My friend Danielle from Keeping Up with the Holsbys wrote a post about a mom who received backlash from other moms (surprise!). This mom, Kirra, belonged to a Moms Facebook group where she described her natural birth story—no medicines, everything according to her birth plan, her ideal delivery. Boasting? To the other members, yes—she was bragging too much.
I’m probably the last person who should weigh in on this topic. Unlike many moms, I saw my birthing process as something that had to be done—a means to an end, if you will. Of course, I wanted to avoid unnecessary or conflicting circumstances (and here’s where I made sure my husband stood as an advocate for me in the hospital room), but I just wanted to meet my future kids in the safest, healthiest and pain-free way possible.
That’s another thing: I never once entertained the idea of not having an epidural. For both deliveries, I requested the epidural as soon as I was admitted. I never attempted to go drug-free to see how long I could last, so I suppose I never felt like I “failed” or didn’t get to reach my goals of going drug-free.
And lastly, my deliveries were complication-free. The doctors did remove blood clots post-delivery (which were more painful than the actual delivery), but otherwise, nothing crazy happened. My doctor even boasted that my delivery of the twins was one of her career highlights!
So when I hear another mom sharing her natural birth story, I don’t assume she’s boasting. I simply think she’s proud of herself for being able to meet her goals.
What about other moms then—and I know plenty—who wanted to have a natural birth but had to forgo that plan because of the pain? They’re not any worse or have less grit because they opted for the drugs (geez, what would that make me, who wanted the drugs right away?).
Would I also think differently if I had tried to go the natural route but ended up taking the drugs? Would I be more miffed to hear another mom’s natural birth story? Or what if I had complications? Or if I expected the birth to feel more magical than it actually did?
I wasn’t in that Facebook group. I would have to hear this mom’s tone of voice. If she was spouting words that seemed “holier than thou” for forgoing medications, if she made others feel weak, or if she disrespected others’ choices or circumstances, then yes, I would be irked.
Otherwise, no. She should share her successful birth story. Imagine a group of dieters. One person meets her goal of losing 20 pounds while the others still have a ways to go, or worse, have gained weight instead. The dieter who achieved her goal shouldn’t be made to feel worse for sharing her success story… so long as she shared tactfully and respectfully.
It’s how you celebrate, “success” or not. And how and what you say to those around you.
Your turn: What do you think? Are moms boasting when they share their natural birth stories? How do you react to moms who share natural births? What was your birth story and how does it compare to what you originally imagined? Let me know in the comments!
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