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Why do some women feel the need?? Grrr - sorry rant alert!!

(27 Posts)
natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:10:41

Ok, so I'm under no illusion that birthing my baby will be easy, painless, in fact anything other than a pretty gruelling experience. But why do (in my experience usually my colleagues in their 50s) so many women feel the need to give me a patronising smirk and shrug when I tell them that I'm going into the birth with a positive frame of mind?? What do they want me to do?? Throw myself to the floor screaming, telling them how petrified I am and beg them to rescue me from the fate worse than death?!
It's even worse when they prowl in packs in the staffroom and give each other knowing patronising smirks. I wouldn't mind but all of my friends who have given birth in the last couple of years have actually been really positive, even those who have ended up with long labours and emergency sections etc. It's not as if I've told them that I plan to give birth whilst dancing and singing in a field with no access to pain relief or anything. Grrrrrrrr!
Sorry, rant over smile

NinkyNonker Wed 14-Sep-11 11:18:32

I know what you mean completely!

Oeisha Wed 14-Sep-11 11:19:22

Eh, rant away. Better than punching someone in the face for their 'pearls of wisdom'. I'm also getting the same thing...

MandaHugNKiss Wed 14-Sep-11 11:25:15

Whilst I'm sure there are some women of that generation who had positive experiences, I think it is just that - a generational thing. The midwives of the day were typically more 'matronly' and I know of serveral women in my 'older' family who were literally 'told off' for being in pain, not really offered anything in the way of pain relief (although my mum had pethidine that made her as sick as a dog - no anti-emetic as well back then) and also made to stay on their backs on the bed. Its not difficult to see how so many older women do not have good memories of their births (perhaps, particularly their first - I know Mu had a much easier time havin my (bigger!) sister even though her environment hadn't changed much).

Try to forgive them. They probably really did have a shit time, and be it ignorance of how amazingly positive a birth can be, or jealousy or... something else, know that times have changed and you're in a much better position than they ever were.

And, fwiw, you're going in with exactly the right attitude smile

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:27:20

Awww thank you folks, I feel less riled now. I know what you mean Manda, they probably did have a grim time. Thing is the more I try to explain what we have available nowadays to make things less poop, the more they seem to think I'm deluded. Any way, think I'll just hide in a cupboard until I go on maternity leave, avoid the negativity! smile

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:28:54

Thinking about it, I did overhear one of them once saying how jammy I was for having enjoyed my pregnancy and not having had any sickness. Perhaps she is just bitter :-/

Kitty5824 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:30:38

I'm also sick of people telling me there is no way I'll manage to work right into my 38th week. I know this is optimistic, but I can always move the date nearer the time if I need to, and I still have 2 weeks holiday that I can use adhoc as my lovely boss is happy for me to ring and take a days holiday if I'm struggling. Ideally that means i'll be finishing in the 36th week, but who knows! I want my Mat pay to last as long as possible grin

I am hoping for the best, but am still pragmatic enough to know that I'll have to do what my body tells me.

Yes this is my first, and I've been one of those horrible "blooming" women so far with no issues except constipation and tiredness. But I'm not stupid, I know things might change.....

Aah, feel better for getting that out. Back to the ironing wink

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:32:44

Kitty - one of my colleagues finished work on the Friday at 4pm and in our Monday morning meeting it was announced she'd given birth the Friday night! She had continued to teach full time and run the girls' hockey club at lunch times. The cynics were secretly gutted, you could tell smile

Kitty5824 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:35:27

ha ha, that's the kind of story I like! A good friend of mine was complaining about backache on her last day of work, and gave birth the following morning. I'd actually be gutted to have no time off to myself at all, but an EDD is exactly that - an estimate - and you really can't plan it can you!

Pastabee Wed 14-Sep-11 11:41:00

I concur entirely. Whenever I say I feel ok about the birth and am just looking forward to the baby being here I feel the need to add a disclaimer..... I end up adding 'i'm sure I'll be terrified on the day but that's better than 9 months of terror in the lead up' as though daring them to disagree!

I have a similar disclaimer re working to 37 weeks and the horror look that procures. I go into endless, boring detail about having 4 weeks leave that I can take at beginning if it's too hard or carry forward to next year and take at end if I can manage to 37 weeks.

I don't know why I feel the need to explain myself all the time. I've actually started to bore myself!

pootlebug Wed 14-Sep-11 11:44:36

Kitty5824 I finished work at 38 weeks. Didn't find it a problem whatsoever. In my first two pregnancies I was lucky enough to feel pretty much fine for all the 2nd half. Made up for all the sickness in the first half a bit. Just keeping my fingers crossed it's the same 3rd time around.

Ozziegirly Wed 14-Sep-11 11:48:06

I worked until 38 weeks with no problems at all. It was an office job primarily, so plenty of sitting down, and I used to drive to work so no horrid commute, but I was fine, not really tired or anything. I felt fine right up until the day I gave birth - and I'm no superwoman, I just felt fine apart from a bit of backache.

My worst bit at the end was incredibly painful wrists in the morning!

Rowood Wed 14-Sep-11 11:58:41

I'm a lecturer and my boss keeps on telling me and everyone else her plans for when I go on mat leave at Christmas when u've told her I'm going off in mid feb 2 weeks before my baby is due like I have with my other two children. It drives me angry! She even said I cNt mark essays because I may have swollen feet! I thought she was joking! Good luck x

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:01:26

Rowood - that really has made me laugh! Haha! smile My lot keep looking me up and down every day, sure they don't like it that I can still get into some nice smart work wear and I'm not huffing and puffing in dungarees and flip flops whilst clutching the small of my back smile You've all really cheered me up, thank you! x

Grumpla Wed 14-Sep-11 12:02:21

Rise above it!

