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AIBU to think I should be able to discuss my birth w/o being called a show-off?

(54 Posts)
GruffaloAteMySocks Wed 10-Apr-13 17:03:25

Hey, I'm a first time poster.

I've just joined a few mother and baby groups after having my DD 9 weeks ago because I'm going stir-crazy at home. Most have turned out well, but I had a bad experience at one and probably won't be going back.

I'm pretty sensitive about my birth still, although I realize I am pretty lucky at the same time (I had planned to have a hospital birth but ended up with an unplanned home birth because my DD decided to come extremely quickly, basically I started bleeding, walked downstairs my waters went and four minutes later she was delivered by my DM before we had time to phone an ambulance.) It was pretty scary because there was no-one with medical training there to help me, I was worried that my DD could be hurt, I didn't get to hold her properly until we were at the hospital because I was in shock, I ended up getting two 1st degree tears stitched without enough local anesthetic and I was hysterical because I have a pretty severe phobia of needles.

We were all sat around discussing our births because one of the women was due any day, they were being quite competitive, 'Oh, I had an emergency c-section,' and 'I was in labor for 29 hours' if you get what I mean. I mentioned mine and one of the ladies told me that 'no-one likes a show-off' in a jokey/serious kind of way. I explained that I knew I was lucky it was so quick but it wasn't the best experience because of the reasons above and was accused of being silly and asked why I got pregnant if I was scared of needles.

I'm pissed with myself too because usually I'd be the first to tell them to take a long walk off of a short pier, but instead I kept shtum. AIBU?

MiaowTheCat Wed 10-Apr-13 18:44:05

I can't think of anything I'd rather do less than sit around comparing birth stories (possibly sit around comparing tears and stitches would come close). I only ever do very edited highlights of mine (like MIL rolling in, pulling up a chair and sitting down and the other bits of utter absurdity that happened) in a joking way - because I ended up with fairly severe PTSD and utterly wrecked by one of them and the other was so fast (kind of like yours - I don't so much labour as waters go > bang > baby) that there's nowt much to say on it (thankfully I had a good hunch I was going to explode and had got to hospital at least)... but I do get the "lucky" comments about that one when people hear how fast it was (they didn't get the week and a half of being in and out of hospital with threatened preterm labour, the steroids, drips and hospital food experience).

As for insensitive - I (like lots of prem mums) have been told before that we were lucky not to have to push out a full term, full birth weight baby. That one's pretty insensitive - I just considered myself blessed not to have to push out the wretched plastic box I felt I'd given birth to when she was in incubators and then covered cots for phototherapy at one point!

Fast = you're limited on pain relief as they won't give you 'owt till you officially dilate; no point agonising over things like epidurals and the like since you won't have the time to get one and having to live on tenterhooks getting toward full term if you know you're prone to delivering like that (and crossing your legs every rush hour when you know the hospital run will take a little while longer). I'm definitely not having any more and one factor IS my increasingly fast deliveries coupled with never going to full-term - I just don't feel I can risk it.

BalloonSlayer Wed 10-Apr-13 18:45:15

I think people can't imagine how frightening a fast birth can be.

I have a friend who has very quick births and she said much the same as you - it's awful, terrifying.

Yet I still feel a bit jealous, because I can't get my head around her experience . . . even though I know what she says and take it in, and what you say and take it in, still in my heart of hearts there is a part of me that is thinking "yeah but four minutes and having to be stitched up must be so much better than 24 hours and having to be stitched up."

And I think that's probably the case with a lot of people, sadly. But she was very rude to speak to you like that.

GruffaloAteMySocks Wed 10-Apr-13 18:50:23

Oh my gosh Miaow, I think being told you're lucky your baby was premature is even worse! How horrible, some people need to engage their brain before they bloody speak. angry

Balloon, I understand what you're saying. I don't think I would have coped with an extremely long birth, so I understand that I am lucky to have a short one, it's just not as nice as other people assume it is!

