Birthing Horror Stories and Why We Tell Them

I’ve heard it from my pregnant friends time and time again.

“All people ever want to tell me is their horror stories about giving birth. I don’t wanna hear that crap!”

“Why are all these moms being so negative?!”

“Doesn’t any woman have anything positive to say about her labor?”

Forgive us, soon-to-be-moms, for we have sinned.

Yes, indeed, we veteran mothers can be a splash gruesome in the telling of our birthing tales. And it may seem like all we tell you is The Bad Stuff. But I promise, we are not out to offend. In fact, in our twisted little exhausted hearts, we believe we are trying to help you, to prepare you for the possibility that things may not go as you planned. Please do not haul off and slap us when we are blathering on about our 50-hour labors. (But if you do make it a good solid WHAM so we are knocked unconscious and then maybe can sneak in a few hours of actual solid sleep.)

Motherhood is, if nothing else, the breaking down of your old self and the rebuilding of a new one. And the new one ain’t always pretty. Or rested. Or happy. Or maybe even sane.

Every new mom goes through the painful shedding of her life past, and slowly climbs back up the mountain to figure out who she is now. It’s beautiful; it’s painful.

So when we are regaling you with those Tales of Gore, we think we are doing you a favor by giving you The Real Deal. What we’re trying to say, with every story about hemorrhoids and perineal tears, is that, in this next chapter, you matter less than that little person who’s currently so comfortable tucked inside you. And that’s okay. And you will actually end up feeling fuller for it, even though you will be giving more than you ever have.

So forgive us, pregnant friends, for our seeming pessimism. Maybe it’s the exhaustion, the hormones, or the disappointment over the fact that our boobs just never ended up in the same place after kids. But we mean well. Forgive us.

But now that I’ve got your attention, I have the craziest story to tell you…

Was this before or after the epidural wore off and I was wishing I would just die? Can’t recall…

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