Written by Farrah
What is with people? Why is everybody so keen to share all the bad sides of pregnancy, labour and parenting? It’s so far from helpful it’s unreal.
I don’t really understand where people get off telling you how bad their labour was. It’s not going to make you feel any better — and my advice to you, right now, is to tell them to shut the fuck up. If it’s not a good story, you don’t want to hear it.
When I was pregnant, people seemed to revel in telling me all the bad bits. They loved to tell me how I’d waddle, how I’d not be able to stop myself from peeing, and how I’d be peeing more often.
They said I’d ache and I’d suffer, and I’d be emotional and cry all the time, and laugh, and they told me that it’d all be so much harder because I was on my own.
Thing was, none of these things happened. I didn’t ever pee myself, I didn’t end up peeing that much more often, I didn’t ache or suffer, or cry at stupid things.
I don’t think I ever heard anything about how nice it could be, how being woken up by kicks and rolls wasn’t actually a bad thing.
How you marvel at the fact that your body creates this beautiful, amazing thing, how you know what’s in there but you still can’t quite believe it. Even when they’re out it’s hard to get your head round the fact that it was in fact them in there.
When labour creeped closer, I was told all the horror stories you can imagine. Seemed like nobody had had a labour that wasn’t traumatic in one way or another. One person ended up with forceps, another prepped for a c-section then ended up not having one, failed epidurals popped up, the “ring of fire”, all the nasties.
Not once did anybody mention how none of those things would matter once you were holding your baby. Nobody told me that the “ring of fire” was the last, tiny moment of birth, the bit where the pain felt so good because you knew it was so close to being over and you were so, so close to baby, that at that point you could touch them.
Nobody said to me “yeah, my birth was fine!”
Can you imagine? Nobody told me that! I was told that so-and-so “was born in two hours!” which, I knew, was unrealistic for me as a first time mother. While not necessarily a horror story, it was one that didn’t matter because it related to a second (or more) baby.
So let me tell you something:
IT’S NOT THAT BAD.
My first birth was awkward. He was back-to-back for a large chunk of it. Now everyone will tell you how terrible and painful that is, how it’s agonising and such, and yeah, sure it hurt, but it wasn’t that bad. I can’t feel it now.
Pregnancy? Yeah, there’s a few shit times, and some have it worse than others, but for the most part it’s fine.
Labour? Yeah, it hurts. It’s gonna hurt. That’s just part of it, but it’s not unbearable, and even if it is, there’s ways around that – and using those, using the resources available to you, is perfectly fine.
One more thing about both pregnancy and labour? Both temporary. Obviously there’s exceptions, hyperemesis gravidarum makes pregnancy worse, a labour not progressing, but again they’re not forever and they’re not unfixable.
People, I think, just need to relax. I’m really enjoying the positive birth movements that are springing up across the place, because while it’s important to understand the risks of whatever options you choose in birth, it’s just as important to realise that they’re very small risks, and that most of the time everything works out perfectly fine.
These horror stories don’t come from a place of care.
When baby finally comes into the world, all you’re ever told is how you’re never going to sleep again, how you’re going to be sore and tired and grumpy and all sorts of things, but that may not be the case. Some babies just sleep really well, some babies are up more often than others. Some babies will happily watch you shower, some will scream the house down. But it’s your baby, and there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” baby, just ones that need more than others.
It’s nothing to be afraid of.
It’s all unknown, I get it, I’ve been there. Every baby is an unknown, whether you’ve had them before or not.
But you just get on with it.
What are your experiences of positive or negative birth stories? We would ❤ to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on social media.
Like what you see? Follow us on Instagram & Facebook. Sick of boring baby blogs? Join our awesome AF collective and raise a kinder world. Subscribe rn to get fresh new posts as they’re baked by hitting “follow” below. We love you 4 reals.