Major Fear of the Spinal...Any Advice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2008
Major Fear of the Spinal...Any Advice?
Sat, 12-13-2008 - 4:34pm

Hi there,

Today is the first time I have posted and I am not sure how these message boards go. I had a c-section 2 years ago and I was SO FREAKED OUT by the whole hospital setting and OR (especially after seeing the drain on the floor) that I asked to be given general anesthesia and completely knocked out for the C/S. I just couldn't handle the whole situation and I was worried that I would panic. I didn't have the epidural or spinal because I AM TOO FREAKED OUT to do it.....

Fast forward to today and I am now 24 weeks pregnant and I had my hospital tour today. The nurse there was really kind and she was telling me to get the spinal for my scheduled c/s and that it would be ok. I am not sure that I will be able to do it and will once again ask for general anesthesia. (I am so terrified of needles and medical stuff and I know it's completely irrational). I am also worried that I will panic on the table due to knowing I am cut open,,which is so creepy and I way overthink that part.

Any suggestions on what to do at the hospital to try and not opt for the general anesthesia? I would prefer to be awake for the birth but I am so scared...and I don't mean just a little bit. I am terrified beyond words and it's not something I can just get over as even some of my close friends and family have suggested.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 12-13-2008 - 8:56pm

welcome to the board, the best advice I could give you would be to talk with your doctor. Be sure that he/she knows that this isn't just a small fear that you are actually terrified. They can do things to help you relax, but most of all the hospital staff, your doctor and all the nursing staff need to know that the fear you are having is there and that it isn't something to take lightly. Talk to them and find out what they can do for you.

Keep us posted and let us know what your doctor has to say.


Dionne cl siggy

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Dionne cl siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
Sat, 12-13-2008 - 9:28pm

I am in the same boat as you, I had a c/s 9 years ago with my first, didn't get the chance to get general anethsesia, I was hemorraging, and my dr was transverse inside me so they had to go in as fast as they could to get her out. they did the spinal and messed up. I am ok now though, they just numbed me up too much and had a panic attack on the table cause I felt like I couldn't breathe. My dr was really good and supportive of taking his time before I was ready to go.

I had another c/s 3 1/2 years later, Oh btw I'm terrified of needles as well. But they give you the shot in your back, they have a nurse stand in front of you and they either hug you or have you bend over as far as you can and she'll be there to walk you through the whole thing, then you lay down on the table and they put up this blue sheet so you can't see what is going on. I just shut my eyes the entire time until they told me look up, and you'll see your baby...cause the nurse was standing there showing her to me. You can't see what is going on past the blue curtain so you have no clue what is happening, you will feel some pressure when they remove the baby but that's all, just pressure. if your nervous they can give you stuff to relax you, and make you calm down. They will do everything possible to make you comfortable.

Its really not a bad experience, I enjoyed both mine. and am looking forward to my third in June.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2004
Sun, 12-14-2008 - 11:19am

I first agree with a PP talk to your DR. They may have some suggestions for you. I would also talk with the anesthesiologist in your room before surgery. Let them know what your fears are.

I had a c-section with DS & will have one with this pg also. I had a spinal with DS. I did not have any problems with breathing, but I also went in knowing that that could be a complication & made me more calm when I realized I just couldn't feel myself breathing but I was. As a PP said they put up a drape & you cant see anything going on. My Dr & nurses all talked to me & each other about stuff other than my surgery which helped keep my mind off of it, until they said there he is & he gurgled (long story).

I had kidney stones about 6 weeks ago that I had to have surgically removed. I had to have a spinal for that as a general could harm the baby. They did not put up & drape & the room was scary & strange. I was also alone vs SO being there. They thankfully did not have to be as invasive as they thought but I would much prefer a c-section to that experience.



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2008
Tue, 12-16-2008 - 6:54pm

I too was really creeped out by the needle in the back thing but knowing i'd be able to see my babies (i had twins) immediately after birth helped me through it. Really, the spinal isn't bad at all.... if you have a good anesthesia team, they should help take your mind off it so you don't even think about it. Wonder if they can give you something to calm you first then give you the spinal?? I know its hard but seeing the birth of your baby really is a once in a lifetime thing and something I think you'd truly enjoy. Make sure you discuss your fear with your doc though as well so they can help you through it. A new baby is a great excuse to face on of your biggest fears!

Best of luck.....


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2004
Wed, 12-17-2008 - 7:21am

I'm sorry you are going through so much fear.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2007
Thu, 12-18-2008 - 3:43pm
I agree that it isn't as bad as what you think it will be.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2008
Tue, 12-23-2008 - 11:10pm

Ok it is scary...