Do’s and Don’ts: Discussing Childbirth with Friends and Co-workers

colleagues croppedLet’s face it: census figures indicate that you and your partner need to produce 5.27 first-world offspring to replace yourselves, and so do all your squeamish, liberal, birth-control-abusing friends. So get ready to sugar-coat your birth stories. It’s good for morale!

Do: Give everyone at the staff meeting a good laugh by telling them about the atrocious décor of your hospital room.
Don’t: Tell them that at one point you were pushing so hard that poop shot out of your butt and hit the floor with a wet slap.

Do: Tell everyone how supportive your partner was during your labor.
Don’t: Talk about how your partner beat the doctor unconscious when he tried to give you an episiotomy.

Do: Admit that labor is somehow very uncomfortable in a way you can’t quite put your finger on.
Don’t: Tell everyone how weird it was when a placenta the size of a football slid out of your torn and bleeding vagina.

Do: Call to thank your friends and family for the flowers they sent to you.
Don’t: E-mail your friends and family with photos of your cracked and bleeding nipples.

Do: Send out tasteful birth announcements noting the baby’s weight, length, and time of arrival.
Don’t: Talk relentlessly about the dream you keep having where you’re in a war zone and a bomb explodes in your house and rips the baby’s arms off and you know the only choice you have is to suffocate him with a pillow to end his suffering.

Do: Start talking about when you’re going to start trying to have your next baby!
Don’t: Decide that the best place for a good, exhausted cry is at the drive-through window at Starbucks Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. with the twins secured to the roof of your car with a bungee cord.

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