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Competative childbirth

(230 Posts)
FrameyMcFrame Mon 04-Mar-13 18:47:32

All my births have been horrendous, back to back and lots of things went wrong. I won't bore you with the details and it's all a long time ago now. I'm over it now, apart from the permanent physical damage that was a side effect. sad
Friend has just had her 1st baby and it all went perfectly and according to plan, all great and I'm so happy for her.

Apart from she has been keen to tell me that if I had done X,Y and Z then I also could have had a perfect birth too. I don't think it's as easy as that, everyone is different and each birth is different. Just because all that worked for her doesn't mean it would have helped at all in my circumstances...

I'm glad she had a good birth but I don't want to feel like my traumatic births were my fault because I didn't do my homework or watch the right DVDs...
Birth is only the start of parenthood, it's not that important, why do some people want to make such a big deal of it?

Am I being a jealous cow? AIBU to feel sad about this?

shesariver Mon 04-Mar-13 18:51:13

YANBU. There is nothing as bad as a snug know it all who wants to make other people feel bad.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 04-Mar-13 18:52:51

Ignore ignore ignore. What happend in your births was not your fault, and there was bugger all you could have done about it unfortunately.

Sorry you had such a traumatic time.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 04-Mar-13 18:54:11

oh your friend is being terribly tactless and rather horrible really. I am so sorry. What can you say to someone who says stuff like that? I don't have a neat retort.

(If it helps, my SIL had her baby and has been telling folk the baby was born in the caul, how wonderful and lucky, all at hospital were amazed yadda yadda. It transpires that the baby wasn't born in the caul at ALL, her waters went late, that's all. Stupid woman.)

GinAndaDashOfLime Mon 04-Mar-13 18:54:25

You are soooo NBU. Tell her to put a sock in it

GloriaPritchett Mon 04-Mar-13 18:55:18

YANBU. How insensitive and horrible of her to say that, it is completely ridiculous.

YANBU at all. I had a very difficult and painful delivery the first time, and a vert calm and pretty painless delivery second time. Personally I think this may be because I was much looser more relaxed the second time but it may well have just been chance.

Tbh I find that a lot of first-time mothers think they know everything and that theirs is the only right way (I'm ashamed to say that I was one of them, although I'd never have said so to anyone!).

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Mon 04-Mar-13 18:56:32

What a plonker. As if you had a choice on having a traumatic birth.

I have to ask, what is it shes suggesting?

Presumably hypnobirthing for one?

I have my theories about the big deal thing... they might, however, get me banned.

I had a traumatic birth 9 months ago and was in counselling for months. I'm sorry you had a crappy time too sad I just keep telling myself that every baby, every birth, every woman is different and thank goodness for medical science which allows me to be here to say that.

And also that the only people who can ever judge what happened are my caregivers during labour. And DH. Everyone else can fuck off if they're not willing to be supportive.

They weren't your fault. They were not your fault. <un-MN hug>

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 04-Mar-13 18:58:30

Ignore her.

She may well not have such a lovely text book birth next time....she might come to regret her views...

Sorry you had such a bad time of it.

CatsRule Mon 04-Mar-13 18:59:05

I wouldn't consider my experience traumatic....I do consider myself very lucky and fortunate and I would never gloat about it. It had a lot to do with the support I had and my own mindset of just wanting a healthy baby, a much wanted and long awaited baby, at the end of it all.

You did nothing wrong, I think there are various factors to good and bad experiences. Her good experience will not all be down to her doing it all right...whatever right is!


exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 18:59:47

Smile, nod and ignore. Change the subject. Hopefully she will never find out that it was nothing whatever to do with her-it was luck. Babies don't fit in with plans.

BearFrills Mon 04-Mar-13 19:00:35


I remember someone at a baby group casually saying that birth is such a natural process and that any interventions needed are the fault of the mother for not 'trying'.

Funnily enough she had just had her first too. I hold the theory that everyone is entitled to be a dick after the birth of their first and for the first six months after any subsequent baby.

My first was a VB, back to back and a very long second stage (over three hours) with a clip on DS head. I managed to get him out without instruments, just - finally popped him out as they were prepping me. But a VB nonetheless. DD was an EMCS in the very, very early stages of labour (a show and mild contractions eight minutes apart).

You never know what will happen until it happens.

ohdoone Mon 04-Mar-13 19:01:36

If she starts again say 'Shut the fuck up smug face'. I hate competitive birth stuff it's so insensitive. I was all set for a home water birth but ended up with a emsec, was disappointed yes but my child is alive with no brain damage so who cares?! People still try and tell me shit about how I could have had a natural birth and they are right, I could have- wouldn't have been worth the outcome though.

Schooldidi Mon 04-Mar-13 19:01:49

My cousin was a bit like this after her first and was telling everybody how to do it. Unfortunately her second was a really traumatic affair involving a placental abruption and everybody was scared of losing one or both of them. She's not smug now, and even apologised to those people she had offended by practically telling them they ahd caused their bad birth experiences. She's still quite smug about cloth nappies, breastfeeding and BLW, so I suppose she's got her smug quota covered.

highlandcoo Mon 04-Mar-13 19:02:57

YANBU - she is being hugely insensitive.

I remember after my first DC - high blood pressure leading to induction ending up with an epidural after 12 hours of trying to give birth without one - an NCT "friend" built like a brood mare who'd popped her first baby out smugly telling me I should have tried a bit harder angry

I had an even worse time with the second DC, then a fab easy birth third time round .. just luck, and if that's the only sort of birth some women experience they are so fortunate! They need to keep quiet about it and not be smug though.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 04-Mar-13 19:05:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blueballoon79 Mon 04-Mar-13 19:06:14

YANBU, she is being incredibly insensitive and ignorant.

I had extremely traumatic births with both my children, then a year later had to endure a friend ringing me up and gushing on and on about her wonderful water birth and how easy it was and how she doesn't understand what all the fuss is about childbirth.

After her call I went to my bed and laid there sobbing.

It's horrible.

I'm sorry you had to experience this too and I assure you that the traumatic births you experienced were NOT your fault.

harryhausen Mon 04-Mar-13 19:06:45

YANBU. She's being incredibly smug.

I had an horrendous birth for my first dc (that I needed 6 months of physiotherapy for afterwards). However, like you dc is 8 now. I'm over it.

However, I remember collapsing in a heap on the kitchen floor one afternoon not long after the birth when my DH got a text from a mutual friend announcing the birth of his friends baby which said "baby x born safely. DW pushed perfectly with only a short whiff of G & A. Now that's what I call an amazing woman"hmm. It wasn't about me at all, but I felt it was.

Birth stories are a lottery. A friend of mine was incredibly smug about her 2 perfect, pain relief free home births (the birth I'd planned).... Until her 3rd birth where she was raced to hospital under a blue light in an emergency. I wasn't happy she'd had that experience, but I did like that fact she'd finally understood she couldn't plan for everything.

Grinkly Mon 04-Mar-13 19:08:40

I shared a room after my first birth, mine was a wee 6lb er hers a 10 1/2 lb lump. Needless to say had to listen to constant rah rah rah about how huge he was from all her visitors, and a pitying look when they looked at my dainty wee one. Also my birth was horrible and hers a doddle. Hopefully you don't share rooms now.

Camwombat Mon 04-Mar-13 19:09:58

YANBU. Definately not.

FFS, you are not in control of what happens during labour, and I dont see that there is anything you could do to control it.

I has what might be deemed by some as an "easy labour", but not only did it not feel like that, especially as he came out blue with the cord around his neck, but I wouldnt dream of telling someone else what they should have done to make it easier on themselves and would probably bite the head off anyone that told me "what i should have done"

It is what you do afterwards that counts, and maybe her words will come back to haunt her, when her PFB has her up all hours... Offer her some "useful" advice then. wink

I'm really sorry you had trouble and have been left with physical damage. sad

MiaowTheCat Mon 04-Mar-13 19:10:25

You get those who'll sit there and basically bash women into "oh if you think positive enough things will happen naturally - it's just if you get scared it'll go wrong" as well - which implies that if you did have a shit time - you somehow didn't think of enough rainbows and bunnies and "deserved" it. That one REALLY pisses me off.

I'll tell you the other one that pisses me off - after every OBEM when it becomes some kind of rate each woman's birth (with the kind of language again always implying success or failure) - I keep waiting for C4 to put an interactive fucking push rating system on the red button with how ridiculous it is.

You'll never knock someone smug who had it all fall into place well for them into check and get them to truly appreciate the other side of things though.

Camwombat Mon 04-Mar-13 19:11:37

YANBU. Definately not.

FFS, you are not in control of what happens during labour, and I dont see that there is anything you could do to control it.

I has what might be deemed by some as an "easy labour", but not only did it not feel like that, especially as he came out blue with the cord around his neck, but I wouldnt dream of telling someone else what they should have done to make it easier on themselves and would probably bite the head off anyone that told me "what i should have done"

It is what you do afterwards that counts, and maybe her words will come back to haunt her, when her PFB has her up all hours... Offer her some "useful" advice then. wink

I'm really sorry you had trouble and have been left with physical damage. sad

KitCat26 Mon 04-Mar-13 19:12:50

'I'm glad she had a good birth but I don't want to feel like my traumatic births were my fault because I didn't do my homework or watch the right DVDs
Birth is only the start of parenthood, it's not that important.'

^ This is what you should say to her. Otherwise ignore her if you can.

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 19:13:13

Ignore her.
You have done nothing wrong. She was lucky and I am glad for her.

I tend to get ragey at the other side of this coin.
Women frightening the feck out of 1st time pregnant women with their horror stories of birth.

Fair enough we all need to tell our stories and let it out but ffs why the competitive misery when some poor woman is about to give birth hmm

A friends mother did it to her. All her life she was told how her own mother nearly died an how hideous birth was and how dangerous. The poor woman was utterly terrified of birth.

It is nice for women to feel proud about their lovely births. That shouldn't be in a smug or boastful way though.

Ionasky Mon 04-Mar-13 19:13:18

She sounds pretty silly, some people over-infer from a lucky experience - YANBU and you're right, she's at the start of a long road...

x2boys Mon 04-Mar-13 19:13:22

I had two pretty horrific births also first time around i was induced on xmas day after all night labour and they kept telling me he was going to sleeep because his heart rate was going down he was finally born with his cord wrapped around his neck three times not breathing and blue thankfully they gave him oxygen and he was fine secod time around i had a back to back labour after being induced as 14 days late my waters were manually broken he was finally born [ asfter 17 hrs in delivery suite]via ventouse not alot i could have done to prevent either of these every woman every labour is diffferent if it all went to plan for her it was probably good luck rather than any thing else ignore her

3monkeys3 Mon 04-Mar-13 19:13:33

Just smile and say hmmmmm. I've had 3 sections (1 crash, 1 emergency with a huge blood loss and one lovely, uneventful, elective) and am very unbothered about it, but could have been very upset by some people over the years I've been having babies! I think people can be competitive with the horror stories too. How they come out has no bearing on you as a mother - just tell her that.

Grinkly Mon 04-Mar-13 19:14:15

Giving birth is a huge event for anyone (the hugest in life?) so everyone is apprehensive about it - so spose it stands to reason if you 'just needed a whiff of gas and air' the relief would put you on a high and you won't be thinking of anyone else's feelings at the time.
Perhaps we would all be at risk of doing that if the first birth was like that. Later on you know better.

YANBU, and being bloody understanding really smile
It's the same as people who don't have children saying 'my child will never do that.'. People who haven't experienced things are always the experts wink

FrameyMcFrame Mon 04-Mar-13 19:17:15

Thanks so much for your lovely responses, I'm shedding a tear and glad that there are people out there who understand!!!
I did feel that I was being irrational and jealous. But I have another friend who has had 3 homebirths with no pain relief and she has never made me feel bad or appeared smug about her birth experiences. Somehow this friend has just pushed all my buttons and made me feel like a failure. And yes hypnobirthing was one of the things...

Thank god for MN and some perspective sometimes thanks

Camwombat Mon 04-Mar-13 19:18:01

MrsDeVere, this is what my mother tells me (it is true), and lays it on harder when she is angry/upset with me.... Hmmmm, do I know you???? [quizzical]

KindleMum Mon 04-Mar-13 19:20:43

I don't get it either. My MIL told me my total placenta praevia, multiple bleeds and HG were down to my lack of positive mental attitude. Still trying to work out how I "thought" the placenta into the wrong place! She had a go at me once too often and I bit back (in front of DH who just sat there open-mouthed as I told her what I thought of her opinions). She hasn't mentioned it since!

I like to point out to the "CSs are evil, all births should be natural camp" that natural birth kills all total praevia babies and about 99% of the mothers. I owe my life, and that of both DC to the C-section. And I'm thrilled, I don't feel any jealousy or failure or anything other than gratitude that at the end of the day I'm fine and have 2 healthy children.

Ignore her, or if you can't - like I couldn't with MIL - point out that mother nature used to cause a very high maternal death rate and still does in under-developed countries. This would be because lots of things can go wrong and fortunately modern medicine can fix a lot of them.

My best mate had 2 perfect pregs and deliveries and was mildly smug (she's nice enough not to be too smug) but then she had a third which was a nightmare from about 5 months. She's been far more understanding of rough pregs and deliveries ever since.

georgedawes Mon 04-Mar-13 19:20:57

yanbu at all.

Bet that some of the smug ones turn up soon though.

WilsonFrickett Mon 04-Mar-13 19:21:38

I'm now 'over' DS horrendous birth (only took 7 years). I am also an easy-going and laid back person but if anyone had dared to suggest the problems I had were in anyway my fault I'm afraid, even now, I would punch their lights out. I can feel my blood pressure soaring even as I type this. I don't know how you have managed to put up with her BS.

Op you are a saint and she is a smug, self-centred, stupid boot.

exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 19:22:04

I expect that you will have to do a lot of smiling and nodding-she is probably one of those who has her whole child rearing philosophy worked out in advance, without knowing her baby, and her DC will be the first to sit up etc etc etc. It may take time but in the end she will be forced to realise that babies don't read the same manuals and it is just luck if they fit her picture of motherhood.

bbface Mon 04-Mar-13 19:22:22


Someone like this is going to have a tough time making real friends amongst other mums (and probably just generally in life actually). And in the first year of being a mum, you need real friends more than ever. So she really is spitting herself more than anyone else.

See how she fares over the coming months.

fairylightsinthesnow Mon 04-Mar-13 19:22:22

YANBU - its all part and parcel of the whole thing. What really boils my piss is when people say "she did so well" because she only took x hours or only had gas and air. It implies that people who took longer or had more pain relief somehow therefore did badly. I had two EMCS after failed induction and failure to progress. I had morphine and my DS was in the SCBU for 24 hrs being fed formula. I must have REALLY fucked it up wink

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 04-Mar-13 19:26:21

My best friend did this - she was even competitive when I was frigging in labour.

coldcupoftea Mon 04-Mar-13 19:30:03

YANBU- unfortunately some people are like this- it's either competitive smug stories or competitive horror stories. I have a friend who will still go on and on about her forceps delivery and how terrible it was, and how brave she was- obviously not ideal, but she was fine, baby was fine, and it's not that unusual. A mutual friend recently had a very traumatic EMCS with complications, baby in special care (he is fine now). But instead of listening sympathetically this friend took it as the opportunity to start telling her own story yet again, and no matter what the new mum friend said,insisting that her experience was ten times worse.

Rosehassometoes Mon 04-Mar-13 19:45:07

Yeah it does work both ways I had easy very fast labours. 1st waterbirth gas and air 5 hours long. 2nd planned homebirth no time for any pain relief, midwives wouldnt come out at 1st as hadn't been contracting long enough hmm Arrived as I was pushing out the head.
It only took 30 mins but felt so basic on my bedroom floor and I could feel every gush of fluid and my body stretching. Honestly felt like torture and I knew that I couldn't have pain relief. The thought of going through that much pain without anything to take the edge off
has put me off more.

I find that people tend to think that my labours are so easy that I don't deserve the sympathy others get. I was pleased this time when a midwife checked I wasn't having nightmares 'as births that fast can be ferocious' . I've def come across the 'who has had it worse' competitive Mums too.

Rosduk Mon 04-Mar-13 19:45:25

I lost my son 2 hours after a traumatic birth- a 'friend' told me afterwards how wonderful her 3 births were, talked about the first magic cuddles and tried to give me advice for next time. Some people just dont think. Don't get wound up by it, it's not worth it, birth is very much out of our control and if someone tried to tell me what I 'should' have done and implied it was my fault? Well, They'd get what's coming to them!

Doearwigsmakechutney Mon 04-Mar-13 19:46:10

Yanbu. Birth is not competitive. We are just so lucky to live in a country where babies can be born safely in circumstances that could kill mother and child without medical intervention. My births were at absolutely opposite ends of the spectrum from each other (one crash section, one home birth) but neither makes me a better or worse person, mother, anything.

But I feel for you, because it's horrible hearing that someone has done it 'better' when you're coming to terms with your own experience.

georgedawes Mon 04-Mar-13 19:49:05

rosduk sorry for your loss sad

I hope that is an ex friend you're talking about.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 04-Mar-13 19:51:29

Some people just have the ability to make you feel like that.

Btw ds birth would be classed as perfect by everyone but has left me with a fallen fanjo, you really can't win.

stargirl1701 Mon 04-Mar-13 19:51:52

YANBU. Labour and birth are so random. Sometimes you get lucky and it's easy, other times it's shit.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 04-Mar-13 19:53:35

I had one hugely long-drawn-out labour and one very short one - both ending in ventouse, for different reasons. My babies arrived safely and in good shape - it could have been very different. That's what matters.

Birth is so variable. There is a great deal of luck in the process. Motherhood is so laden with cultural meaning and expectations on the mother. I understand the need for women to take back some control over the processes of birth but I deplore the fact that it has become a stick to beat women with sad

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 19:56:32

camwombat Maybe, but more likely there are lots of bonkers mothers out there grin

It's all down to luck. I've had an ELCS due to pre-eclampsia, followed by VBAC that couldn't have been more plain sailing.

I have no interest in competitive birth stories, I'm just grateful I live where we have the modern facilities if they are needed.

determinedma Mon 04-Mar-13 20:01:16

Three sections here and proud of it.whatever way you do it, getting the little buggers out is horrible. Just endure it.

Back to back babies are no one's fault. Trust me.

Birth is only the start of parenthood, it's not that important. Nail, meet head.

But my labour was way more painful than anyone elses....I remember telling the midwife afterwards in my PND/psychotic haze that it wasn't 'normal' to be in that much pain, there must be something wrong with me, I've never heard of anyone suffering that much.

chocolatesolveseverything Mon 04-Mar-13 20:02:53

YANBU - And I've not even been through it yet! I'm expecting my first this summer and am already a bit nervous. I know that trying to stay healthy during pregnancy will help my chances of a good birth, but beyond that, it sounds like it'll be luck of the draw. (And even the 'trying to be healthy' is only partly within my control.)

If I have a difficult birth and all the trauma that goes with it, the idea that some smug person would imply it was all my fault somehow seems absolutely horrible.

And if I have an easy birth and get smug myself afterwards, I hope that someone politely tells me to put a sock in it...

MrsKoala Mon 04-Mar-13 20:03:19

I did it all right but still had a fucking horrendous birth. it is totally the luck of the draw. She is being a nob and taking credit for something she had little control over. Tell her she is very tedious.

Rosduk I'm so sorry sad

MrsDV makes a good point as ever (was MIL in my case and she still won't bloody shut up about it).

Why do we do this to each other?

Lionsntigersnbears Mon 04-Mar-13 20:04:52

Ooh! A competition? Whadowewin? Whadowewin? Birth is a lot if luck or lack of it. I'd point out to this 'friend' just how crappy she's made you feel. Completely cack behaviour in my view.

PleasePudding Mon 04-Mar-13 20:05:44

I really don't get this - why do people do it about breastfeeding and birth when you would never ever say to someone that they're being a wuss to have eczema or asthma or even a bloody cold and yet people do tragically die in childbirth - how is the fact that some births are horrific at all deniable? WEIRDOS

Actually I am now raging about it - deep breaths

christinarossetti Mon 04-Mar-13 20:14:10

I hate this too and am convinced that it's a factor in lots of women's PND.

And yes I'm eternally grateful that my family live in a part of the world and a time in history where we have access to the best that medical science can offer if need be.

HollyBerryBush Mon 04-Mar-13 20:14:48

There are only two types of childe birth

(a) I shell peas and it was so easy with 20 min start to finish

(B) OMG I nearly died after a 72 hour labour and haemoraged a thousand times with a c-section.

No one ever recounts a normal CB story.

TandB Mon 04-Mar-13 20:15:46

I think the problem is that people misinterpret the thing about being relaxed producing useful hormones and being frightened producing unhelpful hormones, as much more of a big deal than it actually is.

I absolutely believe there's something in it - but I think that, if it does work, it probably makes a difference in terms of labour length/how you feel throughout, rather than changing major things, like placenta position, baby's position etc.

I had a 1 hr 45 labour with DS1 and a 1 hour labour with DS2. Both were manageable in terms of pain, and obviously blissfully short. But I did feel "better" about the second labour. The first one, I was being told that I had hours to go, that I couldn't be ready to push and I did feel a bit panicky and overwhelmed at times. With DS2 I knew what was happening and I had a midwife who believed me and it was a much calmer, more focussed labour. With DS1 I felt like there was a lot of flapping about and, in retrospect, I think I could probably have pushed, and possibly delivered, a lot earlier if I hadn't been being moved between rooms and told conflicting information. With DS2, everything felt like it was always moving forward naturally, if that makes sense.

Your friend's being an arse, OP. Yes, I believe there are things women can be advised/helped with that might speed things up or just make it slightly less overwhelming, but I don't think there's much point in sitting around thinking "Come on placenta, move over" or "pelvis, sort yourself out!" and expecting mental attitude to do the job. If something major is going to go wrong, it's probably going to go wrong whether you're humming yoga chants or threatening to break the anaesthetist's neck if he doesn't get you an epidural five minutes ago!

emsibub Mon 04-Mar-13 20:17:12

I hate this, I'm a nurse n it's so common at work. Bloody comments such as "I'm not soft I had my kids with gas n air", "wouldn't ever have an epidural everyone is capable of having children naturally, it nature" and my favourite "I actually enjoyed my birth" really irritates, like a measure of your strength, pain threshold, mothering and to someone who went through a hellish time with forceps n a long recovery. It just fucks me off, not through jealously just think its very emotive and insensitive. angry

Zara1984 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:18:32


I find that the more smugtastic you are, the more it comes to bite you in the arse later. Especially when it comes to kids. She may come to regret her insensitive comments next time if she has an induction and failed forceps leading to EMCS...

