Things That Cause Fear: The Infamous Horror Stories


I honestly don’t know what it is about people finding out you’re pregnant and then unleashing their arsenal of horror stories. I cannot begin to tell you how many miscarriage stories I heard, how many painful experiences recounted, and how many pregnancy injuries I heard told. If I hadn’t made up my mind to resist fear, I’d have been blown away in terror. I still battled some anxieties that I had to work through after hearing some of these horrendous tales.

It’s morbid, really. What is it in us as humans that loves to talk about the negative? We so easily slip into comparing stories of accidents, broken bones and the like.

While this is no biggie in the day to day, it can have tremendous impact on pregnant women. Imagine being pregnant with your first baby after a host of miscarriages, and then having someone talk flippantly about their neighbor’s sister-in-law that lost their baby at…say, how far along are you? Oh, yeah, right about now.

It’s enough to make you shudder. Yet, it happens on the daily. It happened to me more times than I care to remember.

Then came the horror stories of what went wrong during the labor, the emergency interventions that had to take place, the unbearable pain…

I finally started interrupting people. I would politely explain to them that I was confident in my ability to have this baby, and that I was looking forward to the experience. You should have seen the look on their faces. Looking forward to childbirth!? But, really, why is that so strange? It’s the day you finally get to hold your little one in your arms.

Yeah, so I’d heard that it was painful. I didn’t need every stranger at the store to tell me that. I was dealing with how to manage that already. What would have been nice, instead, was some encouragement, maybe a positive story about an amazing mama out there.

You’ll hear many stories from many sources. Just remember, that is one person recounting one situation. When you are hearing everyone’s negativity, it can feel like you’re being bombarded, and it can be hard to separate it all. It’s easy to start fearing that all of those things could happen to you, when in reality, it’s very unlikely you’ll encounter even one of the problems you hear about.

There is no shame in politely holding up a hand and stopping a person from regaling past horrors. You can simply inform them that you would rather not focus on the negative, but stay in a positive frame of mind. They’ll likely blush to the roots of their hair and apologize, and upon reflection, realize that it was a rather insensitive topic to raise.

Just focus on the love you feel for your baby. Let that focus become the kindling to stoke the fires of determination. That’s a natural instinct and, trust me, it will rise.

You’ve got what it takes to stay in control, mama. Use those amazing tools that God gave you and press on. You’re fearless!

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Elizabeth Jimenez

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