Birth is transformative, powerful, and overwhelming. It can feel unbelievable – that there are no words to express the experience.
Taking the time to write out your birth story as soon as possible will allow you to process your experience.
6 Reasons to Write Down Your Birth Story
- For Remembering. Writing down your experience will preserve your memories. Not only does this mean you will remember details in the future that you may have otherwise forgotten – but also that you have a place to come back to, to jog your memory.
- For Healing. Birth can be many things, and sometimes it’s disappointing. Processing your birth story through the craft of writing allows you to embrace your story as you come to feel peace about your experience. Writing gives voice to the range of feelings you may have had during your experience and after, reflecting back on your story. This will hopefully help you come to terms with your birth.
- For Clarity. Writing down your birth story helps you map out a timeline, process the experience, and help you figure out why and how the story progressed. This empowers you as a parent, a birther, and a woman.
- For Prosperity. As the years pass, it’s amazing to be able to revisit your written birth story and wonder at your strength and your baby’s entrance into the world. It’s also an incredible gift to be able to pass this story along in a concrete way to your children. I tell my children their birth story every year and in this way it validates their experience and mine and (hopefully) empowers and informs their future births, should they become parents.
- For Sharing. We surround ourselves by like-minded people and the this is also true during our birthing time. If we hear stories all about cesarean sections or all about vaginal births or all about breastfeeding or all about formula feeding … we’ll tend to perceive those stories as the “normal” way to do the birthing season. So embrace your story and what you’ve learned from it, and gently share it with your expectant friends. Encourage them to surround themselves with the stories they feel empowered by as they enter their birthing season.
- For Education. In a culture where birth is behind closed doors, talked about minimally, and where birth largely seen as the responsibility of medical professionals, birth stories need to be told. For centuries women supported women in birth. Currently, this support is often minimal to nonexistant in birth. By compassionately sharing our stories and experiences, we empower birthing families.
Doula and Photographer
Hiring a doula and/or birth photographer for your birth has an enormous positive impact on your birth. One of the ways a doula and photographer supports your birth is by helping to hold space for your story. A doula and photographer will know the timeline of your experience. This support will be able to clarify details and affirm your memory of your story. With a visual history in hand through photography, your story is even clearer for you.
I couldn’t think through my first birth experience – never mind write it down! In hindsight, it was a very low-intervention birth and I’m so fortunate it went the way it did. Even so, it was still out-of-my-mind overwhelming. Over a decade later, I’m bummed I didn’t write down my first story.
Every woman remembers her birth experiences in detail for a lifetime …. but reading the birth stories I did write down and rediscovering forgotten details in those stories, I know that there are parts of my first birth experience that I wish I could revisit in writing.
So go write down your birth story. If you’re willing to share it, I’d love to hear it!