I don’t have to. They always offer it up.
The birth stories perplex me because it’s almost as if the moms of the world have this “misery loves company” attitude. “If I suffered, you should also suffer. And you should all know about my suffering.” And if you don’t flinch (or it’s via phone and they can’t tell if you’re flinching), they try to add in more graphic imagery. They want to see you cringe. They want to see you squirm. I think they get extra points if their stories induce vomiting.
Here’s what I like to say after a particularly gruesome account: “Well it couldn’t have been that bad. I mean, you did it again. And again. (And in some cases) and again.”
My doctor asked me if people have been sharing their gross birth stories with me and when I told him yes, he had this funny analogy:
“If you said, ‘I’m having surgery for ovarian cancer’ that same person wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, my mother had ovarian cancer surgery and it was horrible! It was so painful! Here are the gory details.’”
And it is impossible for a mom to tell a birth story without using this one awful word, even if unsaid word didn’t play a part in their labor. They still have to work it into the story. I’ve refrained from using the word on my blog even though someone utters it to me just about every other day. I was going to use it here but you know what? If I subject you to it I’m just as bad as them. So I won’t use it. I’ll just tell you that it rhymes with this fruit and let you figure it out: