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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.  :)

I'm 37 weeks pregnant with twins and am getting myself into a right state over the birth.

I used to suffer from horrendous panic attacks some years ago. Within the space of 1 year, I had 2 ectopics and was told that I'd never concieve naturally (something we're all familiar with), I got married (although I knew it was a BIG mistake cos he treated me terribly so I divorced him months later) and my much loved Dad and step-mum were killed in an accident  :'( I still miss them everyday. At one stage, my anxiety was so severe, my GP wanted to hospitalise me. At that time in my life, I basically lived on anti-anxiety pills and diazepam and was totally reliant on friends to help me with my DD. As dramatic as it sounds, if it weren't for my DD, I'm fairly sure I wouldn't be here today....

Anyway, my panic attacks subsided after months of therapy although certain feelings of dread and anxiety have never really left me. I'm slightly agoraphobic and although its not severe, I feel quite panicky when I'm far away from home. I am also massively claustrophobic and as such haven't been on a plane for a long time and I don't "do" lifts, etc. I'm not  ^idiot^ but there are certain situations in which the old panicky feelings come back to haunt me. It tends to be times where I'm not in control of my mind, body or surroundings. When I get those feelings again, it really is terrifying. 

Up till now this pregnancy has been okay. I've not had any panic attacks and I've been fairly chilled. Recently though, I'm getting that old feeling of dread washing over me and its all down to how I'm going to cope when I'm in labour and giving birth. I didn't have a very easy birth with my DD but managed okay cos I didn't suffer from anxiety then. If this birth went the same way, I really think I'd freak out.

I'm scared of how panicky I'll become when getting bad contractions but at the same time, I'm really scared of the pain relief they'll give me. If the pain relief makes me feel "out of it", I'm sure this will trigger an attack. I'm also very, very scared of having an epidural cos I won't be able to move. Again, it comes down to me not being in control of my body which will frighten me. I know there are mobile epidurals but what if I have to have a c-section?? It'll be a total spinal block then and I'll be totally helpless.  ^eyes^

I've written on my birth plan that I get panic attacks and I have mentioned it to several midwives and my consultant. All of which have just said "oh, you'll be fine on the day". I don't think they fully comprehend how scared I am and how bad I sometimes get. I think they just think I'm a little nervous. My DH is a tower of strength and I know he'll be there for me on the day, but I just feel so alone at the moment. I'm so, so frightened.

If I could look into a crystal ball and see how this birth will go (whether a nice birth or a traumatic one), I could prepare myself for it. Its the fact that I've just got no idea and with a twin birth, I've been told that things rarely go to plan. I get very panicky in highly stressed situations so If I have to be rushed off for an emergency c-section, that will freak me out. Everyone keeps saying "just focus on the babies you will get at the end of it" but at the moment, all I can think of is how scared I am.

I'm going for accupuncture to help with my anxiety at the moment but whether it will actually be beneficial to me come birth day, is another matter.

As a midwife I guess I'm asking whether you have come across this before and what was done to help the person?? Is there anything they can give me to calm me down on the day if I get really bad. Is there any forms of pain relief that might help me or any that you think I should avoid? I'm just really scared of being fobbed off like I have been by so many people over the years that just think I'm slightly highly strung.

Sorry for the dreary post, but I'd really appreciate some advice before I go completely  ^idiot^  ^twitch^

Lots of love, Corinna. xx

P.S I posted to you last week about stitch type pains low down and BH's. Just to let you know that I went along to the hospital the next day, had an internal to see whether I was dialating (I wasn't) but had a huge bleed while I was there. They kept me in hospital for 3 days and the bleeding stopped. Both babies were completely oblivious to what was happening (thank God) and they don't know where the bleeing came from. They figured it must have been from the internal. Anyway, all is well with the little ones which is the main thing.
 

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Hi Hun

what sort of relationship do you have with your community midwife? Do you trust her judgement enough to ask her to go to the hospital with you when you are in labour?

Then you would have someone who you know and trust there for you. The other option is to look into hiring a doula, these ladies are there as your support, as well as Dads, in an emotional way, not as a midwife but a major source of support.

I suggest, if you trust your midwife and her judgement, that you make an appointment with her asap and spell out, exactly as you have done above, how you are feeling, the reasons for this and your past history.

