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To think people underestimate childbirth?

(37 Posts)
weetabix456321 Wed 11-Sep-19 09:52:48

I'm not talking about women about to have babies. More others in the pregnant woman's life. I'm about to have my second DC and I'm starting to get comments that remind me of how I felt with my first DC. People wanting to make plans to come and visit as soon as DC is born. Telling me I know what I'm doing this time so it will be easier.
I felt with my first DC people see childbirth as such a normal everyday occurrence (I know it is). They completely underestimate how traumatic/dangerous it can be. Whilst my first DC birth wasn't I would say on the 'traumatic' scale compared to others. It was the most pain I had ever been it, I had a tear and stitches. I got mastitis in the first week and was beyond sleep deprived.
Yet all I got was people asking to come and visit. Why was I trying to stop people seeing the new baby. Why was I crying when people just turned up. Why did I stay in hospital for two days? You can be discharge the same day now hmm. I think only one person actually asked how I was.
AIBU to think childbirth is underestimated? I'm aware I'm abit hormonal and worried about impending labour at the minute think I'm trying to get it off my chest grin

EleanorLavish Wed 11-Sep-19 09:57:22

I was the opposite of you OP.
I had 3 pregnancies and after each of them I was up and showered, make up on, happy to go home. It was the hospital that made me stay.
I was desperate for visitors, and often disappointed that people weren't calling in when I got home. I found it lonely.
I think the best policy is to check with the mum, see how she is and go with what she wants. Everyone is different!
I hope all goes well for you.

bridgetreilly Wed 11-Sep-19 10:00:00

I think the experience of childbirth varies so wildly that it's not all that helpful to think in general terms. For many women it really is quite straightforward in terms of recovery, but for others it's very stressful and traumatic physically and/or emotionally. People need to be respectful of you and what you are able and willing to deal with. But also, I think you need to recognise that your second experience may be very different from your first. You might find it much easier (or, of course, it might be harder). You don't need to make any definite plans now but you do need people to respect what you want at the time.

Minai Wed 11-Sep-19 10:02:09

Yes. I had a horrible birth and literally no one apart from my mum and husband cared about me after the baby was born. All they cared about was the baby and I was this horrible person for stopping people from seeing the baby. All I was asking for was a couple of days to recover from an experience during which me and my baby nearly died and I felt like no one gave a shit and made it all about themselves

weetabix456321 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:02:31

Thank you @EleanorLavish I do hope my second birth is more like yours!smile

maternityleave234 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:05:33

I would totally agree Op, this time around I had a retained placenta and can honestly say it was the most brutal thing that I’ve ever been through. There can be so many complications as a result of childbirth that wouldn’t even cross people’s mind - this never crossed my mind at all!
I’ve recovered well from it however it defiantly impacted on my first few hours with DD as I was in rushed to surgery and didn’t see her.
I had visitors quite soon at home but it’s very hard to say no, I felt like I’d been run over!!

keepingbees Wed 11-Sep-19 10:06:31

I think it depends on the birth. As a previous poster has said, some people are up and about, feeling well and want the company. Others the opposite on a huge scale of severity. And you never know which way it's going to go, so people shouldn't pressure you beforehand planning visits and should respect it if you say no.
Unfortunately the mum nearly always gets forgotten, and yes childbirth is a big deal regardless of how well it goes.

tedladybird Wed 11-Sep-19 10:08:33

What I found really strange last time was that when you are heavily pregnant people can't do enough for you. Then when the baby arrives nobody seems to care anymore! I do think that a lot of people expect too much from mums after the birth, the only ones who really seem to get it were women who'd given birth relatively recently themselves.

I remember getting on the bus at 38 weeks pregnant and everyone jumping up to offer their seat then a few weeks later getting on the bus with my newborn feeling exhausted and emotional and nobody helped me to get the pram on and off and someone tutted at me when I said "excuse me"!

BogglesGoggles Wed 11-Sep-19 10:10:17

People are generally quite inconsiderate when it comes to children though. And their parents by extension. My MIL expected me to let my children do whatever they wanted when she came to stay because she didn’t like to hear them complain when I told them to do something they didn’t want to (like going to bed). Needless to sayshedoesntvisot anymore.

