Why is it that...

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Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672
Why is it that...

...everybody feels like they have to tell me the most horrible labour and birth stories they have ever heard with all the gory details? I have yet to hear one positive story :(. This includes people I know, people I don't know, people that have many kids and people that have never given birth!!! (Those just creatively draw on stories they have heard from others). This usually includes helpful tips like: "Make sure you don't give birth too fast because I did and ripped all the way from A to B and couldn't walk properly for a month". Thanks, I'll keep that in mind and keep my legs crossed so baby doesn't come out too fast!

As a FTM I am already scared of the whole birthing process and this abundance of terrifying stories has made it much worse. Sometimes when I lie awake at night that's all I can think about. I have started asking people politely to please stop as soon as I notice where the conversation is going but sometimes they sneak one in before I can say anything. It would never occur to me to think of a horrid story to tell someone about a condition they have or a situation they are in... don't people realize it is scary???

My favorite was when my SIL (who has never been pregnant) told me about her friend who tore horribly and then said it was her own fault because of how the girl handled her labour (she wanted to be free to move around and labour in various positions - all good things in my book).

This is starting to really bother me - anybody else experience this?

HaganBaby's picture
Joined: 10/17/07
Posts: 334

Yeah I've been getting tons of these. I saw this blog and it helped me chuckle. Now I just walk away when people start in on the horror stories.


Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

No, but only because I think people know I don't need to hear it as I've given birth before. I was the first one of all of my friends to give birth, so no one had any advice lol! I really think it's because you're a FTM that people are so keen on telling you their horror stories (not that it makes it right or OK!). (warning graphic talk ahead!)Honestly the best thing to do if you're worried about tearing or an episiotomy is to have DH rub your perinium with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to stretch out the skin... and frequent sex helps too, lol! I have a good story if you need to hear one!

With DD, I was induced due to a lot of pressure just walking around. They broke my water around 11:30AM, I duked it out with the contractions for about an hour after that, got my epi (which is Heaven lol), and around 3:30 I felt the need to push, I was 10CM so we were good, and five minutes later she was born! I loved the fact that even though I had the epi I could still feel the urge to push without the pain, so I was very focused on just getting her out and into my arms. She came right up to me and was beautiful from birth!

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

Thanks for the funny link Biggrin
I wasn't really worried about tearing until people kept telling me how horrible it was!! UGH! Thanks for the tips Krystal, will have to keep them in mind! Next time someone tells me a horrible tearing story I will just casually remark: "well, maybe if you'd had more sex that wouldn't have happened" :D:D:D!
Also thanks for the positive birth story - it's so nice to hear some of those too!

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

Wow. I'd say read other birth stories here in sept oct nov when they get around to it to get a real idea of what could happen. then just take other peoples stories as just stories which may or may not be true.

_Jessicah_'s picture
Joined: 04/21/11
Posts: 1973

I guess it's because horror stories stick out more than good stories. Take the news for example. They are quick to tell you the disgusting stuff going on in the world but the good stories are put on the back burner and you rarely hear them.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

"PAmom2boys" wrote:

Wow. I'd say read other birth stories here in sept oct nov when they get around to it to get a real idea of what could happen. then just take other peoples stories as just stories which may or may not be true.

This also! I'm always lurking in the other birth boards when it comes time for those ladies to have their babies! I love reading all of their stories!

fireflies11's picture
Joined: 03/26/11
Posts: 613

Good news is, it gets better with #2!
Seriously, WHY do people feel the need to "educate" first time mom's???

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

Yes I have been reading other people's birth stories on this site and it's nice because they don't just talk about the horrible parts. I have no idea why people feel the need to "educate" FTMs on all the stuff that could go wrong. I am well aware of that through my own reading etc. I almost feel like some people revel in telling you the most horrible things. I have no clue why but it truly bothers me.

Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703

It does happen but I guess I just don't take it personally. Everyone who has given birth to a 10-lb baby needs to repeat that story one more time to get a little more sympathy out of it ... I can understand that, I probably would, too! I also just feel like there's enough to worry about that I can't think too far ahead to birth when I'm only just starting to even think about that. My OBs really wouldn't talk about it at all before viability.

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

I agree!!!! Horror stories don't really freak me out too much as I am just choosing to believe it will all go well (lol), but you know what I just DON'T want to gory details and they all seem to come at me while I'm eating!! A lot of the times it is really bordering on seriously inappropriate and I am too polite or something to excuse myself gracefully from the conversation. So I think I just sit there looking pained, and since they're telling a horror story that just eggs them on. So ridiculous! I hate all this "education" I am supposed to need from everyone and their mother (no pun intended) and allllllll the unsolicited advice!!!

