Thursday, April 7, 2011

How (and Why) to Write Your Birth Story

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." Barbara Katz Rothman

For each woman, and each birth, there is a story to tell. No matter how long or how short a labor, how challenging, ecstatic, demanding or blissful a birth is, each birth is the setting where a woman crosses the threshold into mothering an unique and irreplaceable child, making that journey by her own efforts and her own choice. Birth is fundamentally a gift that only a mother can give, and when a woman tells her story of her experience giving birth, we all benefit from being able to witness her courage and wisdom. Writing a birth story is a beautiful way to share the story of your child's birth, as well as a way to honor your experience as a woman and a mother.

We know that trying to write a birth story can feel overwhelming, but here are a few tips to make it easier:
  1. Write when you are ready to write: don’t try to force a story that you aren’t fully ready to tell yet. There is no time frame in which you “have to” write your story, and some may take longer than others.
  2. Focus primarily on what was important and meaningful to you, and don’t worry if you forget some things in the process. A story doesn’t have to have every single small detail included in order to be true.
  3. Be as creative as you want to be! If your birth story is best told in a poem, in a piece of artwork, a song, be true to yourself and honor your experience through whatever medium it best shines through.

We are starting to get our first birth stories in, and are grateful to have been able to support so many strong women as they meet their children for the first time face to face. We invite all of our clients to share their birth stories with us, and hope to grow from the wisdom they contain. If you want to write your birth story but need some help through the process, a professional writer/editor is available to offer whatever help you need.

May all babies be born into loving hands...

K. Michelle Doyle, CNM, NYS LM

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