LightsInOtherPeoplesHouses Wed 11-Sep-19 10:19:23

I agree after the baby is born most people just care about the baby and not the mother. I had a traumatic birth, and was constantly fobbed off with 'at least the baby is ok, that's the main thing'. Only my parents and DH seemed to care that I wasn't ok. Even health professionals just wanted to gloss over it and didn't seem to understand/care/want to help in anyway.

harrypotterfan1604 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:19:31

I had a very traumatic birth. But still felt like I wanted visitors, my grandparents came to see me and as soon as they arrived I wanted them to go. I felt very vulnerable and realised saying yes to them coming was a big mistake. I let them each have a cuddle with the baby and then asked them to leave and they were perfectly fine with that.

It’s very much dependent on each mums experience and how they’re feeling. Your right that so many people forget about mum and only concentrate on baby asking if he/she is eating and sleeping and you sit there thinking well yes but I’m not nor am I showering or recovering at all.
It’s important to take control, of you don’t want visitors in the first few days that’s entirely your choice your the mum you make the rules! If people are unhappy then it’s just tough for them

jeffreeshart Wed 11-Sep-19 10:23:32

I agree op. I feel like it's another thing for women to just get on with and get over it. If people do feel good and want visitors they'll definitely let them know. I can't bear the ones that just invite themselves over, I had very distant relatives on my doorstep that I hadn't heard from in 18 months (they live locally) when I couldn't even walk from the car from the hospital without DH's help. My MIL saved my sanity and told them all to learn some fucking manners.

She was the only one who respected me and cared about how I felt. She's a legend.

I hate the assumption that it's not normal to want space or privacy to learn to feed and recover. So, so wrong.

YesILikeItToo Wed 11-Sep-19 10:26:51

I remember everyone in the sitting room around the baby and me saying in a small voice, ‘I think maybe I’m not OK’.

bluedungareesandspottytrainers Wed 11-Sep-19 10:29:24

@Minai exactly the same as me. We had a hard time of it and both had to be kept in for a few days. The first day I was semi conscious throughout yet still had people (ILs) texting asking why they couldn't come have a quick hold of baby. Probably because not only was baby poorly, I was also poorly, covered in blood and confined to my bed so no it wasn't an ideal time to 'pop in'. I felt literally no respect from my ILs and thank my lucky stars my dh dealt with it all.

berlinbabylon Wed 11-Sep-19 10:29:45

In some ways I don't think people underestimate it, given all the horror stories people delight in telling you.

On the other hand, as you say, it is a dangerous and traumatic event, and people do take it quite lightly (especially that woman who has had 21 kids or however many it is!)

I did think about what would happen if something went wrong and I ended up having to go back to work with no baby (I never thought anything would happen to me, which was perhaps naive, and it wasn't an easy birth, but I did think the baby could die). I wonder if other people think like this or just put it to the back of their mind. I also think when people buy loads of stuff or decorate "the nursery" - we did the bare minimum before we knew the baby was safely born.

Nonmerci Wed 11-Sep-19 10:35:40

@maternityleave234 retained placenta is also one of the most brutal things that has ever happened to me. It’s an utterly hideous thing to experience.

I had two traumatic births and the last thing I wanted was visitors, I just wanted to be left alone to cry and heal. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as vulnerable as I did postpartum, I felt so weak and needy. Also always felt gruesome physically and emotionally, it was not a time to socialise for me at all.

TrainspottingWelsh Wed 11-Sep-19 10:36:57

Whenever I discuss visiting someone that’s just giving birth, it’s very much on the basis of asking them to tell me when to visit, not a demand to alert me so I can be there waiting in the post natal ward.

Quite apart from the fact I was more than happy to have visitors within a few hours, especially those bearing food, my visiting is more about helping. I’ll sit and talk if that’s what’s wanted, but I normally visit bearing meals that can be frozen and heated when required, do any jobs that they want, and leave with any siblings/ pets if helpful. I might have a quick hold and ask the mum how she is but that’s not really the purpose of my first visit unless it’s company that’s wanted.

troppibambini Wed 11-Sep-19 10:38:25

As others have said it just varies so widely. I think the most important thing is that you just do what is right for you.
Some people get lucky and have really easy births and recoveries others have a truly traumatic time.

Hopefully you get a really easy birth this time, but even if you do maybe some family time alone is a good thing? It just depends how you feel.

I was lucky my four were really easy births I just got up showered, put my makeup on and went home.
I was back on the school run the next day however I know this is normal.grin

Beaverdam Wed 11-Sep-19 10:47:13

I agree. I had a terrible delivery and was traumatized for months afterwards.

