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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?

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.

ScentedNappyHag Mon 04-Mar-13 19:15:13

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FryOneFatManic Mon 04-Mar-13 19:58:45

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.

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