Getting pregnant and having babies seems to be this amazing time where women bond and support each other in a really amazing socio-biological way. It’s also a time of TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
There are two distinct types of TMI associated with this:
1. Pregnancy gripes oversharing
Before getting pregnant, I was amazed at how other pregnant women would have no problems in telling me their stories of conception, leaky boobs, lack of sex drive and bowel movements. It flabbergasted me.
Fast forward to MY pregnancy, and not only do I regularly find myself regularly telling people stuff that they didn’t ask to know and would probably scar them for life, but I also WRITE A FREAKING BLOG DEDICATED TO THE SUBJECT.
Guilty. Guilty as charged. Sorry about that. I blame the hormones..
Still, the most gross parts (labour, breastfeeding and baby poo) are yet to come, so if you’re not up for a teensy bit of over-sharing in the future, I suggest you find the ‘unsubscribe’ button now.
In my defence, I think there’s a time and a place for this stuff. I love reading pregnancy forums and blogs where people congratulate each other on sleeping through the night without getting up for a wee and talk in depth about gross things like mucus plugs and colostrum-leaking nipples. It’s a good way to prepare myself for things to come, so it’s not a massive surprise and I can take it all in my stride.
I DON’T, however live-tweet/facebook how difficult it is to get my pants on in the morning when my pelvis feels like it’s going to break in half, or exactly how many inches long my unborn child is this week because, frankly, no-one cares but me and Neil. And sometimes even I’m not all that interested. PS. it’s 15 inches long if you ARE actually interested
…plus, I’ll probably write a blog about it later. I bet you can’t wait.
2. Overly dramatic birth stories
The OTHER type of over-sharing seems to happen the moment people find out you’re pregnant. Out come the stories of 72 hour labours, epidurals that don’t work, babies that come out sideways, inductions that go on for days, and degrees of tearing I didn’t even think was possible. Some people I know have even chuckled through stories about how they lost so much blood they nearly died, and one person decided that at 6 months pregnant, I really needed to know that someone THEY knew ACTUALLY died whilst having their baby.
Oh blimey, it’s all gone a bit “Jack and Sarah”, hasn’t it? I think I might have a tiny cry.
Why do they think I need to know this? Are they genuinely trying to prepare me for the horrors of labour, or do they just enjoy the facial expressions I pull when they recount their tales? Why do people never say ‘oh, it wasn’t all that bad, you’ll be able to cope fine’, or ‘you’re pushing a BABY out of your body, it’s not going to be a walk in the park, but overall, it’s an incredible experience’? THOSE are the things I actually want to hear.
Just like people are FAR more likely to say ‘Kids, eh? Well, look forward to NEVER SLEEPING AGAIN EVER’, than they are to say ‘Kids are pretty hilarious, it’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done’. There seems to be something innate within us that makes us turn in to right grumps when it comes to babies and children that you just don’t get with other life milestones.
On your 18th birthday, you get presents, people congratulate you on reaching adulthood and being able to legally get a bit squiffy. No-one sits you down and says ‘adulthood is not all it’s cracked up to be, you’ve never got any money and your job is probably going to be boring and you even have to wash your own pants’, do they?
When you get engaged and plan your wedding, no-one enjoys recounting tales of spilling a bottle of red wine down their £2,000 wedding dress and getting divorced 18 months later, do they*? They get all misty-eyed and talk about it being ‘the happiest day of your life’ – why are babies any different?
*I DO however, love to recount the tale of Neil getting accidentally drunk at our wedding and going for a nap in a room upstairs at the reception venue. AND the one about me getting stuck in my wedding dress and eating a Big Mac in our hotel room with Neil snoring loudly beside me – so maybe I’m the exception to the norm.
FYI – despite this big long rant about other people that do this stuff, I WILL probably end up posting a version of my own birth story eventually, which I’m sure will be guilty of EVERYTHING I’ve just said. I will probably also then repeat the story to everyone I know for the next 20 years so that other first time mums can pull faces when I revel in the finer details of birthing what will undoubtedly be the biggest baby anyone has ever seen.
I’ve now ranted around this subject for so long, I’ve forgotten the awesome ending I thought up earlier. When I remember it in a few weeks time, I’ll come back and edit this post to make it look more succinct and profesh. In the meantime, if you actually LIKE your children, or had a birth that wasn’t overtly traumatic and resulted in you nearly dying, could you let me know so I can start freaking out slightly less about childbirth and childrearing in general?
(Side note: I’ve been mulling this blog post around in my head for a few days – apologies to the WI book club who heard parts of this particular rant first hand on Tuesday night)