Post # 1
I have had this on my mind for awhile and have just been too scared to talk to anyone about it. I so so dearly want to have kids but I have a huge fear of childbirth and just having a child to take care of. In a year I will be getting married and my fiancé keeps joking that he’s going to get me pregnant on the honeymoon and I feel as if I wouldn’t mind having a child in a year, I’d just be absolutely terrified. There are a lot of things I think that play into this fear. One of them being I have always had issues with my body. I have never felt happy with my body. I always feel as if something could be changed or be better. At one point I’m pretty sure I was anorexic I was 97 pounds and every time I ate I would think ‘will this make me gain weight?’. I’ve gotten a lot better now and have gained 4 lbs since then have been feeling a lot better about food and not limiting myself but I’m scared I’ll go back to those ways. Another thing is I get really anxious when things are out of my control. I don’t know what to expect with a child, I don’t know how they will act, who they will become, and that really scares me. I am also an introvert and need alone time as with a baby that will ultimately never happen…again. I’m also very afraid if child birth, I literally get sick even thinking about it. There are just so many things that I hope don’t go wrong and I would be just constantly anxious 24/7. Have any mothers have these worries? What are things like now and how did you overcome these things?
Post # 2
brikachu : I’ll be honest and say that for a long time, I was pretty firmly in the “no kids” camp. I did not want to be a mother and part of the reason was that pregnancy and childbirth absolutely terrified me. The idea of being pregnant grossed me out on a pretty deep level and the thought of childbirth was horrifying. There were other reasons too, of course, but those were a big factor.
I’m currently about 7 weeks pregnant. So, what changed for me? A few things. My life became more stable (which addressed other issues I had with having children) and I became more open to the idea of having children. But still afraid of pregnancy/childbirth. What helped was really just seeing so many close friends have babies of their own. I realized that, yeah, giving birth is scary…so many women do it, and have done it. And at one point I guess I was like “well, if all these people I know can handle it, so can I”. I still would prefer to be knocked out and wake up and have them hand me my baby (I wish!), but I’m coming to terms with the idea. Another part is most 9 month pregnant women I know are just so ready to be done with pregnancy that they’re ready to go through whatever it takes to be finished.
Now, I’m still anxious- my pregnancy so far has been a kind of nerve wracking experience, although I think once I get through the first 12 weeks I’ll feel better. I’m nervous about late pregnancy and having a giant baby bump and feeling like my body isn’t my own. But it is what it is, and I just keep reminding myself that billions of women before me have been pregnant and given birth and that I’m capable, too. Not sure how much this helps- but I think most women agree that pregnancy and childbirth aren’t the overwhelmingly joyous occasions that it’s always made out to be.
Post # 3
brikachu : congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I don’t have advice. Commenting to follow as I feel the exact same way!
Post # 4
Would you ever feel comfortable fostering or adopting as opposed to giving childbirth yourself?
Post # 5
I never had a fear of childbirth or pregnancy, but rather a major fear of actually raising them and not f**king them up. When we were discharged after our first, we were both so confused… “Like, so we just walk out the door with him?” I don’t know what we expected, someone to check our credentials, make sure we weren’t both absolutely insane?
Once we got him home though, it was as if he had always been there, and I knew just what to do. ‘A mother’s instinct,’ is a common term for a reason, it is an actual thing that you experience. Tiny humans can’t do for themselves, and you just kinda turn on a switch inside you and do it.
As for the fear of childbirth… There is a reason you see women have 3,4,5 + kids… They forget the pain! My second was born without an epidural, and even though I remember it being really painful, I think I down play it down in my head. I totally was on board to have a third (though it’s not in the cards), once you have that baby in your arms you forget everything you just went through. My first birth was pretty easy after the epidural… No pain. 😉
I am also introverted. I’m not sure if I grew out of it a bit, or if it is just different with the kids as opposed to adults. I am a Stay-At-Home Mom and I don’t get too overwhelmed with being surrounded all day long. “Mommy time” is after 9. Everyone goes to bed, and I have to take an hour or so just to be alone, whether I read, watch TV, or browse the internet (aka hang out on the bee). I don’t know, you adjust. Kids are a game changer, and though a precious one, you have adapt. The good news is that it’s not all at once. You kinda get to ease into each stage.
ETA: Your OB can refer you to a nutritionist if you think you may have any problems eating while pregnant.
Post # 6
I used to be terrified of childbirth. I always said I would adopt rather than giving birth to biological children. But I ended up doing my thesis project comparing the different ways midwives and OBs talk about pregnancy and childbirth. I read a lot of books by midwives and it completly changed my perspective on childbirth. I highly suggest anything by Ina May Gaskin. It is a truly different perspective on childrbith that, for me at least, felt very empowering and took away a lot of the fears I had and my husband and I fully intend on TTC next summer.
