I had my first kid before quite a few of my friends and family, actually my second came along before most of them, too. That is far from saying I am an expert, but there of course are some bits of wisdom that I can pass on and am always very open and willing to be as straight forward and answer any questions that anyone has. A few mommies-to-be took me up on some of this advice. I would answer their questions and go on little side ramblings that I hoped would be helpful but never wanted to ramble too much. Some mommies, I knew might scare, which is not something I wanted to be responsible for. Others appreciated the info but I knew they also wanted to experience things for themselves so I wouldn't reveal too much. I would listen to their ideas and thoughts of how it was and how it would be but didn't want to sound like I was preaching so wouldn't offer info unless I was asked. I always hoped some would ask more questions, but knew I shouldn't push it.
I talk to those new mommies now and they tell me their stories like I'm not a mom myself and I think 'yeah, I know, I was just there'. I don't shake my head and mutter 'see I told you', or stare at them in disbelief and say 'are you freaking joking me, you think it was easy for me', even though sometimes that is exactly what I want to do. Everyone handles things in a different way, a way that seems right to them at the time. You do what you think is best, the key word of course being 'think'. Because even the second time around what worked last time and you 'think' will work again, won't. These are all things that have to be figured out by trial and error, like everything else in life.
Not including my own, I have attended two births. I was there when my youngest cousin was born and was also present when my best friend gave birth to her second daughter. As long as I can remember I've wanted children. I didn't just want to have a baby. I wanted the whole experience. From finding out I was pregnant and watching my body grow, to experiencing the pains of labor, knowing that my body was doing what it was meant to do as a woman, to becoming a parent and growing with my child watching them become a person I helped mold. To me that was what having a baby meant. Even after seeing first hand, at the age of 12, what giving birth was, I still wanted to experience it all and wasn't one bit afraid.
I knew I could do it, as I said this is what my body was meant to do. I had the picture in my mind how it would happen (with variations of course, I wasn't a total fruitcake). Though when the time came, nothing happened. Next thing I knew I was having a c-section. It was difficult for me and took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I would never experience labor, which was something that I always wanted and for a while it felt like I had been denied something as a women. I didn't really express these thoughts for a while, knowing that I had nothing to complain about. Though I have always believed that if it's something that bothers you then it's something worth dealing with, not pushing to the back of your mind.
So I started talking about it and now I look at it like this...First, there was obviously some reason that I wasn't supposed to labor and I realize that I may never know what that reason is. I also know that worst case scenario that reason could involve me not being here today. Second, I had no problem getting pregnant, pregnancy was relatively easy, delivery went well and I had no major problems after. So if the only hiccup in the whole thing was that I had to have a c-section, I'll take it. Third, a c-section is no easier then labor, sure the getting the baby out part may be quicker, but recovery sucks. I'd say they are pretty even since both have their good and their bad points. Lastly, and most importantly, I got two beautiful babies out of it and a heck of a scar to use as a major guilt trip on them in their teenage years when they give me crap.
It is so easy to feel completely alone as a mommy. You wonder how so many moms manage to get up and shower and even put on lip gloss, when you are dealing with the newest stage of clingy, not eating, not sleeping, temper tantrum craziness. So you avoid those put together mommies because you think that they will look down at you like you are a bad mom because you can't even handle your own kid. I will tell you now that if any mother tries to claim that little Suzy or Tommy has been a breeze since day one, she's lying. Plain and simple. I had a pretty easy time with AJ as an infant but man am I paying for it now in the preschool age. Ryan is not afraid to tell you what's what so I'm hoping that she will be a bit more mellow in the next couple years *fingers crossed*.
Every story and experience is different.