What is it about being pregnant that makes other women tell you horrible things? I’m sure every woman who has ever been pregnant was told at least five horror stories about pregnancy and/or delivery.
I was fortunate to not be on the receiving end of terrifying delivery stories, but I heard plenty of things along these lines:
- “Get ready to never sleep again!”
- “Don’t plan on wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes again.”
- “You’ll gain so much weight during pregnancy that you’ll have to buy new underwear.”
- “Things tear down there.”
- “You’ll probably poop during delivery.”
- “My epidural didn’t work, I felt everything.”
- “Don’t get an epidural. You won’t be able to walk for a long time after the baby’s born, and you’ll get a really bad headache coming off it.”
While these statements are true experiences some women have had, that does not mean they will be the experience every pregnant woman has.
I had a beautifully smooth labor and delivery with an epidural that worked exactly how it was supposed to. I could walk myself to the bathroom about 2 hours after delivery. I wear my pre-pregnancy clothes, and sleep great. (After a little adjustment time, of course. But not “never”.)
I went into labor and delivery with a pretty relaxed attitude, mostly due to a well taught birth class and tour at the hospital where I would deliver. They explained standard birth procedures, showed and passed around different tools they use, and went through standard “interventions” – extra things besides a completely natural birth. Interventions include epidurals, forceps, vacuum, baby heart monitor, cesarean section.
The nurse teaching the class took us through an exercise where we used two-sided cards to create our “birth plan”, or ideal delivery situation, with the cards placed in order of priority. The cards were things like “epidural/no epidural”, “forceps/no forceps”, “vaginal delivery/c-section”, and so on, with the various interventions. The last card was “A beautiful baby”. She told us something wasn’t going according to plan, so they needed to use the first intervention. We flipped our first (lowest priority) card over. She made us flip each card, one by one, and then we got to the last card. Flip the last card – we still got our beautiful baby.
This stuck with me. The nurses and doctors really know what they’re doing, and all the hospital staff we met that day were all very friendly. They made me feel that if I just got to the hospital, the only thing I would have to worry about was pushing.
For me it was a major life event – for them it was just another day at the office.
I wanted to share that with all moms-to-be. Trust in your doctors, nurses, midwives; all who are helping you with delivery. They know what they’re doing. A little anxiety is healthy, but don’t be afraid of other moms’ horror stories.
I recognize that pregnancy, labor, and delivery can all be tough, scary, and painful things, but why do some women try to ingrain this in others? Pregnant women tend to get anxious the closer we get to delivery, so why tell them these horror stories – do we want them to be more anxious? This helps no one.
Moms-to-be need to be educated and aware, but not scared. Horror-story-telling moms – please be mindful of your stories. Please try to express your stories as your personal experience, not something terrible that is about to happen to someone else.
Lisa is a wife and mom of a baby girl. She enjoys trying out new forms of exercise and fitness, but her favorites are pole dance fitness, aerial silks, and yoga. She also volunteers some of her spare time to a local cat rescue. Since discovering her sexy strength a couple years ago, she is the happiest she has been her whole life, and is happy to share it with you. Got a question for Lisa? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org