My labour was better than yours- ner ner ner ner ner!

(63 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Fri 23-Aug-13 20:03:57

I don't know if I'm being over sensitive here but my labour was fairly ineffective, traumatic, long and ended in a c-section. I was gutted at the time but pleased in the end and actually insisted on a c-section as was labouring for so long.

My lovely friend has a new born and said she didn't want to gloat but her labour went really well with no pain killers and it's a shame I had to have that 'nasty' epidural. (for the section.) Tell me she's in bonkers new mummy mode right? She's obviously really proud and so am I?

I am so happy for her but at the same time I hate all of this competetive birthing stuff. Am I being over-sensitive?

Doingakatereddy Fri 23-Aug-13 20:11:09

Bonkers new mum mode - epidurals are a bloody life saver!

Many mums (me included) go a bit 'labour story' crazy after birth, think it's like a PTS coping mechanism.

Just smile & focus on new friendship & babies. Congrats.

meditrina Fri 23-Aug-13 20:11:28


In the long run, no-one really cares.

Of course, you'll still be stuck with a twat of a friend who thinks using the word "nasty" like is is OK. THats's nothing to do with birth stories, it's just monumental lack of awareness, tact, sensitivity etc.

plentyofsoap Fri 23-Aug-13 20:11:55


CailinDana Fri 23-Aug-13 20:14:17

I don't get competitive birthing, it's like saying "Listen to my sneeze it's nicer than yours." Em yeah alright weirdo. I've told my closest friends about my births when they've asked but anyone else I say "Oh it went fine," what else is there to say? (Unless it's a mum to be asking for advice in which case I might give my viewpoint but tactfully).

Onwardsandsideways Fri 23-Aug-13 20:15:12

Don't worry, in a few years' time it becomes the 'my labour was so awful that..' competition and you'll win by a street!

Alanna1 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:15:35

She doesn't know - she probably only knows the NCT mantras, and feels really proud of herself. For whatever reason some people have easy births and some don't. I'm much more impressed by the people who have the hard births (and I speak as a lucky member of the sneeze birth camp).

Pagwatch Fri 23-Aug-13 20:16:43

I always got competetive drama birth stories.
One person - every time she told her birth story the labour got longer and the difficulty increased

TheContrastOfWhiteOnWhite Fri 23-Aug-13 20:18:00

God yes, competitive birthing is dull and pointless.

Mind you, I had an epidural and it was indeed 'nasty' (though I appreciate that they are amazing for some). It's good that both of you feel proud and happy - try and focus on that bit smile

badguider Fri 23-Aug-13 20:18:12

ah, she's probably just overcome with relief after all the preparation for how awful it can be... and post-partum hormones have taken over her brain for a bit.

i'd just ignore if you can.. and if she's still saying it in six weeks then pick her up on it.

NaturalBaby Fri 23-Aug-13 20:18:36

You're not being over sensitive at all.
I had a fantastic labour but never felt like I could tell anyone when they were sharing their stories of induction, drugs, emcs... but I had the clingy baby who screamed the loudest and refused to sleep through till 9months after we resorted to sleep training.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 23-Aug-13 20:19:20

Labour top trumps sad YANBU but dont play ot with her! Works the other way round too. Those whose labour was so horrific nobody has ever experienced anything like it in the history of man.

MothershipG Fri 23-Aug-13 20:19:37

Doing Me too! I even got mine published in a baby mag. (Disclaimer - I did work for the publisher) wink

Talking about your birth story is one thing, saying you feel sorry for someone because theirs didn't go as well is unpleasantly smug.

Altinkum Fri 23-Aug-13 20:19:56

Ds1 had placenta preveria (placenta stopped working) and I needed induced which resulted in emergency forceps and eposimita, which resulted in a 4th degree year. (Low heart rate etc... Needed reconstructive surgery.

Ds2 natural labour but didn't tolerate it, needed a emergency forceps and eposimity, (no time for c-section) as he flatlined and needed resuscitation at birth, I needed emergency surgery, and reconstructive surgery.

I've been told I'm being competitive trauma births, for someone asking ME to TELL THEM by birth experience.

Evidently I don't give this information freely.

