I'm afraid of most things in life, and childbirth was no exception. Before I experienced labor and delivery myself, I only heard horror stories from relatives and friends (and, of course, that one girl who had the easiest labor and delivery ever). So, honestly, why would I want to go through all that, especially when some of the terrifying thoughts I had while giving birth had a good chance of coming to fruition? Having a baby can be dangerous, and yet, there we are, at the mercy of nature and a tiny human forcing his, or her, way out of our bodies.
It should be said that my intention isn't to "scare" pregnant women who have yet to experience labor and delivery. Science is amazing, doctors are capable, midwives are wonderful, and while I can't speak for everyone, I'd say chances are extremely high that you, dear reader, will have a wonderful childbirth experience. It's just that, well, labor and deliver is scary. It's OK to admit you're a little uneasy. You don't have to walk into that room fear-free, or deny yourself very normal human reactions to something that's unknown and demands incredible physical, emotional, and mental labor. So, while this isn't a "you should be afraid," article, it is definitely an, "it's OK if you're afraid, because I was, too," article.
My first delivery was an induction due to my hypertension. All went well until my doctor considered the possibility of a c-section. Apparently my "lazy" baby was quite content staying right where she was, in the birth canal. I asked for just a little longer because I really didn't want to go that route (birth plans, you know?) and by the time my OB-GYN checked again, I was ready to push. Yes, I was glad to avoid the operating room, however, I'd be lying if I told you I didn't think my baby was destined to live in the birth canal forever (or that it would've bothered me because, hey, I could have just avoided the whole childbirth thing, right?)
After about 30 minutes of pushing (and screaming "get out of me" over and over) I welcomed my daughter into the world and thanked her for taking her sweet time while I writhed in pain. She's been bad with time management ever since, but at least she's out of my body. With that "fond" memory, here are some other terrifying thoughts I had while giving birth because, well, it's freaking scary.
I'd Die With My Stubborn Baby In The Birth Canal
This was an actual, legitimate fear. As stated above, my daughter was determined not to make her grand entrance until she decided it was time. All the hours I rolled to each side of the bed, with no relief, represented one step closer to letting her build a forever home inside my body. With all that can happen during labor and delivery, my intense fear of death was all I could think about until she was in my arms (and I was still alive).
Something Would Rupture
Because I'd never gone through delivery before, I didn't realize how many parts of my body might break during the process. I was careful pushing my daughter out, fearful of something bursting (gross) because, well, it can. This proved to be true with the birth of my son, too, when the umbilical cord snapped and a gruesome scene was left at my feet. If it sounds terrifying, try experiencing it. (Actually, don't. I do not recommend it.)
Things Would Tear
Oh yeah they tear. This fear is justified 100 percent. Labor and delivery hurt like hell and, when it's all over, your body is left mangled and confused. The problem was, I had a massive fear of weird things tearing, like my skull spitting into two pieces. Likely? Yeah, no. Maybe pregnancy jacked my brain, or maybe the pain and the pressure was just that intense. I'll let you be the judge.
I'd Push Forever
It really feels you're stuck in forever when you're in the middle of labor and delivery. The seconds slowed with every contraction and the longer I pushed, the more exhausted I became. I started dreaming of my future on a hospital bed, pushing as I went about paying bills, running errands, and cooking dinner.
They'd Discover A Second Baby
I went in knowing there should be one baby, and only one baby, but what if they found another one hiding in the birth canal, too?
The Epidural Was A Fake
Both times I chose epidurals, and both times they failed me. I felt everything. Every. Thing. It was slightly near the pushing phase of my second pregnancy when I had the terrifying thought that epidurals aren't real medicine and maybe they just tell mothers that to ease their worries. You know, kind of like a placebo. I didn't feel euphoric, calm, or pain-free.
This Was All A Ruse To Steal My Baby
Maybe I've watched too many Lifetime movies, but with my first delivery, everyone in my room was suspect and hiding ulterior motives. I was in so much pain, and obviously couldn't leave the bed, that I'm positive anyone could've stolen my baby. Again, this is probably a result of my movie preferences being slightly out of control.
My Baby Would Not Survive
Because I'd lost before, the terrifying thought of delivery a baby that wasn't alive was constant throughout the birth of my son. I was scared something would happen during labor or I'd do something wrong in those moments that would change everything.
With my first birth, I had these thoughts, too, but they weren't as intense because I hadn't gone though actual fetal loss yet. Either way, I think every mother worries about this at some point and that fear never really goes away, even when your baby is older.
The Doctor Would Make A Huge Mistake
It's not unreasonable to be terrified your doctor might make a wrong move. In fact, sometimes it happens. Every reach for an instrument and whisper to a nurse made me that much more nervous.
In the end, I had my babies, we all lived, and, as far as I know, there's no second baby hiding in my birth canal.