News of the arrival of little Prince X has hit the headlines across the world. Stories are circulating about how well the Duchess of Cambridge looks, that she’s wearing the same colour outfit as Princess Diana did many years before, and her general appearance out of hospital. There are Mums everywhere debating about how she looks, how they didn’t look anywhere near as glamorous and other such post birth-related things.
However, for someone with a genuine fear of childbirth, it just gives me baby fear.
This is not a new thing. I’ve had this rather odd fear for sometime, stemming back to school when they give you ‘The Talk’ and explain how babies are made. I remember nearly vomiting and refusing, hands down, that nothing of human proportion would be appearing from…there.
As I got older, the fear got worse. Any talk of babies, birth, giving birth and I get sweaty, feel vomity and get images similar to that of World War Three in my head. I’ve never ever seen the programme ‘One Born Every Minute’ and even when a friend was pregnant and she asked me to watch it with her, I refused. Just hearing all the noise and chaos from the safety of my room made me feel anxious.
The fear has a name. Tokophobia. NCT.org says that one study estimates “one in every five women is affected to some extent by fear of childbirth, and six in every hundred are so scared of giving birth that it affects their pregnancy and birth choices.” So I’m not alone. I’m also in fear as with having Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve been told I would be at a higher risk of Post Partum Depression and Psychosis. None of this sounds fun.
At the moment, my mind is in a place where I would have a sprog but just because my parents would love grandchildren. I know how much I loved my Nan (and now miss her) and it’s sad that my fear would mean them not being able to be grandparents. However, the whole process of pregnancy, birth and looking after something makes me feel sick.
Apparently therapy can help in this situation. But I don’t know how I feel about having a small human to look after. Looking after the puppy stresses me right out. My other half is so calm and can handle most things. ‘Poonamis’ (when pup decides to poo, eat it and chuck it back up again) he’s not particularly happy about, but who is right?!
If anyone has any advice, I’d be very grateful. I’m on the waiting list for DBT for my Borderline but don’t know if that’ll necessarily help me find my maternal instincts.