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to wish I'd said something to this friend

(48 Posts)
NoTeaForMe Mon 12-Nov-12 13:39:43

So I have a friend I met through being pregnant, our children are now 2. She quite often says things that irritate me. She often gets her child to 'perform' you know the kind of thing goes through colours etc. Well done very clever, but without being horrible I don't really care what he can and can't do. They all have things they can do and can't do they're 2 for gods sake!

Anyway, when we had the children she had a caesarean after the baby got distressed. I had a 'natural' childbirth after being induced with syntocin (had GBS) didn't go as I had planned in many ways but I don't think anyone's seems to! At the time she talked a lot about how hard a caesarean is and how much worse the recovery is and just generally how much easier and better off we were for having a natural birth. I said lots of times she couldn't compare them as she had only done one, I'm not saying a c-section is a walk in the park but a natural birth is fucking painful and it's not like there is no recovery time at all. Anyway so skip a couple of years and we're both pregnant again! She has said that I clearly had birth issues after my last birth because I was so angry and no-one could talk to me about birth. I didn't say anything back as one of the toddlers talked to me, so got me out of the situation! AIBU to wish I'd have said something like 'my only issue is with why you seem intent on putting everyone down who went through a 'natural' childbirth, you can not compare the two as you have only done one! Yes you have a scar on your tummy and yes you went through a major operation, no-one is arguing that must be hard...but I suffered a huge tear and graze and was stitched up, that hurts too actually!'

I don't think c-sections are easy, I don't know really as I have never had one, but it pisses me off that she thinks they are SO much harder, she doesn't know!

Whoops! That was a lot longer than I thought it would be! Bit of a rant too, sorry!

pictish Mon 12-Nov-12 13:41:27

Well - if she feels the need to be competatibe, that's her lookout. You don't have to join in.

Smile and nod, smile and nod.

pictish Mon 12-Nov-12 13:41:54

competative sorry.

NoTeaForMe Mon 12-Nov-12 13:43:21

That's it, it's being competitive about childbirth...it's ridiculous! There's not ever going to be a winner anyway!

peasabovesticks Mon 12-Nov-12 13:43:31

i had an emergency c-section with ds1 and a planned c-section with ds2. They weren't pleasant and it does take time to recover afterwards but I can't see why this would become an issue between friends. I saw women who'd had natural births look utterly traumatised when they were wheeled into my ward!
I'd put some distance between you and this woman. She'll only get worse as your dc get older.

MrsMelons Mon 12-Nov-12 13:44:41

I have had both and my natural birth was way worse that my c-sec. It took me longer to recover but I was driving within 2 weeks of my c-sec. Also my DS nearly died after my natural birth so the emotional scars were pretty horrendous too.

You do have to be a bit more careful after a c-sec as obviously you don't want to do any permanent damage but then again a natural birth can lead to all sorts of hideous after-effects.

I would just ignore her if you want to remain friends with her. I probably would have said to her that unless she'd had both then how could she compare.

BTW if I ever had another child I would NEVER try to give birth naturally!

FatimaLovesBread Mon 12-Nov-12 13:47:52

Next time she says something could you not say "Sorry, I didn't realise childbirth was a competition" and then leave it at that and change the subject.
It might get the point across, although if she makes lots of things in to a competition then it probably won't, so after that just smile and nod smile

NoTeaForMe Mon 12-Nov-12 13:50:59

Think I need to practise my smile and nod! I am quite hormonal at the moment - 13 weeks pregnant! I can home fuming that 2 years on and she's still going on about it.

I just want to re-iterate that I'm not saying c-sections are easy, I'm just sick of being looked down on for not having to go through that. Especially when she has literally no idea what I did go through!

LondonNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 13:53:18

Why do some women turn birth into a competition?! Some women have a relatively easy C-sec or so-called 'natural' birth; others have a nightmare.

A C-sec is a major op, yes, and only an idiot would claim it is an easy option (a whole other thread...) but non-surgical births can be risky, painful and have awful complications, too.

I think you should say what's on your mind next time, tbh.

WitchesTit Mon 12-Nov-12 13:58:03

I had a normal vaginal delivery (sorry, I don't like to use the term 'natural birth', unless the mother is in a tent in a field without drugs, pain relief, a comfy bed, medical professionals on hand etc as I've seen women have a real natural birth in rural Africa grin) and a vaginal delivery which was failed ventouse and forceps which resulted in a 4th degree tear and a years worth of double incontinence.
I've had a planned c-section which was a beautiful, serene experience but with a bad infection after 2 weeks which resulted in the wound having to be opened up, scoured of infection, cleaned and packed and restitched twice.
And even I wouldn't be able to tell anyone else which was best, or easiest. The birth experience is a deeply personal thing, don't let anyone tell you how you are supposed to feel about it.

pinkdelight Mon 12-Nov-12 14:03:47

You do sound quite angry! Not unreasonably so, but she obviously winds you up. And what you say might wind her up. In my experience, both getting pregnant at the same kind of time is no basis for a lasting friendship. Let her comments wash over you or let this 'friendship' go.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 12-Nov-12 14:04:01

Do you have to meet up with her? It sounds like you don't like her much. Giving birth is not a competition for who had the best or worst experience.

scarletforya Mon 12-Nov-12 14:04:08

She is a silly cow. I had a caesarian and I can tell you I feel I got off lightly compared to having to go through childbirth. With childbirth a baby comes through your vagina with a c-section the Doctors remove the baby with plenty of drugs during and after!

