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Insensitive comments

(30 Posts)
elliejjtiny Tue 02-Dec-14 16:49:20

What do you do/say when people either moan about being overdue or say that they want their baby to be born early. It drives me mad. My youngest 2 weren't very early (35+3 and 36+6) but their births and being apart from them afterwards were just awful, 2 of the worst things I've had to go through. I've been doing the grit my teeth, smile and nod thing. But it's so hard. My 2 have got lasting problems that may or not be related to their births. I've had overdue babies too and I'd much rather give birth at 42 weeks than 35.

Annbag Tue 02-Dec-14 17:03:32

I don't know the answer but I feel the same! I've also got a late preterm DS who is 11 weeks old now and find comments hard. There's the dismissive ones 'he was only a bit early so it doesn't matter' true we are lucky he wasn't earlier but it really really DOES matter. And the 'he just wanted to come out and meet you' no he didn't!
I too struggle with the 'at least you weren't big at the end' and 'bored on maternity leave' type comments. Just one evening of maternity leave would've been nice!
Also ones about my c section birth being 'too posh to push' and 'easy' ummmm nothing easy or posh about a crash emergency section and us both nearly dying. Bizarrely I had those comments from people that know my birth story

Sorry no help at all, but just solidarity that I struggle with these comments too and hoping for tips

elliejjtiny Tue 02-Dec-14 19:38:23

I had a crash section with my youngest too. My waters had broken 10 days before and I'd spent most of those 10 days looking after my 4 other children and desperately hoping that he would stay in a bit longer. All while people kept saying "just have a C-section, he'll be fine". In the end we both got an infection and after a failed induction he was born by crash C-section. I saw him very briefly before they whisked him off to NICU. I don't think anything can prepare you for having a premature baby. I remember trying to pull down the sterile drape so I could see DS, who was on the other side being resuscitated.

Annbag Tue 02-Dec-14 21:14:36

Oh that sounds so difficult, even more so with your other children to think about.

I don't think other people really understand what its like. I guess I hadn't paid it much thought before it happened either. In our family there's another baby born at term around the same time and people, quite innocently, compare them and say how funny it is mine was born first like he won some kind of race. Drives me round the bend. I feel like a broken record saying about corrected age as no one listens

WrappedInABlankie Tue 02-Dec-14 21:22:37

I haven't had a premmie but I had my DS by cat-1 c-section at 42 weeks we both nearly died.

I don't say the fascinating thing with people trying to scoff pineapples and eat currys to get them out from 36 weeks! I refused all sweeps as I'm a firm believer that they come when they're ready and theirs no point rushing them out when you spend
The rest of Your life with them

plentyofshoes Tue 02-Dec-14 22:19:56

I have had two prems.
Ds was tiny for a long time and I had so many hurtful comments. Dd caught up fast, but even as we took her out of hospital when she was 5ib I overheard the oh my god so small comments! People do not think. I had mixed comments with both of mine. Negative with ds, but positive with dd (you can't tell she is prem apparently??!)
Over the years I have learnt to ignore it as most people have no idea what you go through.
Mil still makes the odd "you had him early comments" which give me the rage.
I say I am glad they are alive. I point out that term babies also have delayed development. My ds was the only one in my group of friends not to have any extra support. It is hurtful though but it gets easier.
Still bitter about not getting a bloody pregnancy spa day wink

Annbag Wed 03-Dec-14 03:27:22

plenty of shoes I get the can't tell he's prem comments too as DS was born with a full head of hair! Or a 'did you get your dates wrong?'

Made me smile about the spa day! Would've been nice to get my card and pressies by leaving work properly too grin

sunflowered Wed 03-Dec-14 09:14:40

I find comments like that quite hurtful too. It's understandable - if I'd got to 42 weeks I'm sure I would have been tired and fed up - but if you know someone's had a prem baby it doesn't take much to just bite your tongue and find someone else to moan to. I find the "oh she just couldn't wait to meet you" really quite rude too - having to agree to an early emcs because of my own sudden health problems goes completely against all our instincts and I don't think I'll ever get over it. If I'm in a good mood they just get a raised eyebrow but on occasion I've had to spit out a very angry "she didn't choose to, it was that or we'd both have died". That usually shuts people up.

sunflowered Wed 03-Dec-14 09:16:12

And a great big yes to being bitter about the spa day.

Preciousbabies Wed 03-Dec-14 10:35:38

Sorry Ellie, don't want to hijack your thread but I understand how peoples "innocent" comments can be so hurtful. I had bg twins at 30 weeks. My ds was iugr born at 1lb 12oz and lucky to be alive whereas dd is a good normal size (well I think she is) and bigger than him. Ds is still tiny at nearly 2 (not even 20lb) and I'm unsure whether he will catch up now. But everywhere I go, I get comments about his size. Normally they ask how old he is and then look v shocked when I tell them and then they always follow up with a "he will be 6ft when he's older" or more upsetting "I'm sure he will catch up". I try and prepare myself for these comments but can't and always get upset and think about it for a few days after. Because they are different sizes another comment is "are they really twins?" Has anyone got any ways of coping or do I just need to toughen up?


Honsandrevels Wed 03-Dec-14 11:07:50

It is hurtful and I just think people don't understand the stress and upset of a premature baby. There is the assumption that it is better for the mum somehow - less weight gain, less/no stretch marks. Obviously all those with a premature baby know they'd have happily had a thousand atretchmarks to save their baby the trails of neo natal.

