Friend Follies: Keep Scary Stories from Plummeting Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy is full of excitement and fear. If this is your first pregnancy, you will soon learn that your whole life is now open for people’s comments. Relatives who never would have dreamed to ask you about your wisdom teeth removal will wax poetic to you about stretch marks and hemorrhoids.
Unfortunately, they also want to tell you in great detail about their worst pregnancy or labor and delivery experiences. If you want to avoid these stories, you should nip it in the bud right away.
Tell the Truth
The first thing you ought to do is to discern fact from fiction. The story about the 45-hour labor involving three hours of pushing is probably true. But the tale that sounds like it came from an episode of Ghost Hunters might be stretching the truth just a teeny bit. Or a whole lot. If you have a large group of friends trying to top each other for your benefit, recognize that they’re exaggerating and move on.
This is excellent advice that will stand you in good stead for the duration of your parenthood. From this point on, friends, family and total strangers will feel completely free to comment on your parenting decisions, no matter how benign or inane. So if someone is dying to tell you about the time they had to slay a dragon in the waiting room at L&D, smile and say that you’d rather not hear it. Or if you’re trying to avoid confrontation, just let it go in one ear and out the other.
Pay It Forward
Part of the experience is to learn how to avoid being the person every pregnant woman dreads. And that means that once you’ve had your baby (and accumulated a few horror stories of your own) you should use discretion in sharing. Keep it for the times when you’re sitting around playgroup and everyone is swapping stories. And be gentle with your newly pregnant and terrified friends.
Parenthood is not for wimps. Learn to be assertive now, and when your baby comes, you’ll be more confident than ever.