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Advice: Expect the worst, because it WILL happen. Or, you know, not...

(56 Posts)
purrpurr Thu 13-Dec-12 14:13:26

I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally need to get this off my chest or I am going to explode everywhere.

My friends and parents seem to be keen to lead me down a particular conversation path, which goes something like this:

"Ooooh soooo are you prepared for the baby yet?"
"I hope so, I've been - "
"Because you shouldn't expect to be able to breastfeed, I wasn't, I only managed it for 2 minutes/24 hours/3 weeks and I got mastitis and my boobs fell off and there was BLOOD EVERYWHERE and I had milk coming out of my ears and OH MY GOD my boobs were like concrete slabs and oh the PAIN -"
"Right, er, well, thanks, I mean, I'm open to breast feeding and formula, it needs to work for me and the baby, so -"
"Oh and you won't produce enough milk anyway, especially if your baby is horribly premature and you've been unable to deliver after being in labour for THREE WEEKS and you've ended up having a C section, god my scar was terrible -"
"You'll want them to induce you, mark my words. Get that baby out quick smart. Before it dies or you die. God. Bloody dangerous business having children. AND don't think it'll sleep through the night, you didn't sleep at ALL until YOU WERE FIVE..."

WHY are these people so keen for me to be ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of child birth and being a new mum? Why do they get so angry? Why should I spend the rest of my pregnancy scared shitless? If it is really that bad, why did they have multiple children? Why do people get so angry when I say I want to consider the options available to me, and set out to try to ensure I am fully aware that breastfeeding is IMPOSSIBLE and I might as well go straight to formula? Why do people keep telling me I'll have a 'tiny premature' baby when I'm normal-sized and nothing yet suggests I'm growing something that'll need to go into an incubator? WHY WHY WHY am I not allowed to even HOPE that I might have a fairly normal labour and delivery, and that my baby might actually be healthy, and might like my breastmilk, and that I might be able to breastfeed for longer than five minutes? I KNOW it's hard. Stop ramming it down my throat. PLEASE!

colditz Thu 13-Dec-12 16:51:33

Bwahhhh hahahaha. Yes, I had this. Hence when ds1 was born, I kept expecting something bad to happen and it just ...... Didn't. Sometimes he cried. Mostly he didn't. He fed plenty, and grew. He was pretty bloody awesome. The birth was very long and hard, but I escaped with a minor tear, and feeling very tired. The midwives were all "oh you poor thing, such a long labour!" But compared to my mothers horror stories, I felt lucky to be alive!

mcsquared Thu 13-Dec-12 17:52:56

My husband had one mantra for his mum every time she gave us advice during pregnancy and after DS's birth: every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, every baby is different. He pretty much nips most comments in the bud with that because it's true!

Oh you didn't eat chocolate when breastfeeding because it made your child poo giant fire breathing dragons? Well every baby is different. Smile.

mcsquared Thu 13-Dec-12 17:57:37

You'll be fine, by the way. :-)

My birth wasn't how I hoped but not awful and quickly forgotten. My tummy was flat at two weeks though my shape has changed so need new jeans! Breastfeeding took while to establish but going really well now. DS is a delight, even with wind/reflux issues! Slept most of the time while me and DH watched Downton Abbey!

tomatoplantproject Thu 13-Dec-12 18:12:53

You need to develop your "lalala - I can't hear you" skills.

Personally I hated being pregnant but have friends who loved it, childbirth for me was fine - ended up having an emcs for a missed breech but within a few days was out and about, bf has been fine - my nips were a bit sore for a few days but then healed, and some of my friends are about to disown me because my 5 week old wakes once or twice a night. Life with my baby is nice - not horrific at all!

I think some people truly have a difficult time, others have a bit of a rose tinted view of what life will be like with a newborn and then have a reality check, and others like the attention of telling a good tale.

You just need to remember that every person is different and every baby is different.

Congratulations and good luck!

PukeCatcher Thu 13-Dec-12 18:38:15

I was in labour and stopped off to get a bacon roll on my way to hospital.

The lady behind the counter took great delight in telling me how much it hurt to give birth, that it 'kills you' and that I'd never want another.

How rude and unnecessary!

Congratulations and I hope everything goes well for you

Paradisefound Thu 13-Dec-12 18:43:54

Tell them if they haven't got anything positive to say about pregnancy, childbirth or motherhood, you would prefer that they change the subject or say nothing... And say it like you mean it!

Haggisfish Thu 13-Dec-12 20:00:15

Oh, I know - it's rubbish! They never ever mention the gorgeous lovely newborn snuggly snuffles, how much FUN babies and toddlers can be and what a fab shared experience with your OH it can be. Yes, there are hard times, but i'd now rather feel crappy after a disturbed night's sleep from breastfeeding my gorgeous baby than a killer hang over from another shitty night out. And you do get a life back, eventually - I found it got much easier after 6 months and was almost back to normal by 2 years old - am now pg with no 2! ignore the doomsayers.