MammaTJ Fri 23-Aug-13 20:21:07

I had one natural, one EMCS with epidural and one EMCS with general anaesthetic. Never did I feel the need to be competative about it until a friend kept telling me about her and her baby nearly dying, repeatedly, in exactly the same words, then I had to tell her how close me and DCs came, then she stfu.

HooverFairy Fri 23-Aug-13 20:21:38

YANBU - I too have a judgy friend like this. Saying 'nasty' epidural is being judgemental and superior because she didn't have one. New mummy mode doesn't exist, yes, she should be proud but she's a bit pathetic to make judgements like that. My friend hasn't given birth yet, but she's definitely hypnobirthing and refusing all drugs we'll see. Don't react to it, ignore, ignore, ignore. Let her be competitive with someone who cares.

pianodoodle Fri 23-Aug-13 20:21:58

Many mums (me included) go a bit 'labour story' crazy after birth, think it's like a PTS coping mechanism

This! Although, I wouldn't have said "I don't mean to gloat" because I wouldn't have been gloating.

I did feel like I wanted to talk to DH and close friends about it soon after but more in a getting-my-head-round-it sort of way than boasting!

meganorks Fri 23-Aug-13 20:22:51

You are being a bit over sensitive but she is being a bit of a twat too. Its just luck of the draw isn't it? Nothing to say her next one will go the same.

Agree with nct comment - they do try and drum it into you that you should be having a natural birth, so I think it does result in some smugness from those who buy into this and achieve it.

I had an epidural because I had a really long labour too - 55 hours shock It was absolutely amazing and I wouldn't hesitate to have one again if I needed it. There are no prizes for going through it without painkillers. People like that get on my wick.

maybe3x Fri 23-Aug-13 20:23:07

She's bonkers. FWIW my first birth was like yours and my second (unintentionally) like hers (was supposed to have a section but ds2 had other ideas). Same outcome, 2 gorg boys smile smile

Thepowerof3 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:23:12

Wow Altinkum, what scary experiences I'm so glad your DSs are ok

ZZZenagain Fri 23-Aug-13 20:23:21

I think women just experience the pain differently. I was the last in my prenatal group to give birth (Germany). None of them were planning on taking pain killers of any type, at least they did not admit to it but I knew I was going to ask for an epidural and I said so to the disapproval of the midwife, so I was definitely the odd one out in that group. I met a couple of the other mums after they had given birth and before my baby was due. One mum told me how she had gone out into the garden outside the hospital, hugged trees and breathed through the pain and it worked very well. GOod for her but I wasn't relying on that myself.

pianodoodle Fri 23-Aug-13 20:24:26

People can be thoughtless though. I feel lucky because the friends I know who had traumatic births never told me about them until after I had DD. Before that they said "oh it's fine"... They are good friends!

MissOtisRegretsMadam Fri 23-Aug-13 20:24:38

For every person who had a better birth than you there will always be someone who had a worse one too!

After a few months it will change to better sleeper/worse sleeper...
Then better behaved/worse behaved and so on and so on!

The one up man ship never ends!

She's bonkers.

I had a fabulous birth with syntocin, gas and air, an epidural, pethidine and diamorphine.

I had another fabulous birth with nowt.

I am very, very proud that I came through both of them smiling, laughing and completely shell shocked

pianodoodle Fri 23-Aug-13 20:28:53

One mum told me how she had gone out into the garden outside the hospital, hugged trees and breathed through the pain and it worked very well.

Or perhaps she just dreamt that part up in a haze of pethidine grin

Altinkum Fri 23-Aug-13 20:29:01

Tbf, I wasn't scared, it was just "what it was" I had good people around me and doing the best they could, and Once I knew ds's were ok, I knew that I was going to be ok.

Tbf, once I was a mum, I was prettified of goin under GA, that made me petrified for some stoopid reason, even tho I was reassured immensely.

Yeah it's a bit crap, but it could have been worse.

r3d3 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:31:12

Can I smack her? Pleeease let me smack her.

NomNomDePlum Fri 23-Aug-13 20:34:13

my births were both fine, easy, short (relatively speaking, they fucking hurt, obviously). but now my pelvic floor is in tiny pieces, so, you know...

