Q: I'm so nervous about the birth of my baby in four months time, I keep thinking about it all the time. I honestly don't think I can do it - I'm so scared of the pain.
I would much rather just have a caesarean but my doctor says there's no reason. Should I just keep quiet or insist on a caesarean? I'm losing sleep and all this worry can't be good for my baby.
A: When I went into hospital to have my baby, I heard four or five other women having their babies next door before I finally gave birth.
Thankfully it was inspiring and reassuring rather than frightening! I was struck by the similarities in how each woman reacted.
They each spent some time telling their midwife and/or partner worriedly "I can't do this, I can't!", but then as soon as the baby arrived this changed instantly to a joyful "Thank you so much" and "He/She's so beautiful!"
To be honest, it does hurt, a lot, but once you have your baby you won't care in the slightest about the pain you've just gone through.
Everyone is nervous about giving birth before it happens, we all hear so many stories from other women who have had a dreadful time but try not to let this worry you. As you say, it won't be good for your baby.
I'm sure none of these women have told you they wish they hadn't done it! Women do it again to have second and third babies, so it can't be so terrible.
Caesareans take a lot longer to recover from, so they aren't the easy option. Your medical team will not usually allow you to choose to have one purely because of your fears.
You wouldn't be able to drive for 6 weeks, establishing breastfeeding might be harder, and pushing a pram or holding the baby could be uncomfortable. If it happens that way on the day it's nothing to be ashamed of, but usually you would feel back to yourself much sooner after a 'normal' birth.
It can be difficult to feel that you are prepared for birth as it is such an unknown. Have you booked on to any antenatal classes?
These would probably be a big help, and you should definitely talk to your midwife about your concerns.
Are you scared about giving birth? Or maybe you were frightened but it turned out to be different to how you imagined? Share your experience by leaving a comment below...