Facelikeafriendlyapple Thu 13-Dec-12 20:21:35

Hurrah for posting this OP! I've spent the past few days going to antenatal classes and NCT and the message has essentially been "Labour really really hurts and lots of things can go wrong at lots of stages. And then you have a baby and lots of things can go wrong at lots of different stages. Plus you'll have no sleep. Plus you'll feel isolated and lonely. Plus you'll have no money." And I'm all for going into something with your eyes open but honestly, after the past few days, all I really want is someone to say "Having a baby will be fun. A big, sometimes scary adventure. But fun."

(I should say that the antenatal classes and NCT haven't always dwelt of the bad stuff. Just this week has been doom-filled).

Mylittlepuds Thu 13-Dec-12 21:11:09

The breastfeeding obsession is usually down to unresolved guilt on their part. My best mate was OBSESSED with my breastfeeding to the point she was asking almost daily 'are you still doing it?!'. It was because she couldn't manage it for long. She openly admits to 'making up' horror stories about nipples bleeding etc etc to those less close with her but in reality couldn't hack the relentlessness of it. Don't get me wrong - it's pretty bloody hard in terms of you not getting a rest but for me it was easy physically. No soreness, nothing.

TinkyPeet Fri 14-Dec-12 00:42:33

Haha. Best thread I've read so far! Don't you just LOVE other people's pregnancy advice, I particularly love the old fears advice that starts 'when we were courting....' And lasts about an hour before they actually forget what the point was haha.
OP, my advice to you would be to tell them all to shut the f()ck up and let you get on with it. If they say they're offended just say their face offends your eyeballs and shimmy away,

TinkyPeet Fri 14-Dec-12 00:43:05

That's meant to be old dears
Stupid phone

inadreamworld Fri 14-Dec-12 08:18:51

Ha ha!! They just want to make out their experience of pregnancy/birth was the worst/best/most dramatic/painful whatever.....just attention seeking and thinking everyone must be like them.

My DD (now 20 months) slept through the night since 8 weeks old. Nothing I did - she is just a calm baby. Breastfeeding didn't work for me but I know loads of women who had no problems at all with it (some who are still doing it after 1 year plus).

Having your first baby is a fun and exciting time of your life. Enjoy it and stay positive. I am having number two in less than a month and am getting comments like 'how will you cope with two under two' - 'oh well even if your first baby is a good sleeper it doesn't mean the 2nd will be the same' etc etc Am ignoring it all!!! Good luck to you. You will be fine. x smile

growyourown77 Fri 14-Dec-12 08:39:44

Loving this thread!

This weds at a work Xmas lunch I sat, drinking OJ, listening to two colleagues with you kids get progressively more drunk and trying to put me off with tales of projectile poo, cracked nipples, baby sick in theur hair, how unprepared they were and I must be. Initially it was funny, then grating. But I got my own back by retelling tales of our cat brining in decapitated rabbits, entrails on the floor, half dead birds and bleeding frogs...and put them right off their creme brule! smile

purrpurr Fri 14-Dec-12 08:43:17

I'm so glad I posted this! You have all cheered me up so much. Before everyone started giving me their 'advice' I'd been really enjoying buying little bits for the baby - although even that flies in the face of what we're meant to do ('don't buy ANYTHING until you're 38 weeks! ANYTHING could go wrong and then you'll have, like, baby things, and no baby to go with them!') - because it just makes sense to me that you have 9 months' notice of a major life change so you should make the most of the time available to prepare, not sit around doing jack all until the last moment then go on a panicked shopping trip. My OH won't let me look at displays of baby things in shops because 'we don't need to think about that yet', but surely one of the joys of being a first time mum is enjoying looking at ludicrously tiny baby things. There's no joy in essentially going underground for the first 8.5 months and ignoring the whole thing until the last minute.

I've even been sternly told to not buy any maternity clothes, just buy normal ones in 2 sizes up from normal. What's wrong with people? I haven't become a big waddly creature all over. Admittedly my arse has become the size of a small country and my boobs have become real honest to god boob type things, instead of the fried eggs they were before, but it's my belly that has really changed. They make clothes that allow for the mahoosive belly. Why shouldn't I be allowed to wear them instead of tents?

It really does feel like people are so keen to live vicariously through my pregnancy but also use it as an excuse to exorcise their own demons. I'm actually getting quite sick of hearing about other people's experiences. I might start saying that...

NAR4 Fri 14-Dec-12 09:56:48

Unfortunately most people feel a need to give you all sorts of unwanted advice and their opinions on various child rearing, when you are pregnant. I am pregnant with my 5th child and still get this from strangers and people who know me, alike. As if I don't know what it entails by now.

It is never as bad as people say and when you look back in years to come you will surprise yourself at how you managed.

All will be fine, enjoy your pregnancy and baby.

growyourown77 Fri 14-Dec-12 10:29:48

purr purr - don't listen to them! They way DH and I see it (having lost one last year) is that it's be devastating whether you've bought clothes or not, and a spot of shopping (or ten!) has no actual bearing on some physiological or genetic issue that might arise.

