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To be part of the silence conspiracy?

(52 Posts)
bigun1 Fri 26-Aug-11 21:49:52

Young lass at work is expecting.

Today one of the male members of staff was tellling her some God awful things about pregnancy, birth then caring for a child.

Me & the others who have expereinced all of the above said nowt.

There was defo a silence conspiracy when i was expecting, no one told me anything, i remembered feeling utter hatred to every woman i knew who had had a child...and not told me how utterly utterly horrific it was, and what to expect.

I just cant bring myself to say anything because every one is different arent they and whatever happened to me, may never happen to anyone else, so it wouldnt be fair would it?

spudulika Fri 26-Aug-11 21:53:59

Oh yes. Tell her birth is terrible. And that her baby might end up in SCBU (after all - it's very common). And that she might get pnd and not be able to breastfeed. hmm

After all, it's important to have realistic expectations isn't it?

NickRobinsonsloveslave Fri 26-Aug-11 21:54:30

YABU. When I was pregnant with my 1st I lived in an 'oh how wonderful it's all going to be bubble'. Cos nobody had the decency to tell it to me like it is.

Tell her what to expect....not the bloody Huggies, Johnsons, Pampers crap advert stuff.

Forewarned is forearmed.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 26-Aug-11 21:56:05

Why not find out what she wants? Maybe she wants a wide range of experiences or maybe she wants to be told that everything will go just fine.

I mean, don't ask her which she'd prefer, obviously grin but by engaging someone in conversation, you can find out.

AgentZigzag Fri 26-Aug-11 21:56:25

You're right of course that everyone is different, thankfully both mine have been relatively stress free.

I wouldn't say much unless she asked directly, and then just give surface details, because imagining it can be a billion times worse than it actually turns out.

picnicbasketcase Fri 26-Aug-11 21:58:01

I went through a stage of feeling the same way after I had my first DC, like 'Why did no-one tell me how awful childbirth is' etc and started being overly honest about the whole thing with childless friends. One of them told me to stop it because I was putting them off the idea. But the point is, that birth was awful, and I happened to have had a bad experience. But I went on to have another, and the birth was so much easier. It really does vary a lot from person to person and birth to birth.

As for the actual caring for children and raising them, that varies wildly depending on each person and child too. You need to find the balance between being honest when someone wants you to and not scaring them at the same time.

If the woman at work hadn't even asked for his opinions, he was just being an wind up asshat though.

celebmum Fri 26-Aug-11 22:01:54

YAB a bit U.. she might appreciate a bit of girly honesty! My SIL told me (at my request!) that it hurts like hell and just when you think you're going to die it gets a little bit worse and then is ok for a min or two before the next one comes!! (contractions of course!grin) but don't worry she said, it's gotta end eventually and then you get tea and toast and can have a kip!

She was spot on! gringrin

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 26-Aug-11 22:02:16

No doubt the male member of staff was relatating his own personal experience of expelling a baby from his womb prior to his sex change?

FTR, the days I have given birth have been the most wonderfu of my life - I was on a high for months afterwards, and can still get back 'up there' whenever I recall my experiences. My only regret is I didn't experience it more often

Please cite my account when/if you relate your experiences to your colleague.

rhondajean Fri 26-Aug-11 22:02:18

See I do the opposite, I find women tend to tell other pg women horror stories, and I didnt find it that awful though I had some bad stuff happen with both births, so I tend to tell them they have great painkillers, and imho Ive had a worse time with bad food poisoning.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 26-Aug-11 22:04:30

'wonderful' - am currently reading about the Balkan states where so many surnames end in the letter 'u'.

HeavyHeidi Fri 26-Aug-11 22:06:53

considering all the info available nowadays surely nobody expects it to be a walk in the park anyway?

NorfolkBroad Fri 26-Aug-11 22:07:05

I always say "It is 100 times harder than you can imagine and 100 times more wonderful". That is my sincere experience of childbirth and motherhood!

tallulah Fri 26-Aug-11 22:08:13

Our colleague at work was about to have her first baby. She said to the 2 of us who have much older children "I suppose you are going to tell me all sorts of horror stories?". We both said no. Every birth is different so there was no point telling her about ours.

We did both smirk when our male colleague came in telling us that as his DW was doing hypno-birthing it wasn't going to hurt, because "birth only hurts because you expect it to". Funnily enough I didn't expect my first labour to be excruciating, but it was. I then expected the others to be and they weren't quite so bad.

