This week three women informed me of their childbirth horror stories as soon as they heard my wife was pregnant and getting close to our due date. As I listened to each story playing out, I couldn’t help thinking is this meant to make me feel good about my wife going into labour.
I was never under any illusion that childbirth was a simple process, but I never hear from anyone who had a good pregnancy experience. I now have visions of childbirth closer to that stomach scene out of the film Alien now.
Remembering the negatives
Negative experiences stick in our minds much more vividly than positive ones. This tendency explains why you can always remember those times you went to the loo, only to realise shortly afterwards that you had run out of toilet roll.
There is an excellent article which explains why we recall the few negative memories we’ve had more easily if you are interested in understanding the subject further.
This human tendency might explain why we only hear about the horror stories of childbirth. Mothers with positive stories don’t recall them as much as those who went through hell and back. Therefore, you hear less about them.
Recognition of the experience
Despite close family and friends, I don’t think the subject of childbirth is a topic which comes up often. Parents-to-be must be one of the few cases where you can talk frankly about a painful experience you had to a new audience.
A conversation with a parent-to-be must also act as the perfect trigger for a mother’s own experience. If you had a bad childbirth, then it must be hard not to talk about it
There is also the fact that some mothers literally go through hell to give birth and some don’t.
A few lessons learnt childbirth horror stories
It’s not all bad though; there are some good lessons to be learnt in these stories:
- Every birth plays out differently. Just because some else had a difficult birth doesn’t mean ours will be difficult.
- I am under no illusion that everything will happen like in the movies, it most likely won’t
- I need to make critical decisions; then I need to be able to step in to make decisions when my wife can’t.
- There will be a lot of things that are out of our control, and I will have to accept that and go with the flow.
- One way or another, we end up with a beautiful child. The destination is more important than the journey in this instance.
Hoping for the best
Of course, my wife and I are hoping for an uncomplicated birth. We are both held by what plays out and will respond accordingly to the situation.
Am I unsettled by the childbirth horror stories I have heard? No.
Am I fully away of our circumstances? Yes.
What are my feelings about childbirth horror stories? I am going to have me a beautiful baby Alien, bring it on!