NoTeaForMe Mon 12-Nov-12 14:10:02

pinkdelight she does make me angry. I'm not angry about the birth I had, it wasn't great but it's her telling me how I should feel and how she had it so much worse that makes me angry!

Ghoul I think we would have naturally drifted apart, but we have a mutual friend and due to their work commitments we all meet up on the same day. It would be quite a stand to change that!

londonNinja my worry about saying something now would be that she would say I am just hormonal because I'm pregnant!

ticktockcroc Mon 12-Nov-12 14:11:15

I've had a forceps delivery and an elcs. Elcs was a FAR better experience. I'd have another elcs no problems but no way on gods green earth would I attempt natural birth again.

I had a psrticuslry competitive type in my ante natall group who was a real boaster too. I put up with it for ages though she used to wind me up a lot. Walked away when the dc turned four and it was the best thing I ever did!!

Your friend sounds like a pain in through bum, I'd get shot now before you're bound even more by having new babies.

BegoniaBampot Mon 12-Nov-12 14:13:51

Guess though she is just saying what generally people are told. Aren't natural births seen as overall being the better of the two in terms of recovery and risk? It's what we seem to be told. I've had both and not sure what was easier though probably more pain afterwards with the natural.

cees Mon 12-Nov-12 14:14:48

Bite her head off, she might think twice in future if she knows you won't take her shite talk.

ZenNudist Mon 12-Nov-12 14:22:40

If I were you I'd not see so much of her. Just find reasons you can't meet up, and lengthen the time between visits. She winds you up and much as I sympathise, are you sure you're not being a bit competitive in return, particularly on the birth issue?! I had natural cb, was traumatised, tore, lost bladder control, took weeks to recover. Still wouldn't swap it for a c-sec. You and your friend are trying to do oneupmanship on who had the worst birth. If you're this competitive now can you imagine how much worse it could get once your dc are at school?!

Whatnowffs Mon 12-Nov-12 14:24:44

It sounds like she is jealous, which again, is ridiculous, you both have healthy children. Congratulations on your pregnancy, if you have concerns do talk to your MW, no two births are the same. My first was a breeze 1.5 hours, no pain relief. Second 27 hours, distressed baby, threatened forceps but midwives couldnt find the stirrups (i kid you not!!) so natural birth in the end, but i was traumatised. I think if someone offered me a ceaser now i'd take it, but i would know that i would probably regret it if i didn't recover well etc. After all our bodies are designed for natural birth, not for major surgery. Thank GOD we can have cesarians though!

Whatnowffs Mon 12-Nov-12 14:25:34

Oh and yes, do ditch the competitive parent types, they just get you down!

NoTeaForMe Mon 12-Nov-12 14:29:18

I'm honestly not being competitive. None of us in the group had great experiences with childbirth, but surely that's quite rare?! I don't think my experience was worse than hers...how could I know I didn't experience hers! It does make me cross when she tells me how well/easy I had it compared to her when she has no idea about my experience.

kerala Mon 12-Nov-12 14:30:43

Ooh I disagree about dropping them I love competitive people! It drives them bonkers when you wont join in its great fun. Met a woman the other day who launched into the "Im so BUSY Im a MUM you know who WORKS I am so BUSY arent you BUSY". She visibly wilted when I said no not really just pottering along. Her: "but wont your daughter be going to school in September" me "I know isnt it great more time to myself". Im not entering her busy self justifying competition and she just couldnt bear it grin

LondonNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 14:34:40

Does this woman add much to your life? If so, find a way to tell her to shut ease up about her dreadful, wrenching delivery. If not, stop being free when she wants to meet and wean her out of your life.

The competitive parenting stuff reminds me of my awful NCT group who undermined me so much with competitive rubbish about the birth, the babies' weights, who was having sex again two seconds after delivery blah blah blah that I cut contact with them after having a flash of clarity about the toxicity of the 'friendships'. It was very cathartic.

Galaxycounters Mon 12-Nov-12 14:37:07

I would let the friendship drift tbh. It sounds like she is competitive in every way and in my experience friendships with those types never end well. She probably winds everyone up the wrong way!

PurpleGentian Mon 12-Nov-12 14:40:40

Agree all this competition over who had the worst birth is annoying. And there's so much variation in what can happen, with both vaginal delivery and c-sections, that's I don't think it's sensible to make sweeping statements about which is 'easier'.

I wonder if she had her heart set on a vaginal delivery and is trying to make herself better about not having one by putting down people who did have a vaginal delivery?

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