There is a status update "game" circulating on Facebook where women share a certain number of facts about their birth. If you like the status, you too are given a number and that is the number of facts you share on your own status update. It's a social networking way of sharing birth stories, perhaps only previously heard by other women who were interested in sharing their own as well or preparing to go through birth. Now it's there for single friends to read. Former boyfriends. Those friends from elementary school. Old high school acquaintances. Everyone! Learning some of the very intimate details of part of your journey to motherhood.
I think it's beautiful.
All of our birth stories are amazing, and there something to learn from each and every one and it doesn't matter if it was a birth with medical intervention or at home. It doesn't even matter if it was a c-section or a vaginal birth. What matters are those details -- how and why, what happened, happened. And how you felt. Those emotions. So powerful, strong, and incredible. We should care how we are all brought into this world. It's how life continues.
If we all stopped to listen to the birth stories of others, we'd realize we're listening to the stories of the future, the first story of how we all begin. It's the first page of an incredible book. It's enlightening to learn how life comes into this world, those moments that a baby is first welcomed. And we can maybe even gain some more respect for mothers, and the power women possess.
Birth is beyond physical.
I want to know that you labored for five hours, but I also want to know if your child was born in the caul, or how you felt the first time you started having contractions, and the emotions that overcame you when you first saw your baby. I want to know the feeling you had when you first held your baby outside of your body. The way her skin felt. The first thought you had when you took in the scent of your newborn. I want to know about that swelling of love you had in your heart. How you felt your most powerful and weakest at the same time. How inspired you became and how your world changed in that instant.
I want to know. I want to learn. I want to share. I want us all to do the same.
Here are four details about my birth story:
1. I was very, very sick for the birth of my twins. I had HELLP syndrome that showed up during labor and the doctors rushed me in to have an emergency c-section.
2. Hearing my son cry after hearing nothing as he was being delivered was such an incredibly relieving sound. In that moment, and because of how he was in the womb all curled in a ball when his sister was spread out, I knew he was going to be a sensitive soul, and so far at 4 years old, he's proven me right.
3. When I saw my daughter's face for the first time, when her little cheek was pressed against my little cheek, I felt this instantaneous connection, physically and spiritually. When I looked into her eyes, it was like looking into my own, my mother's, and my grandmother's.
4. I practiced Hypnobirthing during my pregnancy and everything I learned kept me calm while preparing for my c-section. The meditation still helps keep me calm today.
Some women will read this and relate exactly. For others it may trigger another thought, something that happened to them. Maybe it will inspire you to share your own or even ask your mother about your own birth story. I did and it was amazing to hear, and to see my mother re-live. We can all learn from all of them.
Share yours ....
Image via Michele Zipp