Labor Lore

Should we talk about our delivery stories? Especially to preggos?

This is a question a BFF posed this week. She is expecting her second child in November and emailed in that she was miffed with some woman in her office who proceeded to ramble on and on about her own personal labor story with every excruciatingly painful detail.

This WM friend interrupted her – she just didn’t want to know, especially as she’s rounding the corner to the final weeks of her pregnancy. Part of me was thrown back to days before my own second delivery.

I had a false labor – one that was so powerful it landed me in a delivery room – only to learn it just wasn’t time. It wasn’t until that moment of sitting in the bed, dressed in the gown, with the sitz bath in all its putrid yellow glory squealing my name from the bathroom, that the reality of getting the kid out of me starting settling in. It’s terrifying in those final moments, when you really start to think about it, isn’t it?

So why do people feel compelled to share their stories with others? Especially third tri preggos?

Is it rude?

Or is it a badge of honor? A way we bond with each other? Not to mention, it is such a profoundly moving day – even if you feel like the insides of you are being split into a million pieces – it still is such a profound day that I understand the desire to speak of it later.

What is the protocol here?

I actually don’t think there is a one-size fits all approach here. I mean, we’ve unanimously agreed that it’s best to keep your mouth shut and refrain from commenting on the size of a growing preggo. We’re definitely not sure about whether it’s appropriate or presumptuous to tell a woman you think she looks great when you learn she has a newborn at home, so what about labor?

I think it’s healthy and interesting and normal to discuss it with girlfriends. I respect it when someone doesn’t share because they just might not want to relive it but for the most part, almost everyone I am good friends with has relayed details of their delivery stories with me. Everyone’s experience is so different.

But I think there is definitely a line – is it from the moment you learn someone is preggo or is it just as they’ve crossed the 30 week threshold – is it if they are a first time preggo whereas if they’ve already found their legs in the stirrups and their ass hanging off the table – we figure they can handle it?

I ask you.

Generally I presume that preggos – whether they’ve been there before or not – or whether they have 2 weeks left or 30 weeks left in their pregnancy – just being pregnant seems like enough reason to not openly discuss labor in their presence. They haven’t forgotten that they have to get that baby out some day – and either way you slice it – it’s no sunday walk in the park.

What do you think?

6 Responses to Labor Lore
  1. pregowithhalfasian
    September 10, 2009 | 8:28 pm

    As a 32-week prego second timer I got news for everyone: I still dont want to hear your effing nightmare stories. And for me its always the bad stories.. shaddup, already.. my ears are sealed..

  2. bayareamom2be
    September 10, 2009 | 11:27 pm

    I had a new client call with a women I had never spoken to before and when I told her I was PG, she found it necessary to give me a detailed description of her labor, cervix issues, etc.
    Bizarre.

    I think some women find it theraputic to open up to anybody PG. I’m ok with friends sharing their labor stories, in fact I love to hear every detail. If I haven’t at least shared a cocktail w/you in the past- then shut it.

  3. AP
    September 11, 2009 | 1:20 pm

    I have only been preggo once and when I was close to my due date my coworker strolled over to my desk and told me she had recorded her daughter-in-law giving birth on her cell phone and asked if I wanted to listen to it. I was both mortified and pissed off. The whole thing was bizarre and irritating.

  4. Emma
    September 11, 2009 | 2:13 pm

    I generally only share if I’m asked. This is usually related to specific birth experiences like having a C-Section, epidural, etc. Otherwise, I keep my mouth shut and allow the new mommy to have her own experience. However, I will share a few helpful tidbits about pre and post labor how-to’s. :)

  5. pregowithhalfasian
    September 11, 2009 | 8:06 pm

    when this co-worker got to “and then they were poking and jamming to get the epidural in” it took all my strength not to yell really really loud “shut the f*ck up”… so I covered my ears and tried to be funny about not wanting to hear.. to share when asked is the way to go.. I’m happy to share my first birth story but only if asked.. i’ve never been one to chime in on birth story conversations and Im frankly not interested in hearing others.. thats how I roll..

  6. Nas
    September 29, 2009 | 1:56 pm

    my vote is to keep your trap shut when it comes to telling me how hard and awful it’s going to be….wait till the baby is out if the woman is pg and don’t say a word about how cold it is if she’s about to jump into the pool…..

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