. I did, even after a 32 hour labor!!, end up giving birth naturally to Nathan. I really do believe that without the help of Jeff, my midwife and my doula….I couldn’t have done it. I was ready to give up at the very end and they all helped me achieve my goal of a natural birth.
    I used the same midwife and a doula for the birth of my 3rd and had another natural childbirth. I think it is definetly a good idea to hire a doula even if you don’t end up going to the hospital. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without my doula. It was very reassuring to have her there with me throughout the whole labor. I really hope that your baby girl decides to make her entrance into the world soon. Maybe tonight…the tingling legs mIght be something. I remember at the very end having a strange feeling in the inside of my thighs, but more like a sharper shooting pain. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for your home birth and a happy, healthy and speedy delivery:)
    Lots of love and hugs-

  4. Hi Jenny,
    I also wanted to say what an amazing job you midwives do bringing life into the world everyday. I dream of becoming a midwife…perhaps someday! I’m also impressed to hear of the options you offer in your hospital re: mobility, etc. That’s really great. I don’t think they’re quite as open minded here and recently heard something about them disallowing birth balls because of Health and safety or something…
    Thank you and lots of love xxx

    Thank you Christina and well done on sticking to your guns and having natural births! I think it must be really hard in the States, as medical intervention is so commonplace. Vaginal breech births seem to be becoming more common over here now, but you still have to fight for them. I definitely am going to get hold of a doula! Thanks for your wishes. lots of love xxx

  5. […] Ayla’s birth I wrote this blog about Letting Go of expectations and fear. If you read the following blog you will see that I […]

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