The other day my mum passed me a cut out from the Daily Mail about childbirth. I took one piece at the title which was: “Oh, do stop whinging. The truth is, natural childbirth can be glorious”. My first reaction was to throw it into the bin – after all, leading with a statement like that… to my mind – it was rubbish, and that was clearly where it belonged.
But then curiosity kicked in, and I began to read the words thoughtlessly spilled out by Julia Lawrence.
Yes apparently, her baby was a breeze to birth. Oh well done you! (can you detect the sarcasm in my voice?) – oh congratulations for being able to pop out a baby and take a stroll down to the hospital canteen afterward to get a bowl of soup because you felt fine. Yes, hooray for you for feeling so utterly smug.
I’m so sorry for you that you have had to keep quiet in parenting groups for years because your birth experience did not reflect the more challenging ones of nearly every other mum I know. I can count on one hand the number of mums who have crossed my path – and as a parenting blogger there have been MANY – who had a joyous birth like yours.
Believe me, I wished I had. But the truth is, I felt like hell had burst out in flames inside my body most of the way through my own labour. THAT was my experience of natural birth, and I don’t really talk about it, or “whinge” about it. It’s just a fact.
Yes the odds “might be in your favour” as you say…after all, we’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. But it doesn’t mean that women shout keep schtum about their birth experiences which are less than positive.
I know mums who have almost lost their life in childbirth, who have lost their babies in childbirth, who have been permanently physically changed beyond belief through childbirth, and who have plunged into terrible post natal depression after a traumatic childbirth.
So well done you – yes natural birth can be glorious for some, and that really is fantastic. But please do not tell all others who have not had the pleasure of experiencing such an amazing birth journey that they are “whinging” or that they are trying to out do each other with their painful birth stories. How terribly unsupportive and judgmental of fellow women can you be?
What are your thoughts about such an opinion? Do leave a comment and share. And if you’re interested you can read all about my own birth story here – and no, I’m not whinging.