As for you other concerns – you make time for yourself, even when you are mother. You won’t be in this alone, you’ll have your husband and hopefully family and friends to help as well. I know when I was young my mom had me in daycare for a couple of hours a few days a weeks so that she could just have some time for herself and get things done. Or she’d have my dad take me to the park, drop me off with the grandparents for a bit.
Have you considered therapy for your issues with weight? Even if you are doing better now, therapty could be a good preemptive strike if you can forsee those issues coming up again during pregnancy. It could also help with your anxiety about not having control.
Post # 7
rosydelight : I wouldn’t want to adopt. I know I want to have my own kids mostly because my fiancé was the cutest baby ever 😭 I just get overwhelmed with anxiety thinking about all the things that come along with having a child. I was actually pregnant in Nov of last year and had an abortion because I was terrified. I’m hoping at some point I’ll feel more ‘ready’ if that’s even possible. The brief 8 weeks I was pregnant I just felt like I was in a surreal haze and I cried everyday. It was horrible. I just don’t know how to make this fear of mine go away.
Post # 8
brikachu : Have you considered a surrogate? And you could always adopt for baby #2 or #3! 😉
Post # 9
ClaudiaKishi : Another part is most 9 month pregnant women I know are just so ready to be done with pregnancy that they’re ready to go through whatever it takes to be finished.
Lol yes! This! I’m 10 days away from my due date and going through anything would be worth getting baby out at this point.
OP, I have always had anxiety about everything, not just childbirth, but definitely childbirth. I can tell you that pregnancy is an anxiety inducing time – you’ll always wonder is baby okay? Am I eating too much/gaining too much/gaining too little? Is baby deveoping right? Did baby move enough today? How am I going to make it through birth? I’m not counting on it going away after birth either – my mom says the worries now are just preparing me for another 18+ years of it. But statistically, so many women do it – the pregnancy, the childbirth, the child raising. And then they often do it again and again. If they can do it, you can too. You will survive! I would consider talking to a therapist/nutritionist about the body image thing, your body will get weird in ways you can’t imagine.
Post # 10
brikachu : Ok I commented before seeing your update. After seeing that – 2 things…babies you adopt can be cute too, and I’m sure you know that having the cutest baby ever is not the best reason to birth a child. But more importantly, I’m going to suggest therapy again. Talking to someone about your fears might be the best way to overcome them if you’ve already been pregnant and so terrified that you had to abort. It seems your issues are definitely deeper rooted than the usual scared of childbirth thing that a lot of women have.
Post # 11
With anorexia and a recent abortion because of your fears, I would strongly suggest talking to a professional. This is beyond normal ambivalence about having children. I have an 8 week old, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, but I will say make sure you’re ready. Good luck!
Post # 12
brikachu : Have you ever spoken to a professional about your eating habits, extreme worries about your body and need for control? Because weighing 101 pounds (97 plus 4 right) even now when you are feeling “better” about food is TINY, how tall are you? All of your worries set off massive red flags in my head for an eating disorder, I think you might have a lot more going on than just fear of childbirth.
Post # 13
The thing that sticks out to me is that you don’t mention why you want kids. You briefly mentioned/implied that your Fiance wants them (the honeymoon comment) and how you want a cute baby. What are your real deep reasons for wanting children. If it is simply because “that’s what you do” after marriage or you want them because your Fiance wants them, those are not solid reasons. I am pretty firm on having no kids and I did a ton of self examination on the pros and cons and who I am as a person and what my values and beliefs are. This sort of intense self examination led to the conclusion that I’m going to make a kick-ass Aunt, but probably never a mother. I think that same level of self awareness should go into the decision to have a child. Why is this important to you? What qualities do you posess that will make you a great mom? Make sure you really examine this on a personal level. You don’t “have” to have kids, especially if you are this terrified of childbirth and that loss of control. The loss of control is something that really impacted my decision. I need order in my life and I need to know where things are going and kids don’t fit into that world view, so I’m not going to have one and hope that my world view and personality change. There are mothers out there that hoped they would change their opinions/views/personalities but did not. It’s too big of a risk if you are not 100% sure.
Post # 14
- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
I think I fall in line with NowMrsS here in a lot ways. There’s more going on than fear of childbirth. I think that’s real for you. And that you’re fearful of being pregnant. And fearful of having a child. I’m not sure that us suggesting ways to get over it is the right thing to do.
Why do you want kids? You don’t mention that. Is it because it’s the next logical step and what society expects? Is it to make your partner happy? Or is it something in YOU that longs for and requires that.
I’m in the camp with no intention of having kids of my own. Lonnnng list of reasons. The thing I frequently come back to is, “Well I don’t want a kid NOW, so then no more thought needs to go into it,” and that I’d ABSOLUTELY rather turn 45 and realize that I regret not having kids than have kids and regret having them.
From what you’ve said, I’d be worried about your pregnancy, your childbirth, and also very likely postpartum.
Maybe kids aren’t in the cards in the near future, or even at all. Make sure your fiance is okay with that possibility.