Your Birth Story Is Scaring People


Mom and BabyI have seen a lot of babies. Adorable babies! But I have this theory: I don't believe anyone thinks your baby is as beautiful as you do -- I'm just not sure it's possible! I'm beginning to feel the same way about birth stories

The birth stories I read on blogs, on baby websites, and even the ones I receive via email seem to be getting more and more personal. As in too-much-information kind of personal.

It's your story. You should absolutely write it down, but please don't email it to me and be offended when I say I don't really want to read all the gory details about your placenta.  

Recently I read a birth story that included details about the mom throwing up her breakfast in between contractions, pooping (I know it happens, but ewwww), and what was on television while the mom waited for the epidural to kick in. I remember reading another birth story where the mother recorded a few choice words she had for the dad during a clearly painful moment that I'm sure she didn't really mean. I wonder how dad is going to feel about that in five years?

What I want to read in a birth story is how long the labor lasts or what kind of pain management people use. Did you do the epidural? Did you wait or give in right away? What kind of nurse or midwife did you have? (I had a nurse called "The Enforcer." The baby still wouldn't come out.) I love to read about sweet things that your partner may have said to you or if your mom was there. 

What's most interesting to me is reading about how you felt afterwards. Were you moved to tears? How about that moment when you and your baby locked eyes for the first time? That's the good stuff. That's what you will want to remember when your baby isn't a baby anymore. Not that you were watching American Idol

Do you agree? Do you want to read all the dirty details of a birth story? Did you share yours with your friends and family?


Image via AndrewEick/Flickr

childbirth, newborns, birth stories, labor & delivery


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mrsjk... mrsjksimmons

I don't want to know all the nasty details about someone's birth. Ick. My own birth experience was icky enough. I don't need the image of somebody else's vagina during birth in my head. LOL I share the "nice" details with people. I tell how long my labor was and how many hours I pushed, what kind of pain method I used (none), what it was like to know that you were giving birth to the baby you waited 9 months to bring into this world. You know, the nice stuff. I don't tell them about my placenta or anything else icky.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Actually, I find that people who don't know all the details or aren't interested are often the people who aren't as aware of a lot of the details of the birthing process in general.

When I read a friend's birthing story, yes, I actually do want to know all the details, because the process of birth is an event that can take hours or minutes, but can stick with you and affect you and your baby forever.

It's actually from a lot of people's details birth stories that women have found strength, goals, education and even understood where something went wrong, so they can help avoid that experience for themselves.

If you don't want to read it, that's okay, but it is a good idea for women to do so, especially if your goal is a drug-free birth.

Sleep... SleepingBeautee

I completely agree with RanaAurora!

The details in a birth story is what helped me know what was to come. With my first child I  knew nothing and the glossed over version I got from books did nothing to help me through it. I was completely unprepared for labor.

With my second I knew I wanted a pain med free birth and read birth stories or women that had natural births. I think those little details help educate women and make birth less scary.

If you are squemish, then by all means don't read them. But for the rest of us they are a wonderful resource.



nonmember avatar Allboys

If reading about other women's birth stories is scaring you then maybe you should read a more empowering book about labor and delivery. Ina may Gaskin wrote a few that are just wonderful and may change the way you view the birth story and might even change your views on birth. Women talk about the experiences of their birth in an effort to process the single most significant event of their lives. There is never another time other than labor and delivery that you have to so surrender yourself and trust yourself and frankly there are many times birth can be traumatic for some women. My second labor left me with complications that affect me to this day. I talk about what happened with the epidural then I talk about my two subsequent pain medication free labor and deliveries because they were amazingly healing for me. Oh and my husband too because he was also traumatized by what happened. Birth should not scare you. It's not a scary process. Not trusting that your body knows what it's doing or being surrounded by people who are unsupportive leads to problems. Anyway I digress at the end of the day you always have the option of not reading these birth stories.

kelli... kelli0585

I think they're great, but please keep them off of your facebook status updates.


Amyin... AmyinMotown

I'm 100 percent with you, Amy. When I had my first, the horrendously detailed birth stories would just freak me out. I was much more interested in the emotional experience of birth from other women; I felt well-prepared by my childbirth class, books, school, A Baby Story and whatever else as far the the physical aspect of it. And as it turned out everything went to hell in a handbasket quickly so I had an emergency c-section.  I don't share that story with moms-to-be too much -- if they are giving birth at the same hospital I emphasize the niceness and professionalism of the nurses and doctors and that we felt we were well-cared for.

RanaA... RanaAurora

A Baby Story doesn't give an accurate representation of birth, though. It's edited, and it's usually going to terrify most women, perpetuating the idea that birth is a bad thing, a scary thing, that needs drugs and doctors to save you.

sodapple sodapple

i really kept my story to myself both times, beign very vague about it with friends and i personally do not like to ask or listen to other peoples birth stories. i do like to read them though =-/

MomIWant MomIWant

I'm with you Amy.  Last weekend at a friends party I was cornered by another guest who just became a first time mom "9 weeks and 3 days" ago.  She wanted to share her experience with me but we kept getting interrupted.  No worries  *eye roll* she e-mailed me her "report".  15 pages of birth story...YIKERS!  My goal is to trudge through the minute by minute, stitch by stitch story by the end of the year so at the New Year's Party if I'm quizzed, I will be able to get the answer correct.  JK/LOL 

KatieP. KatieP.

I'm with you- my birth stories are -

12 hours- 2.5 hours of pushing - no drugs and a midwife

5 hours - don't know how long pushing - midwife/no drugs/spent time in a tub (ok but nothing to write home about) and baby was born on the floor because I REFUSED to get into the hospital bed because with the first they had wanted to monitor me - in a bed on my back - and that was the worst of the whole thing so second time around I would not go near the bed, much to the dismay of my midwife who did not think that I should have the baby on the floor lol.

I tend to not want to hear others much beyond the details of what I just wrote.

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