EmmaGellerGreen Wed 10-Apr-13 18:51:53

I had a bloody awful, long labour with DS but tbh yours sounding terrifying and much worse. Ignore them and congratulations!

EmmaGellerGreen Wed 10-Apr-13 18:51:53

I had a bloody awful, long labour with DS but tbh yours sounding terrifying and much worse. Ignore them and congratulations!

Meglet Wed 10-Apr-13 18:54:29


AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 18:57:52

YANBU. When I read the thread title, I thought you were going to be some ultra-competitive type who'd given birth while doing pilates in a moonlit meadow grin. But clearly you're not showing off at all. Ignore them.

redexpat Wed 10-Apr-13 19:39:22

I read your post and thought gosh that sounds quite frightening actually. Ignore the bitch. If it was just one woman who said it then I would give the group another go. People can be very insensitive and open their mouths before engaging their brains. But this seems to intensify around the subject of childbirth...

bluestar2 Wed 10-Apr-13 19:54:11

Take no notice of the silly women. Fast births are horrendous particularly if its your first. I had both, my first was very long , episiostomy and ventouse delivery and second in under 2 hours. I was literally terrified, I couldn't understand why I wasn't coping as well with the pain second time around. The tear was worse for me than the cut and the shock after was scary. People should understand its not a bloody competition and as for people making comments over prem births being easier, how insensitive do u get!

I wouldn't go back to the group but that's because I can't be bothered to deal with the aspects of competitive parenting!

Well done to you and your dm for delivering your Lo safely.

skratta Wed 10-Apr-13 20:16:51

YANBU. Fast births can be and are scary. And...if they were discussing birth stories,, can discuss yours too! I had a nice, plain normal bir with dd3 (four hours, no stitches or tears, limited pain relief, no problems and went home quickly) which was the only birth which went happily for me I guess. I DF like people having competitive mystery (you Bly had to be resuscitated FIVE TIMES? And you think you're unlucky? I was resuscitated TWELVE TIMES!) or competitive amazing birth experiences...

Sorry you had a terrifying birth, it sounds so scary. That sounds really frightening! And congratulations on your DC (9wks to late I say that?)

Panzee Wed 10-Apr-13 20:23:25

You poor thing. My friend had a fast labour, I said "good?" she shook her head. She was in shock. sad

MammaTJ Wed 10-Apr-13 20:23:57

I had one normal birth and two traumatic births, one where DD nearly died, one where I nearly did and DS ended up with ptosis (droopy eyelid) but I would rather have that than what you went through. I was in one of those wonderful buildings they call a hospital. It is full of people who are trained and experienced to help and equipment to be used when needed to!!

I do consider myself lucky, we are all here and reasonably health.

No way would I have prefered the shock of a home birth, sudden and with no medical proffessionals to hand.

Congratulations anyway!!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Apr-13 20:30:02

YANBU. I have been where you are and it's not very nice.

Some people are just horrible people, and pregnancy and early motherhood seems to bring out the worst in some people.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 10-Apr-13 20:31:23

I think everyone should be able to relate their birth and newborn experiences to a sympathetic audience and be listened to, why go to a group if not to be supportive of each other? I hope you find a nicer group, and no, I wouldn't bother going back.
I dislike competition when the situation should be one of mutual care.
FWIW, I kept quiet about my first experience for a long time. smile
Easy pregnancy with no backache or heartburn or blood pressure issues or nuffink. Reasonably quick labour of less than 7 hours, fine healthy baby who fed like a drain and slept for at least 6 hours a night until she was 6 weeks old and then went to 8 hours. Never possetted.
Can you see what a hate figure I could have been? grin

JackieTheFart Wed 10-Apr-13 20:36:33

I never understand this. I've never had this sort of conversation with anyone.

YANBU. Who cares how you gave birth and whether it was quick or not?

Evenin' Gruffs. These unexpected homebirths really are a bugger. Mine was 4am on the bathroom floor and bloody lucky he was that it was the floor and not round the U bend (I can be very athletic when neccessary).

