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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?

VisualiseAHorse Mon 04-Mar-13 20:01:40

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.

CommanderShepard Mon 04-Mar-13 20:03:23

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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