When talking about my son’s birth, there are key details I usually leave out if I don’t know my audience very well. There’s nothing about the story that’s at all unusual or questionable, but still, I’ve seen how this works. I know some details will open me up to judgment, because even though there are about ten million things to do instead of judging another mom’s birth experience, we still do it.
As as mother myself, I'm acutely aware and that most of us moms are prone to hearing another mom’s experience and thinking, “I wouldn’t do that,” or, “I wonder why she did that,” or even, “OMG, I wish I could have done that.” In the end, and because we want to feel validated in our own experiences, we (OK, or maybe it really is just me) can't help it.
Still, as long as safety and health are considered, and experts are consulted when necessary, I know I have little room to judge. Perhaps it could go without saying, but everyone’s birth experience is different, too. Just check out how different moms describe labor and contractions to get a sense of all the ways our bodies can react. We really, truly, don’t know what it’s like to be in each other’s shoes. That said, I know it’s hard to withhold judgments. Trust me, I know. So, if you find yourself starting to critique another mom’s birth story, perhaps consider one of these options, instead: