It amazes me that people are so forthcoming with their most traumatic and horrific stories when talking to pregnant women. I’ve had students literally call me in tears and near-panic over something their sister’s-cousin’s-wife told them about her labor experience.
Here’s the sum of this post – if you had a horrible, post-traumatic-stress-inducing experience at the hospital that almost killed you, your child or your doctor, I probably don’t want to hear about it if I’m about to have a baby myself.
That’s akin to telling someone at the boarding gate, “Have a nice flight! Last time I was on a plane the pilot was drunk, the wings fell off and we all had to parachute out.”
I had a conversation recently that went something like this:
Grocery Store Stranger: “I had four children. I stopped after that because first I almost died when the doctor missed my placenta and then I had an infection for two weeks and almost died from that and then my baby was in the nursery without me and a nurse gave him a formula that he had an allergic reaction to even though I was supposed to be breastfeeding and then when I got him home I found out my counsin almost died from that same hospital because the doctor wasn’t there in time and the nurse had to catch the baby. So just be careful, you know what I mean?”
Me: “Actually I’m having a home birth so I’ll have my midwife here the entire time I’m in labor – she never leaves.”
Grocery Store Stranger: “Oh.”
Grocery Store Stranger: “I have an aunt who went into labor and wound up having her baby at home by accident and it was awful because…..”
Here’s a hint – try saying “Congratulations! You’re going to be a fabulous mother!” and keep the horror stories to yourself. Chances are, I don’t want to hear them.
Have you experienced a pregnancy horror story ambush?
More reasons to ignore the horror stories: 10 “Unsafe” Things I Did While Pregnant