Your Birthing Story
Quote of the Week
“Giving birth should be your
Not your greatest fear.”
Your Friend is Pregnant with Baby Number 1
YAY! And super congrats to that friend. First babies are so exciting and terrifying because they’ve never done any of this before and have no idea WHAT to expect. All the reading in the world won’t prepare them for what comes next. Also, no amount of what you can tell them will prepare them either.
Two quick stories.
When I Got Pregnant
When I got pregnant pretty much, exactly 4 years ago, I started telling people who had kids. Straight after the hugs and celebrations came all the advice and stories. The first stories I heard were about labor and delivery. And not good ones - like it was euphoric and everything went perfectly and there was little to no taring and happily ever after.
It was - I pushed for eight hours, tore myself open and sat on a cushion for a months after.
It was - I pushed for hours, to then have to have a C Section.
And the worst was from a women I hardly knew who told me they got her meds wrong and she and baby almost died.
Yay! Congrats, you’re pregnant…
When My Friend Got Pregnant
When my close friend’s wife got pregnant - around the 7 month mark we all went out for lunch. I was so excited for them I had a complete word vomit about everything and anything.
Including my birth story.
My birth story was actually an okay one. Not perfect. It was 24 hours. I did 13 of them without an epidural and with contractions that was only a minute apart. I had an amazing Doula who was there the whole time. I had a nighttime nurse who I ended up yelling at (not my proudest moment). I didn’t push for forever and my tearing was nominal. Pretty straight forward.
But not necessary.
If I could go back and sit across from that same friend, instead of launching everything on this poor women, I would hear how her pregnancy was going and simply asked her if she had any questions. If she asked how my delivery went then I could have told her the highlights. If things didn’t go as easy - I would have just made it straight forward and told her things that did go well and maybe one lesson take-a-way.
Find Your Happy Medium
I wish I was a better listener to my friends. I’m still working on it in life and work.
And as someone who was pregnant for the first time, and with twins no less, I wish both myself and my husband didn’t hear ANY stories. Good or bad. So expectations couldn’t be set either way. These stories are for friends who already had kids and know what you went through. You should absolutely find a safe place to talk about these experiences because it can be traumatic. And friends who have had kids will be so supportive and want to commiserate or celebrate with you.
Brand new momma’s who have no idea what giving birth looks like - should experience it first hand, take birthing classes and ask professionals like doctors, midwives, or doulas who know how to explain what to expect. If your friend asks how your labor and delivery went, say something high level like, “not as expected” or, “really glad I had my doula.” You can also offer a resource you found useful, like your local birthing class or a book.
Let’s be there after and hear how things went to congratulate and provide hugs and support.
Here’s to mommas supporting mommas.
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