I have this weird obsession with reading birth stories.
I don’t know what it is, but I love hearing about a child’s entrance into the world.
I’ve found, however, that there’s this phenomenon that exists in the natural blogger world. I’ve read a lot of natural birth stories over the past few years and sometimes it seems like if you don’t have a natural birth or you don’t have an over-the-top-at- home birth story, then your story just isn’t as good as someone else’s.
And I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. It can make you feel like your somewhat natural birth story for your child wasn’t “natural” enough. Or if you don’t have a birth photographer to capture it all then you should have. Or if you didn’t opt out of the Vitamin K shot or choose a doula or whatever, then your birth wasn’t as natural as someone else’s story. Everyone defines natural birth in a different way.
It can lead to “birth envy”~a term I use to describe comparing your child’s birth to another.
Don’t do it. Just don’t.
The way your child came into the world, whether naturally or not, is your child’s story. And even if it wasn’t what you wanted or expected, it’s his or her story. We can plan it all out and do whatever we can to have a natural birth experience and then stuff happens and birth doesn’t look exactly the way we planned. I certainly do think that there is definitely way to much intervention these days, and that women should feel more empowered when giving birth. But at the same time, you shouldn’t feel bad if things don’t go as planned. Maybe that’s part of the reason I’d like to be a doula one day.
Let me say that after birthing five babies, and learning how to be more natural in their births as I went along, I strongly believe that going as natural as possible is the way to go. And I’ve better defined what I think “natural” looks like, but I’m sure it’s not as natural as what others would say. While I’ve had “natural” childbirth experiences (mostly meaning drug-free), my most natural birth by far was my last one. If I were having more babies, that would be the birth I’d want to recreate.
While I don’t have “birth envy,” I do have a bit of “written birth story envy.” For as many birth stories as I’ve read, I never took the time to write them down for my kids. I don’t know why. Maybe because by the time I started reading them I already had three kids. But the further I get away from each one, the less the details are grounded. I remember a lot from each birth, but not all of details.
And that voice in my head? The one that wants to lie to me all the time? That voice has repeatedly told me that writing down their stories at this point in my life is a waste of time. No one will read them and nobody really cares.
So be it. But the stories are for me. And for my kids. So one day, when they can understand things a bit more, they might be really excited to know I took the time to write down how they entered the world. And as the years continue to pass, and the details become less grounded and somewhat less important, having the words in print helps preserve the experience somehow.
So I’m daring to write my stories down.
And since I had the chance to guest post this week on my reflections of natural childbirth with airmantomom.com, I thought what a better opportunity to write down the stories of my children. No, the nitty gritty details won’t be there. Too much time has passed for me to write in great detail each and every moment. But it amazing how much I remember. So if reading birth stories interests you at all, here are the birth stories of my five littles.
If you’ve never read a birth story, they can be highly detailed. I would say mine will have some details, but nothing over-the-top, have no fear!
Have you written out your children’s birth stories? What details do you want to remember?