In the end, I'm stayed positive by thinking 'PUPO' - pregnant until proven otherwise - and shopping like a nutter! smile

It's your first baby, so go forth and get excited!

kittenskittenskittens Fri 14-Dec-12 10:34:34

I hear you inadream, I will have the same age gap as you between my two and if I havnt heard I was just lucky dd was a good sleeper enough times ( I do agree to a part but she also had colic originally and it was incredibly hard sticking to my plan of not putting her in bed with us or bringing her downstairs etc and I spent weeks up and down stairs picking her up and soothing repeat repeat) to now be told that not only that I may not be so lucky this time to "I hope you get a bad one this time" thanks that's very kind and generous of spirit of you!! It's not just that they want to tell you their bad experiences they WANT you to have bad ones too!!

Jojobells1986 Fri 14-Dec-12 11:21:54

Unless asked specific questions the only comment/advice I give to expectant mothers is to read. Learn as much as possible about as much as possible, both pre- & post-birth. Make notes too so you can refer back to ideas you liked when you might be faced with any given situation. It might also useful to have that information available for your DP, so you're both on the same page. I found that by reading lots I could counteract a lot of the 'this happened to me so will happen to you' comments by informing them of how common the problem really is & all the usual treatments etc. They usually shut up once they realised that not only was I not horrified that something like that could happen but that I actually knew more about the issue than them from a medical point of view! grin

If you're likely to just worry about things if you know about them then don't read. Do whatever suits you. Your body, your baby! Everyone else knows next to nothing about how things will happen for you & some people just talk nonsense. I was told once that I wasn't allowed raspberries while pregnant. hmm This was someone who'd never even been pregnant. She's pregnant now & I've really had to bite my tongue to avoid making up insane things that she absolutely must do while pregnant. I think I might explode if she goes overdue & starts wondering what might bring the baby faster... Oh the things I could make her do! grin

inadreamworld Fri 14-Dec-12 11:35:12

kittenskottenskittens Yes I have had people hint that I have had an easy time and will 'get a bad one this time'!!! Not very kind is it but I think it is quite funny actually and not everyone is like that of course.

purrpurr Fri 14-Dec-12 14:36:37

Kittens That's exactly it - the feeling that they want me to have a bad time of it, and my optimism is adding fuel to the fire. I think there are a lot of bitter, miserable parents out there. Who knows - I may become one too, but if I feel unhappy for any length of time then I will have to make the choice to only have one child and not go down this path again.

Something else that bothers me is that all this negativity and anger is coming from family and friends, but on top of that every single midwife I've met hasn't given a crap either. The only people that seem to be happy about having a baby are optimistic mums-to-be and those trying to conceive. If it's so miserable and so hard, why do we do it?

javotte Fri 14-Dec-12 14:55:36

A neighbour told me yesterday that I should give my 7-week-old DD bottles because it will make things easier for everyone if I die. hmm

inadreamworld Fri 14-Dec-12 20:10:51

javotte ???????????????????what???? She is a crazy woman!!!!

purrpurr Ignore the negative people. I am very very very happy about having a baby (and please God v soon two babies). Motherhood IMO is the best job in the world. I feel totally blessed to have (nearly) two girls and that I have had no problems conceiving. I am a sahm (who tutors a few children from home but that doesn't feel like work). I used to teach a class of 30 kids full time. Having a baby is a billion times easier than my teaching jobs were. Although I love teaching (v rewarding but v challenging too) and would like to go back part time in the future.

kittenskittenskittens Fri 14-Dec-12 20:19:07

Omg javotte!!! People are unbelievable! That has got to be the best I've heard so far!
Purr I found my midwife was lovely but at the hospital the nct class was just basically there to tell you what horrors to expect in labour, but don't come in yet!! Throwing up? Don't come in yet! Contracting? Don't come in yet!
People can be very strange but I think it's an unwritten rule that your not allowed to mention positive aspects of child rearing as that would be bragging, only moaning allowed, I think I've had an easy time but in retrospect was it just because of all the you'll get massive, you'll go over, you'll definatly put the baby in bed with you that because I didn't I feel blessed rather then maybe that doesn't happen to everyone like I was told?!
If you are ever in any doubt about whether having children is worth whatever happens just ask the mum would you change them? And I bet you won't meet one that doesn't smile and say no x

purrpurr Sat 15-Dec-12 16:43:09

Feeling really down again today with all of this - reading this thread again is helping though. It doesn't help that my 20 week scan is coming up soon - just before Christmas - and because I haven't felt any movement yet, I feel like it's going to be really bad news, but a tiny part of me almost wants that so I can go back to being not pregnant and not subject to this vile non-stop advice. I know that I will just get more and more evil advice once the baby is here, as well as judgemental gossip when I inevitably get things wrong as I learn along the way. People can be so nasty.

The people I would normally turn to when I am down are the very people who have been keen to squash the enthusiasm I had before.

Thank god for Mumsnet.

inadreamworld Sat 15-Dec-12 18:05:43

I didn't feel any movement until about 22 weeks with first baby and not much earlier (about 20 weeks) with baby 2. Everything was fine and it will be for you too. I have experienced the negative advice too but you just have to ignore it - lots of people are not like that. Just hang around with the positive ones. Don't let it get to you.

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