During pregnancy, women have many fears relating to the development and health of their babies, as well as some fears regarding their own weight gain, health, and parenting capabilities. These fears can be pretty overwhelming, but nothing seems to compare to the actual fear of giving birth. Many women (myself included!) attempt to block out the thought of birth until it is almost upon us, because if we thought about it too much, we would have a panic attack. As it gets closer and closer, though, women begin to research all the horrifying things that can happen during labor, and they really shouldn’t, because they just end up getting more freaked.
When labor finally begins, the distant thoughts that we wouldn’t allow to solidify become hard as rocks in the pit of our stomachs. So, what fearful thoughts do women have when they are in the process of bringing a child into this world?
As a woman who’s been there, I’m happy to share some of these exciting tidbits, as well as some of the thoughts other women have shared. Read through 15 of the most common terrifying thoughts that women have while giving birth. I can’t promise these will help you prepare for your own labor, but you’re going to research all this anyway, so at least I’ve made it easier for you!
15 What If We Don’t Make It To the Hospital?
A lot of women worry about being too far away from the hospital when they go into labor. It's a very real fear because anything can happen when a baby is being born, and we all want to know that the doctors are within reach if something goes wrong. But, if you are anything like this woman, you can throw that fear out the window! She just gave birth to her baby while she and dad were driving to the hospital. Like. A. Boss. I love dad's commentary throughout the video as well. He stays very calm and just reminds her of everything they've learned in birthing class. "The baby's head is down, so that's good, hun. Would you like me to keep driving, or would you like me to stop?" This chick is my new favorite person on the planet. She just pushed out a baby on the road, and she's so adorable while she does it, too.
14 They Better Not Screw Up The Epidural.
Some women prefer to have natural childbirth, and good for them, but for some of us, we know we want the happy juice before we even find out we’re pregnant. Maybe we don't handle pain well, or maybe we just have psyched up the pain so much in our minds, that we are terrified to even try doing it the natural way. Either way, we have almost as much fear of the epidural, as we do of the pain of labor. We wonder, "What if they put the needle in the wrong place and I get paralyzed?" Or, "What if they put the needle in wrong and I can still feel everything?" Or even this one, "What if they put it in wrong, and they have to keep sticking me with that giant needle over and over?" Doesn't really matter what the worry is, we just want the anesthesiologist to get it right the first time. Once they do and we feel blissful nothingness, then we are quickly on to the next fear.
13 Will The Drugs Hurt The Baby?
Drugs are administered to women during labor for many different reasons: to speed up labor, to help control pain, to keep down the blood pressure, etc. Even though the doctors try to reassure us that the baby will get little to no harmful side effects from the drugs, we still worry. Some drugs do more or less harm than others, but apparently it's a mother's job to worry about everything—and so we do. We will pepper the doctor and nurse with a thousand questions about the drugs, and even when they give us the answers, we will ask someone else—a different doctor walking by, or a stranger in the hallway. We will then do research on our phones--just in case the doctors and nurses we talked to already are complete dunderheads—to be double sure that the baby will be okay. We moms don’t mean to act so crazy—it’s just because we are scared.
12 I’m Going To Hemorrhage And Die
Death is a fear that all humans deal with at some point or another. We are all scared of different things and thoughts of death will hit us at different times, but the terror seems to be pretty universal across the board. We scared! For women, thoughts and fears about death are going to happen during labor. This is because we have heard so much about the past death rates of women during childbirth, and it's freaky AF. All the doctors will quote the current stats and reassure you that the likelihood of death or complications from childbirth in this day and age is minimal. We’re in the age of medical advancement and all that jazz, and that’s supposed to reassure us that we are going to be juuuust fine. "You are more likely to die in a car accident!" they always seem to say. Somehow, that doesn't reassure us. We are still going to think about death during labor. But thanks for trying!
11 The Umbilical Cord Might Be Wrapped Around The Baby’s Neck!
Another major fear that women have when they are in labor is that the umbilical cord might be wrapped around the baby's neck. This is not an unlikely situation, and it actually occurs quite frequently, although not always resulting in death. There are ways to fix the problem, and there are ways of getting baby out without strangling the baby (i.e. C-section). I'm not too sure what God (or Mother Nature) was thinking when he/she put a strangulation device in the womb... Population control? It ain't cool, though. Moms are terrified of the cord being wrapped around the baby's neck and we will ask the doctor over and over if they are sure that the cord was not, in fact, around the neck of their child. Luckily, doctors should know what to do in the event that this situation occurs, so try to be calm and let the doctors figure things out... Yeah right. Calm.
10 What If _________ Happens To The Baby? (Fill In The Blank)
A woman will begin to worry about her baby’s safety when the baby is first conceived, and unfortunately, it never stops. A woman's womb is not the only thing that can be fertile, and the imagination will run wild with all the terrifying things that can happen to baby before he/she is born. All you have to do is imagine it, and you will be able to be fearful of it. As soon as mom finally stops worrying about one thing, she will begin to worry about something else. Yes, bad things do happen to babies during labor, so we aren't completely crazy to worry, but worry doesn't actually solve any problems or make death less likely. Thoughts are going to stray to the baby's safety no matter what we do, and this common thought that women have while in labor is probably not going to go away any time soon. Still, let's try to be a bit more positive, shall we?
9 What If There Are Two Babies Instead Of One?
This terrifying thought might seem like a stretch, but I assure you it's not. I know this thought crossed my mind, and I know some friends who also feared the doctors somehow missed another baby, and that there was going to be another one in there that they weren’t prepared for. This terrifying thought probably can be analyzed by a psychologist as a fear of not being in control, or not being prepared for their child. Most likely first time moms will have this fear. Even though there is a psychological explanation behind it, and even though we've probably all seen just a few too many movies, this situation has happened! It's not impossible! Still, I suppose of all the things to worry about, the thought of having an extra baby to love is a little less terrifying in comparison. But then again...some people can't fathom two babies at once!
8 I’m Going To Have An Aneurysm And Die
Here's that fear of death again... It will keep cropping up during labor no matter how hard you try to distract yourself from it. Others may also try to distract you, "Here, have an ice chip!" They will try to talk to you about anything other than that worrisome blood pressure reading that is only getting higher and higher every time they check it. It's really tough to let go of things, and just hope for the best. Staying calm really is the most important thing you can do when in labor. The higher your blood pressure, the more dangerous things are going to get for you and your child. Stop worrying about all the different ways you can die in childbirth, and try to focus on how wonderful it's going to be to get to hold that new bundle of joy. Even though death is always a possibility, a new life is worth it.
7 I’m Terrified I'll Sh&% In Front Of My Spouse...
…or in front of anyone, really. Is it the end of the world if you push out a bit of poo when you are trying to push out a baby? Of course not, but it's still a huge concern that women have about labor, and the thought of it absolutely terrifies them! We all want our spouses to continue to be attracted to us after the baby comes out, and we are convinced that if that particular image gets burned into their minds, they won't be. I will never forget the scrunched face my husband made when he caught a whiff of the substance I most hoped wouldn't make an appearance. He didn't look, but I could tell he knew it was there! Just because it's not a life or death situation, doesn't mean it's not a terrifying thought. Women don't get to be modest while giving birth, though, do they?
6 What If I Need To Have A C-Section?
Almost every mom, especially first-time moms, will worry about needing a C-section. Most of us would like to have an uneventful vaginal delivery, but sadly that's just not in the cards for all of us. I had a C-section with both of my children, but I wanted a vaginal birth with both. The first time, I was absolutely terrified of being sliced open. The second time I was less terrified of being sliced open, and more terrified of the recovery time following a C-section, having already experienced it. The pain that follows the C-section is far worse than anything a woman experiences during the birth. Some of us are more scared of surgery than others, but this fear is high on the list for laboring moms. We all know the most important thing is giving birth to a healthy child, but none of us wants to have unnecessary surgery. I will say, once the C-section is over, all fears seem to just evaporate when you meet that baby for the first time.
