Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Panic Attacks Triggered by Labor Pains

Lately I have been getting more and more nervous about delivering this baby. With my first child, I was very oblivious to what labor was like.

Let me preface by stating that I am a HUGE wuss when it comes to pain. A lot of woman try to be tough when delivering babies and it seems like a contest to see who can go the longest without an epidural. I commend the women who do it naturally. If that works for you than great. I on the other hand, just wanted to survive the experience. Before going to the hospital I had imagined that before any real pain or discomfort started surely in this day and age I would be pumped with pain medications. But while waiting to determine if I was in true active labor, and while waiting for the anesthesiologist to come back to the hospital since they sent him home for the night, I experienced a lot of pain and was very much unprepared for the agony I felt while waiting for an epidural. I have a distinct memory of burying my face into the bed, holding onto the bed rails and kicking my legs, literally writing in pain.

Then after getting my epidural, the rest was a piece of cake. But I learned just how unprepared I was for those first few hours. 

Now that I know better, whenever a small contraction starts I have immediately gone into panic mode.

Yesterday I went to the doctor and they checked me and told me that I could go pretty much anyday. Last night, I had several contractions while trying to go to sleep. I started shaking uncontrollably. I had a hard time catching my breath or my thoughts. I was petrified that I would soon experience the hard excruciating labor pains that I did the first time around.

I realize I am also worried about not being in control of the situation. I tried to schedule an induction because that would help me feel more in control of the when and how, but unfortunately my doctor will only do those after 39 weeks and she doesn't think I will last that long. I scheduled one anyway as a plan B, but I know that I am going to have to figure this out for the surprise middle of the night scenario.

Because I am feeling extreme anticipatory anxiety I know I need to sort out all of my thoughts just like I would for any other trigger and hopefully that will help me. My plan is to research more about breathing techniques (related to labor) that I can use as well as some helpful coping statements I can refer to to help control my thoughts.

I have attached my exercise I did to help address my fears. I plan to print it out and keep it in my hospital bag so I can refer to it when I need it.





What am I telling myself to make me feel this way?

I am worried that I will be in a lot of physical pain and not feel in control of the situation. I worry that I will panic and not be able to breathe or have my thoughts in order. 

What if the worst case scenario happened? What can I do?

If the labor pains start and they are super strong and I am hurting and feel the panic and I start to feel out of control, I will still be okay. Tyler will be there to help me through whatever is going on. He can drive me to the hospital and even carry me if needed.
I can take positive affirmations with me to help me control my thoughts and do some breathing exercises to help me with my breath.  Even if these don’t stop the panic it can help me to know that I am proactive about taking care of myself.

Positive Affirmations:

“I choose to control my thoughts.”
“I can accomplish anything I set my mind on.”
“This may be hard, but I can do this. I CAN DO this!”
“Circumstances are what they are, but I can choose my attitude toward them.”


Photobucket

12 comments:

Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Aimee,

I wanted to send a little good birthin' energy your way. Someone very close to me just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this evening (her 2nd). She deals with anxiety like we do and worried throughout her pregnancy that she would panic in labor - so much so that she was looking into induction as well. But, this afternoon she went into labor on her own and gave birth three hours later, having a really lovely labor.

You can do this Aimee and we're all cheering you on!

Kristin :)

Abi said...

Aimee, its natural to feel nervous and I know for us its just that little bit worse. I think you are brave to have another baby, I stopped with one because I couldn't face another pregnancy. Rest assured that no two births are the same and I believe second ones can be easier. Like Kristin said it could be a breeze, and if its not? so what, you will get through and the reward at the end will be worth all the effort.

Love and light
Abi

Shar said...

you can do it! your body was made to do it! i hope the breathing techniques are helping. you know me - i did hypnobabies. while a lot of women use that for natural labor, i think it can help everyone get through those hours before epidural time. one thing that helped me during that time was to remmeber that every contraction was bringing me that much closer to seeing my baby. your body is working for you and it's amazing! you'll do awesome.

positive happy thoughts are coming your way. :)

Depression Anxiety Panic Attacks said...

Hi Aimee!
Well congratulation for a beautiful baby. The solutions that you shared regarding breathing and controlling your mind is what the first and basic thing to be consider. Exercise and yoga helps to get rid of such situation.

Weight loss hypnosis said...

Hei Aimee, this is a very crucial period where one suffers from different disorders. If one is getting any panic attacks there is nothing to panic about it, rather one can always go for hypnotherapy to acquire complete relief!

aleisethefunny said...

I just want to say I love your blog, it is very helpful to me. By now you have probably had your baby and I hope you are doing well. I always have gotten worse anxiety while pregnant. This time (my third) it is worse. I think I am going to try some of the ideas on your blog. :)

Stop Anxiety said...

The thing about it is that pregnancy often induces depression which in some cases induces stress which leads to anxiety. You can read more about it here on the Stop Anxiety Blog

R said...

Hi Aimée and thank you so much for this awesome blog, it has helped me tremendously. I've been dealing with anxiety since I can remember but about a year ago I started to really work on it.
I hope everything went well with the little one arriving and I'm looking forward to hearing about it on your blog :)

R.

Cash said...

As a man it is hard for me to imagin what you must be going through. However i too suffer from anxieties and have to find natural ways of dealing with it on day to day basis. God bless and Good luck and congrats when things finally happen.
Gary
http://anxiety-and-fear.com

AnxiousNoMore said...

After my first(and only) panic attack, my doctor gave me a copy of the below book.

http://www.moonlightbooks.com.au/products/Living-with-It-(anxiety)-by-Bev-Aisbet.html

It helped me enormously, and I recommend the book at every opportunity.

Kathy Garolsky said...

Hi there.I'm kathy,you have a interesting post here.thanks for
sharing this.have a great day.

African mango said...

anxiety only occurs when one stays in the past or thinks about the future. Stay in the present and there should be no tension.

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