I alluded to this in my Sharing The News blog post, but I have been really overwhelmed by the amount of people who seem determine to scare the hell out of you with every single horror story they’ve ever heard about giving birth. Maybe these people want you to get plenty of practice screaming and crying in before you go into labour (or even so you get used to these sounds when baby arrives). Maybe they got confused and thought being completely panicked all the way through your pregnancy would actually help rather than hinder you. There must be some sort of well-meaning thought behind their tales surely, otherwise why would so many people be doing it? I refuse to believe that everyone I’ve come into contact with is simply mean.
It just doesn’t make sense in any way, shape or form. There is no other burning need in any other conversation to bring out a raft of terrible, sweat-inducing stories. I’m getting on a plane soon to go on holiday, we all know sadly some don’t make it to their destination, still I haven’t had one single person sit down and recount every single plane crash they’ve ever heard about on the news. That’s an extreme example, I hear you say (play along with me), most people don’t know someone first hand who’s been in those circumstances. Okay, think back to the last time you had a job interview – was everyone fairly supportive, uttering phrases like ‘you’ll do great’, ‘I’m sure you’ll get the job’ etc? Or did they tell you about a time someone didn’t get the job because they passed out/threw up on the interviewer/couldn’t answer a question etc. Everyone knows someone who’s had a bad interview experience, telling someone about to have an interview isn’t considered the right time to share that.
So why when someone’s about to give birth is it all of a sudden like some sort of teenage sleepover, with each participant attempting to horrify the others with some gory story – the more blood, guts and near-death experiences the better? Here’s a simple idea: if a mother-to-be asks you what your labour was like, yes be honest but maybe don’t give a warts-and-all three-hour blow-by-blow account of every tiny terrifying part of the ordeal. ‘I had to have forceps which wasn’t great but she was perfectly healthy which is the main thing and you soon forget about the pain’ is more than adequate! If a mother-to-be doesn’t ask you what your labour was like, they probably don’t want to know. They definitely never want to know about your cousin’s step-mother’s sister’s third degree tear, thanks.
Have you been guilty of oversharing? Do you think it should be okay to staple people’s mouths shut when they start talking about so-and-so’s horrible labour? Comment below!
Harriet and bump x