ChairmanWow Mon 04-Mar-13 20:19:48

My fave was the friend who raved on about her amazing, peaceful water birth which was just so, like relaxing and magical. Didn't have any pain relief whatsoever, over in 8 hours start to finish. Blahdy blah blah. It transpires her fanjo was a right mess and she had a lot of stitches (her partner blurted that one out, she'd kept schtum strangely enough). Meanwhile I had 36 hours, gas and air and diamorphine. But my fanny was unscathed. I have to admit to feeling rather smug myself at not sitting on a valley cushion for weeks on end despite my apparently less than perfect birth.

This isn't to trivilalise women having stitches. If she'd just been honest instead of über- competitive I'd have felt more empathy.

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 20:20:29

holly I just keep schtum about mine.
My last two were homebirths. I can't be arsed with how everyone thinks they get to comment on my choices.

Probably why we rarely hear about the 'normal' births.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 04-Mar-13 20:27:23

Yanbu. I suspect that some pele are naturally 'great' at childbirth just like some are 'great' at running or Gymnastics. It is just pure luck as to your physical make up, bone structure and stretchiness of fanny flaps/vadge box. No amount of DVDs or whale music will guarantee an easy birth for all.

Thingiebob Mon 04-Mar-13 20:34:26

This also makes me ragey. Even more so than normal as I have seen this attitude displayed on here quite recently. It's very ignorant and these women have no idea how lucky they have been.

And yes, LUCK does play a large part in a good birth.

Chunderella Mon 04-Mar-13 20:44:46

I suspect Property is right. Some people just have springy minges, and there's nothing any of us can do about the shape of our pelvis. And OP, you have no reason to be sad. While every woman is entitled to see herself and be seen as the Queen Of Fucking Everything for at least a fortnight after giving birth and your friend is no exception, you didn't fail. You triumphed.

Teapot13 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:59:32

This enrages me.

So, the millions of women who have died in childbirth, and continue to die in places without adequate medical care or, much more rarely, despite modern medical care, just had the wrong attitude or subscribed to the wrong ideology? If hypnobirthing or some other nonsense actually meant everyone could just "breathe the baby out" it would have been discovered millenia ago and would be used in every culture, and childbirth wouldn't be dangerous.

(I am not criticizing anyone who uses hypnobirthing or other alternative methods -- I know a lot of people benefit from it -- I just don't think any of these things that basically just alter the mother's mindset can overcome serious medical emergencies when they occur.)

mylittlepuds Mon 04-Mar-13 21:04:16

Oh I have a gloaty perfect birth friend. Mine with DS was far from perfect but not totally traumatic. Anyway so gloaty is she that when she came to visit me after birth of DS didn't ask about my labour - just bloody recapped hers!!!

mylittlepuds Mon 04-Mar-13 21:05:05

For about the fiftieth time!

CharlW1 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:14:16

I am expecting my first and had the MIL tell me that there was nothing to labour and she had no pain at all - delivered my OH in an hour and her second in 45 mins - the fact that she is still gloating after nearly 40 years really riles me! I was birthing partner to my sister and she had a text book birth but she was still in mild shock at the end. My other sister had a traumatic birth so you just don't know how it will be.

TackyChristmastreedelivery Mon 04-Mar-13 21:20:35

How tedious! And awful for you.

I had 2 births. I can tell them so they make you chuckle and feel warm, I can tell them so they make you want every contraception known to woman. How do I feel about them? No idea, been too busy trying to parent the aftermath (the children...the point).

Tell her there is emerging research that shows babies who are the product of maternal stress hormones in labour have a 20 point I.Q advantage. Tell her a midwife told you wink

Leave a text book on Latin and Mandarin around the house.

Be mates with me instead grin

WilsonFrickett Mon 04-Mar-13 21:22:01

<applauds Teapot>

superstarheartbreaker Mon 04-Mar-13 21:37:57

Well I had a 48 hour labour that resulted in a c-section and yet I still found it an amazing, if somewhat emotional and frustrating experience. Luckily I didn't almost die but I was simply exhausted after remaining at 7 cm with no progression for 24 hours. The doctors wanted to induce me but I refused and asked for a c-section.

What did ruin it for me was the whole competetive birth thing. I did feel like a bit of a failure for about a day then realised I was being bonkers and got on with loving my baby. I think the whole natural birth thing is a bit like teh breast-feeding thing; prone to extremist nutters. I did plan a water birth in a birthing centre but if there wasn't this natural birth pressure I'd have booked myself straight into hospital and had drugs but may have had a vaginal delivery. Who cares really though? DD and I survived. I do think it's understandable why so many of us are made to feel awful for not having 'good' births. There is a lot of wierd pressure to light the incense sticks and chant and then everything will be apparently ok.

Yfronts Mon 04-Mar-13 21:41:35

I think that a back to back birth can be avoided with the right research/posture habits.

Yfronts Mon 04-Mar-13 21:44:18

She is probably just very pleased at how well her birth went and possibly did as much as she could to help towards a smooth birth. Don't take it personally.

BimbaBirba Mon 04-Mar-13 21:45:57

MIL always boasts about delivering her two DC s who were both 10-pound babies, were born on the due date (apparently being late is a sign of weakness hmm) with short 3 hours labours and with what she describes as "mild discomfort".

BearFrills Mon 04-Mar-13 22:06:28

I think that a back to back birth can be avoided with the right research/posture habits.

Or its just luck of the drawer and even with the right habits it will happens if it's going to happen. DS turned himself back-to-back during labour, DD was breech my entire third trimester not picked up until early labour (because no one would believe me). No amount of positioning, posture or research would budge either of them.

Please don't take it personally but comments like that contribute to the overall problem being discussed in the thread. "Back to back baby? Meh, you must have slouched too much and read the wrong articles"

georgedawes Mon 04-Mar-13 22:11:49

I've been watching this thread all night, and getting more and more disappointed that the naysayers haven't turned up to say "actually it is your fault in your control" and finally Yfronts turns up.

My faith in mumsnet, and indeed mankind, has been restored. thanks

exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 22:13:47

I have had 3 easy births - but it was sheer luck and not anything that I did. I didn't even have a birth plan- I can't see the point.

Thingiebob Mon 04-Mar-13 22:14:09

It's all bollocks. I did everything I could - yoga/hypnotherapy/read all the books/NCT classes and had a massively shit and traumatic time which I could never had predicted.

I did everything I could to ensure a smooth birth. Yet I didn't get one. Why is that?

ubik Mon 04-Mar-13 22:15:43


I've had 3 CS

Never experienced childbirth (apart from 36 hrs of induced labour 1 st time)

Couldn't give a stuff about the 'right way' to give birth TBH

exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 22:17:00

We are so used to having control and planning events, childbirth doesn't allow you to. You can do all the 'right' things and have a traumatic birth and you can do all the 'wrong' things and it can be like shelling peas!

treedelivery Mon 04-Mar-13 22:18:56

I worked in a very active job until 37-38 weeks, only ever sat on a birthing ball, laboured in water, covered about 10 miles when on land. I spent a fair bit of dd1 pregancy teaching active labour. The only thing that turned dd1 was a load of syntocinon drip and (maybe) the total relaxation of a 100% effective epidural.
DD2 was transverse and went the long way round (naturally) and I stood for nearly the entire labour. DD2 was pretty traumatic due to the pain. And I still think about the pain )She was a 3 hour active labour with entonox. Perfect on paper.

I suspect my pelvis is either fully android or android in the cavity. It would match my shape. Nothing I can hope to do about it.

AmandaPayne Mon 04-Mar-13 22:21:59

I think that a back to back birth can be avoided with the right research/posture habits.

Comments like that show a real misunderstanding of the advice on posture, etc. What the research appears to show is that you can reduce the statistical likelihood of malpositions by adopting certain techniques. That is not the same as an individual woman being able to prevent a malposition in her personal case, at best it is just giving the odds a kick in the right direction. And there are all sorts of issues like pelvis shape which can affect a woman without being obvious in advance.

BonaDrag Mon 04-Mar-13 22:31:28

YANBU. I don't know anyone like this. It's highlighting your friend's utter lack of insight and intelligence imo.

I had a very traumatic birth, I sobbed about it for months afterwards and almost a year on I still go cold when I remember parts of it. I feel for you OP.

There was nothing I could have done differently. I went to the bollocks NCT, bounced on the ball, breathed like they told me to etc but it still ended in a theatre full of doctors.

You could be incredibly childish and return her insensitivity in kind by saying 'well you must have a massive vagina'.


Agree with property - some people are just good at it. Friend has seven kids, no pain relief with the first six, number seven was planned c-section due to age. She's the the sort who could've probably given birth in a barn and then gone out to milk the cows at dawn.

She's never smug about it though, and has had labour scares.

I remember reading an email from a friend, who gave birth about 6 months after I did. She said 'I was thinking, I don't know what all the fuss is about' with regard to the contractions. I was jealous that she hadn't been so overwhelmed by pain like me, forgetting the actual giving birth part. I had a big blank in my memory for ages because of the pain.

dollyindub Mon 04-Mar-13 23:20:31

I gave birth to an 11lb 'lump' (thanks Grinkly - nice!) after a 10 hour labour, but thanks to g&a, pethadine, an epidural and a fantastic midwife. Nothing really to do with anything wonderful I did and I thank my lucky stars I had the experience I did - I know it could have been very different and would not dream of belittling another woman for her birth experience. As others have said, it's pure luck if it goes well.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 04-Mar-13 23:25:05

Wow so not unreasonable, none of us ever will share the exact same birthing story, it is just luck if it goes well, i had 11 hours then a CS.

Some women wont have pain, some women will have, it annoys me when women get competitive over labour, its sad really.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 04-Mar-13 23:31:02

Thanks again smile
She has a gorgeous new baby and I have my gorgeous DC. We are very lucky and the rest is in the past and unimportant.
Thanks smile

ZenNudist Mon 04-Mar-13 23:36:31

Some people just have a superiority complex. She sounds rather stupid and lacking in the social grace to realise you don't offer advice after it can do any good.

It wasn't your fault about how your births went. If she dares raise it again Put her down by telling her she is being insensitive & tactless.

ICBINEG Mon 04-Mar-13 23:37:59

I realised about half way through labour that the reason that some people seem to cope better with pain is not that they are better prepared or better people etc. but that THEY ARE IN LESS PAIN.

Anyone who experienced what I did would make the same decisions that I did. That's it really...there are some small things that might change your chances of various outcomes by a few percent here or there but the big numbers are decided by the specific baby, the specific mother and the specific circumstances which are not the same for anyone else.

You did the best you could possibly have done with the cards you were dealt and noone could have done better.

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 04-Mar-13 23:53:28

She's an idiot. I had an 'easy' birth. As in it was quick. It was also so incredibly painful during the contractions that I wanted to throw myself off the hospital roof. And during crowning I screamed like someone was kicking a boiling hot kettle between my legs, because that's what it felt like.

I had pain relief and I also consider myself to have a high pain threshold, but that birth kicked the shit out of me.

Who boasts about this stuff? The day my vag got stretched big enough to release eight pounds. It's a bad time! Not a trip to the cinema to see Care Bears The Movie.