All in all it took about 20 minutes from unexpected start to panic fuelled finish. He was delivered (all 9lbs 12oz of him) by my bemused and confused husband...which served him right as only 4 hours previously he had snuggled up to me and said "three weeks overdue is enough, I'll winkle the bugger out".

I am still dining out on the story...much to the eye rolling embarrassment of my now 38 year old son.

Congratulations on the birth of your lovely daughter and remember this...the first thirty eight years are the worst!

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Apr-13 20:39:58

I feel really sorry for the woman in the group who was still pregnant.

She must have gone home fecking terrified!

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Apr-13 20:46:33

I think there should be somewhere women can unload about their birth stories. I needed to go over and over (mostly in my head) DC1's birth. It was long and hideously painful. DH and I were still traumatised when I got pg with DC2 3.5 years later. I've heard counselling is offered wasn't 14 years ago, and I very nearly made a complaint against the hospital.

Giving birth to DC 3 was a walk in the park. A pain free home birth. Obviously nobody wants to hear about that. I certainly wouldn't soon after DC1's birth! But I think one thing which helped me was so many people telling me "baby 3 is like shelling peas." Positive thinking, and all that.

You see? I still feel the need to off-load now, years later.

PurpleStorm Wed 10-Apr-13 22:27:39


Having an unexpected homebirth sounds terrifying. And it's mean to be making comments like that when people are telling birth stories.

calmlychaotic Wed 10-Apr-13 22:51:58

Don't let it put you off going to groups, I have made some great friends at them. sadly even the nicest people can't seem to help competitive birth stories, the more gruesome the better. Terrified me so much when I was pregnant and I was convinced all births where horrific. I am not allowed to mention mine. It was straightforward, I do try and tel my story to pregnant people to try and redress the balance after all the horror stories they have heard. But if I tell another mum I am accused of showing off. Made me a bit sad in the first few weeks when I wanted to talk about it, suppose in my case its fair enough. Yours sounds scary. Glad you are ok.

MrsMook Wed 10-Apr-13 23:05:49

There's no way to win with a birth story- either you're "showing off" or "scaremongering". All you can do is be honest about your experience, and it does seem to come up as small talk. I suppose you have to go through some version of it to be a mother, so generally there's something to say on the subject.

Mine was one of the long- drawn out types ending up with an emergency CS and other complications in Neo Natal/ HDU. Random strangers who came up and asked "did you have a good birth? were normally silenced by the succinct version "He came out of the emergency exit"

AlbertoFrog Wed 10-Apr-13 23:19:25

Welcome to the world of competitive mothering Gruffalo.

There are mothers out there who will compete about everything, believe me!

Avoid like the plague and try and find a like minded spirit so you can confide in each other, compare and advise.

Failing that just find one who enjoys long walks with cake at the end of it grin

But most of all enjoy each day with your new little DD. It really does go by too quickly.

MiaowTheCat Thu 11-Apr-13 07:24:25

People also lie like mad - cousin was revelling in telling me about her perfect birth, most of the labour at home, went in, had baby, home in 6 hours - doing so at least partially to make me feel like shit since mine had gone so badly, and because she's so insecure she's only got bigging up her parenting and running down everyone else's to make her feel good (she laid into me for being a shit parent since I didn't read to my bump every night type levels of doing so).

I later got the full version of events from her fella - her birth was nothing like she liked to make out.

Quite why people feel the need to lie - apart from the obvious one of omitting gory details to save the feelings of women yet to go through it - is beyond me - but they do.

lljkk Thu 11-Apr-13 09:32:25

I wasn't there, but it sounds like you are taking it all way too seriously.

It's only competitive if you agree to compete. Otherwise it's just a conversation. I think I would have joked about the awfulness of it; how else can you put it behind you?

Only part I would hate was gory details with someone there who is due very soon. Agree about best to omit unpleasant truths around someone in that vulnerable state.

Bejeena Thu 11-Apr-13 10:05:34

To be honest I don't understand why people discuss their births. It is a very private thing and whatever happens in the labour room to me come August I want to stay between me, hubby and the midwives!

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