I remember the look of horror on the faces of people when they asked how old she was and she clearly looked a lot younger. It was awful. I'd hate having to explain all the time. One tip I was told was to just lie to strangers and say what their due date age would be.

precious My dd was much smaller till she just over two. At 3 she just had a huge spurt. I think toughening up is the only way with strangers, if it is friends or relatives who are being offensive and then you could explain you find it hurtful. It is easier said than done I know. You could just say 'yes he was 10 weeks early so we're lucky to have him' - repeat for every silly comment.

elliejjtiny Wed 03-Dec-14 17:49:06

Thanks everyone. My current coping mechanism is to mutter something about "better off on the inside" and then quietly froth to myself until I meet someone else who also had prem babies. Then I have a good rant with someone who "gets it".

I blush when I think about it now but until DS4 went to NICU I thought that having a late preterm baby would be great, especially when the drs all said he'd be fine, on the ward with me and home in a couple of days. I didn't realise how gut wrenchingly awful it would be to be on the postnatal ward with no baby when everyone else had theirs or walking out of the hospital on day 3 with no carseat.

Also I agree with the spa day thing. For me I was upset that the baby clothes and bedding etc was all still in the loft. There were clothes on the unit that they could wear but I wanted him to wear DS1's old babygrows and be wrapped in the blanket that my granny had knitted.

TheGirlAtTheJingleBellRockShow Thu 04-Dec-14 04:55:11

I hate the "she wasn't really premature" comments. DD was born at 35 weeks, was IUGR and had a few health problems due to her early birth. So I, and her paediatrician, do count her as premature!
Mostly I try to ignore people, but if necessary I point out I would have loved to carry DD longer. People who make these comments just don't think.

FashionWhoreOfBabylon Thu 04-Dec-14 09:58:17

Thanks for starting the thread, OP! Yes, I have to admit I don't feel too sympathetic towards people moaning about being overdue - I generally tend to say something along the lines of "Being overdue is great. No, really, trust me. My DS was born at 29 weeks weighing 2lbs 10oz - I would have loved to have been overdue". That tends to silence them.

I also really struggled with people implying that we were being pfb and making a big deal out of nothing when we got him home. "Oh, but he's fine now. Just treat him like any other baby. Put it all behind you." Yeah, 'cause that's obviously really easy after a two month NICU/SCBU stay. Twats. Also, the doctors had advised us to be really careful about hand-washing, avoiding crowded places, sick people, etc. but people thought they knew better. "You really want me to wash my hands, are you serious?!?". Yes, I did.

And now I find the "He's so small" comments from random strangers increasingly difficult to deal with, even though I know they don't mean anything by it. Meh.

God, I never knew I felt so angry!! It feels good to have a rant sometimes.

FashionWhoreOfBabylon Thu 04-Dec-14 10:07:13

And yes, I'm also bitter about the spa day (also nursery decorating, pregnancy yoga, antenatal classes, baby shower, birth announcement, squishy newborn photos, etc.).

elliejjtiny Fri 05-Dec-14 17:43:47

Glad my ranting has helped others too. I have a photo of DS5 being resuscitated that I show people who really don't get it. The paed is squeezing the bag and mask thing while the midwives watch, looking very nervous. I also like to look at it whenever I worry about his development, to remind myself that he had a really rough start so he's bound to smile, sit, roll over etc later than average. DS4 has "born prematurely - 35 weeks" on every letter we get about his various appointments even now he is 18 months old so his consultant believes 35 weeks is premature too.

Annbag Fri 05-Dec-14 18:23:01

We should all go on a spa day! grin

I do still feel jealous when I see people having their leaving presentations, presents, spa days on Facebook. Which is ridiculous I guess. Hoping it gets easier with time?

Preciousbabies Sun 07-Dec-14 21:09:12

Thanks Hons. It's good to know I'm not the only one. Don't know why I'm so hung up about his size. I should be happy that I have such a beautiful, healthy and happy little boy.


FamiliesShareGerms Sun 07-Dec-14 21:24:08

"At least you didn't get too big"
I'd rather have stretch marks than DS have a weak chest

"He was so small, so you had an easy delivery"
The quick labour was probably more to do with the fact my waters had already gone - a week before in fact

Not a fan of spa days or baby showers, but the chance to say good bye to my colleagues and clear my own desk would have been nice

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 07-Dec-14 21:25:43

Oh, in case it helps anyone - DS was born at 35 weeks weighing less than 5lb and at 9yo is the tallest in his class and one of the smartest. He has definitely grown out of his prematurity, I know we are lucky

Isabeller Sun 07-Dec-14 21:30:28

One year ago my dear baby was born at 31 weeks. It has all turned out well but thinking back to this time last year and the months that followed we went through the mill.

Sending hugs flowers

elliejjtiny Sun 07-Dec-14 23:35:55

flowers hugs to you Isabeller and happy first birthday to your baby.

MultipleMama Mon 08-Dec-14 02:32:27

I had this brilliant, insensitive corker yesterday "well you did pregnant too soon after your first early ones"... like DS' birth was my fault for getting pregnant in the first place hmm

I really hate the "I'm sure they'll be fine" comments or worse "at least you didn't have to deliver a big baby". Because yes, having an ill 1oz + baby is so much easier and less painful than a healthy 8 pounder but that's okay because I'm sure they'll be fine...

elliejjtiny Tue 09-Dec-14 17:10:58

That's awful multiplemama. DS4 and DS5 are close together too. I never got that comment but I did get a lot of "Hoping for another early one are you?" with DS5 which really got on my wick.

MultipleMama Wed 10-Dec-14 09:54:58

Needless to say I no longer talk to that person.

I don't know why people wish for early babies, it's saddening.

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