This morning I received the news from friends of ours who live in the UK that their baby daughter was delivered last night – at home by her dad!!! Can you imagine??? It is their second baby and often labour is faster than the first time but to not have enough time for the midwife to arrive or to get to a hospital – the thought sends me into a panic. Anyway everything went well and the little girl looks perfect in every way as only newborns can. Congrats to all and well done to the very brave mom – and dad!!
So, how do you feel about hearing other women’s birth stories? I asked this question a while back via my facebook page and had a few responses from “it’s all I could read when I was pregnant with my first” to “they completely freak me out I would rather moms kept the details to themself”. Being a rather squeamish person myself I have been know to faint (!) just from hearing birth stories… my husband had to come and collect me from the new mothers house (as if she didn’t have enough to concern herself with than a fainting visitor!!)
As with anything in life I suppose the answer to this question depends on the stage you find yourself in – my fainting episode came when children were a long way off in my future. Once I found myself pregnant I found myself drawn to reading up any and all bits of info I could lay my hands on and these included some birth stories (although I skipped the videos!!) Once I had given birth and joined a moms group I found sharing my story and hearing my fellow moms share theirs helped me to process the entire experience – both the good and bad parts. Obviously moms group can be a notorious place for that well known game of “Comeuppance” and often moms are left feeling inferior for choosing pain relief or a failure for an emergency caesar. I definitely think there is a place for sharing your story – it often brings healing to talk and be heard – as long as the people have chosen to listen and you are not forcing your story on poor unsuspecting individuals with nowhere to run. Also worth remembering is that each and every birth story is unique – even your own children’s arrivals could be vastly different – just because you experienced things one way doesn’t make it the right or only way so practice some discretion especially when among other new (emotional, over-tired, sensitive, hormonal) moms!
Now that I have had 2 children I still enjoy reading birth stories and intend to write mine down for my kids to read, to help a friend prepare for her own experience (the stuff they don’t tell you) and to jog my memory in my old age! The first story is already over 5 years ago so I will probably only remember a few highs and lows! There is definitely something beneficial about writing it all down during those first few days even if all you can think about is getting some more sleep. Anyway, once I have put pen to paper I will consider linking to them here for those who want to read them. What do you think?
In the meantime write yours down and feel free to share it (or a link) in the comments that way those who want to educate themselves about the vast variety of experiences can and those who would rather not, can move on now…