The Fear: Childbirth and Childcare

I have a fear of childbirth. I have a fear of getting pregnant; feeling like my body has been taken over by a foreign being and labouring for hours to get this foreign being out of my body.

I am fearful that I live in a part of the world where there is a very strong probability of dying in childbirth.

I am scared that after labouring for hours to have this child I will have the sole responsibility of caring for the child. I am scared that I will be the only one who will wake up in the night when my child cries, that I will be the only one who feeds this child, the one who is the primary carer.

I do not hear my biological clock tick yet I am scared that I may regret not having a child.

22 comments On The Fear: Childbirth and Childcare

  • I think you want to amend 'probability' to 'possibility'. I do not see how there is a high probability of dying in childbirth. Most survive though, admittedly, an unfortunately high number do not.

  • Hey lady….this is my first time reading your blog!

    I can say that even with my 2nd and 3rd child…I was afraid of childbirth. My mom jokingly says, "they're easy to get in there, but hard to get out."

    The fear of all that comes with taking care of a child (feeding, bathing, caring for them when they are sick, etc.) is valid. Your life is forever changed. However, I think once you are in the thick of it…the daily grind is not as overwhelming as you would imagine it to be. It's one of those things that you have to experience to understand. I think God gives women the strength to do all that we do as mothers. I'm thankful for that!

  • After hearing the icky details that go along with "expelling" the child cum parasite..
    I too am afraid of child birth. I'm hoping that time will soften me but alas.. it is a bit too much to handle.
    Hmm hire a Surrogate mother maybe??

  • Kwegyirba Aggrey-Orleans

    You are not alone. But my mum told me that once you see your child, all the pain and fear dissipate and you wanna swim across the Atlantic for him/her.:-)
    Adoption is always an option too.

  • …I see women with little babies, and I get so engrossed in watching them play and wishing they were mine.(toddlers particularly yank hard on my heartstrings)

    They're just so cute and huggable with their wide, bright eyes and tiny hands and feet. I sooo want an adorable little girl who looks just like me.

    But if by some crazy twist of faith someone offered me a baby say today, I would run a mile and then keep on running. Not entirely sure why yet…having to be solely responsible for such a helpless being just freaks the be-crap out of me. Call me selfish or whatever…I really don't know what it is.

    Even if (or when) I got married I would still be absolutely terrified of the prospect of carrying a child inside of me. Gosh, do not get me started on the prospect of labour and childbirth, I can barely get through my period every month.

    I think if my clock ever went into overdrive I might require some intensive counseling to be open to the idea.

  • Well, what with Lister and other 'state-of-the-art' hospitals around in accra, now, you are much less likely to die, although, I still would rather go to K'bu than anywhere else if i had to give birth in Gh. And if you know a doctor, they can contrive to get you an epidural, so childbirth is not that painful (or at all)….without the epidural, I don't know if i could do it: can't stand any form of pain at all. as for pregnancy……….

  • You are not alone no!
    I share your fear but it will be well.

  • I TOTALLY share your fear. Having a baby is my biggest fear. I really, really want children (not this second, obviously, but at some point in the future) but I am just scared shitless by the thought of being inhabited by this alien that I would have created. CREATED!!!

    I think it's really creepy that we (i. e. women) literally become the spaceships through which new creatures come to earth. It's so strange. And beautiful I suppose. Or maybe just painful, I don't know. I fear that when the time comes, I may need a coupla stiff drinks to get me through labour.

    But when I think about childbirth fully, I understand why mothers slap rude children and say 'I didn't labour for x hours so you could stand here and talk nonsense to me'.

    Anyhoo, I just wanted to say you are not alone in your fear and it's totally rational.

  • I guess having that little angel makes it all worth it at the end of the day..

    It's just breaking down those barriers to get to that point that's the hard part..

  • When you hold the bundle of joy in your arms, all the fears will slip away..

  • @Nana Yaw – No I do not want to amend probability to possibility. It is a sad fact that in our part of the world being pregnant is life-threatening…more so than if you lived in the so called developed world.