Wow, that was a rant! Sorry about that lol, I think this post struck a chord with me today!

mlle_carrie's picture
Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1134

I have been very fortunate in that I have not heard many horror stories. I guess the thing that scares me most is that the hospital or midwives or nurses won't let me labor the way I would like to. That's why I plan to have DH to be the heavy for me. LOL. I think one of the reasons people share their stories is because it is like a rite of passage. I think most women would agree (at least the ones I've talked to) that it is one of most difficult experiences they have gone through and I think they are proud of what they've done, particularly if they had a difficult birth. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to share stories in a tactful way. I know that before I became pregnant it used to pain me that I might never be able to talk about pregnancy or childbirth with my mom, or sisters, or friends.

But all that being said, I completely understand where you are coming from because I am a FTM too. I think the others gave great advice, like reading positive birth stories. I tend to take Hilary's approach by just believing that things will all work out and be fine...and no matter what, you will have your sweet little baby in the end. I'm not sure how you feel about meds, but I know that as much as I would love to have a natural childbirth, I am not going to close the door on the possiblity of an epidural if I feel that I need it in the heat of the moment. I think that also helps me to be a little less scared...just knowing that I have that option it I need it.

I hope you are able to get all those horror stories out of your mind and soon enough (yikes!) we'll all be sharing our own stories. Smile

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

You guys are right, people might feel like it's a rite of passage and maybe some of them want sympathy. I just always wonder what goes through someone's head who tells a horrible, way-too-personal, "worst experience of my life" type story to someone who's about to go through the same process. Kind of like telling someone who's about to get on their first plane ride of all the horrible plane crash stories you can think of.

I suppose telling these stories is more for people's own satisfaction than for my benefit. The ones that really do bother me most are those of people that have never given birth but feel the need to tell me about someone else's misery. I have made a resolution that I will absolutely not do this to anyone ever, even if my story ends up scary, no matter how much sympathy I would like. Also, that's a pretty personal subject and I don't think I would love the state of my perineum to be the topic of horror stories for other First Time Mom's To Be. Wink

I am at peace (and excited) about giving birth and whatever happens happens. I am also not averse to medications should I need them. I plan to use hypnobabies techniques and hope it will give me something to work with during labour. But having scary stories constantly shoved in my face is tiresome and I had to rant.

I can't wait to share our stories... it's approaching quickly!!!:D

mlle_carrie's picture
Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1134

"science_gal" wrote:

I have made a resolution that I will absolutely not do this to anyone ever, even if my story ends up scary, no matter how much sympathy I would like. Also, that's a pretty personal subject and I don't think I would love the state of my perineum to be the topic of horror stories for other First Time Mom's To Be. Wink

Yes! I think that these stories are best to be shared with veteran mommies and not First Time Moms. I mean, I guess it's good to be prepared with the possibilities, but jeez...sounds like you've had enough!

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

*Lurker from Oct. 2011*

This is my 2nd and I still get horror stories especially since I'm having a drug free natural birth this time. Everybody proceeds to tell me how crazy I am and start describing the pain they had. I'm doing HypnoBirthing and they teach you to not pay any attention to horror stories. I have my personal reasons for wanting a natural birth and I wish people would just respect that decision.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377


I find the stories interesting when they are presented as fact but not when they are being told to scare you.

Both my labours have been very fast and unmedicated. While the pain was the most I've ever felt, it is totally worth it. It is amazing how fast you go from being in the most pain and feeling like it will never end to feeling great (as soon as the baby is out!).

Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 707


This is baby number 6 for me, all but my DD were born vaginally and I have NEVER torn....I do not have any horror delivery stories.

My 1st I delivered twins vaginally with no pain meds with 12 hours of labor...in fact I NVER felt a contrax. My 2nd preg I delivered an 8 lbs baby boy an hour and 56 min after arriving at the hospital. When I got there i was already 7 cm dialated. Again no pain meds and never really felt a contraction (even with being given pitocin). My DD was a c section JUST because she was breech (no emergency situation). My 4th preg (5th baby) was induced 2 weeks late and I was able to VBAC my almost 9 lber with a 14.5 in head (with no tears) they had be do "controlled pushing". He was born alittle over 5 hours after I was hooked up. He took the longest on the pushing front at a whooping 12 minutes of pushing.

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

Thanks for the positive stories ladies :D:D I know they had to be out there!

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

Yea, people would try to tell me their horrible birth stories at first and I just started to tell people I didn't want to hear about it. I don't know why they feel compelled to do that, but that is horrible. I had a GREAT birth and I think you just need to block that negativity out and focus on your own manifestation.

I saw a girl at the airport and she started talking to me about being pregnant and such, told me she was 2 months along, that she was scared of contractions and birth bc of this very reason. I tried to help change her mind. Birth is a beautiful, unique experience, and not every woman is going to have the same story, even with subsequent births! This birth will be way different than that of my son.

I really think mind over matter is very powerful, so just visualize what you want to happen and maintain your positive outlook on it. I also think it is great to have a birth plan, but you will be so much happier if you are flexible with it. How can you be sure you wouldn't want an epi (not that i"m saying you don't, just an example), if you have never given labor! Or if you don't know you are going to have back labor! Just block those people out girlie and imagine what you want it to be and repeat that to yourself every day. :bighug: