Not trying to piss in your cheerios or anything

I’ve noticed a trend lately of people trying to make child-birth look like a cake walk to those that are about to pop out their first kid.
As you all know from this blog, I am not a fan of glossing over the facts or sugar-coating anything, ESPECIALLY when it comes to children and how it feels to push one out of your body.

I never had anyone tell me that it was going to be ‘easy’, but there were a lot of things I saw on TV that made me think it wasn’t going to be as hard as it was.
Shows like ‘A Baby Story’ were the main contributors to this line of thinking. There are far more episodes where the woman walks into the hospital calmly, gets her epidural, and has a smooth easy delivery than there are of episodes of women screaming and hyperventilating and crying about the pain- that’s for damn sure. It was definitely misleading for me. Watching those shows allowed me to think my birth would go off without a hitch just like those, especially since I didn’t have any complications like gestational diabetes or placenta previa. Sure, I had high blood pressure, but that just meant an early induction. No biggie, right?

Unfortunately for me, the skewed version I had of childbirth made the entire experience pretty traumatizing. The early contractions I had were NOTHING compared to the intense ones that hit once active labor really started to kick in. I was so ready for the epidural, was ready to sit back and relax and sleep for a little while before I had to do any of the hard work of pushing a baby through my birth canal.
That didn’t happen for me.
As soon as I got the epidural, it was time to push. I don’t remember whether it was because it took the anesthesiologist so long to get to my room (thanks a lot, turd!) or because my labor was progressing so quickly- probably a little bit of both- but I was NOT prepared, and the epidural did not work. I kept clicking that little button to administer more drugs (don’t worry, they won’t let you OD on the stuff) and nothing was working. The pain was still just as bad, and the pressure wasn’t letting up at all.
I know I have ranted about having to have an episiotomy, but if it weren’t for the local they gave me down there before snipping my shizz, I would have felt EVERYTHING. It would have been like natural childbirth. Even the local really only took a little bit of the edge off. I wasn’t numb, it wasn’t pain free.. I ended up having to wear an oxygen mask because I literally couldn’t handle the pain.. and I have a pretty decent pain tolerance, or so I thought.

The point is- not all births are a cake walk. If you had an easy childbirth, with relatively no pain after the epidural (or even in general), and got the baby out in a few pushes- good for you.. but let’s get one thing straight- NOT all births are like that. In fact, most of the women I know who have popped out a kid or two (and I know a lot from my days of being on mommy message boards) had a much harder time than that..
So when I see people telling my friends that giving birth will be ‘EASY once you get the epidural!!’ it bothers the hell out of me.

For me, i’d much rather someone be brutally honest with me about the facts of labor, what can go wrong, what MIGHT happen, how painful it will be, etc etc, then telling me how simple it will be and how easy it was for them- and then my time comes to deliver and i’m completely blindsided by how much pain it is, and how hard it is, and how different it is than had been described to me previously.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, that’s my motto.

I think it’s a lot better to go in thinking it’s going to be worse than it actually is and being pleasantly surprised, then going in thinking it’s going to be an easy process and freaking out when labor just isn’t what you thought it would be. Am I the only one??

These women that gloss over things really don’t appreciate me being honest about it either. They think i’m just miss ‘Negative Nancy’, trying to freak people out.. it’s really the opposite. I’m telling my friends the truth because I care, because I think they deserve to know the facts. I don’t exaggerate, i’m not trying to scare anyone, i’m just trying to make sure my friends are completely prepared. I’ll never stop doing that. People who know me, should know not to come to me for advice unless they want the brutally honest truth. It might not be pretty, but what I say is fact.
My friends also shouldn’t expect me to gloss over things just to make them feel better. That’s just not who I am, and i’d hope that it doesn’t hurt their feelings or make them think i’m trying to be mean just by being honest. When I see someone getting sugar shitted all over them, I have this strong urge to go and hit it with the hose. I might not be so forward with it if I weren’t pregnant and irritable, but i’d definitely be thinking it.

Posted on July 12, 2009 by Holdin' Holden 4 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Both my epi’s weren’t perfect. Not only did they make me shake uncontrollably, with Marcus I couldn’t feel where I was pushing AT ALL and ended up needing forcepts to help me get him out because I was so exhausted I was to the point of almost blacking out with every push. Episiotomies SUCK! so does pushing for 2 hours.

    With Jamesen, I had a point on the right side of my uterus that still felt everything and even though I was numb everywhere else, the pressure was unbearably uncomfortable and I was stuck laying there on my back or side and couldn’t get comfortable. It was like, painful how uncomfortable I was. At least I got him out in only 10 minutes 🙂

  • That pressure feeling is the worst. I was forced to lay on my left side pretty much my entire ‘active’ labor with Holden and uterus did NOT like the left side, lemme tell you.

    I worry about the whole epidural situation this time around, or the labor process being really long- but what can you do? No one knows how it’s gonna be until they get there! I just hope pitocin is NOT involved this time.

  • It’s a good thing that you don’t sugar coat things for people. In the end, most people would rather appreciate perfect honesty rather than getting to hear what they want. Although that person might not want to hear it, or take your advice to heart, when they finally realize that what you’re saying is correct, they will appreciate it.

    I refer a lot to relationship advice more so than pregnancy. I have had some pretty brutal honesty when it comes to relationships before. Although I refused to listen to it at the time, it ended up being that their advice had me appreciate my friends more.

    Hopefully, pregnancy advice is heeded with more caution.

  • It definitely seems to be one of those things you don’t understand until you go through it yourself. I kept getting told how much the contractions would hurt and whatnot, but none of really sunk in until it all started to happen.

    I agree with Thomas. They may not understand or appreciate it now, but I bet you they will once they have gone through it!!