It works both ways. Some mums like to talk up all the pain relief etc etc as if it's a medal.

Your friend is probably still high on gas and air. She will cringe soon.

Blueberryveryberry Fri 23-Aug-13 20:39:11

I think the epidural was nasty (and I had to have it -EMCS). But I hate needles, anything with a needle is nasty to me.

As for the competitive births, wait a bit longer, my DS is almost one year old and no one talks about it anymore.

mirry2 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:40:28

I think if you have a cs you're always going to get remarks like the one's I got - 'too posh to push' or 'what shame you didn't do it naturally.' or 'you've missed out on a wonderful experience'.
Well I had an emcs and without it we would both have f..cking died. The outcome was a beautiful, healthy baby and that's all that mattered.

Lweji Fri 23-Aug-13 20:44:52

Births are different for everyone.

Mine was hard, but I had to make do without an epidural and I survived it and rose tinted glasses don't remember how bad the pain was.

After the birth I was happy I didn't have one, as I do think I felt the birth process more and I think managed to work with it better, as I was telling the MW what was happening, rather than the other way around.

But I was all up for it before the birth.
And I did have pain relief. Just not an epidural.

fancyanother Fri 23-Aug-13 20:50:55

I had a really easy birth first time round- I was famous in the delivery ward because I did so well- I was soooo smug- fast forward 18 months of colic, endless screaming, sleepless nights, food refusal, bottle refusal, dummy refusal and I would have gladly have swapped a crash EMCS for a nights sleep!

Floggingmolly Fri 23-Aug-13 20:55:20

She doesn't want to gloat?. hmm. What a gobshite. Seriously, who'd even think of comparing their labour with someone else's in a "gloating" way? She was lucky, not clever.

maybe3x Fri 23-Aug-13 21:07:05

Exactly what NomNom said, pelvic floor fine after section with ds1, shot to pieces after ds2's quick and drug free birth sad

superstarheartbreaker Fri 23-Aug-13 21:10:38

Can't say I'd like to have a c-section without an epidural tbh! grin I think I've just decided that she's in bonkers new mummy mode.
My dd is much older so I can safely say that I will not have to compete with her with regards to weaning etc. Wait till she starts baby groups !That's when the real nuerosis sets in!

intheshed Fri 23-Aug-13 21:10:47

I think birth is one of those things it's actually hard to talk about... I had a very straightforward birth with DD1 but I found myself feeling very irrationally annoyed if someone described it as 'lucky' or 'easy'. It was still the hardest thing I'd ever done in my life! By the same token I was never sure whether offering sympathy or saying things like 'poor you' was the right thing to say when someone described a more difficult birth.

It sounds like your friend did word things badly, but if she's normally ok I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

Totally agree with whoever said it's some kind of PTSD therapy that we all feel compelled to talk about it afterwards!

SunshineMMum Fri 23-Aug-13 21:11:30

I screamed the labour ward down until they gave me an epidural! Just as well as I ended up having an emergency C section!

Bonkers indeed, who gives a fuck as long as you have a snuggly newborn at the end of it.

Thurlow Fri 23-Aug-13 21:15:43

Bonkers indeed.

But when faced with that, play the "my labour was so traumatic and worse than anyone EVER could imagine" card. That's what I do. I might also treat them to a minute-by-minute breakdown of my similar ineffective 40 hour labour. If that doesn't break them, I wheel out the stats on DD's unspecific bacterial infection, and possible even a long discussion of what NICU and SCBU are like.

That seems to out bonkers them in the end.

Helltotheno Fri 23-Aug-13 21:22:32

I don't like pain, especially uncontrolled/unexpected pain, and the reality is, I didn't want natural labour, CS suited me far better. If I had my time again, the only difference would be I'd have gone for elective on the first rather than labour followed by CS.

Can't understand anyone boasting about how they birthed out their sprogs. Who TF cares?! The end justifies the means

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 23-Aug-13 21:26:51

Your friend is bonkers to boast or think that she is clever. It all boils down to genetic luck. Some people have great legs, some have pert tits, some are naturally athletic, some hSve swishy hair and some give birth easily. It's the luck of the genetic draw, imo.