    @MBA Mama – Hahaha, I love your Mum already. As for the daily grind wouldn't life be so much easier if men did their fair share of childcare, like 50%?

    @BrownAngel – Charle, the Surrogate Mum sounds great to me too. Does that mean surrogates have no fear?

    @Kwegyirba – I think adoption is a great idea and one I am quite keen to explore in the future

    @Anon 1 – Lol, they can be so cute when they are other people's children. I so adore my GodChild but its easy to adore her as she is across the Atlantic

    @Anon 2 – Yep from what I have heard K-Bu is the best place to go to despite all the other "hotel like" private clinics. If you were to require emergency care you will still be rushed to K-Bu so why not go there from the start…although the lift in the maternity ward hasn't worked for years

    @Adaeze – Thank you sister!

    @Emz – Seriously I have been overwhelmed by the comments on this post. I am sooo glad I am not alone in my fear

    @RocNaija – Hmmm, especially when those barriers are a very sensitive part of my body. Ouch!

    @BSNC – I hope so…but then the childcare fears take over

  • Babies scare me. They're so tiny. I am always scared I will break them.

  • The body heals my dear.. 😀

  • This post reminds of my experience 3 years ago, when we had our son. I can't remember all the promises I made to God as I stood by my wife's side in that labour ward at North Ridge Clinic. I forgot there was something called sex for a long time after that. 18 hours in labour can really make an impotent. It really can.

  • @Anon – Yes they appear so vulnerable when they are newly born

    @Roc Naija – Hmmm, I will have to take your word for it

    @Nana Kofi – Interesting. Does that mean have the fear too?

  • Adoption is always an option. In fact it's something everyone should consider!

  • A little comment about the chances of dying in childbirth. Most maternal births are accounted for by women who don't have access to hospitals/clinics for delivery (and use traditional birth attendants) so there is definitely a skew in the figures. If you live in an area where you can get decent prenatal care (so they can catch any abnormalities early on) and can get to a hospital or clinic soon after you go into labor, dying in the process isn't really something to worry about.

  • @Anon – That makes so much sense, thank you for the really useful information. I might just have that baby one day after all…

  • Thank u soooo much for this post.

    When I try to explain this fear to people who HAVE kids all you get it afterwards it will all be worth it. Afterwards?! What I’m scared of is getting THROUGH it. Childbirth is horrific. My God! I think the day I found out I’m going to have a baby I’ll collapse intyo a screaming heap, I’m sooooooo scared! This fear materialised when I was 17 and my brother’s girlfriend had their first child. My dad was so excited about being a Granddad we saw her the same dad. Like an idiot I asked her how she was…I’ll never forget the pain and horror in her eyes. I knew she loved her daughter, but that look. It’ll haunt me forever.

    …But I want a baby (in the future) so bad, I wanna adopt but I want my own one too!

  • If the child is yours in your womb, how is it a foreign being? I am sure you would feel a connection. But what do I know?

  • Nana … its a choice, I believe. So long as you are ready for it, everything coming with it meets you ready and prepared!

    At 25, I made a decision to conceive (part of my life’s plans …lol); I did, and I cn never forget the feelings of the child growing, kicking about, swimming and somersaulting inside … at one scanning, I saw my son (then 6 months old in the womb), pushing his thumb towards his mouth!! They even open and close their eyes whilst inside, and they kick you when you stop talking to them … they know you BEFORE they come out!

    So if you feel you WANT it, I say go ahead … all the sleepless nights and naughty days cannot compare with the soft palms on your face as he brings your face down to slobber on … his eyes following you about the room … or that sunbeam of a smile she gives ONLY you!

    I enjoy being a mother. I am not saying everyone will … but you never know until you ask yourself those qns.

  • @Nsoromma – I agree with you, comments like it will all be worth in afterwards are not very helpful…surrogacy sounds like a good option to me

    @Araba – I don’t know ooo, I just think its a distinct possibility that one can feel like that. I think you are lss likely to feel like a foreign being has taken over your body if you chose to get pregnant and have an “easy” pregnancy and feel in control of your body

    @Golda – You give me hope!

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