I had a conversation at preschool drop-off this morning about pregnancy and delivery. We have these conversations a lot lately because our favorite preschool teacher is pregnant with her first baby. As is warranted, she's scared and excited and feeling all the feelings we all do as her delivery date approaches.
She said that her moms from the earlier class were telling her horror stories of delivery and afterwards and basically doing that thing that I fail to understand where moms like to scare the shit out of first time moms. I went through it and now when I see it or hear of it happening, I get in a protective tizzy. The other moms in our preschool class are just the best and so we rallied and relayed with love that there is no need for the scare tactics.
Why do moms think it's ok to scare the crap out of first-time pregnant women?
I get that we all like to share war stories. But I'd rather do that with moms who have already been through this, not moms who are approaching doing it for the first time.
Every birth is different and everyone has their own unique story and every single one is worthy of respect and admiration. BUT each one is different and the feelings may be more complicated and the delivery itself may be more harrowing, but MOST of the time, the stories end with mom and baby doing just fine. A bit haggled and in shock, but fine.
SURE. Pregnancy and delivery are hard. They are painful. They are scary. We all read the books and hear the stories and know that what we are going into is going to be equal parts painful and joyous and all the things.
I read all the books and my delivery was nothing like I read about. Nothing can truly prepare you.
What I cannot stand is this thing of, "HEY SHE IS HAVING A BABY LETS TELL HER HOW HORRIBLE OUR EXPERIENCE WAS". I do not get this. There's a difference between truth telling and calmly sharing stories (if asked), and just trying to be funny or get a rise out of somebody. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.
I think it's just that people want to share their truth and not sugar coat it, which we shouldn't, but there's a difference between sharing reality with love and just sharing to get a reaction.
Like everything else in this life, if we lead with love and comfort and compassion, we stand more of a chance of helping. I want to help. I don't want to scare.
When I was pregnant, I walked away when people tried to tell me their horror stories. YOU CAN WALK AWAY TOO. After all, we can only control our side of things but people WILL try to tell you all the things. No good can come from this.
Pregnancy is exciting and terrifying and scary and wonderful. It's good to know this going in. But nothing can truly prepare you. My story is one of pushing forever, being induced and then having a c-section. None of it makes me any better or worse than anybody else.
This picture was the before. The after is not so pretty. I don't remember the first 24 hours very well due to drugs and the shakes and the exhaustion, but I remember we did it. None of it was easy. But the end result was clear, two healthy babies. Statistics show that the outcome is usually just that. We were in good hands and all was fundamentally well.
I loved being pregnant, I really did. And the reason was that I was able to keep my fear under control (somewhat - I mean let's be realistic), and just hoped for the very best outcome. I wouldn't ever want to ruin that time of pregnancy for anybody else. That's too much for me to bear. We never know what seems harmless to us may really really stick with someone else who is more vulnerable in that moment.
Women who are pregnant for the first time (and later times as well) - stick to comfort and love and not fear. Remember that you are and will be in good hands and around people who have your best interests at heart.
And please please please ladies. If you are out there terrorizing first time pregnant women, save your stories for those of us who have already been there. I know you probably think it's all in good fun and what's the real damage, but these women will be with us soon enough and will have their own stories to tell to join in. Let's not ruin this time for them. Honesty with kindness is different than shock and awe. We don't need to add to their fear right now. Love, just love.
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