So my friends, I’ve been thinking, why is it that we feel the need to share all of the bad stuff about parenting with expectant parents? sleep while you can, you’ll never sleep again……you think it’s bad NOW being pregnant, wait till the sleep regression/teeth/separation anxiety…..then they roll…..or crawl…..and walk. Each stage is some sort of terrible badge! Poor new parents!
Let’s take labour for instance.
I wasn’t actually that nervous (shoulda been!?!). My mum had a good experience with labour (albeit all 10.5 pounds of me!) I enjoyed our antenatal group training and learnt a lot, but with our nearest fully-fledged hospital two and a half hour’s drive away, I was constantly laughing off stories of people having to stop at other smaller units on the way down because the baby was Coming, or even worse they had the baby ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! I’m not sure if I really needed to hear this?
While I was pregnant with my first, Hunter, I heard stories of ambulance transfers, epidurals failing, horrendous emergency c-sections, not to mention pooing, vomiting and lengthy, tiring labours, as well as quick and painful ones. I was a magnet for labour stories, even a quick trip to the shop would bring forth some woman with her story. Milk, eggs, ham, oh, hello, ventouse birth story. Maybe it’s cause I was heavily pregnant. Maybe people just love to share this stuff?
I’ve had one difficult labour and one relatively straightforward one. One day I’ll probably write about them coz, sheesh, I love a good birth story as much as the next person but when the subject comes up with a pregnant woman I try and gloss over the negatives and focus on the positives. I talk about the power of our bodies, that we are in charge of our decisions, that we have as much support available to us while in labour as we desire. I remind them to be flexible with their birth plan. I try and be helpful. TAKE A HAIR TIE and ALL THE SNACKS.
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love a good laugh and like to try and see the humour in most things but there is an element of fear around something the size of a, what is it?, watermelon coming out of the space of a lemon? So let’s empower these women. Our friends. Our sisters. Let’s prepare them for one of the scariest things they may go through in life with love and positivity, because if something doesn’t go to plan during labour, then hopefully they feel they have the tools to deal with it. Having an encyclopedia of war stories before you’ve even started isn’t always the best preparation for welcoming a new life.