Why You Won’t Hear My Childbirth Horror Story at a Baby Shower

The first time I held my son, a few hours after his birth.

Though the day I gave birth to my first child remains hazy in my memory, one moment sticks out with picture-perfect clarity:

I had finally made it to my “regular” room after 12 hours of labor, baby’s erratic heart rate, a gown change because of blood ever-y-where, and an emergency c-section and recovery. I won’t go into the details (because this entire post is about not going into the details), but I had an “out of body” experience—not because I was dying, but because I was so traumatized my psyche just mentally checked out when things got super scary. It was bad. I am beyond thankful that my son and I survived it, and that I don’t remember a lot of it.

But I do remember this: While my husband was out of the room checking on the baby, my mom, who was with me, leaned in close and said softly, “You know you can’t tell Emily about this.”

Emily was (and is) my BFF/cousin. And she was also pregnant with her first child, due in just 8 weeks. We’d SO enjoyed sharing the ups and downs of our first pregnancies together, but now, my mom was right: Emily did NOT need to know about the horror show that I’d just endured attempting to give birth. At least not before she gave birth herself.

So I didn’t tell her. And 7 weeks later she had a pretty standard, uneventful non-horror show birth herself. WHEW.

Now let me be clear: Emily would have had her super great birth whether I told her my story or not: but she MIGHT have had it with more fear, worry, and anxiety than all new moms have ANYWAY, and what would have been the point in that? There was no need for me to scare her with my rare traumatic experience. And though it’s natural to want to share these things with your BFF, I didn’t. For her sake.

Pregnancy can be really hard. Childbirth can be really hard. Either can abound with complications and scary moments, and either can go super smoothly and be a joy. No matter how your pregnancy and birth goes, you deserve a medal for gestating and delivering a human being. TRUTH.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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