You have every right to be worried and also every right to be scared of delivery. Make sure you are familiar with the types of proceedures that could be required during labour and delivery, be aware of your options. Aware of the pain relief available to you, aware of the positions that you could use in early labbour. All of this knowledge will put you in a position to be in control of YOUR labour an delivery.

If none of the above are an option, use your husband. He is the one closest to you, knows what you have been through, and knows how you cope in situations.

I do think that once you are in the situation, you will be able to focus. A lot of ladies use the gas and air to help them focus. I remember thinking that things still hurt but the actual action of breathing the gas and air and concerntrating on the breaths in and out and achieving the correct noise from the tubing gave me something to focus on, somewhere to channel my worries.

Midwives look after many ladies and the large majority of them do panic at some time during labour, it is only natural. It is your midwives job to aliviate those worries and help you to work/breathe through them. A calm midwife is the best way to help you and if you trust her she and you will work well together.

See how you feel after reading this and let me know how else I can help. You will be fine, you really will

Keep in touch

Take care x
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hiya. :)

I just firstly wanted to say thank you for your reply to my post. It certainly gave me some things to think about. I also wanted to update you as I went for my ante-natal yesterday and spoke to my consultant about my fears. On the back of your advice, I also took it upon myself to change my birthplan so the midwives who looking after me on the day are aware of where my head may be potenitally at!  ^idiot^

You mentioned about my community midwife, but in all honesty I haven't got one. In between hospital visits, my GP has been looking after me. I've not actually seen a midwife other than the ones at hospital and there are so many that there isn't really a specific one that I know that well.

One of my biggest worries was being confined to the bed unable to move. In my birthplan I have specified that I really want a low dose epidural if it comes to me needing one and don't want to be "lead legged" at all cos this will inevitabely make me panic. I've also put that I'd like to be left to my own devices at the beginning of my labour as much as possible by wandering about, using the birthing ball and sucking on gas & air. I've put that I'd rather not have pethadine cos I tend to become anxious when I feel too "off my rocker" ifkwim...  At least with gas & air, I am more in control.

At the end of my birth plans, I have pretty much included the post that I sent to you last week. I was a bit worried that they'd think I was a total numpty but DH assured me that I'd feel better if I told them exactly "how it is".

Anyway, my consultant was totally unfazed by my birth plans and details of my panic attacks and anxiety. He said that everything in my birth plans were fine and the fact that he seemed so blase about it actually made me feel a little better. I assumed they'd be lots of umming & ahhing about what I've asked for, but he was totally fine.  ;D

The anaethatist then came to see me and explained that my epidural would be a low dose one and even though I won't neccessarily be able to get up and have a dance, I won't be dead from the waist down. He explained that epidurals are very different now than they were 14 years ago when I had my DD. Back then they were a complete spinal block. I explained that I was worried about having to have an emergency section if things aren't progressing, etc and how I'd cope with being awake during the operation. He explained that I always have an option of a GA if it came to it and I didn't think that I'd be able to cope. He also said that if I decide to remain awake during the section but am not coping during the operation, they will just "knock me out" ( ^bigbad^). Again, he spoke about this like it just wasn't a problem at all and said that lots of women chose to have a GA so I shouldn't worry. I'd prefer not to have a section and would rather not have a GA cos I want to be awake when my babies are born but the fact that I can have a GA if things get too dramatic and too much for me is a comfort. They explained that DH will have to wait outside if I have a GA but he's okay with this. His words were "as long as Corinna and the babies are okay, then thats all that matters to me". That kind of support from DH really meant a lot to me.

I'm still very scared about the birth and I don't think anything is going to eliviate this fear totally. My Mum actually said today that its probably the antisipation of the birth that is scaring me and hopefully I will suprise myself on the day and be fine. I hope so!!!!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know how I got on and thank you again for the advice you gave me. It really gave me a kick up the bum to be honest with the Dr's at the hospital about my fears which has helped me lots.

I actually forgot to ask my consultant something yesterday so can I ask you a couple more questions:

If I do get very bad during my labour, is there anything that can be given to me to help calm me down, like low dose tranquilliser or something??

When I go into labour, should I avoid eating just incase I have to have an emergency c-section at any point? I'd die if they decided to whip me off to theatre but I couldn't have a GA if I decided to have one cos I'd been eating & drinking???

Lots of love, Corinna xx




 
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