When the baby was first born, there was a lady from work who i knew briefly messaging all the time asking to visit. I was injured, bleeding, 2 stone underweight and had infection, i didnt want any visitors apart from close family and friends.

I think some people have good birthing experiences so dont understand what it like for others who have it terrible.

DungeonDweller Wed 11-Sep-19 11:04:23

Amend to the comments about not feeling like anyone gave a shit about you once the baby was delivered.

I was recovering from major surgery, developing an infection (but it hadn't been spotted yet), hallicinating (literally) with sleep deprivation, struggling to BF, in tears most of the time (bursting into tears for weeks after with no reason or warning, something as simple as looking outside the window and the gravity of the responsibility would just hit me), etc

I mean, fuck, i was sitting in hospital with the growing horror that the double incontinence issues i was experiencing wouldn't be fixable (can you imagine that on top of everything), and all anyone was ever asking about was:
when can they visit the baby
when can they hold the baby
is baby feeding well (well, no, but i'm not going to share all the medical issues with you, dear in laws)


no one gave a shit, and i still get upset and angry when i think about it now, after all this time.

i think DH was the only one who cared. apart from 1 neighbour i barely knew, who asked "and how are you doing" - don't think she was prepared for me crying in response!!!

beingmum39 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:59:51

I had a traumatic birth and stayed in hospital for 4 days afterwards. I had no visitors, and when I came home apart from the midwife I saw nobody else for 3 weeks, and when I did that was my own mum. When my partner went back to work I couldn't drive for a further 4 weeks, I live rural and I struggled with sleep deprivation, loneliness, and complete isolation. Looking back that time was very hard and I think I would rather have had a flood of offers of people to come round that I could either say yes or no to rather than none at all. In terms of what people say when you're pregnant the thing that annoyed me the most was people asking when I would have another whilst I was only 7 months pregnant with my DS. shock

Dinosauratemydaffodils Wed 11-Sep-19 12:08:15

Varies hugely I think. Dc1 was an emcs after a long labour, pushing and failed forceps. He went to NICU and I lost my mind for a bit. I didn't want anyone near me and felt like stabbing my MiL when she said "but it's worth it".

Dc2 was also an emcs and I wanted to be out and social straight away. She was born on thursday, discharged on friday and went to pick up dc1 from the inlaws and saw some of their friends.Then we went to see my mum and some of her friends/neighbours came around. On saturday we went out for lunch and then to messy church.

Two on paper very similar births and 2 indentical very easy physical recoveries despite what I went through but emotionally they were worlds apart.

I do think people are selfish when it comes to babies though. It's rare someone actually asks what you as the new mother wants. I got baby gifts from all my friends but 2 of them included something for me (chocolates and a non baby related book respectively) and that made a huge difference to how I felt.

BertieBotts Wed 11-Sep-19 12:12:09

I cannot agree with you enough. And this thinking rubs off onto FTMs who think they will be able to do anything immediately after birth and then crash much harder when they find themselves a hormonal, bleeding, exhausted, sore mess feeling like they have been hit by a train. (Emotionally and physically). Bloody hell it's hard enough to deal with that reality when you're expecting it.

feelingverylazytoday Wed 11-Sep-19 12:29:09

It just depends on individual circumstances. I felt absolutely fine and enjoyed having visitors and getting out and about.
Just wait and see how you feel. If you don't want visitors, thats fine. If you do want them, thats fine as well.
I'm assuming you have a partner here (if not then a supportive family member), hopefully they will back you up and put your needs ahead of other people.

Mamma19c Wed 11-Sep-19 12:47:25

I do think it depends on the birth and your friends and family.
In had a horrific birth with my son where he got stuck, needed a manual turn as he was back to back so ended up with a 3rd degree tear and then had a retained placenta which when they removed caused a hemmorage.
I couldn't walk or sit properly for weeks and was always faint and had no energy. I was on pills for months to stop the pain.

I was lucky in that my mum came to stay for a few days the first week and then for a day or 2 in the weeks following. So she helped massively. When friends came, many had already had children so would come and make me lunch or bring me shopping etc. to help.

I would suggest that you try not to worry too much about it, but if someone mentions coming to see the baby before you're ready I'd just say that your family needs time to bond before others are invited. Have a door is closed policy and only invite people as and when you're ready.

Good luck. I hope it all goes well for you xx

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