DoJo Tue 05-Mar-13 00:13:40

Perhaps say something like 'Wow - you must have really had a good birth if there was time and space for the professionals to share their expertise on my birth experience. I'm amazed you could even share the details of my labour while you were doing it yourself, but asking for advice on my behalf and remembering it all is really testimony to how good your techniques are. I must get the details if I ever have another....'
Not to put too fine a point on it, but it pisses me right off that people who have squeezed out a baby then consider themselves experts on the matter. No - you just did what the midwives told you, like the rest of us do, and the fact that it all went according to plan is good fortune rather than good planning.

Illustrationaddict Tue 05-Mar-13 00:31:51

Well wasn't she lucky eh!

I wonder if it's to do with the whole 'birthing plan' business? I could never quite get my head around that - I never wrote one, and the midwife on duty when I went in actually said she didn't understand why people write them either as you can never really plan what's going to happen, and so many women feel let down, or upset it didn't happen the way they'd planned it!

Ignore her. Definitely not worth loosing sleep over.

dollyindub Tue 05-Mar-13 00:41:25

I didn't write a birth plan either Illistrationaddict, all I wanted was the baby delivered safely - I didn't care how.

I had a textbook birth twice. Gas and air.
The first one was like the midwife reading memorised passages from a text book and me complying (I think that's what caused the damage, I pushed when I was told to, rather when I needed to)
The second was "please try to hold on for a few hours we're busy" resulting in my waters "exploding" in the midwife's face and DS2 being born in 60 seconds!
Thing is, I had a load of damage afterwards I needed corrective surgery. I was told I should of massaged olive oil into my nether reigions prior to giving birth practiced pelvic floor and and various things like that... But after 8 years I have stopped beating myself up over it.
DS3 and 4 were planned CS. DS3 was a textbook CS whilst DS4... I was given a bit too much morphine and started to hallucinate! Saw ghosts! Completely disinterested in the baby, I was as high as a kite!
I've stopped analysing.

lisianthus Tue 05-Mar-13 00:54:55

What an utter twonk. Your birth experience it totally a matter of luck. You can subscribe to all the woo rubbish you want but if you could actually do anything that changes the way you give birth in more than a minor way, everyone would do it. Does she think you CHOSE to have an awful time?

People have different shapes, different pain thresholds all sorts of things which affect birth and which aren't up to them. FWIW, I had a hb without pain relief and I don't feel "proud" of doing that (what rubbish!), I feel LUCKY that I had the opportunity to do it and that it went well.

I do feel proud to have produced the cutest, snuggliest little babies EVER, but that is a totally different thing

honeytea Tue 05-Mar-13 05:11:44

I'm not sure if I think yabu or not, I think she was mean and wrong to say every birth could be easy with preparation but I think she has just as much right to talk about her birth experience as someone with a traumatic birth.

I had a lovely birth experience, it was not planned I give credit to the amazing midwife and chance. I feel that for me staying mobile allowed me to have a fantastic birth I am almost convinced that if I had been on my back ds would not have been born vaginally at least not without intervention. Ds was 10 pounds and his head took a long time to defend after I was 10cms dilated, the only way to get him to move slowly down was for me to be in a funny position. I would never say other women should stay mobile but I know for me it helped.

when I was pregnant I was told so many scary stories about birth, I think it is a positive thing for women to say actually it wasn't that bad so long as they don't blame women who had bad labours.

I wanted to talk about my birth experience like other women, I didn't see it as competitive I just loved talking about what for me was an amazing empowering experience.

I had a 2nd degree tear an oxytocin drip and lots of invasive monitoring so it wasn't a fairytale waterbirth at sunset to whale song situation but I brought a person into tge world which to me felt like the most amazing thing I have ever done.

Turnipsoup Tue 05-Mar-13 06:14:28

honeytea I think the point the OP was making is that her 'friend' was implying that she had difficult births becuase she had not done X,Y,Z and therefore it was her fault.
It is great that you and other women have lovely birth experiences, and of course you should be able to talk about them, if (as you pointed out in your post) they aren't insinuating that people who've had a more traumatic time have failed, or not done enough preparation etc.

The great thing about your birth story is you've talked about what worked for you, without saying that is what everyone should do.

Offcolour Tue 05-Mar-13 06:48:24

Yanbu. I came home from pregnancy yoga in tears while pregnant with my second because one of the women there started preaching at me and another woman who were discussing our planned vbacs about how mental attitude made a huge difference to whether interventions were required and how she only was in hospital for 2 hours and delivered without pain relief. So my 77 hours of labour, failed epidural at about 70 hours and emcs were because I didn't have the right mental attitude? Nothing to do with the brow presentation then? Fuck off. Interventions save lives - without c-sections we would both have died. Insensitive and deluded woman, but still managed to really upset me when heavily pregnant and hormonal. 2nd birth was 6.5 hrs, totally different, not because my attitude was different but because dc2 wasn't in a crazy position. Nowt to do with me.

WidowWadman Tue 05-Mar-13 07:07:06

After I had my first child by EMCS, someone cheerfully told me that next time I really should do a vaginal birth, so I know what it's like. hmm

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Mar-13 07:21:29

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 04-Mar-13 23:53:28
She's an idiot. I had an 'easy' birth. As in it was quick. It was also so incredibly painful during the contractions that I wanted to throw myself off the hospital roof. And during crowning I screamed like someone was kicking a boiling hot kettle between my legs, because that's what it felt like

That's how I feel too.

My birth was 'easy', apparently. Seven hour labour, gas and air, mobile and in the pool. However I was in so much pain and my contractions were so intense and barely any gap inbetween that I don't remember much. I was in my own world and H has to try and fill in the gaps for me. It was so frigging painful I told everyone I was never doing it again.

I also haemorrhaged after birth as my placenta got stuck. Next time I'm having an epidural.

Zara1984 Tue 05-Mar-13 07:37:09

Widow I hope you gave them a death stare

How fucking rude

greenfolder Tue 05-Mar-13 07:38:20

people talk a load of toss about stuff they know nothing about.

i have had 2 difficult births, one life threatening for me and baby. FWIW, 5 years on the latter experience grounded me and makes me grateful every single day for the skill and general brilliance of the NHS. i have also had one where baby born after a 6 hour labour with no pain relief (i wanted it- they were too busy)

unfortunately this continues throughout life. middle child is now the teen from hell- apparently its because i dont talk to her enough/punish her enough/ am too lenient/too strict.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:38:31

I agree with Illustrationaddict and have never got my head around the birth plan idea. It is completely new experience that you can't imagine in advance and yet people write down what they want- how on earth do they know? hmm
It can lead to intense disappointment. Much better to be friendly with the staff and go with the flow- I don't know how they get on with the job when they have to wade through pages of instructions.
Mine were quick, easy and very friendly without a sentence of a birth plan. I was told that I had a high pain threshold which I think is rubbish- far more likely that I didn't have much pain! It was my sheer good luck - and the fact I have wide hips- nothing more and certainly not anything that I did or didn't do.

PurpleStorm Tue 05-Mar-13 08:05:15

YANBU. She's being very insensitive. And extremely ignorant, if she thinks that doing X,Y and Z guarantees a perfect birth.

There's so many variables involved, and there's often very little that a woman can do to change things. IMO, an awful lot is down to chance. It's not anyone's fault if they have a traumatic birth - equally, I think it's ridiculous for someone to claim that they had an easy birth just because they did X, Y and Z!

Shagmundfreud Tue 05-Mar-13 08:29:44


Either birth is important or it's not.

If it's not then it makes no sense to dwell on a terrible experience.

If it is important then it makes sense to think about it in advance and consider whether there's anything you can do to maximise the chance it being a reasonable experience.

And of course some of it does come down to luck. The presentation of the baby, your own health, accidental mishaps with cord. But not all of it. Being psychologically prepared for a range of outcomes, choosing a birth environment where you're most likely to get the best care, doing some physical preparation and learning some self-help strategies. These things do make a massive difference for some people.

As far as the friend goes - she is tactless, so YANBU.

Would add - an easy birth doesn't have to be a 'good' birth.

A 'difficult' birth isn't necessarily a 'bad' or 'traumatic' birth. I've had three challenging labours, and never once experienced an uncomplicated delivery. I still think the preparation I did for the births (which mainly consisted of organising the sort of care I preferred and NOT just 'going with the flow') made a difference to how I felt about them afterwards.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 08:45:21

When I say 'go with the flow' - I did of course go to classes, read about it and prepare! I don't however treat it like a wedding with minute instructions about who could be in the room etc .

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 08:46:37

If you have a very detailed birth plan and expectations of how it will be it is lovely if it pans out- but very upsetting if it doesn't.

SuperScribbler Tue 05-Mar-13 09:05:26

It took me 13 years to conceive DS, nearly miscarried him twice and was discovered to have numerous enormous fibroids - one blocking my cervix.

I had a ELCS under spinal. My entire uterine wall was invaded with fibroids and when cut I haemorrhaged. I saw blood splatter, heard the controlled panic in the room, saw the fear in DH's face. My blood pressure crashed, causing me to retch uncontrollably, huge needles were rammed into the backs of my hands and I was given a GA ASAP.

I came round two hours later to discovered I'd had an emergancy hysterectomy and a 4-5 unit blood transfusion.

DS was fine and dandy thankfully.

Shortly afterwards I was talking to a friend's husband about my experience. He is a Royal Marine, who has witnessed some horrendous things. He looked at me in awe and said, "You women are as hard as nails, you go through fear and pain most men would do anything to avoid and then you get up and get on with looking after your babies. You are all bloody marvellous." He made me feel proud of my "failed" birth. Whenever I have met people who have made me feel bad about what happened - the smug perfect birth brigade - I think about his words and feel strong and empowered again.

In birth, as in all things in life, we are dealt different hands and can only do so much to influence the outcome. All we can do is play the game as well as we are able.

Flobbadobs Tue 05-Mar-13 10:00:50

I had what were on the face of it 3 textbook births. None of them lasted more than 5 hours and never had stitches. That was the face of it. The reality is that I went into shock more than once (possibly because of the speed) and ended up on oxygen with my middle child. My MIL made a huge deal out of it saying to her friend when we visited " oh Flobba makes it look easy, she shells them like peas, just like I did".
I just sat there for a minute and when it went quiet said "yes but I still feel like I could house a small family in my fanny MIL". DH choked on his drink...
Your OP is the reason I never ever talk about my birth experience unless I am directly asked..

elliejjtiny Tue 05-Mar-13 10:34:59

I've had a home waterbirth, a natural dry land hospital birth and a back to back birth. I think when your baby is back to back it doesn't matter if you've done yoga or hypnobirthing as the pain is all you can think about. Thankfully my labour was short (90 mins) as I don't think I could have taken much more of that. OP, I think you're amazing for doing that 3 times, and probably for a lot longer than I did as well.


I had planned a lovely home water birth but what I got was a very medicalised hospital birth ending in theatre with forceps.

I did hypnobirthing and IMHO it helped me to cope with what was happening, but no amount of breathing or visualisation could change the fact that dd was at the wrong angle and got completely stuck. that's where medical intervention stepped in and saved our lives and for that I am grateful.

in a strange kind of way I still found the experience positive - because I had exactly the kind of birth I really didn't want, but I still got through it, iyswim?.

If you have a very detailed birth plan and expectations of how it will be it is lovely if it pans out- but very upsetting if it doesn't.

This is why I had a very basic birth plan that really boiled down to "explain things to me properly and I'll go with the flow".