Fakebook Fri 23-Aug-13 21:29:08

Wtf. Epidurals are the best thing ever invented for labour, especially if its long and drawn out. I actually napped through my first labour. It was brilliant. Your friend is bonkers.

YANBU - It's luck rather than skill so what's there to be proud about?

P.S. I'm with Fakebook in the epidural appreciation corner - went from vomiting from the pain to doing the crossword in about ten minutes - brilliant invention when it works if you ask me.

ElaineVintage Fri 23-Aug-13 21:53:00

I had a horrid reaction to the fentanyl in the epidural during my last labour. Spent 2 long excruciating hours itching like i was infested with bugs. Bleak as hell and much worse than the contractions and even more exhausting!

areujoyful Fri 23-Aug-13 22:14:45

YANBU But I wouldn't take offense, for some reason people feel free to say the most insensitive things to pregnant women/new mum's, and she is on a hormone high right now.

But I really just don't get this whole competitive crap - what's the big whoop whether or not you use drugs? Labour is terrifying and you only have very limited control over it! A girl has to do WHAT EVER it takes to get through it. Aren't we ladies meant to be helping/supporting each other?!

Mind -you it's the celebrities that dish out their patronising crap on us poor mere mortals that I find TOTALLY offensive. I remember Giselle Budchen spouting on about her perfect labour and what were women going on about?! she, apparently, had no drugs and used yoga and breathing techniques to get her through and "...was up making pancakes the next morning..." well, whoopdidoo, love, you are obviously VERY special.

But, it's her opinions on eating during pregnancy, breastfeeding and potty training that really get me nerves!!! angry Give some people a 6 digit pay cheque and they go silly from the high and think they're experts on EVERYTHING...SHE SELLS HER BODY FOR A LIVING FOR GODS SAKE!! Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!

sorry rant over wink

nocarsgo Fri 23-Aug-13 22:30:10

A friend of mine used to boast about how quickly she pushed her babies out.

I just used to think "Huh, bucket fanny" grin

Just ignore OP, and hope it's temporary insanity.

DoJo Sat 24-Aug-13 01:06:44

Being generous, is it possible that you had told her you wanted a natural birth, or shared some of your initial disappointment with her that you had had to have a c-section? Perhaps she was (admittedly cackhandedly) trying to sympathise with how you must have felt in the light of her recent experience and offering what she thought was a sympathetic comment. Perhaps she feels as though now she has done it, she can understand why you might have felt gutted about how things had gone.
Only you know her and can judge whether:
1. She's a twat and always has been but you've only just noticed
2. She's a temporary twat on account of her hormones/tiredness
3. She's a nice person who is trying to say something innocuous which is coming out all wrong
4. She's has been brain-washed by a hypothetical anti epidural campaign
5. Although in your head you are perfectly happy with your birth experience, there is a little bit of you which still holds regrets and a combination of that and her ill-judged comments has needled you in a way that was probably unintentional
6. None of the above and you misheard her saying something about a goat and crafty sweaty squirrel.

On the whole, I'd be tempted to give her the benefit of the doubt seeing as you describe her as 'lovely' but maybe you could mention to her that she might want to steer clear of that kind of comment at baby groups etc as she wouldn't want someone to misinterpret what she's saying and get upset or think she's a twat.

holidaysarenice Sat 24-Aug-13 03:59:52

'Did you collect your award for the drug-free labour you suffered through? Because unless theirs a shiny certificate and a gold star to be had I'm sticking with my preferred method! Both ways give a healthy mum and baby'

- that's should shut her up!!

raisah Sat 24-Aug-13 04:24:47

Stupid idiotic woman. Who knows what her second birth will be like, she may have all the interventions in England & would she be gloating then? No, she should be grateful that she has access to these services when so many women in the world are dying during child birth unnecessarily.

garlicagain Sat 24-Aug-13 04:27:41

I'm clearly the only one who's not getting what she's done wrong confused (I am the only one who hasn't had a baby, so that could be why!)

I understood this conversation to be, basically:
"How was your labour?"
"Pretty easy! Thank fuck it wasn't as hard as yours!"

