My feed

to access all these features


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

53 replies

GruffaloAteMySocks · 10/04/2013 17:03

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?

OP posts:
BalloonSlayer · 10/04/2013 18:45

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 · 10/04/2013 18:50

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!

OP posts:
EmmaGellerGreen · 10/04/2013 18:51

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

EmmaGellerGreen · 10/04/2013 18:51

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

Meglet · 10/04/2013 18:54


AnyoneforTurps · 10/04/2013 18:57

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 · 10/04/2013 19:39

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 · 10/04/2013 19:54

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 · 10/04/2013 20:16

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 · 10/04/2013 20:23

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

MammaTJ · 10/04/2013 20:23

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 · 10/04/2013 20:30

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 · 10/04/2013 20:31

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 · 10/04/2013 20:36

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?

cuttingpicassostoenails · 10/04/2013 20:39

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 · 10/04/2013 20:39

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

She must have gone home fecking terrified!

LynetteScavo · 10/04/2013 20:46

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 · 10/04/2013 22:27


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

calmlychaotic · 10/04/2013 22:51

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 · 10/04/2013 23:05

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 · 10/04/2013 23:19

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 · 11/04/2013 07:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk · 11/04/2013 09:32

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 · 11/04/2013 10:05

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!

lljkk · 11/04/2013 10:30

Maybe that's just it. Don't share, especially not with casual acquaintances, if it's near and dear to your heart.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.