No More Scary Stories
12 06 2013 • Tanya Kazeminy Mackay
No More Scary Stories
Why is it that so many women feel compelled to tell pregnant women scary birth stories? They actually seem to relish passing on the gory details with an expression of cruel delight as they watch the recipient wince and recoil in fear. Like an old soldier describing his battle wounds the tale is told as though the trauma were a medal of honour to be displayed and regaled.
At no other time in my life have I faced such a scary physical challenge and received so little kindness or support on the subject from acquaintances and even strangers. Lets compare birth for a moment to any other kind of surgery… would you expect people to accost you pre-surgery telling you how they nearly died or that the pain was so excruciating and the recovery so fraught that you won’t even believe how bad the next few weeks will be? No, you wouldn’t be told these stories, you would more likely have your ears filled with kindness and your nerves soothed with tales of ease.
So I would like to suggest that we women call a halt to this strange machismo tradition of scary story telling. If you find yourself a witness or the recipient of these tales, perhaps you can help change the tide. Try a quiet or forcefull use of the words; ‘please stop’ or; ‘I am frightened already, please stop’. Then redirect the conversation with the request; tell me something beautiful… for I know that motherhood is full of beauty, more beauty than pain. And maybe the lesson will be learned, and it will be one less woman telling scary stories.
And perhaps we can dwell on the beautiful so that the confidence of our fellow mama’s is built and they launch themselves into new mama-dom with a few extra precious drops of confidence.
It is a tremendous experience giving birth to a new life. All the more enormous because you also give birth to a mama at the same time. So does it hurt? Yes of course it does, as you would expect… because it is a huge physical, emotional and spiritual change in the course of your life. But is it pain you think of when you look at your baby?
Nope. You just think about what a miracle new life is.
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