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Birth Stories & The Kinship of Motherhood

 I took some time last night to sit down and reflect on the birth of my son last month. It’s something I wanted to do while it was still fresh in my mind but at the same time, I felt I needed a couple weeks to really reflect on the experience and let it settle in to my memory.

I’ve always loved reading other women’s account of their birth experiences. It’s interesting to see all of the different ways with which new life is brought forth – hospital births, birth center births, homebirths, c-sections, epidurals, natural and waterbirths – I have found inspiration and similarities  in all of them, even those that are wildly different from my own account.

I never thought I would go the route of choosing a natural birth before I got pregnant – but the more birth stories I read from women who had chosen this route, the more open and excited I became to the idea. My daughter’s birth  in January, 2010 was one of the most defining experiences of my life. Sharing my experience on my blog was really rewarding as I had many women reach out who had similar experiences or were inspired to have a natural birth themselves after reading my account.

As I prepared for the birth of my second child, I poured through birth stories on blogs – I found courage and beauty in their unique accounts. I was reminded by others that the experience can be unpredictable and that things don’t always go as planned but that the joy of meeting your child for the first time holds the exact same euphoria for every mother. Mostly, reading the birth stories of other women made me more excited for the impending birth of my son.

There is something powerful about the kinship between mothers. We understand the physical, emotional, and mental sacrifices and rewards associated with bringing children into the world. I think it feels therapeutic to read another woman’s account and be able to relate it to my own and I find comfort in knowing that the raw beauty of bringing a child into the world is shared by so many.

Last night I found a comfy spot on our couch, put on my headphones and played the itunes playlist I had put together specifically for Arlo’s birth. I balanced the laptop across my knees and spilled my heart out onto the page while my tiny son slept soundly on my husband’s chest next to me. I flipped through the photos of our experience. I watched the video our doula took of the moment Arlo was placed on my chest and by the time I was through writing his birth story, my shirt was wet with tears.

There are only 3 weeks between me and that fateful night – but as the months move by and my sleepy newborn grows into a busy little boy, I know I will find my way back to reading the birth experiences of other women again. I’ll reflect on the night each of my children was born and marvel at the journey each of us takes to become a mother.

Did you write down your birth experience? Do you love reading birth stories too?  If it’s something you’re willing to share, I’d love for you to leave a link below so myself and others can read about your experience!

~Melissa

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