I refused to build up my expectations regarding birth and just concentrated on getting through it.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 13:58:30

There was one recently on here where the woman had put that her partner didn't want to cut the cord- she wrote it down and then got upset because he wasn't asked!!

Fakebook Tue 05-Mar-13 14:06:56

I remember when I had my DS the woman in the bed opposite had come into hospital to be induced 15 hours after DS was born. I remember her hooked up to machines and things and she didn't look happy at all. I remember how shit it was being induced with dd.

Anyway, after she'd given birth (the next day, so she laboured for a bloody long time) she came back to my ward room and sat there showing off to her friends and family about how she had a natural birth and the midwife was crying at how the baby just pushed itself out of the birth canal with no pushing hmm. Apparently it was the most beautiful birth the midwife had ever seen. From eavesdropping, I know she had tore her perenium and was in pain.

It just proves that some people gloss things over so much for others.

I think there are too many women who are fooling themselves into thinking that they can prepare a beautiful birth plan and have a magical experience. It's possible that they are not being given enough information on what can go wrong (and yes, you do need to be aware of potential problems), or more likely, they are kidding themselves that it can't possibly happen to them!

So they build their expectations up and when reality crashes in they can't handle it.

How best to deal with this I can't say. But I have seen this in mums who were expecting at a similar time to me.

specialsubject Tue 05-Mar-13 14:27:32

lose her. Some women are too stupid and too boring to bother with.

ubik Tue 05-Mar-13 14:29:08

yes a friend had 2 'textbook' birth - 5 hrs, no pain relief, no tears or stitches.

but when I asked her about the birth when visiting her and her newborn DC2 she stated she would never go through that again.

Even 'easy' births aren't always easy

TheSecondComing Tue 05-Mar-13 14:34:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shagmundfreud Tue 05-Mar-13 14:45:38

Of course it makes sense to 'go with the flow' of your labour, but doesn't it also make sense that those people who look after you know something about what's important to you? That's what a birth plan is for. It's not a plan, because you can't plan your labour. It's a way of telling the person who's looking after you, who may have taken over your care at a time when you are completely unable to communicate with them, how you would like your birth to be. It's good they know that.

And doesn't it also make sense, if you have a choice of where you have your baby, to do a bit of research into standards of care at the hospitals or birth centers you're able to choose from? For example how many women get one to one care? And how many women have straightforward births? How many women get the pain relief they wanted?

There are big variations in these things between hospitals serving the same populations in some cities.

Personally I was pretty controlling about my second and third births, after feeling utterly out of control for my first, which went on forever, and involved about 5 5000 midwives. Second and third time I decided I was going to choose who looked after me and not take pot luck and risk getting nurse Ratchett again. Having your choice of midwife and your choice of setting for the birth can go quite a long way to optimising your chance of a good birth, so IMO it's worth giving a bit of attention to.

"It just proves that some people gloss things over so much for others."

Or that she had indeed had a birth she felt was absolutely amazing, and wasn't 'glossing over' her perineal damage, so much as not fixating on it because she didn't think it was a massive problem.

Jammother Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:21

I had a shit birth the first time (back to back baby, two failed ventouse, forceps, episiotomy, baby rushed to NICU, massive PPH, blood tranfusion, didn't see baby for 24 hours, episiotomy broke down and got a massive infection and left with continence).

I had a shit birth the second time round (induced after 10 days overdue, made to push for two hours as was told fully dilated but wasn't, three failed attempts to put epidural in, emergency section as baby did not descend, massive PPH, blood transfusion 24 hours after being sent home and needed a blood patch after the epidural pierced the durum of my spine).

I am obviously a lazy bitch hmm

Or my pelvis is an abnormal shape due to childhood trauma - I tell people that and they promptly shut the fuck up.

Jammother Tue 05-Mar-13 14:53:11

Also would you base your whole marriage on your wedding day?

No, so you wouldn't judge your parenting on birth.

consonant Tue 05-Mar-13 15:13:00

I had three quick and easy births. My mum, her sister, their mum... all quick and easy. Runs in the family and is good luck, nothing more. Of course YANBU. Your friend is a mite ignorant.

Pigsmummy Tue 05-Mar-13 15:26:09

Smile amd say something along the lines of "everyone is different and to suggest that I did something wrong is a bit insulting so let's change the subject, let's have a cup of tea/vat of wine and tell me how little one is getting on". The invite to tell you about baby will hopefully shut her up and you should be confident that you did nothing wrong, your medical team will confirm that to you.

willesden Tue 05-Mar-13 16:19:26

YANBU. A friend of mine had her judgey pants on for years over my two EMCS. She just had her first at 44 after years of trying to get PG. Her meticulously planned water birth turned into an EMCS. I am glad her and baby are both well, but I couldn't help a little smile.

minkembra Tue 05-Mar-13 16:27:48

YANBU. ignore.

tell you what though. in my notes they wrote forceps delivery due to lack of maternal effort.
I found it offensively judgy

cos that is right , I was just thought what the heck I can't be bothered. got this far but you know what i'll just give up. had nothing to do with the fact that I had had an epidural (at doctors advice twin birth) so big I couldn't feel anything below my nipples.

they should stop writing that phrase in notes. it is anti-feminist. what hope have we got if the midwives are still putting things like that down.

I am sure there must be a better way to put it.

AmandaPayne Tue 05-Mar-13 16:34:09

The whole language of birth is decidedly anti feminist minkembra. Failure to progress (ah yes, because the mother failed), your comment about maternal effort, 'elective' sections (yes, I know doctors see 'elective' surgery as a perfectly self-explanatory and accurate term for it, but to the rest of us it often doesn't feel very elective)...

YA definitely NBU. AIBU to hate women who have a baby, then think they're a one-woman baby-having bible? Absolute know-alls because they've had one? Urgh.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 18:04:33

I went to classes, chose the hospital - visited beforehand and asked questions. Once I had done that I left it to the professionals, they are the ones with the experience- not me. I didn't get let down by it.

sometimes you don't get to choose where you give birth - I was transferred to a hospital in a different town because my local one was full.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 19:01:48

Exactly- things often don't go according to plan- you adjust.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 19:03:48

If you treat the staff as the enemy it isn't going to turn out well! I can't see why you would assume that they want you to have a poor experience unless you write it all down.

MrsDeVere Tue 05-Mar-13 19:15:16

One of the reasons I don't talk about my last births is because they were lovely and went just the way I wanted them.
If I said that to other mothers it is likely they would think I was boasting or judging them. So I keep it shut (as well as not wanting to be judged for having home births).

I also found breastfeeding a doddle with all but my first. Again that would really upset some women so I don't talk about it.

I am not glossing over or justifying my choices or trying to make up for being an older mum (the 4 & 5th time round).

Luckily, by the time you get to no 5 you are not that bothered about talking about the birth smile

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 19:19:53

Apart from the fact that the sort of birth you had, how you found bfeeding etc doesn't make you a better parent. I'm pleased that my mother had a good birth but ,by the time you find out about it, it is unimportant. It is the next 18+ years that matter.

Mama1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 19:28:23

I hate this sort of thing. I have had two babies both massively pre term (24 and 26 weeks) deliveries by crash c section followed by extensive surgery. My brothers ex fiancé once told me my first was perhaps because I wasn't married and settled so the baby could sense this-I was in a car crash! I kid you not....
This sort of thing tends to wash over me completely health is what counts.
It's not a competition healthy baby s are the only aim after all smile

Zara1984 Tue 05-Mar-13 19:56:27

shock mama I think I know why that woman was your brother's EX fiancé....!

FrameyMcFrame Tue 05-Mar-13 22:23:17

That's exactly right, it's not as if children are going to be bothered if their Mum had a perfect waterbirth or a crash section, why would it matter to the baby or child as they grow up?

In fact I think it's a selfish thing to go on about. As long as the baby is born safely, that's all that counts in the long run for them.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 22:27:49

I read a blog where the mother wrote about her entire birth experience on her DD's 15th birthday and felt very sorry for the DD thinking of the sheer embarrassment of who might see it! You would think she had moved on, especially since she got the birth she wanted. The only time you might be curious is when you have your own child and then in private- not on a public blog.

midastouch Tue 05-Mar-13 22:55:43

YANBU ignore her, ive had 2 births first was horendous and both were very long (37 and 29 hours) i had peopel telling me about there 2 hour labours there wonderful water births with no pain relief, bla bla bla.... its just irritating, everyone is different.

DonderandBlitzen Tue 05-Mar-13 22:58:42

YANBU. Smug birthers are yawnsome

bumperella Tue 05-Mar-13 23:05:00

I signed up for a home birth. I ended up with an elective CS under general anaesthetic. It astounds me how many women seem to think that "elective CS" means I had more choice in the matter than someone who has to have an emergency CS. Both are medically necessary and likely the only survivable option in some cases (eg mine).
What people say froma position of profound and total ignorance is best ignored, or corrected if you can be arsed.

bumperella I agree with you about how people see "elective". I had an elective CS, due to pre-eclampsia developing at 38 weeks. It's amazing how some people thought it meant I chose to have a CS, when I only had one for medical reasons. It wasn't what I wanted, but hey just glad DD was born okay.

Writehand Wed 06-Mar-13 11:03:28

Both my deliveries were horrific, but my babies were well & that's all that matters. Because my experiences were so awful I don't talk about them much. I don't want to scare other people.

I also got hassle from natural childbirth bitches post-partum. My NCT teacher said "You don't need to feel like a failure." I was sooo frosty. I had every intervention known (failed forceps, failed ventouse, failed epidural, emergency C-section) but my baby was alive & well, which in my book is success.

I know it's chance, largely -- but I do like hearing what it's like when everything goes the way you hope. But boasting about having a wonderful time in childbirth is like boasting about falling in love or conceiving. It's a lovely thing to happen but it's not something the individual can really control.

"..she has been keen to tell me that if I had done X,Y and Z then I also could have had a perfect birth too."

That's just stupid. No it's not just stupid, it's mean. I hate falling out with people so I wouldn't tell her to eff off. I think I'd say something like "You were very lucky that your delivery went so well. But you do realise it's luck, not planning? There's no way of knowing in advance how labour's going to proceed. Why else would hospitals be geared up to deal with the unexpected? My deliveries were so bad I don't even like talking about them. Let's change the subject."

If she won't change the subject she's no friend.

Writehand that list of interventions matches mine! grin I had similar bollocks from the more excitable NCT types (my group was universally lovely which I gather is unusual) - lots of "oh poor baby, I bet she took a long time to perk up from all those drugs" - mmm, yes, the baby with full scores on each APGAR and who was merrily feeding as I was being sewn up hmm

TheBigJessie Wed 06-Mar-13 14:49:33

Your "friend" has funny ideas...

In your place, I don't know whether I'd just silently pity her for such ignorance or actually inform her that she's an idiot.

Could you book her on a course as a present? Is there a college near-by that does "how not to stick your foot in your mouth and sound like a judgemental ignoramus?" Alternatively, settle for A Level Human Biology!

No, not really. That would cost money, and I don't think she's worth it. Lock her in a small room, and read out every single Amy Tuteur blog entry to her from outside the door.

bumperella Wed 06-Mar-13 15:58:52

CommanderShepard, much better, obviously, if the baby had been left there for "nature to take it's course" (oxygen starved, heart failure, etc) rather than have to "suffer" the interventions....Now be honest, you were just lying there saying "nah, I can't really be arsed pushing, will just wait for them to come round with the enormous great big barbeque tongs", weren't you....! grin

Faxthatpam Wed 06-Mar-13 16:17:57

Haha - yes anyone who's ever seen (let alone experienced) a pair of Keilland's forceps would have no problems pushing for weeks rather than have them used for delivery!!!
Ignore the fool.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Mar-13 16:23:31

grin that competitive childbirth thread get turned into "well, I had a much worse birth than that" grin

of course you did nothing wrong!

I had a homebirth, tens machine etc, etc, did active birthing, was relaxed, ate more than my weight in food, drank loads, etc etc.

had an episiotomy and tear, as well as practically having to force DD out of my fanjo, and a Post partum haemorrhage and ended up in hospital to be stitched and had anaemia.

so, births are very down to luck on the day, you can manage your risk, but you can't stop what will happen happening smile

x2boys Wed 06-Mar-13 16:26:03

my birth experiences wernt great as explained earlier but i have to say a collegue of mine humbled me she had a still birth at 41 weeks a yr ago she is now about 25 weeks pregnant and her and her husbands attitude is whatever happens at this birth it will not be as bad as last time at least they will be taking a healthy baby home and how the hell can back to back babies be avoided?

Hah bumperella - what I didn't mention in my post was they were a lot more worried about me than DD, selfish so-and-so that I am! grin

FrameyMcFrame Wed 06-Mar-13 20:48:31

Faxthatpam, DS was a Keilland's delivery, that's the bit I haven't recovered from 4 years later!

Writehand Sat 09-Mar-13 13:15:57

When I turned up at the clinic expecting my 2nd baby the consultant looked up and said "I'll always remember you. You're my only failed forceps."

Which was good, in a way, in that it seemed to make her unusually respectful. She asked me if I wanted to try for a natural delivery, but she seemed relieved when I told her I didn't. Immediately told me she'd have made the same decision in the circs. My thinking was that it's all very well saying try for a natural delivery because no one ever found out what went wrong the first time, but it was exactly because no one knew what had gone wrong that I opted for a planned C-section.

And even that went wrong. We were all happily in theatre when suddenly my BP plummeted, I fell down a black hole, they hurled my DH out of the room, and whizzed DS2 out of me so quickly & cack-handedly that his poor jaw was black from the forceps and he couldn't suck properly for a month, so I couldn't BF. His face was so sore he had to have bottles with the teat hole enlarged.

A month later I was rushed into hospital with a chunk of placenta gone nasty inside me. They must've been in such a flap they didn't check they'd got it all out. My GP said, and I think this was her exact phrase that "it was an appalling catalogue of errors". But both my DSs were OK, and that's all that really matters.

olivertheoctopus Sat 09-Mar-13 13:27:22

YANBU. Because clearly it was your fault all your births were so horrid. Not. She's being a smug cow and its offensive.

FrameyMcFrame Sat 09-Mar-13 17:02:19

Writehand sad

At least you're all here in one piece, I know how you feel.

Writehand Sun 10-Mar-13 22:15:43

Thanks, Framey. That's all that matters. The babies arrived safe too. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 10-Mar-13 23:52:54

ugh threads like this make me so glad that no one I knew was like this when I had DS.

YANBU. Ignore it. Absolutely pathetic on her part.

McNewPants2013 Mon 11-Mar-13 00:00:09

I have had 2 perfect births, I just put it down to sheer good luck.

My sisters have all had near death experiences with child birth, none could have been prevented and i thank god that all my nieces, nephews and sisters are all fit and heathy.

AmberSocks Mon 11-Mar-13 00:48:21

the thing i do believe there are certain reasons why birth can be difficult or go wrong,its not the mothers fault,its the care she is being given.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 06:57:27

Obviously the care that you are given is vitally important, but you can still have a difficult birth with the very best of care. Women are just very used to having control and thinking that all will be well if you do all the 'right' things and if you don't do the 'right' things it is your 'fault'- whereas it has a huge element of luck.
It is rather like parenting and the view that there is a magical 'right' way to parent and if you do a,b and c you will end up with an emotionally, well balanced, fully functional, mature, loving adult and if not the guilt kicks in and it is the mother's 'fault'. There are no magical solutions- everyone is different and one size doesn't fit all.
It is sensible to prepare for birth, and seek the best possible care,but it doesn't guarantee a 'good' birth experience and it is sad that people then feel that they were at fault, or failed, when it is just luck.

AmberSocks Mon 11-Mar-13 15:45:27

its not just luck,there is no such thing as luck.

there are reasons for everything,we just dont know them,there are occasions where there are medical reasons with the mum or baby or both where no matter how much positive thinking or support will help,but in most cases for a healthy woman and baby its totally possible that she can give birth the way our bodies are meant to.

its not the mums fault,its down to too much intervention most of the time.

elliejjtiny Mon 11-Mar-13 16:39:47

I think it's mostly luck, with a bit of good genes, health/fitness of mum etc as well. Eg a mum who needs to be induced early for her health reasons will statistically be more likely to have a difficult birth than a mum who goes into labour naturally. I had a really good birth with DS3 after a traumatic birth with DS2 and I think it was mostly down to luck. I was meant to be induced but labour ward was busy so I went into labour on my own (luck). I had a midwife who encouraged me to be active despite being on the CTG monitor (luck) and other things were down to luck as well.

AmberSocks Mon 11-Mar-13 16:51:21


ffs do you lot think there is some kind of luck fairy who goes round with a little bag of luck dust sprinkling liberally on some and not o others,get a grip,there is a reason for everything.

TheBigJessie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:52:37

How do you feel about chaos theory? grin

TheBigJessie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:53:04

Or chance?

SingingSands Mon 11-Mar-13 17:05:49

I can't stand competitive birth smugness. Next time your friend starts, just look her in the eye and say "do you think I chose that birth option?".

When I had my first dc I just used to say "it was really hard work, but worth it in the end" and leave it at that.

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 17:10:12

I think when people on the thread say luck they mean chance and personally I think a large part of it is down to chance. You can read all the books you like, subscribe to whichever theories you want, practice breathing, positions, or whatever else takes your fancy but ultimately you do not know how your labour and birth will go until it actually happens.

While certain factors can give an indication of what will happen next during a delivery it is just an indication, not a certainty, and no one can predict exactly what will occur.

Saying a traumatic birth is often down to too much intervention isn't strictly true either as the large majority of interventions are literally lifesaving.

Yes childbirth is a natural process and in theory it is what your body is meant to do however nature is not perfect and in a lot of the stories related on this thread if the woman had been left for nature to work it's course most of them would have died in childbirth - myself included. Back in the days before interventions childbirth was the number one killer of women and it was largely down to luck whether or not you survived, nowadays it's still largely down to look however in the majority of cases an intervention means the difference between life and death.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 18:08:10

If you don't like the word luck then substitute 'chance'. I know that some people are control freaks and want to plan it all, but nature isn't like that. You can prepare all you like but it doesn't follow that it will work out the way you wanted it to.
I agree with BearFrills.
I have just been reading that in Medieval times one woman died in every 50 births so I think that we should be very thankful for intervention - rather than viewing it is an evil! Those women were giving birth 'as nature intended' and it killed them.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 18:40:08


ffs do you lot think there is some kind of luck fairy who goes round with a little bag of luck dust sprinkling liberally on some and not o others,get a grip,there is a reason for everything

Of course there is sheer luck and there is not a reason for everything. If 2 people buy a lottery ticket and one wins a big prize and one gets nothing it is nothing they did. A friend was off ill, swapped his shift and a bomb fell-the person he swapped with was killed. It was sheer chance-there was no reason and it wasn't even as if they were in a dangerous place. DH and I eat practically the same diet, he has high cholesterol and I have very low cholesterol-again sheer chance.
I have easy births because I have inherited wide hips-sheer chance-we have narrow ones in the family.
You may put an easy birth down to proper preparation but it can be nothing more than chance. It is very unfair-not to mention cruel -to tell people that there was a reason for their misfortune when there probably wasn't. The lucky fairy may not go around with luck dust, but some people are lucky. This is from birth-some DCs may be blessed with looks, talent and a family with money-it is nothing they did.

LandofTute Mon 11-Mar-13 18:56:33

In Afghanistan 1 in 8 women die in childbirth. This is not because of too much medical intervention, it's in part because of not enough medical intervention available to the women.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 19:17:30

Exactly LandofTute-I do get fed up with the way people talk about medical intervention as if the medical profession are deliberately out to spoil your birth experience-forgetting that the alternative may be death! A healthy mother and baby is the important thing.

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 21:41:57

'Luck' is shorthand for chance, the unknown, circumstances out of your control, chaos theory and so on.

I don't think anyone believes in a luck fairy.

PurpleStorm Mon 11-Mar-13 21:42:43

Agree with exoticfruits about luck / chance.

You might be able to tilt the odds in your favour, but luck still plays a part.

And medical intervention can often make the difference between life and death. My mother (and subsequently me) would probably have died when heavily pregnant with me if medical intervention hadn't been available and she'd been left to give birth naturally.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 21:56:05

Not a 'luck fairy' obviously, but it is wrong to say that there is no such thing as luck or there has to be a reason. Otherwise it leaves those who have misfortunate happenings thinking it was their fault and those who don't have misfortunate happenings feeling very smug that 'they did it right'.
If a strong wind brings a tree down and it misses me it was just chance, if it hits the person who was 30 seconds in front of me it was equally chance. Neither of us did anything to deserve it!

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 21:57:54

People are so used to arranging the 'perfect wedding' etc they forget that you can't do the same with births- there are lots of unknowns.

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 22:01:46

My DD almost certainly would have died, possibly me too.

On paper I should have had a straight-forward 'natural' delivery. I was healthy, had a previous vaginal birth two years before, baby was of average size, problem-free pregnancy, and DD was head down and fully engaged at 40 weeks.

Except she wasn't. She was breech and no one realised this until my MW sent me for a scan at 40+1 when she got an inkling DD was upside down. Scan confirmed it and two days later I went for an ECV (where they turn the baby).

I was damned lucky I didn't go into established labour, although I'd had a show and was mildly contracting roughly every eight minutes. They did an HD scan before the ECV. The scan showed that I had barely any amniotic fluid, they could find only one measurable pool of just 3cm in size. It also showed DD, a flexed breech, had the cord wrapped around her legs in a figure-8. The remaining coil of cord was literally lying on top of my cervix. I went straight down for an emergency cesarean.

If it hadn't been picked up I'd have stayed at home and waited for labour to begin. The first I'd known of any problems would have been when my cervix dilated enough for the cord to fall out (prolapse). If by some chance it didn't prolapse and I arrived at hospital safely I'd have probably attempted a vaginal breech delivery, completely unaware of the cord around my daughter's legs until they engaged far enough into my pelvis for the cord to become compressed.

Luckily though my MW spotted a potential problem, late in the game but in time all the same. The collection of circumstances were bad luck but luckily I had access to a surgeon, a hospital, a life saving intervention.

Luck/chance/chaos theory, whatever you want to call it, does matter in childbirth and it does make a difference. Nothing I did or didn't do caused the problems I had, it was purely bad luck and unfortunate circumstances. Interventions didn't cause it, they resolved it.

thebody Mon 11-Mar-13 22:05:50

It is luck.

Out if my 4 births range from forceps, stitches etc to one being so relatively painless I have had worse period pain.

She's a stupid smug cow whose on an after birth high but that's no excuse to be so tactless.

Lets see how she does teething, weaning, sleeping etc op. pride before a fall my dear.

AmberSocks Mon 11-Mar-13 22:06:06

i have to disagree,i am training to be a midwife and any honest midwife will tell you that most traumatic births stem from unnecessary intervention-yes it may be further intervention that saves lives,but it stems from intervention in the first place.

chance to me is the same as luck,deserving something doesnt come into it,a tree falls,someone is under it,someone else isnt,thats that,its just the way things are!!!

Chunderella Mon 11-Mar-13 22:13:17

Any honest midwife will tell you that most traumatic births stem from unnecessary intervention- that's quite a claim, Amber. Care to back it up?

McNewPants2013 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:20:54

I do belive it is down to luck.

any honest midwife will tell you that most traumatic births stem from unnecessary intervention

so why are the MW doing unnecessary intervention in the first place. If i was training to be a MW and a Trained MW said that to me i would want to know the reason behind the unnecessary intervention

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:26:14

I was going to ask that- why on earth would a trained midwife be doing an unnecessary intervention? People will act as if the professional is setting out to be difficult! I didn't plan any of mine- they were perfectly nice and straight forward- they didn't need intervention, they didn't have any intervention- I can't see why anyone would even suggest it, never mind do it.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:28:50

I also wouldn't have had a birth plan insulting the midwife by saying that I didn't want unnecessary intervention - I would assume they were intelligent enough to know the meaning of unnecessary!

thebody Mon 11-Mar-13 22:33:06

Yeah don't understand that either.

My ds got stuck all by himself cord around the neck. No intervention caused that.

If he hadn't been pulled out by forceps he would have been starved of oxygen and died.

Thank god for intervention.

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 22:38:18

I don't think any responsible medical professional would ever make an arbitrary decision about carrying out unnecessary intervention. How would they decide!? "Oh it's a slow day, let's spice it up a bit with a few keillands deliveries"!?


Three days after my section when I was on a hormone/morphine comedown and I irrationally cried because I was too sore and tired to get off the sofa to make the MW a cup of tea she told me it's just the way things go, it's all a bit of a gamble and you were unlucky to go through the mill like that but you got a lovely baby out of it.

Was she lying then?

Dozer Mon 11-Mar-13 22:38:19

I have a friend who often refers proudly to her good (pool) birth and her "birthing idols" ( women who have had quick, natural homebirths).

It pisses me off! I had two emcs.

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 22:38:46

Are you sure we are not arguing about semantics here re luck?

The op above whose baby turned at the last minute. Why? It could have been tragic, thankfully it wasn't but why did her baby turn thus necessitating intervention, yet my baby didn't. Why two outcomes to two straightforward pregnancies? Nobody knows , therefore we refer to it as chance or 'luck'.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:40:15

I would love to have Amber's evidence. I would have thought that questions would have been raised if the most traumatic births stemmed from unnecessary intervention. I know many people who have had traumatic births but it was nothing to do with unnecessary intervention and the person owes their life and that of the baby to the necessary intervention
My experience of life doesn't match up to this idea that if you plan carefully for your 'perfect' birth and find the 'right' midwife all will be well. .

chickenyhead Mon 11-Mar-13 22:43:15

I would tell her she is being very naive and inconsiderate. She was lucky in the birth lottery and for that she should be grateful not smug, HOW RUDE!!!

Two horrific births down myself I must say both of mine were more complicated than they had to be thanks to the wonderful midwifery staff failing to undertake basic procedural checks such as the position of the baby etc, a scan perhaps could have saved me 6 hours pushing a 10lb baby out forehead first with forceps which made me incontinent for 6 months post birth.

Every woman is different and NOBODY (Midwife, obstetrician or friend) can judge unless you were in those exact same shoes.

Ppppfffffttttttttt.......people ggggrrrrr lol

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 22:44:12

I'm guessing what Amber means regarding 'unnecessary intervention' is an intervention which she personally felt wasn't necessary, despite insistence from docs and patient. Example being an epidural?

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 22:45:20

Exactly Thingiebob. And why, when my body obviously already knew what to do having delivered DS 'naturally', did it so spectacularly cock-up second time around? There's no discernible reason so again it can be attributed to chance/luck.

Nature is non-linear, it'll always throw you a curve ball when you least expect it.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:46:58

But no one will give you an epidural if you don't want one- I wouldn't have had one. I didn't need to write it down I would have just said so.

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 22:49:01

I think she meant (and correct me if I'm wrong) that the patient and the doctor agreed an epidural but they're possibly one of the things Amber considers to be unnecessary interventions?

BearFrills Mon 11-Mar-13 22:50:26

So even though the patient wanted it, doctor agreed it, and an epidural was given it was an unnecessary intervention which led to further interventions.

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 22:50:43

Exotic I meant more that midwives can have their own agenda. So a patient may want an epidural, get one, but their midwife feel it is an unnecessary intervention.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:50:58

Maybe the patient didn't view it as unnecessary.

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 22:51:49

X-posted with Bear! Exactly what I meant.

chickenyhead Mon 11-Mar-13 22:53:13

The need for an epidural is entirely dependant upon the pain surely? A person not in that pain cannot possible impose their views with anything other than a total lack of empathy or respect.

Epidurals are not bad. They are sometimes absolutely necessary.
I didnt get one in my first birth but ended up with a spinal for the 4 hour repair operation following ventouse and forced stirrups.

Every womans needs are different and I have yet to meet a midwife who fully understands this.

RedToothBrush Mon 11-Mar-13 22:54:05

Jesus christ. I'd hate to have a midwife who said things like

its not just luck,there is no such thing as luck.

because if there is no such thing as luck, then by alternative logic someone is to blame each and every time intervention is needed.

a) Is that person the mother for doing something wrong? Didn't she try hard enough, didn't she use the right position or was she just weak?
b) Or is that the midwife who misses something, doesn't encourage the mother the right way or doesn't trust nature enough?
c) Or is it the big bad obstetrician who ignores the wise old midwife and mother and comes in to butcher the mother for no logical reason other than the fact that they have had a rather boring morning so far?

if the midwife thinks its
a) she's insensitive (at best)
b) she deserves to get her arse sued off when she gets it wrong and the mother ends up with intervention because she's failed to do her job properly
c) she needs to retrain in a different profession since she's clearly incapable of working in a team as she's got a stinking attitude to obstetricians

Which ever way you cut it, a midwife who thinks theres no such thing as luck, really is in the wrong job.

yanbu some people really are smug twats

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 22:57:43

An epidural is just an example of an intervention that could be deemed unnecessary and can often lead onto other interventions.

I had a midwife who felt that all pain relief was unnecessary and was terribly rude about me asking for paracetamol and using gas and air. She had no problem airing her views!

Thingiebob Mon 11-Mar-13 23:01:53

Agree with Redtoothbrush.

All midwives need to be prepared for stuff to suddenly, for no obvious reason, just happen. There are countless eventualities in a birth for which there is often no discernible reason evident at the time. This what we mean by 'chance' or 'luck'.

chickenyhead Mon 11-Mar-13 23:02:48

gas and air does not work for some people, nor does pethidine or morphine. For me it was epidural or no effect except paralysing pain with no urge to push once dilated in either birth.

I have abnormal second stages which have both been over 4 hours, both without epidural as in the second labour it had worn off by the second stage and wasn't topped up.

Every woman is different, midwives are not gods and do not know better than the woman herself. (Sorry have severe PTSD after second birth with unrelieved pain and forceps and due in 3 weeks........nooooooooooooooooooooo)

louisianablue2000 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:06:16

I have three children, DD1 was induced and took forever to arrive but otherwise straightfoward VB, DD2 was very straightforward and relatively quick 'NCT approved' birth, oh except for her shoulders getting briefly stuck. That was despite me progressing well, being upright throughout the birth, only having G&A etc etc. I didn't even realise her shoulders had been stuck until I read my notes from that birth after my third birth. So just because someone thinks they've had a good birth doesn't mean there weren't some scary moments that could have ended up disasterously.

Third birth, very confident, done it all before blah blah. Until my waters broke just a few hours after I finished at work, four weeks early, and there was a TON of merconium. Got to hospital and seriously, all the intervention meant I had the best birth possible considering the scary circumstances. I was put on a monitor and the heartbeat was OK so they decided to induce me. Everything was going swimmingly, I'd just started taking G&A, when suddenly the baby's heartbeat slowed down. I was only 5cm so they decided on an EMCS. Rushed through to theatre, then obstetrician realised I was having involuntary pushes, checked and I was 10cm, decided to go with forceps delivery but thankfully DS was born before they managed that. I went from 5cm to having delivered in 10 mins. All of those 10mins consisted of not following the 'perfect' way of giving birth, I was being pushed throughs corridor with a ton of people around me asking me if I had any crowns on my teeth, Dh left in the delivery suite, and contracting all the time with no pain relief. But at the end of it how lucky did I feel? If DS hadn't come so ridiculously quickly I could easily have had an EMCS but frankly I would have been quite pleased with that as long as the baby was healthy. We should be glad of all the intervention that we have free access to that allows us to have healthy babies and not make it all into some kind of competition because one person had less pain relief than others. Is my friend who has had three home births a better mother than my friend who had an ELCS because she had pre-eclampsia? Of course not.

We all experience things differently, I had a root canal treatment between DD2 and DS and for me that was much more unpleasant than giving birth. DH enjoyed having his last root canal. Strange, strange, man. He said he found it quite relaxing!

EATmum Mon 11-Mar-13 23:14:00

I was being induced with first DD (many years ago) and the lovely midwife said I should think about an epidural in due course. I smiled and said I'd keep an open mind, maybe admitting to myself that my mind was totally closed - I wanted to try for a 'natural' birth (why??) She said "no one gives you a medal for being in pain". She was absolutely on the money - the anaesthetist who gave me my epidural was my saviour that day.
I had two other, very different births subsequently, but had learned by then that there are indeed no medals or "perfect births" no matter what the competitive types may think - you just do what you can to get a healthy baby out. Then the real job starts!

Midgetm Mon 11-Mar-13 23:22:16

YANBU and your friend is a bit of an arse.

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 07:05:24

I agree with chickenyhead- every woman is different and the last thing that you want is a midwife set in that she thinks is 'right'. What is an unnecessary intervention to her may well be necessary to the mother - everyone needs to keep an open mind. I was like EATmum, I said that my mind was open but actually it was firmly closed- I wanted a natural birth. One of the reasons that I wouldn't waste time with a birth plan is that you can't know in advance. As it was by the time I was asked if I wanted pain relief I said 'yes, anything!' As it transpired I was too late for anything except gas and air.
I believe that the medical profession are there to help- not that they set out to be obstructive!
The aim is to get a healthy baby out and then, as EATmum says- the real job starts.
Some people get so caught up with the birth- the woman that I mentioned earlier who wrote a whole embarrassing blog of the birth on her DDs 15th birthday was still bemoaning the fact that she didn't have a good birth with the 13yr old and that based on what she knows now she wouldn't have had medical intervention- it doesn't seem to dawn on her that she and the DD might not be here without it- or that 13 years down the line it doesn't matter. If I was her DDs I would want to keep her well away if pregnant- she has so many opinions on it - it would be very difficult to keep her at arms length and say ' I'm not having a birth plan- and I shall just go with the flow'.

