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Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Fellow Mothers

Dear Fellow Mothers,

Stop telling your labor stories to women who are about to give birth. And if you must tell them, lie. Lie big time. Tell them that your doctor was a genius. That the nurses were sent from heaven. That the contractions were mere twinges. That your hospital bag was perfectly packed. That the epidural worked like a charm. That all tears were happy ones. That your husband was a cheerleader. That the baby came out pink and screaming and got a perfect 10.

Lie. Or zip it.

It just scares people. And childbirth is scary enough on its own. No one needs to know how many stitches you got or how many times you needed to push. No one needs to know how miserable your contractions were or that you made it to seven centimeters before getting your epidural. No one needs to hear that you had an emergency C. No one needs to know that the cord was wrapped around your baby's neck and she didn't cry for the first fifteen seconds of her life. No one needs to know about the catheter or the mucous plug or those disposable undies that you wore. No one needs to know these things.

These things make people nervous. Just like this letter does.

Insecurely yours,


  1. Lol! So true. I actually do not tell my labor stories in part because they were so uneventful. I figure I was really lucky and why set others' expectations for something that is entirely out of anyone's control. One thing that really bugs me is when people act superior about their labors, (eg: I did it drug-free, no c section etc!) I wonder if these same women who see epidurals/c sections as signs of weakness are the ones that judge in the wohms/wahms/sahm forum. To me, childbirth is result oriented, it is not a competition. (the goal is simply to bring home a healthy baby.) I am proud of many things I've done in my life, especially regarding my children, but my labor truly does not rank up there.
    Hope you are enjoying your time away, off to prepare for (10!) 8 year old girls that will descend on our apartment tonight for A's slumber party! (Yes, I am crazy, thank god for wine and the Disney Channel's premiere of the "Princess Protection Program!")

  2. I have to disagree. I believe in telling the honest truth, because not telling it just makes women freak out when they are in the middle of it and things AREN'T going perfectly. I would rather them know that it's perfectly normal to NOT have the birth you expect. And I think it's almost criminal that nobody tells you about the aftermath. Knowing it's coming, IMO, makes the experience less terrifying.

    Guess this is just one area where your mileage may vary. :)


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