5 I Hope I Don’t Kill My Mother/Mother-In-Law. Because Jail.
As if delivering a baby isn't stressful enough, our family members will often add to the stress and pressure. This isn't something they likely intend, but sometimes they just can't help themselves. Mothers and mothers-in-law will always have advice for the mom-to-be, and the advice and 'wisdom' isn't always welcome. We don't likely care about the way you did it, we have our own minds, thanks! Moms and moms-in-law mean well, but we can't help fantasizing that the doctors will kick them out of the delivery room for being such a nuisance--because we'd never be forgiven for doing it ourselves. Bossing around the doctors and nurses is not a good look; help your laboring daughters and daughter-in-laws by buttoning those lips, please! Trust me, they don't need any more stress right now, so just keep all those opinions to yourselves! Maybe they’ll thank you for your self-possession by letting you hold the baby first!
4 What If The Doctor Makes A Mistake, And I Die?
I'm sure most doctors are good at what they do, but that doesn't stop us from questioning their every decision. Let's be real though, doctors are humans—they make mistakes (sorry docs, but it's true!). We can't help second-guessing them, especially when we don't like or don't agree with their diagnosis/medical opinion. I'm pretty sure when the lady doctor (who told me I needed to have my first C-section) made her recommendation, I told her she was fired. "Not what I wanted to hear, doc. Get me someone more reasonable to talk to, stat!" Of course eventually I had to let her be the doctor. I couldn't very well deliver the baby without her, and it turns out she was right. I hate it when that happens. We moms-to-be will still obsess over their every recommendation, weighing the advice carefully, consulting WebMD before we agree to their suggestions, though. Right, ladies?
3 Please Don’t Be Anything Wrong With My Baby!
Even with all of the terrifying thoughts we've already discussed, the one that is the most terrifying is that the baby won't make it, or something really bad will happen to him/her. We can't get this thought out of our heads until we see the baby has been born healthy. We strain to hear that first cry, and to feel baby’s warm skin pressed against our own. We're scared about the pain, we're scared for our own lives, but we care far more about that tiny human's safety. This is the beginnings of putting another being before ourselves, and we will never stop again. We would die for our children, and we would die for our babies. During my first C-section, I was so terrified that I would die, but the instant they brought that baby to me, all fears for my own life just fell away and I told the doctors, "Hurry up and sew me back together! I want to hold my baby!"
2 Please, Please Don’t Tear All The Way To My Bum!
Pregnancy ravages our bodies. It's an unfortunate side effect of bringing life into this world, but because of how much we've already put our bodies through, we hope that Mother Nature will just give us a break, already. Let us pop out a baby after two hours of labor and all of three pushes. Come on! We've been through enough. No can do, she says. This next part is a test of your fortitude. You're gonna need it when this child becomes a teenager. If you've already been torn a new one, you'll be prepared when your kid does the same. Thanks, Mother Nature! We really needed that lesson. Sure, the tear will heal...eventually. But our bodies just never feel the same after everything they get put through during pregnancy and delivery. Still, we know that it's all worth it in the end. I've yet to meet a mother who doesn't agree that they would gladly sacrifice their bodies for their babies if they had to. That won't stop us from complaining about it, though.
1 I Didn’t Die! But, What If I’m A Terrible Mother?
After the baby is finally out and snuggled in your arms, and after you've figured out how to get your baby to latch on your nipple (ouch!), you develop a new terrifying thought: What if I suck as a mother? Suddenly, all the careful planning and all the sacrifices you made while pregnant just don't seem like enough, and you become truly horrified at the thought that you might not be a good mom. Every mother on the planet has had this thought at one point or another, and it usually begins when that baby is placed into your awaiting arms. You realize that this baby is yours—your responsibility—and it's up to you to turn this child into a decent human being. Are you up for the challenge? What were you thinking having a kid? All you can do is the best you can, mama. You're going to be great! Just remember, if they don't turn out so well—there's always military school. Comforting thought, isn’t it?