When I went into labor with Smug-Baby, there wasn't, at any point during the labor or delivery, where I felt fear. I felt the intensity of the contractions, I felt excitement that I was going to meet my daughter finally, I felt fully in the moment of working though the contractions, but no fear. I had perfect faith in my body's ability and it never wavered. I never looked at my husband and said (or thought) that I wasn't up to the task.
I feel the exact same way about Little-Smug's birth, I am not afraid that I will fail at this, because my body knows what to do and all I have to do is turn everything over to my body and let it happen. Granted, I know that letting go of the control doesn't sound like something I would be able to do since I am not able to do it much in other areas of my life, but in this case it wasn't and isn't an issue.
However, while I have no fear of the pain of childbirth, the contractions, the pushing, I do have fears of a different sort all together.
When Smug-Baby was born, she never showed any distress on the monitors, never were the hospital staff expressing concern. Yet, when she was born, she wasn't responding. She had gunk in her lungs and her blood pH was out of whack. In my heart of hearts, I believe that both these problems resulted from the doctor choosing to cut the cord from around her neck rather than unwrap it. This had the effect of cutting off her oxygen supply which may have caused her to try to breathe before she was ready and inhale the meconium. It may have also caused her blood to have issues since she no longer had her life support system. The added issues were that they ripped the placenta from my body since the cord was already cut and I started to bleed out. All these issues may have been avoided had the cord been allowed to stay intact.
As I prepare for my labor and delivery with Little-Smug, I go over and over what happened with Smug-Baby and think about all the ways I can help ensure that this birth doesn't have the same issues. I have surrounded myself with a highly skilled midwife who will act as Doula and help guide Smug-Hub and I during the labor. She is well aware of my fear that the doctor will start to do something that is against what we want and will be able to step in and help Smug-Hub and I make sure that our wishes are followed.
Smug-Hub and I have had a thousand conversations about my fears (reasonable or unreasonable) and he knows to look to our Doula for guidance in making decisions while I am deep in labor land and not able to think clearly.
I have spoken with my doctor's office regarding my fears, although they don't seemed concerned and since there is little chance that they will be involved in my delivery...
We are working on a typed up list of birth preferences for the doctors and nurses who will be attending us during the labor. This will include things like not taking the baby away from me, no eye drops and breastfeeding only as well as delaying the cutting of the cord and other birth desires. Our Doula has said that she can try to have a conversation (or help Smug-Hub to have a conversation) with the doctor on call about my fears so that everyone involved can tread lightly and I can feel safe.
They still creep in though, those little day dreams of being violated in some way, having my fears and desires ignored and having another traumatic ordeal. I think about what I will say if the doctor is an asshole and really I am totally fine leaving the hospital and giving birth in the parking lot if he or she isn't willing to work WITH me.
I am a controlling person, I like and need control and yet when it comes to labor, you have to let go and let it happen and you have to be in a place and with people who make you feel safe. You have to give up control and my fear has to do with being in a place of no control and having things done to me against my wishes. We seem to have this idea that nurses and doctors do things in the heat of the moment to help save lives and that their ends justify the means. However I will be giving birth, not dying, I am not suffering from an illness, I am having a baby and I don't want people doing things to me all willy nilly!! I am the customer, I am the one paying for their services and I want to give consent!!
You know something? Even though things with Smug-Baby went downhill during the last few seconds of her birth and the following two weeks before we got her home were horrible, I consider myself as having had a positive labor and birth experience. This is because my body and my baby worked together just has God intended and I handled labor without issue. The hospital screwed up - not me! So, I will go into this new labor and birth experience with the same faith in my body and with all my layers of protection and I will work to have faith that this birth will be different.