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Old 03-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

Ok, so I love my mil dearly but this is really annoying.

I had my book from my birthing naturally class open on the table and she saw the page talking about labor pain and felt it necessary to tell me that labor is an 11 out of 10... she had 2 epis. I just sorta said ok and ignored it bc i'm planning a nat birth and i don't need any negative energy. Dh, bless his heart, chimed in and said "only during the transition phase, it's not all terrible".

Ugh, this is the same woman who told me I would wean ds when he got teeth even though she never bf'ed. Like I said I love her like my 2nd mom but we have different views on some things. It just seems like she feels insecure about her own experiences and wants to, i dunno, diminish mine.

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Old 03-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

I don't know why some people do that. It REALLY makes me mad. I was considering an induction, and had to actually ask for only good experiences just because I had heard 100x the bad ones I needed for a lifetime. I understand not everyone has GOOD experiences with everything.. but it sure isin't fun to scare someone with a horror story or especially tell them labor is going to be painful (like we don't know that already). And honestly, I think some women don't have that painful of labors (bless their souls, I'm jealous).

I've had 1 epi birth, and 2 all natural births (1 homebirth). All healthy, wonderful babies. While there was a little more pain with no meds, my recovery was AWESOME. Since I didn't have an epi, I was on my feet right after birth. I took a shower, got dressed, relaxed. Even though I may consider an epi with this delivery, I know that if I stay strong and have a natural delivery, my recovery will be so much better. So we'll see. Don't worry!! Next time she says something, just say "Well, some women handle pain different than others", and hopefully she will get that you are implying maybe you can handle pain better than her.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

IMO some women really believe that labor is like that and that's how it is for everyone. My mom believes that she almost died in labor with me so she was honestly scared for me going to a birth center (which was a lie, I was planning a HB but didn't want to deal with her issues).

IMO I also think part of it is misery likes company and partly it's out of their paradigm. I swear some women are just miserable about things and want to let you know you're going to be miserable just like them - of course it's not fair any other way .

As for the 'out of paradigm' part, no one really believes me that I had a pain free labor with DD. It used to infuriate me that my friends basically thought I was being dishonest and being a liar. But we need to understand that somethings are outside their 'box' so to speak. Growing up here in the US, they've watched videos in high school about how terrible labor it (I still remember that baby crowning in that video from when I was 15), their mothers have told them how awful it was to birth them, they've watched the tv shows with women screaming for more drugs and being rushed to the ER, and some of these women have given birth and really were in agony or felt like they were dying. One friend in particular has been programmed this way and had two terrible L&D experiences, now for her to believe that pain free labor is possible and natural... There are so many barriers to break down. Emotional - Perhaps she feels that she did it 'wrong', feels lied to about the birthing process. Experience - 'That cannot be possible because I've been through it and it hurt like hell'. It's easier to say that I'm lying than to evaluate and process the information as it hits too close to home for her.

Even if I were to have a terrible experience, I sure wouldn't go telling pregnant moms about it because I KNOW that it's not all like that, where the woman you're referring to has no idea. It helps so much after your first so you can say something back. I love when women say something to me and I can tell them that I had a relatively short and completely pain free labor with DD. They get SO uncomfortable, they don't know what to do with themselves and just stare for a couple seconds before they compose themselves.


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Originally Posted by mommyria2 View Post
Ok, so I love my mil dearly but this is really annoying.

I had my book from my birthing naturally class open on the table and she saw the page talking about labor pain and felt it necessary to tell me that labor is an 11 out of 10... she had 2 epis. I just sorta said ok and ignored it bc i'm planning a nat birth and i don't need any negative energy. Dh, bless his heart, chimed in and said "only during the transition phase, it's not all terrible".

Ugh, this is the same woman who told me I would wean ds when he got teeth even though she never bf'ed. Like I said I love her like my 2nd mom but we have different views on some things. It just seems like she feels insecure about her own experiences and wants to, i dunno, diminish mine.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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If I have ever told my horror stories, it was meants as a warning to hopefully help women avoid what happened to me. But I try to always follow up with the next birth story (which was a great induction, BTW), or my plans for this one (all natural).
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

Yeah this is my 2nd, but I never labored with the first. He was a c/s due to complete previa. So I really have no idea what I'm in for. I have read a bunch of books and birth stories (thank you Ina May!), I have my doula, a supportive husband, and from what I can tell, the best health care providers in the area - seriously 2 obs and 6 mws and they are all amazing and supportive of my natural vbac (maybe waterbirth). So I'm not scared at all. I feel educated and empowered, thank you very much. I'm not going to let stupid comments affect me I just can't stand when women feel it necessary to snipe at each other over how one gives birth. We are all in this together and can all benefit from being supportive no matter how one chooses to give birth.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

I had great labor/delivery. Both natural hospital births. With my first I had a lot of fear (due to all the horror stories I had heard...so I did get some pain meds...but no epi) But I know that's not always the norm. I appreicated people telling me their story...just so I knew maybe what "could" happen...but I hated it when people would tell me their stories like they were wearing their terrible experience like a badge of honor. It was never "I hope this doesn't happen to you." Or "I'll be praying your experience is totally different."

Why can't I expect an easy deliver? Why can't I expect that my body can and will handle things the way it should? Could things go wrong? Absolutely. But there's no reason to scare the daylights out of someone!
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

like a pp said, i think some women think that labor/delivery was the worse experience of their life and is for all women (aside from getting a new baby) and sometimes it was al natural, sometimes not b/c of various reasons, a lot of which stem from "helpful" interventions that they thought were helping things along.

So then, the cycle repeats itself b/c women have heard how awful it is, think about the painful journey they are going to part on, and the FEAR itself makes the pain 10X worse....BUT if you go into labor with the calming midset of "the is normal, this is natural, there is nothing wrong with what is happening" etc, you are more likely to be able to cope with the contractions (aka surges of energy bringing your baby down and opening it's path to the world- hippyish but say it during labor to yourself and tell me it doesn't help)
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

I was at a baby shower this past weekend and the mom had asked for everyone to write out their birth stories so she could read them. This is her second baby, but had a c-section with her first because of a breech positioned baby. She is planning on going med free, so I chose only to write about my positive, med-free birth. I didn't feel like she needed to read about the horrible, intervention-filled, epi birth. So I chose not to share that story

I think because some women truly have a horrible, horrible, experience they can't imagine anyone wanting to go through what they did. So maybe they are trying to convince you to do what you can to avoid that at all costs? But unfortunately, when someone is really wanting to try for a natural med free birth, those are NOT the stories we need to hear! We need positive stories going through our heads not the horrible ones!
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

I think there are very few places where women can talk about their birth experience and be supported. Very few people ask and even fewer listen. I think women who share traumatic stories are looking for empathy and a way to own their experience which was most likely, the least powerful and in control they've ever felt.

My first two births were beautiful and stories that would reassure expectant mothers. My third birth was traumatic and would not be helpful for others to hear. I still need an outlet to talk about it. Thankfully, I have a large support network, but I can see how challenging it would be for others who do not.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: Why do women like to scare each other about labor?

I disagree. Lets not sugar coat things ladies. its hard HARD work, labor no matter how you go about it. Being positive and sharing your experience with another woman is a great way to connect, bond and hopefully give her some insight on something she may not be familiar with. Sometimes things dont go as planned, and your in pain and your on back, and it sucks... some people choose to focus only on that aspect of thier labor... to each thier own. However, it is what it is.
LABOR.
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