If it makes you feel any better, I CONSTANTLY try and counteract this by telling pregnant women how it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - and it really, really wasn't.

Positive frame of mind is absolutely the right attitude. I kept grunting "I CAN do it, I CAN do it!" whenever I had moments of doubt and that was really helpful too.

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 12:11:10

Thank you Grumpla. It usually doesn't affect me but for some reason I could feel myself bubbling up a bit this morning after a particularly vitriolic woman screeched at me "don't think you can do it with water and gas and air because you won't! You'll need all the drugs they can give you!". She's a particularly vile individual at the best of times smile My friend who did give birth in a pool with gas and air was in the room at the time but even she couldn't be bothered to pipe up, bless her smile

pastafantastic Wed 14-Sep-11 12:33:57

Hmmm....test will be whether you also give The Smirk once you've had your baby and you hear other pregnant ladies discussing birth plans.

You'll know better smile.

Everyone has an opinion when you're pregnant, from the gender of your unborn child to the fact that (despite all scans) they think you're carrying twins due to the size of you.

bigeyes Wed 14-Sep-11 13:04:34

They sound awful the people you work with, are they like this about other stuff, and are you friendly with them normally. Id od know how you feel, i had a friend badgering me about my birth choice, every time we met, she would always say, but if you do this, then xyz (all negative) just because shes popped three out no bother. I believe you very firmly do what is best for you within medical guidlines.

Go to work for as long as at it suits you and your baby - go in bold as brass.

There is an element of older generation thing, but I dont think that this should excuse their comments its as if they are trying to scare you.

If you feeling brave, next time one of them says something negative, just reply - what was the purpose of that comment? then walk away.

Scheherezade Wed 14-Sep-11 13:04:35

Ohhhh, I know how you feel! MIL keeps going on about how terribly painful and traumatising and awful breastfeeding will be "your nipples will bleed and you'll be in so much pain". Thank god for my mum "Well I had no problems at all, you just latched on straight away, and I carried on feeding you when you wanted to be fed until you were two and gave up by yourself".

Thanks mum smile

dooscooby Wed 14-Sep-11 16:30:15

I'm coping with this kind of thing primarily by avoidance! I'm not being particularly sociable unless it's with people who aren't being irritating about my pg and then with work small talk type stuff I just try and change the subject as quickly as possible. I honestly find all the talk boring, anxiety provoking and nosey and I think some people just love talking about it in a gossipy unhelpful way so I just do my best to disengage. I think I'm lucky though, cos I don't work with many women so get an easier ride!

Cyclebump Wed 14-Sep-11 16:37:04

I got this throughout my pregnancy: 'Just get an epidural straight off, you'll never cope', 'god, I thought I was going to die, you'll know what I mean soon', 'can you not get a c-section? That's what I'd do if I ever do it again because it was awful'. Blah blah blah.

I had a straightforward delivery and yes, it hurt a lot, but then it was over. I have a gorgeous five month old at the moment and it's all a distant memory.

notlettingthefearshow Wed 14-Sep-11 16:49:09

I'm sure there are individuals who enjoy freaking us out, but largely, women like to share their experiences because it is so unique and probably hard to imagine until it actually happens. I've had women telling me to go on mat leave asap, and about the same number advisining me to keep going as long as possible. Maybe I'm just lucky I'm hearing a range of experiences, but I enjoy hearing people's pregnancy and childbirth experiences, both positive and negative. I figure mine will be somewhere in the middle, so it's quite reassuring to hear the best and worst case scenario.

natwebb79 Wed 14-Sep-11 18:50:31

Oh I'm really interested in hearing both positive and negative birth stories. It's being laughed at for deciding to have a positive outlook that annoys me. They seem to want me to be petrified and screaming out for an epidural before I've even got into the delivery suite! Mind you, as a poster has already said, I should imagine that hospitals weren't as comfortable and midwives not as forgiving as they are now. My mum says she was made to stay flat on her back on a bed all the way through all 3 of hers and that she would have given anything to be allowed to be more active. My lovely nan (mum of 4) said to me "it's the worse pain imaginable but the quickest forgotten and your body is programmed to deal with it". Good ol' nan. Mind you, she also told me how she took castor oil for constipation when preggers with my uncle and as a result he virtually shot out covered in the stuff, hahahaha! smile

Muser Wed 14-Sep-11 19:12:23

Oh ignore them. I worked until 37 weeks and by the end it was hard because I had bad rib pain, but I've known people who were still zooming around at 41 weeks feeling fit as a fiddle. I was feeling positive about my birth, and although I did end up on my back it all went fine. The gas and air was brilliant, I loved my TENS machine, and I never felt the need for anything else. It did hurt, but for me it wasn't the worst pain imaginable.

I recommend a bit of natal hypnotherapy/hypnobirthing for positive thinking and giving Ina May's childbirth book a read for lots of positive birth stories. And mostly keep an open mind about the birth thing. That way if things don't go to plan you're not thinking about the birth you should have had. If I'd felt the need for an epidural I would have been asking for one. They sound good.

Penelope1980 Thu 15-Sep-11 01:21:13

I know what you mean - I got sick of some women telling me after about the 20 week mark how hard it was all going to get and how much pain and discomfort I will be in for the last 10 weeks, and how hard it will be as I won't be able to walk or do anything. I'm 38 weeks now and still feel pretty much fine bar the odd niggles/tiredness/discomforts which while annoying and not ideal hasn't left me feeling hard done by or unable to do basic stuff. Now those same women are sighing and saying how easy I've had it, so you can't really win!

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