Today I went to visit a client who had an amazing birth last week, and she did something that many women do: She apologized for not being very nice during her labor.
Let me paint the picture. This was her second baby and she was hoping to have a vaginal birth after a previous C-section, so she was already pretty stressed. Her labor was progressing quickly, though, and she stepped out of the car like only a woman in transition does – like she was walking gingerly through a minefield.
We quickly got her set up in the delivery room. Her contractions were now 3 minutes apart and strong. She handled all of that wonderfully. But she didn’t have enough left to say ‘please’ or couch her requests in niceties. I would have described manner her as honest and efficient. She was getting it done.
And then the apology. I always find it amazing that women often feel badly about how they failed to be considerate while giving birth. I did my share of waiting tables when I was younger and, honestly, I have been treated more rudely by men who haven’t had their coffee yet – and, believe me, they don’t feel the need to apologize after they have had some caffeine.
Here’s what I tell the incredible woman I work with, before they get to the point where they’re just too darn busy with important business for social niceties: this is a time where you’re in charge and we’re there to do what’s needed. We’re not expecting you to make us tea – we’re expecting to support you in whatever way you need. And part of that will be keeping the love coming, whatever you say!