PurpleStorm Tue 12-Mar-13 08:42:42

I'd also love to see evidence backing up Amber's assertation that most traumatic births stem from unnecessary intervention. And also a definition of what Amber considers unnecessary intervention is.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 08:59:52

I'm so pleased to read others experiences.
I had a traumatic birth 10 months ago which I still can't even think about without crying. Dd was perfectly fine and healthy and not affected by it at all but I was and I feel guilty for being selfish when I should be grateful.
I wish I hadn't read anything, I wish I hadn't gone to the antenatal yoga where the woman leading told us all that there are too many interventions, you don't need them, you can breathe your baby out yadda yadda yadda! I had a birth plan, I read the hypno birthing books, I wasn't scared, I wasn't in pain but I failed miserably to birth my baby naturally. I tried talking about it but was told I should just be happy dd was fine which I am but there's always that thought in my head that I'm a failure and that her birth led to some issues.
Did she have colic because of her birth? Does she not sleep because of her birth? Did my milk come in late as a result? Am I getting pelvis pain because of it? Sorry, so many questions and a rambling post.
I cry when I read/hear about water births, breathing baby out.
I've removed myself from the antenatal yoga group on Facebook, I used to love the birth announcements but its always '..... Born naturally to a wonderful mummy who obviously put her breathing to good use,
So did I but my body didn't work. I didn't want an epidural but I had no choice. My baby would not have been born without intervention, believe me I tried, I tried so bloody hard and it didn't hapoen. Sorry.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:02:32

Sorry, I know I've just rambled. I need to share my birth story, where can I do this? I need to get it out. Dp is fantastic and supportive but I need to share. Just have overwhelming urge to do so.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:13:35

Amber socks what utter bullshit! I had absolutely no intervention until completely necessary and it was very necessary, without it I'm sure dd and I could have died.

Contradictionincarnate Tue 12-Mar-13 09:16:01

you are not being unreasonable ... I had a natural birth ...I think I was lucky and would never assume that a mum who didn't have one was something she could have changed!

BearFrills Tue 12-Mar-13 09:18:41

Dylan, I'm so sorry you feel like you failed sad

You didn't, you really, really didn't. Ultimately the goal of pregnancy is to produce a baby at the end and you did that. I know that doesn't help you with how you're feeling and emotions are more complex than that.

The childbirth boards here are excellent as well as the postnatal support threads. For real life support contact the hospital where you delivered and tell them you'd like to chat about the birth, they should have a birth reflections service and a midwife will go through your notes with you 1-2-1 so you can see exactly what happens and why. Your GP also or HV will be able to refer you to a counselor.

I hope you find some peace soon x

Contradictionincarnate Tue 12-Mar-13 09:21:22

oh and Dylan so sorry to hear that sure there is support on mn for you somewhere and someone better than me will come along to tell you where!
as a ps when I was younger if I ever talked about birth with my friends it was the ones that had the complications that were fascinating... and would have us sat listening with open mouths they always sounded much more of a miracle!
every baby is a miracle anyway though and as op said doesn't really matter how they got here!

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:21:48

This is the whole danger Dylan and why I am so against people making elaborate birth plans, as if the most important thing is to give them a wonderful experience, as if they are planning a wedding, perfect holiday etc. It is down to nature, and nature isn't under control and won't just happen to go the way that you desire -unless you are lucky.
The most important thing is a healthy mother and baby at the end of it.
People build it up in their mind and then they are disappointed, or distraught, if it didn't go according to plan and they think they 'failed'. To a lesser extent you get the same with other events- e.g. all the threads on here about Mother's Day and all the angst that went with it! I had a perfectly nice day-they all remembered as it happened -but it would have been no big deal if they hadn't. It is one day in the year-it is how you get on the rest that counts.
Birth is the same-it is one day in your child's life. I wouldn't have wished a difficult birth on my mother, but I really couldn't care less how I came into the world as long as we were both healthy. It would blight my life much more if she kept harking back to an event that I can't remember, or if she had let me down when I was 5yrs, 10yrs or 15yrs etc. Motherhood is about much more than the birth.
There is no harm in mothers feeling proud that they managed the breathing-but really it was just luck (or chance, for those who don't like the word luck),and had they had the difficulties you had had Dylan they wouldn't not have been able to control it all by the right breathing. (and she has yet to prove she is a wonderful mummy-over the next x amount of years!!!)
You are not a failure. My DS3 had terrible colic and he was born so quickly that by the time the midwife examined me I said 'can I push?' she said 'yes' and that was it! All 3 took 2 years to sleep through the night and they were all easy, completely natural births. Stop being hard on yourself. Those who think it was down to them were lucky-they aided the luck by being prepared- but they never needed to be prepared for the worst.

Crawling Tue 12-Mar-13 09:22:28

I wanted to talk about my births they were not textbook all 3 were back to back and very long but I had very little pain relief no stitches and I consider them good births.

But if I ever talk about them I am talked over and dismissed by other women with she just pops them out. Also they constantly give me dirty looks for dating to say I had a good birth. I personally find the competitiveness is usually about who had the hardest birth.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:27:32

Thank you. Do you know what it weird though, it's only afterwards I feel like this. I actually really enjoyed the whole experience! Thanks for support.
Sorry for hijacking op-yanbu!

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:27:50

The good thing is that as your DC gets older no one talks about the birth-it is a phase- like whose DC crawled first, what colour reading book band your DC is on etc. When the DC gets to about 7 yrs they realise that the DC is their own person and not a personal project!

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:32:25

Rest assured Dylan that if you tell your teenage DD that you 'failed' she will look at you as if your are nutty! The only time she will be interested is if she has her own baby and then she will be full of respect that you managed a difficult birth. Think of it this way, anyone can manage to use what they learn if the going is good-the real successes are those who manage when things go wrong and it isn't straight forward. They are the ones I have real respect for and listen to with awe.

Haven't read whole thread but I think I get the gist ..... and just wanted to say did anyone else see "Call the Midwife" the other day where Miranda did such a fab job of telling us Chummy's story .... where the survival of her baby and her opening her eyes to see him snuggling next to her, and saying "Hello little bean" (under a lovely Wooley Hug style blankie knitted by nuns and midwives together) - anyway where story was told as the wonderful, celebratory, triumph that it was, following a crisis during the birth (placental abruption I think ?)
Anyone who's had a difficult labour should watch that - it was quite wonderful smile

HiggsBoson Tue 12-Mar-13 09:34:04 such thing as luck...


My friend had two relatively pain free 6 hour labours with no intervention.

DD was upside down (frank breech) and no one knew until I was 10 cm (which I managed with g&a despite being delirious with pain due to DD's positioning). MWs and doctors said they weren't prepared to deliver naturally and I was whipped in for emcs.

...but I wasn't unlucky.

hmm and hmm again.

EATmum Tue 12-Mar-13 09:50:47

I'd also echo others' comments about a birth plan. I think they make us feel we should achieve something we've somehow 'planned', and then when something completely different happens, even if the outcome is good, we feel we've somehow failed. Birth plan for DD1 was detailed and thoughtful re music, lighting (did I think I was directing a play??) Neither of the subsequent births had anything written down, just an urgent direction from me that if I needed it, I wanted an epidural to be available. I wonder how many people write a plan for a second or subsequent birth, unless there are specific medical or personal reasons for it?

EATmum - I covered all bases as far as I could from my experience and knowledge in birth plan 1 (DD) and did the same, but with more and different knowledge and experience, for birth plan 2 (DS) One thing I really wanted with birth two was to have a long cuddle and give him his first feed straight away, and not have him whisked off to be weighed for a good while, as DD had been.

hamdangle Tue 12-Mar-13 11:10:02

Dylan, don't feel guilty! I don't know where this ridiculous idea came from that if you had a difficult birth it's somehow your 'fault'. If men gave birth they would all have epidural a or c sections and would suffer none of this guilt!

I had a horrific but 'natural' birth with DS1. Pushed for ages, back to back, no epidural and no stitches. 8lb 5 baby. Oh and I was 17. 16 years on felt really positive about second birth. I did it the first time, right? I had a biig baby then and still no stitches and now I'm a real adult and had mentally prepared better so it had to be easier. Every midwife I met said second would be easier too. Well, I pushed for three hours and the head was still up in the back of beyond. I had a mobile epidural but it never worked. The midwife said to keep pushing and she'd check again in another three hours!!! In the end I had full epidural, prepped for c section but forceps instead, lots of lovely stitches. .

I could feel bad about the whole experience but I have a healthy baby and it made me realise that anyone who makes you feel bad because they had a lovely birth and just 'breathed it out' is a dick. Every woman is different and every birth is too. Just because it went well once doesn't mean something might not go wrong. Some women seem to find birth easier but some of it is just luck!

Dylan are there any mum and baby groups you can go to? At my group we have all shared our horror stories and everyone is very supportive. Hearing everyone else's problems helps to put it in perspective too.

ICBINEG Tue 12-Mar-13 12:34:03

Actually I agree that it isn't luck.

It is genetics and circumstance.

If your baby is positioned badly, this is due to the combined genetics and the exact size and shape of your baby/bump. It is deterministic in that if we had an accurate enough model of your insides and your baby (as well as your pain threshold and tolerance levels) we could predict exactly what sort of birth you would have, and what sort of interventions you would need.

It only looks like chance because we can't currently measure accurately all of the relevant variables.

However very few of said variables are subject to meaningful alteration by the mother. You can't change your pelvis, or your baby's dimensions, or preference for orientation. You can't change your pain tolerance. You can dick around with breathing exercises, and try different positions during labour, you can try stretching your fanjo but none of things will make significant differences.

So it isn't luck or chance but it also isn't something you are likely to be able to change.

The take home message is that you aren't responsible for a great birth or a horrible birth. Factors outside of your control are far more important than the piffling things you can influence in determining your birth experience.

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Mar-13 13:29:07

It is luck, if the same woman can give birth without problems one time but not another with the same partner.

Its simply luck that determines which genes from each partner, that you get. Its luck that that sperm hit that egg at that time.

Its luck that you were created in the same way and had the genetic make up you do that give you the pelvis you have.

ICBINEG Tue 12-Mar-13 13:33:44

huh? Are you saying that you hypothesis is that all babies made by the same couple are the same?

Not even the activities of sperm are down to luck...they have their own deterministic behaviours....

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Mar-13 13:55:33

But when you decided to have sex is down to luck. That particular sperm is only in that position at the right time to even have a fighting chance because you decided not to watch that movie that night and get an early night instead.

Luck. Pure luck.

Chunderella Tue 12-Mar-13 18:30:05

It sounds like Red and Icbineg are pretty much saying the same thing, just using different descriptors. A woman's experience in childbirth will be influenced by a number of factors, most of which she can't control, many of which she may not even know about and which can't simply be fobbed off as resulting from unnecessary intervention. You can call this luck, chance or something else.

Amber, if you come back I've got a couple of questions for you. Do you think women who birth unattended in rural Niger and sustain fistulas have traumatic births because of too much intervention? And can you tell us when you'll qualify and what area of the country you plan to practice in? I can't be the only one who'd do everything possible to avoid being under your care in labour.

MrsMoppetMama Tue 12-Mar-13 18:45:31

Ignore her.
I had a crappy time in birth but don't think there is anything I could have done to make it easier - it was just the way it was. We're thinking of TTC again soon and the memory of my first labour is one of the reasons we keep putting it off! In the end there is nothing that you could have done and thats that!

neighbourhoodwitch Tue 12-Mar-13 18:54:00

Silly woman she is. Try and ignore. Maybe it will be different for her next birth (not that I would ever wish extreme stress on anybody...) I mean only in the sense that she might learn from it.

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