When you were a little girl, did you dream of having a bunch of kids running around the house? Lots of noise and lots of joy. A Brady Bunch of your very own? As you got older, this desire most likely grew stronger, but more realistic. You realized that having six children was not as easy to manage as it seems on TV. And as you got closer to your child bearing years, you had many questions about the process of childbirth, and the pain. When you asked your mother or sister what it was like, you got a fuzzy response with not too many details. Everything turns out alright, they would say, and look what you get out of it!
When you become pregnant, and that dream of starting a family is real, you try to put on a brave face. In the back of your mind, however, you are afraid. It’s not enough to know that most women in the world have a child, indeed many children, and survive. It’s little comfort to understand that this is no longer the Wild West, and death during childbirth has practically been eliminated. The common knowledge that labor is painful should be enough, but it isn’t. Some pregnant women suffer greatly in silence. They carry the heavy burden of being absolutely panic stricken at the thought of giving birth. But they have no outlet to discuss their paralyzing fear. The unwritten rule is to deal with it.
Instead of harboring this fear and worrying for nine months straight, think about being honest with your gynecologist. She or he can refer you to a group of women at the same stage of pregnancy as you and maybe even a group that shares your anxiety. There are many women out there who feel the same way you do, and are not quite sure how to broach the subject, especially with other pregnant women. You don’t have to feel that this topic of conversation is somehow inappropriate or uncomfortable for people, if you are among kindred spirits. You need to know that there are safe environments in which to speak about this panic.
Most pregnant women have no idea how their birth is going to go. They don’t know if they will remember any of the Lamaze breathing techniques they learned or if they are going to end up having a Cesarean Section at the last minute. They don’t know if they will take an epidural shot, or if that shot will work. There are many unknowns. Yes, of course, everything will turn out alright, but if you feel that your particularly potent dread of labor is really putting a damper on your pregnancy and causing unbearable stress, don’t be afraid to admit it. You are not alone, and maybe another soon-to-be mom is just waiting for you to ask.