Hello to all,
I am addressing all of the moms out there who are currently pregnant and about to give birth. I previously wrote about birthing horror stories which you can find here: https://www.mentalmillennialmom.com/post/birthing-horror-stories-don-t-put-me-down-for-that
I am still baffled about how it seems people are compelled to share all of their gory details with us as soon as they find out about our impending births: see here. I made my feelings about these overshares very clear as I am completely opposed to any details about your vagina tearing or you shitting on the table, I just don’t need to know these details. My mind has already come up with enough terrible scenarios and I don’t need anyone to add to my mounting anxiety. From the moment, I became pregnant I was bombarded with advice, from how to cope with nausea to what to eat or avoid, how to prepare for birth, which books to read, and then finally different ways to rear the baby.
It is overwhelming and makes the situation that much more frightening, people give their opinions and advice and expect you to take it as they are more experienced in this than you are. They wait for your praise and thanks when really all I want to do is tell them to shut up. Sorry to be blunt here but I know for a fact that every baby is different, every labor is different, and just because you were throwing up all day long does not mean I will be. Sometimes the advice is reassuring things like you can’t break them, or all they really need is love and attention but other times it seems to just be a way for them to make you feel like you are totally incompetent or that they have all of the secrets to parenthood and you are just this knocked up idiot who will f*ck up their child without their guidance.
As I stated in my blog about birthing horror stories this has recently become the number one topic that has come up as my duet date approaches closer, even those without children like to tell me about the nightmare their friends experienced when giving birth. But as irritating as this is the one thing that pushes my buttons far more than the rest is those holistic mammas out there or even worse the ones with no children who tell you that you are incredibly selfish if you want to get an epidural or any drugs to help in the birthing process. They spout out things like women’s have been doing this since the beginning of time and they didn’t need drugs, our bodies are made for this, we are warriors. Like lady whoopee for you, I think what you did was badass and you are amazing but I have MY OWN BIRTHING PLAN! I know what I want, I have done the research I also know that I am much more likely to suffer from post-partum because of my mental illness. Therefore, adding painful labor where I am miserable cannot exactly help me to bond with my baby. I am not saying I would ever resent my child for my labor being hard but I do know that there have been studies linking those who wanted an epidural and got one to have lower rates of postpartum depression. Obviously, it is not a cure-all, but I do know myself I know how I tolerate pain and I grow up enough to realize what I can and can’t handle.
Judging other women for their choices when it comes to parenting is just uncalled for, everyone tells you that parenting is the hardest job in the world. Kids will test your limits, they will wear on your patience, and sometimes you will feel like you just want the ground to cave in and swallow you whole. But we are also told that is the most magical job in the world and the only one without a salary that is worth every midnight wake-up call and being covered in bodily fluids that are not your own. How many other jobs can people say the same thing about their positions? I will give you a hint…. NONE! That being said because motherhood/fatherhood are such difficult jobs why do we feel the need to call out every one or compare ourselves to each other. Telling me you went through 30 hours of labor without a single dose of medication does make you a warrior in my mind, but it also does not make you any better of a mother than the women who burst into the emergency room demanding every drug available to her. So please for the love of God (or whoever you believe in or don’t believe in) stop telling women that they need to grin and bear it, that they are not going to experience the miracle of life, or that they are somehow selfish or less of a mother for wanting a bit of help to make their delivery smoother and less painful.
Living in Hungary I also have the added bonus of westernized medicine not being readily available. I mean it is not a third-world country by any means but hospitals are far less equipped than they were built over a hundred years ago. I have also heard from many that your access to things like epidurals is almost nonexistent as they are not as practiced here. I am sorry but to me this is complete shit, I am all up for the heroic women who want to endure a natural birth and grin and bear it through the pain just to say they conquered labor. These women are my goddamn heroes. However, I know even now I do not want to be one of them. I am all for being pumped up with every drug known to man and having the easiest labor I can have. In fact, if I could just get punched in the face and wake up with them handing me the baby hours later I would gladly accept this.
I am just not built for pain in that way, a shot I can handle. 15 to 30 hours of intense pain followed by pushing something the size of a watermelon out of my hole that is the size of a lemon just does not sound humane. Please do not guilt me or shame me here as I feel absolutely no guilt about this choice. My Doula has tried to offer me books on breathing techniques and mediation to help with the labor and I laughed hysterically at the thought. I do not participate in meditation and the one time I went to a yoga class the breathing portion lead me into a hyper-aware state that ended in a panic attack.
For those of you mammas out there who did or did not have any drug interventions let’s celebrate your stories! Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back because either way you did something amazing and now you have a perfect little person to show for it. Please leave a comment because I want to hear your thoughts on birth, do you think we judge each other too harshly? Or do you completely disagree with everything I said? One way or the other I want to hear from you.
Signing off until next time,
The Mental Millennial Mom