Let me express a few opinions on the topic of giving birth. Actually, on the topic of telling stories about giving birth. This is what I have observed about women who have gone through childbirth: the stories of their labor and delivery are badges of honor. When you gather a group of young mothers the conversation will inevitably turn to birth stories. It quickly becomes a competition. And there are rules about what constitutes a "winning" birth story. Here are some guidelines to follow if you want your birth story to top all others:
1) The length of labor is key. There are two ways to win in this category - having an agonizing and slow labor, preferably with several false alarms, or having a lightning fast labor. The fast labor story seems to be the current trend, so don't think you have a chance of competing in the category unless your baby was born within 15 minutes of parking the car (while being wheeled to the delivery room is preferable). Naturally, if you have your baby IN the car, you are an undisputed birth story champ.
2) The behavior of your husband is an important element. You get more mileage out of insensitive behavior than anything. Things like husbands leaving the hospital to get an In N Out burger and bringing it back to the hospital just in time for the delivery and eating it as you push away because he just can't let an In N Out burger get cold score big points. You get the idea. Stories about husbands amazingly sensitive behavior are impressive, but don't score as many points because people feel you then had an unfair advantage in the birthing scenario.
3) Medication is a must. For discussion, that is. If you had some, it is best to have had some strange reaction to it or some mistreatment during it's administration by medical staff to liven your story up. If you didn't have any, people tend to feel threatened. Not having any is best received when it is accompanied by an amazingly fast delivery story as discussed in point #1.
Of course, after the baby is born the game continues. Contests over who is surviving on the least amount of sleep, whose baby wins the prize for most colicky, and the nursing sagas I have heard are a whole separate category.
My point here, Amanda, is, take what you hear about giving birth, good and bad, with a grain of salt. No one else will have the same story you will have, but in the end, you will be an official player in the exciting game of My Labor and Delivery.
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