TheSecondComing Fri 26-Aug-11 22:11:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

breadandbutterfly Fri 26-Aug-11 22:12:05

Women have been having babies since...well, whenever human beings started reproducing. It can't be that bad or we would have become extinct.

Personally, I found it (3 times) fine - second one only v briefly painful, 1st and 3rd slightly more so - but that's what epidurals etc are for.

i found trapping my finger in the car door a level of pain that far exceeded childbirth; likewise an inflamed nerve in my shoulder/back and colitis both provided long-term pain that went on far, far longer than childbirth and were vasty more excruciating.

You shouldn't say anything, OP, as your experiences are not 'typical' - they are just your experiences. Lots of other women have different experiences. i can't see the point in making someone panic when it may be needless.

I would give constructive advice eg the reason my second labour went far beter than my first was because I knew a bit more about active birth and how to make labour easier and more pain-free. Advice on breastfeeding would have been great after the first one (or before). Again, it took me until dc2 to figure this out for myself. So i would have welcomed friendly, well-intentioned advice on things like this.

I was quite scared enough about labour as it was - I can't imagine having someone tell me it was going to be worse than my worst nightmare (totally untrue in my case) would have been in the slightest bit helpful, to me or the stress levels I would have passed on to my unborn baby.

If you have issues with the birth/s you experienced you should talk about them - just not to this woman.

OneOfTheBoys Fri 26-Aug-11 22:13:00

Colleague said this to us, you didn't say how horrible giving birth was... we told her in glorious technicolour but nothing can prepare you for the horror of it. Unless you think it's like one big orgasm (as one friend said it was!)

exoticfruits Fri 26-Aug-11 22:21:55

I don't know that it is terribly helpful to give stories. I wasn't keen on being pregnant, and wouldn't want to be again, but I loved the birth. I just had easy births-pure luck (and wide hips).

ReindeerBollocks Fri 26-Aug-11 22:22:42

People were happy to regale me with the stories of their traumatic births. However, no-one told me what happens when things go wrong afterwards. DS was in hospital for a long time after his birth and was really ill. Having good prenatal care and told he was fine, I became very depressed because I felt it was my fault he was ill.

However, babies do have problems and whilst I might not forearm someone about that, I'd do a hell of a job looking after someone going through it unlike my friends and some family.

Still it depends on what she wants to hear I suppose.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 26-Aug-11 22:23:36

Forwarn not forearm (bloody autocorrect)

RitaMorgan Fri 26-Aug-11 22:25:30

I don't think horror stories are helpful. And not everyone finds pregnancy, birth and a newborn horrible.

I loved being pregnant, loved having a newborn, loved breastfeeding and had no problems really. The birth wasn't great but we got through it. Everyone knows birth can be hard!

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Aug-11 22:32:09

Everyone knows birth can be hard....but I didn't realise the pain could be so fucking excruciating.

I think it's a fine line. I think positive thinking is good....with DC3 people said things like "the third is like shelling peas" and lots of other positive things, and it was much, much easier.

What I really hated was everybody I met being so pleased that I had a baby. Everybody seemed thrilled that DS1 was soo cute. While all the time I was thinking "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy".

I chose to do it twice more, though. grin

redexpat Fri 26-Aug-11 22:45:27

Perhaps ask her 'is there anything you'd like to know from someone with a bit of experience?' and if she says no 'Iøm here if you change your mind.'

NickRobinsonsloveslave Fri 26-Aug-11 23:02:26

Just tell her the truth. It hurts like fuck, you wish you could die, and the afterbirth is just as bad as.

As for those who say they had a 'lovely birth'...WTF. I can only imagine you spend your spare time hanging from the ceiling suspended by nipple hooks with a sadistic midget whipping you with a chain.

whackamole Fri 26-Aug-11 23:05:16

When I was pregnant with my first I wasn't in such a hazy bubble I couldn't realise that everyone has a different experience. I asked for lots of stories, and read a lot on the internet as well.

Ask her if she wants to know, if she doesn't, then don't tell her!

MynameisnotEarl Fri 26-Aug-11 23:07:29

I was shocked by what I viewed as the conspiracy of silence too. I wondered why no-one who had given birth had tried to prepare me for it.

But I realise that you just can't. Nothing can prepare you for labour and birth - it's your own unique experience. And my three births were all quite different as well.

If anyone asks me what it's like I say the same as NorfolkBroad because that pretty much sums it up for me too.

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