I posted the rest of Olive’s birth story this morning but I feel like there is more that needs to be said, so here goes!
After I gave birth to OG I felt an unbelievable need to talk about it all. the. time. I wanted to share what I remembered and ask what others remembered. I wanted to immerse myself in the story even though a lot of the time it made me sad.
I started to feel like I was talking about it too much. I mean, how many birth stories can one person handle listening to? How long will it be before my family gets sick of hearing and talking about it? Why am I obsessing about it?
What I didn’t know was that it’s a totally normal and necessary part of the healing process.
Most births don’t go perfectly and most moms have at least one part of their birth stories that make them sad or angry. Writing down those memories and emotions has helped me work through them and accept my birth story for what it is.
This birth story was written shortly after Olive was born, back when I was still healing physically and emotionally. I think it’s important to share my story how I felt it at the time because if I were to write it now it would be a different story.
Well meaning friends and relatives, after hearing a bit of my story, would say “well, you have a healthy baby now and that’s all that matters.” The reason that I am sharing this story is that no, that is not all that matters.
Don’t get me wrong; I am unbelievably grateful that I have a beautiful, healthy little girl. I’m thankful that worse things did not happen. I am thankful for all of the interventions that I didn’t want, but that saved our lives.
But the pain, frustration, sadness and disappointment that came along with it? All of those things matter. All of those things deserve to be heard.
A birth is not just a baby being born but also a mother being born.
Update: With my second child (read Quinn’s birth story here) I didn’t feel this incredible need to share my story. I did talk about it but it didn’t plague me like Olive’s birth did. The interesting part is that it was much more intense as far as pain (because I didn’t take birth classes this time around or prepare much at all), but much less traumatizing.
In fact, it wasn’t traumatizing at all. I think this is because with Quinn I got to have the natural home birth I wanted. I think it was still important to talk about and write her birth story but my healing happened much more quickly.
If you are a new mom, an again mom, or an about-to-be-a mom I encourage you to write or tell your birth stories.