I should have posted these here instead of trying to do something I wasn’t ready to so I am copying and pasting them across to keep everything together. I apologise for the sudden rush. xxx Please forgive me.
Originally posted on 05/03/2016
As a mum of 4 children you would think that pregnancy and giving birth should be easy. I’ve done it before so it should be easy. I mean – one of my labours resulted in me giving birth to my eldest son, J, in a moving car which was being driven by my husband on the way to the maternity unit. How easy eh?
And herein lies the problem.
Every pregnancy, every start of labour and every advanced labour is different – even for the same person. The fears and anxieties for each subsequent pregnancy are added to by the experiences of previous pregnancies and comments such as “you should be good at this because you’ve done it before” do nothing to allay those fears. In fact they can often compound the problem.
The fears start to outweigh the joys of being pregnant, the joy of creating and nurturing new life and the guilt starts to kick in. Guilt that the supposed enjoyment you should get from pregnancy isn’t flowing as it should be. Guilt that you aren’t enjoying the kicks because they are adding to the nausea, the pain and the discomfort. However you can’t say anything can you? You can’t say anything because, deep down, you know how lucky you actually are – especially if you have had previous miscarriages and/or depressive episodes. You know how lucky you are to be growing this life when so many others are unable to or when you have been unable to carry a previous child to full term. You “know” how lucky you are yet this doesn’t help reduce the negativity – it simply adds to the guilt.
Each of my labours started differently and for the first two I wasn’t even sure I had gone into labour. A, our daughter started with a dribble of waters breaking and ended in a spinal block and emergency section, J arrived with a smack of a contraction followed by his arrival with his waters in the car, B was the easiest as it was the full on gush of a waterfall that is so often portrayed on the television programmes – the stereotypical start of labour – and F was induced by having his waters broken and ended up with another emergency section but this time a full, general anaesthetic and the fear, as I went under, that I had already lost him.
These differences meant I wasn’t an expert, I wasn’t going to be “good at it” and I was going to end up in the abyss of perinatal depression as I was terrified my luck would run out. I say depression as that is the medical term for it but I think that is a misnomer. I think it should be perinatal anxiety as I wasn’t depressed – just very, very scared.