I mean, we don't want her to pretend she had as bad a time as OP, do we? But neither do we want her to ignore the fact of OP's ordeal. Seems like she's in a double-bind ... and, what with post-partum mummybrain being at its peak, I thought she managed it reasonably well!

Twiddlebum Sat 24-Aug-13 05:58:30

I'm also confused.

I'm currently pregnant and am actually sick of people telling me about their awful pregnancies and birth stories, especially as I haven't asked to hear them. It's much nicer to hear hear lovely stories. I have had a crap pregnancy but still like to heat stories from other pregnant ladies that are having a brilliant time of it. Maybe I just prefer to surround myself with positivity rather than doom and gloom. I fully appreciate that I haven't been through birth yet but if I have an absolutely horrific time of it I would still rather hear of positive stories and move on from the bad times.

MrsHoratioNelson Sat 24-Aug-13 07:01:59

Agree Twiddlebum although, to their credit, no-one has told me horrific birth stories while I was actuall PG, but then they did that before I even contemplated having children. No wonder it too me so long to come round to it!

But they way I look at it is this - much like the way you deal with what happens after the birth, you do what's necessary to get you through. Some people have "easy" nice births, just like some people get lucky with "easy babies. How anyone think that this is anything more than pure luck is either deluded, arrogant or both.

karinmaria Sat 24-Aug-13 07:29:55

YANBU. This whole labour competitiveness is just weird. I had my DS a few months ago (first baby) - started off like a sneeze birth, ended in epidural and episiotomy! I've noticed the competitive mums always bring up labour first and never ask how you're recovering (regardless of how your labour went).

I tend to skim over mine for any pregnant women who ask as I was high on pethedine for a great deal of it and don't remember most of the bad bits!

exoticfruits Sat 24-Aug-13 07:57:51

Bonkers! No one wants to know- least of all your DC. ( the only time they might be interested is if they are your DD and pregnant)
I had easy births- it was luck- nothing more.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 24-Aug-13 08:07:11

I think the sadest thing is that my mum used to tell me about her awful labour and how she lost six pints of blood and almost died after having an induction..hence making me terrified of labour. But then she was a bit toxic like that. I had some doulas who were far too narural birth ...they even dissuaded me from using gas and air! If there is a next time ill not listen to nowt.. I also agree that is good to hear p ositive labour stories...but not if you comparin or gloating at others misforune!

Can't see the point of labour competitions. Mine were pretty boring and text book.
First and second were gas and air labour, third and fourth planned c/s.
There were some comedy moments though.
2nd labour, ex insisted that I wouldn't give birth for ages yet "because the first took ages". My dad accompanied me for nearly the whole of the labour until ex turned up. Plus no one would give up their seats in the waiting room. One person reluctantly gave up their seat, and I gave it to my dad (he's disabled), and the receptionist tore everyone off a strip and got me a seat too!

When my dad broke his hip, they were having hip repair competitions though. My dad came out top trumps because he was awake through out and heard all the banging and sawing!

KitNCaboodle Sat 24-Aug-13 08:56:46

Welcome to the world of parenting! Everything is a sodding game of top trumps. It starts at the birth (who had the quickest/longest/most traumatic/painless etc etc ) and continues for years.

One of my friends (A) told another friend (B) that her (A's) emcs was more of an emergency as her baby was born within 20 minutes of the decision being made.
B's section happened at 32 weeks because of pre eclampsia.

Next it will be feeding (how much, how frequently) and sleeping.

exoticfruits Sat 24-Aug-13 09:00:02

And just you wait until you get to reading books! An advanced reader must mean you are an advanced mummy!

I only had gas and air but only because I am terrified of needles and there was no way I was letting someone near my back with one!
currently pregnant for the second time and wish I had the balls to have an epidural.

Floggingmolly Sat 24-Aug-13 12:54:51

What she's done wrong Garlic, is to not only imply that her own labour was somehow "better"; but the fact that it was better was down to her superior management skills instead of blind chance.

garlicagain Sat 24-Aug-13 15:27:38

Well, there's implication and then there's inference ...

I'd better leave this thread: not only did I miss out on the parenting competitions, but I seem to have failed the class in being competitively offended, too wink

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