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Recording the story of your child's birth can be a gift to yourself, your child, your partner, your provider and other women.
Childbirth is a profound event in a woman's life. Recording the events and experience can be an important way to reflect and remember. Usually, the story is a record of celebration. Many women are able to appreciate that labor is their personal journey towards motherhood, and maintain a sense of humor about it.
For others, it helps them to remember and understand why and how events unfolded, particularly if they did not go as planned. Some women may experience feelings of anger, resentment, and other negative emotions when they think of their birth. Recording the birth story may help a new mom formulate questions about what happened during her labor and why. Often a conversation with the midwife or physician present for the birth can fill in the gaps.
Some women write their story along with their partner, while others feel it is a very personal reflection. Sometimes those present for the birth will write their own version of the story. Comparing your experience with others can bring valuable perspective. Write your story out when it is fresh; usually within the first six weeks of your birth.
A well written birth story can also be a gift for your child. Imagine reading about your own birth while pregnant with your first child. As you enter the final step in your pregnancy, imagine the insight and bond you would share with your own mom if you could know how she felt on the day you were born. Your child will treasure the story of their birth for years to come. "Tell me about when I was born," is a story that we never outgrow.
Sharing your story with your provider is very helpful. As midwives, we appreciate and learn from every birth story we read. We are grateful when someone takes the time to write and share. Understanding a woman's perspective in her own words helps us better care for women and families. We can see what we did or said that was helpful and, maybe, what wasn't.
If you are comfortable, know that it is a gift to share your story with others. Real stories can provide great comfort to other pregnant women. At WHA-Midwifery, moms have the opportunity to share their birth story on our website, and many are eager to do so.