Do you know what Tokophobia is? It’s a fear of childbirth! I think it’s fair to say that most women have this to a certain extent but for others, like Maria, her Tokophobia was very evident right from the off. Here’s what happened when she finally decided to take the plunge and have a baby…
Tokophobia – Maria’s Birth Story
I always had a fear of giving birth so I never wanted to have a baby and neither did my partner. But, by the time I was nearly 30 we decided it was about time and I put my Tokophobia to one side.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was panicking about the birth and was considering asking for a c-section. I was praying for a tiny 6lb baby in the hope it would be easier!
We found out we were having a little girl and we were excited. I like to be organised so we got everything sorted by about 7 months in. I made a cute butterfly mobile for her room and got lots of cute cloths. My partner is very laid back so just went along with everything, he didn’t dare disagree with me whilst pregnant! Closer to the time I asked the midwife how big she thought my baby would be, she said she was measuring about 8lb 7oz but she said she didn’t feel that big. I still had hope for that 6lb baby even though I was massive and everyone else kept telling me she was going to be big!! “What did they know?” I thought.
My due date came and went and as I had been suffering with SPD from about 6 months I was very tired and fed up. I also really wanted an Indian curry but couldn’t eat one as it didn’t agree with my fussy baby who only wanted healthy food! Typical as I was looking forward to all the crazy unhealthy cravings, of which I had none.
I saw the midwife on my due date but she couldn’t do a sweep so I returned a few days later and this time she did a sweep. She then booked me in to be induced for the following Tuesday. I did the norm of trying everything to get the labour started as I was nearly two weeks overdue. I tried dark chocolate, which I don’t like, whilst bouncing on my ball. I then thought we should try a walk but after a while I got a stitch (looking back now this was probably the start). I spent the next night (Friday) wide awake with more back pain than normal but thought nothing of it as I had suffered most the way through.
On the Saturday I was convinced I had trapped wind so I spent all day on my ball and in all sorts of positions to try and help with the wind (not a pretty sight)! I called my partner at work and he was like, “Ermmmm, don’t you think we should go to the hospital?”
By the evening I decided to call the hospital. They said to go in so off we went. I was 1cm so they did another sweep and sent me home. I was told to have a bath, take paracetamol and to eat something as I had not eaten all day.
A few hours later, after my bath and trying to eat something, which didn’t stay down long, we went back and I was 1 and a half cm! I had hoped to have a water birth and had wanted to be up and moving throughout the labour, and just have gas and air but… My birth plan went straight out the window and I stayed glued to the bed. I had two doses of pethadine and then started on the gas and air! My way of coping with the pain was to scream, which didn’t impress the midwives much and I was told to be quiet more than once!
My partner just felt helpless, bless him, but spent the whole time rubbing my back and holding me on the bed as I was only comfy hanging off the side. He also held many a sick bucket for me as I was sick after ever contraction. One midwife decided SHE didn’t like the position I was in so she tried to pull me over by pulling one of my legs. Anyone who has had SPD knows that legs don’t separate well! My partner had to tell her I had SPD.
I finally decided to have an epidural, which I was strongly against as, along with my tokophobia, it scared me. I was afraid I would never get feeling back and I had heard about people suffering with back pain after. But I couldn’t deal with the pain or the constant sickness anymore so off we went to another room where my partner held me on the bed in a headlock (funnily enough this turned out to be the most comfortable position I had been in) to keep me still. I also had a nurse putting a drip in my hand as I had stopped dilating at 8cm. They struggled with the epidural as I am double jointed and quite flexible, which apparently made it difficult. My partner tells me I then slept for 2 hours.
My waters then broke and it became obvious my baby had pooped so they then kept a better eye on baby. They told me I was finally ready to push. They only let me push for two hours and baby wasn’t moving down so they then got the doctor in who said they needed to help me and I may need an emergency c-section. So they had me sign papers to allow them to do a caesarian if they needed to. Off she went to prep surgery. The midwife then told me to really push to try and move baby a little, which I did. The doctor then had everything moved into the room. The room filled with doctors and equipment and it was scary!!
I wasn’t very happy with the doctor and I made sure she knew I wasn’t happy! I think I was quite evil in fact. Out came the forceps and the scissors. I wasn’t impressed but wanted my baby out! The midwife told my partner to look away when the scissors came out.
They say you’re not supposed to feel anything when you have an epidural but boy did I feel it when she pulled on those forceps!!!!!
I had told my partner before the birth that he wasn’t to look down the business end but he did and tells me it wasn’t pretty! Geee thanks.
They finally got my baby out and my first thought was, “I’ve done it” and, “Wow, she is massive!” I then realised she wasn’t crying so they took her off to check her out and she started to cry. Thank God. My partner went off to see her whilst they started to stitch me up (!) I wasn’t very polite to the doctor as she did this, so I had more pain relief and gas and air.
The room then gasped when she was weighed… 9lb 3oz! Ouch, ouch, ouch, no wonder she wouldn’t come out!
So all the fears I had of birth came true and I was left quite traumatised. I had a few nightmares so I recently went back for a debrief of the birth, which answered a few questions but I still suffer from Tokophobia.
Of course, all the pain of pregnancy and birth were worth it for our amazing little girl though. Our little girl is now almost 14 moths old, has inherited her Nana’s red hair, has a temper to match and we are thinking of having another (am I crazy?). I’ll admit I am contemplating having an elective c-section but then the stubborn side of me wants to try natural again…!
I love this Maria! Thank you xx This sums up childbirth for me. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress, and moments after giving birth I was all ready to do it again (I’m less so now!) but despite your Tokophobia, even you are ready to do it again. I blame Mother Nature and NTC in equal measures! It goes to show how incredible the female body really is though, this is matter over mind all the way. Thanks again Maria, I look forward to sharing #2!
Do you suffer from Tokophobia? Has it stopped you getting pregnant or, like Maria, did you go for it anyway? Tell all!
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